I didn't really believe and I didn't do what I was supposed to. I'm confessing because it's information you all should have.
I started last spring with new hives etc. and had 8 strong colonies by fall. I started right in and fogged every 2 weeks and used the cord. I never saw a mite. I half believed that I wouldn't have seen any if I hadn't fogged. It was too easy and I got cocky. I had to travel from Aug 15 to about Oct 15 and there was no fogging in that interval. I did get 1 or 2 foggings in when I returned in Oct.
All my hives died and I assumed it was the cold. Maybe that helped but when I finally checked the SBB boards they were replete with mites. I'm a little ashamed.
This unhappy information proves 2 things.
1. FGMO works and kept the mites below observable thresholds.
2. The protocol works and one can't get lazy.
I stopped fogging when they went into cluster. I thought this was part of the system, especially here in Ct. Today Juan was talking about fogging in winter. I wish I had done that but wouldn't that have broken the cluster? I'm starting over with new bees and will use FGMO again. Juan, I like your idea of fogging at night. It seems to make eminent good sense! It's the first time I read that.
I would be interested in finding out if you started the new hives(and ended with 8 strong) with foundation or acquired drawn comb. I have experienced little mite problems with new hives partly I think to the limited drone comb in starting with new foundation. Most of the problems seemed to always increase with each additional year. I would be interested in finding out why you had no mites and within 60 days of no treatment enough mites were at hand to kill a otherwise strong hive?? Do mites fall off of dead bees? If the colony died from other reasons, do mites show on the bottom board at an increased rate? At 15,000 bees and a rate of a mite investation of 10%, you could see 1500 mites if they do fall off. 10% should not kill a hive when you condider 1 mite per bee at the mentioned rate. I am asking these questions as I do not know. Anybody???
Your testomonial sounds more like an alarm to NOT use FGMO!
I hope that I don't regret buying the oil and fogger. I might have a good deal for someone on five gallons and an unused fogger.
Testimonials are okay and I for one welcome them. HOWEVER, one must refrain from accepting as 'Gospel' all the contributions to this or anyother forum in which testimonials are posted. In my humble opinion, this is one instance where "a grain of salt" advise may be beneficial. Just do not panic because someone reports a failure. There are a lot of factors to consider as responsible for your findings.
I posted an explanation (several times) for reasons for failure due to heavy might infestations at the end of the summer and fall. Here it is again.
Honey bees are natural thieves, right? You may or may not agree, but my assertion is that bees will attack sick, debilitated colonies to steal their honey supplies and in addition of the robbed booty bring home a load of preganant female mites ready to start depositing their eggs in the larvae of their newly found home. Bingo! A sudden big load of mites and no treatment because the beekeeper relaxed his guard because he/she knew their hives had no mites as per most recent inspections. Surprise, surprise. Rude awakening and unfortnately, loss of colonies. My advise. Live and learn, and please read my posts. You will find constant updates on my findings.
And yes, thanks for staying with FGMO, it works!
I'm afraid people misunderstood my "testimonial." I was bragging about the FGMO effectiveness. It worked fine when I used it. The fact that I had a mite infestation when I stopped for 2 months is not the fault of FGMO but rather my fault. The trouble with this prophylatic use was that it left the possibility open that there never were any mites. I found out the hard way. There were other stressors. It was very cold for a long time and the bees ate themselves straight up and couldn't move sideways or reposition stores. Some of the seemed to have died in the midst of plenty ... but it was just out of reach. I'm a firm believer in FGMO and will use it with my new bees.
I started with all new equipment but for the 5 frames that came with each nuc. I also use Screened bottoms.
What about fogging in the winter? Wouldn't it break up the cluster?