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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    I have been watch a few threads here discussing. It seems as if there is some confusion as to what IS a chemical. (I'm not talking chemistry here and going into all that, just simple beekeeping here). I have heard time after time people mention about adding a little of this or that (often oils or acids) and say they aren't using chem's!!! They aren't????? Well what is a chem ???? How do you interpret this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    St-Faustin-Lac Carre, Quebec, Canada
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    20

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    Everything is made out of "chemical" elements. The cut off seems to be "natural" vs "synthetic" or "man made" combinations that can't be found in nature. Oxalic acid, thymol etc... are in vegetables... as rotenone is but DDT can't be found as it is the case for Coumaphos...

    There is also the question of "concentration" which is important. We are on thin ice on all this as there are man made combinations that are not "dangerous" also. We should be carefull on all this as solutions for the varroas may very well mean at a certain point and conditions a mixture of different approaches including non natural chemicals.

  3. #3
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Clay you ARE right!

    Altough I use FGMO, it is a chemical. I generaly think of anything I put into the hive as a chemical. Whether it is a drug or a miticide.

    I do have 2 hives that are "realy" chem free. I have put nothing in to them. Nothing, zero, zip, zilch. They are true chemical free hives.

    I do feel oils, are better than the commerical chemicals, but as I said before it is still a chemical. Maybe we shouldn't try and hide or misinform ourselves, from what we are realy doing to our hives/bees.

    "Chem Free" should be just that. I will make a note to my self, to not misuse the phrase. We should take the time and type out what we realy mean.

    Thanks for the correction Clay!

    BB

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Without defining it too much, how about this.
    Chemicals would be anything that would contaminate the honey and wax. I would not classify crisco oil as a contaminate or any essential oil. What would you be contaminating it with, something you can eat yourself.

    If you really want to be "free" of any hive contamination you should open your hive and set them free! To the bee, the whole idea of us being beekeepers are contamination to their world.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I tend to think of the concept of "chemicals" as things that do not occur in natural food already. There is the dilema however, that some things occur in very small amounts but are dangerous in large amounts. Arsenic would be one of those. It's a trace mineral in all of our water. At what point is it a problem? I certainly would not consider treating my hive with arsenic.

    FGMO is one of those that doesn't occur naturally in my food, but it is inert. It does not react chemically with other things.

    Essential oils can be quite reative. They can be toxic at high levels. But they come from plants and the plants they come from mostly are used as food.

    I guess my bottom line is I don't want to use anything in the hive that I wouldn't want in my food.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    napoleon ohio
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    Thanks clay i been thinking the same thing for a long time.My way with words is not so subtle sometimes so i never asked.All natural is good to a point but not everything or everyone reacts the same to anything.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    All matter is composed of chemicals. Water and air are chemicals. Plant nectar and pollen is chemicals. Wax and honey are chemicals. Bees and beekeepers are chemicals.

    Oils and acids are chemicals.

    The herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides your bees pick up off the plants they visit, are chemicals, and the polluted water your bees drink are chemicals.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    All matter is composed of chemicals. Water and air are chemicals. Plant nectar and pollen is chemicals. Wax and honey are chemicals. Bees and beekeepers are chemicals

    reply:

    I mentioned this in my original post. And that we need not make a chemistry class out of this. Just simplicity here. Only discussing that which the beekeeper adds to a colony.

    The herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides your bees pick up off the plants they visit, are chemicals, and the polluted water your bees drink are chemicals.

    reply:

    These are environmental factors that we have no control over. This is NOT what I'm discussing in this thread. I personally am not a fanatic about such things, I realize that the bees don't live in a perfect environment. Nor is the one I live in perfect. We all endure the stuff man and bees. So lets please focus on the chemicals beekeepers add to hives and not those that are just there in our environment the we, are bees, cats, dogs, ect must contend with every day. We can't control those things, but we sure can control those we place in a hive.........


  9. #9
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    Kansas
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    I mentioned this in my original post. And that we need not make a chemistry class out of this. Just simplicity here. Only discussing that which the beekeeper adds to a colony.

    I thought the reply was very simple.


    So lets please focus on the chemicals beekeepers add to hives and not those that are just there in our environment the we, are bees, cats, dogs, ect must contend with every day. We can't control those things, but we sure can control those we place in a hive.........

    And if folks don't put acids and oils in their hives, the bees more then likely will die, and will then have to order all their small cell bees from you.


  10. #10
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    I agree with Clay. (again)

    The question that started this post was:

    "I have heard time after time people mention about adding a little of this or that (often oils or acids) and say they aren't using chem's!!! They aren't?????"

    FGMO, Essential oils, Vapo rub are not natural to a bee hive. The bees don't send scouts out to find it. It is somting WE put into the hive to control mites. The list goes on from there as to what we put in our hives to "make things better".

    Do I think FGMO can be found in the hive after it is used. (I use FGMO) Yes I do think it can be found, but I'd rather use it than a flea collar. I don't think FGMO is as bad for me or the bees. I also think all the other oils and whatever you are putting in your hive can be found, after it is used.

    The one thing I like most about Beesource from the first time I signed on was the fact that most of the members are looking for different ways to treat bee hives. The biggest fact that I found was there are beekeepers that REALY don't use chemicals.

    So why? Why don't they use chems? Because That's not the way we found them. Yep. That's it. When I was growing up we had a single brood box hive in the back yard. Sat there for 15 years. I never knew of a time when bees were not in it. I didn't even know what wax moths were, much less AFB, EFB, nosema, chalkbrood on and on. Then the mites came. The hive died out and we didn't know what made that old hive die out for years.

    It's a big deal when you find a beekeeper that refuses to treat a hive of bees. Yeah, I guess it's easy to say that they are crazy for letting hives die out for no good reason. But, they are building a better tomorrow for our next generation of beekeepers, and a better stronger bee.

    Chemicals that we put in our hives to control diseases and pest, just put the real problem off for another day. We have this human earge to "help" the bees along. The best thing for for us to do is stop helping. My strongest hives I almost never go through. I just don't have to. They are big girls they can take care of them selves.

    This topic can go on and on. People can keep giving ideas and thoughts. The fact will never change that chemicals "that we put into our hives" are just that. Chemicals. Chemicals that don't belong there.

    BB


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Daisy,

    Billy Bob has summed up my point very nicely. My reply to you was so that this particular thread didn't take off into a chemistry class discussing that all things are technically made up of chemicals.

    >>I thought the reply was very simple.

    It was! But I wanted to make a distinction between environmental chem's and those that basic building blocks of life vs. that which we add to a beehive. To prevent going down a rabbit trail........

    >>And if folks don't put acids and oils in >>their hives, the bees more then likely >>will die,

    I never mentioned not treating bees at all. I leave this up to the individual, most are over 18 and are adults and will make there own decsions. My point to this thread had nothing directly to do with wether one treats or not. But had to do with those that use acids, oils, ect. saying they are chem free. I wanted to have beekeepers on this thread define "what is chem free"! and wether or not these are a chem?

    >> and will then have to order all their >>small cell bees from you.

    I have none for sale. I would much prefer if individuals are inclide to use small cell that they convert there own hives to create a larger base of small cell colonies here in the US. Then queen swaping could be done to create outcrossing. But this is for another thread.........

    Clay


  12. #12
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    BB

    I'll work a couple hives next spring on small cell foundation.

    In the meantime, I'll add oils to the hive.


  13. #13
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    No No No

    I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time for using chemicals.

    Just that oil's and such are chemicals that don't realy belong in a bee hive. We shouldn't give anyone a hard time for not using chemicals. People who don't use them have worked very hard, and made great sacrifices to get to where they are. That's all.

    BB

  14. #14
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    No No No

    I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time for using chemicals.

    Just that oil's and such are chemicals that don't realy belong in a bee hive. We shouldn't give anyone a hard time for not using chemicals. People who don't use them have worked very hard, and made great sacrifices to get to where they are. That's all.

    BB

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