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Got a question about Hop Guard. I have about a month before the Black Berry flow starts. I wanted to knock the mites down before the flow started. I was thinking about putting one application on, and was wondering if I should be concerned about any side effects.

Any thoughts

Thanks

Jay T
 

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Supposedly it is all natural and not a problem to use during the flow. However, i've not used it.
 

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I used it last fall on some hives and consider it slightly more effective than powdered sugar dusting. It isn't obviously presented as such but you really need to use it once a week for 3 weeks.

It dries up in 2-3 days, my strong hives chew it up and spit it out as soon as it's dry. It's some messy stuff and there is some concern you could slime a queen when you put it into the brood nest. A couple of my hives got pretty angry over it.
 

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My bees got mad at the stuff and it didn't work much or do anything at all to kill mites as far as I could tell.
 

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In my experience it's not effective, even when used 1x a week for 3 weeks. The bees seemed to hate the stuff, chewing out any comb the strips touched, and were reluctant to redraw any comb in those areas. It appeared to stress the hives more than help them, and I ended up needing to use a formic acid product to treat the hives afterwards.

Some people report much better results and I wonder how much this product is temperature dependent. When I used it the highs were in the mid 90s, and the lows in the mid 60s.
 

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I also found it ineffective. In addition, some of my colonies went absolutely ballistic when I put the strips in. How about a single pad of MAQS for a quick knockdown?
 

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Thanks guys that's useful to know it doesn't work.
 

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I put hop guard strips on 1,000 nucs after the queens had mated and were laying and were right at the ideal 3 week brood break. The average size at the time of treatment was around 4 combs of bees. Daily highs at the time of treatment were in the 70's lows around 50. Initial results seemed pretty good, no ill effects and a fair mite knockdown. I'm reserving judgement on the effectiveness until I see a comparison with our other hives.
 

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Has anyone tried to lay the strips across the topbars of the frames, kind of like you would do with maqs? If it would be effective I can see some advantages over sliding in between the frames. I am planning on using hopguard this summer, I really want it to work. Funny how some things seem to work in one area and not at all in others.
 

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Has anyone tried to lay the strips across the topbars of the frames, kind of like you would do with maqs? If it would be effective I can see some advantages over sliding in between the frames. I am planning on using hopguard this summer, I really want it to work. Funny how some things seem to work in one area and not at all in others.
I don't doubt it's been tried but the manufacturers are pretty clear that best results are obtained by hanging them down.
I have heard enough reports to satisfy myself that hop guard isn't a very reliable product if your expectations are varroa control in a populous hive midsummer, particular if there are supers on it. My hope is that it will be effective in a single hive early in the year in conjunction with a brood break.....we'll see. In the meantime the introduction of Hopguard II continues to be delayed. Last I heard was it would be available midsummer LAST year. Hmmmm.
 

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I like hopguard for use on nucs, swarms, and weak colonies. I have found that it gives a good kill on exposed mites, it's main problem is the strips dry out by the 3rd day. If I were doing a single treatment on strong field colonies I would use another product, such as the thymol or formic acid treatments. For hobby beekeepers with only 1 or 2 colonies it is not all that bad a product. I don't mind spending .75 or .80 cents on a colony to knock back the mite population and slow their growth for a month or two.

It is like a lot of other items used by beekeepers, one man's meat is another man's poison.
 
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