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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    488

    Default 1st time using Mite-Away II (Holy Smokes!!!)

    Anybody who's used this stuff, can you pass on some tips for those who've never used??

    1. For SBB users, should you close up with a mite board, to keep the "aroma" in the hive (better mite kill rate?)

    2. The directions say to take all entrance reducers off a hive, but is this necessary if you have SBBs?

    3. I opened the tub, to see what was inside---trust me, don't do this if you're not wearing a respirator. The formic acid knocked me on my backside.

    I thought Apiguard was wicked stuff. But, I understand formic acid is an acceptable part of IPM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,263

    Default

    [QUOTE=fatscher;357115] I opened the tub, to see what was inside---trust me, don't do this if you're not wearing a respirator. The formic acid knocked me on my backside.

    And you want to put that stuff inside your beehive???
    Are you at least giving all your girls bee-sized respirators?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    488

    Default My mites are baddddd!

    Well, I like fried chicken but I won't put that in my beehive! Big difference in human and bee physiologies. Some medicines are meant for people, some are meant for hives. Fully understand others not wanting to use formic acid, or chemicals period, but I'm a believer in IPM, and formic acid is acceptable with IPM.

    The toss up is do I choke the bees with formic acid or do I let 'em choke on the mites?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,263

    Default

    Oh yes I understand and hope it works great for you and your hives.

    I've used other things in the past, and have settled on SBB with powder sugar treatments myself, and it's working good for me this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatscher View Post
    But, I understand formic acid is an acceptable part of IPM.
    You should be seeking another group of beekeepers opinion to ask that statement.

    If it to be used, then I would follow some good advice on using it PRIOR to the fall brood cycle. That way, bees are not effected or "aged" with the ACID treatment. There is a fine (if any at all) between enough acid to kill mites and NOT harm bees.

    I hear people suggest that using it before the fall brood cycle will ensure healthy bees are raised after the mites are gone, and that bees are not aged and will last enough to make it through winter. But many forget about the queen. And so, if it effects the bees in ANY way, than what about the queen? I would consider requeening after treatments or in conjuction with the treatment.

    Myself...I will not go near the stuff. I will not subject my bees to acid treatments. There are many other ways to control mites thorugh less harmful means.

    I hear some suggest because formic acid is a "natural" product, that it's considered a "natural" treatment. But so far, I have had nobody tell me of formic acid on those levels EVER being placed into a hive by the bees. If not for beekeepers, it would not be there. That's NOT natural in any way.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    I hear some suggest because formic acid is a "natural" product, that it's considered a "natural" treatment. But so far, I have had nobody tell me of formic acid on those levels EVER being placed into a hive by the bees.
    Same thing's true for the thymol based products. They call them 'natural' because it is a naturally occurring compound but it's applied at concentrations that cannot possibly be called natural. Disclaimer: I use Apiguard in hives that have high mite loads.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default What do you use?

    >>>>>I will not subject my bees to acid treatments. There are many other ways to control mites thorugh less harmful means.<<<<<

    We (our bee club) treated with powdered sugar on 4 colonies, at least once a week and sometimes more, for 6 weeks. At the end of that time they were still dropping 100 mites a day and they didn't start out too high. Drone brood trapping works but is a hassle with more than a few hives. Leaving out those 2 and planning on Apiguard for next year if Mite-away doesn't work...what's left? I alreadyhave mostly Russians.

    I'm wondering what you use, Bjorn.

    Dickm

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dickm View Post
    We (our bee club) treated with powdered sugar on 4 colonies, at least once a week and sometimes more, for 6 weeks. At the end of that time they were still dropping 100 mites a day and they didn't start out too high.
    I heard Randy Oliver talk this weekend and he displayed graphs of the effects of sugar dusting. A weekly dusting will bring the levels down below the economic threshold but, as I understood it, to remain there requires a continued weekly dusting. Not a practical remedy if Randy's data and my understanding of it are correct.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Default

    Dickm,
    I'm not a fan on powdered sugar as the sole treatment option. It may help a little, but it's not a control in my opinion. And I have used it.

    I'll outline what I have done....

    In 2002. I lost 60% (60 hives)
    In 2003..........40% (120 hives)
    In 2004..........33% (180 hives)
    In 2005..........28% (285 hives)
    In 2006..........24% (420 hives)
    In 2007..........16% (380 hives - sold too many!)
    For 2008, I have 500 over wintering.

    Some points to note....

    Russians were brought in 2004.

    In 2005, breeder yards were getting established with ACTUAL drone yards being used. These yards are now being used for the third and fourth years in a row. I believe that having the local area as strong as your bees in the apiary is a key ingredient many miss. The queen is only half the equation. You may have a killer breeder queen, but if you don't have good drone stock and actual drone saturation, your not operating at max.

    How many people raise queens, and yet weaken their lines due to improper queen management and known strategies?

    Prior to 2004 I had many Italians in my operation. Due to years working for the state, it took longer than I wanted to cull out all the Italians. For the past three years, I have bred nothing but Russian and carni's. And I have almost no Italians left.

    My IPM includes, screen bottoms, although about half are without. I split and/or requeen almost every hive now for several years, thus taking advantage of brood breaks, and other advantages now being suggested in recent "Out breeding mites" articles, etc.

    I am striving to have the best hybrid vigor and genetic diversity, by not worrying about such things as keeping lines pure. And just because you buy a queen marked or called "Russian" does not mean a thing in regards to quality or survivability.

    My comb is not contaminated. Which I think is a huge issue. Bees are much healthier on newer comb. To worry about other issues, while having bad comb, is a waste. Bees may have suppressed immune systems, have behavior changes, and many other issues allowing bees not to operate at peak conditions.

    I don't have a single answer or suggestion. I am trying to do what I think is best, in both my breeding efforts, and my overall operation. I have said previously when I started this path..."If I could get below 20% without treatments and the associated cost and labor, and have healthier bees by natural IPM and clean comb, then I would tailor my operation to make up for those losses."

    And I think that every year, things have improved.

    What is the cost of not paying for treatments, but having clean comb and healthy bees? Would someone be willing to lose 1 out of 4 hives for clean comb, to save the cost of treatments, and know your bees may be better off? Why is this an issue for some?

    Kirk Webster told me years ago..."Mites have been an issue for twenty years, and they will be an issue for another twenty years. If you need 10 hives next spring, don't go into winter with 10 and come out with less than that and then panic, buying crappy packages and spring queens. Use summer splits (or buy local quality nucs) to build up to 15, then if you come out of winter with ten, you are at where you wanted to be."

    So I started really looking at breeding over the years, raise my own, my bees over winter in Pennsylvania, I use equipment option which help with mites, I have kept chems out of my hives, etc.

    I see an occasional hive with some mites. But I don't save it with chems. I try requeening, and boosting the hive so they can get over the issue naturally. To save a weak genetic hive with chems, means that hive will be weak next year, and will be mixing with my mating and other efforts.

    I have had people this year at open houses, a picnic, many visitors and nuc customers , along with state inspectors look at my bees. We had a hard time even finding a mite at the natural beekeeping class this year. And as recent as last week, an inspector looked at one of my yards and found a high mite count of 2.

    I don't have single suggestion. I think it a total concept for bees. With many things at play.

    I have a friend of mine that has not touched his yard for three years. No treatments, no inspections this year, and perhaps opened them twice last year. Three years ago, there were 8 hives (single box). Today there is 5 still going strong. None were repopulated with swarms. And the surprising thing was that these are 8 frame mediums! It started as a joke. "well, its too late to do anything now, so I’ll just let them go through winter like that" he said. Three years later, we keep asking ourselves how long they will make it. I can not explain it. (But I'll take some eggs next year...that's for sure!)

    I really think that sometimes sitting down and going over every detail of an operation is best. Everything from apiary location to comb age. It all plays into it in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Natural?

    I just have to open my mouth about NATURAL. Doing things as gently and close to natural as possible is good. I believe in that too. The less invasive the better!

    BUT... people in general (everywhere) toss around the label "natural" like 'if it's natural it can't hurt you'. Unfortunately, natural remedies can be just as damaging as synthetic ones. After all arsenic and digitalis are 'natural' (and both have their uses) but one certainly wouldn't want to munch out on peach pitts or foxglove, or feed it to our bees.

    OK I jumped off my soap box now.

    And Sorry I don't know anything about Mite-Away II.
    Last edited by Southern Bee; 09-30-2008 at 08:33 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    723

    Default Directions for Formic Acid Mite Away II per NOD apiaries

    Getting back to the question at hand, which was how to use...

    NOD apiaries just told me on the phone

    Open tub outside
    Close up SBB
    Open up entrance all the way
    Seal any top entrances
    Seal any cracks
    karla

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hessmer, LA 71341
    Posts
    27

    Default Mite Away II

    I will never use that cr__ again. It is too much of a pain with having to have a spacer in place and the killing of bees is something I don't need.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,670

    Default

    Like any IPM, it's a tool. It shouldn't be your only tool and it doesn't have to be used. I strongly believe that, barring genetics fixing these issues, you have to use what works the best for you and the bees. When a tool stops working or loses much of its effectiveness, it's time for another tool. I've lost a colony when I've ONLY sugar dusted and I've had a colony survive and even thrive when I'd given up on it. Somewhere in between is what you.....and your bees.....are going to need. It's as likely as not to be different for each hive, location or beek. I really don't believe in any single magic bullet. Oh, and I use Mite-Away II now and again. It's not fun to work with but neither are a lot of other solutions.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    >>If I could get below 20% without treatments and the associated cost and labor, and have healthier bees by natural IPM and clean comb, then I would tailor my operation to make up for those losses."

    We seem to be running that loss rate as it is. As long as the survivours can be split, the operation will sustain itself
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Gauthier View Post
    I will never use that cr__ again. It is too much of a pain with having to have a spacer in place and the killing of bees is something I don't need.
    James, your post indicates MiteAway killed some of your bees. Can you elaborate? Did you follow all application directions? If it kills bees then why is it marketed for mite killing? Seems that defeats the whole purpose. Interested in hearing your story.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stone Mountain, Georgia
    Posts
    43

    Default Mite Treatments, Formic Acid, Dr. James Amrine, Honey B Healthy

    When I started beekeeping I took an Organic Beekeeping Class. For most of the year I used the Organic treatments...i.e. Mineral Oil with thyme oil on a paper towell, fogging with mineral oil and wintergreen oil, powered sugar. I hate powdered sugar. What a mess. I kept up with things pretty well. When August late and September came I was unable to keep up with the mite population increases until I hit the threashold on the board under the screen bottom board. I am a hobby beekeeper so time is not that important. Results are. I finally had to do something and adopted Dr. James Amrine and Bob Noel's method of mite treatment with excellent results. see link http://www.wvu.edu/%7Eagexten/varroa06 It does use formic acid but only 50 percent solution and the treatment is 24 hours not 21 days as with most other methods. You can read about their method which is tried and tested. I would much rather do a tretment at 11:00 am one day and remove the treatment fume board 11:00 am the next day and go on with my beekeeping than be locked up with Mite Away II for 21 days. Mites must be controlled or they will suck the life out of your hive. I had 549 dead mites on my screen bottom board when I removed the fume (treatment) board from my 8 frame hive. Dr. Amrine and Bob Noel's treatment kills mites in the capped brood where most of the mites are. Read their treatment and research info.

    John Jones
    Stone Mountain, Ga.
    Last edited by John Jones; 10-06-2008 at 12:39 PM. Reason: additional info

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    fatscher, you mentioned IPM.

    Historically, there are 5 phases in the cotton industry in developing countries, including our own.

    1. Subsistence phase - producing enough for own use

    2. Exploitation phase - massive expansion of the industry which requires use pesticides to control pests

    3. Crisis phase - the inevitable conclusion to reliance on pesticides, without integrated control

    4. Disaster phase - no longer economically feasible to produce

    5. Integrated control - IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is adopted.

    Food for thought!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    You also might ask, "What are the five basic principles of IPM?"

    1. Potentially harmful species will continue to exist at tolerable levels of abundance.

    2. The ecosystem is the management unit.

    3. The use of natural control is maximized.

    4. ANY control procedure may produce unexpected and undesirable effects.

    5. An interdisciplinary systems approach is essential. (IPM systems must be a integral part of the overall management of a farm, business, or forest)

    Thanks for asking!
    Last edited by MichaelW; 10-07-2008 at 06:46 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    You also might wonder, "What guidelines should I follow in developing an IPM program for my bees?"

    1. Analyze the 'pest'. Determine if it is a pest, testable by economic damage to the system.
    Learn the biology and host interaction of the pest.

    2. Devise monitoring, sampling techniques, and economic thresholds.

    3. Devise schemes for lowering the equilibrium positions (average population) of key pests.

    4. During emergency situations, seek remedial measures that cause minimum ecological disruption.
    (Remember, the ecosystem is the management unit. The individual hives are
    just one part of the overall ecosystem, which effects the pest population.)

    5. Continually modify control systems according to conditions and new insights as the program develops.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    Still not convinced? Are you thinking its a lot easier and more profitable to simply
    rely on scheduled pesticide applications? Lets look at 7 disadvantages to pesticides
    in agricultural systems that have brought numerous countries to the door of
    economic collapse.

    1. Resistance develops - both behavioral and genetic.

    2. Resurgence of pest populations - the rise of pest populations after the control
    has 'worn off' is often significantly higher then in untreated controls.

    3. Induce secondary pest outbreaks (also known as 'replacement)

    4. Adverse effects on non-target species, including honey bees.

    5. Hazards of pesticide residue - many possible unforeseeable problems

    6. Bio-magnification - typically talking about the food chain

    7. Economic and energy costs may be high $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!

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