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Oxalic and glycerine


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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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3 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Good info Gerrit, that's very roughly 11 grams OA per strip. 

 

What sort of cardboard, what size are the strips, and has there been any damage to the bees?

 

Will look up tomorrow what cardboard it is, 45 cm long and I think 2.5 cm wide and from memory 2 mm thick. One dry strip weighs 18 g.  I dry them really well and no damage to bees at all.

1 minute ago, Stoney said:

Do the strong hives remove the cardboard inside a broodcycle? 

 

No, they last at least a month or longer.

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After some thought i have decided to throw caution to the wind and reveal my sewing machine. 😎

 

It is a Singer Heavy Duty 4411. Not expensive because it has no frills, but has heavy duty motor and workings designed for leatherwork and similar. With it I can bang through not quite 600 staples an hour. For a cheapy it's a BEAST. 😁

 

Made this video, enjoy. 🙂

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgCp-eIXroM

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Stoney that is against Phils patent.

 

Craig, I don't see the point of sewing several skinny cardboard layers together when one thicker one will do. The reason for the bead of thread is so if the bees chew the top of the strip out, the thread will hold the lower bit in place so it won't fall down and be wasted. 

 

What i would like to achieve is a strip that will eventually be chewed out totally, so you just put them in them forget about them. Getting it all right will probably involve several years experimentation, but that's OK. 🙂

.

Sounds like Gerrit is on it.

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Forgive my ignorance as I haven’t read the patent but does it cover other materials such as cardboard? 

What material is the overboard some beekeepers are using?

Sounds like that has serious holding power against removal. 

 

I have shifted half my bees back from Manuka sites to wintering sites close to home.. these hives are currently under reinvasion attack I can only assume from neighbours.. 

the hives left up country today are drawing foundy on Dew And are beautiful and clean.. 

it blows me away the difference.. man these mites are tough creatures.. 

ya gotta just keep on hitting them or they’ll win the battle every time 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gerrit said:

Will look up tomorrow what cardboard it is, 45 cm long and I think 2.5 cm wide and from memory 2 mm thick. One dry strip weighs 18 g.  I dry them really well and no damage to bees at all.

 

Do you use a sewing machine or other stitching? 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Made this video, enjoy.

One photo would have sufficed

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18 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Forgive my ignorance as I haven’t read the patent but does it cover other materials such as cardboard? 

 

To be honest Stoney I am still a little bamboozled.

 

However what Phil himself has said a number of times is that only stitching is covered, because he "invented" it.

 

He did not invent cardboard, that has been in use for oxalic strips for years.

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

After some thought i have decided to throw caution to the wind and reveal my sewing machine. 😎

 

It is a Singer Heavy Duty 4411. Not expensive because it has no frills, but has heavy duty motor and workings designed for leatherwork and similar. With it I can bang through not quite 600 staples an hour. For a cheapy it's a BEAST. 😁

 

Made this video, enjoy. 🙂

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgCp-eIXroM

I have a heavy duty  singer sewing machine but I use it for sewing other stuff and there is no way it would be any good for anything but gib tape if I started down that track .

I have some ready to use staples , made by someone who knows what they are doing , to put in my hives soon .

They are in a sealed bag in my freezer .

I want my bees to finish capping their honey on the late  flow before I put them in .

I have been using the OA vapouriser twice a week .

I use a burgler bar to lift the hive up on the side .

I do this fully kitted up now . The first time the bees all poured out and stung me .

When I lifted the front up they never reacted like that .

@Alastair
Actually its not so.much that the machine would not be any good but the room that I sew other fabric in would be contaminated by paper dust .

 

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Thanks for the helpful information Kaihoka.

 

There has been a few replies on the other forum, looks like you guys especially Craig may be right, perhaps i did overheat it. Here is a copy of one of the replies - "OT I was asked to post this from a very Knowledgable beekeeper who for some obscure reason cannot post it himself,
Oxalic acid dissolved in glycerin is well known to rapidly form a mono ester with the glycerin. This mono ester is very easy to decarboxylate (remove one of the acid groups as carbon dioxide) which leaves behind the glycerin ester of formic acid. Any water in the system will then hydrolyze this ester to form glycerin plus formic acid. All of these reactions can take place at room temperature, but at that temp they are slow. However, at temps above roughly 60 deg C the esterification reaction becomes pretty fast and by temps of 100 deg C the decarboxylation reaction is very fast. This stuff has all been well known for over 100 years. In fact long ago one of the easy ways to make formic acid in the lab was to take oxalic acid and glycerin, which were both easier to get than formic acid, and simply heat the solution a bit above 100 deg C and distill out the formic acid as it forms.

So, am I surprise you and others smell something that smells like formic acid on oxalic acid in glycerin strips? No surprise at all. You would need to be really careful how you made them to avoid making any formic acid and even then on storage in a sealed container I would expect some formic acid to be made at room temp given enough time. I suspect at least some of the failures of such strips to kill mites is because they were over heated during preparation resulting in strips with little oxalic acid remaining.

This tells the temperature tale".

 

Also, here is a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP60hsPa38Q

Edited by Alastair
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Lot of excellent content in that post and YouTube Alastair - they don't see a problem with wet strips, so perhaps the problem you had last autumn was more about a higher formic acid content if you heated the mix higher than 60 C. Certainly puts a different light on things.

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8 hours ago, Stoney said:

Forgive my ignorance as I haven’t read the patent but does it cover other materials such as cardboard? 

What material is the overboard some beekeepers are using?

Sounds like that has serious holding power against removal. 

 

I have shifted half my bees back from Manuka sites to wintering sites close to home.. these hives are currently under reinvasion attack I can only assume from neighbours.. 

the hives left up country today are drawing foundy on Dew And are beautiful and clean.. 

it blows me away the difference.. man these mites are tough creatures.. 

ya gotta just keep on hitting them or they’ll win the battle every time 

 

 

Apivar works good ...

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10 hours ago, Alastair said:

After some thought i have decided to throw caution to the wind and reveal my sewing machine. 😎

 

It is a Singer Heavy Duty 4411. Not expensive because it has no frills, but has heavy duty motor and workings designed for leatherwork and similar. With it I can bang through not quite 600 staples an hour. For a cheapy it's a BEAST. 😁

 

Made this video, enjoy. 🙂

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgCp-eIXroM

Does this beast have bobbins and if so, how often do you need to refill them.

Will it hold large spools of thread.

What was approx cost please.

 

Thanks for the video.

 

Trev

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1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

perhaps the problem you had last autumn was more about a higher formic acid content if you heated the mix higher than 60 C. Certainly puts a different light on things.

Agree, this would explain a lot in regards to the very poor result. 

has anyone else that had trouble with the staples heated and mixed their own brew up also? 

Be interesting to hear if there is a pattern there and may discredit the theory regarding flows during treatment and Also the theory around pathogens and staples causing heavy loss ... 

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The dissolving of the OA will depend on scale in some respects. 

When I do 75 tapes, I only need 1500g of mixture. The 50 litre pot I use is about 600mm diameter and the mixture is roughly an inch (or less?) deep. I mix the whole lot together and then heat it at lowest temp on the gas top. So, a wide area and a thin amount of 'goup' is easy to heat through and easy to stir. I confess I have not measured the temperature of the mixture when I make it, with such an enormous pot and only a tiny amount in the bottom it is hard to measure with my milk thermometer. The thing about the 50 litre pot with a little in the bottom is that I can mix it and splash around but none ever makes it out of the pot and it is easy and safe to carry it to pour over the tapes.

 

By comparison if I was mixing up enough for a whole 20 litre bucket of ~400 tapes the mixture in the pot would be much deeper and the temperature gradient through the mixture would take a lot of stirring to get any warmth to the top of the liquid. I can imagine the temperature in the bottom quickly going over 100C towards the gas flame temperature. Then I can imagine putting in half only and so on as described. For the hobbyist to make small amounts it is easier I think. 

 

If making this in volume it is a similar temperature to beeswax melting so then a bain-marie approach with heated water bath might make sense operating at medium scale. And maybe some people have large wax melter that could be pressed into action.

 

The other thing I thought about was to make a 1000 litre tank of OAG solution. There, you might get a syrup pump to suck it out the bottom and pump it back in at the top. With this in operation you can have a metal portion of pipe that you heat with a gas ring and you could bring the whole 1000 L up to 60C and you could continuously be tipping in the OA to what is required. Better not have any leaks though.. that could go bad fast.

 

Overall, if you use a certain number of staples per week, then it may make sense to only make that many working two weeks in advance and not try to make them for the entire operation in one go.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Agree, this would explain a lot in regards to the very poor result. 

has anyone else that had trouble with the staples heated and mixed their own brew up also? 

Be interesting to hear if there is a pattern there and may discredit the theory regarding flows during treatment and Also the theory around pathogens and staples causing heavy loss ... 

We used staples from Phil that were purchased already in the solution. We had the dwindling issues. Not all hives though.  Affected hives had the Queens cowering in far corners of the hive away from stores and slow spring build. 
From @Alistair’s post it is possible we over heated the staples by leaving them on the back of the truck in the pails in the sun for too long. 
I certainly noticed a Formic acid smell. especially in spring which i put down to damp hive conditions. The gly sucking in the Condensation which reacted with the oxalic to make formic. 
 

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39 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Does this beast have bobbins and if so, how often do you need to refill them.

Will it hold large spools of thread.

What was approx cost please.

 

Thanks for the video.

 

Trev

 

Yes it has bobbins. They are good for about 80 staples depending what kind of thread is being used, so rather than hassle, I wind up a bunch of bobbins before starting so i don't have to stop and do it each time, and i have changing them down to a fine art. 😉

 

There is also a modification I have seen on a different machine, a hole drilled in the bottom of the bobbin compartment so a thread from a large spool can be fed in, however i don't want to mess with my nice new machine just yet, changing bobbins is fine for now.

 

Cost of the machine is $379 including GST, for some reason I got a $15 discount. I ordered mine from Sew It, and in 2 working days it was on my doorstep. I also got a bunch of spare needles and some other stuff. 

 

Sew It web site is https://www.sewit.co.nz/ , however i recommend giving him a call on  0273161186 and saying you are a beekeeper wanting to sew cardboard, because he knows what is needed and is a very helpful guy. The more expensive machines in the Singer Heavy Duty 44 series are no more heavy duty than the 4411, they just have more frills, such as automatic needle threading, more stitch types, etc. But for our purposes the 4411 is as good as the others.

.

Should add also, that according to the investigations I have done, any other sewing machine of any brand that is capable of doing this type of work, is far more expensive. The 4411 is the way to go.

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It's not necessarily logical that overheatedOA will be less effective because Formic replaces Oxalic....Formic is also a varroacide. 

Although thinking some more, formic is very volatile, so maybe it doesn't hang around long enough ..

Edited by yesbut
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16 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

From @Alistair’s post it is possible we over heated the staples by leaving them on the back of the truck in the pails in the sun for too long. 
I certainly noticed a Formic acid smell. especially in spring which i put down to damp hive conditions. The gly sucking in the Condensation which reacted with the oxalic to make formic. 

 

With you there Nikki, yesterday was a bleeping hot day and the staples were sitting on the back of the truck, with the little bits of beeswax on the deck dissolving in the heat. I have noticed this morning that now things have cooled down, there is no FA smell. 

 

Lesson learned, keep them cool. I'll also keep them sealed to prevent water absorbtion.

.

2 hours ago, Sailabee said:

Lot of excellent content in that post and YouTube Alastair - they don't see a problem with wet strips, so perhaps the problem you had last autumn was more about a higher formic acid content if you heated the mix higher than 60 C. Certainly puts a different light on things.

 

48 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Agree, this would explain a lot in regards to the very poor result. 

has anyone else that had trouble with the staples heated and mixed their own brew up also? 

Be interesting to hear if there is a pattern there and may discredit the theory regarding flows during treatment and Also the theory around pathogens and staples causing heavy loss ... 

 

The Philbee staples I bought came with the OA / GL mix already mixed and applied to the staples by Philbee. I wanted it done right so had it all done by Phil rather than risk a possible screw up doing it myself.

 

There was not a noticeable FA smell, however it was spring and temperatures were cool, not the fierce temperatures we have at the moment. I think Nikki's explanation sounds exactly right for that.

Edited by Alastair
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42 minutes ago, yesbut said:

It's not necessarily logical that overheatedOA will be less effective because Formic replaces Oxalic....Formic is also a varroacide. 

Although thinking some more, formic is very volatile, so maybe it doesn't hang around long enough ..

My thinking was the hives had a double dose of acids. Firstly the OX and then when things got damp FA

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Agreed. When I was treating hives with formic acid I had to use 125 mls of 60% over a 2 week period. There is no way a staple could produce and release anything like that into a hive.

 

Maybe a nuisance and repellant to the bees amount could be released, but not enough to kill mites.

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