Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St-Faustin-Lac Carre, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    20

    Post

    I haven't been able to find anywhere on the Web how oxalic acid strips work. Menthol, formic acid etc... evaporation process is easy to understand. But for oxalic acid crystals it's another story.



    ------------------
    Normand Choiniere
    Mont-Tremblant region, Quebec, Canada.
    http://consultus.qc.ca/valmiel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Post

    The info I've seen shows that the feeding parts of the mites get burned off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St-Faustin-Lac Carre, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    20

    Post

    "The info I've seen shows that the feeding parts of the mites get burned off."

    That is right, Michael,as far as the effect of OA on the varroas is concerned. The transfer mechanism to the varroas is easy to understand when the acid is sprayed or vaporized or sublimized but what is the mechanism with the strips? It is surely not evaporation like thymol or formic acid. How is it working? How is it transfered to the mite? Is it a physical contact with the bee and then to the varroas? If this is so there would be alternate solutions like the cords in the FGMO approach. AO could be added to the cords. There would be also no reason, if evaporation is not the operating mechanism, to exclude AO for a continuous usage as no significant OA would get in the wax or honey.

    ------------------
    Normand Choiniere
    Mont-Tremblant region, Quebec, Canada.
    http://consultus.qc.ca/valmiel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,324

    Post

    Thats an interesting question.The strips apparently have some essential oil of some sort if I remember what was posted here.I havent seen them,but if they are oily then it seems it is acting as a contact poison,like Apistan.How to mix it to not kill the bees ,yet still be effective would require some research .I assume the manufacturer of the oxamite strips did this but I havent seen anything published.Has anyone seen any testing data?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Post

    As I understand it is similar to the emoulsion cords that Dr Rodriguez came up with. The bees try to chew up the strips and in the process get the acid on them which gets on the mites. I do wonter why the acid doesn't chew up the bees mouth parts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,324

    Post

    <<I do wonter why the acid doesn't chew up the bees mouth parts.

    Good point.Ive seen the closeup photos of the mites damaged mouthparts but would like to see photos of the bees after chewing on oxalic! Probably not strong enough to do damage,but who knows without checking.We make a lot of assumptions trying to solve mite problems,some of which no doubt will come back and bite us(coumaphos for example)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    When I requeened four weeks ago I inserted the oxalic strips and a grease pattie. I have been waiting for the five weeks to be up to take the strips out as per instructions.

    My trays have been only showing about five mites fall per week with two exceptions. One is the control hive which is a ferral hive from an old farmhouse that gets nothing. No chems, oils, fgmo, grease pattie, nothing, this is an incrediblly strong hive. On that tray after three weeks there were more mites than I could count, I gave up after 200. There was also quite a bit of other junk on it that made it hard to count. On the hive next to it, another removal from an apartment building, that was treated with the oxalic strips and pattie, no fog, the tray had about 150 mites after three weeks.

    I was concerned enough to actually break out the apistan strips and go to the yard to insert them. I had cleaned the tray the day before and took a 24 hour count of thirty, relieved, I fogged only and am letting them deal with the mites without the chems.

    The interesting note of this is that this colony had a piece of the strip about the size of a quarter on the LZ. So after four weeks they had completely chewed up the strip and expelled it out of the hive. They also show the most dropped mites. Next week I plan to do a sugar roll and find the true status of their condition.

    Had I found that tray with sixty to one hundred mites, I would have had a hard time convincing myself not to intervene with the apistan. It's interesting that even after deciding to go without the chemicals, (I make a distinction between chemicles and natural acids), I still had that knee-jerk reaction to do what ever it takes to save the colony, even chemical treatment.

    I am still convenced that the only way we will ever evolve to a hygenic race of bees that can live with the mites is to accept the losses of those that can not and propigate the survivors.

    I understand that I will have to rethink my stratigies in going the no chem route. I am just not quite ready to take all my losses at once.



    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Wink

    Hey Bullseye- I'm convinced that you can go without chemicals, and that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm using Russian bees with screen bottom boards and Pierco frames. I only breed the meanest (and most productive) of my Russian hives... I think everyone has read about reduced mite loads with Russians. Anyway, the screen bottom boards really help control mites too... if you lose 3 or 4 mites a day (which is what I'm getting), that's around 100 mites killed per month. When most hives only have around 1,000 mites total, that's a significant loss. I'm convinced that my Pierco (all plastic) frames help too- you don't get as many drone cells with them. Limit drone cells and mites have a hard time increasing in number. I've had Russians for 4 years and haven't lost one to mites- and have never treated. I'm up to 60 hives now, and haven't used chemicals yet, nor will I. If one ever does die out to mites- good riddens, I only want aggressive, mite-resistant hives .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Do you connect agressive with mite resistant? Any data? I have a few russians and I think they are a little feistier than my Carniolans. Do you find problems with queen introduction and queen death or supersedure?

    Dickm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Post

    I've never noticed a connection with agression and mite resistance. I think an agressive hive might have less problems with moths. I wonder if an agressive hive would have less problems with SHB, but I have no experience with them.

    I think it's irresponsible of us as beekeepers to have really viscious bees around. They give bees a bad name and could get someone seriously injured. Of course remoteness of the hives decreases this.

    From my experience the mean ones are usually notorious robbers and although they have a lot of honey in their hive, it's not because they made it. It's honey they stole from your other hives. I do not think they are worth having around.

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

    Post

    Dickm- I don't have any data connecting agression with mite resistance, but feral AHB's seem to thrive even with mites, so I'm assuming their aggressiveness is a factor in keeping them alive. I've also observed other insects (ants, etc.) near the entrance and how Russians deal with them, so I assume they respond the same with mites. As far as queen introduction, I think they're the same as any other line- if you try to introduce a queen with a laying worker... no chance. I've had good acceptance normally though. I really couldn't tell you if they supercedure more than most lines.

    I don't keep viscous bees... just not passive. I recently helped a friend remove supers from about 50 hives of non-russian bees... without bee suits- no way with mine! But I don't mind suiting up because I believe aggression means more honey and less mites. Just a hunch.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Curry,
    AHBs may thrive with mites because they are smaller and presumably use the small cell approach. I have to admit that I kind of admire the feisty hives though. I have one that, when I stapled some mouse guards on (today), boiled a handful of bees out for 10 minutes. The other 12 hives had no reaction. I'm betting, that one will surely make it through the winter. I run carniolans. I have the feeling that we've bred something out of our bees.

    Dick Marron

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Post

    Actually I like the Russians. They don't boil out of the hive at you, but they do pay attention and some will head butt you. They don't go into a major alarm when you open the hive up though. That kind of attention I don't mind. That kind of defensivness is probably good for the hive.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads