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Update after mite treatment

My inspector visited and gave me high marks, but said I need to do mite treatment as we saw a few in the bottom tray. I put in two mite away quick strips (formic acid) and explicitly followed the instructions. I did not have really high temperatures, etc. I also added the super to provide more ventilation, plus the inspector said the hive was looking strong. This is my first hive and started with a nuc in May. I have never actually found the queen. I have been doing inspections, but trying to leave them in peace and not over do it. He was happy and there was a lot of nice capped brood, etc. He even said, “I don’t need to find the queen, but I see great evidence that she is doing her job”. I heard that the Formic Acid might turn off egg laying for a week or so, and that sometimes, a weak queen can die from it. So, I let it alone for 3 weeks and got in for an inspection. I found barely any capped brood. I saw two supercedure cells. The upper brood chamber is really full of honey, but no brood any more. They bees are up in the flow frames now, poking around, but I haven’t seen any major usage. My thought is that maybe I killed the queen. I was going to just leave it alone for now and see what takes place as far as the new queens, etc. If the formic acid just made her stop laying (like directions say can happen) would I just see a major lack of capped brood temporarily? I did see a lot of dying bees the first few days of treatment (maybe 50-100), but LOTS of dead mites in the tray. The hive seemed really full compared to last inspections (as far as number of bees) and they are still really active bringing in pollen, etc. It is getting pretty late in the summer and I am now thinking I should take the super off and leave the two brood boxes to get ready for winter, but we have a really strong goldenrod bloom on right now.

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Hi Mark, looks like theres a supersedure queen cell on top of that frame. The bees have decided to rear a new queen (either they don’t think she’s up to the task or she has died). Let nature take its course and you should have a laying queen in a few weeks time. All the best.

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Hi Mark, that’s too bad about your queen - but good you are aware and can watch for signs of a new queen laying in due time. That queen cell is precious and so is its cargo, so make sure you give enough time for the new queen to emerge, harden and make mating flights before checking for eggs.

About those Flow frames and fall nectar - forget about harvesting :hugs: Your bees need to wax them all up and build the tops of each cell further out to create the uniform shape and surface they need, BEFORE a drop of nectar can go in. Flow frames present a huge volume to fill, which they will more likely begin to regard as unwanted empty space at this late date - especially without a laying queen now. Take off the Flow super ASAP, before they propolize it.

Good luck with the new queen - let us know how it turns out!


I took off the super and queen excluder. I am going to let it ride for the next 3 weeks and check up on her. My wife says she thought the day after I used the Formic Acid Quick Strips that she saw the queen fly off. Is this probable? Will a queen just up and leave after being treated with formic acid? There was no swarm that I know of.

I have had hives abscond following a mite treatment, but it usually takes them 4 or 5 days to decide to do it. Presumably they have to slim down the queen enough for her to fly effectively, just as they do for swarming. For queen to leave on her own the next day would be unusual, but in nature, I suppose almost anything can happen! :blush: