Anyone used mite away quick strips? I just ordered some and received them yesterday. Says daytime temperatures in from 50-92. Do you know if it's ok if the evening temps get lower than that? Was hoping to put them on today perhaps.
Some friends of mine here in the Bay Area have used them with mixed results. They followed the instructions carefully and had massive mite kill but also had allot of dead bees including a few queens. Some went to just 1 strip between brood boxes instead of two and had no dead queens and allot of dead mites.
I have never used them but if I did, I would take out the queen with a few attendants and some food for the first day and put here back in on day two. I think that would be less stress on her than the MAQS.
Newbee here.......i put two strips on a hive Saturday afternoon, both on the top of frames in bottom box as shown on the instructions. So far, all appears to be well from the outside. No massive bee kills. I'll know more after inspection this weekend, and I'll do a mite count next Mon-Wed and report on my findings.
I have read of some instances of bees and queens dying during this treatment. Probably not the norm, but perhaps there is a risk involved. At the very least I would recommend following the directions to the letter and erring on the safe side.
How many hives are you talking about?
I am following this with great interest. MAQS has just been approved for use up here and I would like to add it to my arsenal, but I have heard a couple of disconcerting things like CharlieB and Omie mentioned. Maybe it was a temperature thing that will be easier for us up north to deal with?
I read (and understood from my phone call to Brusy Mountain this morning about the temps) that lots of ventilation is the key. I also saw that they were just released Jan 2011 for the US. I did lots of reading and studying up on it as best I could and it seemed like the best bet for me. I do like that it's using formic acid which is naturally occuring in the environment and in honey. I'm going to open up the screened bottom boards I put on specifically to do mite counts. I'm also going to add an empty medium super as it suggests. I know it's supposed to be "honey flow" safe, but I will just be adding my medium supers for honey tomorrow (weather permitting) for the first time this season. So they are 10 frames of foundation. 2 hives will be treated. I'll definitely keep you posted.
Thank you for sharing your results, CharlieB. I'm not sure what I will do in regards to the queen, but I'll be sure to post it.
Pilotbeekeeper, I look forward to hearing how yours fare as well. =)
After three days with MAQS, report is still good so far. It did dip down to low 40's here Tuesday night which was not in the forecast on Saturday when i inserted the strips. Hopefully one night that low temp won't diminish the effect too bad. Will give another update when i go in the hive this Saturday and remove the strips. Then I'll send a final report by Tues with the mite count.
I applied my mite strips today. Initial impressions - it was very quick and painless. I drove to my hive five min. away in the (currently empty) watermelon patch. This is my strongest hive (Hive #1). I removed the mite count board and cleaned it off - wiping with papertowels and putting in trashbag. Don't want to give the shb stuff to feed on as someone suggested in another post. Removed entrance reducers completely. Opened MAQS bucket - no fumes to speak of when opening the bucket. It was breezy, but not windy. A little overcast at first but then the sun came out. Approx. 70 in the shade - 80ish in the sun. I did not use any smoke at all. Directions say to "disrupt" them as little as possible and not to apply until at least three days after an inspection. My last inspection of both hives was about 5 or more days ago.
Opened package with a knife, still very few "fumes" to speak of - mind you, I wasn't trying to sniff them either - I used tongs to handle the strips. Upon applying them - buzzing sounds of the hive increased about 20 fold. Bees moved right out of the way of the strips though. Put top deep back on, then an empty medium with 10 frames of foundation. I'm hoping because it's foundation and not drawn comb, it will help increase the ventilation. Closed back up - very easy to put supers back on with zero girls squished because they had vacated the entire top surface of each super. I did notice the fumes were pretty strong when putting the two supers back on top. That is really the only time I even noticed the fumes. (I have read a lot about people saying "next time" they'll use a respirator. I definitely did not find the fumes that troublesome at all.)
Same situation and scenario in hive 2. I'm more concerned about Hive 2 because it's a weaker hive and they just requeened. Don't know if the queen cell is hatched and if she has mated. Three queens cells that I'm aware of as of last inspection on approx. 3/28 or 3/29.
Also - I did have a new finding when taking out hive 2's mite board and cleaning it. Little worms. 2 or 3 to be exact. Are these perhaps from the wax moth? I thought their "babies" were laid in cocoons throughout the frames. It seems I have a whole new problem about to emerge based on the "worm" findings. Luckily I know I've got a strong hive (#1) and a strong nuc and I can go from there if something happens. Although I would prefer of course not to have any problems. Hoping very much that once Hive 2's queen emerges, mates, starts laying - they will get strong enough to fight off these invaders.
Well it's after the fact, but if it were me I wouldn't have put the things in when there was a queen developing in a queen cell. I would have waited until after I made sure she had emerged, mated, and had started laying. But that's just me.
Wax worms are big fat and really disgusting looking.
So it is a mystery what these odd worms were then. They were squirming around on the mite count board. I will try later to see if I can find a picture of them.
Omie - it seems I tend to be more "experimental" in my beekeeping since I'm a newbee perhaps. Since I have two hives, I feel as though I'll have some back up. I would like to buy a queen or two, so if I do lose this queen, I feel I'm hopefully prepared for it. Reading and "studying" helps tremendously, put I'm a "hands-on" learner that learns by doing, making mistakes, trying, etc.
If I were to write all the things that go on in my head, I would probably lose you all after the first paragraph. =( I constantly analyze and reanalyze, think and rethink, plan and replan. I usually go with my gut feelings on a lot of things - something that has served me well as a Paramedic. I'm trying to keep my "brain" out of one hive so I'll always have one if things do go wrong. I am an admitted control freak, and I know the bees know what they're doing. I just like to learn and see as much as I can about it.
And my dear sweet dog died Saturday. He was 13 years old and had been with me since he was 4 months old. I'm trying to keep myself occupied and out of a deafeningly silent house as much as possible. Thinking I'll try to catch me a swarm next. LOL. My brain never stops. =( (and that is NOT a good thing)
But always - thank you for all the input/advice/ideas. I'll keep you posted. =)
Thanks for the updates folks, I'm learning something here! :thumbsup:
bwwertz, very sorry to hear about your dog and I fully appreciate your loss. Several years ago I lost a dog (a whippet) that I had for 16 years to the month. I had that dog for well over a third of my life at that point. I wouldn't get another for several years after that but eventually came around to the view that I was depriving another dog of a good home! :wink: We adopted a retired greyhound, and we've never regretted it. :grin:
Wertz, I can certainly relate to you being an 'experimenter'. That's exactly what I've done for my first years of beekeeping. That's the best one can do- listen carefully to what everyone says and writes...and then do what they feel is best for them.
I'm so sorry about your beloved dog. It's always so hard to lose one of our precious animal companions. They are like family.
Went back into my hives today. It's been exactly 9 days since the MAQS were applied. My Dad's hive (the strongest) - shocked at what I found. Running two deeps - queen was gone - no eggs, only 4 frames with capped brood. no larva. Found about TWELVE new queen cells. All located in the middle of the frames except for one frame on the bottom deep. They also seem to have less bess - but more than I'd think would be left if they had swarmed.
My hive - worked entire hive - they looked about the same - could not find queen......putting frames back into bottom deep and happen to notice a small congregation of bees about 2 feet from the hive on a 4x4 - IT WAS THE QUEEN! I was thrilled and mystified at the same time. I managed to capture her - i was terrified she would fly away - mark her - and let her walk right into the entrance! Wow! I am still walking around scratching my head over that one. Maybe she was on her mating flight? No clue, really. I'm just sure glad I found her and she went back home! I did notice that the hive was much "louder" than I remember it being. Maybe it's because the queen had just left?