East Lothian Beekeepers
Varroa Discovered in East Lothian.
Varroa destructor mites have been discovered in the middle of the county. This means that it is likely that the entire county will be affected within the next couple of years if it is not already.
There are also reports outside the county at Butterfly world near Dalkeith and Milton Road which is in Edinburgh but near Musselburgh. If this is the source of the East Lothian outbreak then all colonies in between are likely to be infected.
The Scottish Beekeeper has published many articles on Varroa and its control so now is the time to re-read them.
There is also a wealth of information on the Scottish Beekeeper website (see below).
Useful pamphlets on varroa and its control are also available from the Central Science Laboratory Bee Unit. You can contact them at email@example.com . You can also visit the CSL bee unit site at http://www.csl.gov.uk/science/organ/environ/bee/
If you would like a copy of 'Managing varroa' earlier, Mike Bain has 10 copies available on a first come basis. This is also available as a download (in .pdf format - 743K) from the CSL website
It is probably too late to consider Bayvarol or Apistan treatment this year as the strips have to be in the hive for 6 weeks. It is not too late to check whether you have the mite so that you can be prepared for spring treatment.
DO NOT RELY ON NATURAL MITE DROP.
This is not sensitive enough to detect an early infection. Get together with colleagues to buy some strips. You only need half the treatment dose for a couple of days and the strips can then be re-used WITHIN THE SAME APIARY.(Sharing strips between apiaries is an ideal method of spreading other diseases)
A sticky sheet on a removable floorboard will collect the mites. You don't even have to spend a lot on this. A sheet of card with a thin film of vaseline will do.
Information on the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA) Website
Do make use of the information available on the SBA website. You can visit this at www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/sba/varroa.htm
There are also details of constructing a varroa floor and some other treatment options at www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/technical/varflor1.htm
During the past few years the Scottish Beekeeper has printed a number of articles describing a range of Integrated Pest Management strategies for the control of Varroa. For the benefit of all beekeepers these have brought these together into one document, and do so with due acknowledgement to the authors of the original articles as indicated at the head of each. To download a copy of the article in WORD format please click on the link below http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/sba/documents/Varroa%20IPM%20Controls%20Papers.doc
Varroa reference sheet
A reference note on the biology and control of varroa is available as a Adobe.pdf file. For your copy please click here