The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homemade rhubarb varroa strips for bees

Rhubarb varroa strips

When I checked our hives for mites a month ago, the Warre hive passed with flying colors. The Langstroth hive, on the other hand, had more varroa mites than I would have liked...but not quite enough for immediate intervention. So I decided to take a wait-and-see approach.

After a month of wait, it was time to see. A second mite count this week showed that counts had increased a bit but not dramatically in both hives. Still, with a 47 mites/day fall in the Langstroth hive, I opted to try out the rhubarb home remedy we heard about years ago.

Making varroa stripsTo that end, I took two of the last rhubarb leaves remaining in the fall garden and stewed them in water for a couple of hours. Then I turned off the heat and let sheets of printer paper soak in the water for a while before taking them out to dry.

Finally, I opened up the Langstroth hive for the last time of the year. While counting honey stores, I found the quite small brood area and slipped the homemade varroa strips in between the frames. I suspect the bees will chew and remove the strips in relatively short order, so only time will tell whether the remedy has any effect. Let's see if I can remember to do another mite count in the middle of November to gauge the results.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hello. I am very interested to know if the rhubarb helped with the mites.
Comment by Sofia Mon Jun 5 17:20:16 2017

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