Click on Thumbnails for bigger pictures
Varroa treatments with and without brood
A lot of you use some treatment, (it doesn't really matter what for this discussion), and your mite drops don't change much afterwards and you assume you're not killing mites. So let's just look at some numbers
Independent of WHAT the treatment is, here is just a rough idea of what goes on. These are round numbers and probably underestimate the mites' reproduction and underestimate how many get groomed off by the bees.
Assuming treating every week and a treatment with 100% effectiveness on phoretic mites. If you assume that half the Varroa are in the cells and you have a total mite population of 32,000, and if we assume half the phoretic mites will go back in the cells and in one week, half of the mites in the cells will have one offspring each and emerge then the numbers look like this:
* half of the 16,000 plus 8,000 offspring
Capped is inside capped cells. Returned is the number that went back into cells and got capped.
Now let's Assume treating every week and 50% effectiveness on phoretic mites with all the other assumptions the same:
Now let's Assume treating once every week with 50% effectiveness with no brood in the hive:
Then of course there's 100% with no brood:
And no treatment would look like this:
A real mathematical model, of course, should take into account a lot of things including drifting, robbing, hygienic behavior (chewing out), grooming, time of year etc. I was just hoping to get the general principle across of what is happening when you treat.
Copyright 2006 by Michael Bush