Is it acceptable to medicate with fall and spring feeding. I do not have any success with terramycin patties (the bees generally don't eat much) . This year I used two tablespoons of terramycin with two gallons of sugar syrup and placed on top of the inner cover after removing the supers. Will this work and is it an acceptable procedure?
Why do you feed antibiotics to your bees, do they have AFB?
I have bees since 1975 and never ever feed Terramycin.
Do you like that in your honey?
It might work, if they take all the syrup. Are you treating a specific problem, or trying to do preventative. There are multiple posts about the hazards of preventative antibiotics on this post.
Terramiacin can be mixed with powdered sugar and dusted on the hives, (not when honey supers are present) that is what is recommended in MN.
When I first got bees, I heard all the horror stories about AFB and followed the directions at the time, which was to feed TM in syrup. I haven't done it since.
I think people feeding TM just cause us to have bees that are not AFB resistant by protecting the weak bees. Also, AFB is always present, but now you have suppressed getting an infection because of the AFB.
You have to make your own choices.
There are studies that show that bees don't live as long when they've been fed TM. *IF* I was going to feed TM I would do it in the spring, because you don't want to shorten the lives of those bees that are overwinering.
I think the reason syrup method of feeding TM lost populatrity is that the TM doesn't keep well in syrup. The dust, patties, etc. don't deteriorate as much.
I didn't have any problems getting them to take the syrup.
I agree with Michael,
You have to make your own choices, but let me add my 2 cents worth.
Antibiotics are a little different, from other chems that are not working due to resistance. Antibiotics are always (or can be) being "upgraded" to keep up with resistance. So the debate on AFB resistance to antibiotics isn't a very good one.
The point I'd like to make is, why treat if you don't have AFB. Do you take asprin so you will not have a headache. No of course not. People do get vaccinations. I don't think TM is a vaccination. It can help if AFB is brought into a hive or your area, but still it's not a vaccination.
The question you should ask is. Is there a REAL chance that my hives are going to be exposed to AFB? Most likely not. I could be wrong, but most hive that are exposed to AFB are ones that are moved into areas for major flows (like sourwood in the mts.).
If you're not moving your hives alot, or into an area that has alot of other hives, I definitly wouldn't treat my hives for AFB. Unless you know of a major outbreak of AFB in your area.
Agreed. And if you do get a package of TM, it has a shelf life when opened. So you might as well use it all. If I was to do it, I would do it in the spring, and I would use the dust method. If you mix it into a patty, it goes bad rather quickly. If you dust it, bees like to keep things tidy, and they will clean it up quickly. Like it has been said, the choice is yours.
What about giving the bees Fumagilin at this time?
Thanks for the replies. I've only kept one hive for four years. I was told by the local "expert" to medicate every fall and spring with Apistan strips and terramycin. To my knowledge, I've never had a problem with any pests or disease. I do not medicate when honey supers are on the hive. My concern is that the bees never seemed to take much (if any) of the grease patties, thus I thought I would try adding it to the fall feeding I do after I take off the supers. I get about 50#'s of honey off this single hive. I generally give most away just keeping enough for our years personal supply.
Some people believe in using chemicals as preventatives. I do not.
If you use Fumidil and TM and Apistan and Menthol as preventatives then you need to follow the directions on the packages, but most of people who do this apply them in the spring and fall while the supers are not on.
*IF* I was going to use TM I'd use it in the spring. *IF* I was going to use Apistan I would use it in the fall. If I was going to use Fumidil, I'd only use it if the bees had symptoms of Nosema.
What's interesting Mike is that when I first recieved my packages of bees, the dealer said we needed all those drugs to start out with. I bought them but didn't use them. I bought them because they told me to use it. Not knowing anybetter. I didn't use it the first year because I got very busy and forgot. They made it through the winter just fine, no extra feeding, no special ventilation, opens or whathave you. No screen bottom boards.
This year when I say mites I began learning about using essential oils and have since played around with certain ones for results.
This has been a very educational year. Next year will be so much easier.