A beekeeper asks: Dear Auntie Bee / Uncle Drone
I treated my healthiest and most vigorous colony with MAQs a week ago and on opening the hive today I find only sealed brood to be present and the queen still in residence. Is there any evidence of queens going off lay during MAQs treatment? And if so, will her laying ability return? There were two or three empty play cups – nothing serious, and the bees were very good natured. I should add that an alarming number of dead bees were pushed out of the hive in the first days of the treatment.
Auntie Bee answers:
What you report of the queen going off lay for a few days after treatment with MAQS has been reported by other beekeepers but should be a temporary effect. Also a few dead bees after treatment is common. I don’t think there is any known reason for these effects as the mode of action of MAQS is not really known. I have used MAQs and found a good drop of mites from hives I thought were badly infected. As with all chemical treatments it is important to follow the instructions carefully.