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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking for a treatment for varroa mites however all the ones I have found you can't use with honey supers on. Are there any treatments out there that don't require the supers off? Thanks!

Also I forgot to mention that I do not have an applicators license which is needed for a lot of these treatments I've found.
 

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Don the beeman states that you can use Oxalic Acid Vaporization with the supers on. I don't recommend it, there's just not enough information. But if you slide a piece of coroplast (plastic sign material) or heavy cardboard between the supers and brood you can do OAV with the supers on and remove the coroplast/cardboard about an hour after treatment....
 

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I slide a thin sheet of aluminum between the supers and the brood chambers, just use whatever you can find that will work. From this year forward I plan to have only empty supers on the hives during the summer, even a capped medium is getting too heavy for me to struggle with while trying to get the aluminum sheet in place :).
 

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Formic acid flash treatment is one of the cheapest ways to treat and there is no tolerance issues. Put 2ml of 50% strength solution PER FRAME OF BEES on a paper towel and set in the top bars of the top box. So if you have a double deep with all 20 frames having bees covering them then you soak a towel with 40ml of solution. It is said to penetrate the brood capping and kill the male varroa as well as phoretic mites and I have to say I agree with this claim. I use formic from a biodiesel supply dealer. It is a fraction of the price of the "specialty" bee specific suppliers. Temps should be below 80F. If high temp is an issue apply at night. The acid will be gone by the AM.

BTW-I am pretty sure the mineral oil fogging idea has been scrapped. Clogs up the varroa but it clogs up the bees as well. I never understood how/why people thought this method would work but that's JMOHO.
Good luck
 

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I have a 2 deep hive with a super on top and I just used a fogger with mineral oil. I saw it on youtube with the fatbeeman and it seems to work. Its organic too.The mites are supposed to fall off the bee through the bottom screen. Some don't think it helps but the fatbeeman uses it on all his hive with success and he's been a bee man for sometime with many hives
 

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Sorry Davers but fogging with FGMO will not rid your hive of mites. Wish it did.
But even Michael Bush considered using it.
 

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My uncle has kept bees for many years. Not just a few hives, but upwards near 100 for over 30 years. FGMO and a fogger is the only treatment he uses and he has healthy, thriving colonies.
I am one to reasearch and really give something a shot at working with an open mind approach. This way, when I am asked a question, my answer is based on facts of personal experience.
FGMO and a fogger works as a treatment for mites. Oh and it doesn't come with warnings on the label either.
 

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Maybe I am mistaken but I thought fat bee man has "retracted" his support if fgmo?
 

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"I am one to reasearch and really give something a shot at working with an open mind approach. This way, when I am asked a question, my answer is based on facts of personal experience.
FGMO and a fogger works as a treatment for mites.
"

Please tell us about your research.
 

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Have an hour or two to sit down and discuss my research and experience? I have three years worth in my noggin.
Recent events lead me to a good true story. I had a cutout that was loaded with varroa. They were spotted on the bees, the larvae, and the comb just running about.
I fogged that particular hive once every week for six weeks. After a couple of weeks I swear the bees saw me coming with the fogger and just accepted what was going to happen. lol
Anywho..... I saw a significant mite drop week after week with an alcohol wash. Just checked again today and the mites are at an acceptable level.
BEFORE you ask, I know how and where to perform and alcohol wash.
Again, my uncle has done it for 30 years.
 

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Have an hour or two to sit down and discuss my research and experience? I have three years worth in my noggin.
Recent events lead me to a good true story. I had a cutout that was loaded with varroa. They were spotted on the bees, the larvae, and the comb just running about.
I fogged that particular hive once every week for four six weeks. After a couple of weeks I swear the bees saw me coming with the fogger and just accepted what was going to happen. lol
Anywho..... I saw a significant mite drop week after week with an alcohol wash. Just checked again today and the mites are at an acceptable level.
BEFORE you ask, I know how and where to perform and alcohol wash.
Again, my uncle has done it for 30 years.
Well I am glad it worked in your case.
How did you arrive at the protocol of treating every week for "four six weeks"??? I suppose it was supposed to read either four OR six weeks??? Typical protocol for treating mites using multiple applications use a treatment of 3X every six days. This timing effectively treats phoretic varroa as those that emerge with brood so there is no hatched brood that has had mites multiply in the cells and prevents subsequent varroa reproduction by using this timing of the bee brood and the varroa entering it just before it is capped and reproducing. Every four or six weeks would be over kill IMO but again, if it worked for you then I'll accept that. I am not one to dissuade someone from using their preferred method.

Why would you uncle have been using the FGMO fogging 30 years ago? Varroa were note a problem 30 years ago? Was it for tracheal mites?
 

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I'm glad that you posed that last question challenger. Quite frankly, I'm not sure exactly why he has used it for thirty years. Quite possibly for the tracheal mites. I will ask now that you've peaked my interest. I will especially ask how he learned of this type of treatment. I will let you know.
He is a man of very few words and his conversation MAY last three sentences. lol
 

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@JD'sBees:I have just finished using Mite-Away Quick Strips (MAQS) in three of my four my hives, with the supers on as we are having an almost uninterrupted spring>summer>fall flow this year.

I did sugar rolls (in addtion to almost constant sticky boarding) to confirm the need for treatment.

It is easy to do, relatively inexpensive as treatments go, and takes only a week. There is some possible risk of short-term interruption of egg laying, or larval/brood damage particularly at the higher end of the approved temperature range. I held off a few days to wait for a window of temps in the high 70s-very low 80s, for safety's sake. My girls weren't too offended by the intensive smell during the first few days and seem to have tolerated the treatment well. You do need heavy-duty chemical resistant gloves to install the strips. I didn't use a respirator, or any additional eyewear beyond my normal prescription lenses (and of course I had a veil on.) The product is fully disbursed in the first three days, although the strips must stay there for the full week.

I was somewhat underwhelemed by the modest number of dead mites that appeared during treatment on my sticky board. In my normal size hive (one deep brood and a couple of med supers) where I would have expected two or three hundred dead mites, I found only several dozen. In my mammoth hives were I would have expected a several hundred, I got a couple of hundred. A customer service rep I spoke with suggested this was normal and that I would continue to see mites fall over the course of the next week or so as the treated mite-corpses are turfed out of cells when the bee-larvae emerge. I plan to re-sugar roll in about 10-14 days and will confirm health of queen and brood then. I have removed the carrier strips promptly after the treatment period because my ladies don't like junk in their houses and were already chewing on them.

FWIW, although my girls are normally pretty calm they seemed exceptionally mild-mannered today when I was removing the treatment debris from deep within the hive. Perhaps they had more of a challenge from pests than I appreciated before treatment, although I treated as soon as they reached the watch/treat threshold for my area and season. I wanted to make sure they started making wintering-over brood under the best conditions possible.

@Challenger: I am interested in the formic flash method, do you have some links?. Some of my hives are extremely large right now (36-40 deep frames of bees) so that would be a lot of formic acid to apply (72-80 mL) at once. Have I done the math correctly?

Is there a low-temp limit on this? My days are still flirting with 75-85, but many nights are in the 50's. As you can imagine from these frames-of-bees numbers my hives are very tall and populous right now. Is that a concern? Also I have one hive that is a profoundly top-entrance hive (though it has open acess below) does that make a difference? I have seen the formic flash method discussed on the Bee-L list. The short period of the treatment appeals to me as some summers we don't have an obliging high 70s' week without a dearth when I would have my entrances reduced to prevent robbing, which of course can't happen during the week of MAQS treatment. Some summers a week would be hard to get scheduled, but the flash method would always the right sized window.

Enj.
 

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Just google "scientificbeekeeping" or Randy Oiver" His site has a lot of formic information.
Another main reason I like the flash is because of the way temperatures fluctuate here as well. For us it is too hot too far into the fall/late summer to follow the MAQS directions to the letter and waiting is not a good idea. I have been lazy about getting mine done but I will do so this week. One problem I have is that I've got hives from single 5 frame nucs up to double deeps with medium supers so I have to break them down to see how to dose the formic.
How is it your typical hives are one deep and a few mediums but your strong ones are so much larger? Regardless it is not 72-80ml of formic as you likely know. It is 50% of that. Really no big deal so long as the media you use can handle it. Shop towels are a popular choice although I've never used them. I hear a lot of people have gotten them from their local food store by just asking the person in the butcher department.
Good luck.

@JD'sBees:

I was somewhat underwhelemed by the modest number of dead mites that appeared during treatment on my sticky board. In my normal size hive (one deep brood and a couple of med supers)

@Challenger: I am interested in the formic flash method, do you have some links?. Some of my hives are extremely large right now (36-40 deep frames of bees) so that would be a lot of formic acid to apply (72-80 mL) at once. Have I done the math correctly?

Is there a low-temp limit on this? My days are still flirting with 75-85, but many nights are in the 50's. As you can imagine from these frames-of-bees numbers my hives are very tall and populous right now. Is that a concern? Also I have one hive that is a profoundly top-entrance hive (though it has open acess below) does that make a difference? I have seen the formic flash method discussed on the Bee-L list. The short period of the treatment appeals to me as some summers we don't have an obliging high 70s' week without a dearth when I would have my entrances reduced to prevent robbing, which of course can't happen during the week of MAQS treatment. Some summers a week would be hard to get scheduled, but the flash method would always the right sized window.

Enj.
 

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@Challenger:

Sorry, I thought it was 2mL for each frame of bees (so 2 X 36 is 72 mL). Which did seem like a lot me! I will re-check the dosing.

I have these mismatched hives in my small yard because I split my only large colony into two earlier this summer in a clumsy way which resulted in two smaller, more "normal-sized" hives. Meanwhile my two little laggards from last year (six frames and eight frames of bees, respectively, when they went into winter in 2013) grew like weeds this summer and my anti-swarming efforts (mostly just keep adding more frames at the sides of the broodnests) worked unexpectedly well. This Spring I was focusing almost entirely on deterring swarming and was sort of shell-shocked at the devastation created by my first attempt at splitting to avoid swarming. So I just let the little guys grow, and grow and grow ...... Now I need a step ladder to inspect them and it's too late to divide them and make some new queens. So we'll see how giants fare over the winter, having seen that midgets can survive.

Thanks for your reply! I take it you are satisfied with formic flash treatment?

Enj.
 
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