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  1. #1
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    Default Formic acid with supers on

    I needed to put formic acid on my 5 hives. However it is the beginning of the fall flow and I have 3 to 6 supers on the hives. Will putting the formic acid pads on the top of all these supers do the job or are they too far away from the brood?

    I'm asking the question after the fact-

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  2. #2
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    Default

    Supers were supposed to come off before treatment.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
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    Default

    O.K. Now I'm confused (or rather just a little more so). I thought that they didn't harm the honey since it is natural in the hives only just stronger.

    Locally some of the beekeepers were noticing bee dieoff near their hives and I was seeing a moderate amount of bees walking around my hives- not dieoff though. I thought this was a sign of possible mite infestation.

    I will remedy whatever I've done if need bee. There is a flow on...

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  4. #4
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    Exclamation Formic Acid with supers on

    Sr Tanya;
    I hate to tell you but you blew it, in the directions for use it tells you that you can put supers on after the 21 day treatment, however on the before treatment it tells you to remove supers before the treatment.
    I don't know if you can feed the honey back to the bees but I wouldn't dare eat it or sell it! (This info is from NOD Miteaway II flyer)
    Last edited by NashBeek; 09-19-2008 at 05:13 PM. Reason: source of Info

  5. #5
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    May 2007
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    Darrington, WA, USA
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    Default

    Cal NOD and ask them... because of formic's makeup you might be able to let it air out for a while... give them a call.

    I wouldn't have them on at the same time though.... I would pull supers now.... mark the boxes and separate them from any other supers with honey and call.

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    JoeMcc
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  6. #6
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    Default

    This is really upsetting-- I called and left a message at NOD but they won't be open till Monday.

    The pads were given me ( I bought them from someone) and didn't have the instructions. That's what upsets me- I do read instructions and counted on the beek to give me the right info. I even asked if it could be done this way without harming the honey.

    Well, live and learn. The pads are coming off and maybe you could let me know if I can use any supers that haven't been filled yet??

    Thank you for being upfront with the bad news.

    Tanya

  7. #7
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    Default

    Even if you get info from someone other than the maker or distributer it is always good to check the proper protocols. It saves money, time, hassels, and disappointments.
    The honey is not fit for human consumption...live and learn. but you can feed it back to the bees in the spring.

    I know this cause last year we used formic for the first time. We pulled all the honey but left the brood chambers full cause well I did not know you could feed at the same time, and i wanted them to have enough food. Well at the end of three weeks i have 1/2 a super of unused honey. I pulled it and fed it in the spring

    You need to start feeding with fumagillan B in the sugar water ASAP as well. Sounds like you have some sort of secondary inffection with the bees walking around the hive like they are. I'm guessing nosema of some type. But i am not an inspector. Check for AFB as well with a toothpick...rope test and treat according to directions.

    If you have sickness in the hives....fall flow be d@med and get treating to save the hives. Pick what you want. Extra honey, which by the way you need to wait a few days to put supers back on, or treat the bees to get them through the winter healthy...Extra money with honey or dead bees in the spring and buy a nuc...

  8. #8
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    Default

    There are some things you can do with those supers. You could freeze the frames and feed back to the bees when they need them. Or, you could put the super on top of a hive above an inner cover. The bees see the super as "outside" the colony and they'll clear it out. Or, you could wrap string around the super so that the frames stay inside when you turn the super upside down. Place the upside down super on the hive. The girls won't like that situation and they'll move the honey out and down. DON'T let them fill some other super. Here is the link for the formic acid directions, including how to handle supers and what timing to use:

    http://www.miteaway.com/MAII_EPA_Label_Mar-05.pdf
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
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    Default

    What about empty supers? Can they be aired out and put back on?

    Thank you for all the information. I checked the pdf directions and yes, I should have checked myself before putting them on. Fortunately, I did get a good spring harvest but I really would like one in the fall too!!

    Thanks again for your help,
    Tanya

  10. #10
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    Default

    Yes, you can air out empty supers and put them back on when treatments are finished. The acid doesn't "hang around" on the surface of your woodenware like it does in honey, where it's potentially concentrated and incorporated.

    My opinion is that we are too often concerned with casual exposure to "soft" chemicals in our hives. Hard chemicals are another story. Almost all of us have seen the effect of a pesticide being brought into the hive with pollen and the devastation it can leave. But soft chemicals, such as the acids and menthols, are not in the same category. Used sparingly and carefully, my feeling is that they do very little long term damage to hive parts and / or the ability of bees to work in previously treated hives.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #11
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    Default

    Ravenseye,

    Thanks for the information. Then, you're saying that Formic Acid is a "soft" chemical. I won't use the honey on the hives that is there now except to feed it back later.

    I still have 13 more days left for the full treatment. I guess I'll have to wait till the treatment is over before pulling the empty and full supers.

    Never again will I do that!!!

    Tanya

  12. #12
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    Croatia
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    Default

    Formic acid is a natural component of honey.
    Try tasting the honey it could be ok.
    I had that problem this year but my treatment was shorter and that honey tastes ok :-/.

    http://documents.plant.wur.nl/ppo/bijen/residue.pdf

    Here you can read about it some. Difference is that they put honey super immediately after the treatment.

    Another problem i see here is that with honey supers on formic acid will not be effective as it can be. More supers means concentration of formic acid in the hive will not be high enough to do its job.

  13. #13
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    Default What does Formic Acid in honey taste like?

    t0k,

    That is very interesting. What does the formic acid taste like in the honey? Is this then merely a matter of it altering the taste of honey? The article didn't seem to indicate that there was any other problem with the honey other than taste.

    From what the others have been saying I understood there might be other consequenses with formic acid in the honey.

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  14. #14
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    Default

    this is why you either treat well before the honey flow or after the honey flow. To eliminate the contamination of the honey.
    Besides, when the honey flow is on or getting ready to start, the outside temperature is usually to hot for formic and can spell disaster in queen right colonies.
    Formic requires planning. If your flow starts at the end of June, beginning of July, like us, you want your treatments finished by mid to the later part of May. Any later and the temps are just to high.
    It's what we in the cattle industry call WITHDRAWL TIMES. It's to avoid hurting the human population with residue drugs and such. It's why on labels it says do not slaughter or consume milk, eat eggs, what have you for X many days after last treatment. It's to protect the consumer, and the industry as a whole.

    this is also why all treatments be it formic, check mite, fumigillan B, oxy, have a time to wait before putting supers back on.
    Oxy and Fumigillan have to be finished 6 weeks prior to the anticipated honey flow. It is why in the spring we feed fumgillan in small quantities to ensure that the bees eat it all. It why if there is any oxy left on the frame at the beginning of may, we scrape it off, so as to prevent cross contamination of the honey. Anything else...read the label.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I call formic acid "soft" compared to full blown chemicals which are essentially, insecticides in the pedestrian sense. Formic acid is an acid....a naturally occurring substance and it's often found in insect venoms, especially ants. A "hard" chemical would be Apistan.

    No matter what you treat with, you need to be considerate of the materials involved in your treatment. Since honey is an edible product of the hive and since it is converted from a natural state to a finished one within the hive, then it's important to distance the final product from the interim treatment. There's just no good reason to expose something that you'll be eating to a suspect substance if you don't have to.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  16. #16
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    Default

    I am asking so I can get a full idea of what I'm dealing with. I certainly will not be using any of the honey for human consumption that has any medication, for the hives, in it.

    To me this is the best forum for getting information and unfortunately I didn't ask before putting the pads on this time.

    I'll be calling NOD today.

    Thanks everyone for the input,

    Tanya

  17. #17
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    Apr 2008
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    Altamont, NY
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    Default What about drawn comb?

    I've been following this post and after visiting my hives this weekend decided to treat for mites. We found evidence of a pretty serious mite situation that did not show it's ugly face until this week.

    My questions is that since this is our first winter with the bees we plan on wintering with two deeps and one medium. In future years we plan on only wintering with two deeps and we'll use the super for extraction. Will the formic acid have an effect on the comb or would that comb be safe to use next season as long as the leftover honey is removed? Seems to me that it wouldn't make much difference as long as the honey from this year is removed from the frames.

    Any thoughts/opinions?

    Thanks!
    Keith

  18. #18
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    Default After speaking with NOD

    I phoned NOD and they said to just take the pads off and leave the supers on if there is a flow and treat after extraction- being mindful of the temps.

    One thing that I found interesting was that they said that the formic acid will seep back out of the honey, even capped honey, within two weeks. So extract after that time.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  19. #19
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    Default

    I guess my question after the NOD phone call is whether you would still NOT use the honey that was exposed to the formic acid?? They also said after 8 days (the time I've had the pads on) the main effectiveness of the pads is almost used up and since mine were so far from the brood chambers their effectiveness was nearly null. Tanya

  20. #20
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    Almonte,Ont,Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stoweski View Post
    I've been following this post and after visiting my hives this weekend decided to treat for mites. We found evidence of a pretty serious mite situation that did not show it's ugly face until this week.

    My questions is that since this is our first winter with the bees we plan on wintering with two deeps and one medium. In future years we plan on only wintering with two deeps and we'll use the super for extraction. Will the formic acid have an effect on the comb or would that comb be safe to use next season as long as the leftover honey is removed? Seems to me that it wouldn't make much difference as long as the honey from this year is removed from the frames.

    Any thoughts/opinions?

    Thanks!
    Keith
    It will be fine for supers next year, you'll just have some stained comb from them rearing brood in the spring. And it's a bit of a pain to raise the brood out next year. Make sure when you move it above a queen excluder that there are no eggs. If so keep you eye out for queen cells. Often if it's too far up from the brood box they'll start another. All the F.A. will be gone.

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