The Formic acid treatment is done and the mite Away Quick Strips were removed. None of the queens were lost but the treatment is very hard on the bees. The queens all stopped laying for several days and there is not open brood in any of the 7 hives. All but one of the hives has egg indicating that the queen started laying within the past three days. The one with no egg was already queen-less before treatment and now has sealed queen cells. Three of the seven hives had swarm cells and two splits was taken from each for a total of 6 more nucs with queen cells. The three had swarm cells the day of treatment that were all cut out so they continued to build them even in the acid environment. It will be interesting to see how these queens come out.
I treated 7 hives with formic acid in the form of MiteAway Quick Stripes. I was worried about queen loss as some have experienced so changed 6 of the bottom boards from 3/8 opening to 3/4 inch openings. on the two hives that I may be raising more queens from I also set back the second brood chamber 3/4 of an inch to add more ventilation. All hives were given a mite count between 0 and 20 days before the treatment which is how I determined that they required treatment. I used a treatment threshold of 2%. The mite count was as follows in percent bees with mites.
Date 4/6/14 H3 2.3%
Date 4/9/14 LR5 6.3%, LR12 5%
Date 4/16/14 HS4 2.3%, HS10 8.3%, HS14 2.6%, HS15 3.6%
I have decided that I can not continue like this and will be using Formic acid in the form of Mite Away Quick Strips http://www.miteaway.com/ as a treatment for the mites this year. I hate to treat with anything but the formic acid seems like the best solution, it is approved as an organic treatment and can be used at any time unlike all the other poisons that are approved for use in hives. Per the manufacturer of the quick strips “Formic acid naturally occurs in honey at levels ranging up to over 2,000 parts per million (ppm). The formic acid concentration in hive air during MAQS treatment remains well below 100 ppm, so the levels in the honey do not go outside of naturally occurring levels.”