Vendor Mannlake

New keeper here getting ready to receive bees in March. So, I’ve been ordering up all the “stuff” to prepare.

Saturday I received merchandise from Mannlake, self described as “We know bees”.

As I opened the box and pulled out Mite Away Quick Strips…the expiration date jumped out at me. May ‘19.

When calling customer service to inquire they asked “Why did you buy in bulk? Were you buying for the future?”

I replied “I ordered enough for this Spring and the Fall.” “And, is ten treatments bulk?”

They refused to send fresh product but admitted there was a manufacturers 12 month shelf life. They did say “someone told us you can freeze them and use them later.”

Not good.

Is my experience unusual or normal?

If properly stored, it will be fine (potent enough) for fall treatments.

I have some stored for 5 years that’ll still knock your socks off if you get a whiff: I stopped using it because it was hard on queens in my apiary.

Thank you Ed. Question…do you believe in using chemicals on bees ? I am new and am thinking about the opposing view points.

Bill Baskin

I believe in helping my bees live so I go with what works:
Apivar after the honey harvest followed by oxalic acid vapor around Thanksgiving and again on Ground Hogs day has resulted in near 100% survival.
Dead bees need no treatments.

I treat my dog for ticks: I don’t let them suffer in an attempt breed tick resistant dogs.


Hi Bill,

Some other great sites to do some reading on. I agree with Ed about being proactive, but I intend to avoid chemicals that have any toxic effect on bees.

PS if you want to share your number it’s probably best to send someone a private message - the little envelope on the right side across from their name. This is a friendly site but we’ve had a few spammers here and there.


I have always found Mann Lake to be very good. However, Varroa treatment strips from many sources have a notoriously short expiration date. I think it is one of two things, or maybe both:

  1. CYA (cover your @$$) policy by the manufacturer. They want you to use it while it is as potent as possible, but the dates are probably a lot shorter than absolutely necessary.
  2. Drive the customer to buy more often and throw out perfectly good older product. Aka revenue generation

I don’t think it is Mann Lake’s fault, but I do think it is a conspiracy by the treatment industry. :thinking:

Lovely can of worms, that one! :smile: You have had some great answers from @Anon (Ed) and @Eva. I try very hard not to use chemicals in my hives, but there are chemicals and there are sort of chemicals. :wink: I prefer to use oxalic acid (OA), but like Ed, if I have treated and the mites cause problems again within a month or two, I will consider Apivar strips.

There is some benefit to rotating treatments to avoid resistance, although there is no evidence that it is possible for mites to become resistant to OA (and bee researchers have looked hard at this).

There is a very good booklet which gives all the pros, cons and effectiveness of various treatments. I think they are behind the times with their comments on OA vapor, but otherwise it is very helpful:

It is good that you are thinking about it already. There is nothing more demoralizing than losing a hive because you failed to treat in time. :disappointed_relieved:


That’s not good form of Manlake. Can you return the whole order? Co op carries in date mite strips local to you @dollarbill :smiley: The Coop is right on Eddie Ct. I use the vaporizing wand and buy oxcilic acid for mites. It doesn’t expire.

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