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Author Topic: Toxins in foundation  (Read 7138 times)
Acebird
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« on: December 08, 2010, 03:01:56 PM »

If toxins are absorbed into the wax foundation is it a good idea to reuse the wax for foundations?  Does melting it down purify the wax?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2010, 03:14:09 PM »

Are you using your own tainted wax?

If from the brood comb, I would not.
But there is far less contaminates in honey cappings.

There was some glances at this when CCD first hit. And there was some really nasty comb samples tested.

And while the chemicals could be found in foundation, there seems to not be enough to harm the bees. Although this "tainted foundation" seems to a good sell for certain types of beekeeping. Reality is, most foundation is made with wax cappings, and whatever chemicals there are in foundation, a good bit is en-capsulized.

Here are some thoughts and observations I have done on the matter.

http://www.bjornapiaries.com/combinformation.html

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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2010, 06:04:09 PM »

Yep;
There are toxin in your wax, no heating don't get rid of it.

A few years back some researchers found toxin in some wild hives they found deep in the Brazilion Jungle, far from mankind's work.

Many things in nature produce toxins/poisons.

Best bet don't worry about it, too many things in life, more important too worry about !

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 08:20:21 PM »

Yep;
There are toxin in your wax, no heating don't get rid of it.

a few years back some researchers found toxin in some wild hives they found deep in the Brazilion Jungle, far from mankind's work.

Many things in nature produce toxins/poisons.

Best bet don't worry about it, too many things in life, more important too worry about !

Bee-Bop
Very interesting....thanks for posting this.
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 09:29:24 PM »

>If toxins are absorbed into the wax foundation is it a good idea to reuse the wax for foundations?

Are you putting toxins in the hive?  If not, then it's probably not enough to worry about.

>  Does melting it down purify the wax?

If we are talking about Checkmite or Apistan, then it takes ultraviolet light to break it down.  heat will not do it.

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edward
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 04:44:30 AM »

If we are talking about Checkmite or Apistan, then it takes ultraviolet light to break it down.  heat will not do it.

Interesting !

How much light , for how long ?

Is there any information about how this happens and why , how much of Check mite or Apistan is left .

Is it possible to "purify wax" from these chemicals ?

mvh edward  tongue
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kdm
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 04:50:20 AM »

Will checkmite or apistan deminish with age.
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »

...there was some really nasty comb samples tested.
And while the chemicals could be found in foundation, there seems to not be enough to harm the bees.

mmmm, fluvalinate and coumaphos _were_ found in all 5 samples of foundation tested (all 5 from different sources).  the opinion of the researcher (maryann frazier) was that it was enough to harm the bees ("significant levels").  if you are planning to use fluvalinate and coumaphos in your operation it probably doesn't matter, but i would never sell (or eat) comb honey made with foundation.

my understanding is that (surprisingly) fluvalinate and coumaphos are also found in natural comb of bees that have never been treated (in smaller concentrations), but i haven't seen the actual data.

deknow
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 08:05:51 AM »


If we are talking about Checkmite or Apistan, then it takes ultraviolet light to break it down.  heat will not do it.



(sunlight)  - it will also break down a plastic container if you set the wax out in it.
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 08:16:12 AM »

as of 2008, the team at penn state were working with UV light underwater to decontaminate wax of pesticides.  the account i heard was that they had some success, but that it wasn't straightforward, and we have not heard anything since.

deknow
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 09:37:20 AM »

Most research and opinion believe its best not to reintroduce old used wax into your hives, but what is foundation if not old used wax?.  There have been numorous studies showing some extreme toxin levels in purchased foundation.

I no longer use foundation (three years) and the only old wax I'll introduce, besides moving some drawn frames around as needed, is when scenting new wood or rubbing on the wedge bars to convince/persuade bees to build/stay where "I' want them to, otherwize its all going to candles.  I'll keep comb for no longer than five years, but try to change it out every three
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 09:42:37 AM »

Quote
How much light , for how long ?

mvh edward  tongue

I would like this answered...

Are the toxins only from man made sources?

Comment about plastic degrading:  Many clear plastic containers are made from Polycarbonate that has UV inhibitors (soda bottles for instance).  If you are trying to break down the toxins with sun light use glass or direct sunlight.  The fools that we are dumping our waist in the oceans only to have it deposited on the shores for the next 100-2000 years.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 09:58:01 AM by Acebird » Logged

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Acebird
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 09:54:03 AM »

...There have been numorous studies showing some extreme toxin levels in purchased foundation.


What choice does a new bee keeper have with a new hive except go foundationless?  Secondly, if the drawn comb eventually gets contaminated then the bee are bringing it in.  I can't imagine a human introducing it. Cry  That would be like introducing Round up to your food source. huh  I vote we look for the source and eliminate it.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 10:25:13 AM »

Most research and opinion believe its best not to reintroduce old used wax into your hives, but what is foundation if not old used wax?.  There have been numorous studies showing some extreme toxin levels in purchased foundation.

So lets see the studies.

I know they found chemicals in foundation. Of course chemicals have been found in almost ALL wax samples. I know I found my bees bringing in stuff from all over the countryside.

But "extreme" levels? What is that? I have seen no study to suggest that any amount of chemicals in wax foundation is harmful to bees. In fact my own testing has shown no contamination of bees after being placed on commercial foundation. I actually paid for testing because I kept hearing the same comments...that bees will be harmed in placed on commercial tainted foundation. I found no carry over tainting of bees from chemicals in wax foundation.

Yes, they found chemicals in wax foundation. I think they find chemicals in about any agricultural product these days. But to suggest "Extreme levels", what does that mean? Does it mean bees are being harmed? Is there a study to suggest this?

Most commercial foundation is made of wax cappings. The same wax cappings that covered most of the honey consumed in this country. The same honey you probably have eaten many times.

You ask what is foundation if not old wax? Foundation is not old wax. It is cappings wax, usually not more than a few weeks or months old.

I would suggest nobody use brood wax for foundation. Of course I know nobody that does this.

So lets see some of these studies.

I promote foundationless. But it's not out of unwarranted claims and fear tactics.
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 10:41:05 AM »

There's alot of "dunno" replies to your queary.  I'm not that smart, but I'm still sticking w/ foundationless and stand by; "some" foundation has extreme levels of toxins.  We all can't test our wax or foundation.  How would you do that?  I live in the woods and frankly not that up to speed on the "science" of things.  My lab is outside.

Someone asked how toxins get in the wax; the bees bring it home, both natural and man-made.

thomas
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 10:56:31 AM »

I'll have to agree with BjornBee on this one. If you're worried about chemicals in foundation you might as well stop eating and starve yourself to death. There are trace amounts of chemicals in everything that's an agricultural product, including organic labeled products. Studies have found coumaphos and fluvalinate in foundationless comb, plus numerous other ag chemicals as well. Have your honey tested; you will find trace amounts of chemicals in it, no matter how green a beekeeper you are! If all this worries you, then quit beekeeping, cuz you're gonna die from hypertension and worry long before the chemicals get you!
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 12:05:57 PM »

My thoughts on how to "minimize" the risk of having contaminants in honey frames.

I use a dadant frame in the brood chamber ,I think it might bee what you call a double deep ?
This is the only frames that come in direct contact with any medications used in the hive.

To minimize the chance of contamination in the honey supers i am using plastic frames that i coat with white wax cappings or wax bought from a trustable colleague that is certified varoa and pesticide free.

This allows me peace of mind that i have dun what i can to prevent "minimize" contamination.

It would bee nice to know if sun light can purify wax from apistan ?

mvh edward  tongue
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BjornBee
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2010, 12:09:13 PM »

There's alot of "dunno" replies to your queary.  I'm not that smart, but I'm still sticking w/ foundationless and stand by; "some" foundation has extreme levels of toxins.  We all can't test our wax or foundation.  How would you do that?  I live in the woods and frankly not that up to speed on the "science" of things.  My lab is outside.

Someone asked how toxins get in the wax; the bees bring it home, both natural and man-made.

thomas

I'm not arguing with your viewpoint on chemicals in foundation. There are chemicals. The level is what is being questioned, and at what harmful effect.

For the record, I have been associated with research in one form or another over the years. And when they came out and first mentioned all the chemicals they found in foundation, I was expecting an uproar of demands. But it quickly faded. I thought maybe some researchers did not want to step on toes. Maybe they were being affected by the same money oriented research that some have suggested over the years. You know....slant your outcomes based on who is putting money in your pockets type thing.

That is why I did my own testing. No parts per billion of any BEEKEEPER applied chemical could be found from bees on commercial foundation.

What I did find, and a much bigger problem for me in one of my bee yards, was the massive amounts of chemicals my bees were bringing in from the cattle farm next door. The chemicals they were dipping their cattle in several times a year for fleas, ticks, etc., had saturated the soil over the 30-40 years they have been in operation.

So yes, chemicals are everywhere. I don't think that the levels in foundation make a difference. I think much of it is encapsulated. What your bees are dragging in is a much bigger concern. And to date, I have seen no report or study that has shown wax foundation to be detrimental to bees. That's not to say it was fully looked at. It just says that to this date, much of the comments may be based on urban legend, self promotion of some particular way of keeping bees, etc. Some websites and companies are out there making it sound as if they have definitive proof of bees being harmed on wax foundation....and they do not.

Yes, comb rotation and not putting the chemicals in the hives is the key.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2010, 12:14:03 PM »

bought from a trustable colleague that is certified varoa and pesticide free.


Means nothing. Many beekeeper could say the same thing. Well maybe the pesticide free part. Not sure about being certified varroa free.

Unless he had his wax tested, he does not know what is in it. And neither do you.

Read my last post. I have never used apistan except 6 hives in 2001. And yet when you actually test, you may be really be surprised. His wax may not have fluvilanate, but I bet it has a bunch of other things.

I also would like to know what certified "varroa free" is? Who certifies this? I know your in Sweeden. But you have the same forage patterns for bees, chemicals are a concern, and mites are a problem. Do you actually verify "Mite Free" hives? And can you explain this "certified pesticide free" process?

Thanks.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2010, 01:12:56 PM »

Hey..did you know that ONE cigarette can kill you??

Boy...and we're worried about a few ppb in foundation?? grin

Thankfully bee-smoker smoke is safe! rolleyes
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