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If a honey super is present when Apivar is used, is the honey toxic to bees?

Hi this is Wendy Cardwell. My husband and I live on our family farm in central Virginia. This is our first year keeping bees. We both absolutely love it despite some of our learning has been by “classic” beekeeping mistakes.
I am excited to have a forum of experts to ask questions so we can shorten the learning curve. Thank you in advance. I have three questions.
1.We have three active hives. I have read it is highly recommended in our area to treat for mites in the fall. I have not performed a mite test, should I treat as a precautionary/assumption that they are indeed there?

  1. We are not interested in harvesting honey this year. Must we remove the honey supers? is the honey toxic to the bees?

  2. One of our three hives is really a mess. We inadvertently left a frame out when inspecting the hive. As a result the bees created a brood area in the empty space. We cannot pull out the adjacent frame or inspect the brood
    without destroying the brood comb. What do we do?

Welcome to the forum Wendy_Reddy_Team!

Although the official stance is to do a mite count before applying miticide/oxalic acid/other treatments, my experience is that those tests only give you a mite infestation number that is good for that point in time. When I was first learning management of varroa, I sent a representative fall bee sample into a nearby honeybee diagnostics center and the result came back negative…I was relieved. But by early summer the following year, my hives started to crash. Knowing what I know now, I should have been aware that this time of year (fall) nearby heavily varroa infested hives (referred to as mite bombs) within my apiary or nearby apiaries (other beekeepers’ hives) were infecting my hives with varroa…especially my strongest of hives. So to answer your question, yes I would get mite treatments on ASAP…for my climate I try to have my Apivar strips in by the end of August. Here is a photo that shows the Apivar strips on the left…pollen patties on the right laid out on the table…ready to be added to the hives the moment the last round of honey is removed.

Yes remove the honey supers and queen excluder if you are using one. No the honey is not toxic to the bees.

It’s getting late in the season so I question the value of disrupting the brood area…in my climate, I would let the bees in that particular hive wind down over winter (decrease brood rearing) and deal with it early next spring. I have found that it really jeapardizes the chances of winter hive survival if the brood area is disturbed. Hives that have been worked over by a bear at this time rarely make it through the winter even with the beekeeper’s well meaning intentions to restore the hive.

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Thank you for answering my questions. I am so appreciative of this forum and the sharing of your acquired knowledge!
I do have what will probably seem like a very stupid question. If I remove the honey super before applying the Apivar, what will I need to feed them for the 45 days the strips are to remain?

If you have 2 brood boxes per hive, you shouldn’t need to feed them

O[quote=“Dawn_SD, post:4, topic:31456, full:true”]

If you have 2 brood boxes per hive, you shouldn’t need to feed them
[/quote]

OHHHHHHH…I have so much to learn. I will be sure to keep these questions in front of my face so as to always remain humble and kind! Thank you so much