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The Oxalic Staple Info Processing Thread


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54 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Interesting thought. It would need to be a very high quality unit to cover an acceptable area. It would be very expensive. 

They’re slowly getting cheaper.. 

at least it would be tax deductible. Wink wink 

 

The work hives we run on the west coast can be hard to contain specially with the regular wet weather and big honeyflows quite often they are down to a few hundred bees and a dozen hatched cells but you never see the swarms they just vanish into the thick jungle..

the cost of finding them would be far more than would be acceptable of course but I do wonder where they end up and how long they survive. 

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11 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Interesting thought. It would need to be a very high quality unit to cover an acceptable area. It would be very expensive. 

 I was out with a thermal a few weeks ago and saw small pigs at 400m.
Also saw pigs in the scrub

Maybe a high end thermal Drone looking down from above would see some Swarms in some types of bush.
A really good rifle Thermal is NZ8-12k out of Russia

10 hours ago, Stoney said:

I do wonder where they end up and how long they survive.

Id estimate that Spring  Swarms from my Hives would last into the following season.
However first they need a decent place to live and that would be the challenging part of it.
Only 5% might find a viable home

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On 23/11/2019 at 7:51 AM, fieldbee said:

Cost  is the reason when incomes have dropped.   But that is how we tested a few years ago. 

Staff bought back hives with a handful of bees and a queen still trying to lay, chilled brood because of a rapidly decreased labour force over a 3 week period.  I took a few sample of bees and queens from the group and and sent them for testing. 

John for Dnature choose to single the queens out of the group and tested them himself but shared the results.  The queens were good (pathogen free) the bees had a mix of Lotmaria Passim and Nosema cereane in high loadings.  I also cut out some comb from the brood area where the dwindling was.  That tested high for the nasties as did the bees.  That is why I heat treat my cororapa boxes.    I only heat treat good boxes and  dead brood frames and black wax get steam water blasted and rewaxed.

 

We didnt have a heat room.  I discovered indooor growing tents so for $500 I got a 2metre square one.  It can soften 4 drums of honey at a time for farmers honey and I stack boxes in 4 stacks 5 high using my wooden entrance blockers to seperate each box. I have the air circulating and using an oil heater and a little fan heater. It used to take me about 24 hours to get the temperatures up there.  now someone leant me some old growing bulbs (they conduct a different heat) The combination of the heaters and the bulbs means the job is done in about 10 hours.  crude I know but cheap is what I have wanted and get the job done.  I also have a growing fan circulating the air.  I bought the cheapest tent but from what I understand I could have bought the more expensive brand and would have better insulation, and those ones are twice the price.  Heat loss is not something I want with the tent set up in the big cold shed in the middle of winter.  The tent gets put up in the shed in a corner each winter and taken down before honey starts.  Every stack of boxesis separate to have air circulating.   I did this because of James Sainsburys work on heating boxes.

Can you share more about how u set up the tent for heating honey drums, how long to do 4 drums etc

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On 18/12/2019 at 11:56 AM, Gino de Graaf said:

Did the successful beeks get presoaked ones? From Phill. Is it a preparation issue. 


I make my own solution and haven’t suffered colony losses. But every time I replace them (all of them at the same time) I have a bundle of dead bees fall out the front door. 
 

So, I wonder if replacing, or just adding a few at a time might mitigate some of these problems...? Particularly heading into winter. 

On 18/12/2019 at 1:13 PM, Alastair said:

I'm also a curious fellow, a problem solver by nature. I was given a brain, why not put it to use. Non curious  / problem solver type people are unlikely to make it in beekeeping anyhow


Awesome

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1 hour ago, CHCHPaul said:

So, I wonder if replacing, or just adding a few at a time might mitigate some of these problems...? Particularly heading into winter. 

 

That's what a few people have been saying they do, and that's what I'll do next time around.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not clever enough to write you a summary. But i did get some very helpful answers which will be useful to the other participants also.

 

And as such will benefit your business Phil.

 

I for one, have gained enough information to give me confidence to go ahead and purchase more staples from you to use this winter. I'll be calling you in the next few weeks to place my order.

 

And if I have learned enough to give it another shot, no doubt others have. So, your gain, hope you can see that.

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25 minutes ago, Alastair said:

And as such will benefit your business Phil.

I have never really thought of @Philbee

 as a business man .

More a mad  scientist beavering away in his basement .

Like the ones in the kids movies .

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38 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I'm not clever enough to write you a summary. But i did get some very helpful answers which will be useful to the other participants also.

 

And as such will benefit your business Phil.

 

I for one, have gained enough information to give me confidence to go ahead and purchase more staples from you to use this winter. I'll be calling you in the next few weeks to place my order.

 

And if I have learned enough to give it another shot, no doubt others have. So, your gain, hope you can see that.

Before you approach me again, purhapes take a moment to reflect on your actions to date.
For all your initial misgivings you never once  contacted me directly, choosing instead to make an online assault.


Personally I like kaikoka's summary
 

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That's a sad attitude Phil.

 

I came seeking answers, i want to use your product.

 

Instead of giving any answers, you made a sport of giving me stupid no use replies. Which also discouraged others from saying anything useful. I cannot fathom why you did that, makes no sense at all.

 

Hence I was forced to start a different thread with a different tone, and it has been useful.

 

You have attempted to mess up this thread several times with some of your posts having to be deleted. I would ask you to get off this thread, unless you have something helpful to add.

 

I will approach you about buying some staples, but if you are too paranoiod to sell me any, just say so, I'll make my own, your loss. Do yourself some good and reflect on your own actions to date.

 

 

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I have never really thought of @Philbee

 as a business man .

More a mad  scientist beavering away in his basement .

Like the ones in the kids movies .

 

i find that comparison rather insulting towards real scientists, that are utilizing a certain codex and fact base work ethic centered around transparency, repeatability and neutrality and NOT hostility.

 

He rather seems to be a tinkerer (whether a skillful one or not I cannot tell) that seems to rather violently engage anybody asking even the slightest critical questions or disagree with his personal opinions. If this is just due to his personality, countless unfortunate misunderstandings or just fear that his buisness model might take damage if he had to transparently address any criticism I dont know.

 

Personally as long as those strips havent been FULLY assessed by a more neutral party that gives me the feeling that i can trust her im staying away from them. There are plenty of methods to get rid of mites that are proven to work. even when one wants to get away from synthetics.

 

Needless to say that actual breeding towards more mite resistant/tolerant bee genetics should play a myor role. Randy Oliver has given some very good insights into that matter recently.

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3 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I have never really thought of @Philbee

 as a business man .

More a mad  scientist beavering away in his basement .

Like the ones in the kids movies .

hehehe, that's Dr. Nefario you are talking about.

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1 hour ago, Christi An said:

 

i find that comparison rather insulting towards real scientists, that are utilizing a certain codex and fact base work ethic centered around transparency, repeatability and neutrality and NOT hostility.

 

He rather seems to be a tinkerer (whether a skillful one or not I cannot tell) that seems to rather violently engage anybody asking even the slightest critical questions or disagree with his personal opinions. If this is just due to his personality, countless unfortunate misunderstandings or just fear that his buisness model might take damage if he had to transparently address any criticism I dont know.

 

Personally as long as those strips havent been FULLY assessed by a more neutral party that gives me the feeling that i can trust her im staying away from them. There are plenty of methods to get rid of mites that are proven to work. even when one wants to get away from synthetics.

 

Needless to say that actual breeding towards more mite resistant/tolerant bee genetics should play a myor role. Randy Oliver has given some very good insights into that matter recently.

Hi, what synthetic free treatment could you recommend for a one person business and 600 hives? Needs to be reliable and not overly labour intensive. 

I do have plenty of formic acid in stock. 

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I'll bow to whatever Christi An says because Germans are very advanced in the use of formic acid.

 

But for me, some years ago I used Nasenheider units, actually posted here about it, very effective, and cheap, cheaper than staples. I stopped doing it though because after a few treatments the super nails started to dissolve. Nailing everything with aluminium alloy nails would solve that issue though.

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1 hour ago, Christi An said:

 

i find that comparison rather insulting towards real scientists, that are utilizing a certain codex and fact base work ethic centered around transparency, repeatability and neutrality and NOT hostility.

 

He rather seems to be a tinkerer (whether a skillful one or not I cannot tell) that seems to rather violently engage anybody asking even the slightest critical questions or disagree with his personal opinions. If this is just due to his personality, countless unfortunate misunderstandings or just fear that his buisness model might take damage if he had to transparently address any criticism I dont know.

 

Personally as long as those strips havent been FULLY assessed by a more neutral party that gives me the feeling that i can trust her im staying away from them. There are plenty of methods to get rid of mites that are proven to work. even when one wants to get away from synthetics.

 

Needless to say that actual breeding towards more mite resistant/tolerant bee genetics should play a myor role. Randy Oliver has given some very good insights into that matter recently.

 

If you are going to quote Randy Oliver then best you also quote him and his positivity towards oxalic / glycerin treatment.  

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3 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I'll bow to whatever Christi An says because Germans are very advanced in the use of formic acid.

 

But for me, some years ago I used Nasenheider units, actually posted here about it, very effective, and cheap, cheaper than staples. I stopped doing it though because after a few treatments the super nails started to dissolve. Nailing everything with aluminium alloy nails would solve that issue though.

Galv nails?

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Yes galv, FA eats both the galvanising and the steel. Contrary to popular opinion it also eats stainless steel, so the metal of choice to use with FA is aluminium. 

 

To demonstrate that I also made a bunch of flash treatment fumigators with pads on aluminium backing, the FA was applied directly to the aluminium, with no bad effect.

.

Here's the thread about it. I had some excellent pics, unfortunately they have vanished since photobucket suddenly wanted big money to keep them, which I didn't pay.

.

 

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On a Canadian site, a German woman posted that it is now illegal to use either Oxalic or Formic acids with supers on a hive, not surprising as Oxalic in ones diet can munt kidneys, not sure of the reason for the formic ban. Aluminium will dissolve in acid over time - ask anyone who used Emergel on a yacht mast back in the day - it has a high level of phosphoric acid in it.

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1 hour ago, CraBee said:

 

If you are going to quote Randy Oliver then best you also quote him and his positivity towards oxalic / glycerin treatment.  

 

I was not quoting him, and i am far from being negative towards the oxalic/clycerin treatment. On the contrary. I just cant stand the way certain people handle any criticism and questions towards it. That doesnt mean they generally do a bad job at helping to develop a new treatment.

 

1 hour ago, Alastair said:

I'll bow to whatever Christi An says because Germans are very advanced in the use of formic acid.

 

But for me, some years ago I used Nasenheider units, actually posted here about it, very effective, and cheap, cheaper than staples. I stopped doing it though because after a few treatments the super nails started to dissolve. Nailing everything with aluminium alloy nails would solve that issue though.

 

Youll be there too as soon as synthetics stop to work, which they will eventually if you assume the situation here develops similar to Europe. Then the mite levels that the bees can withstand will become lower over time as the mites seem to be becoming more virulent. That will pretty much mean that heaps of hives die over winter despite being "properly" treated like every other year. Also the influence of pesticides towards the tolerance towards mites is something that is just starting to be examined.

 

That said i consider myself to be far from an expert and no need to bow before me. Im just very interested in everything beekeeping related! What I know from whatever source ill happyly share.

 

1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Hi, what synthetic free treatment could you recommend for a one person business and 600 hives? Needs to be reliable and not overly labour intensive. 

I do have plenty of formic acid in stock. 

 

Ill try to elaborate here: again take everything with a grain of salt there certainly are people out there that know waaaaay more than me !!!

 

What i personally consider the most important tool for Varroa Management is regular checking of mite levels either via alcohol wash or sticky board. Randy Oliver advertises the alcohol wash method even though he is managing thousands of hives. So he mast have found a way for him to do it fairly quickly...

 

Just waiting for any signs with the brood pattern or deformed wings will mean by the time you see somethings wrong it will already be (too) late...

 

I personally would advise meshed bottom boards with sticky boards underneath (they actually dont have to be sticky, a piece of corflute will do a fine job). That will let you very quickly assess the mite situation in any apiary within minutes. However it may require building new bottom boards. I personally think that open bottom boards are beneficial for standard langstroth hives anyway (and top insulation!). You dont need to worry that the bees will be too cold in winter, they'll even survive temeratures up to -15C just fine. And in summer you have better ventilation and less bearding (in my limited experience) Also you can keep entrances reasonably small even during smouldering hot days and wont have to worry about ventilation which helps against robbery. Also (and that is unproven but I would assume it would be this way) with an open bottom board you might "persuade" a hive even in warmer tempered regions to stop rearing brood for a few weeks during winter which would be a huge benefit to get rid of a lot of mites.

 

Also with sticky boards (and mite washs) you actually dont have to count the mites... Depending of the time of the year and the stat of the hives all you need to know is if there are none/very few/too many or waaaay to many mites in there.

 

What i learned doing regular mite checks is that although an apiary can have quite low infestation levels there will always be outliers with heavier infestations and that in late autumn mite levels can suddenly increase again seemingly out of nowhere...

 

Both Formic Acid and Oxalic Acid would be suitable and are widely used in Europe.

 

lets start with FA:

 

Huge advantage of FA is that it will even kill mites INSIDE capped cells if the dosage is right.

 

Generally FA is a very tough treatment to any hive, expect all open brood to die. Also the dosage (ov FA vapour inside the hive) must reach a certain level (so it is efficient enough, but not much higher (or it will kill/harm the hive). Sadly the amount of evaporation of FA is dependent on the temperature and humidity. You cant use it if its too cold or too hot...

 

I have used the Nassenheider and while i think its a very good product for hobbyists i dont think its suitable for commercials. Just too fiddly and too much work involved. (did you know you should check the amount that has evaporated within the first 24 hours? those small wicks apparently have quite a high deviation.

 

MAQS seem to work very well (even in lower temperatures) and would probably be suitable for commercials, but at a fairly high price. By the way i certainly wouldnt put them into any hive with the honey supers on.

 

What the Germans did in the early days of FA treatment is to dribble a small amount of it onto a cleaning sponge and put that on the frames (kind of like a homebrew maq) the FA will evaporate fairly quickly though and youll have to do multiple "shock treatments" Again probably too labour intense.

 

Now towards Oxalic Acid (OA)

 

scientifially as far as i know it is still unknown how OA kills mites, however it is believed that mites walking over tiny OA crystals evenly spread inside a hive will kill them. BUT it will only kill phoretic mites.

 

as of now there are 4 ways to get OA crystals into a hive.

 

- dribbling: you basically Dribble an OA (3.5%)-Sugar-Water solution onto the bees, ideally while it is cold. The bees cleaning themselves will spread the OA. This is the most common winter treatment in Germany (when the bees are free of capped brood) and under that circumstance works very well. however it is the most harmful OA treatment. As it is very quick to do it would be very suitable for any commercial. In Germany it is believed that you only can do such a treatment once in winter (which is a problem if they still have capped brood left)

 

- spraying: you spray OA solution (2.5 - 3.5%) onto both sides of every frame. The sprayer must create a very fine mist. The water evaporates and leaves the tiny little OA crystals. As they are dry and there is no sugar the bees dont seem to ingest any OA thus it is very gentle on them (not so gentle if you have a lung - wear a mask). From there the result is very similar to OA vaporization just waaaay more labour intense and certainly not suitable for anybode with a lot of hives. For any hobbyist its a great alternative to buying an expensive vaporizer though.

 

- vaporization: You heat up OA, it vaporizes and then quickly resublimates creating a finely dispersed dust in the air. that dust has to be spread in a hive, either with a fan or by the expansive force of the sublimation itself. In my opinion currently the best treatment. The soviets already treated their hives with this method and the mites in Europe still arent resistant to OA. You can basically do it as often as you want without harming the bees. There are many commericals in Europe that use this method, provided you have a good vaporizer this will work quickly enough. Still quite labour intense but doable. If there is capped brood youll have to do it multiple times. Randy Oliver did write a fairly good article about it explaining the basics and the mathematics.

 

- OA strips: the bees walk over the strips, chew them, try to remove them whatever, which again is supposed to spread the oa inside the hive. Seems to be a very elegant method, however many unknowns as of now (which will hopefully be resolved in the near future thanks to scientists and philbees 🙂 ) certainly suitable for commercials and seems to work most of the time. However Id personally ask what effects the Glycerine might have and if there are any residues to be expected. Also elevated bee mortalities seem to be an issue sometimes, and it is unknown as to why that is the case.

Its the newest application method for OA and thus there are many unknowns, that doesnt make it a bad treatment. But rest assured it certainly wont be the magic solution to all your mite problems. it certainly will generate a good income for some that manage to create a seeable product (and that is fair enough and well deserved in my opinion)

 

What is becoming more and more common in Germany by the way are biotechnological methods. Especially in Summer after the honey harvest or 2 weeks before its end you can remove all capped brood and either make a lot of nucs or simly melt all frames (and kill the bees and most mites). Then you do 1 or 2 OA treatments (spray or vape) and thats your mite problem sorted. unless you have reinfestation in late autumn. The hives will quickly bounce back and generally overwinter very well. Also its a good chance to get any old comb out of the hives (old comb and the pollen stored there might be contaminated with pesticides). if you make nucs out of the capped brood you theoretically could double your hive numbers every year (imagine doing that while hives where ridiculously expensive a couple of years ago). If they raise their own emergency queen (or recieve a cell) there will be a window of a few days where they have no capped brood. thats when you should treat them. Again likely be waaaay to labour intense for you!

 

So i do think that for a 600 hive set up sticky boards, MAQS, and OA vaporization (and strips in the not too distant future!) might be a way to go. Maybe still stocking some synthetics just in case? Of course it all depends on local circumstances and climate.

1 minute ago, M4tt said:

 Neither should we be . I wouldn’t 

 

the german law and best practice has been that you only can treat for varroa when the honey supers are off (and are not being put on again afterwards) and your treatment has to be before 31st of January each year (for you sourthern hemispherans that means in the midst of winter 🙂 ) So no spring treatments. When there is a brood break during winter you actually get away with it.

 

recently MAQs and a few other products became certified to be used either with supers on or only a few days before supers are being put on. I do not think that that is a good approach towards selling a pure and healthy product (honey)

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