This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Time for Mite Treatments

 I have listed several mite treatments that are available for treatment of Varroa mites. Mite treatments should be put on the hive by Sept 1st.
 As time goes on Varroa builds up in a colony of bees. Failure to treat at the right time can cause your bees to become irreparably damaged by the mite and the hive more than likely will not survive the rigors of MN winters.  Also failure to treat, causes your bees to infest other beekeepers colonies of bees. As bees in an untreated colony population crashes, bees from healthy colonies come to rob honey and get infested with mites from the untreated colony. Be a good neighbor and treat.
I do not list Oxalic Acid here because that product works best in late October and not recommended for August treatments. Mite treatments cannot wait until October to treat. Waiting that long to treat will cause damage to the bees by Varroa. Treating with Oxalic Acid in August does not get to the mites in the cells. Repeated treatments of Oxalic Acid on the same bees in a colony can cause damage to the bees themselves.

Miteaway Quick Strips MAQS( Formic Acid):
Miteaway quick strips are a 7 day mite treatment. They cannot be put on if the temperature is over 84 degrees for the first three days of treatment. Honey supers can still be on the hive. The new label now says, to stay upwind of treatment strips.  Rubber gloves must be used when handling the strips. Water should be with you in case of eye contact, water is used for flushing  purposes.
MAQS are sold in 2 hive, 10 hive and 25 hive treatment packs. It does not keep. Purchase only what you need.
Always read and follow the manufacturers label instructions when using MAQS.

Mite Away Quick Strips

Apiguard (Thymol Gel): 
Apiguard is a 30 day mite treatment. Supers must be off the hive. The odor of the thymol will damage any honey in the supers with its strong odor. The thymol gel is packaged in foil tins. Peeling back the cover exposes the thymol gel. One foil pack is put on the hive for 15 days then another tin for 15 days.  A wooden frame is needed to lift the hive box 3/4" so the bees can have access to the tin. Apiguard needs to be put on as early as possible in late summer. As the daily temperatures cool into the 60's Apiguard becomes less effective. Available in 5 hive treatment packs, 10 tins per package. It keeps for two years.  Always read and follow the manufacturers label instructions when using Apiguard.


ApiVar ( Amitraz):
ApiVar is a strip that carries the miticide Amitraz. The treatment is two strips per brood box. Supers must be removed when using ApiVar. Rubber gloves are used when handling this ApiVar strips. Apivar is a contact strip. The bees must come in contact with the strip. This is a 6 week treatment. ApiVar comes in a ten strip or 50 strip foil package. Always read and follow the manufacturers label instructions when using Apivar.

Apivar Application Instructions and FAQ

All of these treatments are effective against Varroa Destructor.