View Full Version : Could a Fogger cause a bee kill ??

09-24-2003, 09:31 AM
Is there a step before using the fogger for the first time? Do you need to clean out the fogger before using it for the beekeeper's application?

I had a bee kill in two of my hives. It just happened to be the first two hives I applied fog to.

Michael Bush
09-24-2003, 10:27 AM
If it's never been used for insecticide there should be no problems if you follow the instructions Dr. Rodriguez has given.

Dr. Pedro Rodriguez
09-24-2003, 02:55 PM
Bee Kill.
Like Mike says, if you used the fogger for the first time and it was brand new, there should be reason for a bee kill. However, if the fogger was used as an insecticide sprayer previously, yes. The reason is that the deposit for the fogger is made of plastic and chemical insecticides can penetrate the plastic and remain in it is used again, especially mineral oil. Pesticide residues residing in the plastic will be diluted into the mineral oil and it could cause a bee kill. Mind you, the pesticide must have been very potent and still have toxic capacity for a bee kill.
A word to the wise: be careful of tghe origin of foggers intended for FGMO applicaction.
Best regards.
Dr. Rodriguez

09-28-2003, 07:05 PM
Just trying my new computer .
Comment on bee kill.
There has never been a beekill in my apiaries pointing towards the fogger treatmnet . It never coincided .
But ,as I stated before I have had other reasons for colony demise . I lost one this week due to a brood problem unknown to me ( Possible "parafoul" ?) . I does / did not have the same symptoms of AFB nor EFB , yet the rest of the bees perished within two days after discovery. An odor of OLD combs lingered within the hive and was noted also outside the hive . I burned all combs and frames .

09-28-2003, 09:40 PM
If your bees have not the EFB or the AFB there is only one other possibility.

It must be the APV the Acute Paralyse Virus. The symptoms are like the foul brood and it comes from Varroa mites. Since we have the Varroa this is the most common virus in Europe. The virus kills the brood and it looks like foul brood, even with the smell.
You have to destroy the infected frames. If the colony is still strong enough remove all brood and give the bees empty combs and the queen will start again. After removing the brood you must treat your colony two times with oxalic acid vapour 5 days apart to make sure all mites on the bees are killed.
After 21 days the new bees are ok. Most of the time this virus appears with a second virus, called DWV deformed wing virus. As soon as you get rid of the mites the symptoms are gone.

Vaporize all your colonies and control the mites with a sticky board. You also can use formic acid but I think for this treatment it is too late in the year it can kill some bees and the queen.

10-01-2003, 07:17 PM
Hello Axtman
I appreciated your input

and it confirms my suspicion . If I am not mistaken it is called "Parafoul" in these here parts of the planet . I mislaid the explanation of the desease and cannot find it any more . If I remember correctly it is indeed a result from varroa vectors .
I burned all combs and frames immediately after discovery .
I have not been too attentive lately and this business caught with my "pants down". The problem is the varroa question here . This was a colony we extracted from a wall in early june and all synmptoms were just right . Dark race , probably survivors . Good brood pattern and lots of brood . No incident of varroa by alcohol or sticky board . At least nothing to write home about . Of course again I probably will get static to say that when no varroa are present donkeys will fly .The question here arises when the spores , or whatever began their dirty work ? I do not know because I felt so **** sure of them .UNTIL IT STARTED TO SMELL. By that time it was too late . The left over bees croaked within two days and no queen was among them . I had this incident before but saved the colony without trouble . That was at least 3 years ago Afb , the only one I ever had in 1995.
So , back to the drawing board with another "Anecdotal " event .
Happy fogging
P.S. The odor is something debatable . At this time my nose lead me to fathom an old comb stink . the other time old socks and the AFB was a lousy stench of rotting something or another . (For whatever it is worth )

Alex Cantacuzene
10-05-2003, 06:38 AM
Hello to all of you from Kentucky.
All of this is still new and with one hive I am a stark beginner. I did try the oxalic and it might have donw some good. I am also trying FGMO and here I am so impressed by its simplicity that I will continue now on a weekly basis as long as possible. The mite drop has recently increased to about 40 in 24 hrs. Yesterday had a few lighter colored ones. I am using SBB and a white Formica board coated with mineral oil. The bees are still foraging during warm temps and bringing in pollen from golden rod. Is the increase of varroa drop a good or bad sign?

Michael Bush
10-05-2003, 06:59 AM
Are you checking mite drop when you AREN'T treating as well as when you ARE treating? There should be an increase when you treat which shows that more are dropping off when being treated. 40 mites in 24 hours untreated is not good. 40 mites when treating is a sign your treatment is working, IF you had a much smaller or no drop when you weren't treating.

Dr. Pedro Rodriguez
10-05-2003, 07:23 AM
Good morning folks.
Mite drop reply.
Reading your input seems to me that you are following the FGMO procedure corredtly. Your increased mite drop count after FGMO application would indicate that FGMO is working for you especially when you are showing light colored varroa mites (light colored mites have just come out of their incubating cells and have not been much time on their phoretic phase). This is a good sign that your procedure is working well because it is eliminating your young varroa females before they have a chance to feed on adult honey bees and because they will not return to honey bee larvae to comple their life cycle.
Kepp up your good work and good luck wintering your bees. A recommended practice for wintering your bees with FGMO is to make sure that you install the FGMO emulsion soaked cords (especially with thymol added) while the weather permits.
Best regards.
Dr. Rodriguez

Alex Cantacuzene
10-05-2003, 08:03 AM
Thanks for the replies,
The difficulty in knowing the difference between treating with FGMO and no treatment is the short period that I tried it and the time of year. We will still have some warm days for the last inspection of the hive and I will take advantage of that for the cords. BTW, the cords that I have are cotton but they are encased in a fine plastic net. Can that cause any problems? Also the cords will have to stay in for an extended period of time due to the weather and our winter absence.

10-05-2003, 09:16 AM
Hi folks
Finally My couriosity is answered by Dr Pedro . I was under the impressinon that light colored Mites which fell were MALES ( Strange thing anyway ) Now I know what they are .
Secondly . ( But this event is not confirmmed yet since I am involved in other pressings of a personal nature ). I stated before my treatment began Dec 99 But real in Jan 2000 and I observed only in One colony a steady drop from 50 to 10 and not always a daily basis sinc fall 2002 . All others were practically minor ( Less than 10 down to zero)
This fall however an increase in drop is noted in most colonies . In one case an incident of "Parafoul "..What that indicates has to be seen yet .
As far as the plastic film over the cords go : Get rid of the cords . They do not do a thing for the application and IF the bees remove the plastic , it is nothing but a waste of time spent to do so . Should you be a member of COST-CO and one is in your neighborhood , get the large mops ( Replacement item of two or three in a bundle ) which are a thick cotton fabric and fit nicely for the purpose .
And cost-effective also . The next best thing other than the " Weltcord " is the sash cord for curtains but needlessly expensive .
Anmother item is the application of any medium to fasten the mites to the drop sheet below the screen . Personally I have not observed a return of the mites ( The live one's) to the bees. The "Attractants" are simply too far on top affecting the "homing " devise of the mites . .Besides , additionally the draft from beneath the screen tends to disperse the attracting pheromones , and infrared influence of the field or other workers of the colony which would normally attract the mites to seek the host .
Therefore I abandoned the application of anything on the drop sheet and find that the count is not impeded . The live one's soon die being deprived of the host and the debris obstacles appears to be an effective barrier as well as the long way up the crevices of the sliding feature of the screen or the inspection board .Another thing is of course the application of the catch feature in ordinatry old fashioned bottom boards . In that case a sticky substance is in order .
Happy plastic removal

Dr. Pedro Rodriguez
10-05-2003, 12:23 PM
Hello again folks.
For tose who may not know. Male mites are much smaller than female varroa mites and they are grayish to white looking objects. They do not surface with young bees as female varroa mites do. They may be observed in the bottom of brood cells, especially helpful if you look in drone brood cells that have brood with mites on/in them. The closest comparison that can come up with is drandruff flakes. Others may have a better comparison than I. Please feel free to offer your comparison, I would appreciate it.
Best regards.
Dr. Rodriguez

Black and Amber
10-05-2003, 01:28 PM
Hello Pedro,
Greetings from Ireland, Thanks for the info. re the light coloured mites, Like JDF I too was of the opinion that the light ones were males, just goes to show, you learn something new every day!
Since adding Thymol to the formula I have been getting a mite fall of roughly 50/50 dark/light mites so I take it that this is good.
As Winter is now upon us here in Ireland, has anyone found a method of changing the cords without disturbing the Bees too much.
Ireland is hosting Apimondia in August 2005 and we are very much looking forward to meeting and greeting you all, BOOK NOW. Happy Beekeeping


Dr. Pedro Rodriguez
10-05-2003, 04:04 PM
Hello Richie and others.
Very good observation Richie! That is what I was looking for when I added thymol to FGMO.
As I have explained "as to the need for adding THYMOL" questions:
FGMO acts mechanically, so to sepak on the mites by depriving them of biological needed funtions, and the mites deaths are slow! By adding thymol to the formula I hoped to get a synergistic effect (both actions increase the effectivenss of each other) and I obtained my goal. Mites are now dieing faster. That is the reason why we are seeing very young female varroa mites dropping dead. Otherwise it would take a few more days for them to die and those pale looking varroa that we are seing dead now in the trap below would look just like their sisters/cousins, darker, brown.
Regarding changing of the guard, I mean the cords. I have an idea for next season. I am going to work on the mechanics in the winter and hopefully put it to effect next Spring. My friend, Bob Russell in New Zealand has been working on an idea of his own. I do not know how far ahead he has gone. I thought that it is a pretty good one. I wish him great success. In any event, hopefully we will have something going on along that line to ease the work load removing the cords.
Best of luck wintering your hives. I hope many of you will give the fgmo/thymol emulsion cords a try this fall. Remember, the bees will work on those cords for quite a while yet.
Best regards.
Dr. Rodriguez

10-05-2003, 07:43 PM

If you are watching a sticky board anyway, check it for the whole week between foggings if you have the time. Good chance that you will find the drop increases after fogging and lasts for a couple of days and then returns to the natural rate prior to the next fogging. Ill also take a guess that if you are dropping 40 right after fogging that you are probably experiencing a natural fall in the neighborhood of 20-25.

If you have the time, Id be curious to hear what you have found.

10-05-2003, 09:54 PM
I use a device called a back saver that is essentally a sissor affair that is 6 foot tall with a chain and brackets that fit into the hand holds of the chambers, then tilting the scissors will lift the hive body 2 inches. At this time I use a notched jig to place the new cord on the chamber then tilt the scissors back to lower the hive body. It takes me about 1.5 minutes to do both brood chambers on a hive. The frame for the scissors is made from 2 X 2 wood so it is light and easy to move from hive to hive.

Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan

Michael Bush
10-06-2003, 06:13 AM
Anywhere we could see a picture of the "back saver"?

10-06-2003, 07:56 AM
In the ABJ magazine September 2003 page 733 is the ad in the upper right corner. A small picture and the print saying SWING OFF <> SWING ON.
I sent for the FREE Brochure and after reading and seeing what it would do I ordered one and love it. I can use it eventhou I sometimes have to use a wheel chair
His E-MAil address is
enickerson@msn.com He is very friendly and helpful.

Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan

Alex Cantacuzene
10-30-2003, 03:04 AM
Hello Wineman et al,
Sorry for the late answer. Yes, it seems that the varroa fall on the board increases about one or two days after fogging and then decreases again. The numbers are still rather high and disturbing to me. Interestingly, the pattern of the fall is changing over to one side of the hive which I interpret to be from clustering as our temps are falling into the low 40s. After fogging I have also observed some dead bees, about 5 to 8 the next day on the landing board. This could also be normal house cleaning, however. The entrance is reduced now to two inches. Also curious is that after feeding about three weeks ago the screen tray of the Miller feeder suddenly had many dead bees in it. I suspect that it was from a frenzy or from robbers. Four days later the screens were completely clean. Those girls must have a good house keeping instinct. Thanks for the help.