Treating a top bar
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    wnc
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    Default Treating a top bar

    I'm not a top bar guy, but we have one in our club apiary. I am responsible for them, so went thru all hives and did a sugar shake and need to treat this one.
    So how to do it? Any way of using Formic Pro? OR should I just get apivar? Other suggestions? I am out of my knowledge base here.
    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    1,765

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I use OAD on mine

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    313

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Randy Oliver has a page on it (mite treatment in TBH)

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/mite...top-bar-hives/

    Based on what I've read, the various strips are all specifically designed for Langs. So, when they say "lay across the top of the frames" you are going to have to figure "do I want to hang these *between* the bars, or on the floor under them? Should I cut them smaller?" Using these treatments "off label" like this might be dangerous and requires a bit of hacking to get them to work. OAV would work very well if you had one of those new 110 guns (all that is needed is a small hole in the hive). Those are very expensive however. If you have enough room in the back of the hive you may be able to lay a cheaper vaporizer on the bottom of the hive and edge it forward from the honey area into the brood area. Maybe.

    If you search through the archives here, you will find that Ruth has great success treating with powdered sugar over diatomaceous earth. The purpose of the sugar is only to stimulate grooming by the bees and maybe loosen the hold of the mites... The DE is what does the killing. Ruth might read this and provide a link to a fuller explanation.

    Let us know what you choose and how it goes. Treating TBH still seems a little experimental to me, and I'm in a similar situation: a hive at the bee club which likely needs it. (luckily we have a sideliner with one of those oxyvap 110s).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
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    1,059

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I have all Langs except for one topbar that I built last year. I cut several holes in the bottom and covered them with screen for ventilation and I could use them to wand treat with OAV, but I have the 110 and will just drill a hole to treat.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,104

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Do not use MAQS or Formic Pro. They are designed for a Lang hive and you will not be happy with the results. There is not enough ventilation and the fumes will not flow over the comb and out of the hive properly. It pools inside of the hive and in my experience, usually kills the hive. Apivar works pretty well but you have to be sure to move the strips to keep them located in an area with open brood. OAV can work well but you need to make some adjustments. OAV vapor does not move horizontally very well throughout a hive but does go vertically pretty well. The vapor from OAV will only go about 4-5 bars to each side from the vaporization site. Which means much of the hive will not get any vapor. You have to split the treatment site to about a quarter of the way from each end of the hive to get good coverage. You may need to create small entrances to the hive in order to accommodate the vaporizer pan. Better yet, if you can, a Provap 110 works really well for a top bar hive.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    wnc
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    140

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Thanks guys! I appreciate the info and have a better idea of how to proceed now. Mostly because one of our members has a couple strips of apivar left over and is donating. Thanks for all the responses!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    129

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I did MAQS this spring in my TBH and even though I removed a bar to increase ventilation it killed my queen, all brood, eggs, and a substantial amount of bees. Probably mites, too, but at that point I didn't care b/c I had a bigger problem of a queenless hive that went laying worker, etc. Eventually I shook it out and added a swarm.

    I've used OAV and it seems to work well but I did not do before/after alcohol washes at the time, so I can't say for sure, but the colony did overwinter. Then I pretty much killed it with the MAQS (see above!).
    Meghan

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Peachtree City, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I use OA dribble when I need to treat mine. I have a large syringe that automatically doses out in 5 ml increments that I got at Tractors Supply. Treat when broodless or if there is brood three consecutive treatments over 3 weeks.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
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    402

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I have found OAV (oxalic acid vaporization) to be highly effective - if the vapor can penetrate from a screened bottom board, or a hole that is placed in the center-ish of the brood nest. Because the bars are drawn all the way to bee-space from the bottom , it is not possible to OAV by pushing the OAV wand to the brood nest and under the combs - unless you do something special. This can include moving all the honey bars, then cutting a "slot" in the comb, or it can mean designing the hive with a side slot (to insert the wand) and overwintering with an empty bar placeholder.

    Last year this time, I had mite counts of 20+/300 bees in 6 hives. 3 died by Jan. The spike in mite count from 2 in July to stratospheric was just so fast... I did OAV ineffectively a number of times - first I had too weak of a battery, then I figured out I had to drill holes in HIVES WITH BEES so I could place the wand up against the bottom of the hive so the vapor would be under the brood nest...

    Long story short, I now have mite counts on large hives of 0/300 and 2/300 - and those were the ones with brood for the longest. I will OAV again after flight weather is over. I did not treat over the summer - just the over winter OAV treatments. So far so good.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Greenville, NC, USA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    I have a hybrid top bar and use OA in a spray bottle and go down each seam with one easy spray of the medium solution. Treat 5-6 days apart and do it 4 times. Check mite drop each time on a sticky under the bars/frames.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    129

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Great idea, thanks.
    Meghan

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Vancouver BC
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    19

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    After your OAV treatment(s), do you crush and strain to obtain honey? And is the honey tainted in any way - do you taste the OA? It seems that the OA vaporizer coats everything and there should be a discernible taste?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Quote Originally Posted by ihor View Post
    After your OAV treatment(s), do you crush and strain to obtain honey? And is the honey tainted in any way - do you taste the OA? It seems that the OA vaporizer coats everything and there should be a discernible taste?
    I do crush and strain, but it's usually months after the treatment. I have never noticed a taste.
    Meghan

  15. #14
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    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    You will not notice any taste in the honey. If you vaporizes when the honey is capped, none will get into the honey, only on the wax of the cappings. The bees will remove those crystals in a few days so they should not get into the honey at all. If you vaporize with open nectar/honey cells, very minute amounts will get in the honey but you will not taste it.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Oklahoma USA
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    Default

    Dudelt you said to go about a quarter away from each end to get good coverage. (Sorry dont know how to copy your original text) If using a provap 110 and drill a 1/4" hole in the back on the ends do you do half a treatment per end or do 2 full treatments. How much OA do you use 2 grams for the whole hive, 1 gram per end to get good coverage or just worry about the brood nest on TBH Been wondering if you could vape a TBH like they vape lang's. New to TBH enjoy them though. Thanks

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    1,765

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    Vape culture is funny....
    lang users talk of putting a piece of card board between the supers and the brood box to supposedly keep OAV out of them....
    KTBH users are talking about how best get OAV in to the supers (back of the hive).


    OAD is spread by bee to bee contact, hit the seams of bees and it goes everywere, with good distrubtion thew the hive in as little 10 min
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/vi...ub&sei-redir=1
    https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/8/3/84/pdf-vor
    rember the hive is a giant nectar conveyor, with receiver bees running a constant loop to the front to pick up nectar from foragers then threw the whole hive to the back, were they store it then go back to the front again.

  18. #17
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    Jun 2016
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    Geauga, Ohio
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    402

    Default Re: Treating a top bar

    That is a great question, where to put the hole for the provap, and whether to try for 2 locations for vaporizing. I would say one location, based on laurie's youtube video showing oxalic acid vaporization with an observation hive (google or youtube that phrase). And either a central location, or like 4" from a barrier, even 4" from the front, so the vapors will not end up where there aren't bees!

    If you put the provap hole actually in the "back" of the cluster, so like at bar 12-14 or so, then I bet the bees will fan it towards the entrance for you. And if possible, see if you can move the bars of honey at the back, then put a divider in, so the divider is not next to the cluster, but maybe 1 comb away. it is a smaller volume. I probably could get away with this in 30-40 temps, since the bees' cluster would not even be exposed.

    And for the record, if you eat 100 g of spinach, you consume 1 g of oxalic acid. If you put 2g of oxalic acid in your hive, even will ALL UNCAPPED honey... c'mon, how could you even detect that? But also for the record, it is not legal to sell honey that was in the hive without a barrier during OAV or OAD.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I was thinking maybe remove bars 12-14 (depending on what you keep for bees) and back, then do a treatment. Then in a few days add the bars back in for winter, if you harvest in spring. You would obviously have to have another hive/nuc for this but then there is no contamination of any honey or comb, or use the divider that's simple. Similar to removing the supers on a langstroth before treating. Just a thought.

    And yes you should not be treating hives with honey for consumption in place and take proper precautions. I was not implying trying to get vapor in the "super area" I dont know all the language for TBH yet so back of hive to me was referring to bee area not super area.

    I like the idea about putting it towards the back and letting the bees fan it towards the entrance also. OAV spreads around 5 frames horizontally then lifts, I think I read that somewhere I need to check, if that is the case then right around bar 9 for keeping 14 bars and bar 7 for keeping 12. Then it will spread to those in the back and then the bees would probably try fanning out towards the front to cover the 2 to 4 bars there.

    On a side note OA is found in peanuts, pecans, wheat bran, spinach, rhubarb, beets, beet greens, chocolate and is a component in honey. Some others include soy foods, sweet potatoes, black tea, berries and other dark leafy greens, like Swiss chard and collards. It is what gives food that “bitter” taste. It also aids in our own metabolic process

    When used as directed, OAV does not harm the queen, bees or the brood And it does not contaminate the comb as poisons do. There are naturally occurring levels of oxalic acid in a hive. While OAV elevates that level, the hive returns to pre-treated levels shortly after treatment. Within days of vaporization, the bees will remove the residual OA crystals from the hive.

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