PDA

View Full Version : BT in standing water to prevent mosquitoes harmful to bees?



aircooled
03-12-2008, 06:19 AM
Can I use BT in standing water to prevent mosquitoes near my bees? I am looking to put out a large bucket to catch rainwater and provide for my girls, but I don't want to start a mosquito breeding program. I thought about making a fountain-type setup, but its too much work for me at this point. Appreciate any advice!

-mike

Michael Bush
03-12-2008, 06:35 AM
Bt is often sprayed on combs to protect it from wax moths. I know of no detrimental effects on bees from it. It does kill wax moths.

MichaelW
03-12-2008, 07:04 AM
They make a BT tablet for standing water containers to prevent mosquitoes. Its a different variety than the BT people are spraying on combs. That type will probably not prevent mosquitoes. I'm told the BT tablets for water are available at big box stores in the lawn and garden section.

iddee
03-12-2008, 07:25 AM
For what it's worth, if you spray comb with freshly mixed BT and let it dry, it takes care of wax moth quite well. If you use it 2 weeks after mixing it, it smells like rotten meat and has no effect on wax moth. Putting it in standing water would likely make it useless as well.

aszalan
03-12-2008, 07:57 AM
the Bt that is used for mosquitoes is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, (Bti), which is specific for the order Diptera (flies). Bti produces toxins which are effective in killing various species of mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and blackflies, while having almost no effect on other insects such as honey bees, Apis mellifera, which belongs to the order Hymenoptera.

LSPender
03-12-2008, 09:19 AM
Be careful!!
They say there is no effect on bees, BUT, After speaking with company rep. they have NEVER tested BTI on bee larve. The only required test is LD50 on adult bees. Myself and a few other Beeks in SoCal believe the Bti has cuased us big problems in drought years like this last one. The only water source available had Bti, the bees crashed, dead larve. I have not found a way to test for this yet but am working on it.

And for those of you nay sayers, check the evidence, It (Bti) has never been tested in water delivered to a live bee hive and the effects on the brood cycle. I hope someone finds a way to test this.


Larry

BEES4U
03-12-2008, 10:12 AM
Cool Cool Water.

I would suggest a clean plastic rectangular plastic tub with a 1" hole cut out so that you can put a 1/4" valve on the 1/4" plastict tube . Simply adjust the water to a drip and let it run down a piece of concrete.
Fill the bucket as needed.
No problemo with added head aches!
Regards,
Ernie
Lucas Apiaries
( Queen Breeder.)

MichaelW
03-12-2008, 12:59 PM
And for those of you nay sayers, check the evidence, It (Bti) has never been tested in water delivered to a live bee hive and the effects on the brood cycle. I hope someone finds a way to test this.

I guess one could put it in syrup and give to nucs. give un-treated syrup to nucs beside it for a control. Too expensive/risky for me to try, but if someone is confident there is no effect, it could be tested easily with no expenses, other than the BTI, if you are already making up nucs.

aircooled
03-12-2008, 01:03 PM
Cool Cool Water.

I would suggest a clean plastic rectangular plastic tub with a 1" hole cut out so that you can put a 1/4" valve on the 1/4" plastict tube . Simply adjust the water to a drip and let it run down a piece of concrete.
Fill the bucket as needed.
No problemo with added head aches!
Regards,
Ernie
Lucas Apiaries
( Queen Breeder.)

Can you show me a picture of what you are describing? I can't envision it.

Troy
03-12-2008, 03:22 PM
Thankfully I've never had this problem. There always seems to be water nearby the bees here in Fl. I've read about several ways to solve this problem.

With the concrete solutions offered above, you basically have little or no standing water for mosquitoes to breed in.

Just adjust the flow of water from a spigot down to a drip and then have it drip on an angled piece of concrete. A walkway paver stone would do fine.

Just lay the stone up against the wall or the rise pipe of the hose spigot and let the dripping water run down. As it does it will spread out and leave a nice wet area that the bees can lick off the water.

The only troubles with this system are: 1) there might not be a hose spigot anywhere nearby. 2) It wastes some water.

If I had to water bees and there was no water available nearby, I'd use a deep tub of water, like a 55 Gal drum so it would never go dry. I'd put a large valve near the bottom so I could empty it easily. I'd drill an overflow hole about an inch down from the top and screen it. I'd add a bunch of floating things to mostly cover the surface so the bees don't drown. Something irregular that the bees can get a grip on. Floating weeds from a drainage ditch somewhere would be fine, as they would last a long time. With this setup you could empty it and move it by opening the valve on the bottom. The overflow wold allow it to fill with rain water and overflow without losing all your floating stuff. The aquatic weeds would probably live fine in there for an entire season. If mosquitoes become an issue, add some mosquito fish and they will eat the mosquito larvae and a 55 gal drum should be large enough for them to live in. Then during times of drought I'd just take along some 5 gal buckets full of water when I go to tend the bees and I'd top op the drums if they are getting low.

trapperbob
03-12-2008, 07:33 PM
Even gold fish will work and if algae starts to form they will eat that to just remember to feed them once in a while so they can get balance diet.

odfrank
03-12-2008, 07:44 PM
Bacillus thuringiensis for moths (Certan) give them a stomach illness tha tonly poisons moths and will not affect anything else. It is also used for pests like Oak moths. In the same way we could probably not hurt bees with the AIDS virus, or human common cold, you can hurt mosquitos with the BT meant for moths.

aszalan
03-13-2008, 07:12 AM
Mode of action
The toxic crystal Bt protein in commercial formulations is only effective when eaten by insects with a specific (usually alkaline) gut pH and the specific gut membrane structures required to bind the toxin. Not only must the insect have the correct physiology and be at a susceptible stage of development, but the bacterium must be eaten in sufficient quantity. When ingested by a susceptible insect, the protein toxin damages the gut lining, leading to gut paralysis. Affected insects stop feeding and die from the combined effects of starvation and tissue damage. Bt spores do not usually spread to other insects or cause disease outbreaks on their own as occurs with many pathogens.

Symptoms (Lepidoptera larvae)
Larvae affected by Bt become inactive, stop feeding, and may regurgitate or have watery excrement. The head capsule may appear to be overly large for the body size. The larva becomes flaccid and dies, usually within days or a week. The body contents turn brownish-black as they decompose. Other bacteria may turn the host body red or yellow.
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/pathogens/bacteria.html

aszalan
03-13-2008, 07:18 AM
Even gold fish will work and if algae starts to form they will eat that to just remember to feed them once in a while so they can get balance diet.

The specific fish species to use for control of mosquito larvae and pupae is the mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). This species has been used successfully for mosquito control and is available commercially.

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/gamb2.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquitofish

Kieck
03-14-2008, 09:53 AM
My gut feeling tells me that Bt for mosquito control should not harm honey bees.

The "Bt" used for mosquito control, as has already been mentioned in this thread, is Bacillus thuringiensis sv. israeliensis.

B. thuringiensis is a common bacterium, found just about everywhere in soil. Certain strains or "serovars" ("sv." is the abbreviation for "serovar") produce proteins that are more or less toxic to certain insects.

Chances are, honey bees encounter B. thuringiensis bacteria daily -- some may even be found in bee hives -- and some of the strains they encounter may be producing proteins that are toxic to certain insects.

MichaelW
03-14-2008, 11:51 AM
Is it theoretically possible that a BT toxin (developed or undeveloped) could bind to the gut or encounter the correct PH in any Hymenopteran larvae?

Kieck
03-14-2008, 11:58 AM
Certainly. I'll have to check with some of the guys I know who work on isolating strains of Bt for toxicity to specific insects; it seems like at least one serovar has already been identified that is toxic to some hymenopterans.

The "binding to gut lining" theory for the mode of action of Bt proteins has been called into question by some recent research, I believe out of the University of Wisconsin. I'll do some checking on that, too.

LSPender
03-15-2008, 11:54 AM
[QUOTE=Kieck;300240]My gut feeling tells me that Bt for mosquito control should not harm honey bees.

As a reminder to all, feelings do not count, we work in reality, my feelings are that hundreds of bee hive should not have died this winter, they did!

As I work to be more scientific as I approach beekeeping, please remeber to work in the current environment we operate in. We can not assume, we need information to make decisions.


Larry

Kieck
03-17-2008, 08:47 AM
As a reminder to all, feelings do not count, we work in reality, my feelings are that hundreds of bee hive should not have died this winter, they did! -LSPender

I called it a "gut feeling" because I did not have empirical evidence at hand -- and had not heard of, nor had I seen, any empirical evidence of a test involving Bti directly tested on honey bees. After talking to some of the scientists who work on these projects (isolating strains of Bt to use against specific pests), I understand that the strains selected for use are screened against a panel of insects, and honey bees are on that panel. Honey bees are used because they represent a different order of insects (Hymenoptera) than are often targeted by Bt, they're readily available, and they are directly of economic concern (although in a different way than pests).

In the tests of Bti, honey bees showed no effect from exposure. So, could the proteins have some chronic effect on honey bee larvae? Possibly. But they might be exposed to those same proteins whether humans use Bti in some standing water and workers collect water from those pools, or whether workers naturally encounter Bti (this is not a "man-made" bacteria, after all) and unintentionally bring some back to the hive.

The information we have demonstrates that Bti does not harm honey bees.

MichaelW -

Some of the scientists confirmed that at least one serovar of Bt has been isolated that kills hymenopterans; some plans may be in the works to use it against sawfly (actually a type of wasp) larvae, although no one would state that specifically.

Jeffzhear
03-17-2008, 08:32 PM
Be careful!!
They say there is no effect on bees, BUT, After speaking with company rep. they have NEVER tested BTI on bee larve. The only required test is LD50 on adult bees. Myself and a few other Beeks in SoCal believe the Bti has cuased us big problems in drought years like this last one. The only water source available had Bti, the bees crashed, dead larve. I have not found a way to test for this yet but am working on it.

And for those of you nay sayers, check the evidence, It (Bti) has never been tested in water delivered to a live bee hive and the effects on the brood cycle. I hope someone finds a way to test this.


Larry

Larry, in your opinion, is BT safe to spray on my combs and let dry? I am not going to put it into the water supply, but simply want to use it to prevent wax moth damage to comb?

Ian
03-19-2008, 09:00 AM
>>We can not assume, we need information to make decisions.


I hope we ALL can be consistant on that thought, I have read alot of your posts, Larry, that are based soely on assumptions.

odfrank
03-19-2008, 09:13 AM
[QUOTE that are based solely on assumptions.[/QUOTE]

That' s a major problem with amateurs at bee meetings and in BeeSource, a bunch of "know it all" really "know little" beekeepers spouting off their assumptions that are often very, very wrong. I quit going to the local bee clubs thirty years ago because they were dominated by those types and one of the same guys is still there now doing the same thing:confused:.

Ian
03-19-2008, 11:36 AM
I dont mind hearing opinions and thoughts on the current beekeeping issues, its just that I dont like it when they are presented as facts. Big difference, and can cause alot of confusion, especially now, with dealing with so many new issues in the business. There has to be a point where we have to be able to distinguish the difference between opinion and factual conversation.

aszalan
03-20-2008, 09:21 PM
Larry, in your opinion, is BT safe to spray on my combs and let dry? I am not going to put it into the water supply, but simply want to use it to prevent wax moth damage to comb?

the Bt used for wax moths is Xentari/Bt Aizawai, which is specific for Lepidoptera
http://strawberry.ifas.ufl.edu/chemicalinfo/xentari.pdf

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216025