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Alastair

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Everything posted by Alastair

  1. No. 🙄 Just judging by eye the hives are about where they would normally be this time of year. Most hives showing no visible signs of mites so probably at 1% or so, and an occasional hive showing an affected larva so maybe up to 3% +. Not very scientific i know, and won't please everyone LOL. But the acid test will be how things are looking come spring. Most hives have been treated with bayvarol, but I have saved about 100 or so hives near to home to be treated with my homebrand staples, so I can go take a look at them every few weeks and see how it's going. If they come through in good shape, that's all i care about.
  2. Good questions Chris. There was no FA smell when I mixed it, i think my procedure was good. Already described it but again, I heated ther glycerine to around 120 C, then took it off the heat and tipped in the OA, which pretty much instantly dropped the temperature to a bit over 50 C. So there were seconds at best that the temperature was high enough to convert any OA to FA, and this method was also recommended on Beesource by a guy with a chemistry degree, as the way of least harm to mix it. heating the whole thing pre mixed on a stove, exposes the OA to more damage than the way I did it. For soaking I just laid out the strips in fish bins and poured over the mix. I know there is an average of 6 grams per strip because all the mix was absorbed, and the amount of OA in the mix divided by the number of strips came out at 6 grams. Wetness, there is none. The cardboard is pretty absorbant and has soaked it all up and expanded a bit, the strips are so dry I was tempted to not bother with gloves putting them out. But i did anyway cos there are little crystals on the surface.
  3. And here it is!! 😁 I went out this morning and put my own homebrand staples in some hives. Something i noticed, the first site i did was early and in the shade. Had plenty of energy, felt good. Second site, day starting to warm up and the site in full sun. Started to feel drained. Realised why it's been so hard pulling honey this year, the heat!! Anyhow got plenty of time now so canned it after that site, will do more hives another day, off to the cafe for a nice air conditioned lunch and read the paper. 🙂 But back to business, these staples are my copy of the old South American version, a single sheet of cardboard with a bead of thread down the middle so if the bees chew the top out, the rest will not fall down. Each staple has an average of 6 grams of oxalic acid, which at 4 strips a box equals 24 grams, or a bit more than the 18 grams recommended by Randy Oliver. Cost at 4 strips a hive a bit under a dollar, not counting labour of course, although my time is not worth much these days LOL. While i was putting the strips out i could detect a slight smell of formic acid. I am no chemistry buff but am wondering if that means something in the cardboard is reacting with the oxalic acid. Are there any chemistry buffs out there who could shed some light on that? Anyhow at end of day, the results will be known in a few months. Did it kill the mites, did it hurt the bees. That's what matters.
  4. 2 cups by 0630, i don't even want to imagine 😳 💀 😲 😄
  5. Exactly, the thought did cross my mind. Phils teams of lawyers in their gowns and wigs attempting to look in my hives 🤣. I have no intention of copying the patent, the problem was finding out what it was, to make sure i don't copy it. Phil very much enjoyed the game of spinning things along but not saying. While also playing the victim. The other thing though, myself and a bunch of other beekeeper friends very much share things around. Now I am on Phils blacklist and am forced to make my own staples, it is very likely i may share some surplus ones around, and accept financial compensation for doing so. In fact i have already been asked for some. As such, it was extra important to me to know what Phils rules are. And oh, i have learned nothing at all from Phil about staples or the use of oxalic acid, i owe the guy nothing. The information I have used for my owm oxalic treatments that I have been doing since before Phil even had bees, was gained mostly from some overseas web sites where it has been freely available. I have in the past asked Phil questions about the use of his staples, but he has always made a point of being obstructive and never giving a sensible answer. Awesome customer service.
  6. Oh yeah. He complained the new member had a fake alias. Conveniently forgetting that he himself has had 3 fake aliases. Fox turned gamekeeper. Forgive my skeptisism. But hey. Can we move along.
  7. Yeah. Ridiculous. Yup. I show a pic of a sewing machine I want to buy, and all hell breaks loose. I guess i feel it a bit more than some, because for quite a while I have been his usual target. I am not one of the 1000+ hive owners he claims he would put lawyers on, but he sure made it clear what he might do if i bought that sewing machine. I don't use edge stitch in the staples I have made, and have no intention to in the future either.
  8. He did occasionally add something constructive. It was the rest of the time was the problem. Even the info he gave in the last few pages about his patent was deliberately incorrect and just designed to sow confusion. For why? Anyhow why are we still discussing it. Let's move on.
  9. He would be in a much better position today if he had just come out with that in the first place. I just don't get why it all had to be so difficult. Anyhow perhaps now he'll have time to try to make some honey. Hope he does not proceed with his ridiculous threats against Grant.
  10. In my view the next big move is in getting the dose right, and in finding out why hives can be damaged, and how to avoid that. That, is a complex problem / question. I'm feeling very good about my latest OA application method, and itching to get it into some hives, although that will be a week away. 🙂
  11. There has been quite a bit of good info posted by several posters even in the day or so since Phil left us, it's actually been better. The pool of knowledge is increasing, and this will continue. Developing staples was a collaborative effort from many before Phil put his patent on it, and it will continue to be a collaborative effort.
  12. Not at all. Despite appearances I would have much preferred a good relationship with the guy. As a paying customer of his, if i could have just had a straight answer to some honest questions, that would have solved everything. Or, if he didn't know, could have said, and that would have been fine. Phil chose his own path. . Also @Dennis Crowley, now the guy is showing his true colours, can you see my reluctance to reveal what kind of sewing machine i have. After or maybe even before, I will be in line for Phil's attention, and he already threatened me not to buy the previous sewing machine I nearly bought. I'm just not going out of my way to invite even more problems from this kind of person.
  13. Chris, with you adding the exact amount, are there any issues around getting thorough penetration? And if so, what do you do about that?
  14. Be like me Yesbut and say something useful occasionally.
  15. To be straight, he can always amend his patent and I suspect he would do that. I'd just feel better not saying for now, I don't want the little that's left that I can do, taken away. Sorry, i may seem pedantic, but that's my decision. Loose lips sink ships. On a different note, i just mixed up the oxalic glycerine mix, here's how. As per Otto's recipe, 1 1/2 kg's glycerine to 1 kg oxalic acid. Heat, and time it is hot, can degrade the oxalic acid, so my preference is to not heat the mix while the oxalic acid is in it. We want the mix to be around 60 C to dissolve the acid, so to avoid bringing it up to that temperature with the acid sitting in it and being degraded over the time, I heated the glycerine to just over 120 C, and measured the temperature with one of these https://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/lifestyle/home-brewing/brewing-and-winemaking-equipment/listing-2538230692.htm?rsqid=9c66035be0d74cbf9130dcf59e381f9c-001 Then took it off the hot plate and dropped in the oxalic acid crystals and stirred immediately, which pretty much instantly dropped the temperature to a bit over 50 C, which was just enough to dissolve the crystals. No formic acid smell and I think that has done about as good a job of it as could be possible. Have put the staples in a fish bin and tipped the hot mix over them. It needs to be hot to soak in.
  16. That's interesting ChrisM, is that your standard Philbee staples? And no noticeable damage to bee population?
  17. Unfortunately at this stage I can't say, because although legal eagles may no longer be posting, I'm sure they are watching. I just need to figure what is the exact legal situation, and then i will be an open book. I probably got a target on my back so for now, playing safe. What I can say i guess, is it is a well known brand, and advertised as industrial. I think it is worth going for quality, based that sewing cardboard is tougher than cloth, and the ease this thing chomps through the work gives me confidence it will easily handle the many thousands of staples an average beekeeper would need to make.
  18. That's what I'm wondering. I'm thinking the OA should be evenly spread, so 4 per box is probably good. But the staples I'm making are a bit lighter they will have less OA per strip. Hoping that will be a good thing. My new sewing machine arrived this morning so I have taken the day off to find out how to work it. Unlike the one I nearly bought the other day it is brand new and heavy duty. Once i figured it out and got a system going, I put through a tad under 600 staples in 1 hour. Meaning my sewing lady has been ripping me off big time. Anyhow it's going to pay for itself pretty quickly, glad I bought it. Now to experimenting on actual hives. 👍 🙂
  19. What is SF board? Also your hives remaining on zero mites for 6 months, would that be leaving the OA strips in over winter? My own hives were treated for 8 weeks or so last spring and the strips removed. I am now finding most hives have about the normal level of mites they would have had if they had been treated with synthetics. But some have near zero mites, I'm wondering if there is some residual level of OA in the hives generally, that has continued to suppress mite levels even without the strips being in
  20. Should have. Could have got me onto it a few years sooner. My back is not getting any younger. 😄
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