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Varroa Mites in Central Virginia

My beekeeping education in Varina, Virginia continues. I have definitely come to understand that I am at the base of Mount Everest and, despite my efforts to get to the top quickly, am still stumbling around at the base!

Tom Fifer spoke at the East Richmond Beekeeper’s meeting last Tuesday and gave his typical, no-non-sense advice. Most of it did not apply to me, as I am not using chemicals (yet, anyway) and have no current plans to do so. He reviewed all of the treatments that some folks use to treat both mites and the foul brood diseases. But, the underlying tone was that a good nectar flow fixes everything but maybe the Varoa Mite. On this subject, I did pick up some very valuable advice.

As I knew, all hives have varoa mites to some extent (like my damnable wax moth!) The hives keep them in check, but there is a little trick to apply throughout the Summer and Fall that will help them out. Use Powdered Sugar (1 cup  per deep, 1/2 cup per super) on them once or twice each month.

I knew about this treatment, but thought it was only to be used when you had a really high mite count. Tom advised otherwise. Sprinkle some on them occasionally, just to help them out. I’m not sure that any scientific studies have been done to prove this, but I plan to put some on my hives in just a few hours. It should be another adventure!

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