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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I treated with Formic pro in September and the mite count dropped sharply after to almost nil, but still the odd one or two every few days. I just got back from being away for work for 3 weeks and checked the bottom board and wow, a ton of mites on there. At least several dozen. So now what? I have another Formic pro treatment I could do or I can OAV them for a week or so. I fed them about 6 gallons of syrup before I went away and most frames in the honey super were capped but now I notice they’ve burned through most of that, too. Still bringing pollen in on nicer days though it’s been quite cool here in Vancouver the last while. Gonna feed again for sure, but I can’t feed while doing Formic. Maybe oav while feeding? I don’t care about honey now obviously so I’ll leave the box on to feed them. Thoughts?
Ps, bottom deep and medium brood boxes are full of bees, I haven’t been in to check for brood since I’ve been back.
 

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I live about 200km south of you (Seattle area) but our climates are not so different. I think it is now a little too cold for Formic and as you said, you cannot do formic while feeding.

Was it several dozen drop per 3 weeks? if so, I would leave it until I start a series of OAV in December (I usually do weekly OAV until mites stop dropping). However, if it was several dozen per day, I would immediately put apivar strips in the middle of the broodnest. Then, before it gets too cold to open the hive, I would move the strips to the top box (hopefully the cluster will have moved up by then), so that the strips can be removed easily at the end of the 6-week treatment period. Or, you can immediately start weekly (or more often if you can) OAV until mites stop dropping.

Got 6 gallons in October and needing more? Maybe you do not have much English ivy around or your bees are super-prolific. But you may want to put a robber screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ya it was over 3 weeks, but I’ll treat with oav anyways, I started this morning so I’ll check the drop tomorrow. I fed another gallon today, I’m not seeing robbing and the entrance is reduced so it would be passive robbing if anything. There’s still capped frames so I’ll do a good inspection when the feeder’s empty. They are flying pretty actively and bringing in a good bit of pollen when they do.
 

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In my opinion, you are playing Russian Roulette with your bees using MAQS or Formic Pro. In my experience, formic acid is extremely toxic to honey bees. There are too many variables with respect to proper storage and handling of MAQS and Formic Pro that you have no control over that could prove disastrous if done improperly. I no longer use either MAQS or Formic Pro for these reason. You are making a very wise choice going back to OAV. All of my hives that I treated with OAV are doing very well. The hives that I foolishly treated with MAQS are stuggling. So far, 5 hives have collapsed and I expect more to do the same. Find another varroa mite treatment besides formic acid products.
 

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In my opinion, you are playing Russian Roulette with your bees using MAQS or Formic Pro. In my experience, formic acid is extremely toxic to honey bees. There are too many variables with respect to proper storage and handling of MAQS and Formic Pro that you have no control over that could prove disastrous if done improperly. I no longer use either MAQS or Formic Pro for these reason. You are making a very wise choice going back to OAV. All of my hives that I treated with OAV are doing very well. The hives that I foolishly treated with MAQS are stuggling. So far, 5 hives have collapsed and I expect more to do the same. Find another varroa mite treatment besides formic acid products.
It'd be one thing if MAQS and Formic pro were free. But they're not. If they were free, I'd consider trying these products.
 

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A couple of years ago I saw a half hour video where Randy Oliver said start with a low mite count in the spring and don't let it get above the 3%. Once the count gets over that it gets harder to get under control. Right now I use Apivar in the spring MAQS when the honey is on a hive apigard if needed early fall OAV late fall early winter. And do a wash or sugar roll to see your results. If I do use MAQS in the heat of the summer and the queen dies it don't matter I raise my own queens and the ones that can't control the mites need to be replaced anyway.
 

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Dr Reed said at a conference that their was some debate on effective Apivar was any more.
 

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A couple of years ago I saw a half hour video where Randy Oliver said start with a low mite count in the spring and don't let it get above the 3%. Once the count gets over that it gets harder to get under control. Right now I use Apivar in the spring MAQS when the honey is on a hive apigard if needed early fall OAV late fall early winter. And do a wash or sugar roll to see your results. If I do use MAQS in the heat of the summer and the queen dies it don't matter I raise my own queens and the ones that can't control the mites need to be replaced anyway.
That sounds like a very expensive mite management strategy.
 

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That sounds like a very expensive mite management strategy.
I use the exact treatment schedule, how expensive is it to keep buying bees? that treatment schedule works up north especially when your neighbor hood beeks are to cheap to treat causing mite bombs every year, but are willing to buy your nucs in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is what I suspect, too. The Formic pro treatment got the drop down to a few a day, if any, I was a bit surprised to see so many after 3 weeks away. I figured they’d be good after that. Formic pro is hard on them but they can take it. I’ll be using oav throughout the winter now.
 

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This is what I suspect, too. The Formic pro treatment got the drop down to a few a day, if any, I was a bit surprised to see so many after 3 weeks away. I figured they’d be good after that. Formic pro is hard on them but they can take it. I’ll be using oav throughout the winter now.
I think your formic treatment was quite successful. A few years ago I treated one of my hives with MAQS in mid September (it was a spring package so I treated pretty late) and counted mite drop every day. If I left the mite board for 3 weeks in mid October - early November I would have seen 80 - 100 mites. This colony was subsequently treated once with OAV in mid December, and after realizing that this single OAV treatment did not get rid of mites, 5 times 5 days apart in early - mid January. The colony came out in an excellent shape in spring and gave me lots of Maple honey.

9/14 MAQS full dose
Daily mite drop (9/15 - 9/30): 503 173 203 151 194 206 85 101 164 168 132 167 95 16 6 5
Daily mite drop (10/1 - 10/31):6 5 3 ? 5 5 2 2 1 3 7 11 20 7 8 1 7 3 4 2 1 5 4 2 2 1 4 4 5 0 1
Daily mite drop (11/1 - 11/10):6 8 5 1 3 0 9 13 3 9
 

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the sale of a couple of nucs can pay for it. soon those sales will pay for a vsh breeder queen.
If someone has 50 hives, that's $1000 just to treat for mites.

Nucs sell for about $150-180, depending on your location.

that's 6 nucs just to pay for treatments.
 

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I use the exact treatment schedule, how expensive is it to keep buying bees? that treatment schedule works up north especially when your neighbor hood beeks are to cheap to treat causing mite bombs every year, but are willing to buy your nucs in the spring.
I had a friend buy 2 nucs one from me the other from a neighbor i went over and did sugar rolls on them this fall the one i sold him had 3 mites the other one had 36. The neighbor is "organic" their main treatment is formic pro.
 

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I had a friend buy 2 nucs one from me the other from a neighbor i went over and did sugar rolls on them this fall the one i sold him had 3 mites the other one had 36. The neighbor is "organic" their main treatment is formic pro.
Another positive testimonial for formic.

OAV is organic as well.
 

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OAV is "organic" and beekeepers outside of the US and canada use OAV with honey supers present.
I don't get your point. this is just what I've come up with that makes the best use of the treatments to get the results I want Not every hive gets all of these treatments this is just what I use as a guideline for use of a treatment at a certain time of year. So treating is not as expensive as you think
 

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It may be 6 nucs to pay for as posted above, but if it is that percentage in better overwintering would it be worth it? That’s where the value is. 50 should expand to at least double if not triple. That yields 50-100 nucs (or equivalent increase), so the value would be there to me.
 

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If someone has 50 hives, that's $1000 just to treat for mites.

Nucs sell for about $150-180, depending on your location.

that's 6 nucs just to pay for treatments.
you do know if you just leave the boxes empty in the back yard, it won't cost you a penny
 

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It is really odd to me some people rant about Formic pro and maqs and how bad their results were and others, myself included have no issues at all. Makes one wonder if people can read directions.
 
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