MAQStrips – Do they work?

Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) were the beekeepers’ Great White Hope but the results this spring are not great – has something unexpected interfered or were our expectations unrealistic?

The first spring inspections of 2015 have been a bit of a shock. Not that I’ve had many losses – only about 5% – and the cause seems to have been queen failure (Click here for guidance on how to conduct a post mortem). The rest are mainly good and strong heading into the summer.

However there are problems out there…

I treated all of my bees with MAQStrips after taking the honey off at the end of summer last year (2014) and following the instructions to the letter because that’s what this Pedant does. Now it must be said that most of my bees are in fine fettle but in some apiaries I am finding a lot of deformed wing virus (DFW) and more alarmingly – Varroa scuttling about on the comb and clusters of them in the drone brood. Shock horror.  So now I am on the horns of a dilemma – do I use MAQS again bearing in mind that it doesn’t seem to have worked in the first place or do I apply Something Else and foul up an early flow?

I should add that this was the second time I’ve used MAQS. I first used them at the end of 2013 on bees I brought home from the heather and it was a great big 100% success.  So I had great expectations that we had finally found a Varroa treatment that was both easy to apply and efficacious in its actions.

So, what is happening out there?

If anybody has any ideas I would be very interested to hear them. Answers on a postcard or on this here comment form below.

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