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Author Topic: Preference for your SMOKE / Any natural mite treatment via smoke?  (Read 4259 times)
Dr/B
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« on: June 01, 2007, 01:01:33 AM »

Hey everyone!

I wanted to ask if anyone has a preference as to what to burn for smoking your bees?  It's a simple question, but have you ever thought about it?

I've found that dried magnolia leaves seem to REALLY calm my bees down, and also smells good. Smiley  Does anyone have a preference?  I've started using just old cardboard on those rainy days when everything is wet and damp.  Dried cardboard works well.  Sometimes I use cedar shavings.  I've used dried grass, pine needles, dried cow manure and a host of other stuff, but wondered if everyone was using the same thing, or if anyone had any little secret smoking tips.

I recently read an article about using the smoke from black walnut to "treat" your bees for mites.  Anyone have any experience with this or any other kind of smoke for mite treatment?

Steve
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2007, 06:33:46 AM »

I wanted to ask if anyone has a preference as to what to burn for smoking your bees?  It's a simple question, but have you ever thought about it?



Discussed many many times.  You can use the search function to find. Here are a coupe of links to get you started.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=212.0
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=9080.0
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=4456
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 09:28:30 AM »

Steve, excellent discussions on smoke.  But here I just want to put in my two cents worth, the other threads were getting pretty big.

I use burlap, clean, untreated burlap.  I also heard that using the dried Staghorn Sumac flowers was good.  I dried some of those (I have many Staghorn Sumac trees on my property) flower heads.  I have never seen a smoker burn for so long.  I have worked for 3 hours out in my apiary one day, and between the burlap and the sumac flower heads, my smoker was still smokin'.  Couldn't believe it.  But I have not run out of smoke at any time now I am working the bees.  Not to say that I use the smoke, but I can see it smoldering away, slowly, surely.  Have a wonderful day.  Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 09:25:16 PM »

>I wanted to ask if anyone has a preference as to what to burn for smoking your bees?

Burlap.

> It's a simple question, but have you ever thought about it?

Of course.

>I've started using just old cardboard on those rainy days when everything is wet and damp.  Dried cardboard works well.  Sometimes I use cedar shavings.  I've used dried grass, pine needles, dried cow manure and a host of other stuff, but wondered if everyone was using the same thing, or if anyone had any little secret smoking tips.

I've done all of those.

>I recently read an article about using the smoke from black walnut to "treat" your bees for mites.  Anyone have any experience with this or any other kind of smoke for mite treatment?

Tobacco and sumac have both been purported to help with mites.  Since I've gone to small cell I haven't had a mite problem to deal with, so it's irrelevant to me.  Back before I went to small cell I tried tobacco.  The bees passed out and collapsed on the bottom board.  Not good.  Most revived but some suffocated from being at the bottom of the pile.  I didn't notice THAT much difference in the mites.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 11:36:36 AM »

My smoke matl pref is dried leaves (starter matl) and coconut husk so far.  Burlap is probably easier (I'm going to have to try it).

I read this article some time ago, though I've never tried it (nor yet had the need to):
Quote
SMITE THE MITE WITH SMOKE

Beekeepers have a long established practice of using smoke to calm their bees before opening the hive. Now US Department of Agriculture scientists have found another potential benefit from smoke - when burned some plant smokes give off natural chemicals that control honeybee mites.

The standard method of Varroa treatment in the USA is using fluvalinate. Fluvalinate is a synthetic pyrethroid which is harmless to bees, but cannot be used whilst bees are producing honey otherwise the honey becomes contaminated. A further problem with fluvalinate is that the mites can develop resistance to it. Alternative control mechanisms are being investigated.

Dr Frank Eischen has found that smoke from certain plants either kills Varroa mites or causes them to fall off the bees.

300-400 mite infested bees are put in a cage and the cage is covered with a plastic container. The smoke from the trial plant is puffed into the container which is then corked to prevent the smoke escaping.

After 60 seconds the bees are removed and placed over sticky white card to catch any mites that fall off the bees. So far Dr Eischen has tested smoke from about 40 plants.

The first smoke Dr Eischen tested was from the ‘creosote’ bush, following a recommendation by a Mexican beekeeper, David Cardoso. The creosote bush is native to Mexico and Texas.

Creosote bush smoke achieves a 90-100% mite knockdown after one minute but excessive exposure to the smoke harms the bees.

“It is hard to find chemicals that remove mites without harming bees”, says Dr Eischen. “Grapefruit leaves however fit the description. After 30 seconds smoke from the grapefruit leaves knocked down 90-95% of the mites”.

Few of the mites are actually killed, most simply fall off the bees. “Either the smoke chemicals irritate or confuse the mites”, says Dr Eischen, “no-one is certain”. “But the good thing is that the leaf smoke does not seem to have any detrimental effects on the bees at all”.

Dr Eischen is not recommending that beekeepers try these methods of control yet. “These findings are still preliminary and the active chemicals in the smoke are not yet identified. What we are trying to do is isolate and identify the chemicals which are acting as miticides” he explains.

This information is taken from an article written by Sean Adams in Agricultural Research, August 1997, kindly provided by Dr Darrell Cox of Echo Inc.
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2007, 09:21:15 AM »

Dnae, whew!!!  Now that was an interesting article.  It will be great when these experiments can be accepted to be safe for the bees.

About the smoke confusing the mites.  From the cobwebs of my mind, I believe there is something about the mites detecting pheromones (Huh) that travel upwind in the hive.  I am going to have to back and do some more research on this aspect of how the mites work in the hive.  They are very interesting little creatures for surely.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2007, 09:36:34 AM »

The Santa Clara Bee Guild web page has a tidbit site...one of the items states that smoking with eucalyptus leaves kills mites!  A strong comment...I wonder how true it is...I have tons of euc leaves I could through in with the burlap...hhhmmmm
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sean
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2007, 09:45:57 AM »

have been trying to find any followup to the article that dane quoted from but no luck. Has anyone seen any update on it?
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2007, 10:08:50 AM »

http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/disease/varroa.shtml
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sean
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 07:31:31 PM »

Thanks i read that article but completely forgot it
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Moonshae
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 08:40:22 PM »

I use my grass clippings for weed control around my hives, and it serves as a smoker fuel that's always handy, too. I thought about buying burlap, but with the free grass right there, I can't justify it. The grass doesn't generally last very long, though.
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Dr/B
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2007, 09:35:01 PM »

Thanks for the replys guys..........I appreciate the responses...........I'm still experimenting with the Magnolia leaves..............we'll see how it goes.........

In regard to the mite control;

There's an older local beekeeper that has only used terpentine mixed with Crisco to treat his bees.  He claims he's used this for 20 some odd years, and never had a mite problem.  He says it can be used during the honey flow, or off.......without hurting the honey... He claims this is all he's used all these years and has never treated with anything else.  He mixes it up in crisco patties and puts one in each hive top, several times a year.

Now I'm not sure if he's ever done a sugar roll, or even checked his mite level, but he states they've "never been a problem".  Anyone ever heard of this for mite control? 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2007, 10:16:26 PM »

I'm sure it's food grade turpentine. Wink
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Michael Bush
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Robo
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 07:57:16 AM »

What does it do to SHBs?  It is my understanding they like grease patties.
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mjb1
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 08:34:12 PM »

I use the bark from the eucaliptis tree it smells nice like menthol when its burning. I think menthol is used to treat for mites. Anyway it smokes good and lights easily and I have a couple of these trees sometimes i use the leaves aswell
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2011, 09:16:36 AM »

.
There are recommendations at loeast on 20 working methods. Why you want to invent a new.

I was in Yogoslavia 1983. I bought a burning  stuff from beekeeping store. Later I read that it is higly carcinogenic.

The stuff must be somehow poisonous that it kills mites but bees stand it.
Smoking stuff means that a beekeeper himself gets that poisonous smoke to his lungs.

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