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Hi All, I don't have time to follow every chat group, but I got a notification about this one.  I'm interested in your experiences with OA/gly in NZ, so please feel free to contact me directly at

You are obviously still young . I try and leave the bathroom before the steam has cleared .

This is an issue that comes up often There tends to be two ways that Beeks place Staples and one way results in less Brood damage. Some Beeks remove an edge frame, spread the remaining frames o

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Phil .Oxalic acid is the active ingredient so why use glycerin and has anyone tried other things like sugar syrup or foodgrade mineral oil. Is it the oxalic acid or the glycerin that causes strips to absorb moisture. Hope this hasn't been answered in one of the nearly 3000 posts on the subject. I have read most but not all of them.

Great news that you are doing official trials and I am really looking forward to be able to buy a ready to use product. I have been a bit slow in taking on some of this new technology mainly because when we first got varoa I did a lot of trials on alternative treatments and their effectiveness ranged from poor to indifferent. I haven't  used formic because it just seems too dangerous to me both to the bees and the beekeeper. You have certainly won over a lot of people and I think next spring I'm going to have to be one of them.

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28 minutes ago, john berry said:

Phil .Oxalic acid is the active ingredient so why use glycerin and has anyone tried other things like sugar syrup or foodgrade mineral oil. Is it the oxalic acid or the glycerin that causes strips to absorb moisture. Hope this hasn't been answered in one of the nearly 3000 posts on the subject. I have read most but not all of them.

Great news that you are doing official trials and I am really looking forward to be able to buy a ready to use product. I have been a bit slow in taking on some of this new technology mainly because when we first got varoa I did a lot of trials on alternative treatments and their effectiveness ranged from poor to indifferent. I haven't  used formic because it just seems too dangerous to me both to the bees and the beekeeper. You have certainly won over a lot of people and I think next spring I'm going to have to be one of them.

 

@john berry great to hear you might get on board. It’s working really well for me, but you have to concentrate... keep an eye on how things are playing out. 

 

Have you any experience with thymol acid solutions?

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Hi all. First year hobby keeper here, one hive. Treated with Bayvarol for 8 weeks (count was 10 / 300 at bayvarol addition). Followed with staples which have been in  for 1.5 weeks. Surprised me how much was left after the Bayvarol, hundreds dropping from the hive. Broke my jar so wasn't able to do a count before adding the staples unfortunately. Will do one next inspection.

 

Went with 37.5%, split the difference between the 35 and 40 recommended in the summary document. Possibly regretting not going higher now? I would like to understand the moisture issue better. What exactly is the issue? Moisture condensing on the staples and dripping on the bees? 

 

Haven't noticed any increase in dead bees but there seems more activity at the hive entrance. Checked the drop board today and found a few 'slurry' like  deposits. Figure it is from the staples. My three ply staples were 30g weighed before scraping them hard when adding to hive. Perhaps not hard enough. Weather allowing, I will be opening the hive tomorrow to take a look. Anything in particular I should look for? Is this a concern?

 

Thanks in advance.

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1 minute ago, Jim50 said:

Hi all. First year hobby keeper here, one hive. Treated with Bayvarol for 8 weeks (count was 10 / 300 at bayvarol addition). Followed with staples which have been in  for 1.5 weeks. Surprised me how much was left after the Bayvarol, hundreds dropping from the hive. Broke my jar so wasn't able to do a count before adding the staples unfortunately. Will do one next inspection.

 

Went with 37.5%, split the difference between the 35 and 40 recommended in the summary document. Possibly regretting not going higher now? I would like to understand the moisture issue better. What exactly is the issue? Moisture condensing on the staples and dripping on the bees? 

 

Haven't noticed any increase in dead bees but there seems more activity at the hive entrance. Checked the drop board today and found a few 'slurry' like  deposits. Figure it is from the staples. My three ply staples were 30g weighed before scraping them hard when adding to hive. Perhaps not hard enough. Weather allowing, I will be opening the hive tomorrow to take a look. Anything in particular I should look for? Is this a concern?

 

Thanks in advance.

If you still had plenty of mites when the Staples went in, it's going to be very difficult to keep that hive alive through winter .

 

As their population declines/crashes , reduce their space and keep them very close to stores so they can keep warm and survive . 

 

With the Staples in there , and a bit of love, they will pull through and reward you accordingly next season .

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15 minutes ago, Jim50 said:

Hi all. First year hobby keeper here, one hive. Treated with Bayvarol for 8 weeks (count was 10 / 300 at bayvarol addition). Followed with staples which have been in  for 1.5 weeks. Surprised me how much was left after the Bayvarol, hundreds dropping from the hive. Broke my jar so wasn't able to do a count before adding the staples unfortunately. Will do one next inspection.

 

Went with 37.5%, split the difference between the 35 and 40 recommended in the summary document. Possibly regretting not going higher now? I would like to understand the moisture issue better. What exactly is the issue? Moisture condensing on the staples and dripping on the bees? 

 

Haven't noticed any increase in dead bees but there seems more activity at the hive entrance. Checked the drop board today and found a few 'slurry' like  deposits. Figure it is from the staples. My three ply staples were 30g weighed before scraping them hard when adding to hive. Perhaps not hard enough. Weather allowing, I will be opening the hive tomorrow to take a look. Anything in particular I should look for? Is this a concern?

 

Thanks in advance.

Your biggest issue will be the Varroa still in the Hive.

Matt summed it up well

No need to dive into the Hive 
Any moisture issues you have appear minor and you will need to let sleeping dogs lie if you want to mop up the remaining Mites 
 

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5 minutes ago, M4tt said:

If you still had plenty of mites when the Staples went in, it's going to be very difficult to keep that hive alive through winter .

 

As their population declines/crashes , reduce their space and keep them very close to stores so they can keep warm and survive . 

 

With the Staples in there , and a bit of love, they will pull through and reward you accordingly next season .

Hey Matt ..... I signed off a few hours ago, but anyway .....

 

We had  a  yard of 36 this summer ..... they were a problem from the spring. Quite a few dead, so we put them in a nice site down by the river with plenty of willow and what  has always been quite good for clover. Very close to an urban area.

We got 'em all up and running ..... but when honey pull came were dismayed. The first two end pallets did three boxes  a hive, after which they rapidly collapsed with major mite problems. So we took the honey, stapled them with O/A and ran them up the Dew for the late flow.

I wintered them down today.

What a freaking disaster.

Out of the 36 ..... 24 were dead.

 

We had two yards in that site. A total of 84. The balance that came from a different yard  looked good ..... box of honey and should make it through til August.

 

Out of interest, I went around to another yard where we had a hive with a mite count of 160 two weeks ago. I was curious and had some honey to bring in off the survivors.

I was also curious about reading reports of hives  been ovenrun and making a come back up north.  

The 160 mite hive had a made a come back, sort of .... she had a nice brood pattern, about half the size of yer fist on one side of the frame, and won't make it through the winter .... 

 

The O/A works ..... I know that, but it seems  to need conditions .....

 

 

4 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Hey Matt ..... I signed off a few hours ago, but anyway .....

 

We had  a  yard of 36 this summer ..... they were a problem from the spring. Quite a few dead, so we put them in a nice site down by the river with plenty of willow and what  has always been quite good for clover. Very close to an urban area.

We got 'em all up and running ..... but when honey pull came were dismayed. The first two end pallets did three boxes  a hive, after which they rapidly collapsed with major mite problems. So we took the honey, stapled them with O/A and ran them up the Dew for the late flow.

I wintered them down today.

What a freaking disaster.

Out of the 36 ..... 24 were dead.

 

We had two yards in that site. A total of 84. The balance that came from a different yard  looked good ..... box of honey and should make it through til August.

 

Out of interest, I went around to another yard where we had a hive with a mite count of 160 two weeks ago. I was curious and had some honey to bring in off the survivors.

I was also curious about reading reports of hives  been ovenrun and making a come back up north.  

The 160 mite hive had a made a come back, sort of .... she had a nice brood pattern, about half the size of yer fist on one side of the frame, and won't make it through the winter .... 

 

The O/A works ..... I know that, but it seems  to need conditions .....

 

 

So i'm thinking ..... you get a hive collapsing after the flow, the queen needs a bit of excitement to get her to lay a few more eggs before winter . We move 'em up the dew, but it does'nt always cooperate and yield... so may be they need a squirt of nectar as you rob the honey jus to show them that you do still love them and they reciprocate with eggs.

 

Canterbury is an A hole for keeping bees. ..... the flows are short and sharp and one has to be onto it at the time  ...... I need to put into management for more  research budget.

 

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Thanks. I understand the possible mite issue, will be doing a count tomorrow regardless. Accepting I am extremely lacking in experience, I'm not seeing any mite issues currently. I did see what I assumed to be DWV and a few crawlers in Jan hence the early Bayvrol application. That all cleared up nicely. I remain positive, though will see / learn as the year plays out. Queen has reduced laying significantly so wondered if the increased mite fall was from that.

 

Regardless, at the moment I am more interested in understanding the staples better for next time. I guess I will scrape harder and apply earlier. This should occur anyway as l hope to not continue to use synthetics. I only did this year as I'm a newb and didn't want to rely on the staples alone. Ironic if that becomes my hives downfall.

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38 minutes ago, Jim50 said:

Thanks. I understand the possible mite issue, will be doing a count tomorrow regardless. Accepting I am extremely lacking in experience, I'm not seeing any mite issues currently. I did see what I assumed to be DWV and a few crawlers in Jan hence the early Bayvrol application. That all cleared up nicely. I remain positive, though will see / learn as the year plays out. Queen has reduced laying significantly so wondered if the increased mite fall was from that.

 

Regardless, at the moment I am more interested in understanding the staples better for next time. I guess I will scrape harder and apply earlier. This should occur anyway as l hope to not continue to use synthetics. I only did this year as I'm a newb and didn't want to rely on the staples alone. Ironic if that becomes my hives downfall.

How many Bayvarol strips were used, when did the strips go in and what configuration was the hive in at time of treatment?

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Double FD brood. Four strips per brood box, 8 total. I placed them with the brood. Moved them at least twice to keep in the brood. Went in mid jan, looking at dates was actually in for 10 weeks. Had three supers on for part of the treatment. Ack the risk, the honey is for me only. 

 

I did see what I thought was a good mite fall during the treatment. Definately much heavier than the natural fall pre treatment. In retrospect the lesson is that I should have done a sugar shake count during the treatment.

 

Appreciate the concern but my reason for posting here is to learn about OA/ GL. 

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Thanks @Jim50

 

The reason for the question from others about how you treated with strips is that there is concern and anecdotal evidence that they are not killing mites as they should. 

 

A couple of reasons why they may not work is 1. Operator error.....not enough strips, wrong placement , not following brood etc, or 2. Probable Varroa resistance to strips. 

 

Number 1 is easy to establish 

Number 2, not so easy . Those that make them are adamant they work as claimed.

 

Anyway, despite your self claimed inexperience with bees, it seems to me that you are moving forward on the right track 😊

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These photos are records of science in action

The frame with no bees is from a very dead hive , wiped out by Varroa.

The pic of the nice hive has had exactly the same treatement, staples... a couple of weeks later

The deads had high mite loadings in January....

3B3C479F-6EC2-4F8D-BF74-D348147450DD.jpeg

70611271-929C-40B3-BF3D-8327E4C1F285.jpeg

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

These photos are records of science in action

The frame with no bees is from a very dead hive , wiped out by Varroa.

The pic of the nice hive has had exactly the same treatement, staples... a couple of weeks later

The deads had high mite loadings in January....

3B3C479F-6EC2-4F8D-BF74-D348147450DD.jpeg

70611271-929C-40B3-BF3D-8327E4C1F285.jpeg

 

The hives had high mite loads and viruses.  Treatments went in but the hives most affected by viruses didn't make it.  It is not to do with the oxalic/glycerine treatment.  You can also see on that staple on the bottom photo how little bee traffic has been in contact with it.

 

I had hives this time last year that got smashed and the viruses lingered all through Winter and through Spring and they only really recovered early this year, the viruses are the problem....

 

Also that survivor hive is only around three frames of bees so It must have been smashed pretty bad if it was a full hive before.

 

Today I got around some sites I wanted to re-treat, they had staples in Feb, but they were so clean when I was shaking I didn't bother putting fresh ones in.  

 

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I dont understand this... yuo guys are saying you have low mite mumbers, yet down here our bees are trashed.... more dead than alive.

After three tough years .... today I think i pulled the pin.

It’s an uphill battle i’ve lost the desire to fight.

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Oh geez James thats a bit rough, didn't appreciate it was that bad for you....

For my past season I've treated in Spring, December, Feb and also now (not everywhere, just where needed) and I'll leave it now to Spring again.  I've barely seen a mite.  

I can only think levels in your hives were high when the last round of staples went in.

You are right though it is very tough with the honey market the way it is and dealing with that 💩

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@Philbee what would be the best way to store the staples taken out of a hive that died.

i have checked the brood for disease.

the staples are unchewed and went in on the 20th march.

when i pulled the hive apart i saw varroa dead on the base but none in the brood i pulled apart.

this hive was robbed and starved.

it was separate from my other hives and in a different place on my property. it did not get the constant attention my other hives get because they are round the house

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

I dont understand this... yuo guys are saying you have low mite mumbers, yet down here our bees are trashed.... more dead than alive.

After three tough years .... today I think i pulled the pin.

It’s an uphill battle i’ve lost the desire to fight.

How many treatments of oxalic? 

What are the treatment dates? 

What where the mite counts pre treatment? 

How many weeks between checking your hives? 

We have run multiple 40% ox treatments all season, open our hives every 3 weeks- give or take, and we’re replacing chewed or dry staples at every visit. 

Placing on edge of brood frames 3-5-7-9 or 2-4-6-8 , 4 wides per brood nest for populations of a box or more. 

Under a full box of bees we ran 3.

4frame mating nucs got 1.  

No noticable issues with mating. Average of 75% at a guess. 

Yes this is a large learning experiment over 4000 ish colonies. 

Overall they are looking great. 

Still one or two varroa colonies on some sites. 

You gotta really keep your finger on the pulse with mite loading and adapt at each turn in the road. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

How many treatments of oxalic? 

What are the treatment dates? 

What where the mite counts pre treatment? 

How many weeks between checking your hives? 

We have run multiple 40% ox treatments all season, open our hives every 3 weeks- give or take, and we’re replacing chewed or dry staples at every visit. 

Placing on edge of brood frames 3-5-7-9 or 2-4-6-8 , 4 wides per brood nest for populations of a box or more. 

Under a full box of bees we ran 3.

4frame mating nucs got 1.  

No noticable issues with mating. Average of 75% at a guess. 

Yes this is a large learning experiment over 4000 ish colonies. 

Overall they are looking great. 

Still one or two varroa colonies on some sites. 

You gotta really keep your finger on the pulse with mite loading and adapt at each turn in the road. 

 

 

To be honest, I'm over analysing the why's of keeping bees alive.

I thought the O/A was gonna be the answer,  but there is more to it.

One needs a lot more skilled  labour for starters.  Correct me if I'm wrong but you guys run about 5 beekeeprs per 1000 hives. Another guy over your way runs 3000 hives with 12 beekeepers and 6 apprentices . That's a lot heck of a lot of wages to pay out, not to mention vehicles for them to run around in....

Here we run 1500 hives with two of us. It obviously does'nt work ..... Like Manu, I generally work seven days a week for about eight and a half months.

By the end one runs out of enthusiasm and oomph .

 

What I don't understand is why some girls do and some girls don't ..... some yards are crackers ..... and the one this afternoon had my legs shaking after pallet after pallet was dead. They've all had the same treatment regime over a months period. These hives came into the dew pumping, made us another box and a half and were shaking nectar three weeks ago. Now they are totally devoid of bees.

 

Like I said to Phil this afternoon .... 'It does'nt matter anymore. We are done. I'm over the continual fighting to keep the critters alive'.

On the flip side, The Orient likes our packed honey  so I think we will concentrate on packing and let others produce the stuff. At least then one knows one's margins and can budget accordingly.

 

Now .... about this CoOp idea .....

 

 

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

3 to 1200 is doable.....  do they raise  cells and queens , extract honey  .... or is their a support  team behind them to look after the supply chain ?  

 

Devil's in the detail.  It's what I thought also, bloody nice to have others decision making or sorting time draining small jobs. 

I imagine you do the head and grunt work. I get some support from family when needed, and we get to gas bag about work stuff. 

20 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

The hives had high mite loads and viruses.  Treatments went in but the hives most affected by viruses didn't make it.  It is not to do with the oxalic/glycerine treatment.  You can also see on that staple on the bottom photo how little bee traffic has been in contact with it.

 

I had hives this time last year that got smashed and the viruses lingered all through Winter and through Spring and they only really recovered early this year, the viruses are the problem....

 

Also that survivor hive is only around three frames of bees so It must have been smashed pretty bad if it was a full hive before.

 

Today I got around some sites I wanted to re-treat, they had staples in Feb, but they were so clean when I was shaking I didn't bother putting fresh ones in.  

 

Seems like alot of staples?? are there more in the second? 

What I feel; Oxalic Staples is a harsher choice for the bees.  A healthy hive, low mites, good queen, good bee numbers... doesn't mind the acid too much.  The reverse for one struggling. 

My 'home' hive got loaded full of mites- I treated with Ox/staples and had a huge exodus of crawlers, much much more than when I first noticed the issue. Like the next day mass zombie crowd.  The mites died and so did bees, the hive lost it's 'coherent' nest.  Brood neglected, queen stopped laying, lack of forgers, and the virus stayed.  A  few months later,  I killed the queen and added a nuc. 

I reckon, if I had of added say Bayvarol,  the hive might not have lost near as many bees so quickly.  Keeping the nest humming longer and allowing the hive to get over the hump.  Sure sick bees stay, but they must help somewhat. 

 

 

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Pre-varoa 1000 hives per labour unit was pretty normal and some were higher than that. Variable success with all the organic treatments is the main reason I have not adopted them wholeheartedly. I have to say now that I have only 360 hives  I have a lot more time and enjoy the beekeeping I do  a lot more.

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1 hour ago, john berry said:

Pre-varoa 1000 hives per labour unit was pretty normal and some were higher than that. Variable success with all the organic treatments is the main reason I have not adopted them wholeheartedly. I have to say now that I have only 360 hives  I have a lot more time and enjoy the beekeeping I do  a lot more.

 

@john berry do you make an ok living off that amount of hives ?

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