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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default My Hopguard experience

    I thought it would be a good idea to document an experience with Hopguard for other people's future reference. I currently have a pretty bad mite and DWV problem in my 2 hives, details are here http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...med-Wing-Virus

    I don't want to spark another treat vs. no treat debate, I just want to share the experience with others so they can choose their path if and when their time comes and I know that Hopguard is still fairly new to the fight against mites.

    So here are my hives.



    I received my Hopguard in the mail today from Mann Lake. From researching my plan is to put 2 strips per 10 frame deep once a week for 3 weeks. The Hopguard is a liquid with cardboard strips used to soak up the liquid and hang over the frames. From my 15 years of homebrewing I can tell you that it definitely smells just like Hops. I wasn't brave enough to taste it.

    So I installed 2 strips in Hive 2 and 4 strips in Hive 1. Hive 1 was my first hive that I started from a package last year. I split the hive this year on April 4th into hive 2 letting them raise their own queen (and trying to break the mite cycle). I also made sticky boards and placed them under each hive which have screened bottom boards. Installing them was simple and the bees did not seem to mind them at all or run away from them.

    Just out of curiosity I pulled the sticky board from beneath hive 2, 2.5 hours after I put in the strips and I didn't count, but there were easily 100 mites on the sticky board. Hive #1's sticky board is stapled underneath, so I didn't pull it. I checked the front of the hives before the sun went down and all appeared normal.

    I'll keep you up to date as I go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I checked the sticky board on hive 2 today it had been on for about 19 hours



    Bigger picture here http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u...-15-29_441.jpg

    That is a lot of mites! I still haven't pulled the sticky board from hive 1 but I could see many more on it.

    the bees still seem normal and there aren't anymore bees than I normally see dead in front of the hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    i used 5 strips in 3 mediums. Had some serious mite drops and sharp decline in sticky board counts 95-99% decline. I treated in the late fall during a very low brood production time. It seemed very effective. it may not be as effective during the spring time as most mites will remain under cappings. I think a research paper said about 90% are under cappings at any one time. Thanks for posting this

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    48 hour mite count...





    I didn't count every mite, but there were over 100 in the first row, times 9 rows, so my estimate is between 900-1000 mites per sticky board. I am very interested to see what happens when I do the week number 2 treatment. The bees still seem normal.

    On a side note I removed my very first honey super from the hive, crushed and strained it and it turned out beautiful!! Now I know why I got into this beekeeping stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Your mite drop will be less and less with each week. Don't forget to repeat in fall. I love Hopguard. It is easy to use and does not smell horrible. Here is a crazy part I've noticed. The bees seem to like the stuff, because with each week they seem to rush to it more and more. I have to be careful not to crush any bees underneath the strip on top of the frames. Alternate your application sites each time you add strips. Don't forget to clean your bottom board, because there will be a lot of fluff from them dismantling the strips.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    @Katharina

    I read your article on Hopguard before I decided to use it. Excellent information in there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I'm on day number 6 and the mite drop for the past 24 hours was 5. I notice a lot fewer dead/deformed bees on the ground in front of the hives. The bees haven't seemed to miss a beat and I got my first honey harvest ever from hive 1 a few days ago!

    I'll be putting the second of three treatments on tomorrow. So far I'm really impressed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    very interesting mike, thanks for posting your experience.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Ky Mike,
    Are the bees beginning to build up? Are they more active?
    Can you now notice any difference in your bees from when you started to treat them?

    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Quote Originally Posted by New Ky Beekeeper View Post
    Ky Mike,
    Are the bees beginning to build up? Are they more active?
    Can you now notice any difference in your bees from when you started to treat them?

    Phil
    The hives are only about 100 yards from my house so I check on them several times a day. The bees haven't seemed effected by the 1st treatment at all other than the massive mite drop the first few days. They are very active and as I said there are a lot fewer dead bees in the front of the hive. I'll be opening the hives again tomorrow to add the second round of strips so I'll keep you updated, but as far as I can tell the hive seems healthier and just as (if not more) active. I'm hoping the single deep hive will be ready for another box tomorrow, because it was close before the first treatment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    What may not be a very known fact is that most varroa mite treatments also treat tracheal mites at the same time.
    Hopquard is so easy to use and you don't have to worry about temps. That is the major reason why started using it. We are in the mountains and have 30 degree temperature swings during the day. That kind of eliminated many of the stuff out there. Hopguard can even be used in winter. Ok, most of us wont do treatment in winter.
    I wrote an an article about hopquard, which was published in May's Bee Culture magazine. I also have a similar one that I wrote last year on our clubs website at:
    http://www.klamathbeekeepers.org/Bee...oney_bees.html

    Forgot to mention that I also put plastic wrap over my sticky board and now use it in our club to show how mites look for all the new beekeepers. Seeing a large image of a mite is one thing, but seeing the real thing is another.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    so does hopguard actually kill the mites or does this just make them fall to the sticky board or to the ground through the screened bottom board? Nice Post!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    They are not moving, but I haven't checked for a heart beat either. LOL They look dead to me.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    My guess would be it kills the mites, but I don't know for sure. Doing mite drops prior to the hopguard I saw many live mites. After Hopguard none of them were moving.

    I put my second treatment on today. Even fewer dead bees. I only saw one bee on the inspection today with DWV, but I only did a frame by frame inspection on hive 2. I also located and marked the queen and she looked very healthy. The brood pattern in hive 2 was not the greatest, but that may have to do with the fact that she is just a few weeks old.

    Hive 1 is boiling with bees and I anticipate doing another split from it in the next few days.

    I put new sticky boards under each hive and I'll post the 24 hour count tomorrow.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    would there be any problem using hopguard with solid bottom boards?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Why won't Maine allow the use of this product????
    Let's BEE friends

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    came across this while trying to find if hopguard is legal in CA, which it is.

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/hopping-mad-at-hopguard/

    Just an fyi for anyone interested.
    Last edited by buzz abbott; 06-05-2012 at 11:19 PM. Reason: add info
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,648

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    It is always a good idea to do mite counts before and after use of any mite treatment. Make sure your mite counts are low enough after your final treatment. If Rusty would have done that he would have known the counts where still too high and had time to do something else. I agree with him about the directions it could be spelled out better. JMHO

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I also read that article before deciding to use it, but I had also read many threads/articles about the how to use it the way I am now.

    So I did the 24 hour check today after putting treatment 2 in yesterday



    Hive 1 had around 500-600 mites. Hive 2 had around 350-400. I was surprised to see this many drop even though it is around half of what the first mite drop count was after the first treatment. I have checked the sticky boards everyday since I started treating and it is apparent that the major killing of the mites occurs during day 1-3. I am still seeing fewer DWV bees. Activity is about the same in hive 1. Hive 2 seems to be getting more active.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,857

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I'm thinking you're happy you treated? Seems like large mite falls, hopefully you can really put the hurt on them when all the treatments are done or even erradicate them for a short time.

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