From Steve M: At our first meeting of 2014, held on Feb 20th, PHBA members reported good success with fall mite treatments of Apivar. The active ingredient is Amitraz which is the same thing found in dog flea and tick collars. We don't like to use these with our dogs unless the ticks just get outrageously bad. Think of varroa mites as ticks on honey bees. Same with the bees, we prefer all natural whenever possible. Feedback from the meeting indicated that winter survival was the best in probably a decade, and this in a winter of numerous sub zero nights. But after a decade of really unacceptable winter losses from colonies being weakened by mites, often 50% to 100% losses, many beekeepers had to try some mite treatment in addition to natural methods like powdered sugar, or simply give it up. With good winter survival, many of our members are once again interested in restarting and/or expanding which was great to hear.