Part IV Of Our Four-fold Treatment Protocol
Formic Acid Fumigation!

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Warning! About Formic Acid!
Read all label warnings of all chemicals prior to use. Formic Acid is dangerous to human tissue. It can severely burn skin, cause blindness and damage lungs, liver, and kidneys if inhaled. Only qualified persons wearing proper eye, lung and skin protection should work with this chemical. Liquid formulation of formic acid is not currently registered as a miticide. Consult your state apiculturist regarding legal chemicals for varroa mite control in your state. The research on this site is not a general recommendation for beekeepers to conduct these formic acid treatments

Hive # 5 At Rick's Yard

September 30, 2000

Detector Board Showing Mite Drop Below.
(During our last five years of experimenting with various compounds, we have not had or seen such
a rapid, complete kill of Varroa as this year, using our special low-dose FA mix with our new, improved fumigator.

September 12, 2000

The image above with an enlarged view seen below, was taken three days after the initial one day dose of our new FA treatment. There was an estimate of about 40% mite infestation in the worker cells when the initial treatment was given. It shows heavy mite concentrations in the dark areas of the sticky board with only a few if any mites on the light areas. The original sticky board, removed a day after the initial treatment, was covered with thousands of dead Varroa. The dark zones show where bees have recently hatched; the cut cappings and dead Varroa fall between the frames onto the parallel zones below the hatching brood. The day after the initial treatment, mite counts showed that all Varroa found in 100 worker cells opened were dead, with only 20% live mites found in the few remaining drone cells on the bottoms of the frames. There was almost a 100% kill of all Varroa in this hive with the one day treatment of 65ml of our specially formulated FA mix in our improved fumigation device with no harm to brood, young bees or queen. Wouldn't it be great if we could get these results on all of our treated hives! This one-day dose has put this colony to far below the Varroa injury level for the remainder of this season. The only other treatment this colony will need is part II of our tri-fold treatment protocol: our wintergreen/salt patty treatment for the remainder of the season up until Thanksgiving. If used properly this will keep this colony to below injury level until late next summer.
A few of these colonies that responded to the one-day dose were compared to colonies that had the standard six week acaricide treatment on October 4, 2000. Both groups were found to be at least 95% Varroa free with only trace amounts of Varroa and deformed bees found. We have already improved the fumigator for next year and plan on two, one-day treatments, two days apart, of the 75ml dose.

For an added treatment to help build up the colonies for the spring and summer honey flows, making early splits and building up nucs and swarms we suggest feeding our Honey-Bee-Healthy feeding stimulant during late winter, early spring and dearths of nectar, which is part III of our four-fold treatment protocol.

Exploded View of Dark Area Above!
Hive # 5 At Rick's Yard

September 12, 2000

This image shows an exploded view of a dark area from the sticky board image above. The yellow dots show dead male and immature female Varroa mites. The red dots show dead young daughter and adult female Varroa that were killed in the cells by our special formic acid mix and fumigator. As the newly emerging bees hatch, the dead Varroa killed by the initial treatment drop to the sticky board below along with the cut cappings from the hatching bees.

Our one day dose has worked extremely well for us in 60 - 70% of the hives treated with the remaining 30 - 40% needing an additional dose of an increase of 10ml of the special formulated FA mix which seems to clear out the remaining mites in the cells. Adding an additional 20ml dose proved too strong and killed a few hundred newly emerging young adult bees. Next year our research will concentrate on solving the variables we have encountered in our FA experiments this year and improving this system. Also, we plan on reducing the concentration of FA from 45% to 25% next year. Using a low FA concentration will reduce risks to the user.

Hive # 5 At Rick's Bee Yard:
Eighteen Days Later

September 30, 2000

The detector board above shows brood hatches and hive activity on the left side only. The detector boards show what is going on in the hive without checking frames or opening cells. The reason for the reduced brood area is because of the time of year.

September 30, 2000

Hive #5 at Rick's yard initial treatment was on September 9, 2000 with our new fumigator and special formulated organic acid. The square section above is exploded in a view below to show mite drop after the second treatment on September 27, 2000 of 75ml of our special mix. We used 10ml more than the original treatment of 65ml which will be our standard dose used. We have observed our FA treatment works well in a varied temperature and hive strength range which reduces many variables.

Exploded view of dark area above!

September 30, 2000

The exploded view above shows eight dead Varroa marked with red dots. This detector board was removed on September 30, three days after the second treatment on September 27, 2000. There were only about 100 mites on the entire board three days after the second treatment and eighteen days after the initial treatment. Hive #5 consists of one full depth, one medium and a shallow super with a low estimate of 15,000 bees. Dividing 100 x 15000 gives a percent of .006 of mites to bees on September 30, 2000. Even if we triple this percent for the mites not fallen in the 13 day sealed brood period, the percent is still only .02% of mites to bees which is far below colony injury level. On September 12, 2000 an estimate of at least 40% mites were in the worker cells. There was a drastic reduction of mite population in this hive with one treatment. Next year our research will focus on why we have to increase the dose by 10ml and give a second treatment in 30-40% of our colonies. We plan on giving two doses two days apart at the increased dose of 75ml for a quick kill of the Varroa.

WVU Organic Acid Fumigator Results!
Hive #11 on the Horticulture Farm at WVU.

September 28, 2000

Click HERE For Video Of Horticulture Farm Hive #3!

The above detector board was inserted four days after the initial treatment on September 25 and removed on September 28 showing darker areas where bees hatched. In these dark areas there are hundreds of dead Varroa that were killed by the single one day initial treatment on September 21. As the bees hatch the dead Varroa in the cells drop through the Dadant screened bottom board onto the detector board. This detector board shows that the treatment was successful using our special formulated Formic Acid and improved fumigation device.

Click HERE To See Video of Dropped Mites Hive #5!
Click HERE To See Video of Dropped Mites #2!

Close-up Views Of Detector Boards With
Hundreds Of Dead Varroa And Capping Cuttings.

(Horticulture Farm at West Virginia University)

September 28, 2000

The results above are from two other detector boards from two other treated colonies from Dr. Amrine's September 21, 2000 organic acid treatments. After the initial treatment, hundreds of mites drop each day as bees hatch. The mites were killed in the cells by the initial treatment using our improved fumigator and special acid mix. This heavy mite drop will disappear thirteen days after the initial treatments if the proper dose was used and there was a heavy kill in the cells.

Our Organic Acid Fumigator Used in Trial Test!!

Images, data and details of our new HBHFA fumigation experiments will be published in the ABJ Soon!

One of the fumigators used in our trial tests is shown above. This device worked extremely well using our special Honey-B-Healthy Formic acid mix. It consist of a 3.5" high wooden frame with a 3/8" escape on both sides to allow for ventilation and beeway. A 1/8" mesh plastic screen is on the bottom, a piece of luann plywood is on the top with a bed pad used to hold and disperse the HBHFA mix.


Click HERE For Formic Acid Specific Gravity