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Adding Apiguard with super in place

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HebeGeeBees 

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I only started beekeeping at the end of June this year, working with one National hive, so am feeling my way through each new experience.

My bees have managed to draw out the frames of two supers and fill one super entirely already.

I am planning on taking one super off today but leaving the other for them to continue filling (if they can).

My question relates to applying Apiguard. My bees varroa count in Mid-July was between 4 and 5 a day. As this will have risen since I think that I need to start treating with Apiguard as soon as possible. As I was going to leave one super on, how do I set up the hive? eg if I have to put the Apiguard on the top of the brood box but I'm leaving a super on, does that mean that I have to take the QX off or do I put it above the cover board that will hold the Apiguard? I appreciate that I will not be able to harvest the super that is left but I planned on leaving it for the bees for winter.

I am also worried that there is not much flow and that perhaps I should be feeding them but the Apiguard advice is that this is not advisable during treatment.

Any suggestions gratefully received
 

MuswellMetro 

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I only started beekeeping at the end of June this year, working with one National hive, so am feeling my way through each new experience.

My bees have managed to draw out the frames of two supers and fill one super entirely already.

I am planning on taking one super off today but leaving the other for them to continue filling (if they can).

My question relates to applying Apiguard. My bees varroa count in Mid-July was between 4 and 5 a day. As this will have risen since I think that I need to start treating with Apiguard as soon as possible. As I was going to leave one super on, how do I set up the hive? eg if I have to put the Apiguard on the top of the brood box but I'm leaving a super on, does that mean that I have to take the QX off or do I put it above the cover board that will hold the Apiguard? I appreciate that I will not be able to harvest the super that is left but I planned on leaving it for the bees for winter.

I am also worried that there is not much flow and that perhaps I should be feeding them but the Apiguard advice is that this is not advisable during treatment.

Any suggestions gratefully received
why are you leaving the super on?

i prefer to feed in september any uncapped honey or non extracted honey back to the bees so they put it in the brood after apiguard rather than leave a super on as they in my experience rarely move over to the super in mid winter and ifr they do, they can get stranded and starve

and less contamination with thymol in next years honey
 

HebeGeeBees 

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What do you do with the frames in the meantime?

How do you feed it back to them in September (ie after the Apiguard treatment)?

Won't the bees be too crowded if they are all in the brood box at this time of year?
 

Arfermo 

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As as explained by a FERA rep at a Varroa meeting here last night, feeding during treatment with Apiguard is not impossible but it is unusual. Best left until afterwards. As for leaving a super on, similar response if you really must but it's not necessary unless you think the brood box(es) are not stuffed with enough to carry them through. Even then, if the bees do not eat it soon enough, it may crystallise and in the cold they may not be able to use it anyway. It depends what they foraged on as they filled it. Sugar syrup or fondant is just as good IMO. The other point that was mentioned, is that if one has a double BB or one and a half brood box, it was recommended to move the upper box below the lower one as bees usually work upwards as the temperature declines. Last, Apiguard works best when the ambient temperature is above 15C. The other proprietary thymol treatments that are approved are less suited to our climate, particularly the new Apivar (Approved last week) as both only work well at marginally higher temperatures - just a small point to gild the lilly. Oh, and, if you haven't already got it, FERA issued an update to their leaflet on "Managing Varroa" and even though it is already slightly out of date (things do move quickly these days) it ia must - in fact you can see it on line at the FERA website www.defra.gov.uk/fera. Sorry if I have gone OTT but this is the critcal point of the season that bee husbandry needs the most careful attention.
 
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beebreeder 

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Are you sure you mean that Apivar is approved and it is thymol based?
 

Arfermo 

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Are you sure you mean that Apivar is approved and it is thymol based?
That is what we were told. Apivar was approved within the last 2 weeks but the FERA rep (with a distiction in the Advanced beekeping exam) did not know of a source but thinks it is available on the continent (Germany/), and because they have a drier and warmer ambient temperatures there, it could be popular - but not in UK as Apiguard works at a lower ambient temp - which is clearly better frankly.
 
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Hivemaker. 

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The other proprietary thymol treatments that are approved are less suited to our climate, particularly the new Apivar

Which is not thymol based,or temperature dependant.
 

beebreeder 

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I think someone must get their facts right otherwise a lot of confusion could result, Apivar and Api life Var are two different products, one is thymol based and temperature dependant the other is contact based as the apistan and bayverol used to be
 

Arfermo 

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I think someone must get their facts right otherwise a lot of confusion could result, Apivar and Api life Var are two different products, one is thymol based and temperature dependant the other is contact based as the apistan and bayverol used to be
Thanks for pointing out that I made a slight error in what I wrote. However, the essential point is that, of the 3 variations in Api type treatments that I mentioned, for the vagaries of the climate we live with in the UK and bearing in mind that the mite drop efficacy of each of the three is broadly the same, Apiguard is likely to be more effective that the others because it works at lower ambient temperature. It also involves less interference with the hives. I hope we can at least agree on that. Incidentally, I have not the slightest vested interest either way. Your choice. The most important point is that some treatment, before a debilitating cold spell such as we had last year makes matters worse, is absolutely essential IMO. Some newbies do not believe the importance of this advice should be paramount in their bee activity schedule.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Apiguard is likely to be more effective that the others because it works at lower ambient temperature. It also involves less interference with the hives. I hope we can at least agree on that.

No....apiguard requires an eke, and the colony needs to be treated twice,plus queens can be put off lay,and the bee's from feeding with thymol based varroa treatments.
Apivar strips are placed in the hive between the brood frames once for the entire duration of treatment,no eke's needed or other disturbance,plus will work effectively in very low temperature as its not at all temperature dependant...works by contact.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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In the past I have taken supers off end July. Apiguard in August. Supers back on in September. Feed if needed. I then put the full super under the brood box, no queen excluder, later in the season. Bees will cluster in the brood box (warmest at the top of the hive). Plenty of food below. Can easily treat with Oxalic Acid in winter. Crown board off. Dribble. Crown board on. Takes seconds. No need to feed or worry about starvation (!) as plenty of stores. In Spring, remove empty super from underneath before queen starts laying in it. The bees will have eaten any hard ivy honey from the super and it's clean and ready to go on once the brood nest has expanded.
 

beebreeder 

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The end of the season/ winter prepatation varies a lot depending on where in the country you live and if you take bees to the heather, the best new beekeepers can do is get local advice, the forum is great but it can cause a lot of confusion. Some of us are still raising queens but in other places the drones are going already, we are a small country but with fairly big weather and temp differences so talk to local beekeepers
 

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