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Author Topic: What's the difference with all the Varroa medicine?  (Read 1706 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: September 07, 2007, 05:27:16 PM »

I've looked through the archive here and couldn't really find a good comparison between all the different kinds of varroa treatments.  Besides some being stronger and some being "organic", what are the real pros and cons for each one?  And lets not talk sugar shake or home remedies, I'm curious about Checkmite+, Apistan, Apiguard, Surrocide, and the rest.

Thanks guys!  You rock!

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 07:01:45 PM »

I have never put any of the other chems in my hive I have only used apiguard and with great results. here is a what is printed in a ad on the back of ABJ.

"Control varroa mites naturally with Apiguard- Another Bee friendly product from dadant.
Wake up to the natural efficacy of apigard. a slow release thymol gel, a new and effective treatment for varroa mites.   

A matural and non toxic treatment.

It encourages the hygenic behavior of the honeybee.

Resistance is controlled and unlikely to occur with apiguard. "

and yada yada....

As far as treatments go I like this one.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 08:57:23 PM »

>I've looked through the archive here and couldn't really find a good comparison between all the different kinds of varroa treatments.  Besides some being stronger and some being "organic", what are the real pros and cons for each one?  And lets not talk sugar shake or home remedies, I'm curious about Checkmite+, Apistan, Apiguard, Surrocide, and the rest.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

Most Varroa around here and elsewhere are resistant to Checkmite and Apistan.  Apistan and Checkmite build up in the wax and make the drones sterile and the queens fail.  So basically they no longer kill mites, but they will kill your hives and they have now contaminated the entire beeswax supply so all your foundation is contaminated.  Fluvalinate (Apistan) reduces the immune system of the bees and it increases the reproductive rates of the Varroa that survive it.  Checkmite at slightly higher than the levels lethal to mites, is lethal to bees and at slightly higher than those levels is a serious threat to human health.  Enough so that at one time it was not allowed by the FDA in hives raising comb honey.

Several of the products (Apilife Var etc.) are thymol treatments.  Thymol stinks, drives the bees out of the hives and is very temperature dependent.  Assuming the right temperature etc. it will kill mites very nicely.  Too cold and it doesn't work.  Too hot and it runs the bees out of the hive.  Thymol is a plant derivative (from the thyme plant).  I'm sure there is SOME in thyme honey, but otherwise you would not find it in honey.

Formic acid is also very temperature dependent.  Too hot or too much and it kills the queens.  Too cold and it doesn't work.  Just right, it's very effective.  Formic acid occurs naturally to some extent in honey already.  The commonly available commercial (not made for beekeeping) formic acid contains a lot of lead.  The preparations being sold for beekeeping do not.

Oxalic acid vaporizers are not at all temperature dependent.   If you follow the recommended dosage there is no problem killing queens and it is not hard on the bees.  You can, in fact, treat once a week for several weeks with no noticeable decrease in the bees life.  It is very inexpensive (enough to treat 100s of hives is available at the local hardware store as "wood bleach" for about $6).  Oxalic acid is the sour in rhubarb and is that naturally occurring bite in honey.  It is not approved as a treatment in the US.  Since any pesticide requires someone to pay the cost of the research and the cost of the certification which must be periodically renewed, and since oxalic acid is readily available for $6 a tub, it seems very unlikely, given our approval system, that it will ever be approved and if it is it's unlikely anyone will be able to afford to keep the certification since cheap beekeepers will just buy wood bleach.

Oxalic acid dribble.  This is very hard on the bees.  It is not recommended to do it more than once as it shortens their lives considerably.  There has been some speculation (and I think some research) that shows that it is hard on the bees kidneys or whatever organ it is that does that job in a bee.  Smiley  It's easy to do, cheap and effective.  It is also not approved in the US.

I have not heard that Sucrocide is very effective from those using it.

All of these continue to propagate bees that cannot withstand the mites while favoring mites that reproduce like wildfire.  Smiley

ALL treatments have this problem:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesvarroatreatments.htm

Which is the mathematical model for why you want to treat when there is no capped brood if you can.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 01:44:26 AM »

Sean, I don't think that you are reading the posts. I feel like Finsky probably does, he feels that he imparts such good advice, but it goes in one ear and out the other.  Maybe some important posts are missed by our forum members.  There are so many posts, I can see how easily this can occur.  I spent a few minutes re-typing some information from the MiteGone site, about how pesticide treatments work on the honeybees.  Go back and read my posts.  Go into my profile and do a search on fluvalonite and comouphoss.  It is important that we all are savvy on mite treatments.

Do not use fluvalonite and comouphous.  These are chemicals that the bees have/are building up resistance to, these chemicals are also found in the wax.  It is important to do research and understand.  Trying to be a great beekeeper is a lot of work, I am only on the tip of this iceberg.  I speak what thoughts are on my mind, and I am sure that I annoy some, but.....enjoy this life we're livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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