Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Esko, MN
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    17

    Default Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    First time beekeeper here. I installed two nucs today but found out that they had not been treated for varroa this spring. The nucs had a significant amount of capped brood, larva in many stages, good stores of pollen and nectar, and a lot of bees with pollen of different color on their legs. The bees came from northern Minnesota. My question is, what would be the best spring varroa treatment in this situation. From reading, I would have liked to see the bees treated earlier before brood build up, but that is not the case. We do have dandelions, trillium in the woods, and the apple trees will be blooming in another week. Any advise on treatment would be appreciated. I am hoping to not to have to treat multiple times this spring such as with OA vaporization. After this spring treatment, I don't have any opinion on what to use in the late fall. Suggestions for this situation and the upcoming fall? Thank you.
    Chad

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
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    453

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    Being in mn, I'd think temps are low enough still to use maqs or formic pro. Will get all mites, even from the capped brood. If it gets too warm, or the strips have been stored incorrectly or too long, can be hard on brood and bees though.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    259

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    Consider Apiguard (thymol) assumig you do not have suppers on the nuc. Formic is hard on queens but its advantage is can be used with honey suppers.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    Apivar (amitraz), is suitable for use in the springtime but should be installed 8 weeks before the flow starts. You leave it in for 6 weeks and then need two weeks before the supers go on. Probably too late even in your area. Of course, that only applies if you will be attempting to harvest any honey this spring. Does not matter if the honey will be left for the bees, in that case you could treat at anytime. OAV treatments really are not that hard to do and are very effective at controlling mites. Another option is the Mighty Mite Killer which uses heat to kill varroa. I have never used one but a few folks on this site have and swear by them.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 05-26-2019 at 06:42 AM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Apivar (amitraz), is suitable for use in the springtime but should be installed 8 weeks before the flow starts.
    I like apivar especially for hives that I want minimally disrupted. A new colony that is just beginning to get established is a good example.
    Apiguard (thymol) and MAQS (formic acid) are pretty disturbing to the bees and I reserve the use of those for colonies that I believe will be less impacted by their disruption.
    The issue as pointed out by JWPalmer is that Apivar needs to be removed two weeks before the flow….if you are planning to harvest honey from that flow. I don’t know how things work in your part of the country but here a nuc will not be expected to produce a surplus in its first season and so I would be comfortable recommending the use of Apivar….here.
    PS I see that JWPalmer has edited his initial post to reflect some of the same things I've said.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    259

    Default

    Yes, amatraz is another good options when considering synthesized chemicals, less disruptive than thymol (organic).

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Esko, MN
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    OK, so there are a lot of options. The flow is going to start here within the next two weeks so appear is out. I don't want to use anything that might be hard on the bees. Maybe OA vaporization will be an option. How many treatments and how far apart do they need to be to become effective?
    Chad

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    Chad,

    While OAV is not the first choice when you have a lot of brood, in a nuc at this time of year, I think it si what i would use. Four treatments on five day intervals would be my choice. You cannot have supers on during the treatment, though.

    But before you do this, I would do a sugar roll to get an idea about your mite levels. You may not need to treat right now, particularly if your nucs were northern-wintered. If you can wait until the colony has been established (say, end of July) you could use MAQS/Formic Pro which can be used with supers and also kills the mites under the brood cappings. In MN, you will likely have suitable temps (below 82-83F ) even in July.

    I don't routinely treat in the spring. I monitor like crazy year-round and about half of the time I can even skip a summer treatment. But I use MAQS in summer, if needed. Followed by a series of OAV after Labor Day. Additional OAV as indicated by monitoring to keep incoming mites in check during the fall. And one final treatment (not a series) after the winter Solstice to clean things up for the winter.

    Test first, then decide what to use to treat them, or just keep monitoring for a awhile longer. and treat later this summer.

    Nancy

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Esko, MN
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Nucs Installed, need treatment, what to use?

    Thank you.
    Chad

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