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Author Topic: What do you use? Or Reccomend?  (Read 3245 times)
MustbeeNuts
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« on: January 16, 2009, 11:06:18 PM »

What do you prefer to use and why,
1. Mite-Away
2.Apigard.
I was thinking the mite-away, but second thinking maybe api-gard?
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 11:35:09 PM »

I don't use either.  I want to develop bees that have a natural relationship with mites, that is, develop bees that can survive inspite of the mite.  Until we do that we're helping make the problem worse, IMO.
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 07:32:11 AM »

Neither here too.

When I get a hive that needs treatment to survive, I use oxalic acid, but it has been years since I've had to do that.


But if given your choices, I would probably go with mite-away.    Either choice is much better than say Checkmite or Apistan which I would never consider using.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 08:23:48 AM »

Am I too assume then that neither of you have an IPM in place, or due to converting to small cell/ natural/ or foundationless, you feel that for you, a mite control situation is in effect.  I may in time convert either foundationless, or small cell regression, but as this is only my second year coming, felt that a obligatory treatment plan was needed. I read about powdered sugar treatments, menthol, oxalic acid , formic acid, and  a host of things, all reccomended, suggested, and exclaimed necessary. Yes some from the vendors, but also many beeks, I guess my concern was/is that on this the second year I should take extra precautions to have in place a treatment plan.
 
I did last year a fall treatment for nosema, and have no idea if that did anything, but again it was highly reccomended, there was supposed to be a new strain of nosema, twice as hard on the bees.

Its difficult to decide a plan of action due the the many ways of keeping bees. One gentleman made the remark to me that there are 100 ways to care for the bees, and there all correct! His suggestion was do what works for you. However having done nothing really, last year. Nothing has worked fine, because nothing was tried.

See my little delema. Decisions Decisions??
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009, 08:44:53 AM »

What do you prefer to use and why,
1. Mite-Away
2.Apigard.
I was thinking the mite-away, but second thinking maybe api-gard?


Of the two, I would use apiguard.

Here's why....

Many I see, use mite-away too late in the season. Many wait until the temps drop, and many times this is after the fall brood cycle. I think there is a fine line between enough to kill a mite, and not enough to harm bees. I have read some who caught on after thinking about it, then suggest that using the acid treatments would be best prior to the fall brood cycle, so the new winter bees would not be "aged" by the treatment. But then they say nothing about the "aged" queen, as if she would not be just as harmed as the bees would.

With both formic and oxalic treatments, there is an area in southeastern Pennsylvania, that has pushed these treatments for a number of years. And the yearly losses incurred always seem to be high. And although I have no connection to suggest at this time, they also seem to be a hotbed in recent times to a abnormally high infection rate of AFB.

**There are some commercial beekeepers who will not have bees any longer than a certain number of days on blueberries out in the Midwest. Seems that having the hives on certain crops, and blueberries (which are grown on specific soil types in regards to acidity, etc.) in particular, somehow translated into a increase in AFB rates. I was once quoted something about AFB being connected to different PH levels and the connection to blueberries. I said Huh? But I did locate a good amount of information about these observations with some dating back many years. And at least one commercial pollinator said it was true, and something known and discussed in some circles of the bee industry. So are PH levels being effected in hives by such treatments, much like what we know in regards to certain nectar sources brought into the hive?

So although I am not connecting any dots, I also can not say what happens on a microorganism level, a organic matter level, or anything else in regards to acid treatments inside a hive. Are you killing beneficial microorganisms, bacteria, etc., by these treatments? Are there side consequences not even thought of at this time? I'm not so sure about such treatments.

Api-guard to me, at least in one step better.

I think with the right genetics, brood breaks, equipment option, and other items, that you can keep mites low without treatments of these types. I'm not convinced in their effectiveness. And I'm certainly not comfortable with their potential damage level.
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 09:44:27 AM »

See my little delema. Decisions Decisions??

Absolutely, been there done that.  it is a tough place to be in and there is no right answer.  Furthermore,  what works for some doesn't work for others.   Back in the early 90s when essential oils WAS the answer,  I lost a bunch of hives TRYING to make it work.  Then mineral oil WAS the answer,  and I struggled with that with mixed results.   It wasn't until I started communicating with some European beekeepers who had been dealing with mites for decades that I started to make headway.  They have had continual success with formic and oxalic acid for many years.  Formic acid is more difficult to come by than oxalic acid in the US because I understand it is used in illegal drug processing, so I went with oxalic.  Prior to using oxalic acid,  a good year was when I had a 50% survival rate.  The first year with oxalic acid I was back to the <10% losses that we had in the 70s/80s.  Do I think the acids are completely harmless to the bees, absolutely not,  but given the choice of them surviving or perishing,  I'll take the acid anyday.  I don't believe there is any treatment that is totally harmless to the bees, but do believe the damage to the bees is less than many of the other treatment methods. I know some European beeks that treat all hives yearly and have been doing so for decades. With that said,  I do not do any preventative treatments, only treat when absolutely required and would advise others to do the same.

I have also made a few other changes in my beekeeping practices that may or may not have contributed to my current "no need to treat" condition.  I have migrated to all local acclimatized bees.  I raise all my queens from local feral stock and no longer purchase stock from other areas.   I also have about half my bees on HSC and most in polystyrene hives with solid bottom boards.  Although controversial, there are some claims that varroa does not do as well in warmer conditions provided by solid bottom boards verses screened bottom boards.

Just to be clear, before someone tries to refute my comments,  I am not claiming I have the answer OR trying to promote or convince others to use my methods. I stand no benefit from others invoking anything that I do, and am merely sharing what is currently working for me.  Climate plays a big part of beekeeping and what works in some areas will not work in others.  Every beekeeper must obtain the information they need to make a rationale decision for themselves. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2009, 11:16:16 AM »

apiguard.  only big drawback with it is the temp requirements.  i used nothing last year.  kind of an experiment to see how my swarms and cut outs do without.  i get a good brood break in winter.

near as i can tell, you have 3 semi-natural choices.  powdered sugar, OA, and apiguard, if you are going to use something.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2009, 11:29:08 AM »

near as i can tell, you have 3 semi-natural choices.  powdered sugar, OA, and apiguard, if you are going to use something.

I have to admit,  I don't stay up on all the trade names since most weren't around when I was dealing with treating for mites.  But isn't mite-away formic acid?
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2009, 11:34:11 AM »

near as i can tell, you have 3 semi-natural choices.  powdered sugar, OA, and apiguard, if you are going to use something.

I have to admit,  I don't stay up on all the trade names since most weren't around when I was dealing with treating for mites.  But isn't mite-away formic acid?



Absolutely, that is what they state on the flyer.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2009, 06:07:38 PM »

>What do you use? Or Reccomend?

I suppose this is why you got responses from those who use no treatments.  I'd be in that group.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2009, 07:57:54 PM »

His suggestion was do what works for you. However having done nothing really, last year. Nothing has worked fine, because nothing was tried.
See my little delema.

Seems like nothing works. Where's the delima?
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2009, 09:12:02 PM »

Let's not miss the first, most important step.

Check, check, check. If you keep up with the condition of the hives you will likely know what you want to use and when, because of the mite level at any given time. I think the worst possible treatment you can do is "preventative". It is my opinion that more hives are lost by treating when not needed than is lost to mites.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2009, 12:35:19 AM »

i agree that keeping on top of things is the best way to know if and when to treat.  the problem is that most new beekeepers don't know what they are looking at.  by the time they realize they have a problem, the hive is lost.  this is extremely discouraging to someone just starting out.  a 1st year package shouldn't need treatment.  after that, you'll have mites.  if you can tolerate the loss of hives and want to try not treating, that's a fine choice.  if you can't afford to replace or don't have the heart for the loss, you probably should consider treating.  as you get more experienced, you can make more informed choices. 

i just hate it when new folks are made to feel like they are breaking some law of nature by treating for mites.  do what you have to do, until you can figure out what you want to do.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 08:43:38 AM »

kathyp,
I agree with what you said. Many people have questioned my own explanations on helping someone use apistan or checkmite, suggesting that when such advice is given, they take that to mean that I endorse or use the stuff myself. I don't, but I would much rather see them use it correctly, than in ways that others do it incorrectly.

One of the problems I see, is the overall industry. The industry being outside of such discussion groups as this. That being about 99% of all beekeepers. In that world, and for much of what I see myself in county, state, and even larger organizations, you get one picture painted across the board. IF YOU DO NOT TREAT, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BEES!

Keeping the idea, and the one that is reality, meaning "treating" equals using chemicals sold as strips, etc., than that is the overall message that MOST beekeepers come in contact with.

Whether it be county clubs, or state associations, there are always segments of the "new beginner" courses that deal with dumping chemicals into the hives, right after what seems endless hours of discussing every known malady to beekeeping. And of course, you will not hear about genetics, the different strains of bees, alternative IPM strategies, and more natural approaches to beekeeping. Many times, new beekeepers come away with the idea that if they do not treat they will lose their hive, if they do not dump in terramyacin from day one they will get AFB, if they mention a TBH they are made to feel that they are idiots for such nonsense, and if they want to go natural they are just a tree hugging moron who deserves to be lose their hives. And I think we have all seen such matters played out.

So beekeepers come here and hear the other 1% of beekeeping. They hear passionate people telling passionate stories of better ways of keeping bees. It is the new beekeeper that needs to keep it in perspective, just as they need to keep it in perspective with all the garbage about what they learn in those beginner courses with the discussions of using chemicals.

But the winds are changing. EAS, this year, has the theme along the lines of "natural beekeeping". A little late in my opinion and way over due to address some of the items they now want to talk about. But I'm glad to see the effort. I just hope they are not lining up standard "academia" types who are just saying enough of what people want to hear, without the true commitment that is needed, and not using "real" people doing "real" things.

I direct many people to this site. And I tell all of them, "The site is great to come in contact with many types of beekeepers, whether the smallcell crowd, the organic crowd, etc. Take it all with a grain of salt.

And I think I would rather have passionate people talk about "breaking some law of nature" in regards to the very "unnatural aspect of dumping in chemicals" instead of the long standing practice of telling beekeepers "if they don't use chemicals, they will lose their bees".

If you hate others being so passionate and one-sided, then be that voice in the middle. I know I have no problem with that. But I can not expect everyone to not be biased or opinionated here, anymore than what I could expect the bee industry to all stand up and stop telling new beekeepers to NOT use chemicals. So you end up with extremes on both sides, with that much needed gray area in the middle. Beating your head over it is useless. So here...beat on this.... beat a dead horse

I think all new beekeepers should be exposed to those that do not use chemicals. And if they start from day one, then all the better.

BTW...I do think that its against natures laws, when we created this problem ourselves, and continue to perpetuate it by having bees rely on chemicals to stay alive....(alive but not healthy). That does indeed go against nature's laws.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2009, 09:33:52 AM »

nicely said.  guess i should point out that i was not directing my comment toward anyone in particular. 
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If you hate others being so passionate and one-sided, then be that voice in the middle
passion is great and it makes for great teachers.  there are a very few people who treat take it to extremems and treat "natural" like a religion.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2009, 07:04:57 AM »

Let's not miss the first, most important step.

Check, check, check. If you keep up with the condition of the hives you will likely know what you want to use and when, because of the mite level at any given time. I think the worst possible treatment you can do is "preventative".
I agree most heartily with Iddee.  The idea behind IPM is that treatment - whatever you decide - should only be applied if there's a problem, not as part of an "obligatory" plan. Monitor your mite loads; treat when needed. I use sticky boards and do counts of mite drops. I treat with powdered sugar if I see over 50 mites in a 24-hr period. Again, my point is that treatment should follow diagnosis of a problem and not be a "calendar event".
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2009, 02:25:10 PM »

hii bjorn,

it's not clear who the speakers at eas will be this year.  they had published erik osterland and dee lusby in their spring newsletter...but since then, they (and michael palmer) have been cut from the program due to "budget" issues.  kim flottum had told our local club that due to the theme, there would be more beekeepers and less researchers speaking than usual.  at this point, i understand that kirk webster is on the program...but i have no idea who else is.

deknow

But the winds are changing. EAS, this year, has the theme along the lines of "natural beekeeping". A little late in my opinion and way over due to address some of the items they now want to talk about. But I'm glad to see the effort. I just hope they are not lining up standard "academia" types who are just saying enough of what people want to hear, without the true commitment that is needed, and not using "real" people doing "real" things.
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2009, 02:58:54 PM »

Hi MustBeeNuts!

I use Apiguard and it has worked very well for me, and recommend it highly.  I used it in 07 and that winter had 0 hives die.  It has some downsides, namely they chewed out the pupaes when I applied it when it was really hot.  But all the hives made it and thrived (except for the one with a swarm queen that had a chronic chalkbrood which needed new queen)

If I had 30 hives or more and bought special queens and tried to keep the strains going, I might not treat, but since I only have 10 or less hives and get my queens from splits, swarms, or buying cheap mutts, I'd rather not lose too many hives.

It is nice if you are at the point where you don't need to treat them, but don't feel guilty at all if you do want to treat.  At this point in my beekeeping journey, I feel better treating than the possibility of a large portion of my hives dying.
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2009, 06:03:59 PM »

I like apriguard and have had great results with it. I recomend Apriguard. 
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