What is it
MAQS® Beehive Strip was ﬁrst developed in Canada, by NOD Apiary Products Ltd. operating in the UK as NOD Europe. It is based on Formic Acid and is used as a treatment on honeybees to kill the varroa mite
FORMIC Acid is a naturally occurring acid and trace amounts can be found naturally in honey.
In Ireland the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have sanctioned the use of MAQs.
MAQ’s stands for Mite Away Quick strip.
It comes in a Whitish/caramel flat rectangular strip in a coated paper wrap.
Why use it.
It kills varroa.
It kills varroa and can be used during the active beekeeping season.
Over the years the varroa mite has developed a resistance to treatments such as Bayvarol. Bayvarol and Apiguard, another varroa treatment, has to be used after the honey flow.
When to use it
MAQS® Beehive Strip can be used during the active beekeeping season with outside daytime temperatures between 10 to 29.5C
Can only be used on full colonies. NOT on NUCs.
For Honey: Maximize healthy colony populations by treating with MAQS 4 to 6 weeks before main honey flows. Have a super on.
For Overwintering: Treat at end of the honey flow, preferably while the last super is still on.
Where to get it
Paul O Sullivan at Bee Supplies. Dublin.
The product is sold in a 2 or 10 treatment bucket, with one treatment being two strips. (€17 per 2 treatments July 2014)
How to use it
Each colony requires a treatment using two strips (one sachet).
- Full colonies ONLY.
- Colonies require adequate access to fresh air. Spacers under the crown board can be used
- An entrance must be provided that is the full width of the hive & left fully open.
- Entrance reducers must be removed.
- Disturb colony activity as little as possible during the application process.
- Colony should have adequate stores, don’t feed.
- Treat all colonies at same time.
- For Honey: Maximize healthy colony populations by treating with MAQS 4 to 6 weeks before main honey flows. Have a super on.
- For Overwintering: Treat at end of the honey flow, preferably while the last super is still on.
Open up the colony, remove supers and Queen excluder.
|Open up the sachet. (images are from NOD presentation)|
|Hold open the pouch and separate the strips.|
|Leave the paper wrap on the gel. Place the strips on the frames of lower Brood Chamber (if two brood chambers used) so the full width is covered.|
Replace (2nd brood box if used) Queen excluder and supers.
Leave for 7 days. Strips need not be removed after treatment, but can be disposed of by composting.
It has been reported that in some cases MAQs can cause, in the first few days:
- Bearding, where the bees gather outside
- Adult bee deaths
- larvae deaths
- Queen rejection.
Also reported is that the colony settles down after the first few days.
It is a corrosive agent, wear protective clothing. Avoid contact with metal surfaces.
Does it work?
It kills mites. MAQs website suggest 95% effective. Some reports suggest 90% effective on average.
Well worth reading this article at the following link before you use it.
Also some reports directly from the producers website.