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ApiLifeVar query

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drstitson 

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Hi - i'm almost a week into treatment. Two minor things of note:

1. wonderful thymol smell permeating the apiary area over at least 3m radius despite being a fairly open well ventilated site, and

2. don't seem to have the problem of beescrowding out of the hive that some people describe when treating.

However, here is the query. Today i found 1/4 "biscuit" on the hive porch with a group of attendants and another 1/4 "biscuit" on the ground below. Is the grreny-black substance just an inert vehicle for the active ingredients or is it meant to "dissolve" away like apiguard? obviously don't know how long the bits have been outside the hive for.

Note: my weaker hive with mouseguard in place has obviously not had a similar problem!!!
 

drstitson 

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thought so...

certainly seemed to be same size as when added and had less obvious aroma. wonder why they couldn't choose a slightly more robust material? might be worth having some sheets of fine gauze to lay them on (or even wrap in).
 
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I think the idea is the bees do actually chuck some or all of it out. I seem to recall something simliar happens with Apiguard - the bees remove it bit by bit as left to its own devices Apiguard dries out to a solid residue.
 

drstitson 

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update

well - went back down (half hour or so later) and there was a small piece on the ground and the two bits i'd poked back in were on way out again.

have pushed back in again and swapped mouseguard over from other hive while i dig the other out of storage. That should stop them!

The other hive has no sighs of chunks on the mesh floor (yet!) just a few tiny fragments on the varroa board when checked (along with 5 mites).
 

RoseCottage 

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So can we stick it down to prevent them just checking it away?
 

drstitson 

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presume a bit of propolis might help (or vaseline) but the "biscuits" are so fragile you can't really handle them much at all (if you actually get them intact that is).
 

phil112 

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The same happened to me.

My first strip of treatment was broken up in the packet and some of the small pieces fell between the frames as as I was balancing the larger bits on top.

The next morning, their was a pile of pieces in front of the hive where the debris had been dragged out.

I'll be going back to Apiguard next year.
 
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Make a dish out of tin foil and poke holes in it...
 

drstitson 

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"Make a dish out of tin foil and poke holes in it..."

good idea - but can't wait to see the bees pushing a tiny foil "boat" out of the entrance!!!!

will contact manufacturers and see if anything can be done about the formulation or mode of application.
 
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It is essential to open the packet with a pair of scissors. If you try ripping it open the tablets get broken up. The packet could do with a warning on the outside about this.

However, don't worry too much about the bees dragging bits out of the hive. The small bits have a large surface area and by the time the bits reach the entrance I suspect they have done their job.
 

drstitson 

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did open with scissors - tearing packets never a strong point and certainly not in marigolds!
however the tabs aren't robust enough for the rough and tumble between factory and hive IMHO!
 

grizzly 

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It was interesting to see how each hive reacted to this treatment, one of mine threw them out, another chewed through them, and another tried to cover the pieces in propolis.

It did stop the queen laying in one of my hives, since treatment has finished she is back into lay.

There seems to be all sorts of reports and stories on this treatment, with some peculiar behaviour being noted.

Anyone had the bees in a colony turn on themselves ???
 

dc197 

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It's my first year of using ApiLifeVar and I too have been disappointed with the mode of application.

I too have written to the manufacturers. Their website sucks and their 'contact us' form (at http:// www . chemicalslaif . it /page/03_contatti.asp) is just a 1990s-style mail-to). You should just send an email straight to info@chemicalslaif.it and not bother with the contact us form.

I mentioned three problems.
1. The way that we have to break a tablet into four. Can't this be done for us so our gloves or fingers don't stink?
2 The way that one packet contains two tablets, meaning that for single0hovers the second tablet has to hang around for a week, leeching its goodness.
3. The way the biscuit crumbles and generally sucks.

Maybe if we all write.....
 

wilderness 

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2 weeks ago I put half a strip of ApiVar on a small colony, this afternoon I checked and they had propolised it completely. I broke the propolis seal and then popped the other half in.

First time I've used it but won't be using again. HiveMaker's recipe for me :coolgleamA:
 

Black Comb 

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Let's face it they don't like thymol.
some of mine are kicking out the tissues (HM recipe on tissues as recommended by Admin.)
 

Heather 

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Open the packet by slicing down half of the length at the side with scissors- One strip slides out then fold over to seal the other in.
 

dc197 

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Reply from Laif

I mentioned that I wrote to Laif raising three issues.

Here is their reply:



----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Daniel,

thanks for your e-mail and to for choosing APILIFE VAR.

I try to answer to your points:

1) we suggest to break the tablet in 4 pieces to increase the evaporation of the product but it is not so fundamental in order to obtain the best results of efficacy, infact you can obtain the same results also to break just in 2 parts and it is easier to do it than break in 4;in some country like Austria, Germany and north of switzerland the beekeepers use 2 whole tablets at the same time replaced after 14 days with other 2 tablets; we should make some field trials also in UK to know if this kind of use can be suggested also in UK; in Italy or in general in south of Europe (with high temperatures during the summer or autunm), this kind of use is not feasible because we would have too much evaporation and so to much disturb for the bees.

2) this can happens when you treat a odd numbers of beehives but in this case you can close with care the bag containing the tablets and put it protect from direct sunlight for a week;there is not risk to lose effectiveness of that tablet.


3) Sometimes it can happen to open the bag and find some broken tablets and that's because of the handling or transport from dealers to customers expecially by post; the bar is fragile so we always suggest (it is written also in the bag) to handle with care the bag and we suggest to all the dealers to protect carefully the bags when they send them by post.
Anyway if you find some bars already broken in more pieces, don't worry, you can put all the pieces on the beehive, the product works the same.
To make the bars stronger would mean to change the formulation and change the characteristic of the product.
From last year we use cartons (also the yellow box) stronger and more resistant in order to protect better the tablets during the transport; we assure that the product arrives in UK undamaged.


I hope to be been clear, I thank you very much for your feedback and suggestions, this is very important for us in order to improve the product and to give right advice to the beekeepers. It can happen to have some problems at the begining but I'm sure that with experience, with a mutual exchange of opinions and suggestions we can reach a perfect level of practice use and performance.

If You need more explanations and information, please do not hesiate to contact us at any moment

Kind Regards

Gianfranco Cadeddu
----------------------------------------------------------
 

louiseww 

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I changed mine on Monday and found the remains of the first lot around the top of the brood box, so removed it all before putting in the second dose.
 

Biddly 

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I used this product on two hives. After the first treatment both hives had bees gathering outside the entrance fairly soon and the bees in the first hive started to fight between themselves - about 20 dead bees. Both hives after 48 hours had thrown out at least one of the four pieces onto the landing board. Hive 1 had 3 pieces out in four days. After the second treatment, the first hives reaction was the same and the second hive had no reaction. I put in the third treatment in exactly the same manner and then went out for just over a hour , when i came back there were 100 or so dead bees on the floor from hive one and they had clustered - the size of a bunch of grapes on the top of the hive. at the entrance mass murder was taking place - they were fighting and killing each other and the body count was mounting up. I rang a few bee friends for advice as it was getting dark and it was a chilly night. To cut a long story short, i got a friend to come around early the next morning and we lifted the super up and i took away the Apilife Var pieces from the brood box. The bees that had clustered at the top of the hive were stil there but smaller as alot had died and there were about 1000+ dead bees on the floor - an awful sight. Within 12 hours and taking the Apilife Var out the hive was back to normal. The bees in this hive are usually very gentle and most time i don't need to smoke them when inspecting the hive and they have never stung me so this reaction to the treatment was very upsetting to see.
 

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