Intensive IPM program (with drone brood removal, formic acid and economic thresholds)
The best strategy is to suppress mite populations during the summer with a non-chemical method, and then to treat with a natural product in the fall if the pest density exceeds the economic threshold. Drone brood removal can eliminate the need for a spring treatment and prevent fall collapse. Occasionally, it will result in the fall ether roll count being below the economic threshold level, eliminating the need for that treatment as well. Incorporating both drone brood removal and mite resistant stock into your management program may increase the number of colonies that do not require a fall treatment. At this time, it is recommended that you use a spring treatment if you did not use a treatment the preceding fall.

Late winter or early spring:

• Make sure two empty drone combs are present in the upper brood chamber.
• No chemical treatment is necessary at this time if the colony was effectively treated with a miticide the previous fall.

Apple blossom until just before the end of the goldenrod flow:

• Use drone brood removal every 26 to 28 days with the last exchange taking place when surplus honey is removed just before the end of the goldenrod flow. If a drone comb becomes filled with honey, replace it with an empty comb and extract the honey before reusing it.

Late summer (about 2 weeks before start of goldenrod flow):

• Requeen with mite resistant stock and check for acceptance in seven days.

Late summer - early fall (when the goldenrod flow is about 80% complete):

• Remove surplus honey from colonies.
• Reduce colonies to two full depth hive bodies.
• Determine pest density in each colony with the ether roll.
• If an ether roll count is = 2, treat that colony with Mite-Away II® (photo J). Note! Mite-Away II® should be applied after the majority of brood rearing has ended but while daytime temperatures range between 50 and 790F. In Ithaca, NY we initiate treatment with formic acid during the last week of September or first week of October, but not earlier and not later than that.
• If you do not need to treat a colony in the fall, you should treat it the following spring.