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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
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    just been wondering who in here uses no mite treatment at all, mite treatment includes anything( chemicals , FGMO, acids, sucrocide, vinegar, ect. If you use drone comb this is also considered treatment. I want to know who uses nothing for mites at all and are you on small cell or regular (large) cell foundation, ect. I just got 2 hives for my father that a his friend gave him, my fathers friends father-n-law died 12 years ago and the bee's have been there ever year in the woods by his dog pins and he told my father to come and get them, nobody has ever touched these hives in 12 years, my father already has 1 hive going on 9 years with no treatment and 2 hives going on 5 years and all his hives are on regular foundation and have never been treated with anything. im getting about 5 nucs from these hives next year my father lives in louisiana and bought his 3 hives as package's ( different years) from a man in mississippi , he bought about 7 packages and these 3 of his is the only ones that has survived
    Ted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,217

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    I have about fifty hives in three locations on natural or small cell. In two of those locations I use nothing at all. In one of those, I have been using Oxalic acid in most of the hives in order to monitor the success of the natural cell size and in order to have a clean bill of health to ship queens without any apistan strips etc.

    At the end of a year of not treating there are an average of about 100 Varroa mites per hive. The following spring I (and a state inspector) can find no mites in the hives.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,385

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    I have 6 colonies in each of two locations (12 total) 18 miles apart. I've been keeping bees here in Tucson for going on 9 years and I have never used any treatments of any kind, ever, no chemicals, no antibiotics, no essential oils, no FGMO, no acids, I haven't even fed them since 2000. I haven't ever requeened any until just this year. I have managed to get some small-cell into many of them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    57

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    I have 5 hives.I have not treated for anything the two and a half years I've been into bees. The guy who I got them from treated for foulbrood(which he didn't have). They are all on normal cell. I bought some drone cell for mites but they didn't seem to need it so I just use it in my honey supers. I use queens that are a cross between buckfast and Italians and maybe some Russian.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,071

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    Michael Writes:

    …have been using Oxalic acid in most of the hives in order to monitor the success of the natural cell size and in order to have a clean bill of health to ship queens without any apistan strips etc.
    Mike,
    Unless there are other rules I am un aware of.
    Nebraska bee law does not require you to use these contaminates to “,,,have a clean bill of health,,,“. I don’t see where that is written.

    http://www.agr.state.ne.us/regulate/bpi/ent/apreg.htm

    In section 002.02 of the Nebraska Apiary Act. "An apiary is apparently free of Varroa mites" if:

    002.02A. The owner or person in charge of the apiary has placed an EPA approved acaricide in the colonies to control any Varroa mites present prior to the Department's inspection.

    OR:

    002.02B. Ether roll or alcohol shake methods done by the Department indicate Varroa mites are not present in the apiary.

    So in (A) you could be infested with varroa and still get a clean bill of health. Or in (B) you could prove that there are no varroa and get a clean bill of health.

    So by stating that you are using Oxalic acid in order to monitor mite levels is admitting that you are using Oxalic acid as a control, because each time you monitor, you are IN FACT applying a acaricide and artificially controlling and killing mites. And the applying of the acid on other colonies is not needed, as section 002.02B allows an alternative. And there are organic ways that you could use also.

    I hope now you can eliminate the use of these chemicals in your bees, and point out section 002.02B to your inspector next time they visit..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
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    1,725

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    Guest naturebee has a point MB, and I understand the reason behind it and I know 1 treatment doesn't do a lot with mite control but even 1 application of oxalic or anything is a control measure, I can see a sugar roll or a ether roll with 300 bee's would be considered a measurement control without treating a hive but im still interested in seeing how many people do nothing with there hives? I even believe there are some that dont even take a mite count anymore, I havent taking a count on BB but have looked through some capped drone brood when i was removing supers.
    Ted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Unless there are other rules I am un aware of.
    Nebraska bee law does not require you to use these contaminates to “,,,have a clean bill of health,,,“. I don’t see where that is written.

    If I was shipping bees to somewhere in Nebraska, yes. But I ship queens to many states. Many have different laws.

    >So by stating that you are using Oxalic acid in order to monitor mite levels is admitting that you are using Oxalic acid as a control, because each time you monitor, you are IN FACT applying a acaricide and artificially controlling and killing mites.

    In one location, yes.

    >And the applying of the acid on other colonies is not needed, as section 002.02B allows an alternative. And there are organic ways that you could use also.

    I have only used it in one of the three locations which is the queen yard. I may skip it this year and see how it goes, but I have been trying to make sure I don't have any hassle shipping without Apistan.

    As I said, I'm not shipping bees to Nebraska.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    TWT,
    I've been zero treatments, and not a single application since 2001, and no drone comb removal, and on small cell for 5 years. Been collecting ferals, and place high emphasis on promoting the highest feral genetics in my bees. I’m averaging 10% loss, which is better than average for PA, but I generally will opt to take a chance wintering a colony that another beekeeper might be inclined to combine. I do have an occasional colony that succumbs to varroa, but so be it, the better genetics live on. I do not do mite counts, but will occasionally uncap some drone and worker brood to get a feel for the varroa level.

    I have been inspected by the Chief Inspector for PA due to my permits I keep for queen and nuc sales. I have been given a clean bill of health, and the inspector commented that the varroa population was extremely low, and not at the levels he was seeing in other colonies at the time.

    I credit small cell, feral genetics, and the elimination of non ferals from my apiaries, and the elimination of the use of any contaminates, because I believe even mild substances harm the colony.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,071

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    Mike,
    Oxalic acid should not even be used for monitoring varroa, as it is harmful to bees. And artificial proping of genetics will wreak havoc on your breeding.

    I Just got an email form our chief inspector "vanEngelsdorp, Dennis". All they inspect for is an active case of AFB, and need to see that low levels of varroa are being controlled by what ever legal methods you choose. He stated that this is want most states require.

    Here is some of his letter:

    “We are happy to facilitate export by meeting the requirements other states may have. Generally, the requirements for our inspection are good for other states, and a copy of your certificate should suffice. (at least I do not no of any who would refuse this except perhaps Mississippi and Indiana who do not yet have small hive beetle so we would need to inspect your county or apiaries for shb).”

    If I was shipping bees to somewhere in Nebraska, yes. But I ship queens to many states. Many have different laws.
    Please provide one example of a state that requires the use of acaricides in a colony? Of even an example of a law from another state, that your operation or your states inspection requirements do not already meet?

    I don’t believe that one can be forced to use these acaricides, or even that it is a legitimate excuse to do so.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

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    Ted-
    I've used nothing in my one hive this being it's second full summer in my "care". It was a feral swarm(as are all my bees).
    I plan on continuing to use nothing on any of my colonies.
    I dont know much, but i'm thinking that this is the year where i might get an unpleasant surprise. As i'm beginning to understand, the first year or two are usually uneventful, then in the fall into winter after that is when the mites will make their move.
    I have heard recently that now is the time to be thinking about which measures one will be using this fall to combat the mites, so i'm beginning to think about what to look for. I've not seen a mite nor what they can do to a colony, so i've got some research to do.
    This is the best place for me to start-new post though.
    jim
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

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    I don't use any controls other than race (russian) and screen bottom boards. I use Pierco frames, which I suppose are at 5.2 mm, but at least that keeps them somewhat smaller than what bees would make on their own.

    I've not had any varroa loss in the last five years to speak of ( a few here and there maybe). My method is good enough for me- kills off any weak genes and keeps the strong ones.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Please provide one example of a state that requires the use of acaricides in a colony? Of even an example of a law from another state, that your operation or your states inspection requirements do not already meet?

    I have attempted to find copies of the laws in all 50 states. I have not found it an easy undertaking. Only a few seem to be readily available on the internet. I have heard other bee breeders refer to a requirement by some states to put apistan strips in if there are ANY mites. I have NOT been able to confirm or disprove that requirement. I wish I could.

    Considering the low numbers on all the yards (including those not treated) and that a lot of those mites would have died over the winter anyway, I think it may be uneccessary to treat even the yard I mate and ship from at all and I still might get NO mites found by the inspector in the spring. I'm thinking I will try it this year. The legalities still worry me, although logically it seems silly that anyone would be concerned about Varroa spreading.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,385

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    I even believe there are some that dont even take a mite count anymore, I havent taking a count on BB but have looked through some capped drone brood when i was removing supers.
    I've never taken a Varroa count. I have observed Varroa on bees, and I've opened drone brood and seen Varroa on drone larvae and pupae. If I ever started losing colonies I might begin to take Varroa counts to see if it might possibly be caused by Varroa. Since Varroa are fairly easy to see, especially on drone brood, I haven't really been too concerned about how many there are at any given time. Of course, if I start to see some on nearly every bee, and even more on the drone brood I examine, I might become a little more worried.

    I have seen them regularly on workers and nearly every time I've examined drone brood, but on my last few inspections I couldn't find any at all. I am pleased but a bit mystified.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

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    Naturebee please would you explain why is OA harmful to bees. Where did you get this information?
    OA is a natural ingredient from honey, how can it be danger to bees? After the evaporation of a small amount of OA not even a lab can tell whether the acid is from the treatment or from flowers.

    >>Mike,
    Oxalic acid should not even be used for monitoring Varroa, as it is harmful to bees. And artificial proping of genetics will wreak havoc on your breeding.<<

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    Naturebee please would you explain why is OA harmful to bees. Where did you get this information? OA is a natural ingredient from honey, how can it be danger to bees?
    Formic acid is also natural in honey, but was found to be harmful to bees.

    OA is a danger because it is applied at levels not naturally found in honey. For example, the oxalic acid is naturally found in spinach, but about 10 pounds of spinach can kill you. Inhalation of mist or vapor may cause irritation and burns to mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, so imagine what it can do to the honeybee larvae with no protective skin.

    After the evaporation of a small amount of OA not even a lab can tell whether the acid is from the treatment or from flowers.
    Not talking about residues in honey here, it’s at the time of application is when the bees are harmed. Penn State I believe reported that OA will kill larvae up to 8 days old, I will email and verify this for you. It is very difficult to find information on the dangers of OA to honeybees, because in general, most of the research is being done by those with a vested interest in promoting the product.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

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    It is very difficult to find information on the dangers of OA to honeybees, because in general, most of the research is being done by those with a vested interest in promoting the product.
    Don't go there..... [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    That stuff has been said over and over and over and over and over and over. The greedy chemical companies who stand to make millions putting poisons into our hives, etc.

    It may be difficult to find information on the dangers of OA to honeybees, because in general, while I'd agree it likely does have some detrimental effect, it *seems* to be more benign than say formic acid.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    3,401

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    > most of the research is being done by those
    > with a vested interest in promoting the product.

    Dick doesn't want you to "go there", but I'd like
    you to either name names and provide specifics,
    or apologize to the many researchers in Europe,
    Canada, and the USA who have worked to evaluate OA.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    Don't go there.....That stuff has been said over and over and over and over and over and over. The greedy chemical companies who stand to make millions putting poisons into our hives, etc.
    Dick,
    It’s not that simple! I'm NOT referring to the greedy chemical companies here. It can be anyone with a ‘vested interest’.

    Many doing research on OA are investigating the affects of OA on mites, and do not place an equal emphasis on studying it’s effects on bees or other dangers. This failure is a repeat of the mite strip fiasco, where Apistan and other dangerous pesticides were approved in spite of knowing the dangers.

    I am also referring to “a few” on this list who are willing to hold back truths, lie and ‘play the game’ and provide the politically correct answer, in spite of knowing the dangers involved. And some mentors are glad to accommodate this by providing the politically correct quick fix answers or ’squirt and see’ approach depending on which way the wind is blowing, without consideration for the beekeeper of the harmful effects on the honeybees. This is an example of ‘vested interest’ influenced by Ego.

    Take PA DOA’s recommended pesticide strips in the 90’s knowing that traces will contaminate honey, and build residues. And during the crash of 95 they even advised a use that was not on the labeled instructions to satisfy consumer demands. This mistake was due to their vested interest in assigning priority to providing a solution, rather that considering the dangers involved. And we paid the price for this.

    This year, PA DOA is backtracking and do not recommend the use of pesticides in colonies due the compounding effects on colony mortality caused by the mistakes of the past. And even now go as far as saying that you must avoid them.

    It may be difficult to find information on the dangers of OA to honeybees, because in general, while I'd agree it likely does have some detrimental effect, it *seems* to be more benign than say formic acid.
    Yes, and formic acid seems more benign that sulfuric acid. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    And organic is more benign that OA! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Oh, I can find plenty of info on the dangers of OA, but dangers concerning honeybees it is difficult to find due to the limited research being done in this area,,,, We are not talking about other domesticated farm animals here which get allot more money spent on research. But anyone with an ounce of common sense might want to consider that if OA burns you, it can burn a bee.

    *Penn state has reported oxalic acid harming larva in the post capping stage.

    *Cell death in honeybee larvae is associated with oxalic and formic acid.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Cheshire, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    56

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    The 3 hives I started out with I bought from a man that did not treat his bees with anything. He had been keeping bees for 25 years and did not have trouble with mites and other things. I have 5 hives now all on natural foundation. They are very strong and the hardest working bees! I don't plan to treat them with anything!
    Bee Happy!<br />Lori<br /><br />\"You know, You never can tell with bees\". (Winnie The Pooh)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Although I don't doubt the idea that the organic acids likely harm brood. In fact research says it does, espically when over applying the particular acid. Get on Scholar Google and read about the Organic acids all day. The idea that IS unrealistic, however is that beekeepers, in general, can just drop the mite treatments and be happy, organic beekeepers. Perhaps this isn't what is suggested but it sounds like it is. Its a long road to good genitics. Mite resistant queens are localized. I don't see how a mite resistant queen in say Arizona is going to do well here in TN since our climate is completely different. People's experience reflect this. Also, we can't just go out and collect ferals here. I've spent a good amount of my life exploring the woods. I've found wasp nests, hornets, yellow jackets, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and just about any other colony of insect you could find here. What I have never found was a feral honeybee colony. They just aren't here in any significant number. I cought one in west knoxville, but this was unlikely a colony developed from feral bees. So people here are working on breeding and buying "mite resistant queens" just like everywhere else. However, starting colonies and leting them die off untill you finally get one to survive is not realistic due to money and time issues.
    Now small cell is a posibility I'll work on and I'll likely try sucrocide next year, when I'm better prepared to do mite counts. I'll be spraying down, I'm not going to pull every frame and spray. Even this hobbiest dosen't want to take the time to do that. The organic acids are a solution. They are not one I want to rely on by any means, but the research shows they are much safer than the neurotoxins which no one needs to use any more. Research shows the organic acids are very effective at killing mites, but yes they are toxic at the levels we use them. Their residue however should remain at levels we already can eat in foods. I'm working towards organic beekeeping and organic foods in other areas. When one does this, I believe it best to keep the scope of pollution in our world in mind. If everyting I put in my mouth is organic, that would be great. But then, I get in my car and drive to work huffing carbon monoxide and disel fumes the whole way. Our air here is awful, we can't eat many fish living in our drinking waters because they are full of carcinagentics. If you kill a deer to eat over by Oak Ridge, you have to get it tested for radiation before you take it home. Its a long road to organic/sustainable living AND beekeeping. I see the organic acids (Formic, Oxalic, Thymol) as a good way for small and bigtime beekeepers to get away from the neurotoxins starting now. With time and research and all important funding, hopefully individuals and researchers can develop mite resistant queens that do well in each particular climate, and/or find scalable non-toxic mite treatments, and IPM strategies.

    Naturebee, congradualations are your sucess at organic beekeeping, with time I hope to make it there too.

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