Its a contact miticide
Its a contact miticide
Hop Guard does have a place in my treatment schedule. You need to realize that it will not kill mites in capped brood cells. When the queen is laying, something like 90% of the mites present in a hive are in brood cells, from what I remember. Therefore, if you treat with HG during this period, 90% of your mites will survive. This is why you need multi-week treatments when the queen is laying.
However, if you treat in late fall or early spring you will have better results.
MY EXPERIENCE is that I had quite a large mite drop when I gave my hive a knockdown treatment before winter.
their information says nothing about making three successive applications...it appears Mann Lake is the one recommending the three successive applications. Here is a thread from a year+ ago here on Beesource discussing the "progressive application" of Hopguard.... Progressive Hopguard Treatment
I have used it for two full treatments,one in the fall of 2011 and again last fall.I was pleased with the results both times.I judged my results by sticky board counts both before and after treatment.
A typical result was 6-12 mites before treatment and anywhere from 56 -246 the first morning after the first treatment with numbers dwindling over the next three days.Second treatment yielded far less mites and the third treatment could just as well have been skipped as the mite count was down to almost nothing.Our fall (October) temps are in the 80's most days with nights in the 60-70 degree range.There is always plenty of brood present at that time.
FWIW I had low mite counts this spring but put on grease patties anyway.There was almost no mite drop,3-8,from the patties.I still have not gotten around to doing a sugar roll to double check.
Take away from this is;try it.If it works for you use it.If not move on to something else.It's obvious from the postings that some of us get good results and some do not.
I've had excellent results using with Hopguard. The key has been pointed out many times. Three successive applications. I have had absolute success using it in this way. I've been using it at the end of summer when I pull my supers for the last 2 years. It has worked as well as anything I've tried. If I was treating a few hives I would continue using it but last year I treated 30 hives and it was expensive. 4 strips per hive X 3 treatments = 12 strips. Multiply that times 30 and it is not a cheap way to go. This year I'll be running around 50 hives and have no intention on using Hopguard for that reason alone.
In my opinion it works really well as long as you understand that it will not help with capped brood (hence the multiple treatments).
It doesn't kill by volatile emissions it kills by contact, the bees have to spread it around. It does not kill mites in brood.
After studying the company's own data I was left unsure if one treatment was enough with brood present, the question was not properly answered on their site. So I emailed them & got an answer that dodged the question. So I emailed them back and got another answer that avoided the question. I was considering importing the product for re-sale so sent them more emails explicitly asking my question but no matter what, could not get a straight answer. They either did not know (unlikely), or were fudging.
So what's left is to read any reports on beesource. Many report a big mite drop so presumably it can work. Will one treatment do a whole brood cycle? Not according to the findings of most who have used it. Depending on the strength of the hive the cardboard soaked in the product is chewed out in a few days, then mite drop falls dramatically. So a repeat application weekly for a minimum of one brood cycle would seem nessecary.
That's the best I can figure it, based on info and lack of info from the company, and info from beesource members.
So, other than taking the amt of brood into consideration are there other ways to improve the performance of a contact mitacide like hop guard?
Well what I thought was a slow release gel. Or more complex, an auto dispenser.
As I recall there was an individual on here who was going to try to recreate the basic hop guard formula as a byproduct of brewing beer. Apparently it would not be very difficult or expensive to manufacture with readily available ingredients. I did use it on 2 hives last year and it was very effective, and the bees were not adversely affected. Purchasing it as a powder you could mix up and dip your own cardboard strips in would seem to be ideal. It is not available to purchase here but my Dad lives in Florida so I shipped it there.
Riskybizz, you say the ingredient in the Hopguard is a byproduct of brewing beer, do you know for sure if you have to brew beer to get it, or can it be made outside of brewing beer? John
gone2seed, I'm getting a bit off topic here, but I know that some eo's are very potent. Which three do you use?
Is Florida still allowing Hopguard sales?
It kind of makes you want to add hops to sugar syrup and see what happens doesnt it?
Edit-beta acids are the aroma producers in hops.
That said, beta acids usually occur in significantly lower concentrations than alphas (as that is not what most hops have been bred for), and I'm not sure how much you'd need to have an effective treatment. My guess is that the people marketing this are doing solvent extractions on a massive scale and then pulling off the solvent (probably at low temp, high vacuum) to get a pretty pure and pretty concentrated product. Your chances of getting enough product at home (without boiling/concentrating it for a long time, and maybe harming the compounds in the process) are likely pretty small.
I could be wrong, and often am.
I am not a brewer but I do recall reading somewhere that it was going to be attempted. I'll try to find the info again. Wouldn't a nice fine spray mist of hops (beta acids) and sugar water be a nifty way to inspect your hives in the spring.
This is good reading...
Riskybizz, after reading that article I really think that there is quite a bit of potential here with Hopguard with virtually no effect on bees or queen. I have also heard that it is safe enough to be used with supers on, although being cautious as I am, I wouldn't use it except in near broodless periods of late winter or late fall. I think that the company who makes it will probably tweak things with the ingredients and method of delivery a couple times before they settle on something that works the best. Hopefully, the stuff will get much cheaper in the future as more people use it. John
It's fairly safe for the bees except the ones that get slimed with product, they die and the stuff won't rinse off easily. I did my best to pull my queen before applying just so I wouldn't slime her on accident. The strips are drippy when you put them in. My bees reacted aggressively to adding the product to the hive and got very flighty as soon as I put the strip over the box to drop it in. It seemed to icnrease grooming behavior as well. I used it twice, 3 weeks each time. I don't have a sbb so I couldn't measure drop, but I didn't notice much reduction in mite load or dwv pressure. First treatment was in August, the second in October. The hive has barely survived the winter as I also did an OA treatment in November. Very similar to what Michael B saw in his hopguard treated hives. Population was strong in November, then noticed a huge decrease in cluster size the first cold snap, hive had a deep of honey over a a backfilled brood nest witih a bottom box of pollen.
Looking at some of the older threads on Hopguard to find what the product is called from the brewery, it's Potassium Based Isomerized Kettle Extract (PIKE)
JRG13, the messiness of installing the product is something that maybe needs to be addressed by the company, I certainly would be afraid of having the stuff drip all over the queen, which is a distinct possibility seeing as how you insert them over a couple different frames in the middle of each brood box.
Not having a sbb with a sticky board would make it hard to say whether or not the Hopguard treatments helped or not, the dwv wouldn't improve anyway due to the treatment not affecting the infested brood. Maybe you still had alot of brood rearing going on when you treated, therefore most of the mites would be in the brood. John