Having read the instructions for the MAQS and of the experience of others, I knew to expect some bee death. It has been 24 hours since putting on the formic acid and I wanted to see what was going on. This was just a visual inspection, it was raining so there was no bearding. With the MAQS, they beard. But bees don’t beard if it’s raining right? I wouldn’t think so, but I’m not sure.
The hives were quiet. I mean Q-U-I-E-T. Then I saw the dead bees on the landing board, I peered through to the back of the bottom board and I could see bee carcasses strewn all over. Oh lord.
The beauty of the mite-away quick strips is that “In the field trials NOD’s formulation achieved almost 100% kill of the varroa males in both drone and worker cells and over 95% kill of the phoretic mites. As well, we achieved excellent efficacy killing female varroa under the cap; 65 to 80% in drone brood, over 95% in worker brood.”
The MAQS are effective quickly just within a week (majority of effect in the first 3 days). They can be used with supers on, have a wide range of acceptable daytime temperature ranges, are easy to apply and fairly inexpensive, and only need one application. Also, the bees will dispose of the paper, you don’t need to go back in.
But you cannot disturb them for 7 days, so no feeding. Ventilation is apparently key, so you need to give them extra space and remove any entrance reducers. My hives have screened bottom boards and there are two supers on Demeter and one super on Melissa.
Here’s the carnage:
I really hope the queens survived and I really hope I did the right thing.
I couldn’t take the silence and tapped on the hives, they buzzed. Phew. Some bees were actually flying in and out.
I’ll keep you posted!