Midnite Bee-Beekeeper's: Article ARTICLES INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF PARASITIC BEE MITES
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF PARASITIC BEE MITES

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) involves two basic concepts, monitoring pest population levels and applying the proper control methods when pests exceed a given level, the economic threshold.

It can not be emphasized too strongly that use of pest resistant varieties is the foundation of any sound IPM project. These same principals may be used to reduce the harmful effects of bee mites. Work done by Dr. Medhat Naar and G.M. Grant gives details for controlling Parasitic bee mites.

MONITORING:

Honeybee Tracheal Mites(HTM)

150 bees per sample, per bee yard.

Take an equal number of bees from each hive. For example, take 10 bees from every hive in a yard of 15 colonies, or take 30 bees from every hive in a yard of 5 colonies.

Varroa mites (VM)

ether roll 150-300 bees per sample

count mites and multiply by 250 to get a whole hive estimate of mites.

Drone uncapping test

lift 100 drone pupae from their sealed cells.

Check pupae and cells for Varroa.

Apistan/sticky board test

2 apistan strips per colony

sticky board on bottom board leave in three days.

Remove board and check for mites.

Multiply by 2 to get whole hive estimate.

If mites are present, leave the strips in for the treatment period.

Remove strips if no mites are found.

Always follow label instructions!

Economic Thresholds:

Level at which action must be taken to prevent economic losses due to a pest.

HTM: When 10% of the 150 bees sampled are infested with HTM, action should be taken to avoid over wintering losses the following year.

VM:

1. Mites present but less than 100 per hive-, routine fall treatment.

2. More than 100 mites per hive; spring treatment before honey flow, if possible: monitor throughout season: remove honey early in the fall and treat again.

3. More than 1000 mites per hive; remove honey immediately and treat.

Monitor throughout season.

TREATMENT:

Remember, the purpose of IPM is to reduce the amount of pesticides and time required to control pests. The first line of defense is always to use resistant or tolerant varieties, in this case queens. Select colonies that show tolerance to the mites, are well mannered, produce honey and over winter well.

Buy queens from reputable breeders that supply resistant varieties

Treat all hives in the apiary at the same time to reduce re-infestation from other colonies.

If possible try to coordinate treatment with neighboring beekeepers, parasitic mites are a regional problem not a local problem

HTM:

1- Vegetable shortening patties can help reduce mite level if used when making increases.

2. Requeen with HTM tolerant stock

3. Menthol: 50 g(1.8oz) food grade menthol(L-isomer) per 2 brood chamber hive applied when daytime temperatures reach 70'F.

ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS! Treatment in late summer or early fall before fall brood hatch occurs will give optimum control.

VM:

1. Vegetable shortening patties may help reduce mite levels. Patties containing Terramycin will help control Bacterial infections associated with Parasitic Mite Syndrome.

2.Apistan strips:

use 1 strip for every 5 frames or less of bees.

Remove during honey flow.

Treatment in late summer and early fall will give optimum control.

Strips should remain in the hive for a time after brood rearing has ceased for the season. ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS!