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Thread: first Apiguard

  1. #1

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    I posted this in the general beekeeping forum this afternoon but I'm now convinced - I went down to the bee yard this evening and now 5 of the hives are bearding heavily and I can smell the Thymol from about 20 feet away.
    Anyone else having a similar response?

    What a weekend!
    So we pulled all of the honey supers Saturday and Sunday. Then we went through and put on Apiguard trays with spacers. (closed up the screen bottom boards).Put the wet supers back on top above inner cover and still when I went to remove the "clean" supers Sunday morning they were filling them again. So we knocked the bees off and put the wet supers outside. Holy robbing of the supers! Note: Pity the Fool that put wet supers near the house! We moved them in the afternoon and they're still working them like crazy today - hopefully they'll be pretty cleaned out by tonight and we can bring them in to store for winter.
    So last evening it looked like the colonies had started a bearding contest. Wow. The entire landing board and the lower box front are covered with bees including wrapping around to the sides about 4" on 3 of the hives. The others are bearding a little also which they don't usually do. So in the evening I put a medium with small cell starter strip on each of the three that were just crazy bearding thinking they could use the space. This has not really helped at all. I doubt they'll be able to draw out the supers before winter but I thought it might give them something to work on plus I can pull the partially drawn frames when we settle them down for winter and store the frames until spring - give me some material to work with for increase next year. If they do manage to draw and fill them, then they'll winter in 2 deeps plus medium.
    We're having a hot spell up here (for us) with daytime temps in the mid 70's to low 80's. Good for the Apiguard says the label.
    I'm thinking the Apiguard might be contributing to the bearding? It sure does have quite a smell. Quite a knockdown on the mites as well! I checked the bottom inserts this morning after about 24 hours and there were literally hundreds of mites - so many I didn't even bother to count. These hives have been doing 20 - 40 mites on a regular 24 hour count even the 24 hrs after fogging with FGMO.
    Looks like the mite problem was worse than I thought. Also looks like the Thymol works pretty darn good.
    So I put about 1/5 a tray of thymol on each of the overwintering nucs and the new Observation Hive. It will be interesting to see how the OB hive reacts.
    Now it is time for bottling and labeling - more work than you think but tasty!

  2. #2
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    I won't be much help, but I am very interested in hearing your experience. I am a first-year beekeeper with only one hive, and I put on Apiguard about 3 weeks ago because I found a bad mite infestation. I had 2 deep brood supers and an empty (drawn comb, no honey) shallow on top. I wanted to keep the shallow on to give them room for the goldenrod flow, which I expected in Sept., so I put the Apiguard on top of the two deeps. The next morning, they were all crammed upstairs in the shallow!

    I thought I might be asphyxiating them, so I opened the hole in the shim I used to place the Apiguard. Bees poured out. Probably a mistake. Over the next few days they appeared to abandon the bottom deep.

    I have replaced the tray now and closed up the upper hole. Have not done a mite count yet.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    I put on Apiguard on 9/7 with temps about 100F. I used 25 mg. as instructed by Dr. Max Watkins with these high temps. Had lots of beards and on 9/8 at about 1 hr before dark 1 hive absconded, the temp was 85F and another tried but the queen had been clipped and marked, most of the bees went into the hive next door. I found the queen the next day under the hive with a hand full of bees. On 9/9 I found a cup full of bees and a queen about 6 feet from another hive at about the same time in the evening. Would hate to see what a 50mg. dose would do at the temps around here


    Two day sticky board mite count on 1 hive 1865 total mites. This hive showed no deformed wings or any other signs of problems
    Dan

  4. #4

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    Ishi
    WOW. Thanks for your reply.
    Now I'm a little more concerned. I used the full 50g tray. Last night low was around 60 - forecast for today is 70's.
    I did go around and place small amounts of thymol in the wintering nucs and the OB hive as well.
    The OB hive was nuts all afternoon, I suspected robbing but now I'm not so sure - they're still very active (guard bees running around the glass when I lift the cover) lots of cleaning activity, lots of noise - but the queen was laying just fine last night.
    I'll check the larger colonies once the sun comes up...

  5. #5
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    Don't worry too much Main_Beekeeper.
    Your temperatures must be way lower than the 100F Dan reports in California.

    From what I understand thats too high a temp to use Thymol. However, with that mite count, its really doing something!

    Your hives should be stinking of thymol for it to work. And yes, it should get the bee "cleaning" and active.

  6. #6
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    should you close off the inner cover hole when useing apiguard?I put some on 8 hives last weekend all i did was put the inner cover on upsidedown or flat side up.There is not much room betewwn the covers.

    [size="1"][ September 19, 2006, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: Mitch ][/size]
    Mitch KD8IMF

  7. #7
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    should you close off the inner cover hole when useing apiguard?I put some on 8 hives last weekend all i did was put the inner cover on upsidedown or flat side up.There is not much room betewwn the covers.i too notice the order of the thymol and the bearding.havent pulled the board yet to check mite drop.
    Mitch KD8IMF

  8. #8
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    I closed mine last year, but don't know if it matters

  9. #9

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    The hives definitely do smell - you can smell it when you get within 10-15 feet from the hives. It rained almost 2" last night and still I just went out to check and there's still quite substantial bearding (although a lot less than yesterday or the day before)
    I haven't checked the bottom boards on the big bearders yet but I checked one of the other two deeps and the count seems to be dropping - first 3 checks were over 100 mites (I didn't bother to count) yesterday we were down to 32.
    Regular mite drops for this hive in 24 hour period averaged 23. The thymol sure sues seem to be working. Temps are supposed to drop here soon. I hope we can keep daytime highs in the 60's to keep the thymol working...

  10. #10
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    I second that. Here we had one good week but this week is struggling to break above 60 degrees.

    If is gets cold like this, does anyone know if you can (or should) put in a third tray of Apiguard?
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  11. #11
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Has anyone kept track of how many mites are being removed? I dont mean just a "one time" count. When using Apistan, its not uncommon to remove 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 mites from a hive.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2005
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    Put in the 2 nd treatment today another 25 gr. Temps were in the middle 80s no sign of any hanging out on the landing board. Supposed to get to 92 on Thursday will let you all know what happens. Put sticky board in the same 3 hives
    Dan

  13. #13
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    3 days into treatment period, the sun warmed things up yesterday and my bees went into a robbing frenzy, probably killing one hive. I don't know what roll the apigaurd had, but it definately is having an effect on their behavior. All hives had "frenetic" bees. I didn't have this problem last year, but I have more hives now, about 20.

    I do think I slightly overdosed them as by the time I was done with putting on the first treatment, it looks like I have about 1/2 a tub left that is supposed to be enough for 2 treatments on 30 hives, not 20. Good thing the temps are cool. The scoop and spatual method isn't very exact. I'm going to look for a big fat syringe at the co-op.

    Reducing the entrances on the rest of the hives seemed to keep them able to hold their own. On the worst hive, I closed it down to a one bee entrance and no ventilation. If they do survive the robbing, they won't have any mites!

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