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Author Topic: How oxalic acid syrup spreads on bees  (Read 5060 times)
Finski
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« on: October 08, 2011, 11:59:32 AM »

.
Just now I saw how oxalic acid drippled syrup spreads on on bees.
After drippling about half a hour I opened the hive.

Bees had tiny syrup droplets on their wings, and ofcourse every where. They tried to get rid off sticky glue like stuff and they rub it more to their body. They made same movements like they do when cleaning pollen from their body. With their legs they rub acid syrup on the abdomen where the mites mostly are.

Actually they actively creased themselves with acid syrup. That is why the sugar percent is important in efficacy.

Colony had no brood. So the medication was good to do now.

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 12:07:31 PM »

Im planning on using it for the first time later this month, may have to wait til later on in November. It seems as all my hive has made a huge commitment to rearing brood right now with this great Goldenrod flow we are in. Ive read plenty on its use, just a little apprehensive still.
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 12:55:47 PM »

.
Recipe

mix 100g sugar + 100 g water + 7,5 g oxalic acid.

This enough for 3 two box hives or 5 one box hives.

Cost is almost nothing.

.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 01:09:46 PM »

Thanks Finski. 

I’m still wondering the mechanism by which dribbling gets syrup on the bees at the bottom of the cluster?  When I make a dribble mess in the kitchen, the dribbles don’t flow evenly down the side of a pan.  They break up into strings of runs….I don't get full coverage, unless I make a real mess.

Finski, could you also put your mixture in a spray bottle and spray each frame of bees?   
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 01:38:28 PM »

.
Spraying can be done with 3% water  acid solution. No sugar.
That is old method.  Some do that laborous job even if trickling takes 20 seconds.

There are problems  to use trickling:

- against law. You will be soon in prison
- you are not able to bye a digital balance and weigh needed stuffs.
-  and 20 other reasons....
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 02:24:29 PM »


There are problems  to use trickling:

- against law. You will be soon in prison
- you are not able to bye a digital balance and weigh needed stuffs.
-  and 20 other reasons....
0

 grin
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 08:59:12 PM »

As far as I know, nobody even knows for sure how oxalic acid kills the mites.  There are only theories at present, but it certainly works well.  Randy Oliver has some great info on the subject.

I am hoping late November right before deer season (gun) will work well for the trickle/drip at same time as hive get wrapped for winter.  I was going to use maqs until I read all the horror stories about queen loss.  OA apparently has little or no effect on queens.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 12:28:51 AM »

OA apparently has little or no effect on queens.

that is important note.

Some have invented from their own head that the queen stands only once in its life time OA handling, but several years old queens are still in hives.

Now its proved that beehives stand more than one trickling.
Our varroa expert has given in spring again trickling and it has dropped the varroa level in hives.
I have given  in two last year spring trickling. This year it helped, in last year not.

In  spring I wondered how awfully much I had still mites in hives.
But actually those dead mites had died in winter treatment, they had falled into cells and then bees cleaned along the spring those  mites.
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 04:23:47 AM »

The theory that I remember that makes sense to me on efficacy to mites and not queens is this.  The bees eat the OA syrup.  The mites feed off of the bees blood and die from the high amount of oa present.  The worker bees apparently are affected to a small degree but the queen is not eating the oa syrup but instead is feed royal jelly (all her life) produced by glands in worker bees heads.  My guess is the queen will only ingest harmless amounts of oa (oa is naturally found in honey).  Therefore OA trickling may be harmless to the queen. 

Literature suggests that treating nucleus colonies (same for packages) for mites made with queen cells in summer is also excellent option when done in the broodless or near broodless window before the new queens offspring is of age for the mites to begin infesting her brood.  And apparently the queens life, laying potential, ect. are unaffected by oa trickling.

I believe all the literature I speak of is available at Randy Olivers website.

I think a perfectly sound organic treatment is being wasted, simply because it is not approved in the USA and people are scared to death to open a colony in winter.  It cost something like two cents per treatment, per colony.
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 06:44:02 AM »

The theory that I remember that makes sense to me on efficacy to mites and not queens is this.  The bees eat the OA syrup.  The mites feed off of the bees blood and die from the high amount of oa present. 

-  it does not go that way. The influence is external. There is no antivarroa stuff which affect via blood.






 Therefore OA trickling may be harmless to the queen. 

- it has bee carefully researched. IT IS NOT



I believe all the literature I speak of is available at Randy Olivers website.

-  as far as I know, Randy is not a varroa expert. He is just writing.

If you want real expert put in goodle "nanetti varroa " . He is an Italian beekeeping professor who has developed the trickling.

I think a perfectly sound organic treatment is being wasted, simply because it is not approved in the USA and people are scared to death to open a colony in winter.  It cost something like two cents per treatment, per colony.

- when I made it first time, I was really afraid what happens to my hives.
- the treatment has bee advertised so that it is like atom bomb. Mask, rubber gloves, keep breathing .....


Many beekeepers are afraid to open the cover because they are afraid of stings.
So they ask from forum instead that they look inside the hive.

."I have not looked my hive for two months. What to do now".
- the answer: "let them be in peace"
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 10:14:53 AM »

Have you even taken a look and Randy Olivers Website?  The data I refer too is not his theory but the theory of scientists.  Who is right or wrong really does not matter to me, what matters is it kills mites, and not bees, and most important, is not hell on queens.

I will google your expert, "nanetti varroa"!  What a last name!

It would be easier if you would point me to a direct link to the data that proves that the oxalic acid efficasy on mites is an external one!  I have only read theory, and studies that come up with guesses.  Pudding please!
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 12:47:14 PM »

.
I write with mobile Nokia C6. I cannot link.

I have linked couple of times all essential researches to Beemaster.

European Union Varroa Group made about 10 years work to select best varroa treatment methods. It was about 1998-2008. Methods were developed better and made easy to use.
Harms and risks have studied several years.

Those varroa work results have been verified in many other countries.

In UK Beekeeping Society started to inform about results as soon as they were ready, but a wide group of beekeepers start to fight against Oxalic Acid claiming what ever. A wider gang started to poem their own opinion about recipes.

Now after 5 years depate nonsence talking has calmed down in UK FORUM.

But sad to see that sugar dusting is still recommended on Beemaster and UK forums even if it has proved to be unefficient.

In Canada "a waggle dance around varroa" has proved to be sad and expencive. It was not CCD WHICH KILLED HIVES in Canada. It was debate about varroa treatment stuffs. In that time European results were well published.

What I say, in America unefficient methods are widely used among hobby beekeepers. In their hives dead rate in winter is huge compared to professionals. Look the last Maarec report.
The worst is an advice: do nothing, let evolution work!

Now in Uk winter treatment with OA is widely accepted.

thymol is widely used now via commercial products.

The worst situation is in southern places where hives do not keep brood brake.
What I understand, South Africa and New Zealand are bad varroa places because of brooding, but too for their escaped colonies which keep on high varroa level in nature.


All results are in Internet, but sorry to say that links do not work very long time because sites of reports have changed.
.



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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 08:15:00 PM »

"What I say, in America unefficient methods are widely used among hobby beekeepers. In their hives dead rate in winter is huge compared to professionals. Look the last Maarec report.
The worst is an advice: do nothing, let evolution work!"

I agree with you, many here ignore sound science, and instead want to wave a magic wand of powder sugar, screened bottom boards, etc., and ignore all the sound studies and trials that prove them to have almost no real impact on the pests.  Laziness is also a problem, if you dont look for a problems, you wont find them.

That said, when you find yourself in front of a PC, I would appreciate links to sound studies or trials that you say makes the method of O.A. trickling and its route of efficacy to varroa obvious and so ends the senseless debate!  I really dont have time to waste searching for a needle in a hay stack just because someone says is there.  
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 09:02:46 PM »


What I say, in America unefficient methods are widely used among hobby beekeepers.

Quote
I write with mobile Nokia C6. I cannot link.

And that inefficient phone is manufactured in.... wait for it...... grin


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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 09:09:40 PM »

I agree with you, many here ignore sound science, and instead want to wave a magic wand of powder sugar, screened bottom boards, etc.,
Quote

 I would appreciate links to sound studies or trials that you say makes the method of O.A. trickling....

I would appreciate links to sound studies or trials that you say show that powdered sugar and screened bottom boards have no real impact on mites.
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2011, 06:38:24 AM »

Heres one link after googling what Finski suggested:
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,34953.0.html
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 07:11:08 AM »

Heres one link after googling what Finski suggested:
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,34953.0.html


Note that OA is only effective when used during a broodless period.  I think the same is true of powdered sugar/SBB, but that fact is often ignored.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2011, 07:32:08 AM »


But sad to see that sugar dusting is still recommended on Beemaster and UK forums even if it has proved to be unefficient.

I'm listening to you Finski.  Please, when you get to your computer, could you post a link to a study that shows that powdered sugar used with screened bottom boards in a broodless period does not work.

If there is a solid bottom board, the mites that are removed by sugar just climb back on the bees.  If there is lots of capped brood, the sugar never gets to the mites inside the cells (the same problem that exists with oxalic acid).  
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2011, 01:03:21 PM »

.
prof Antonio Nanetti has made a  varroa book to ebooks.
Look from google "nanetti varroa estimo pdf  2011".

It has been published in Spring 2011

It is a free download.

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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2011, 02:10:03 PM »

"Note that OA is only effective when used during a broodless period.  I think the same is true of powdered sugar/SBB, but that fact is often ignored"

LOL.  What am I goint to do, sugar dust my colonies at 10 below zero in January, lol.  Even if you knocked  of 50 percent of the mites you would be doing little which I doubt you would get.

We need 85% + efficasy to control mites.  The double in population in one month.  Sugar dusting is a joke.  You would need to do it every two weeks to have any hope.

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/powdered-sugar-dusting-sweet-and-safe-but-does-it-really-work-part-1/

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/powdered-sugar-dusting-sweet-and-safe-but-does-it-really-work-part-2/
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2011, 03:04:52 PM »

.
It is easy to calculate how mites multiply themselves.
Before broofing period , may be in February, you have 10 mites alive.

Write into excel  10 and a formula to it to multiply with 2 . Then copy forward.

1000 mites is a critical limit. Next month you have 2000 and next 4000.

Feb  10  .......30
mar 20...........60
apr  40..........120
may  80.........240
June 160.......500
July 320.........1000
Aug  640.........2000
Sept 1200.......4000
Oct    2400........8000
Nov  5000 ........wintering bees none


as you see, critical limit will be achieved in in the middle on summer, if 30 mites have survived to next brood season.
10 survived mites will violate next winter cluster bees badly.



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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2011, 05:17:53 PM »

.
prof Antonio Nanetti has made a  varroa book to ebooks.
Look from google "nanetti varroa estimo pdf  2011".

It has been published in Spring 2011

It is a free download.



Gee Finski, it would be nice to have an actual link.  Or at least the site and the name of the article.  I looked at the search results which were as follows:

C.R.A. - Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura
sito.entecra.it/portale/cra_pubblic_ist.php?lingua=EN&id=132

2011, Radiometric properties of photoselective and photoluminescent ...... Besana, A.M.; Baracani, G.; Aureli, S.; Galuppi, R.; Tampieri, M.P.; Nanetti, A. ... the summer treatment of Varroa destructor infesting the honey bee colonies. ...... congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production 0383.pdf [ENG, eng] ...


But there is no downloadable copy of this article.  And there is nothing actually published in 2011 by Besana et al.   A link or an extended quote would facilitate the discussion.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 05:59:49 PM »

.
In Europe the newest project is COLOSS.  It researches several healthy bee issues, not only varroa.

We talk about vanishing bee in Eastern Europe and in China. What I have read they donot even calculate their hives.

In Uk, when bees ought to die off, the hive number increased 40% in two years.

In the shadow of American CCD, who knows what guys are trying to do in different countries. At least it seems not honest. COLOSS seeks for truth and facts.
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2011, 06:53:10 PM »

My point is, that a hobbyist may find that sugar dusting, or any other method or treatment, may be enough to help their colonies to survive, especially if they are using Russian, other mite resistant, survivor, or feral stock. However, the flip side is that a beekeeper may completely convince himself that a certain method is “working” since their bees survived last season. In actuality, the bees’ survival may have be due to other factors; the beekeeper’s pet treatment may have been of little more benefit than a placebo, yet made the beekeeper feel good because they were doing something! (This applies to commercial beekeepers, too). I suggest that we be careful of “cures” until they are well proven by controlled trials (using test and control colonies).

Bottom line—if you are a hobbyist and use mite resistant stock, then you may be able to get by with minimal mite management. If you use screened bottoms, then sugar dusting is an option that may help. For determining mite infestation levels, sugar dusting is great! In my next article, I will present the results of my field testing of sugar dusting, including mite drop rate hour by hour, a comparison of dust-accelerated mite drop to other sampling methods, and a fresh look at varroa treatment threshold levels.

References


Oliver, R (2007) Biotechnical Methods II—the one-two punch. ABJ 147(5): 399-406. All cited authors are listed here—also available at www.scientificbeekeeping.com.


I confess that I fell into that group that did nothing other than some small cell/natural cell to my hives my first winter and was lucky enough to only lose one immediately coming out out winter and then another in late summer. I was under the impression that something I did or didnt do must have worked. Now having said that, I did manage to have a decent honey crop from a couple of hives and split some hives heavily, while other hives just merely survived-never flourished. Now, I have a much better understanding on the effects of varroa to the overall health of the colony and have plans on using oxalic this winter as a means to deal with them. I think that too many beginning beeks get into this (myself included) manage to survive a winter and think think that there's nothing to this mite thing and that if other well known beeks can get by without treatments then by golly we can too. 

Learn from my mistakes-theres been plenty. But if something was as effective as some people touted it was, then its use would be wide spread to every commercial beek in the land. A 50% loss to a beekeeper is huge-no matter if you have 2 hives or 2000. A 50% drop of mites via sugar dusting to me is worthless.  Sugar dusting is in the same snake oil category as HBH in my .02. There are too many 'mays' and 'mights' listed in the article above for me to believe that sugar dusting is a viable option.
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2011, 08:59:09 PM »

"Note that OA is only effective when used during a broodless period.  I think the same is true of powdered sugar/SBB, but that fact is often ignored"

LOL.  What am I goint to do, sugar dust my colonies at 10 below zero in January, lol.  Even if you knocked  of 50 percent of the mites you would be doing little which I doubt you would get.

We need 85% + efficasy to control mites.  The double in population in one month.  Sugar dusting is a joke.  You would need to do it every two weeks to have any hope.

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/powdered-sugar-dusting-sweet-and-safe-but-does-it-really-work-part-1/


This article does NOT address treating during a broodless period.  Most of the mites are protected from the sugar.  There should be a broodless period for you when the temp is above -10 degrees.  grin  I would think your hives will be broodless sometime in the next month and that temperatures would be at least briefly above freezing during that time.  In the linked article, each hive is open for 30 seconds while the sugar is added.  I bet your bees could survive that if the outdoor temperature is above freezing.  Also note the suggestion in part 2 of the article that treatment would be much more effective if synchronized with removal of drone brood.

The truth is that we have not had much of a problem from from mites, perhaps because we are using natural comb.  But we do use powdered sugar when we have a broodless period, either in the late Fall or when we do a queen-removal split in April.

The article actually shows that sugar dusting can control mites, even without using broodless periods or drone removal.  And it can do so with minimal time and effort and very low cost.  Since your hives will be broodless occasionally without extra effort on your part, this seems like a pretty easy way to get rid of some mites.
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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2011, 12:49:14 AM »

.
In oxalic trickling it is clearly said that the hive must be broodless when yout treat it.
Two years ago I trickled my hives too early.  the result was that I lost 30% of my hives a year later what means last autumn and winter.

I wonder where hobbyist gets mite resistant bees. Why commercial beekeepers do not use them?

Look at statistic: small scale beekeepers winter losses 40%. (Maarec)
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2011, 05:03:02 AM »

Yes, Randy Oliver stated that you MAY be able to control varroa with sugar dusting by dusting "EVERY TWO WEEKS"  If you have a few colonies and you have nothing better to do with your life than you go right ahead and buy a barrel of powder sugar and dust your life away.

I dont have time for might, maybe, if, well, ah, hmm, could, should of, could of, treatments.  I need to know I am going to knock off enough mites so I dont lose half my colonies every winter.  I dont know how many colonies you have, how long you have had the, etc.  What I do know is a colony will not make it past its third winter (usually not past its second) without viable mite control treatments.  Maybe VSH may have a shot at it.  Just regular hygienic bees wont.  Those who want to blame colony deaths on anything but mites because their bees dont have mite problems will not have mite problems.

I am trying to find as many organic options that have viable efficacy rates so I can get away from insecticides.  Of course bees that help keep varroa populations down are great and I buy them.  Pure VSH bees are not viable, they are too hygienic, abort too much brood, and dont produce profitable honey crops.  They are a step in the right direction, but not the cure.
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2011, 10:13:49 AM »

.
Jep!
Dreaming is dreaming and cure is cure.

Yes. I bought once mite tolerant bee stock but i did not stand their stings. Further more they had as much mites as Italians

like your Russians, they die for mites.   That is called business.

" let them kill the hives. I sell them new ones".
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2011, 05:40:00 PM »

I'm a new beek this year...  I have read and heard so many different ideas and ways to control varroa levels.  The only beeks I know in my area are sold on "natural" treatments, whatever that means...  rhetorical question there...  I know what it means...  so one person has hives that are 5 years old and only uses powdered sugar to treat but has never done a mite count.  I know someone here in the honey business with 75 hives and never treats for varroa...  I don't know what his loss per year is..  if any..   For me this year I followed the recommended powdered sugar treatment only to see the mite load increase...  was this because mites to bees increased or did I see more mites because the bee population doubled during the time I treated?  Either way, sugar dusting does not show me any value as a treatment.  If I don't treat, I can expect to lose the hive in 2 maybe 3 years.  If I do treat with sugar, I may add a year or 2...  the end result is the same.  But wait!!!  I've heard some people never treat and they say no losses...    very frustrating...  I think everyone would love the old days when varroa was confined to the asian bee...   and this whole "natural" thing obviously doesn't work because the annual losses are still 30% across the country.  Oh yes, one other question...  if someone loses a hive, how do you know if it's because of varroa infestation?
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2011, 11:59:55 PM »

.
I know beekeepers whose beekeeping has been mere succes from very beginning. No losses,huge yields.  Everything what they try is at once succes.

They must have beekeeping in genes. When I read their comments, their biological knowledge is near zero and self made, but still, everything goes fine. No losses!
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« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2011, 12:19:53 AM »

 pop  at the end they will buy your beekeeping equipment for 1/2 off  cheesy  RDY-B
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« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2011, 08:50:39 PM »

Re: oxalic acid, dribble.
If you do not want to use the dribble method, you might consider using the oxalic vaporizer method.

BEES4U.COM
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2011, 03:00:33 PM »

I'm a new..
.  if someone loses a hive, how do you know if it's because of varroa infestation?

you open the internet and ask from a guy who lives 2000 miles away. You will get the answer.

You must learn to see, what is going on your hives. There is no clear answer. They die in many ways.
For example the cluster will become too small and they do not stand winter. Mites destroy last brood = winter bees.

It does not help any more  if you know why it died.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 03:17:16 PM by Finski » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2011, 05:53:32 PM »

"you open the internet and ask from a guy who lives 2000 miles away. You will get the answer."

I use a weegie board.  Works every time.
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2011, 06:22:04 PM »

if the severity of varoa infestation is proportional to the amount of brood perhaps bee keeping should go in the direction of efficiency per bee rather than larger and larger colonies. i.e. Smaller colonies that produce  proportionally more. Heresy but a thought to ponder.
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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2011, 01:35:54 PM »

if the severity of varoa infestation is proportional to the amount of brood perhaps bee keeping should go in the direction of efficiency per bee rather than larger and larger colonies. i.e. Smaller colonies that produce  proportionally more. Heresy but a thought to ponder.


big colonies produce more honey. They will become earlier ready to forage surplus and they can handle huge nectar flows.

Mite promlem is mite problem and nothing to do with hive size.

Big hives swarm more. When you make a false swarm, you may trickle the swarm .
And it is worth doing.


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« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2011, 04:28:41 PM »

Finski,

I see the oxalic acid mix is 100g each of sugar and water for 1:1 sugar syrup but the 7.5g of oxalic acid...what percent is the acid?  Also I read you can treat when temps are 0 degrees C and bees are clustered.  This way you know they are broodless...   what do you think?

John
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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2011, 05:44:14 PM »

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Oxalic acid is chrystal form and100%..

I looked Chapin's forecast and you have summer there 21C and night 11C.
If you look inside the hive, you see how much hives have brood.

So you should use thymol or formic acid 3 weeks treatment.

If some hive has only few brood, you may concentrate into one. Hive.
Then trickling is sure. Then give to the brood centre long period treatment and clean it out of mites.

Cluster is not a sign of  lacking brood. In going pollen is quite sure mark that they have brood.

Your weather is good. Look inside.

I do not know how they use to treat varroa on 34 altitude. It is more difficult than on areas which have brood brake.

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« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2011, 07:23:20 PM »

Finski,  yes it is still warm here and I have some brood and pollen is still coming into the hive and this is a sign there is still brood.

I tried thymol (ApiLife Var) in October for the 3 weeks...  results were poor...   I don't like some of the reports for formic acid.  But the new pads seem to be OK...   too late now because the temperature will average too low.

I can still use oxalic when they do cluster.

John

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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2011, 02:23:09 AM »


How do you know that results were poor?

However, if after a month  they have some brood frames, collect them together to nuc, and then trickle the main hives. Or you are harsh and kill the brood with their mites.

Cluster itself does not  tell do they have brood.  in Spring cluster tells in my hives that they have brood and they heat them carefully.

If the hive has 10 mites, it takes half year to reach critical number of mites.

Your brood period is long  and you need at least 2 treatments a year.

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« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2011, 02:10:44 PM »

Let me say that I expected an 80% decrease in mite population.  This would have made me happy.  ApiLife Var says up to 90% or so...  my count before treatment was 100+ for 24 hours...  this is a small hive, one deep brood box...  almost all frames are full now of stores,  bees seem healthy enough but after the thymol treatment for 3 weeks...  mite count only dropped to 60/24hr period.  I also see some deformed wing virus...  only a few bees... this is what concerns me.

So this is what I am doing to try and lower the mite count...  I don't think powdered sugar is a "treatment", but it will knock off some mites.  I started last week with powdered sugar dusting, did mite count within 1 hour, wait 2 days, do mite count, 2 more days another dusting, for 16 days...  I am now at day 10 and I just checked the mite count (24 hours) and it is down to 30.  I have two more dustings and at the end I will do a mite count to see if the count is lower.  Then monitor weekly to watch.

I know when the brood slows the mite count drops as well.  I want to get it as low as I can before they cluster.  Thanks Finski for your input,  John
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2011, 04:25:21 PM »

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Wait to the end of December. Then open the hives and take brood frames off.
With oxalic trickling you achieve 96% dead rate of mites.

Soon bees start a new season and at  least your start is ok.
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2011, 04:38:23 PM »

Thanks Finski...    that is what I will do...   I am so far south, I don't have the cold winters to deal with like you and I have talked with local beekeepers and swarms can start as early as late January or February.  One beekeeper has offered to let me catch swarms from her hives...  If I catch a swarm, would you suggest that I do the oxalic dribble on them before they start building brood....   or let it go until I check the mite count...  I know she has these hives 5 years and has never treated for varroa.

Again, thanks for all your help!

John
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« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2011, 05:26:55 PM »

hives...  If I catch a swarm, would you suggest that I do the oxalic dribble on them before they start building brood....


absolutely yes! when the swarms have settled into the hive after 3 days.

The queen do not start lay at once. It waits that bees have drawn combs.

Eggs stay 3 days and bees have not spent much energy to them. Trickling destroyes open brood. So you should handle then with oxalic after the colony has settled and before they start to feed larvae.

To treet the swarm cluster, I do not know how it works. It is too thick mass of bees to treat.

.........

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