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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Keno, OR
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    734

    Default Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    I'm posting something I've written from my personal view, and I hope you guys like it.

    Hopguard is a relative new product on the market to treat bees for varroa mites. It can be used with honey supers on the hive, but should not be used over honey super frames. It is not temperature dependent, which makes it ideal for those living in colder climates. Ideally you treat in spring and in fall, but you can add a summer treatment, if needed.

    It's plus side is that it is of a food grade product, meaning you do not need to wear a respirator or have to take other major precautions when using and handling it. This product is present and added to human foods making it technically 100% organic, but it has not been registered as is. It consists of paper strips soaked in a hops based product called potassium salt of hop beta acids. Recommended personal protection is eye wear and plastic gloves. You do not want this to get into your eyes, and the gloves keeps the sticky mess off your hands.

    Hopguard does not get the mites in the closed brood cells so a 3 week treatment is needed. Normally you use 2 strips for each deep brood box placed in opposite sites over the 3rd and 6th frame alone. You don't remove it and let the bees clean it up. I've observed that strips appear dry and half of them have been dismantled by the bees after only one week. There was almost nothing left in my strongest hive. This may differ from region to region, and perhaps depends on the temperature or regional climate when applied. Because of this it may be a good idea to use the progressive treatment option. Most mites dropped in the first 24 hours.

    In the progressive treatment you replace the strips every week over 3 weeks to have the best treatment effect. One noted side effect is that the queen may slow down in her laying, but usually never stops completely with this treatment option. The progressive treatment option does make it a little bit more expensive then some of the other treatments out there. It's ease of use makes it worse while. I've noted that bees remain calm while using and replacing Hopguard strips.

    Interestingly I've noticed dead red and black ants on the bottom board while using Hopguard. Sprinkling cinnamon seems to deter the sugar ants, but does not have equal effect on the larger black and red ants that rob the bees of their honey and pollen stores.

    Preliminary reports also show a positive effect on treating American and European foul brood, and even chalk brood with Hopguard. It is promising but further studies are needed. Never the less BetaTec is working on a patent for the Foulbrood usage.

    Katharina Davitt
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,465

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    If bees require that much human intervention to live they deserve to die. Lets milk bumble bees for all they are worth.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If bees require that much human intervention to live they deserve to die. Lets milk bumble bees for all they are worth.
    You could say that about any living thing. Such a positive statement dude
    I’m really not that serious

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Thanks for the info Katherina, good stuff. I am trying hopguard this week and look forward to posting my results here as well as others who have posted theirs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If bees require that much human intervention to live they deserve to die.
    Wow, what a guy. I bet you're a lot of fun at parties.
    Last edited by Charlie B; 10-23-2011 at 11:41 AM.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Some beekeepers here in the bay area are having success with Miteaway Quick Strips but they only use one strip instead of the recommended two between brood boxes. It's a little easier on the bees and it's still effective in killing mites inside the brood comb. I think the price is $10 for a two strip pack so you're only looking at $5 a hive if you use only one strip. It's only a one time treatment and it only kills mites.
    Last edited by Charlie B; 10-23-2011 at 11:42 AM.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    In my beek assn. some are using them the same way charlie. They have just started and i am waiting to see what the efficacy is once treated. I am leery of maqs because of the posts here. I will probably use it next year in the rotation, and look forward to hearing more input on the single strip usage effect on the queens and the bees in general.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezly View Post
    In my beek assn. some are using them the same way charlie.
    I personally don't use the MAQS but I don't blame beeks for using them. Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ recommends the one strip so folks are trying it with very low mite counts and no adverse effects afterwards.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grays Harbor County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    I don't see anything on the BetaTec website about "progressive treatment." Where did this info come from? Is this procedure endorsed by BetaTec?
    Rusty
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com "A Better Way to Bee"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    BetaTec has nothing on their site about it. They are not beekeepers, they just stumbled into it when they found that it kills spider mites and went from there. Mann Lake personnel recommends this over the phone when people call back about the mites rebounding fast, because of the capped cells. I came up the naming "progressive", because I feel that it should have a name for not being the conventional way. I have been looking at what was happening at my hives and the ones I manage as well. The strips were dry and almost gone after 7 days! The strongest hives had perhaps 1/2 inch left each on the top bars alone. Nothing left in the hives. This shows that it is gone that fast. I do live in a very dry climate, but the temps are around freezing at night right now. No negative effects on the bees at all.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    So how are your mite counts after using hopguard progressively???
    I’m really not that serious

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Katharina thank you for the information. I am preparing to treat for mites and decided to try Hopguard this year. Your findings makes me feel a little better about choosing Hopguard for treatment.

    Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I personally don't use the MAQS but I don't blame beeks for using them. Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ recommends the one strip so folks are trying it with very low mite counts and no adverse effects afterwards.
    Did you read the study?

    Toward the end, it states:
    On the other hand, I was surprised by the apparent high efficacy of the single strips. However, when I rechecked again on Day 43 post treatment, counts for the two single-strip hives (8 and 5 mites) were higher than those of the two 2-strip hives that I tested for comparison (3 and 0 mites). This is a very small data set, but appears to confirm the manufacturer’s findings that two strips are necessary for best mite control.

    I was hoping to get adequate mite control by the application of a single strip, similar to the way in which I use a half treatment of Apiguard gel, since the single strip application appeared to be easier on the bees. However, a single-strip application may be enough for a relatively benign quick mite knockback (Disclaimer: I am not recommending any deviation from the label directions!).

    Not saying that you shouldn't use one strip, but the study did not confirm that using only one MAQS was superior.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    Yes I read the study. I also know the unofficial opinion.
    Last edited by Charlie B; 10-27-2011 at 12:07 AM.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Macon , Ga
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    I put the hopguard on my hives 3 weeks ago for the first time. After 24 hours later I checked on the removeable bottom board (all hives have screen bottom board) and found several thousand dead and near dead mites....I was shocked. I had done 2 sugar shakes in the past few months with the result of a few dozen mites and was feeling all organic and successful, what a wake up !
    I have checked almost daily since then and continue to find massive numbers of dead mites, although the number is decreasing (still unacceptable though).
    The product was easy to use, did not disturb bees, is being consumed (slowly), has no pugnant odor, is organic and does the job. I won't use again until the spring (as instructed by manufacturer - there is a utube video on how to use hopguard) and no more than 3 times a year. My bees are no more wimpy than my child when he catches a cold from someone, sometimes the system can't fight off an infection by itself so to treat in the least invasive method possible only makes sense to me.
    A word of caution though, this product (at least in Ga.) will not be sold after the end of the year. It is dirt cheap and worth having whether you use it now or are considering it for later.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    It was an eye opener for me too seeing that many mites. It was not as bad as yours, but bad enough. Watch your strips. Their effectiveness is best in the first 3 days. My strongest hives dismantled them in 7 days and nothing was left. My weaker hives also had very little left after a week. Not sure how they expect this stuff to work for 3 weeks, if the strips are gone. This also means you are not getting the capped brood. Mann Lake does now recommend to treat 3 times in a row 7-10 days apart. It is not in their printed material, but I think it will be eventually. I have been using it for 3 weeks in a row with my 8 frame hives. I added strips like you would in a 10 frame hive, meaning I dosed more then they say. No negative effect on the bees at all. Members in our club squeeze out the rest of the liquid stuff directly onto the frame bars, resulting in another treatment when the strips are gone. Works just as good.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    I gave the second treatment last Friday. Hive does not seem affected by it negatively. I will give third treatment Sunday. This was easy to work with, I can hardly smell it, not as messy as i expected. I did wear nitrile gloves, but no mask. Dead mites too many too count! Brood levels are low, so hopefully this is the key. I am curious how long the product stays good once opened. I have stored it in a tupperware container and in a cool place in the dark. It would be nice if they would package it maybe 6-10 strips in a pack, still sell it 50 at a time, but so they would stay good longer. I'll let ya'll know Sunday what i find.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    I agree on the packaging. You usually use 4 strips per double deep hive. I rather buy a box with 10 packs each containing 4 strips. I have mine extra ones in the foil pack it comes in, packed into a ziplock bag and stored in a rubbermaid tub. We'll see how it looks like in spring.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Holly Ridge, NC, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    So, if one of the problems is that the bee's are moving the strips out in approx. 7 days. I wonder what affect it would have if it was installed in a container so the bees couldn't rip it apart? Do the bees need to make contact for it to work?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Progressive Hopguard Treatment

    They do need to walk over it. The strip will dry up and become useless after 10 days, if any left. The strip works best the first 3 days. I put it in in 7 days intervals and I use 2 strip for 8 frames, because I use 8 frame hives. I have noticed no ill effects on the bees at all.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

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