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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Wiring foundationless frames
« Last post by SlickMick on April 30, 2016, 09:26:39 AM »
Yes,LJ, I did notice that. I intend now to wire the frames prior to using them. Checking on the three I have in the brood chamber today the girls have started to attach the comb to the sidebars from the top down. So I guess it will take them some time to complete seeing as they have been working on since October last year.

GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Why not regular fumings of oxalic?
« Last post by Acebird on April 30, 2016, 09:11:35 AM »
No - this is where the terminology being used isn't doing us any favours ...

Thanks so much for the description of the process.
The reason you would want to know how the acid actually kills the mite or enters its system is to better understand what side affects the crystals might have on the colony.  Just like it helps me to know how the process actually happens when using OAV as a pesticide.

In Oldmech's case where he has 3000 packages dropped on his door step he is forced to choose the lessor of two evils.  I don't blame him.  My concern is how does the cycle end?  If you cannot sterilize the hive of mites you run the risk of breeding a stronger mite which can only be dealt with a stronger dose until you do reach that point where you can see physical harm to the bees.  What then?
Gluing end grain to long grain on the joints is weak  you should pop a nail in those joints to be safe.

so much to learn so little time

Here's an end shot of a 12" deep frame (the largest I've ever built) - showing such a nail ...

I made half the batch of frames using nails, half without - in practice the nails proved unnecessary, as the glue is so strong that if you deliberately break a joint, it is the wood around the glue-line which fails and NOT the glue itself.  End grain gluing is actually very strong, as the glue penetrates much deeper and thus has a good grip on the wood fibres.  And - where the sides meet the top bar there are two surfaces, one in tension, the other in shear. 
I DID think about this you know, they weren't just thrown together ... :smile:

And - honeybee spiracles are surrounded by hairs which will block particles the size of Oxalic Acid microcrystals - ergo - Oxalic Acid never gets to enter the body of the honey bee. 
LJ, isn't the vapor a gas particle and that is too small to enter honeybee spiracles?

No - this is where the terminology being used isn't doing us any favours ...

A vapour IS a gas particle, certainly.  When Oxalic Acid Dihydrate is heated, the first thing that happens is that it's water component (the Dihydrate) is boiled-off.  Then, when the Oxalic Acid reaches it's sublimation temperature, it 'sublimates' - that is, it changes from a solid to a gaseous state, without going through a liquid phase.  At that point in time, it IS a vapour, it IS a gas.

However, upon immediately leaving the heat source, it's temperature drops below it's sublimation temperature and the Oxalic Acid vapour reverts again to it's solid state, as individual molecules of solid OA.  These immediately absorb moisture to again form the Dihydrate.  These molecules of Oxalic Acid Dihydrate then clump together to form large (in molecular terms) microcrystals which become visible to the naked eye as a white 'smoke'.  (The vapour itself is invisible)

All of this happens very quickly and within a short distance from the heated pan.  Anyone who has experimented with various methods of vapourising OA will have observed that OA residue can often be found a few millimeters from the heat source, and certainly within a centimetre (say, half an inch).

What enters the beehive is NOT Oxalic Acid 'vapour', but rather a coarse dust of Oxalic Acid particles - which is why a) a good quality dust mask is all that is sufficient for respiratory protection, b) the dust particles never get to enter the body of the bee, and c) OA is unable to enter capped brood cells.

For as we know, the wax cap of brood cells is porous, which allows the developed bee to breath prior to it's emergence.  But these pores are not large enough to allow the Oxalic Acid dust particles to enter.  Formic Acid, on the other hand, forms a true vapour, and in this constant gaseous form it CAN enter brood cells via their porous caps - which is why Formic Acid can be used to treat those Varroa breeding on sealed brood, whereas Oxalic Acid cannot.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe the process as one of 'dusting' the bees with an aerosol of fine Oxalic Acid powder - with that aerosol having been generated by the action of vapourisation.

I am sure you would not intentionally do something to harm your honeybees but if you believe that OAV is the silver bullet against mites I can't see you pushing for research that would prove the harm.  There isn't even any push to find out how it works.  This is not logical to me.

Do we really NEED to know how it works ?  Surely, all that's necessary is to know that it DOES work, and what doseage is safe. 

As beekeepers we're often faced with decisions which have to be made.  When faced with a hive infested with the Varroa mite, what choices of action are there ? Well, the first decision is whether to treat or not. 

Now, I fully understand the thinking behind letting Nature work the problem out for itself.  But - how many colonies of bees must die-out (and in the most miserable of ways) before a chance genetic mutation occurs which gives rise to a hygenic trait ?  Should a breed of bee ever evolve with that stable genetic trait, then I'll be one of the first in the queue to buy such a queen.

But - in the abence of any better solution - I treat the mites instead.  And so the next decision is "what to treat them with ?"  I have looked carefully at the proprietary medications on offer, most of which have dreadful side-issues, and the actions of which many mites have quickly become immune.  But not so Oxalic Acid: there are no apparent side-effects, and no evidence of any immunity having developed over two decades - so it would appear to be the best solution to the presenting problem currently on offer.

But ... just suppose you're right, and there is some small amount of harm (although not yet detected) which occurs to the bees ... ?  As I see it, it's a situation not dissimilar to that faced by surgeons in the Napoleonic and First World Wars when presented with a patient who had contracted gangrene - the decision of course being whether or not to cut-off the limb in order to save the patient's life.  But such decisions are easy (if uncomfortable) to make - for it becomes 'the lesser of two evils', as it is for me with regard to the health of honey-bees.

« Last post by iddee on April 30, 2016, 07:57:22 AM »
Well, heck, beat me with a wet noodle. I just had to bump this thing forward.   :embarassed:
GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Why not regular fumings of oxalic?
« Last post by Jim 134 on April 30, 2016, 07:56:55 AM »

    If it were possible to kill EVERY feral and non resistant bee in one fell swoop, i think we could repopulate with bees that can deal with the mites, but I see 3000 + packages delivered nearby each and every spring. Packages of generic bees that have 0 resistance, that produce drones and swarm...   So i am open and eager to hear suggestions on a better way to keep my bees alive.

       I know for me if I had 3,000 hives within flying range of my own hives. I would have a hard time selling pollination and or making honey.

                           BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
« Last post by Jim 134 on April 30, 2016, 07:47:08 AM »
      If you have read all the links and threads that iddee has put up this very subject is covered. About small Hive beetles.

             BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
Gluing end grain to long grain on the joints is weak  you should pop a nail in those joints to be safe.

so much to learn so little time

These are very cool - nice simple design without all the complicated cuts. With modern glues, they should be pretty strong too.

Thanks - yes, I don't think foundationless frames need to be any more complicated than that.

It's useful to bear in mind that the only part of the frame that takes any significant weight is the Top Bar - and that's double thickness with a large glue area.  The sides (and their 'wires') take very little weight, and the bottom bar is only there to prevent the side-bars from pulling inwards from the tension of the wires - which actually isn't very much, maybe 5 or 10lbs tension at most (never actually measured it) - but I think it's wise to have a bottom bar in place.

LJ  (Ph.D. in life-long work-avoidance)
Just want to comment that warping is a real bltch when making either home-made or commercial (flat-pack) boxes.  The use of a glass-top table or similar dead-flat surface to rest the box on certainly helps when gluing-up - but won't prevent the subsequent box twist which comes from having used warped boards.

If a small amount of twist (say a box rock of 1-2mm) remains, then ignore it - the weight of box contents and/or the boxes above it will flatten that out.  With more substantial twist resulting in serious rock (I have one such to be 'cured' at the moment - thanks, Mann-Lake), the only method I've found reliable is to build an adjustable height tower above a dead-flat surface, place the box on that (suitably held in position with micro-wedges and hot-glue) and then router the edges flat (using a sledge-mounted router) - then turn the box upside-down, and router the other edges.  To maintain the correct box height, glue thin battens to the edges, preferably before routering.

Now that's a lot of work - so warped boards are best avoided like the plague in the first place ...

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