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I treated my hive with formic pro yesterday afternoon. Last evening I got a text message from my neighbor, he had alot of my bees on his back porch and driveway. Some were fine, some were dying. It was also dark out, the bees should not even have been out. Is this a problem with formic pro, does it cause bees to leave the hive? They have never done this before and I don't think he likes them all over his backyard.
 

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How strong was the hive? Was it possibly weak and the FormicPro caused stress and they absconded? Was it over 85F?
 

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Strong hive, 2 deeps. It was not over 85, it was probably mid-70's or so. I'm thinking they abandoned because it was too strong and they will return in a few days once it dissipates a bit? I've used it in the past with no issues.
 

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I have heard very little good about formic pro. I hear it is hard on queens and thee fall is the last time you want to stress a queen! Oxalic vaporization is very benign. That and apiguard used on a strong hive is also safe. Formic acid and hopguard seem to get a lot of bad press I suspect for a reason. Too bad apivar/amitraz was used and abused til many populations of mites have learned to tolerate it.
 

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I used Formic Pro at the end of August after seeing a few bees with DFW. I did not treat the hive since I pulled the Apivar strips when the main spring flow started at the end of April and by August was loaded with honey. If you follow the directions from the manufacturer you should not have any unexpected issues. 1. Temperature. 2. Add a super to allow for cluster expansion. 3. Expect dead bees-some one on this forum said 300 dead bees could be expected. 300 look like a lot but remember, a strong double deep 10 frame at this time of the year has 40,000 bees-daily losses should be 1200 bees a day-300 is nothing. The bees that are dying are probably varroa hosts and were already weak. You will see larvae being brought out over the first week or so-again, infected bees (larvae). Formic Pro is a shock to the system, the queen will probably stop laying for a period. Of my two hives, I think one queen shut down, one went crazy and the hive was booming within two days. Within two week, when I pulled the remaining pads, the one that slowed down had 4 frames of new brood and both hive now are fully recovered. working our very strong fall flow hard. I'm expecting another 75-100 pounds of honey out of the supers and the deeps are freakin' heavy.
Follow the directions and have some patience, do not open the hive for a minimum of 7 day (per instructions) it's hard sometimes not knowing what you can't see. Keep in mind that had you not done it, they'd all be gone by Christmas. I will be following up shortly with my fall 4 x 5 OAV treatment and a final shot after Thanksgiving.
 

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Last fall I decimated my beautiful colonies with that junk...I will never use something so strong in my colonies again.
 

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Me too, I don’t think I will use it again. I followed directions to the “T”. Took a while for the hives to get back to normal; supersedure cells, queens stopped laying, etc.
 

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I had 2 conversations with NOD, I wanted to be certain all would be okay. But it wasn't.
Beards of bees hanging everywhere, off the fronts of the hives, sides, backs of the hives, underneath. Some colonies disappeared altogether. It killed all the grass in front of the hives. A real mess. I had 110 pristine colonies full of fat glistening white larva and all the other marvels of healthy colonies.
On day 3 I couldn't take it anymore and took all the pads out. A week ish later I went through all the colonies, 30 were gone another 30 were super weak, all the colonies had loads of larva and brood dead in the combs and bottom boards with a thick layer of dead bees. I cleaned off all the bottom boards and fixed things up the best I could. The apiary smelled like rotting meat for 2 weeks.
I don't think anybody needs a mitetreatment this strong, there are many good treatments out there.
 

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Formic pro can only kill bees if it reaches high concentrations in the beehive. The concentration of formic acid that is lethal to mites is low
 

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stick with the one pad every 10 days, use it in the middle of the summer just to nock the mites back, then treat when you pull your honey supers, never had a problem yet.
 

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Singles vs doubles, number of brood frames, strength of colonies, 1 or 2 pads, temperature, all these things make significant differences. I think the line between a good experience and a bad one is mighty thin with formic pro. I did have a couple monster doubles that took the treatment better than the singles. But they still clustered outside the hive for days, their stress was painfully evident, still killed all the grass out front. There are way better treatments out there.
 

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Take this with a grain of salt as I am a first year Beek. I am also a Civil Engineer, with post graduate degrees and am used to doing research on thing I don't have a level on knowledge on and/or uncomfortable with. I am also fortunate enough to be married to a Chemical Engineer with professional registration (PE) who has 30 plus years with the EPA. All of that said and a buck may buy you a cup of coffee.
My use of Formic Pro was based upon a need-my hive, (two strong double deeps) after a clean alcohol wash two weeks prior, started to show DFW on a few bees coming out of one of my two hives. These two hives, had already produced almost a hundred pound of honey by mid August after starting as nuc's at the end of March (3-27). We had exceptional flows this year in NJ, never had a dearth and at one time I had 4 supers on one hive, 5 on the other. When I harvested, first time, I left two supers on each hive as they had not been fully capped. With that situation, I looked at my options. I had a pack of Apivar strips from early spring stored and a Varrox wand and a pound bag of OA-neither are recommended with supers in place. After a lot of reading and discussion, (both myself, daughter and my wife), questions posted here and discussions with pro Beeks, the decision was made to go with the Formic Pro. We printed off the instructions and MSD sheets from Formic Pro and followed the instructions-4 weeks later, the hives are back 100%, 100 pound (each) brood boxes and now 7 supers filling on a strong fall flow. It works.
Yes, there were some pretty shocking losses initially, yes, i think one queen (in the impacted hive) stopped laying for a week or so and yes, dead larvae came out of the hive for a week or so. None of this should be a surprise to any user that read and followed the directions. You are treating for a reason, you have sick bees and impacted bees will die regardless-what are your other options? If you don't do it or another treatment, you might as well pick up a new hobby because you hive will be dead shortly. In my case I could have pulled my supers and started an OAV regiment but all the signs at that time showed a strong flow starting. It's funny too, I personally don't care for honey (heathen!!!) and on my end, am more interested in expanding my comb stores for a hopeful expansion of my apiary next spring. The hives are now 2 deeps each with 7 supers filling between them with plenty of new brood, frames from top to bottom covered in bees, banging the aster and goldenrod at least a month from freeze. Harvest and OAV starting shortly to protect the winter bees.
Bottom line, Formic Pro worked as it should, read the instructions (including adding supers for the initial cluster expansion) and expect the obvious.
 

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I had 2 conversations with NOD, I wanted to be certain all would be okay. But it wasn't.
Beards of bees hanging everywhere, off the fronts of the hives, sides, backs of the hives, underneath. Some colonies disappeared altogether. It killed all the grass in front of the hives. A real mess. I had 110 pristine colonies full of fat glistening white larva and all the other marvels of healthy colonies.
On day 3 I couldn't take it anymore and took all the pads out. A week ish later I went through all the colonies, 30 were gone another 30 were super weak, all the colonies had loads of larva and brood dead in the combs and bottom boards with a thick layer of dead bees. I cleaned off all the bottom boards and fixed things up the best I could. The apiary smelled like rotting meat for 2 weeks.
I don't think anybody needs a mitetreatment this strong, there are many good treatments out there.
I didn’t have that experience with it, how unfortunate for you, very upsetting. I wonder why there are some many extreme experiences with this stuff especially when following label instructions.
 

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stick with the one pad every 10 days, use it in the middle of the summer just to nock the mites back, then treat when you pull your honey supers, never had a problem yet.
Agree Mike, I did this with the newer colonies and had no problem at all.
 

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I didn’t have that experience with it, how unfortunate for you, very upsetting. I wonder why there are some many extreme experiences with this stuff especially when following label instructions.
I think it is a fine line between good experience and a bad one.
 

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I didn’t have that experience with it, how unfortunate for you, very upsetting. I wonder why there are some many extreme experiences with this stuff especially when following label instructions.
I wonder also.For those who had problems,I would like to hear more info.
Formic Pro or MAQS?
1 pad or 2?
What was the expiration date on the package?
Once you opened the sealed packet,did you remove the paper wrap?
What were the temps?
Did you have a full 3/4 X 14 3/4 entrance?
Did you have an upper entrance?
Was your brood nest 2 deeps or 3 meds?
Did you add a super to provide extra space?
Were you feeding at the time?
How many frames of bees did you start with?

Have to ask this one. Does everyone realize that there are 2 pads in each sealed packet?There was an incident near me where someone did not notice this and actually double dosed their hives and drove out all the bees.
 

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I run 8 frame hives. The 2 pad treatment for 14 days would likely wipe them out. I do 1 pad for 10 days, then the 2nd. These pads are designed for 10 frame hives, they're strong for 8 framers like me but I've never seen OAV knock the mites down like formic pro. To be fair, I HATE seeing what it does to my bees and I had to reunite 1 queen with her hive as she was in a small ball of bees under the entrance 2 days after the 2nd pad went on. I think she got caught below the pad in the lower box. FP tends to drift down. I put her in the top box and so far so good. After treatment I put top feeders on and fed each hive a gallon of syrup, 2:1. That perked them right up and I've had 3 large orientation flights since so I'm hoping the queens have started laying a bunch for winter. All in all though, Formic Pro is a tough treatment. I don't like that there does seem to be a fine line between success and/or absconding.
 

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I wonder also.For those who had problems,I would like to hear more info.
Formic Pro or MAQS?
1 pad or 2?
What was the expiration date on the package?
Once you opened the sealed packet,did you remove the paper wrap?
What were the temps?
Did you have a full 3/4 X 14 3/4 entrance?
Did you have an upper entrance?
Was your brood nest 2 deeps or 3 meds?
Did you add a super to provide extra space?
Were you feeding at the time?
How many frames of bees did you start with?

Have to ask this one. Does everyone realize that there are 2 pads in each sealed packet?There was an incident near me where someone did not notice this and actually double dosed their hives and drove out all the bees.
All good questions; maybe NOD coukd do a survey using these questions for a better grasp on negative experiences. And I saw on the FB NYS Beekeepers the girl who did that.
 

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I re-read the entire NOD websites information on Formic. Add another question-did you rip the inside paper covering. This could trigger a formic flash, that could elevate the concentration of the vapors to an unsafe level.
 

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I re-read the entire NOD websites information on Formic. Add another question-did you rip the inside paper covering. This could trigger a formic flash, that could elevate the concentration of the vapors to an unsafe level.
You know, I think I did on a few...
 
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