Apiguard and other thymol varroicides....

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Clover Queen Bee, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    Hi there, I am currently using Apiguard to treat against Varroa destructor!
    I have used it before, and recently watched videos on the Vita website to get clear clarification on how to use the stuff.
    However, I am still confused. There seems to be the mention of using Apiguard with a 10-14 day interval, presumably after the first dish of Apiguard has been set out for a fortnight, and before the next dish is placed...but it is never actually stated exactly during the instructions... so, when they do the demonstration online, and on the vague instructions for use of the side of the packet, they simply state; put the first dish out for 2 weeks, then replace it with a new one for 2-4 weeks... and so no explanation of this ´mysterious´interval of 10-14 days... does anyone out there know EXACTLY how Apiguard is to be used? I have never given an interval between treatments, and it seemed to do the job. I mean, my bees survived the winter and seemed noticebly less affected by varros... until the end of the summer...
    Also, has anybody out there had any success with other Thymol products, part from those made by Vita. I have recently bought a tub of thymol powder that one mixes into a paste with olive oil and then puts in little hanging holders between the brood frames... I havent used it yet, but a big tub was so much cheaper than Apiguard, I thought I would get it and try... but I´m really interested to hear what other beekeepers have to say on this subject and what your experiences are... Thanks...
     
  2. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    It seems that noone out there deems these questions worthy for an answer... thats a bit of a letdown... perhaps this site isnt everything i hoped it would be?
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a bit impatience is we? <not a good sign for some one wanting to be a beekeeper.

    since I don't treat I cannot really give you any specific beyond some random thoughts to consider. as a general rule I am not a 'virtual' reference or expert and try to limit my comments to what I know or have done (and most of the time both).

    I would guess the 10 to 14 day interval has something to do with the length of time the brood is capped. I would take a wild stab and say the first treatment kills varroa external to sealed brood and the second does kills the varroa on the newly hatched brood.

    ps... sometimes threads do fall thru the crack by no one knowing how to reply and there is certainly nothing wrong with bumping the post back to the top of the list or perhaps by asking someone directly via a pm.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Thymol products have just been approved up here in Canada. I looked into them briefly but it seems to me that the treatment period was longer than usual and the time period for when it was most effective fell right into major flow times. If I remember correctly it broke down into a decision to pass on much of a honey crop or using it.

    PS- Sorry this wasn't responded to earlier, truthfully I somehow missed it entirely. :???:
     
  5. Jacobs

    Jacobs New Member

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    When I use thymol, I use apilife var. It requires 3 separate applications over a 24+ day period. It sounds like each of these thymol products has to be reinforced during the treatment period since the thymol is "used up" as it is exposed to air--thus reapplying apiguard after 14 days, apilife var at day 7 and day 14, (leaving the last application on for 10 days rather than 7). Each is designed to keep some amount of thymol in the hive for longer than the 24 day brood cycle it would take to have drone eggs laid and the drones emerge.

    In short, you put the first tub on for 14 days, remove it and immediately replace it with a fresh dose of apiguard for 14 days+, getting you beyond a full worker and drone brood cycle during the treatment.

    That is my understanding of what is behind the reapplication of thymol products since I don't think they are effective at killing mites in the capped cells where they are produced. They want strong doses of thymol in the hives as new generations of mites emerge from the capped brood cells.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I started out being a believer in 'natural/organic' essential oils as a way of keeping down mites. I fed sugar patties with thyme oil and mint oils. Now I feel these products do little to keep mites under control. Now I use other methods, of manipulation, that do not involve putting strong chemicals into my hives. And make no mistake about it- essential oils are strong and disruptive chemicals, whether they occur naturally or not doesn't really matter. But mostly I leave mite control to my bees. They seem to be doing a pretty good job without my fuming them with anything.
    So that's why at least this one beekeeper (me) didn't reply to your post.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    what jacobs said.
    i have used both apilife var and apiguard in the past. like omie, i no longer use any treatments in my hives for mites.
     
  9. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I helped a local beekeeper treat his hives with thymol. Following his instructions, I then treated my own, but accidently over-medicated. The bees mostly vacated to the outside of the boxes to escape the fumes, while a robbing frenzy was just starting. It was the worst crisis I've had in my short beekeeping experience; killed a bunch of bees and thought I'd killed the queen. I know this isn't the question you asked and I didn't apply it correctly, but I'd be hesistant to try thymol again.
     
  10. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Using Apiguard

    I have used Apiguard for several years. I use it as part of IPM for varroa control. You cannot use Apiguard when the temperature is too hot or too cold or when there is a nectar flow on. I use it during our spring. I know of other keeps who use it after their honey harvest in the autumn.

    I open a tray of Apiguard, put it on the top bars, place a shallow rim round it. and close with a sealed crown board (inner cover). In about 14 days, I check the tray. If the tray is empty or nearly so, I put another tray alongside. If there is quite a bit of powder left in the original tray, I stir it up and do not give another tray --- just close up again.

    I know of 3 other ways of using thymol. There are special thymol frames where the thymol goes in a metal gauze covered cavity. Another way is a thymol/soft paraffin mix which is inserted in the hive entrance. Now an odd one ---- empty a teabag, insert the thymol and re-seal. The 'refreshed' teabag goes in the hive. I have not used any of these alternatives.

    Thymol has a very penetrating smell. If you use thymol powder to make a treatment, you may have to prepare in the shed at the bottom of the garden.
     
  11. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks for your replies...
    Yes, I am impatient... I apologise... but this is a very important issue, so I was genuinely surprised and a little sad that noone had replied yet. Here in Spain and in the UK and elsewhere, Varroa is a big problem for the bees and the ´beeks´.
    I have used Apiguard a few times now, and it seems to do what it needs to. I was wondering if anyone had tried Apistan, and what their experiences and thoughts were on this treatment. It is also made by the Vita company who seem very professional.
    When I recently finished the Apiguard treatment for my bees, I decided to replace their boxes and floors to nice clean ones, and the floors were litered with hundreds ad hundreds of varroa... gross.... What I wondered afterwards, was whether I should have at least kept the boxes that they were in, as they retain some of the smell of the thymol, which would help against the vaorroa a while longer - any ideas?
    I have read it is not a good idea to mess with essential oils, as these can be toxic to bees, as they can be to other animals such as cats... seeing as these are concentrated oils, I think its best to leave messing with them and mixing it with the bees to the scientists... I imagine the dosage would have to be very exact and using minute dosages that might be impossible to achieve without specialist equipment? Vita actually do make a product for bee health that contains essential oils and vitamens, that not only help with their health, but also apparently aid against varroa... has anyone tried this?
    Lastly, has anyone tried any of the other Thymol varroicides on the market? I have one, but it comes with incredibly vague instructions, no quantities mentioned, and the thymol content says 95% or something. I will look up the brand, and post it later. I am concerned that it is not as well researched as the Vita products, although it smells just the same.. Anyway, please let me know your thoughts, Thanks again!
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I think its best to leave messing with them and mixing it with the bees to the scientists

    tecumseh...
    well stated and at least in my mind a bit of advice some commercial beekeepers should consider. I could tell you some tells, but I will not.

    a lot of new beekeeper will see a problem and thn fidget about looking for some solution right now (been there done that myself). over the years I have found that this 'natural instinct' is somewhat to highly ineffective. sometimes it can be downright counter productive. in almost all case you are better off figuring things out in your mind and then doing something later than doing something in haste. in most cases (I am sure their are exceptions) 'the girls' will hang in there long enough for you to construct some reasonable plan.
     
  13. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Varroicides

    Apistan and Bayvarol (both synthetic pyrrethroids) were marketed in the UK before Apiguard. For several years they were the standard treatment to control varroa. The mites developed resistance to this treatment and beekeepers turned to IPM using thymol products as part of IPM.

    The synthetic pyrrethroids have not been used for several years and it has been suggested that some of the current varroa may no longer be resistant to the products. I have heard it suggested that as a short term treatment Apistan or Bayvarol may be useful. All the varroa may not be killed but at least the population may be knocked back.

    It appears that you are using solid floors. Other members of the forum will be able to explain the advantages/disadvantages of using an Open Mesh Floor, Varroa Floor or Screened Bottom Board.

    Your thirst for info about varroa may be slaked by looking at the National Bee Unit / Beebase web-site. It includes a 38 page pdf about varroa. :eek:ldtimer:
     
  14. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    Thanks for the tips and info... I was using open mesh floors throughout the year, the end of winter, spring and summer, but due to the heavy rainfall this autumn, decided to go for the solid floors this winter... I found that using the open mesh floors during the rainy period, just damaged the floors, of which I only have 2... they went a bit black with damp mould and so I thought I´d save them for Springtime and summer next year... what kind of floors do you use Barbarian?
     
  15. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    My Floors

    I use varroa floors 12/12. I only insert the slide/tray when I use Apiguard (temperature maintenance). At other times the varroa fall through the mesh to the ground. The floor sits on a simple 12" hive stand.

    My varroa floors are home-made to a wood-butcher design and are preservative treated (unpainted).