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Discussion Starter #1
I have used Apivar on a few hives with high mite counts this spring with good results and no noticeable knockdown. With that in mind I treated all of my hives on 9/5 and I'm seeing high brood loss and queen loss in about 1/2 of my hives. Even the hives that look good only have a couple frames of brood. They chewed down ALL the comb and brood on both sides wherever the strips were and the queens just seem to stop laying if I can find them at all. It has been 25 days and I found hatched queen cells and a few virgins in some of the hives. I also only saw two drones so I'm not sure how well the virgins will do?

Did I get a HOT batch?

The pictures below are from a commercial beekeepers yard and they show HUGE kills with their home made amitraz strips.
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Did you use Apivar or homemade amitraz strips? I have never heard or read of an Apivar experience that is anything close to what you are describing. Formic and Thymol products can evoke significant rebellion within a colony. But Apivar?
 

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Apivar is my go to so I might be able to shed some light on this. Apivar does not have high knock down to begin with, it only kills mites outside of the cappings on the adult bees. The apivar strips slowly release the miticide over about 2 months so ever generation of mites that emerge with the bees gets hit and dies. Eventually, there are no more mites to get under the cappings, but that takes at least 1 month to get there.

Comb being chewed down and brood death right next to the strip is common, but it should not be enough to affect the brood at large. I have never had any problems with queen loss or major brood loss. You do have to be careful when installing the strips since you can crush the queen with the strips. You also have to make sure that you are putting the right amount of strips per population of bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did you use Apivar or homemade amitraz strips? I have never heard or read of an Apivar experience that is anything close to what you are describing. Formic and Thymol products can evoke significant rebellion within a colony. But Apivar?
Mine are store bought Apivar strips.
 

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I have not seen queen loss or chewing up comb that with apivar strips. I have seen queens slow down or stop sometimes, but I have not lost any queens.

How many strips did you put in each hive? How big were the hives?

Any chance there was some other factor that was harming the hives? (robbing, getting into chemicals, ect)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have not seen queen loss or chewing up comb that with apivar strips. I have seen queens slow down or stop sometimes, but I have not lost any queens.

How many strips did you put in each hive? How big were the hives?

Any chance there was some other factor that was harming the hives? (robbing, getting into chemicals, ect)
Strong two and three deep supers on 8 frame hives 2 - 3 strips each depending on brood. Each hive started with 7- 10 frames of brood. The best hives now have 2 - 3. Chewing up comb is in every hive. They have chewed the comb back to the foundation around every strip. I assume they just tossed the brood from those areas?

Robbing from commercial bees is a possibility but the hives are at my home and I check them 2-3 times a day. If they are getting robbed it's subtle. There always seems to be bees looking for a way in but I have them blocked down to about 1 1/2 inch openings. I have thought that constance pressure could be a factor???
 

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IF you don't hang the apivar, (I don't) the top box forces it into the comb and crushes the spot where the strip lands, I doubt the bees chew it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IF you don't hang the apivar, (I don't) the top box forces it into the comb and crushes the spot where the strip lands, I doubt the bees chew it down.
They need to be able to walk on it to spread the amitraz or they won't work.
 

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I hang it by the hanger that's on the strip, it sticks up an inch, the top box puts force on that 1 inch, and bends it into the side of the comb.
 

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I hang it by the hanger that's on the strip, it sticks up an inch, the top box puts force on that 1 inch, and bends it into the side of the comb.
I use a wooden toothpick, sticks up about 1/4" and there is no torque applied shifting the strip out of center.

OP, sure you have plenty of stores? could be feed/flow related and little to do with the strips.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I use a wooden toothpick, sticks up about 1/4" and there is no torque applied shifting the strip out of center.

OP, sure you have plenty of stores? could be feed/flow related and little to do with the strips.
Thanks for the reply. I also use toothpicks, and my hives are lead heavy with honey. if anything they are a little honey bound but I have been rotating in empty frames. I'm also feeding pollen patties, and hit them with a little sugar syrup just to see if I could stimulate a little laying with no luck.
 

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I have been having drone brood taken out by the bees the last couple of days, looks like carnage until you go thru and see what they are pulling. I also have top boxes pretty full of stores with maybe 2 out of 8 frames open for brood, so pretty tight. My bottom boxs have more open frames as well
 

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Are you sure you don't have some sort of brood disease that coincided with the installation of the strips?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Are you sure you don't have some sort of brood disease that coincided with the installation of the strips?
I guess you never know 100% about that? I did see a little bald brood. Cause or effect?
 

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Just checked 10 of my hives after treatment with Apivar. About 6 were what I would refer to as dead with limited number of bees. No apparent disaease. I konw others have had great success with this product but I wil not use it again. I did better with no treatment. The hives treated with Hopguard all survived and are very strong. I used 2 strip of Apivar per brood chamber and followed the direcions.
 

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Plannerwgp - just curious, but did you use Hopguard 3? What was your count going into treatment and what was it at the end with Hopguard?
 

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Plannerwgp - just curious, but did you use Hopguard 3? What was your count going into treatment and what was it at the end with Hopguard?
My count before was about 10. I have not checked as of today. I only used one application and it is suggested that additional applications are needed.I will let you know when I take the next count. APIVAR is a strong chemical and it has to be used with care. I have been beekeeping for 10 years and the Apivar is not for me. Yes it was Hopguard #3.
 

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Spadeapiaries... curious where you live and what the temperatures were during your Apivar treatment? I just finished an Apivar treatment per package directions and my colony is close to dead. Not sure if there is a queen currently or not but only scattered capped brood. During the 45 days I had several days in excess of 100F. Before the treatment it was a booming double deep colony but high mite count. When I removed the strips I consolidated the hive down to a single deep with a medium super on top with honey and pollen stores.

Now I said I followed the Apivar instructions, which I did. However, I was getting massive mite drops so I started a concurrent OAV treatment (pan type). So now I don't know if the colony bee numbers dropped drastically due to the Apivar treatment; Apivar with high temps; Apivar with OAV concurrently; or such a massive mite population that the die down was wholly due to mites.

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Only scattered capped brood is what I'm seeing a lot of. It never hit 100 here but high 90's for a while. My bee numbers are still high (for now) It's the brood that is missing.
 
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