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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The instructions for Apivar advise that supers be removed before using. My question is very basic. When harvesting honey I usually have supers that are partially filled or partially capped I would leave them to harvest later or for the winter. What do you do with these supers before using Apivar? I can not possibly freeze them as there will be to many.
 

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I place two Apivar strips in them. I also put a dot of paint on the top bars of all frames that is the same as the queen color for that year (i.e. this year green). Then i know not to harvest the painted frames from the previous year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry I wasn'r very clear. I normally have a supers tha that have frames that are not ready to be harvested because they are only partially capped. If I wasn't using Apivar I woul let them sit on the hive for a longer period of time withthe hope they would fill or just leave them for the winter. However I must remove them before applying Apivar. What do I do with the removed supers and frames that are not filled as I must remove them before applying Apivar?
 

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Put them on a colony that isn't being currently treated?
If it isn't much left uncapped and will be mixed with a fair amount of capped honey then just pull them and the thin honey will be mixed with thick and equalize.
Leave the frames that are uncapped in the yard and let them get robbed out.

Or, treat with Oxalic or Formic, then you just pull the supers for a day and put them back on after the treatment.
 

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What do I do with the removed supers and frames that are not filled as I must remove them before applying Apivar?

If you can't freeze them, you don't have any good options.

I danced this dance every year. At first, I would consolidate frames into as few supers on as few hives as I could in hopes that they would cap it off. But then I wasn't getting to pull off and extract until September and my mite loads would crash those hives. Basically, I was sacrificing hives for honey. Bad trade.

Then I started pulling frames off to freeze them, and put them back on as feed early the next spring. But I quickly ran out of freezer space. Which sounds like this is where you are now. Frames of uncapped or partially capped honey and no place to put them.

My solution over the past few years is to consolidate all of those frames into as few supers as possible and "sacrifice" them. I go ahead and put two Apivar strips in each consolidated super I have and treat the hives (I treat 2 strips per hive body when there is a good population). I mark the frames by the queen marking color for that year which tells me I have contaminated that frame and to cycle it down into brood frames from then on. In the early spring, before the flow, I distribute these frames as supplemental feed to all of my hives to help prevent starvation before the flow starts. Later, when I do splits, I look for the marked frames to make up the brood frames of my new colonies.

In other words, I don't know of a way to save your existing, partially filled honey frames to be used as honey frames for next year, unless you want to keep buying freezers. I have found, for me, that the answer is to convert those frames to next year's brood frames and go ahead and stick Apivar strips on them now.
 

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I am in a similar situation. I had a super full of uncapped honey and decided to leave it on the hive and treat with apivar. I will not harvest this honey for consumption in the next year.

I'm wondering though, are these frames permanently contaminated or does the amitrasz dissipate after a year, 2 years? Is it ever acceptable to extract honey from these frames again?
 

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I'm wondering though, are these frames permanently contaminated or does the amitrasz dissipate after a year, 2 years? Is it ever acceptable to extract honey from these frames again?
This does not directly answer your question, but should give you some insight into residues in wax and honey:

14. Is Apivar submitted to residues trials?
The French laboratory of ANSES in Sofia Antipolis, is the reference lab for the European Union for honey bee health. It has conducted a residue trial in 2007 whose results are consistent to previous ones:

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No residue of Amitraz was detected in honey after 10 weeks of treatment, regardless of the date of sampling. This is due to the instability of the active ingredient in an acid environment. Other studies have also proved that the amitraz is fully degraded after 10 days in honey.

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No residue of amitraz in wax after 24h after the removal of the strips.
This publication also studied residues of coumaphos in honey and wax with less satisfactory results.

Other studies concluded that quantities of residues of amitraz or its main metabolites in honey are always under the MRL.


16. Is there any risk of accumulation of residues due to the duration of the treatment?
Apivar is the result of a unique technology allowing the continuous liberation of a little dose of the amitraz for a long duration. To cover many varroa mite life cycles, it is important to leave the strips unmoved for several weeks. This long-acting treatment does not lead to an accumulation of residues. Amitraz is very sensitive to hydrolysis which means that it is very quickly destroyed after liberation. Many studies have shown that there is no more residue after 24h in wax and honey.
Amitraz is destroyed as the treatment goes along.

Nevertheless, it is important to remove the strips at the end of the treatment to avoid the continuous liberation of amitraz at very low dosage, too weak to be effective but probably high enough to select resistances. Forgetting the strips in the beehive for all of the wintering period could probably be responsible for the hypothetic emergence of resistance.
 

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At the end of honey harvesting season, I shake partially capped frames vigorously to remove thin nectar before extracting. I assume the nectar that stays is thick enough to be harvested and so far I have not had fermented honey. If bees do not have enough food in the brood boxes (I usually overwinter in 2 deeps) I would begin feeding (you can feed while using apivar).

If I want to harvest fall honey, I treat with formic acid (such as MAQS) with honey supers on.
 

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So you can use a frame subjected to Apivar the next year as a honey super, as long as the honey is removed?
I personally think it is safe (especially after reading post#7 by psm1212), but I could not find any regulations/recommendations that directly addresses your question. The closest I found is this instruction (https://www.mannlakeltd.com/media/wysiwyg/pdfs/Apivar_brochure_USA.pdf), written on page 6, ‘Remove Apivar strips 2 weeks before placing honey supers’. So I guess next year is good enough for frames subjected to Apivar.
 

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So you can use a frame subjected to Apivar the next year as a honey super, as long as the honey is removed?
I don't. Those are the first frames I use in splits the next year, so they are converted to brood frames. However, the Apivar FAQS information on residues would seem to suggest that you could use treated frames in subsequent seasons.
 

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... and that's exactly why I went from a deep brood box, to a deep and a medium. All my honey boxes are mediums and I could never get them all pulled before I planned to treat. So I gave them (1) medium as an additional brood box and pulled all the rest of the mediums. I could always get consolidated down to (1) medium, just could never manage to get them all off and I have to many colonies to manage other wise.
 

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I don't start my Apivar treatments until the Autumnal equinox. The strips can go in on the equinox and come out the week after Halloween. Its a good reason to have two weapons in your arsenal, one you can use with supers and then a nuclear weapon like Apivar.

Of course it goes without saying that if you need to treat a hive now then treat it now. In that case move the supers to hives that have low counts that you can delay treating. Frames that have been in a hive with Apivar are not lost forever as honey frames. Apivar does not leave residue in the wax. Let the bees have them for winter food and then you can return them to your supers inventory next year.

Apivar only needs to be put in the brood boxes. Bees track some of the chemical up, but you don't need to put strips in broodless supers. That just increases expense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think what I may do is take all supers off. Process only capped supers and when that process is completed separately process the uncapped supers and if necessary place those 5 gallon buckets in a small room and dehumidify. After I remove all supers I will treat with Apivar and feed at the same time with 2/1 sugar syrup. At least that is what I think I will do. Does that seem reasonable?
 

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I think what I may do is take all supers off. Process only capped supers and when that process is completed separately process the uncapped supers and if necessary place those 5 gallon buckets in a small room and dehumidify. After I remove all supers I will treat with Apivar and feed at the same time with 2/1 sugar syrup. At least that is what I think I will do. Does that seem reasonable?
Yes, I usually process capped and partially capped frames in the same batch (after shaking thin nectar off from the latter), but your method is safer.
 

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I have spun out the frames with large uncapped areas without uncapping them. That takes out the honey and nectar that is uncapped. Put that questionable honey aside, then uncap the frame and re spin it; the balance will be good. A pain for sure but is what I did once to be on the safe side. It turned out after later testing that the uncapped areas by themselves would have sneaked by the acceptable level. Better to be safe than have it in customers hands and start fermenting!
 

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Get a refractometer and test your uncapped honey frames.
You may find that the moisture content is low enough to extract.Or you may find that the majority of your honey is 16.5% in which case a few frames at 19% when mixed in wont matter.
At any rate,if you do use a dehumidifier to try and lower moisture, do it while the honey is in the frame. A much larger surface area.
Honey in a pail will only lose moisture from the top surface
 
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