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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right off,I am a very new hobby beekeeper so I am still wet behind the ears. I was given a Spring swarm in the beginning of August and have checked my sticky board of sprayed canola oil a few days ago and found two mites on it after it sat for three days. I was given one strip to place in the middle between my two deeps and was told to just use one strip and not worry about doing the second strip in the 10 day recommended time per the manufactures instructions. Are their pros and cons to the advice given to me ?
 

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Wil
Right off,I am a very new hobby beekeeper so I am still wet behind the ears. I was given a Spring swarm in the beginning of August and have checked my sticky board of sprayed canola oil a few days ago and found two mites on it after it sat for three days. I was given one strip to place in the middle between my two deeps and was told to just use one strip and not worry about doing the second strip in the 10 day recommended time per the manufactures instructions. Are their pros and cons to the advice given to me ?
Wil,
I would follow the manufacturers instructions and put in the second strip in 10 days.

Also, if your new and your just now treating for Varroa I cannot encourage you enough to start the year with a good strong treatment in the spring to get the season started with as few mites as possible, and prevent viral load from taking its tole through the summer. Then if you wish to skip treatments during the flow make sure to mite wash and probably treat again in July/begining of August at the latest, then continue to monitor for varroa and treat as needed into the coming winter. You begin treating for varroa for the next winter BEFORE the season starts to prevent a mite infestation and the Viral damage they bring.
 

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I am assuming that the person who gave you the advice is also assuming you have a low mite load. That is a dangerous assumption to make based on a gross test such as the sticky board. Even further assuming your load is low, how does he think he knows more than the manufacturer of formic pro? As long as we are assuming, I assume that two pads might be necessary for a prolonged action. I see no pros doing it this way, only cons: a dead colony in the spring.
Since you asked the question, you are hesitant about the advice given. So do yourself a favor and do it the recommended way. It would be helpful to put your location in your profile. If you do not have to worry about high temps, put 2 pads on at once and be done with it. If you happen to be in a northern clime, your ideal treatment time is already a month or two late. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I sure do appreciate the advice given. I'll definitely follow the manufactures directions for the treatment with Formic Pro. I live in Northeast, Ohio outside of the Youngstown area. Right now the weather is cooling off a bit but the temperature range is still between the 50's and the 80's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am assuming that the person who gave you the advice is also assuming you have a low mite load. That is a dangerous assumption to make based on a gross test such as the sticky board. Even further assuming your load is low, how does he think he knows more than the manufacturer of formic pro? As long as we are assuming, I assume that two pads might be necessary for a prolonged action. I see no pros doing it this way, only cons: a dead colony in the spring.
Since you asked the question, you are hesitant about the advice given. So do yourself a favor and do it the recommended way. It would be helpful to put your location in your profile. If you do not have to worry about high temps, put 2 pads on at once and be done with it. If you happen to be in a northern clime, your ideal treatment time is already a month or two late. J
I'm not having much luck in getting my location to be viewed when you click on my Avatar. I'm not doing something right.
 

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Perhaps contact a moderator to get help with adding location. Not sure what the problem could be.
You have good temps for getting the formic on. Next year, look for weather opportunities to get hives treated earlier. You want a couple brood cycles of reduced mites and viruses before winter bees are made so you have healthy colonies to get through the winter. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Perhaps contact a moderator to get help with adding location. Not sure what the problem could be.
You have good temps for getting the formic on. Next year, look for weather opportunities to get hives treated earlier. You want a couple brood cycles of reduced mites and viruses before winter bees are made so you have healthy colonies to get through the winter. J
Thank you for the sound advice for treating for mites early next year. What is your recommended might check? I am thinking that the sticky board might not tell the whole story.
 

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Are you willing to kill about 300 bees to save the hive? Many people are not. But if you are, a google search for “mite wash for bees” will get you started. You can buy a cup, but scientificbeekeeping dot com has instructions for making one from a couple of Starbucks plastic cups. On the same site he had best results from using a solution of Dawn dishwashing soap and the next best was 91% alcohol.

If you do not want to sacrifice the bees, a powdered sugar shake can be used, but do it more frequently.

The main point is to do mite checks or you are raising bees and “mite bombs” together and any nearby bees will suffer from drift of bees and associated mites.

And join a bee club if you can. It makes beekeeping even more fun.
 

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A sticky board can be instructive, but it really takes season long monitoring and experience. Few have the time or energy to do that. Many do a mite wash or sugar roll. Experience will allow you to just treat at a certain time when your wash or roll consistently tells you that you need to treat at the end of summer. Unfortunately, almost every hive is at least approaching a treatment threshold in late summer.
I know when I need to treat after 5 years, but I still run sticky boards. It provides some clues as to mites, wax making, uncapping, wax moth larvae, etc. I also rely on them in late fall after my main formic treatment. I give them a shot of OAV and count the drops. If higher than I like, I do a series. For me, in my location, this can be critical. I have seen hives go from low to high after formic, probably from robbing out neighbors hives. J
 

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It is OK to do one pad and not follow up with the second pad (this isn't like using half of an Apivar dose or something like that). However, you likely need to follow it up with something (like OAV) to get and maintain a good mite load right now. And that can be very difficult if something nearby is crashing/drifting and introducing mites rapidly. I've been bitten by this using MAQS in the past. Meaning I did the full (two strips at a time) treatment and then washed my hands of the mites for the year. I didn't do any testing (and still don't do much). So I didn't detect when the apiary across the road collapsed and the mites and bees came over to my neck of the woods. Lost everything in that yard that year, but didn't lose anything elsewhere with same treatment schedule.

I wouldn't be too worried using one strip right now, but I really don't think I'd suggest using two strips at once. Back-to-back is probably OK. I've just had it be pretty tough on queens sometimes, seemingly randomly, and they almost always seem to completely stop laying for at least a few days even with the single strips. The first couple years I used it I had no issues and I think I was just lucky. I've since moved away from it other than keeping it in my back pocket for a mid-season, single strip knockdown while the supers are on.

If MAQS/FP is your only option then definitely follow up with the second strip as directed. There is also oxalic dribble as an option if you don't have a vaporizer. Timing for that becomes a little more critical as it's best to do it broodless or nearly so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is OK to do one pad and not follow up with the second pad (this isn't like using half of an Apivar dose or something like that). However, you likely need to follow it up with something (like OAV) to get and maintain a good mite load right now. And that can be very difficult if something nearby is crashing/drifting and introducing mites rapidly. I've been bitten by this using MAQS in the past. Meaning I did the full (two strips at a time) treatment and then washed my hands of the mites for the year. I didn't do any testing (and still don't do much). So I didn't detect when the apiary across the road collapsed and the mites and bees came over to my neck of the woods. Lost everything in that yard that year, but didn't lose anything elsewhere with same treatment schedule.

I wouldn't be too worried using one strip right now, but I really don't think I'd suggest using two strips at once. Back-to-back is probably OK. I've just had it be pretty tough on queens sometimes, seemingly randomly, and they almost always seem to completely stop laying for at least a few days even with the single strips. The first couple years I used it I had no issues and I think I was just lucky. I've since moved away from it other than keeping it in my back pocket for a mid-season, single strip knockdown while the supers are on.

If MAQS/FP is your only option then definitely follow up with the second strip as directed. There is also oxalic dribble as an option if you don't have a vaporizer. Timing for that becomes a little more critical as it's best to do it broodless or nearly so.
I think this was the concern of my beekeeper friend that supplied me with this swarm in August. She was very reluctant in my treating right now because of the hive getting ready to go into making winter bees for the winter. That is why she suggested I use only one strip of Formic Pro and be done with it,even though the instructions are to use one strip and then follow up with another strip in 10 days. She and her husband who have 60 hives had a few bad experience with using MAQS and lost to many bees with it that they switched to Formic Pro. They also treat with Ocilic Acid Vapor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A sticky board can be instructive, but it really takes season long monitoring and experience. Few have the time or energy to do that. Many do a mite wash or sugar roll. Experience will allow you to just treat at a certain time when your wash or roll consistently tells you that you need to treat at the end of summer. Unfortunately, almost every hive is at least approaching a treatment threshold in late summer.
I know when I need to treat after 5 years, but I still run sticky boards. It provides some clues as to mites, wax making, uncapping, wax moth larvae, etc. I also rely on them in late fall after my main formic treatment. I give them a shot of OAV and count the drops. If higher than I like, I do a series. For me, in my location, this can be critical. I have seen hives go from low to high after formic, probably from robbing out neighbors hives. J
I surely must learn how to read my sticky board like you do. It obviously can tell a lot. You say that you treat in late fall? I was under the impression that I might be to late in my treatment right now. I stuck my one Formic Pro strip between my two deeps on September 10th so maybe I am still ok. As a really new hobby beekeeper, I still need to learn the how and when of doing the right things for my bees. I even look at things differently now as before, even, the weeds growing along our horse's pasture fence were weed whacked down but now they are left to grow their Golden Rod and Asters to feed our bee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you willing to kill about 300 bees to save the hive? Many people are not. But if you are, a google search for “mite wash for bees” will get you started. You can buy a cup, but scientificbeekeeping dot com has instructions for making one from a couple of Starbucks plastic cups. On the same site he had best results from using a solution of Dawn dishwashing soap and the next best was 91% alcohol.

If you do not want to sacrifice the bees, a powdered sugar shake can be used, but do it more frequently.

The main point is to do mite checks or you are raising bees and “mite bombs” together and any nearby bees will suffer from drift of bees and associated mites.

And join a bee club if you can. It makes beekeeping even more fun.
I went to the website of the Scientific Beekeeper. Very interesting. I must learn how to make his mite test cup as he said in a video that he likes his cup better then the ones that you can buy. I was leery of sacrificing 300 bees but I guess it is necessary if you want to be sure of the mite drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wil


Wil,
I would follow the manufacturers instructions and put in the second strip in 10 days.

Also, if your new and your just now treating for Varroa I cannot encourage you enough to start the year with a good strong treatment in the spring to get the season started with as few mites as possible, and prevent viral load from taking its tole through the summer. Then if you wish to skip treatments during the flow make sure to mite wash and probably treat again in July/begining of August at the latest, then continue to monitor for varroa and treat as needed into the coming winter. You begin treating for varroa for the next winter BEFORE the season starts to prevent a mite infestation and the Viral damage they bring.
Thank you. I certainly will start my year off right in the Spring as you suggest. I appreciate you giving me a timeline as to when I should test and treat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is OK to do one pad and not follow up with the second pad (this isn't like using half of an Apivar dose or something like that). However, you likely need to follow it up with something (like OAV) to get and maintain a good mite load right now. And that can be very difficult if something nearby is crashing/drifting and introducing mites rapidly. I've been bitten by this using MAQS in the past. Meaning I did the full (two strips at a time) treatment and then washed my hands of the mites for the year. I didn't do any testing (and still don't do much). So I didn't detect when the apiary across the road collapsed and the mites and bees came over to my neck of the woods. Lost everything in that yard that year, but didn't lose anything elsewhere with same treatment schedule.

I wouldn't be too worried using one strip right now, but I really don't think I'd suggest using two strips at once. Back-to-back is probably OK. I've just had it be pretty tough on queens sometimes, seemingly randomly, and they almost always seem to completely stop laying for at least a few days even with the single strips. The first couple years I used it I had no issues and I think I was just lucky. I've since moved away from it other than keeping it in my back pocket for a mid-season, single strip knockdown while the supers are on.

If MAQS/FP is your only option then definitely follow up with the second strip as directed. There is also oxalic dribble as an option if you don't have a vaporizer. Timing for that becomes a little more critical as it's best to do it broodless or nearly so.
I am in the same predicament. My neighbor across the road from me has about 5 hives but I don't think he even treats for Verroa. He has his own health concerns and has been lacking in raising his bees. His Apirary as the crow flies is only about 1/2 mile away. Another neighbor about 1 mile away had ten hives and they are all nasty Russians with an attitude. He invited my wife and I over to go through his hives on inspection to give us a learning experience and his bees were constantly on the attack. So glad I had a full suit on. I can't believe what I see on youtube with Randy Oliver inspecting and working hives in sandals and no protection. I had a very bad experience while walking through the jungles of Vietnam and walking smack dab into a hanging nest of sorts in a tree and that was the worse three scary days of my life being led through the jungle for three days because my eyes were swelled shut and my tongue was as big as a baseball from stings. Back then,we has no treatment.
 

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Wil-7, I do my primary formic treatment mid July to early August, ideally, so the queen is making healthy winter bees. I follow this up with OAV in the fall if necessary. I do not want to risk a mite wash that late so I do one OAV and count mites on the sticky. If too high, I then do a series of OAV.
So imo, you would be late in my locale, but better late than not at all. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wil-7, I do my primary formic treatment mid July to early August, ideally, so the queen is making healthy winter bees. I follow this up with OAV in the fall if necessary. I do not want to risk a mite wash that late so I do one OAV and count mites on the sticky. If too high, I then do a series of OAV.
So imo, you would be late in my locale, but better late than not at all. J
Thank you. I imagine our seasonal climate are about the same so I believe I will shoot for July and August fo my primary formic treatment also. I'll try and stay on schedule and follow a good routine from here on out. I have heard of more then a few beekeepers who follow up with OAV treatment after doing the strips so I might have to look into buying a vaporizer to do that also. My mite count on my sticky was two mites after it stayed untouched for three days. What do you think is to high a mite count? By the way,I used to drive semi truck up through Vermont. I think it is one of the most beautiful States I was ever in , east of the Mississippi, especially in the winter.
 
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