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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lost two out of my 3 hives one before fall one mid January. The third hive is still going just added another 15 lbs of sugar block on top of what was left of the one I Placed on in November which was about 2/3 consumed. I treated for Mites for 6 weeks starting in October with APIVAR strips for 6 weeks.
I was told by many on here it was to little too late and most felt that hives had either starved (with a bout 10 lbs of sugar still unconsumed) or that the varroa mite treatment was to small and too late.

That all being said I would rather learn from my mistakes than repeat them. I have order a 3 lb package of bees that I will be getting first week of April (weather depending) . I am going to start this in a single 10 frame deep super using 9 frames of existing comb from old hive. the tenth frame I will be using a feeder frame for sugar syrup and feed pollen patties across top of frames. I am planning on feeding until early mid May sugar syrup. I am also getting 2 nuns 5 frame end of April these will be set up the same way as my package with existing comb from old hive and a feeder.

That is the plan, so please tell me the problems that I have.

I also would like to know the following when should I give my first treatment for Varroa mites and what treatment would you suggest strips? if I use strips was planning on using a 21 day treatment using mite away quick strips. how often should I treat and how long between treatments? I am also considering using vapor but am not sure of the safety precautions or how often this should be done and what the approx. cost will be. My 3rd options is FGMO using an electric fogger still unsure of dosage or frequency any and all opinions are greatly appreciated.

I am also figuring inhaling to add second super earlier this year since all frames added will have existing drawn out comb, the frames were inspected by a fellow keep who introduced me to beekeeping and he said they were all fine no sign of foul brood. the frames are currently being stored in the fridge in my garage to prevent insect intrusion and vermin.
 

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Good luck on your restart. Placing the new bees in the old frames should give them a good headstart, and I would think they build up quickly. I'll be interested in what more experienced people say.

As far as varroa, you might do a test before treating. Alcohol wash or sugar role. Even the sticky board can give you a trend, though not very accurate in terms of actual level of infestation.

Regarding MAQS: the 21 day course is relatively gentle on the bees compared to the one week treatment. Follow the instructions exactly and go to the MAQS website for more information. But here's the thing: MAQS kill varroa inside the brood as well as phoretic mites. You aren't going have much brood early season, so considering that MAQS are pricey, it may not appropriate. I think MAQS would be better in mid-summer of late-August-through-September. There is an air temperature issue that has to be worked with in your own region and climate. For early season something like Apiguard (which is thymol), or Hopguard or Oxalic Acid vapor or dribble might be more effective. After you test, of course. One would hope that any package or nuc coming from a good dealer would have a low varroa count to begin with.
 

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I personally like OAV but it can be time consuming. I do 5 treatments 5 days apart in July after supers come off, 5 and 5 in September when supers come off for the second time and then a single treatment (sometimes 2) between thanksgiving and new years. I have had very good luck with that schedule for my area Northern panhandle of WV.

In my opinion fogging mineral oil is not an effective treatment. If I didn't use OAV I would use maqs.

The vaporizers like the pro vap 110 or the one that johnno on here makes are good and make quick work of it. I have a provap 110 but if I were buying now I would get the one johnno makes, it looks like basically the same thing but much easier on the wallet. A respirator with acid gas cartridges is a must when using one of these vaporizers. A pan vaporizer works good for less than 10 hives and is pretty cheap. You will need a power supply for the pro vap 110 or johnno's vaporizer, either an outlet or generator. I use a small Honda generator for mine. I used to use a wand type vaporizer, the Varrox, and powered it with a battery jump pack. The wands are WAY slower than the provap style vaporizers. Once you have you initial equipment the cost is minimal, literally pennies per treatment per hive. Keep your mites in check and everything else will fall into place.
 

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I have order a 3 lb package of bees that I will be getting first week of April (weather depending) .

I also would like to know the following when should I give my first treatment for Varroa mites and what treatment would you suggest strips? if I use strips was planning on using a 21 day treatment using mite away quick strips. how often should I treat and how long between treatments? I am also considering using vapor but am not sure of the safety precautions or how often this should be done and what the approx. cost will be. My 3rd options is FGMO using an electric fogger still unsure of dosage or frequency any and all opinions are greatly appreciated.
should update where you are located, up here april 1 for a package would be to early. I would get a wand and mask and treat the package shortly after the queen starts laying b/4 the brood is capped. Then monitor for mites starting in july or so, treat with MAQ pro in AUg. when temps are within the lower limits. then after pulling honey you can treat with apiguard, or apivar, and then end of NOv, or just b/4 the first snow do another OAV. You should also consider replacing the queen in the middle of the summer with a local queen and you should be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am located in the Hudson Valley area of NY zip code 12569 pleasant Valley NY. I am leaning towards OAV from what I have been reading here. Since my first hive will be derived from a package of bees that I will be putting into a hive with existing come I was thinking of giving the first treatment on the second day that the hive has been set up hopefully to gain the greatest exposure to the hive and possibly before any brood is present and then continue a treatment weekly for 3 weeks. When my nuns arrive will begin the same treatment weekly for 3 weeks until second week of May. Depending on what I see only bottom boards I would not treat until needed hopefully end of August for 3 weeks and then again in end of October does this make sense?
 

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I am located in the Hudson Valley area of NY zip code 12569 pleasant Valley NY. I am leaning towards OAV from what I have been reading here. Since my first hive will be derived from a package of bees that I will be putting into a hive with existing come I was thinking of giving the first treatment on the second day that the hive has been set up hopefully to gain the greatest exposure to the hive and possibly before any brood is present and then continue a treatment weekly for 3 weeks. When my nuns arrive will begin the same treatment weekly for 3 weeks until second week of May. Depending on what I see only bottom boards I would not treat until needed hopefully end of August for 3 weeks and then again in end of October does this make sense?
you don't want to do it on the the 2nd day, the queen won't even be out of her cage yet, and no need to repeat it. just wait until you have brood, but not capped yet, they aren't going to leave then. the nucs you can let them have it. If you are talking the oav in aug, you have to either pull your supers or put a board in between the brood chambers and the honey supers, oav label says not with honey supers on. are you putting a sticky board on the bottom boards, else you won't see anything. alcohol wash is better. end of oct or nov should take care of any mite bombs in your area. good luck
 

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Agree with wildbranch about not treating on the 2nd day. Just make sure you do a single OAV treatment within 8 days of the queen being released. This will "anchor" the queen to avoid absconding, but will still treat the entire hive before brood is capped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought by treating the package of bees before the queen was released would prevent any brood contamination?
 

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should update where you are located, up here april 1 for a package would be to early. I would get a wand and mask and treat the package shortly after the queen starts laying b/4 the brood is capped. Then monitor for mites starting in july or so, treat with MAQ pro in AUg. when temps are within the lower limits. then after pulling honey you can treat with apiguard, or apivar, and then end of NOv, or just b/4 the first snow do another OAV. You should also consider replacing the queen in the middle of the summer with a local queen and you should be good to go.
This Rx regime is essentially exactly what i did last year...extremely effective. I actually used the MAQs in early June and formic pro in August then apivar after the supers were extracted in fall.
Highly effective. And the cost of these treatments pales into the cost of losing colonies from PMS
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yes it is its going to run me apron 500 for 2 nucs and 1 3 lb package which I feel is a fairly good price but probably Ould have cost me 100 bucks for a decent vaporizer and a pound of oxalic.
 

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yes it is its going to run me apron 500 for 2 nucs and 1 3 lb package which I feel is a fairly good price but probably Ould have cost me 100 bucks for a decent vaporizer and a pound of oxalic.
Cost me last year about 300 bucks for the MAQS/Formic pro/Apivar and OAV that i used to treat the 26 colonies.
AS of last week 23 of those colonies are still rocking along looking good.
2017-18 winter losses were high for me after i missed the critical summer/fall mite treatments in 2017 after having spine surgery.
The survival differences between treating effectively and not is night and day.
I lost 16 full sized colonies winter 2017-18 compared with 3 nuc losses this winter so far. None of the 15 large colonies have perished this winter so far.
The 300 USD for treatments in 2017 could have prevented 3200 USD worth of losses.
Lesson learned for me thats for darn sure.
 

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The two most important points to keep bees alive are Keeping mites under control and supplemental feed.

For the mites i suggest a monthly mite roll to verify mite levels per 100 bees(anything over 5 needs treated). Treat accordingly in which ever method you decide. Most all in the market work if done properly.


Supplemental feed.

Put something on in mid to late march to give them a head start on spring, and probably something in late July to keep them going through the summer dearth. This will have them ready to store whatever fall flow you have instead of restarting their brood rearing(it should already be rearing brood with supplemental feed). Having the young bees already hatching when the flow starts mean the older bees will be able to strait to gathering.

Once you are sure the fall flow is done with and you are getting more cold days than warm, i would put a 20lb candy board on each hive. Also have a backup candy board for each hive. Whenever you get those freak warm days in Jan/Feb go out and replace the partial, possibly empty, candy board with a full 20lb candy board.

I use a cooked hard candy(not hard crack) this has a few pros for the winter. Being hard the don't want to consume it, so it will be backup feed only. It will however absorb the excess moisture in the hive allowing the bees to eat some of it more easily deeper into the winter when they are more likely to run out of food.


But as long as you cover your bases on mite control and feed when mother nature doesn't the bees have a very good chance at survival.

Aaron
 

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Good luck on your restart.
I would spray the package with OA prior to install (30 ML-this equals about 30 squirts from a spray bottle but be sure to test before hand. Be sure to pull the queen first) This also make for an easy install. I would also pinch the queen in June and replace with a locally raised queen. Most packages come up from GA and rarely make it through Northern winters.

April seems early for local to you Nucs. Are they local or coming up from warmer climates?
 

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Still seems early for a locally raised queen IMO. Doing everything I can to raise some local queens and have them mated by second week of April and I am 250 miles south of you.
 
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