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Lactic Acid Staples

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I would like to alternate my o/a staples with lactic acid.  I’ve had hive creep to the point of enough hives to experiment this season.  I’m going to use 15% lactic. My calculations go like this: I have a solution of 80% lactic so will use 18.75ml lactic and 81.25ml Glycerine. That will give me enough solution for 20ml ea for 5 staples keeping within the 15% / brood box.  Can any of those good at maths see problems with my calculations?  Has anyone else tried using lactic for Varroa control.  I have read it works very well during the broodless period much like the initial use of oxalic acid

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Oma said:

I would like to alternate my o/a staples with lactic acid.  I’ve had hive creep to the point of enough hives to experiment this season.  I’m going to use 15% lactic. My calculations go like this: I have a solution of 80% lactic so will use 18.75ml lactic and 81.25ml Glycerine. That will give me enough solution for 20ml ea for 5 staples keeping within the 15% / brood box.  Can any of those good at maths see problems with my calculations?  Has anyone else tried using lactic for Varroa control.  I have read it works very well during the broodless period much like the initial use of oxalic acid

What would the 80% Lactic acid be diluted with, water?

Edited by Philbee

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9 hours ago, Philbee said:

What would the 80% Lactic acid be diluted with, water?

 

Yes @Philbee it’s diluted in water I got FG from Clark’s Products. I see they no longer have it in stock.  I should have got a spec sheet for it at the time I brought it. Will the aqueous base effect the finished product? Glycerine and water are compatible.

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Oma said:

 

Yes @Philbee it’s diluted in water I got FG from Clark’s Products. I see they no longer have it in stock.  I should have got a spec sheet for it at the time I brought it. Will the aqueous base effect the finished product? Glycerine and water are compatible.

It will be fine at that ratio. (water)
 

Edited by Philbee

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Good to see another line of thought @Oma, there is always so much to learn. Link below deals with dosing by the dribble method. Effectiveness is quite high it seems though I note these are not our Varroa type yet I imagine it will still be effective on ours.

 

The treatment was highly efficient and 94.2%–99.8% of the mites in a colony were killed. 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00051468

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Posted (edited)

One consideration is the high GL content for a winter treatment.
Its possible that Lactic at 15% with GL may be better suited to dry weather (Summer)  environments but time will tell.
This is the reason that 50% OA/GL is used during  winter here in NZ. 


 

Edited by Philbee

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Thank you @Ali for putting up a link to some of the research into the use of lactic acid, my skill level in that department is not the best.  Yes a different species of Varroa but it’s worth a go. I have a 25 lt container of food grade lactic and I’m happy to share with anyone coming thru Turangi and would like to join the experiment, just pm me.  At 18.75mls a brood box I have excess on my hands.

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2 minutes ago, Philbee said:

One consideration is the high GL content for a winter treatment.
Its possible that Lactic at 15% with GL may be better suited to dry weather (Summer)  environments but time will tell.
This is the reason that 50% OA/GL is used during  winter here in NZ. 


 

 

There is always the possibility to up the % of acid but I need a start point.  There is some mention of winter dribbles and low temperatures being detrimental to the queens.

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Another issue that will skew the sample will be the low incidence of Varroa in my hives in the first place due to the effectiveness of the oxalic treatment.

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23 minutes ago, Oma said:

Yes a different species of Varroa but it’s worth a go

Same species, note the date of the reference - prior to reclassification. I'm pretty sure all the information will be quite old, lactic acid was quite commonly used but falling out of favour in the mid '90s when I started. However using it in this way hadn't been thought of AFAIK.

 

There were a few reasons it was dropped. I guess the relevant one to think about is the therapeutic index, the ratio between the harm caused to the mite compared with the harm caused to the bee, was quite low. Be cautious if you increase the concentration above 15%.

What do you think using a different acid will achieve?

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4 hours ago, Dave Black said:

 

What do you think using a different acid will achieve?

 

 A different acid may provide the ability to vary treatment to keep ahead of resistance.  Do we know how oxalic is killing Varroa yet?  Lactic is also present in the hives so we are not introducing another substance.  From the few articles I’ve read on the net, lactic and oxalic have been most useful acids in the treatment against Varroa but the method of application insitu has placed limitations on the use of either acid.   The staple Glycerine method of application might fit nicely with what we’re doing now with Oa.  I’m sure there are a lot of for and against reasons for varying the acid in Varroa treatment I haven’t thought of so I’d really like to hear opinions from forum members before I jump in.

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One point that was put to me was that its likely that all organic acids act on Varroa in the same way

However I wouldnt let that stop me from running with this method at all.
After all the even the shiny's cant tell us exactly how OA kills Mites? 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Oma said:

 From the few articles I’ve read on the net, lactic and oxalic have been most useful acids in the treatment against Varroa 

I would say formic and oxalic, lactic would come a distant third.@Philbee  is right, try it.

Edited by Dave Black
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3 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

I would say formic and oxalic, lactic would come a distant third. Anyway I think is right. Try it. @Philbee

Oma has it in hand and Im sure she will give it a good trial.
I will send Oma a Pail of Staples to use. The real (McCoy)

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2 hours ago, Philbee said:

Oma has it in hand and Im sure she will give it a good trial.
I will send Oma a Pail of Staples to use. The real (McCoy)

 

Awww @Philbee that’s so nice.  I can compare yours with mine.  I’ve only run a straight seam down both sides of my narrow doubles.  So far the bees have got to the thread and stopped munching.  But the real McCoy that would be something else.  Thanks so much will give it a realistic go.

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24 minutes ago, Oma said:

 

Awww @Philbee that’s so nice.  I can compare yours with mine.  I’ve only run a straight seam down both sides of my narrow doubles.  So far the bees have got to the thread and stopped munching.  But the real McCoy that would be something else.  Thanks so much will give it a realistic go.

Lol. The narrow EP's are said to be almost indestructible.
Ill send an assortment 

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I went out to mite count some hives today.

Did one then got side tracked.

Big Hive, Spring treated, Staples out when excluder went on, 400 bees, Alcohol wash, Zero mites.

1231290491_yepgoodtogo.jpg.094746d02ed58059ff3a5b8b7f13317e.jpg

 

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10 hours ago, Philbee said:

I went out to mite count some hives today.

Did one then got side tracked.

Big Hive, Spring treated, Staples out when excluder went on, 400 bees, Alcohol wash, Zero mites.

1231290491_yepgoodtogo.jpg.094746d02ed58059ff3a5b8b7f13317e.jpg

 

You must have jolly huge mites in your area to need that weapon to kill the blighters.

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Looks a bit windy to catch them on the wing too

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Looks a bit windy to catch them on the wing too

Lol

I practice on low flying Wasps 

Edited by Philbee
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Posted (edited)

And here was I thinking honey all had antiseptic hydrogen peroxide content, and manuka had some unique stuff in it that made it better than other honey, but now it seems all honey as long as it hasn't been heat treated has 13 different lactic bacteria that beat MRSA !!

Edited by yesbut
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On 3/01/2019 at 10:37 PM, Philbee said:

Just a point to work with
GL grabs water from the atmosphere

This water dilutes the GL/ Acid solution in the Staple/Towel

There is a tipping point where the GL/Water ratio works against the treatment

With OA/GL it would appear that 50% - 60%GL is best for damp environments but even then the moisture will destroy the treatment 

I would plan a trial where there are two main  objectives, firstly, will the Acid kill the Mites and secondly what is the max Acid concentration that the Bees can handle

Then the question remains, is it safe to use in a Hive with regard residues.
 

 

 

Good points @Philbee Im going to start off with the concentrations given for trials done with mid winter spraying of individual frames, much like the earlier trials of oxalic mid winter dribbles.  Those trials showed lactic to be effective at killing Varroa on adult bees, what remains to be seen is will lactic at those concentrations, in a different medium, kill varroa when brood is present and over a much longer time frame.  Mine won’t be a major scientific study involving a large number of hives I was planning to treat just 5 and keep a very close eye on them for any rise in Varroa numbers or anything else out of the ordinary in comparison to the rest of my hives. I will have to reread the research done on lactic acid treatment to gleen further information regarding the use of increased concentrations.  I’m quiet happy to take their word that increasing the percentage to ?? will kill the queen or the hives and probably won’t take it that far myself.  I will get honey from my test hives tested for a base line for lactic acid concentrations before I introduce any extra lactic. It’s a useful figure to have before I start meddling as I have read some where there is a limited permissible safe level of lactic in Honey.  I have also read there should be an 8 week withholding period before harvesting honey.  Apparently lactic has an affinity with the comb rather than concentrate in the honey. Overall this will work well with my plan to use it for a post harvest autumn/ over winter treatment with a return to oxalic in the spring.

We have low humidity here just north of the desert road on the central plateau but those with damp locations might need to be wary. 

Thanks for your input by the way.

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