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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    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.
    I am definitely happy I chose to treat. I had no idea there were even close to that many mites in the hive. I do plan on doing some things different in the future to keep the mites at bay. I just put a new deep on hive 2 and am trying out foundationless frames. I'm also getting ready to start a nuc from hive 1 with foundationless frames. I do plan on re-queening with a more mite resistant strain and checking the mite drop more often. I am going into my second year keeping bees and I didn't realize the importance of actually putting a sticky board under the hive to check simply because I wasn't seeing mites and I have really good eyesight.

    I'm still learning as I go but I want to keep expanding hives and making more healthier bees that can take care of themselves.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Question - if Hopguard strips are put in a strong hive, how long before the bees get rid of it, ie, how long could we expect it to be present in the hive?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    A strong hive gets rid of them in less then 7 days. Mine did get it shredded up in 5 days, but leaves all the fluff on the bottom board. The weakest hive still had parts of one strip left. Funny enough they take less out with each consecutive week. They just get used to it and see it less as something that should not be there. It does not stop or slow them down from doing their bee work, nor does it effect the queen.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Katharina,
    How many seasons have you been using HopGuard? Also, is it the only treatment that you use or do you supplement with something else at times?

    Thanks!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Obviously there are no long term studies out on Hopquard. I have been using it since it is available. I not only use it on my few hives here (4200ft elevation), but also on an organic farm (2500ft elevation) where I maintain hives. At this point Hopguard is my only treatment for mites, because I want to see a true long term picture of how it does. So far so good. I treat twice a year with my progressive method. The instructions from the maker are junk. They only provide a knock down, but not a treatment that has a longer impact. A one time treatment is probably just as good a powder sugaring, perhaps a tiny bit better, but it does not get the capped brood. Treating at weekly intervals for 3 weeks in a row does knock them down for several months. At least in my neck of the woods. I don't want to eliminate different experiences in other regions of the country. I don't know if climate effects the treatments. Here we are in the high desert, with 20% humidity, relatively cold nights, warm days, very little rain, and a long winter going over 6 months. That can have impact on the product, but I have nothing to compare it to. I do supplement sugar syrup with Honey Bee Healthy, but at only 1 tablespoon per 10 pounds of sugar. Each hive needs a total of 2 gallons in spring. They also get pollen patties in spring. They are not to crazed about the pollen patties, so they consume about 1/4 patty per hive. Very small amount. My carnies seem to be very good at stock piling pollen, so they don't need much at all. I'm thinking about giving up on the patties, but feel it doesn't hurt to offer any. We do not have hive beetles here, so I don't worry about them attracting those. In winter they get candy board starting with the first one at the end of January and another one about 6 weeks later. We have very long winters, and they needs that so they don't run out of stores. It also depends on how the winter fares. Another insurance for me. What they don't use I simply cook into water and make a syrup out of it. Nothing gets wasted. Another secondary mite control is the use of screened bottom boards. They are open all season long. They are only closed off for winter, or when treating for mites with Hopguard. Studies say that you loose 10-15% of your mites with screened boards. I can't confirm that, but think that there may be some truth to it.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Katharina View Post
    I have been using it since it is available.
    So you have been using it since 2009 and not lost a hive to any mite related issues? That is a very strong testimonial!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,840

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I may pick some up for a fall treatment. I noticed something interesting today watching my hive.... Had one bee doing a dance on the landing board but not your typical dance. She was kind of arched with abdomen down but shaking back and forth at intervals kind of like a regular dance. I didn't think much of it but I kept watching her and then a few other workers climbed up on her abdomen and then tried to bite something out between her thorax and abdomen. Sure enough, tucked way down there was a mite I think, right between her segments. I felt bad for her as the other bees couldn't reach it I don't think but they tried. I was gonna help her out but she made her way back in the hive shortly after the other bees tried to clean her off. I haven't noticed any other mites in drones or seen any drop, so hopefully the bees are doing a good job cleaning them out, but will definitely have to keep an eye on it now.

    Jeff

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    It has been available here since 2010, so not quite that long. I had zero losses this and last winter. It is a strong statement, but I still caution the it may work differently in other climates. I also tend to do things differently. I use 8 frame equipment and carnies. Carnies are more hygienic by nature. I wrap my hives in winter with a top hive feeder on to catch moisture. All those tiny things can have impact. I don't even remove the last fall Hopguard treatment at all. I put it in and wrap up the hives for winter. That leaves some residue in the hive all winter long. There are a lot of variable that may effect things. So far for me it has worked well. I also wonder if we naturally have less mites up here. For example we don't have ticks or fleas in this area, due to the climate. All I know is that the hive I treated with one Hopguard treatment, as the package said, was the weakest and very sick in fall. I thought is would not survive. I treated it progressively in fall, and it is now one of my strongest hives. I was able to split it this spring, that's how strong it has become. So I now tell other's what worked for me, and like to see their reports. Man I almost sound like a spokes person for Hopquard. LOL Which reminds me I have to buy more of it. Love the ease of use of this product, but is is not cheap. Myself and another commercial beekeeper in the club are thinking of buying the raw material from a beer supply company and just applying it onto the fames with a baster or something similar. It is much cheaper, but we are not sure how good it will work. I planned on making 50/50 splits, but ended up making 3 hives out of each original hive. They were doing so great this spring. We had a very cold winter, but early spring. Got a little bit of a head start here.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    So it is a byproduct of beer brewing? If so what is the name of it as a friend of mine is the brewmaster for the largest brewery in New England!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Not a byproduct, but a product used to make dark beer. Anyway you can buy the raw product from a company in WA.
    http://www.hopsteiner.com/products/brewingproducts.html
    They sell it as Potassium Based Isomerized Kettle Extract (PIKE). Now a hopguard strip contains 1.92 grams of the possatium salt. I ended up using more, due to my 8 frame hives. So 8 grams should be safe per hive. I feel it would work with a bottle squirting it onto the frames, and think strips are extra work. It will require a little bit of testing and playing around. You can buy as little as a pound of their stuff.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Forgot to mention that brewers have known for years that this stuff kills mites. That is when the idea came to check it on other mites.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Thanks! I will see if he can get me some in bulk and run a test when my mite counts get high in July-August.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Hey thanks Katharina that's great information. A while back I attempted to import Hop Guard into my country but it's not allowed across the border unless I went through a bureaucratic process costing $1000's, had to can the idea.

    I'll see if I can get the ingredient you suggested locally, and please update this thread if you or anyone tries this yourself.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Did my mite drop check today after having the sticky boards on for 48 hours. There were around 100 mites on each board. Still a few DWV bees walking around but the fronts of my hives are much cleaner.

    Has anybody ever determined if it actually kills the mites?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I looked at them with a magnifying glass and I didn't see their legs moving. I'm sure it kills them. I also think they do not get resistant, because the main ingredient has been known to kill other mites for almost 100 years. It still kills those. Using it on varroa mites is new, but I do feel it will continue to work. Only time will tell. I use only Hopguard and nothing else, and it seems to be working on my end. Ask me next year, if it still does the trick. I have been using it for 2 years now. In any case you need to monitor for mites, evaluate and take some sort of action. That may depend on the severity and your location. Hopguard is not cheap if used progressively. So other options should not be taken off the table.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    I'm only on week 2 and I can tell my hives look healthier. I checked your link to the brewing company and think that will be worth a shot and much cheaper. I only have 3 hives now so at this point it's not too expensive.

    Thank you for sharing that link

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Altamont, NY USA
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Thanks for sharing your experiences - good information!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,697

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    Thanks for the thread, good to know

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    It is totally unimportant how many mites you kill with Hopguard or any other products, you must find out how many mites are left in the hive after a treatment.
    If a product works only for a few days and doesn't reach mites in closed cells, it's not worth to spend money for it. You must treat again and again. As soon as you see the first bees with deformed wings the damage is already done. Check drone brood for mites and don't wait until you can see them everywhere.
    Some beekeepers are happy to see a great mite drop after a treatment, I'm happy if I can't find any after a treatment.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: My Hopguard experience

    24 hours after my third and final treatment with hopguard and the mite drop on hive 1 was about 50. Hive 2 was about 100. I will keep checking mite drops after the final treatment is done and pull some drone brood as well.

    All in all I am pleased that my mite drops were drastically reduced, my hives seem healthier and I haven't seen a DWV bee for a while now. As I said I am going to try some other things to keep them under control and do plan on treating again with hopguard this fall.

    Hopefully this information will help someone else considering their options for treating.

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