I’m hearing that hives loses for many beekeepers in the area are much greater than in past years. I can agree with that observation.
As part of reclaiming my dead hives, I looked a bit harder than normal and found some interesting results. Although I don’t like loosing bees, learning from all the excellent information available softens the blow.
I’ve used formic acid in the spring and had reasonably good results. I have routinely treated with Apiguard™ (thymol in gel formula), in late summer and also had good fall mite control. Looking at the 2017 results, I think got lulled into a false sense of effectiveness and hope to do two (or more) things differently this year.
First, I’m going to switch to the formulation in Apilifevar™ for late summer as some studies indicate it to be less dependent on temperature. It is always a good idea to mix treatment although the active ingredient is the same. I’ve never used it before but have had reports that it works well.
Second, I hope to be more aggressive at using mite counting techniques to keep better records of mite buildup. It is possible that a combination of the treatment not working well and the mite population having some environmental advantage that I simply missed caused the larger losses
That’s beekeeping. Time to make splits!