I’ve heard there can be issues with queen health when using formic acid. Is this true?

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During dearth periods, when ambient temperatures are above 29.5°C (85°F), there is an elevated risk of queen loss, supercedure, or delay in egg laying. Treatment should be postponed until temperatures drop or nectar flow resumes. Formic acid will initially disturb colony activities and may, within one day of application, result in queen rejection or slight increase in adult bee mortality. Some brood mortality may occur in the initial stage of treatment.

Natural honey bee emergence and mortality rate is approximately 1,500 bees per day. A one-day equivalent of natural mortality (i.e. 1,200 to 1,500 bees or up to 2 cups) may be observed at the hive entrance during the treatment. Treatment may trigger supercedure of fragile queens, regardless of age.

Colony activity should return to normal by the end of treatment. Do not destroy queen cells that may be observed prior to, or post treatment. Supercedure, even if thought to be set in motion by treatment, is a natural process, and should be allowed to proceed for the health of the colony. Verify colonies are queen-right one month after treatment. Mother and daughter queens present post treatment is not uncommon.

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Posted on

June 23, 2021