Since I last wrote about HopGuard it has become available through Mann Lake Ltd. If you are interested in ordering it, you must first confirm that your state has a Section 18 Emergency Exemption for the product. You can call your state Department of Agriculture or Mann Lake (800-880-7694) for this information. The active ingredient in HopGuard is hop beta acids.
This is the first of two “natural” miticides due to be released this year. The other, Mite-Away Quick Strips, is scheduled to be released this spring—after some lengthy registration delays. The active ingredient in Mite-Away Quick Strips is formic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in honey, although in very small quantities.
One interesting point of comparison is the price. HopGuard requires 2 strips for every ten frames of colony. So a double deep requires four strips per treatment. At $30 for 50 strips, that is $2.40 per hive. Mite-Away will require 2 pads per colony per treatment. At $48 for 10 pads (Brushy Mountain price), that is $9.60 per hive.
Conveniently, that comes out to exactly four times the price for Mite-Away as for HopGuard per treatment. Is Mite-Away four times more effective than HopGuard? That is hard to imagine. For me personally, I feel more comfortable with both the HopGuard instructions and price. I couldn’t find much on how either product works, but I will continue to dig and let you know what I find.
P.S. If you live in Washington State, pesticides approved for mites can be found here.