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Thread: MAQS failure

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Quote Originally Posted by ApricotApiaries View Post
    . What was the consistency of the strips when you put it in? Also, how were you storing them or did they come straight from the warehouse?
    The strips were somewhere around a sticky paste. They did smell a lot like caulk when I opened them, which I assumed was normal. This year was my first time using MAQS, I used apivar strips last year, and OAV the year before that. I decided changing up what I am doing will reduce any chance of the mites that survive developing resistance to one method.

    I ordered and received the MAQS in mid august when they went on sale (at kelly) because they were expiring in the end of august. I figured if I used them within 2 weeks of them expiring (was the plan until the weather decided otherwise) I would be ok. I had them in my garage for a few weeks which was not a good plan and I did not realize it at the time, but my garage also does not get super hot (I think it was 90's or below) this time of the year. After I started treating I left the container on my sunporch (it is screened in with a roof) in the shade so the unopened MAQS saw the outside temperatures but were not getting hot at this point. I probably should have kept them inside (at a more constant temperature) but it is late for that now. The consistency has not seemed to change from the first set of strips that I opened to the most recent ones.

    I started with one strip with the logic that it is easier on the hive and I am less likely to loose a queen that way. I do not have any extra queens (I have 4 hives) so I figured this was the less risky treatment option. At this point I need to get the mites under control quickly to have any chance of getting this hive thru the winter. I will check the mite load again tomorrow and go from there.

    Appricot Aparies and orthoman, have you ever treated with MAQS with quilt boxes on top? I am still thinking this may have been part of my problem.

    Thanks everyone for your help. I keep thinking I sort of have beekeeping figured out then something new comes along and proves me wrong.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Elmer,

    I have moved from MAQS to formic pro, mainly because I like the pads better as well as the longer shelf life. I also prefer the single pad treatment alternative, especially later in the season because I also worry about losing a queen and having problems with finding a new queen late in the season.

    I have not used a quilt box per say; however, I use a Vivaldi board that is similar in a sense and it stays on all year.....kind of like a quilt board....so there is lots of ventilation out the top. I drop in insulation for winter. Where I live winters are pretty damp and humid and this seems to have cut down on mold on the peripheral frames as well as prevents condensation on the inside of the inner cover.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    I did a sugar roll on all 4 hives today.

    In hive 1 (this thread) I found 23 mites in 1/3 cup of bees

    in hive 2 I found 22 mites in 1/3 cup of bees

    in hive 3 I found 3 mites in 1/3 cup of bees

    in hive 4, I found 5 mites in 1/3 cup of bees

    OAV is starting this weekend. All 4 hives had had atleast 3 MAQS strips placed in them, atleast one single strip, and one 2 strip treatment. I did see all 4 queens today which is good, so atleast I know they are still alive.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Apis Natural View Post
    did you add extra ventilation like a top vent as the direction say to do?
    air needs to circulate through the hive when maqs or formic pro are used.
    I see no where in the directions where it states to add extra ventilation. You add them on top of the brood chamber
    and leave the bottom entrance completely open, no reducers, no mouse guards. You also close screened bottoms if
    you have them.
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    You are not supposed to put them on top per directions, the go on top of the brood chambers.
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    it states right on the instructions that it kills male and female.
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    I have tried MAQS twice. I followed the directions to the LETTER and applied them in low 70 to upper 60 degree temperatures. The entrance reducers were removed and an upper entrance opening for more than adequate ventilation. BOTH times my hives experienced what I consider to be excessive bee & brood kills, a couple of hive absonded and I am waiting and watching to observe if the surviving hives still have queens.

    NOD customer support is of NO help and in my opinion takes a combative stand that is akin to attacking the customer and covering their corporate backside.

    In my opinion and experience, I don't believe formic acid products are safe to use on honey bees as each and every time I have, the hive just stops nearly all activity other than cleaning out the dead bees and larva. No foraging or anything like that, the queens stop laying, and in more than a few cases die. I treated about 50 hives this season with these disastrous results and similar results last season but only a few hives. Fortunately I did not treat all of my hives with MAQS and the next day when I checked on the treated hives and observed the disaster that ensued, I immediately stopped and went back to OAV. I decided to give MAQS another try this season because I treated with MAQS at about 78 degrees last season thinking perhaps I treated them when it was too warm. By the way ALL of the hives that I treated with OAV are doing fantastic. I will NEVER use MAQS, Formic Pro, or any formic acid product again.........ever. The primary reason I used MAQS both times was that I commitments that did not allow me the time to do thermal or repeated OAV treatements.

    I will continue on with OAV and thermal treatment.

    My suspicion is that the MAQS are not being properly stored at or below 77 degrees as per NOD instructions in some cases by the retailer or perhaps the user. Storing MAQS in elevated temperatures I believe accelerates the formic acid's degradation of the paper wrappers around the MAQS and destroys the wrapper's ability to properly regulate the release of the formic acid vapor. This I believe to be the case whether or not the MAQS container has expired or not. (On edit) This may account for the wide variance in the experiences for MAQS users.

    Again, I STRONGLY recommend NOT to use MAQS, Formic Pro, or any other formic acid product as there is no way to tell if they have been properly stored or not and retailers are selling them only a few weeks from the package expiration date without warning the customer about using expried MAQS. There are a more than enough Varroa Mite treatment products out there that are not nearly as harmful or destructive to your bees as well as risking the crap shoot of whether you may have purchased and improperly stored container of MAQS or use them close to or slightly after the expiration date. Would you buy personal medications or food for yourself or your family with a track record of problems like MAQS???

    Repeat after me.......JUST SAY NO!
    Last edited by Live Oak; 10-29-2019 at 07:14 PM. Reason: clean up some errors and after thoughts

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,242

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    been using formic since mite away II, never had a problem, you make the call.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    That is really odd as I have just treated all mine with no issues. No major losses, no lost queens. I do not understand everyone talking about top ventilation. I can find no where in the Formic Pro instructions where it calls for or extra ventilation. I have slotted inner covers and that is it.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,592

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Take everyone's reported results with a grain of salt, including mine.
    I've been using OAV exclusively for several years, but last year due to time constraints with family and work challenges I did not have time to do a series of OAV for the fall treatments, and used Formic Pro instead. It worked wonderfully with no detectable brood or bee damage, and the hives came out this past spring in excellent shape. I treated with it again this fall and I'm really pleased with the results.

    I was very hesitant to use the product due to reports of queen failure and extensive brood damage, but those fears turned out to be a non factor, at least for me. Not sure what is happening with those who are experiencing negative results, but it seems to work well for me when following the product application instructions closely.
    To everything there is a season....

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Live Oak - just wondering if you've tried Apiguard and if so, what is your experience with it?
    Beekeeping 6 Years - 12 production hives and about 12 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Quote Originally Posted by e-spice View Post
    Live Oak - just wondering if you've tried Apiguard and if so, what is your experience with it?
    I don't have any experience using it.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    Another take on the situation here.... Up the road from me, a buddy had mite counts at 0/300 in July. He decided to do MAQS anyways in Sept, then again in mid Oct. Before the Oct treatment, his mite counts were low. Well, post Oct treatment, his mite DROP on the bottom board is sky high. This was a hive that was clean through summer, mind you.

    It was not likely a failure of MAQS - not likely those mites were even born in that hive. I know that there is a "beekeeper" up the road with 2 hives he does not do anything with, except watch. I think those hives are crashing. My apiary is in flight distance of those unmanaged 2 hives, and my buddy's hives. I have mite DROPS on the bottom board ranging from 40 to 2000, on 14 full strength hives. I did not treat at all this summer, as my mite counts in June and July were 0/300.

    So I am reading from my alcohol wash results (low through summer) and my mite drops post treatment (ranging from very low to very high) that SOME of my hives went robbing from my neighbor's unmanaged hives. And I am reading that ALL of my buddy's hives went robbing. And that is yielding a crazy high number of mites flowing off these unmanaged hives - like 10000 apiece.

    I will be checking on a fly day in Dec - are that neighbor's unmanaged hives flying? Betcha they won't be... of course, a feral hive could be the source of mites too.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: MAQS failure

    I think you experienced a product failure, caused by poor storage conditions. I have seen multiple complaints in other groups from maqs ordered on sale that was near the expiration date. I feel that the retailers are not storing them properly. Lord knows that they are exposed to extreme heat when shipped in august as well. Then it sounds like the storage you provided was no better.

    The medium containing the acid begins to break down in the heat, releasing the acid. Effects can vary from releasing too much initially upon application (which I attribute queen and brood losses to) to having gassed off enough formic prior to application to do a less than adequate job killing mites (your outcome here).
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

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