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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unfortunately the latest generation of bees brought varroa with. I found one nuc(6 frames of bees) a spectacular 20% infestation. It was the first sample of the day. I sampled the one nearby(facing different direction and 2 m away and found 0%. I made another 4 or 5 hives and most of all had about 3 mites.
My guess is that the one with 20% had done some robbing somewhere :D. It has heavy frames. The bees are looking good though and are very active gathering pollen and nectar, no signs of DWV.

Maybe some of you can share some experiences with formic acid treatment on nucs.

I know it's a bit risky as there are not enough bees to ventilate but in this case I had no choice and I applied 10 ml of acid(60%) + some drops of lemongrass oil on a paper towel placed upon the frames.

Thanks
 

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Maybe some of you can share some experiences with formic acid treatment on nucs.
I know it's a bit risky as there are not enough bees to ventilate but in this case I had no choice and I applied 10 ml of acid(60%) + some drops of lemongrass oil on a paper towel placed upon the frames.Thanks
My friends here do it on nucs. Same way- but not sure on the ML dosage. I assume you mean 5 frames? In general when using this home made solution, do you take the paper towel out within 24 hours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It doesn't matter if you take it out or not since it evaporates within 5-6 hours. The dosage is 2 ml/frame of bees. Just that on scientificbeekeeping.com Randy says that it's hard on weaker colonies.
Anyway I applied one treatment in this case... will see the results during the next days... and make a decision whether to apply on the rest or not.

My conclusion so far:

1. If you do proper treatments in late summer and autumn... no need for spring ones, and no need to test
2. If no treatment schema - need much more hives and no need to test either(I'm considering this but I need to further expand next year in order to afford the losses)

So tests are somehow a pain in the ass as you can have a heavily infested colony nearby a 0 infected colony and so on. You cannot do tests on all of them. You just treat and that's it.

So I'm thinking on adopting this schema:

1st August - flash FA (2 or 3 sessions)
September or October (depending on broodless) - 1 OA dribble

That's it. And no more testing=waste of time.

Am I missing something?
 

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My conclusion so far:
1. If you do proper treatments in late summer and autumn... no need for spring ones, and no need to test
2. If no treatment schema - need much more hives and no need to test either(I'm considering this but I need to further expand next year in order to afford the losses)
So tests are somehow a pain in the ass as you can have a heavily infested colony nearby a 0 infected colony and so on. You cannot do tests on all of them. You just treat and that's it.
So I'm thinking on adopting this schema:
1st August - flash FA (2 or 3 sessions)
September or October (depending on broodless) - 1 OA dribble

That's it. And no more testing=waste of time.
Am I missing something?
Here that would be too early for OA- more like Nov/Dec and this year I did see a marked decrease of mites come Spring. But i would not know that without testing. I am a big fan of testing a few in each yard to get a baseline. Otherwise how do you know what your load is, on average, or how effective any treatment is? I think testing can be selective on a sample.
 

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I had one nuc out of six that would not get going. I picked them up right from the yard and they were housed in side by side split 10 frame boxes. This one nuc could not be coaxed to fill a ten frame box till I tested and found high mites only on the one box. I used three rounds of hopguard and they managed to fill two deeps and wintered well and produced well next summer. Why one out of a bunch of sister hives. They may even have been grafted from the same queen? So much for the rule of thumb that nucs need no treatment!
 

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So much for the rule of thumb that nucs need no treatment!
my experience that the nucs need treatment if they are made from hives with a high varroa count. I treat them all anyway because I've come to the conclusion that the virus issues are more deadly than the mites and controlling varroa seems to stop the virus problems in my hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here that would be too early for OA- more like Nov/Dec and this year I did see a marked decrease of mites come Spring. But i would not know that without testing. I am a big fan of testing a few in each yard to get a baseline. Otherwise how do you know what your load is, on average, or how effective any treatment is?
Yes testing to find out the efficiency of a treatment especially if you try a custom one.

Why one out of a bunch of sister hives.
...payback to the act of robbery maybe :)

Thanks. I know handling of FA is illegal as treatment in your country that's why probably no one has an answer on my question but anyway I can find that out myself by treating one or two nucs first.
 

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Not that I would use such an illegal substance as formic acid but if I would it would be based on research like this
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/varroa06.htm
most of the FA was running kind of ‘hot’ which I had some forum help to help me get it down to 50% and reading my hydrometer from the forum here last year.
At the levels you are discussing these papers put it at 85 ml of 50% FA plus 15 ml of HBH for a double deep. You are discussing 60% at 2 ml per seam or about 16 ml of 60% for a double deep.
I did note that when a ‘friend’ did this 85 ml with the 60% that all the bees slept outside for the night and the hive still had a very high mite count for the spring but the 50% they did not beard as bad and had a decent mite count in the spring.
I guess I am also looking for an answer for your question but changing the variables based on the % of FA. (maybe for a friend that has about 8 singles with about 5 seams of bees).
 

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New guidelines for formic acid where I live are 200ml of 60% formic for double deep and 140ml for a single, we use a dispenser that works slowly, 4 to 5 days for that amount of acid and causes no problems with queens. You can see it in use here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmhN8TtD5GA.
For Nucs we spray a mild solution of OA or lactic acid directly onto the combs and bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm doing flash treatments according to these rules:

http://www.agroscope.admin.ch/imkerei/00316/00329/02079/index.html?lang=en
http://www.apinovar.com/articles/flash.en.html

I have done 2 sessions so far. At the end I will redo the mite test.

From what I noticed: the queen is fine and still laying. I'm sure that they could have handled a larger quantity but I prefer to stick to those rules and do 3 treatments. The swiss pdf reffers exactly to the same % as I have in my bottle(60%). :)

I find this treatment very simple as it doesn't require much extra gear. It's probably the simplest except the trickling of OA.
 

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Thanks to both of you! That is some of the best info I have seen on FA. I wonder why it is not available here? That dispenser is pretty slick.
 

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1st August - flash FA (2 or 3 sessions)
September or October (depending on broodless) - 1 OA dribble
We time our two FA treatments after the last honey harvest, july, then feed for winter and when thats finished the next FA treatment.

The general rule here for OA dribble treatment is on the day of the first frost, when the colony is in a tight cluster. Before it warms up the hive is opened and the OA dribbled, stores are checked and the hive is closed up as quickly as possible.
 

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Its a nice dispenser, it was developed to make it easier and safer to use FA. Before that it was common to use medicine bottles with a plastic dropper (like essential oils have) placed over a kitchen sponge.

I wonder why it is not available here? Possibly because of legal issues... maybe you have found a niche market you can exploit!
 

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I watched a Youtube video this past week in which someone used a feminine hygiene product to apply formic acid to their hive. The ingenuity of beekeepers never ceases to astound. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Its a nice dispenser, it was developed to make it easier and safer to use FA. Before that it was common to use medicine bottles with a plastic dropper (like essential oils have) placed over a kitchen sponge.

I wonder why it is not available here? Possibly because of legal issues... maybe you have found a niche market you can exploit!
Thanks for info.
I knew about these types of slow dispensers but I don't have extra boxes for the moment. I use migratory covers and can only slip a slim pad above the frames. I've made the 3rd round on the heavily infested colony and I will test today or tomorrow to see how it worked.
Keep in touch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After 3 rounds I sampled and still found 3% left infestation. A lot of brood just hatched. I also tested other hives and found that the overall percentage is about 2-3% so I decided to skip the late summer treatments and just go with AO dribble at the beginning of winter.

It would be so nice to go like this, or even TF for the rest of my days as a beekeeper.

I changed my mind about the practice of testing for mites. They do help. This hive was an exception in the yard.

About flash FA - I think space do matter concerning the quantity/seam of bees. If I have 5 frames in an empty deep the effect is not that powerful as in a 5 frame nuc.

Now my biggest concern are the bears that started to destroy hives in my area. I wake up several times per night when the dog barks.
 

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Cristian
Good info. I have not got out and checked my mite counts since my flash treatment. I looked you up and we are about the same weather. I am inland from the Pacific about 90 miles in a mountain valley. We are running really hot this year and today it is going to reach 100F. I have about 8 singles here at the house that are 8 frames and a feeder that I started from mating nucs. I need to do something with them this month (it may already be too late) I do not want to try to FA them. I just got in some OA and am planning a dribble. I tried to do a FA last fall and not treat in the spring and I am lucky I have anything left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't know when you were last treated them or mite load but if really necessary you can apply the pads late in the evening when it's under 77F. There will be nothing left by morning. You have all the info in the pdf file. Although I don't have much experience I think a single treatment per year at the right time can assure colony survival. The food and it's disposal are more important.
 
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