July 2016

NWA Beekeepers Association

July Meeting Minutes


President Brad Keck opened meeting

77 people were present for the meeting.

In opening remarks, Brad thanked those who supplied the refreshments.

Old Business:


New Business:

Honey tasting on back table.

Winifred gave the presentation:

Varroa mites and its control: A practical way

By Winfridus Bakker

Varroa mites transmit virus to our bee hives.

European bees are more recently (past decade or two) exposed to varroa mites.

Mite is an external parasite.

A colony will debilitate with high infestation rates

# of mite drop on bottom board /day x 50 = # of mites in a hive

Acceptable: low < 5

medium = 10-20

high > 21

bottom board screening count every 24 to 48 hours - draw out a cross marks every three inches for easy counting

Repeat twice a month for a good sample.

You will have more mites drop on to the bottom boards on hot days verses cold days.

If bottom board is dirty then there is a lot of activity in the hive.

Mites can be blamed for many of the problems in a hive: Sucking hemolymph and the spread virus.

Winifred suggest covering bottom boards with vegetable oil, count mites and then clean off the bottom board for next time.

If you see a drop in mite count it may mean that the queen is not laying.

This year he first treated for mites on April 14th, 2016.

Controls for mites:

Powdered sugar. Not a lot of advantages

Freezing drone brood frames.

Soft chemicals formic acid

Hard chemicals


Early spring treatment should reduce mite population to a minimum.

Treat again in late August or early September

VSH Varroa Sensitive Hygienic behavior . Doesn’t seem to work well. If the queen lays more eggs then you will see more mites. It is nature at work.

See article in American Bee Journal April 2013.


Acids. No resistance and low contamination.

Queen and brood damage low


Have a fixed control program in place and consistently apply it.

Apply treatment in early spring and early autumn.

Use sticky boards to monitor the pests in your hives