Formic pro treatment and bee die off
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  1. #1

    Default Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    I treated my two hives yesterday with formic pro. I opted for the two week treatment
    which calls for two strips. Both hives were in good shape with a great spring and summer
    so far. I followed directions and removed the entrance reducer for adequate fresh air.
    This morning I discovered that one of the hives has had a bit of a die-off. There's some bees in the grass in front of the hive, and I can see a handful more on the screened bottom. Bees are busy removing the dead. Am I correct in the understanding that the treatment does come with a small mortality rate for the adult bees and I shouldn't be too concerned? Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by adkroot View Post
    I treated my two hives yesterday with formic pro. I opted for the two week treatment
    which calls for two strips. Both hives were in good shape with a great spring and summer
    so far. I followed directions and removed the entrance reducer for adequate fresh air.
    This morning I discovered that one of the hives has had a bit of a die-off. There's some bees in the grass in front of the hive, and I can see a handful more on the screened bottom. Bees are busy removing the dead. Am I correct in the understanding that the treatment does come with a small mortality rate for the adult bees and I shouldn't be too concerned? Thanks
    what was the temp? yes some bees and brood die
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    what was the temp? yes some bees and brood die
    High of 77. I was told by a commercial beekeeper this morning that two strips can destroy the hive and onlt to ever use one. Seems hard to believe that the manufacturer would be recommending usage that could kill the hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland, USA
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    270

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Check to make sure the queen is still there. A bit of die off is normal, but the main concern with the single big dose of formic is that queen loss can occur quite frequently. I still use formic, but only if a hive is going to die without major mite intervention since I can't afford queen death. Everyone else gets softer chemicals.
    USDA Hardiness Zone 7A, Hobbyist, First Hives in 2017

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    1,025

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    i have used MAQS and now for the last 2-3 years formic pro on all of my production colonies at least once/year and i have personally never seen any significant bee or brood mortality nor have i lost any queens. I think its a great product for use when the supers are on.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by adkroot View Post
    High of 77. I was told by a commercial beekeeper this morning that two strips can destroy the hive and onlt to ever use one. Seems hard to believe that the manufacturer would be recommending usage that could kill the hive.
    I only ever do the one pad at a time, this year we have put them on in the high 80's with no problem, one of my friends dropped two pads on when it was in the low 90's, haven't seen him to see how his hives made out, but his mite count was so high, I'm not sure what the damages would be.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Southwest Michigan
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    62

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Also, don't panic if you notice the queen stop laying or slow down. I have seen this in some hives but not all.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    I have used Formic pro and experienced minor die-off in hot weather. There was some queen loss but they were queens that would have been toward the end of their average life span. The product gave good mite kill and the colonies affected brood bounced back rapidly.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  10. #9
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    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by jigsaw View Post
    Also, don't panic if you notice the queen stop laying or slow down. I have seen this in some hives but not all.
    now the 24 dollar question, is it the queen stops laying or the formic kills all the eggs that were laid, and the ones she is laying?
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Southwest Michigan
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    62

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    now the 24 dollar question, is it the queen stops laying or the formic kills all the eggs that were laid, and the ones she is laying?
    I would think if it kills eggs, it would kill eggs in all colonies. No?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
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    313

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    now the 24 dollar question, is it the queen stops laying or the formic kills all the eggs that were laid, and the ones she is laying?
    That's a good question. My experience is that the bees are seldom able to raise another queen given the queen failure after formic scenario. Maybe the question tells us why. In the past on this forum has been stated the idea of putting a queen cell in the supers in July. I'd do it after the formic treatment. Of course, one must have queen cells available to do this.

    I used to do the 2 pad treatment. More recentlty I have opted for the one pad 2 treatments method as by this time of year the brood numbers is reduced from the spring peak. This also gives me a second chance to see what is happening in the brood nest.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Windsor, Colorado, USA
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    27

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Formic is temperature sensitive but I notice a big difference in temperature outside and temperature inside the hive. It may be in the 90's outside here but inside the hive it will often get to 110 (I have put a wireless thermometer inside my hives so I know what temp it is in there). This may just be due to the fact that I'm at 5000 ft elevation and my hives are in the sun for a lot of the day. So this got me thinking, should I go by the outside temp to determine the right time to use formic pro or the inside temp. I'm starting to think going by inside temp may be a safer way to use formic. What do you think?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    The recommendations for use published by the product manufacturer are based on the temperature outside of the hive.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Windsor, Colorado, USA
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    27

    Default Re: Formic pro treatment and bee die off

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    The recommendations for use published by the product manufacturer are based on the temperature outside of the hive.
    Yeah, but are they at 5000 ft elevation? It makes a difference because the air is thinner and the sun is more intense. For that matter, is the hive in the sun or the shade? That would also make a big difference, around here anyway. Using the temperature inside the hive would eliminate a lot of variables and it is concerning how many people actually have problems with this treatment.

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