Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine

BEE HEALTH 2022-2023


September 28th, 2022

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, September 26th, 2022) September is closed and we are already in full spring in the central area of the fertile plain of Argentina. Dry weather is good for brood development and the hives probably already have several brood combs, in principle very healthy. If an opportune sanitary treatments against Varroa were carried out in the fall, it is expected that these colonies will have a very low load of mites. However, given the economic situation of the beekeeping sector in Argentina, already since the last year, some producers delayed spring treatments until the end of December and many of those hives did not receive the autumn treatment this year, so there are two worrying scenarios:

1.- The hives that did not receive a good varroa treatment before wintering today may have a mite level around 1% or more.

2.- Abandoned hives, due to low profitability, they can be a refuge for varroa mites and polluting pest niches of other hives in production. These are usually evidenced in migrations of small colonies collapsed by varroa.

For those who seek the safety of an organic and prolonged treatment, it is time to carry out the sanitary control with cardboard strips impregnated with oxalic acid.

Today the cost of a commercial organic treatment is in the order of $ 1,80 per hive, while the supplies to prepare their own acaricide controls, with organic products purchased from nearby stores, for a small producer of up to 100 hives, it can be between $ 0.66 and $ 0,80 per hive to treat. A commercial formulation with amitraz it cost is $ 1,32 (Hernán from APILAB said) for one month varroa free. In either of the three options, the treatment of varroasis is recovered even with a meager harvest of honey. The loss of more than 5% of hives due to varroa and the loss due to lower yield, not only has a high cost in beehives and loss of profit, but also no longer be gained in beeswax and your materials will be spoil due to moths or other factors.

We are in discount time in the South Hemisphere. Once the winter is over, an outbreak of varroa not controlled in time explodes when the honey flow comes, 1.5% of varroa now, untreated, will be more than 4% in November exploiting the problem when it comes time to collect honey and there is nothing to do.

The effective treatments with synthetic chemical products provide about 30 days of protection, if they are late, they can contaminate your honey.

The investment you make today in bee health will cost fewer kilos of honey than doing it in a month and a half due to inflation and, in addition to peace of mind, it will give you greater profitability in the honey harvest.

It is good to be aware of any threat, varroa is already there, we know it and we know how to do. Just do it.

The analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that we made of the organic treatments in Espacio Apícola 122 suggests that we make early treatments to guarantee a good performance of the hives in the spring and early summer, free of varroa.

Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


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