MAQ's, the new varroa treatment.

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Finman 

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Question is: are these better than the nassenheider type applicators?

Until proven, I will continue as I am. I think 5 litres of formic acid were not much more expensive than ten doses of this?
I bought 20 litres formic acid and it was 50 euros.

You may do easily formic acid pad from 65% formic acid. Big amounts you get cheaply from cattle forage chops. Formic acid is used in fresh hay forage making. 20 litre acid is here about 50 US dollars. That you may use rest of your life.


When you have reduced the hive to the 2 box position for winter, take 30-40 ml 65% formic acid and
let it absorb in some soft material like kitchen paper or toalet paper.

- To treat one box hive, use formic acid 15-20 ml.


Then put that acip paper into a litre plastic bag and put it on the hive frames. Make a wound in the plastic pad that acid can evaporate from material to the hive air.

- use rubber cloves when you handle the acid. It scalp your skin with no warning or feelings. It is fatal to bees too and that is why handle acid pads inside the plastic bag.


Treatment is repeated 3-6 times after 1-4 days.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/formic/default.htm
.
 
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BeeJayBee 

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MAQS will be packed in a 10 treatment bucket, with each treatment being 2 strips.

Prices, inclusive of VAT are £55.20/bucket for 1 – 4 buckets
£49.68/bucket for 5 – 9 buckets
£46.92/bucket for 10 plus buckets
Pricey.

What's the shelf life of unused strips?
 

Skyhook 

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Thanks.

It is worth reading Randy Oliver's article about MAQS? From, I think, 2011.
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/an-early-summer-test-of-mite-away-quick-strips/
Thankyou- excellent link, I recommend everyone to read it. The effects on the hive sound similar to thymol- bearding, brood break; but with the advantages of a higher kill (although that could be down to temperature), and the acceptability of using it with supers on.
While it probably makes sense for commercial beeks to prepare their own pads as in Finmans post, I could certainly see this as a useful product for smaller beekeepers.

.
 

Chris B 

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It looks about 50% more expensive than Apiguard on a like for like basis. The prices quoted, are they RRP or wholesale? It will be interesting to see how it's priced by the likes of Th**nes.
I think it will sell well due to the convenience factor.
 

itma 

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While it probably makes sense for commercial beeks to prepare their own pads as in Finmans post, I could certainly see this as a useful product for smaller beekeepers.
...
I think it will sell well due to the convenience factor.
IMHO, most of the people for whom it would be most useful probably have less than 5 hives - so wouldn't want to shell out for 10 expensive strips at once.

But I suspect that the initial target market is likely large-scale beekeepers, who would value (in money terms) both the convenience factor, and the extra productive days of the season that this should give them.
Trial packs for commercial operators and for Associations would account for the 10-packs, I think. My expectation would be that 2-packs and 100-packs would likely follow along next year.

Personally, I think it sounds extremely useful to have a treatment available, that could be used, if need be, while there are crop supers on the hive.
Its another IPM option for summer use.
/ While pyretheroid strips can theoretically be used with supers on, its not a 'nice' thing to do - quite apart from the resistance question.
But being 'expensive', I think its niche among hobby beeks is likely to be for use where needed in season, only. On a hive-by-hive basis. I'm thinking that the price is going to stop it becoming a part of everyone's standard routine.


Now, will it really work safely in the UK, with our climate, our funny little hives, our bees and our mites? I'm remembering that the Italians use Oxalic at about double the strength we do ...
 
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mbc 

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IMHO, most of the people for whom it would be most useful probably have less than 5 hives - so wouldn't want to shell out for 10 expensive strips at once.

But I suspect that the initial target market is likely large-scale beekeepers, who would value (in money terms) both the convenience factor, and the extra productive days of the season that this should give them.
Trial packs for commercial operators and for Associations would account for the 10-packs, I think. My expectation would be that 2-packs and 100-packs would likely follow along next year.

Personally, I think it sounds extremely useful to have a treatment available, that could be used, if need be, while there are crop supers on the hive.
Its another IPM option for summer use.
/ While pyretheroid strips can theoretically be used with supers on, its not a 'nice' thing to do - quite apart from the resistance question.
But being 'expensive', I think its niche among hobby beeks is likely to be for use where needed in season, only. On a hive-by-hive basis. I'm thinking that the price is going to stop it becoming a part of everyone's standard routine.


Now, will it really work safely in the UK, with our climate, our funny little hives, our bees and our mites? I'm remembering that the Italians use Oxalic at about double the strength we do ...
A well thought out post, thanks.
A usefull tool for firefighting varroa when there's supers on.
 

itma 

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The Randy Oliver trial appears to be raising some concerns ---
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/an-early-summer-test-of-mite-away-quick-strips/

After reading from the above link. I will not be purchasing, at least not until others on the forum report back on their findings. It looks like the young larva/brood is culled completely. Setting back progress in the Spring, just what we don't need.
In any case WHY do we need yet another treatment for our Bees.
Most of us established Beeks want to cut down of what we spend on our bees not increase!
Bob.

I wonder if Bob read through to the end - where the conclusion is
My concern that colony disruption by the strips would negatively affect my honey crop also appears to be unfounded. In fact, a brood break just at the start of the flow may be of benefit, as per the Killian method of comb honey production.

And the conclusion on queen deaths is also rather different to the initial impression
Reports of excessive queen loss due to treatment appear to be largely unfounded, provided that the product is applied properly. Further communication with the affected beekeepers revealed that the natural queen loss rate of surrounding beekeepers during the same time period (but who hadn’t treated) was also unusually high. Here’s a follow-up email from a beekeeper who had earlier suspected major queen loss:

“I have now gone through all my treated colonies, and they are bouncing back pretty well, as forecast. The nurses obviously went some time without larva to feed as there is now a superabundance of pap in the cells, just like when cell starters go for days waiting for larvae to feed. Lost some queens, but not as bad as it looked previously. They are accepting the replacement queens well. If it cleans the mites as well as claimed, it is well worth it. I think that I may have overreacted somewhat.”

The results of this trial, and of others that I’ve seen the data from, do not indicate that MAQS treatment causes excessive queen losses.
It seems that Randy Oliver's initial scepticism was overcome by his own trial ...
 
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alanf 

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A usefull tool for firefighting varroa when there's supers on.
That sounds like the most likely use. There's potential as a standby but a quick search shows some issues over shelf life in the manufacturer faq:

Handling the MAQS strips:
Store in a cool environment, the colder the better. Always wear proper gloves rated
for use with formic acid (neoprene, PVC, nitrile) when opening and handling. The
strips do get stickier over time.
Is that a 'stickier' strip because the acid is breaking down the gel over time? There are reports that users have been told the strips keep for years in a freezer, but the pack expiry seems to be around a year. Acid hydrolysis with the rate depending on temperature would be a guess. As with any 'keep cool' products you don't know the storage conditions in warehouse/retailer unless it's a requirement to be kept frozen.
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Getting it right regards the weather is the important bit bit with formic.

Also it can mess up drones, if used in spring.

I predict an increased loss of queens, i believe they are balled by the bees when the formic is applied, and they panic.
 

itma 

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... the prospect of bee bearding/browned grass/dead brood/possible fibs about it going through cappings/pretence that it's a "big thing" in honey (that doesn't cause extensive fumes). Nope. Not for me. ...
"possible fibs about it going through cappings" ???

I thought it was well established that Formic could deal with Varroa in sealed cells.
It is even mentioned in DEFRA's "Managing Varroa" ...

Is there any serious doubt about its ability to act through cappings?
 

Skyhook 

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Getting it right regards the weather is the important bit bit with formic.

Also it can mess up drones, if used in spring.

I predict an increased loss of queens, i believe they are balled by the bees when the formic is applied, and they panic.
Could you elaborate re weather? Is it too hot or too cold that's the problem, or both? What is the optimum and what are the parameters?

Like many on here, I'm seeing it as a possible firefighting measure, and would like to know as much as possible about what I'm dealing with.

Thanks
 

Hivemaker. 

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With formic there needs to be a certain amount of the acid evaporated for it to be effective, around seven grams a day or more, but not too much more, in a national brood box. High humidity effects the rate of evaporation,even if it is warm weather, so humidity is also important, not just temperature.

Some reading about formic on Alans website.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/formic/default.htm

Here is some info on effective evaporation rates, athough using the nassenheiders.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/nassentest.html
 
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MuswellMetro 

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I'm with Susbees on the porous cappings debate

:judge:
"possible fibs about it going through cappings" ???

I thought it was well established that Formic could deal with Varroa in sealed cells.
It is even mentioned in DEFRA's "Managing Varroa" ...

Is there any serious doubt about its ability to act through cappings?
we had a discussion last night at our beginners meeting, what also worries me is mixing formic and thymol treatments on joint apiaries

this is a quote on the NZ eweb site...it may penetrate the cappings in the lab but does it work in the hive

It is suggested that formic acid is able to kill varroa in capped brood cells as well as on adult bees. Tests where brood combs were fumigated in closed plastic foam boxes at 50ml for 1 hour killed 100% of mites in the brood cells with 90% of brood surviving the treatment48. However, vapours may not be sufficient to produce similar results in field conditions.

Adverse Effects: Use of Formic acid gel resulted in removed drone eggs, delayed drone production and reduced adult drone survival (24% survival at 10 days old vrs. 49% for controls). Unlike fluvalinate, formic acid did not reduce drone weight or weight of glands.

Surviving drones had higher levels of sperm than controls33. Formic acid may also have adverse effects on open brood and hatching bees, depending on ambient temperature and device used, although loss of brood did not have a negative effect on colony overwintering in mid-European conditions92. Formic acid produced the highest rate of adult bee mortality (35.3 bees/hive/day) of 6 substances tested52
 
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Finman 

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This is a good report how to treat varroa with formic acid.

.http://www.apinovar.com/articles/flash.en.html

Conclusion and discussion
In our trials the flash method showed interesting potential as a Fall treatment in replacement of chemical treatments.

In 2003, given the very high level of infestation at the outset of the treatment period, none of the alternatives tested reduced the natural mites fall to a save level for the Winter (9) but the flash method, with 4 applications, gave the best results. In 2004 the the mites fall reduction by the flash method has been more important, reaching 96,2% compared to 98% for the Coumaphos®. Theoretically with average daily natural mortality levels that would be around 25 before the treatment, a 96% reduction would result in a natural mortality under 1 varroa/day after 4 applications.

Flash also seems to be a good mid-season treatment because of both its extremely short duration and good efficiency as a single application. A mid-season flash application can release the treatment pressure in September and the number of treatments required. It is a useful tool in a IPM strategy.

The flash proved to be the fastest treatment to apply. I takes 10-15 minutes for a person alone to treat a 28 hives yard. It was also very economical. It cost approximately 0.32$ per colony for a full Fall treatment.

Flash treatment method is a versatile and economical approach. Considering our results so far, we are already planning to use it from now on as our main method of treatment for the end of the season. 2003 was the first year we did not use Apistan. I felt reassured by these results. I am now convinced that non chemical IPM is not only possible, it is also easy.
 

BobsBees 

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I wonder if Bob read through to the end - where the conclusion is
Quote:
My concern that colony disruption by the strips would negatively affect my honey crop also appears to be unfounded. In fact, a brood break just at the start of the flow may be of benefit, as per the Killian method of comb honey production.

Yes I did, and in three weeks time it would be absolutely critical that you do not lose any brood, don't you agree. So to sum up it would not be a good idea to treat at any time of the year.!
Bob.
 

Finman 

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So to sum up it would not be a good idea to treat at any time of the year.!
Bob.
Basic idea is to treat hives in late summer when yield is harvested. This treatment protects winter bees at brood stage.

No one recommends that hives are treated with oxalic, thymol or formic during yield period.

And brain using is not forbidden in these jobs.
 

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