Part II Of Our Four-fold Treatment Protocol
Special Trace Mineral Salt Patty Mixture!

New Grease Patty Experiment

August 4, 2000

The above hive was used for an Acid test and had 45% mites in the worker cells three weeks prior to August 4. Now the hive has under 5% VM in the worker cells and is being used as a preliminary test of our new salt patty system. There are five salt patties on the top of the brood box with a roll of the mixture at the entrance ready to be pushed back about an inch into the entrance. A fellow cooperator (Floyd Bolyard, Aurora, WV) has been using this roll system for about two years and has claimed good success.

Rolled Grease Patty Mixture Pushed Back Into The Hive Entrance

August 4, 2000

We have observed that field bees use the rolled mixture as a ladder and house bees consume the patty. The grease locks in the salt and wintergreen and as the bees consume and track away the mixture, the two ingredients are constantly released. The synergy of the active ingredient salt and the inert wintergreen seem to have an effect on both Tracheal and Varroa mites during times when brood is present, and has devastating results on the mites during broodless times in winter. Our tracking strip and paper towel system worked well in many of our field trials but had to be replaced every few days, whereas the patty mixture lasts for several days. This hive has a special screened bottom board with a tray in the back to catch dropped mites. Ten minutes after placement of the patties, five Varroa mites were found wandering in the tray.

Grease Patty with New Screened Bottom Board!

September 4, 2000

The hive above is a trial test hive which was used to test the consumption of the salt patties and mite drop. This hive had about 30% Varroa infestation in the cells when the treatment started and was already into early stages of PMS and at injury level to the colony caused by the mites and pathogens they carry. We have observed that hives already at injury level are too weak and do not consume the patties in sufficient quantities to reverse the effect of the mites and pathogens they carry, just as when colonies are too far into injury level when treated with synthetic acaricides still succumb to the parasitic mites. Therefore we recommend treating as early as possible while the colony is at its peak of health. Colonies in collapse can be brought back using part III and part IV of our four-fold treatment protocol.

Our cooperator from Orville, Ohio, Albert Yoder, claims to have kept the mite infestation in worker cells in his grease patty-treated colonies to under 5%, which appears to be below injury level to the colony. Albert started his experiment the first of July, 2000 and said next year he will start using the patties and screened bottom boards in early June in order to keep the mites below injury level for the remainder of the brood and honey season. He replaces the patties every two weeks or when consumed by the bees. He claims to have kept the mites to below injury level as of September 23, 2000 and feels that no other treatment is needed. Albert uses a three inch wide patty across the center of the brood frames on a full depth brood chamber. He has also observed that the bees consume salt patties twice as fast as the original recipe.

Special Pull Out Sticky Board to Check Mite Drop!

September 4, 2000

The modification above is patterned from the Dadant screened bottom board to catch dropped mites on a sticky board insert from the back of the hive which show areas of heaviest brood concentration and mite drop.

The Dark Strips Below Show the Mite and Debris Fall Between Frames.

September 4, 2000
The dark areas above show where the older brood has hatched and honey was uncapped.

Exploded View Of Section Of Insert Above!

September 4, 2000

As you can see, there is a heavier concentration of mites in the darker areas between the frames as compared to the lighter areas under the frames. The entire sticky board showed a relatively even distribution of dropped mites in the brood areas four days after treatment. The Salt patties with wintergreen increased the mite drop 2 to 5 times as compared to the regular screened bottom boards with no treatment. Next year we will attempt to reduce this variance in mite drop between treated hives as we have with our Formic Acid treatments this year. We feel adjusting the grease patty formula to increase consumption of the mix and treating before mites reach injury level may be all that is needed to control the mites using grease patties and screened bottom boards.

Click HERE For Patty Effect During Broodless Periods!
Click HERE For More On Grease Patties!

New Fresh Sticky Board!

September 4, 2000

This fresh sticky board replaced the used one above and shows an even distribution of dropped mites after being inserted for just 15 minutes. Fourteen live mites were found stuck on this section of the fresh sticky board when removed after 15 minutes. New grease patties were also replaced along with the new sticky board which may have contributed to this rapid mite drop.

The above hive had 30% mite infestation in the worker cells on August 12, 2000 with 10 full frames of brood. On September 4, 2000 there were 6 to 7 frames of brood only 1/3 full showing about a 20% to 30% mite infestation in the capped cells. The mite infestation in this hive remained at the same percent throughout the three week treatment period in the capped brood cells. Since there was about a 60 to 70% reduction in brood area, this represents a reduction in mite infestation in the colony of about the same percent. This hive is still at injury level of mite infestation in the brood cells and probably will not make it through the winter due to the secondary virus infections that follow. The treatment was abandoned and was treated with one of our FA fumigators to reduce the mites to below injury level to the colony. This hive was also fed Honey-B-Healthy which we think stimulates the immune system of the honey bee. We have observed over the past several years that mites have to be reduced to below injury level in late August to allow for at least two healthy brood hatches to carry the colony through winter. We have observed it takes four to six weeks for the viruses to disappear after the mites are cleaned out. Just recently, after the FA treatment with 90%+ of the mites eliminated, we continue to observe bees hatch with the deformed wing virus for at least one brood cycle even though there is no trace of mites in the cells.

The unusually early brood reduction at this time of the year is attributed to the UN-seasonal dearth of nectar we are having this year. We believe this dearth is a direct result of low night temperatures, causing plants to fail to produce sugar.

We conclude that using this system on colonies when mite infestations are below 5% and continuing this treatment for the duration of the season may keep the mites below injury level to the colony. Albert started his treatment six weeks prior to ours and kept the mites to far below injury level in his colonies.

Note: A mixture of 50% mineral oil and 50% Vaseline are used as a paste on our home made detector boards.
Note: Dr. Amrine is currently collecting data from his test hives and will be publishing his results in the ABJ Soon!
Note: This treatment is only in the experimental stage and is, by no means, a claim for a cure.

1/4 to 1/3 CUP OF MINERAL SALT (pink color; available at feed stores for about $8 per 50#)

Note: The mineral salt is coarse and needs to blended in a blender to a fine dust for a more adequate mixing.