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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Apiguard Question

    Have used Apiguard for the very first time & had a few issues, just want some opinions.

    Firstly, it's fall here so it's the fall mite treatment. The hives have had honey removed and are in two deep boxes ready for winter. Mostly, the top box is at least 3/4 full with honey. The method I used was to lift the top box, and put the cardboard with I scoop of Apiguard gel on the top centre of the bottom box.

    Most hives are still strong but a few are not, so for those ones I put an entrance guard on, with an entrance 4 inch wide by 3/8 high. No top entrances. Temperatures have been down to 60 ish night, and 75 ish day.

    Problem being a number of hives have been robbed. I'm picking it's cos the bees have ben disrupted and driven away from proper entrance guard duty.

    What have I done wrong and what should I have done?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
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    239

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    I Used apiguard this year and followed the advice from Randy Oliver's website --rather than use the foil backed cards supplied with the apiguard I used regular index cards which the bees can chew up and remove which saves you the step of removing the foil cards. I did not use a shim but rather just placed the card in between the two deeps Depending on the temps and the strength of the hive if you are putting it between the deeps I would reduce the dosage 75 is still pretty warm so Less product is needed. Too much product may take the weak hives too long to clean out. Also why are they weak? If the fall season allows and they are still producing good brood I would maybe take a frame or two from the stronger hives and boost them up--Feed at the same time as the apiguard if you have too its not ideal but better than too late.
    Last edited by xcugat; 03-31-2013 at 05:51 PM.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Well, when I said weak, that's relative. They've had honey recently removed and the strong ones are choca with bees. What I called weak, would mean they had a comb or two outside of box with no bees on it. Those ones did have a lot of mites, with DWV and PMS visible. I'm expecting them to dwindle further even if the mite treatment is successful, but in the mild winter here they will have brood all winter & be good to go next spring.

    That's a good tip about the cardboard, I didn't know the bees couldn't chew out the supplied one, next time around I'll do that to save some work.

    I'm thinking putting the Apiguard on top of the second box would get it further away from the entrance, but I don't want to mess with shims. Any thoughts? Or will I just have to bite the bullet and do shims?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Some observations I made using it on my hives...

    Fall of 2011, about mid September, I treated my 2 deep hives, but I placed the Apiguard on the top center of the top box.
    I have these rims I placed right under the inner cover. Late in the evening when the flights were pretty much over, I popped the inner cover, placed Apiguard, placed the rim, inner cover back...done.

    I have screened bottom boards and I also closed them and I also reduced the entrances to about 2 inches wide. That was on all, strong and not so strong hives. Next day, the hives were a bit noisier and the entrances got much more crowded. Stronger hives had some beards too, more that they showed prior to the treatment. There were some robbing attempts...but everyone held their ground. Temps were getting on some days to 80-85F, but for the rest pretty much like your situation.

    In 2012, I did not get all the Apiguard I needed in time...also, had some hives that were in 3 deep configuration. On those, I took the top box off, placed the Apiguard like you did, and closed the hives. Again, done in the evening when the flying activity just about stopped.

    Opening those hives up, did trigger some massive, relentless robbing that went on for the next 2-3 days. And those 3 deep hives were strong, but they were the preferred target.

    On the 2 deep hives, that I did not open and just placed the meds under the inner cover...no issues. Evidently, taking boxes apart seem to disrupt the hives much more than just opening the inner cover.

    So for me, no more opening hives when doing this again. Placing the Apiguard on the TOP box, right under the inner cover, would work just fine...I also think, you could have reduced the entrances a bit more.

    Just my $0.02

  5. #5
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    OK, great info.

    I'll take the time & do shims. How high were your shims?

    Also, did you do one or two treatments, and how effective was it?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
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    263

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    My shims are about one and a half inch...I made my shims for placing candy boards and pollen patties or doing baggie feeding.
    But they sure came in handy with the Apiguard.

    Some inner covers I have, you can turn upside down and they allow enough clearance so that the Apiguard does not get mushed all over. You might try that route instead of making shims.

    In 2011 I did 2 treatments just because I had it available, and I was doing some mite counts...By the end of August, the numbers started to go up pretty strongly...so I did not want to take a chance.
    Worked great...Looking at the mite drops, they were the heaviest in the first week, then it kind of plateau...on some hives had more mites drop than others. But all of the hives made it through the winter.

    In 2012, I did not have enough Apiguard to do all hives ( greatly increased numbers by now) so, I did one treatment on all hives that were originating in 2011 and no treatment on the 2012 hives. Lost some in both camps, but the majority I lost, were in the no treat group.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Yes well got to say I was surprised the numbers of dead mites I found on the landing boards. When I did the treatment I just somehow felt it was not going to work but it's certainly dropped some mites. Treatment number 2 is starting tomorrow, then after that's had time to work I'll do some tests to see if it got just about all of them.

    Much thanks Xcugat and Apis (where do people get these names?), good info I feel confident now. Think this is going to work out I may make it a regular thing.

    Anybody else with any useful experience also, please add.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
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    79

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Over here in the UK we have been using Apiguard for a good number of years now, efficacy is good but it does rely on two treatments two weeks apart and a minimum of 16 degrees C to get the thymol vapourising. Second treatment is to catch mites coming out of emerging brood, we use ekes that were originally recommended to be 1 inch square timber but now that has been significantly increased. Some colonies completely ignore the apiguard and carry on as normal, some hang out the entrance for a few days and others the queens stop laying while the treatments are on. We also scrape the remaining powder from the trays at the end of the treatment and leave it on the frame top bars, some colonies clean this out, others ignore it and some embedd it in propolise. In the uk it is usually backed up by use of oxalic acid in mid winter when broodless, the oxalic is dissolved in syrup, personally I do not use it, there is unsubstantiated evidence that it can damage queens. If you use vented floors you must block up when using apiguard, likewise close down entrance blocks to keep the vapour in the hive.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    I, too, have used Apiguard OT. I applied mine much like you. I found it can be quite disruptive to the colonies. Often weak colonies would start a decline after application and had to be culled before winter. In my case, I believe that the weak hives were often heavily varroa infested already and the Apiguard simply pushed them over the edge. This is one of the reasons I bought some Hopguard last year. After the manufacturer’s claims of inconsequential hive disturbance, I was hopeful that the weaklings might be salvaged. Not so.
    I also tried standard index cards but felt like too much of the liquid in the Apiguard was soaked up by the paper. I was concerned that the gel wouldn't stay wet enough to remain effective. So, I stocked up on the foil lined squares.
    I haven’t noticed any unusual robbing.
    I still use Apiguard but am pretty aggressive in shaking out my marginal hives in the Fall.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    You really dont need shims old timer--if you use the index cards the bees will chew them up and then after treatment if there is some of the paper/apiguard left in the spaces between the top of frames in box one and the bottom of frames from box two you can just scrape them off and remove them. In one hive I used the shim as a test, and it did help the bees remove the product faster and completely but It was not in my opinion worth the time and annoyance of the shim for the result.

    If it is warm enough for the product than it should vapourize nicely and not dry out which in my experience even with the foil cards occurs when the temperature is too cold for the product to vapourize or as they manufacturer puts it "Sublimes" and fills up the hive with the vapor.
    Here are some very good link from Randy Oliver

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...ral-miticides/
    Scroll to section Thymol

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/miticides-2011/
    Look for thymol section

    BTW XCugat==Xavier Cugat the mambo king

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l1AbTFfA9E
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Just remember using Randy Olivers directions, although I don't think he has said it in his articles, but has said it in posts on bee-l, one of the reasons he uses less than the recommended amount of apiguard is that he still wants mite stresses on his bees as he is trying to get mite resistence in his bees. so you should figure out the correct amount to use for you.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  12. #12
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    OK thanks for all the advice guys.

    Started the 2 week follow up treatments today, and got to say, as per Beemandan, I'm surprised how disruptive the treatments have been to the hives. I've used formic acid quite a bit but am wondering if that is actually less destructive than Apivar.

    However, long as it does kill the mites the hives will recover & it will all be worth it.

    Haven't had time to make shims so just doing the second treatment the same way the first was done, but for future years I'll go with shims and put the treatment top of 2nd box, which hopefully will have less negative effects.

    I think it's one of those treatments where a learning curve is required before I can get it to a fine art.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Other thing, I found a recipe for homemade thymol gel, using thymol crystals, sugar, and some oil such as Crisco. Did a costing on the ingredients and it would reduce the price of treating considerably, next year I might get brewing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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    36

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    25% thymol crystals and 75% icing sugar is a recipe I have used in the past. Did not see any difference between formic and thymol treated hives.

  15. #15
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Difference, in terms of success, damage, what?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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    36

    Default Re: Apiguard Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Difference, in terms of success, damage, what?
    Mite drop...
    We use the flash method for the application of formic acid on our hives. On occasion (not every year) some hives finish the season on regular bottom boards. These get a homemade thymol treatment.
    Did some tests a few years back and visually, the drops where similar over a one month period.

    http://www.apinovar.com/articles/Var...AR%20(...).pdf
    Last edited by cleareyes; 04-03-2013 at 10:20 AM.

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