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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
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    676

    Default Apiguard placement in hive.

    I've been helping a few other beekeepers with preparing their colonies for winter lately. Since it's their bees and their beeyard, unless I see them doing something dangerous (like huffing formic acid pads), I merely assist and keep my unsolicited opinions to myself.

    But, this has lead me to question my own practices.

    My hives are arranged with a single deep brood box, and then 4 to 6 medium supers on top of that. (I haven't harvested yet.) I'm planning on leaving, depending on how much honey is in the brood boxes, one or two medium supers full of honey for my Carniolans and Buckfast to over-winter on.

    My question is: Everyone I've been helping, so far, has placed their mite medications (both Mite-Away II and Apiguard) ON TOP of their honey stores, and below their inner covers. This is wrong, isn't it??

    I'm personally treating this year with Apiguard 50g foil packs. It's my understanding that when the manufacturer's instructions say, "Place the dosing tray on top of the brood frames", they mean on top of the BROOD frames, and not on top of the honey frames. Right? Which, in my case, will mean that I'll probably have stacked from bottom to top: Deep brood box, Imirie rim (medication rim), medium honey super, medium honey super, inner cover, outer cover. Right?

    Am I interpreting this correctly? I think I'm confused because of watching everyone else doing it wrong, and I'm second guessing myself. Help!

    Thanks in advance!
    DS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    I would say follow the instructions for best results. I've said that I put it on the top, but that doesn't mean I'm doing it right. Last year I put it on too late (too cold) as well, but still received good control.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    That's the way I have interpreted it (on top of brood frames). I believe the theory is that they drag it through the brood nest and out the lower entrance for maximum effectiveness. I put a shim between (what I think is) the topmost brood box, then put any supers on top of that. (Keeping in mind that they also say to take off honey supers when applying Apiguard.) I put a piece of duct tape over the opening in the shim to prevent them from just carrying it straight out.

    So far my only problem was that I had one hive propolize the bejeezus out of the open space created by the shim. I had to chisel the shim off and scrape the tray out. Other hive: just a bit of burr comb. Go figure.
    The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams. -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,336

    Default Mite Away II

    BDDS:

    The other guy's got it right. When the manufacturer says place on top of brood frames, this means on top of the hives. In this case this would mean on top of the medium or two honey supers you plan to leave. These become brood chambers because by next spring you'll have brood in it.

    I wonder why you have not extracted yet. Definitely pull the supers then place the treatment on top. The pads release the formic vapours into the hive. There is no draging off by the bees. The fumes are heavier than air and fall thru the frames and kill the mites.

    I wouldn't wait much longer as temperatures could drop and your control could be poor.

    Jean-Marc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    Cant add much to jean-marc reply, 'cept to say, "I agree".

    But as an "extra" note . . .

    Hope you realize, the bees will probably move up into the MEDIUMS by spring and you then will have BROOD CHAMBERs in TWO SIZES.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Personally, I would shrink the hive as much as possible during treatment in order to give them all a better dose of the fumes.

    Then add the honey back.

    But I also finished treating two weeks ago and most of my hives were at least three boxes, some four

    So I guess I'm saying "Do as I say, not as I just did".

    And my bees didn't touch the gel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    3.5 weeks ago I put them down to 2 deeps, then treated with apiguard. They pulled a lot of capped brood. So I put the super that I leave back on and treated. For the second treatment I put the apiguard under the super, it wasn't as warm and they were more used to it.

    I don't think it matters all that much, but in the ABJ, randy oliver reported that some beeks thought it was better in the middle of the brood chamber.

    Rick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    So, I guess you can see my confusion!

    Everyone seems to do it a little differently than everyone else.

    Just to clear up a few things:

    * I'm beginning my harvest tomorrow, and all through this weekend. We've had a good goldenrod flow going on and I didn't want to interrupt their activity. By the looks of it, even with my harvest, they'll have a couple more weeks to go on it.

    * It *seems* like I've waited until late in the year to medicate, but statistically speaking, I should have temps above 60-degrees, but well below the 105-degrees that the manufacturer recommends, well until deer season, which is November 15th for us. So, timeline-wise, I should be fine.

    * I understand that my single brood box situation is unorthodox, however, you've caught me in the middle of an "all-medium box" changeover. It'll all make sense next year! Trust me!

    -----

    Now, to add some more concerns:

    * The instructions for Apiguard DOESN'T say to remove honey supers before medicating. (Mite-Away II DOES, however.) In fact, the Vita Europe website says that the Apiguard traveled wax is eventually cleaned and removed from the hive. So, this tells me that the honey cappings, if traveled upon and medicated, will be removed or at least weakened by the bees removing Apiguard. Which means to me that Apiguard should be placed UNDER the honey stores, but ABOVE any brood.

    * If one were to completely remove all the honey stores, including what the bees will over-winter on, during the treatment period (28 days for Apiguard, and 21 days for Mite-Away II), where and how would you store them to protect them from ants, mice and moths??

    Thanks for everyone's input!
    BDDS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    You should be okay with those temps. I put mine on right after a week in the 80's. The temp then promptly dropped to highs in the 60s and nights in the 40s for the duration of the first round. Judging from the volume of mite carcasses on the sticky board, I'd say it still worked okay.
    The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams. -Henry David Thoreau

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default Putting this topic to bed.

    Today, I received a reply from Dr. Max Watkins, of Vita-Europe, the makers of Apiguard.

    What you're doing is absolutely correct. The Apiguard treatment is supposed to go on top of the brood box, not on top of the supers. The level of control if its put on the supers will not be as high as if it is placed correctly and if placed on top of more than one super may not be much use at all.

    Most mites at any one time, as you know, are in the brood cells and the Apiguard has to be available to these mites to provide protection for the bees.

    The Apiguard gel sublimes and although the vapour is important in mite control, contact is also important. The bees need to be able to get into the gel, as they will clean it from from hive. As these housecleaning bees are going down through the brood to throw the gel out of the entrance, the thymol is subliming and is being well distributed by these bees and treating the colony.

    We are also hoping to get some label amendments done for next year.

    Please let me know how you get on.

    Best regards,

    Max Watkins
    Also included was an FAQ sheet.

    So, there you have it. On top of the brood, and NOT the honey.

    Thanks for everyone's input.

    BDDS

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default

    Thymol fumes are heavier than air thats why the strips or crystals have to be placed on top of the brood frames. If the honey supers are still in place the capacity of the hive is to big and the concentration of fumes are not enough to kill most of the mites

    I checked the package from Thymomite and id said:

    >>>>>>
    Cut one strip in half and place it on top of the frames - right and left from the brood nest, place a fresh one approx 3 weeks later. Use half strip as a treatment in a 4-5-frame colony. Screened bottom boards should be closed, while Thymol is being applied. Reduce entrance to approx 15 cm / 6 inches.
    Applications can be made in any season in which all applicable restrictions can be followed.
    Do not use when surplus honey supers are in place.

    Do not use strips at temperatures above 33C / 90F. For best effect - daytime 15-20C / 59-68F, without falling below 12C / 54F for long periods.

    Operator Safety: Thymol is generally safe to use and apply. Rubber gloves should be worn when handling Thymomite, because it can irritate the skin. Store strips on a dark cool place.
    Keep out of reach of children and avoid inhaling vapours.

    Residues: Thymol does leave taste residues in honey and wax, although the residues do not persist for long periods of time.
    <<<<<<

    It is always the same, people dont read the instructions and than they complain why there is not the result it should be and blame the product for it.

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