Formic Pro is a varroa mite treatment designed to be used inside the bee hive to help rid the colony of honey bees of varroa mites. Formic Pro is considered an organic treatment as it uses formic acid to kill varroa mites. The main advantage of formic acid treatments is the treatment will work during the honey flow and is considered safe to use when honey for human consumption is in the hive.
Formic Pro has a longer shelf life than its predecessor Mite Away quick strips (MAQS), Unlike Mite Away Quick Strips, Formic Pro has a 2-year shelf life and is easier on the queen, brood, and adult bees. Another major benefit of Formic Pro is it will kill the varroa mites in the adult bees as well as the varroa mites in the capped cells.
Formic Pro strips contain natural biodegradable materials and can be used as an effective part of an integrated pest management plan. The gel strips inside the packaging are wrapped in paper to help release the product slowly so as not to overwhelm the bees. Formic Pro is just one of the treatment options available to beekeepers.
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Formic Pro can be used any time of the year if the temperature requirements are met for the product. The outdoor temperature range must be between 50°-85°F during the first 3 days of the application. The maximum temperature during the 14-21 day treatment must be below 90°. Most beekeepers use Formic Pro pads during the spring and fall. High daytime temperatures during the summer exclude using Formic Pro in many areas.
It is important to use Formic Pro when the bees need it. If mite levels are not at a point where beekeeper interference is needed, Formic Pro should not be used. You can check for mite levels using a product called a Varroa Check which is very helpful for checking mite levels when considering a mite treatment.
When used according to the instructions on the package, Formic Pro is 83-97% effective at killing adult mites on adult bees and also in brood frames. There is no known resistance that Varroa Mites have to Formic Acid
Formic Pro Strips are safe for use with honey supers during the honey flow and with honey that is for human consumption. Formic Pro does not leave any residue, has no mite resistance, and is biodegradable with its all-natural materials.
Formic Pro can be used in two different ways to treat Varroa Mites. Unlike Apivar strips, Formic Pro strips are placed across the top bars of the frames instead of hanging them. They are placed in the same location as an Apiguard Tray. One treatment of Formic Pro can be done over 14 days or over 20 days. It takes 2 strips to treat 1 colony.
For the 14-day treatment, 2 strips are laid across the top bars of a hive in the brood nest and removed 14 days later. This requires 1 trip to add the strips and 1 trip to remove them.
For the 20-day treatment, 1 strip is laid across the trop bars of a hive in the brood nest then the beekeeper will replace with 2nd strip for an additional 10 days. This treatment requires 3 trips to the hive.
When using Formic Pro, can be used with single or multiple broods or honey boxes. The treatment amount is the same. It's important to open the entrance of the colony fully during treatment. If using a screened bottom board, close off the screened bottom with a varroa mite board or a slide-in tray. This keeps the Formic Acid vapor which is heavier than air, from sinking completely out of the hive. If the screened bottom is not closed, the efficacy of the treatment is reduced.
If opening the entrance is not easy or possible, the 2nd box can be shifted back 1/2 inch to give adequate fresh air. An upper entrance or a screened bottom board is not an effective way to introduce ventilation.
The strips or pads are wrapped with a paper wick that controls the release of the Formic Acid vapor. A slow release is a more effective treatment option that a quick release. So it is important this paper wrapper is left intact. The paper wrapper is wrapped with an outer foil package that holds 2 strips. This foil wrapper is meant to be removed, but the paper wrapper is not.
When treating, it is recommended to follow all package directions completely and to wear all recommended safety equipment.
See our other Varroa Mite Control
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