2022/2023 Planning and Changes – Varroa Part 1

Varroa Management: Rough outline on my treatment plan. I’m usually very anal and plan for things years in advance but for whatever reason I have always just wung it for pest management. Little late to the party but I did realize I need to lay out a formal plan and execute. Being a bee keeper is pretty much project management! I’m breaking my plan into 4 streams of work and schedules realizing that each of these different situations needs a unique plan and timeline. Today we will cover over-wintered hives and my treatment plan.

Over-wintered hives:

April/May: Right now all the hives have a nice solid brick of feed on them so they are growing nicely! I will be splitting these hives approximately April 24th. During the splitting process I will be remodeling the brood nest and adding Apivar strips. These will remain in the hives until around June 1st when the hives are supered! By making the splits and having the Apivar in the hive I should see a drastic reduction in mites via both chemical and physical removal!

June: As the flow is on and the bees are filling the supers it’s very difficult to get a drastic reduction in mites it’s more about keeping the levels in check! I will be aggressively OA vaporizing the hives once every 3/4 days for 4 treatments for 2 treatments windows. This will help keep the mites in check as they are producing honey. All of these hives had Hopguard 3 applied last summer so I will be skipping that treatment this year.

July: As the flow is winding down and supers are getting pulled and stacked I will be hitting the hives with a few rounds of OA vaping and a dribble. I had mixed success with the OA glycerine pads Randy Oliver has been experimenting with. I will most likely try them in 2-3 hives again. July 4th give or take a week is when I will be drastically reducing brood in the hives to knock back population in anticipation of the dearth so these hives will have a physical removal of mites as I make splits.

August: Splits have been pulled from all of these hives and it’s time to restart my bee keeping calendar. August is when I’m going to start my work for the 2023 season! This year I will be treating in August with Apiguard once I have supers off and splits have been made! I will measure mites before and after treatment and if post treatment the mite numbers have not been reduced I will apply an additional treatment.

I will cover any subsequent treatments in a winter prep series.

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