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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to see if anyone else out there has had any issues like I've just experience with applying Hopguard or Hopguard II. Also want to share this so that those thinking of its use will be careful. I would post pics of my collapsed hive, but I am not seeing an option to do so...maybe I don't have posting rights yet???

Background, I have several NUC/single deeps that I was going to try to over winter and was looking for a mite treatment that I could apply to a smaller hive. Thought Hopguard II might be a good, less harmful treatment method. Also, I applied the strips in both cases below as the directions said, one strip per full 5 frames of bees. Each hive that was killed was a single deep and two strips were applied separated by at least two frames. This is my 5th year keeping bees, I have 15 hives, and my hives have always been healthy (save for the winter die offs we all experience).

I first noticed an issue two weeks ago when I applied Hopguard II to a Hive at a friends house that we were noticing had deformed wing virus. To make a long story short, the hive collapsed within that two week period (don't know the exact timing since my friend did not check on them in that two week period). When I opened it up I immediately noticed a large number of bees on the top of the inner cover dead. Upon opening the hive, there were maybe two frames of bees left out of the ten the hive had prior. All around the Hopguard strips were dead bees. And covering the entire bottom board was the other hive bees dead. I was puzzled because my friend has 5 other hives and all was well with them. I thought that maybe something had happened causing the entrance to be plugged and they overheated killing them as that's all I could figure would wipe an entire hive out inside the hive at this time of year.

Now without a doubt, I know that it was a Hopguard II kill because I just applied it to a beautiful, thriving single deep hive not 24 hours ago, and it too has been wiped out in the exact way (wish I could post the pics of the carnage). Only this time I know that it was not an over heating issue since about a quarter of the hive was found bearding outside it in the AM and bees were still coming and going. The carnage inside the hive was complete though, just like the first.

Any suggestions on what I should do now...???...contact the manufacturer, etc?? I am at a loss...
 

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I'd start immediate emails starting with the lot number, might be some quality control issue that they need to know about. I know I talked to a commercial beek that tried it when it first came out and he said that it burned the grass in front of the hives and had queen losses.
 

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> I would post pics of my collapsed hive, but I am not seeing an option to do so..

The image upload button is the 3rd from the right in the "Quick Reply" window. The Icon looks like a rectangle with larger dots in the 4 corners.

In the screen shot below, the Insert Image icon is the second from the right ...
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To use this feature, your photo must not be oversize. The image must be 800 pixels or less in height and width, and overall file size no more than 195 Kb.
 

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In addition to the manufacturer I suggest contacting Washington Dept. of Agriculture and Washington State Beekeepers Association.

What you experienced puzzles me as our state Apiarist (Maine) is promoting autumn usage of HG II.

If you were seeing DWV at your friend's yard, those hives may have had too many mites for Hopguard II to save.

In any event I will be following this thread closely as I have some on order.
 

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Treatments like Hopguard and thymol can disrupt the hive enough in the first few days after application that they can become more prone to getting robbed out. If the temperatures are high and the hive weakened from mites, the problem can be compounded. That would be my first guess.
 

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This is the first report of Hopguard II use I have seen. I wonder what other users have experienced?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will keep everyone posted on what I hear from the Manufacturer, WBSA, and Dept of Ag. All I can say to those thinking of using it, be careful. Jim, I think you are right about the first hive. My hive was very strong and they were flat out dead in the bottom board, complete. That was no robbing situation, that stuff killed em flat out. As far as pics go thanks Radar, I tried uploading them off my IPhone and it keeps saying "failed". I'll try later tonight off my wifes laptop to do it. My desk top is not working at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh gads. That is horrific! I'm so sorry ...
Thanks for the sympathy everyone, I appreciate it. I've had my share of winter deadouts, so I am no stranger to hive loss. I've just never experienced such a sudden collapse and at this time of year. I might as well have sprayed a can of raid in there, the effect would have been the same. What I am having a hard time with is the fact that my friends hive was a cutout that spent 8 years in the wall of a barn surviving on its own. That queen and her genetics were lost, I'm just so disgusted. :(

Glock - would you mind if I PM'd you to pick your brain on OA? I have used the dribble method with good success to "clean my frame top bars". The vaporizing method I'd like to ask you some questions on...

Sent an email just now to the Manufacturer, will let you all know what they say. Since Washington State does not have a apairy inspection program, I'm not sure who in an authority position to contact...I'll do some digging. Going to let Mann Lake know too (that's who I bought it from).

Thanks again all.
 

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Anything more you cold tell us about the pictured single deep? Am I correct in assuming it was one very full box of bees with no supers above?
Temps in the days immediately after treatment?
Entrance sizes?
Sunshine or shade?
Was there a flow on?
Were you feeding at the time?
How long until the kill was complete?
I agree, this dosent appear to be a case of a robbed out hive, just too many dead bees for that. Very disturbing. I am interested in hearing the response from the manufacturers.
 

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I used the original my first year, didn't like it. It seemed very ineffective, any bees that got coated during application died, and the bees were not happy campers as soon as they smelled the strips. At least my bees anyways, I know others have said the same though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Jim thanks, to answer your questions. Yes, it was one single deep that was full ten frames of bees. The bottom board picture is the majority of the hive with maybe 10000 (or three pound package size of bees clustered alive on the outside) and had no supers above just a inner cover with a telescoping outer cover. Bottom board was screened with the slide in. The strips were put in at about noon yesterday and the pics were taken today at about 11 am, so this was less than 24 hrs. I have about 5 other hives within 20 feet of this one that are configured exactly the same (only without the HGII) and none have any issues what so ever. What clued me in to any problem was the fact that there was this bearding cluster on the front of the hive that spent the night out there, ive never seen that with any hive ive ever had here at my place. Temps were maybe mid 80's highs and 60 low over night. Entrance was reduced because we are in a dearth and was about 2 inches in length. Full sun until about 4 PM at which time shade from a grove of large fir trees to the west. I was not feeding at the time the strips were in the hive. I checked the hive about 5 PM today because I was curious about the brood in there and there were bees in there, maybe as many as were bearded earlier. What brood I saw was dead as there were emerging brood partially out of their cappings but clearly not alive. Hope this answers your questions, if you got any other theories I'd love to hear them. It just was such a clear case of the HGII being the culprit from what I saw of the hive before and after.

JG - yeah I tried the original too some years back. The issue I had, and what I thought they had fixed was the fact that if those strips sat for any length of time, it was almost like they dried out. The liquid would separate out leaving a dry like strip that seemed ineffective. What these new strips have are corrigations (like corrugated card board) that hold the liquid within. Maybe a little too good at doing so, per my hive.

Clearly this product has some issues...

Question - what would you suggest I do with this hive? There are some adult bees alive, but the queen is amongst the casualties... Combine them? Would you reuse the frames? I don't want to kill my other hives doing that...just not sure.
 

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Question - what would you suggest I do with this hive? There are some adult bees alive, but the queen is amongst the casualties... Combine them? Would you reuse the frames? I don't want to kill my other hives doing that...just not sure.
The damage is done. Probably just shake the bees out in front of another hive and scatter the brood into some other hives. There may still be some live brood yet and it at least needs cleaned out.
My guess is that they essentially smothered. Enough bees may have been hugging the limited entrance to have shut off all fresh air circulation, though I have never seen anything quite like that happen. I have used both Hopguard and thymol and bearding is pretty normal the first couple of days but I have never seen a resulting bee kill.
Keep us posted.
 

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Am I correct in thinking HGII is a "contact" miticide? If so, it seems that it might be prudent to prop the top cover up a bit so the bees will have an entrance that can't be blocked with dead bees. If it's the vapor that works....well, it might still be a good idea...? Just some newbie musings...

CB, I hate this happened to your bees. Seems like HGII has some rough corners to polish up...and something tells me Jim Lyon idea is probably pretty close to what happened. It may be a great product but from these bee kills it is apparent that a revision in the manufacturer's application instructions is definitely needed.

Best wishes,
Ed
 
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