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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.Ohio
    Posts
    5

    Question

    I have been thinking about making an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer for some time now and believe I can use the heater/electronics from a discarded Mr. Coffee. The rest would be a wood box affair to mount on the entrance of the hive with a suitable low velocity fan or blower (discarded low wattage hair dryer ?) I understand that Oxalic Acid sublimates at about 155 C but the temperature should not exceed 190 C and I believe I can make the heating surface approximate that temperature. I have power in the vicinity of my hives, and only keep 3 to 4 hives so itÂ’s not like I have to run around the countryside with my proposed contraption nor do I have a large number to treat. Any thoughts on this idea?

    As you might guess I enjoy making/designing “contraptions” [img]smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    All you need to do is sublimate the OA and blow it into the hive. there are a lot of different ways this can be done. I can't see why your method should'nt work. the only issue I see is the possibility of the OA resublimating on the wooden box. Your hair dryer idea should minimize this but mayby not b/c wood absorbs a lot of heat.

    Have fun with it. I am on my 4th or 5th prototype now. I am getting a handle of what works and what dos'nt. I also am realizing how corrosive OA is.

    I also enjoy "inventing".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Post

    Terry:

    The one that you had in Saskatoon is which prototype? Have you gotten another one since?

    Jean-Marc

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    that was prototype # 2. I have simplified the evapotator considerably since then. I found the Liquid OA to corrosive for me to deal with. The stuff eats stainless steel!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    sorry just doing some thinking it was prototype # 3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Jean-Marc,

    You sound concerned about our mite problem in BC. Do you think that our bees will be resistant to Check Mite soon?

    I also wanted to know if you only use one type of treatment on your mites or if you rotate between Apistan, Check Mite and Formic Acid?

    How long do you think it will take before Oxalic Acid is approved in Canada?

    Terry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    OA sould be registered for use this year sometime.

    Check mite is a harsh chemical. I only used it one year. the quality and longevity of the queens that I purchased is realy going down hill, I believe that this is all due to the checkmite residue in the wax of the hive.

    OA is simple and cheap to use, and just as effective.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Thanks Terry,
    Has there been research done on the long term effects of Check Mite on queens? If so, do you know where I could read about it?

    Is it better to use Formic Acid instead of Check Mite until OA is available here?

    BTW I've been reading Allen Dicks site since 2002. I've learned alot from his site...is he still into his cows? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Terry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    he is considering buying some packages again this year, still has his cows I believe.

    I do not know of any research being done on the queens. With the amount of queens that come from Califorinia to our farm I am noticing a definate decrease in the quality and longevity. We culled a lot of hives this past fall before winter that had new queens in them. We blame it on checkmite use. Other large commercial beekeepers in our area have noticed the same thing.

    I would use Formic till the fall, and then use OA wether or not it is registered for use. No one is going to slap your wrist for useing a natural product.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Vermont has pulled the registration of Checkmite+ for this year. One has to wonder if there is more to this story than what is being said in this report:

    http://www.vtbeekeepers.org/2005report.htm
    GreenMountainRose

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Happy Easter everyone!
    Easter dinner is simple (Lamb, asparagus, key lime
    pie...) so we have little to do while the lamb
    marinades all day. Somewhere between 16 and 18
    coming to dinner, but here I am reading posts. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > One has to wonder if there is more to this story
    > than what is being said in this report.

    Well, you are a Vermont beekeeper, so the state
    apiarist can't refuse to explain his rationale
    to you, can he? Unless beekeepers tell him that
    they MUST have CheckMite to keep their colonies
    alive, I can see many good reasons to avoid an
    organophosphate.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > I would use Formic till the fall, and then use
    > OA wether or not it is registered for use. No
    > one is going to slap your wrist for useing a
    > natural product.

    That's an interesting point of view, but one that I
    can't agree with.

    In regard to formic acid, while I am aware that at
    least Allen Dick's vanity web site and Bill
    Ruzicka's MiteGone web site give the impression
    that using industrial grade formic acid in
    beehives is OK, are you even aware that "food-grade"
    formic acid exists?

    I dunno why Canada has not realized how blatantly
    inappropriate this is when beehive uses are
    inherently "food use" of a chemical, and cracked
    down on this. Heather Clay (CHC) claims that no
    one in Canada would be dumb enough to use anything
    but food grade formic, but anyone who reads either
    Allen's or the MiteGone web sites is given the
    impression that the industrial grade is somehow
    viewed as "legal" by some beekeepers. I'm
    surprised that Canadian honey has not been banned
    as "adulterated" worldwide, simply due to the
    exposure to non-food-grade formic acid.

    Yes, I am well aware of the very low levels of
    things like heavy metals in industrial grade
    formic acid, the dilution factors, and the
    vaporization process. Technical details are
    not the point. The point is that one simply
    does not use a non-food-grade substance in
    "close contact" with food of any sort when
    a food-grade version of the same substance is
    available. To do so is inherently "adulteration",
    and the food cannot be sold for human consumption
    in either the US or Canada. If you try to hide
    or somehow remove the "contamination", you are
    guilty of a federal crime in both countries.

    Like, duh, why do you THINK they call it "food
    grade formic acid"? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    In regard to Oxalic, I am certainly aware of the
    success reported in European and Canadian studies,
    but once again, honey is FOOD, for Pete's sake,
    and Oxalic is a DEADLY POISON. Without regulatory
    approval, your use puts us all at risk of an
    investigative journalist doing an "expose" that
    results in yet another "honey scare". The oxalic
    acid you can find is not "natural" at all. It
    is made in massive chemical plants, and would
    only become "legal" with specific approvals and
    a specific "pesticide label" for beekeeping use
    in both Canada and the USA.

    So, please, don't blow it for those of us who
    are working to convince the regulators that
    these chemicals should be officially permitted
    for use in beehives, and want to continue to
    sell our honey to even paranoid "health nuts".

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Where do you get food grade Formic, and what's it used for normally? If you're trying to get oxalic registered, it can't be that bad can it? What are the residues like in honey?
    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    High River, Alberta
    Posts
    158

    Post

    First I have never heard of Food Grade Formic and I have been using the stuf for the last 15 years. I don't believe that I can go to the grocery store and purchase formic acid. I don't believe that there is such a thing as food grade Formic

    If someone told me that vaporizing rubarb leaves would kill mites just as well I would use it instead of industrial OA just because it is more organic.

    I am not suprised that American honey was or still is banned from Europe due to Residues of various substances.

    We in Canada are very cautious in what we apply to our hives. We depend on our export markets and the reputaion of our honey.

    I do not agree with the use of Tylosine for the control of AFB or even oxytet. But right now, we have no choice.

    I do not agree with the use of checkmite, Apistan, Bayvarol, and Amitras, for the control of mites. I am suprised that people are still eating honey because of all the stuff beekeepers around the world have dumped into thier hives.

    We finaly have 1 product OXALIC ACID. Which is natuarly occuring in honey anyway. Which is proven to be harmless to bees if applied correctly. What upsets me is the lenght of time it takes to register a product. Same thing with your Bee Quick in Canada. - My brother made a few phone calls and sent a few emails finaly got PMRA looking at your product -.

    I beleive that every thing boils down to common sense, and willing to stick out your neck in support of a product. No one wants to beheld responsible for registering any product just in case it might prove to have a negative.

    I have a buisness to mainaintain, and if I wait for the beurocracy to aprove products in an emergancy situation, I would be out of buisness. The beekeeping industry is a small and niche industry, Governments tend to ignore us and our problems. We need to work together and be proactive in solving the different problems that we encounter in our industry.

    I also want to have my hives as healthy and I want my honey to be absolutly clean and free of all foreign products.

    I will only apologise for the improper use of the word "Natural" I should have used "normaly occurring" or something along those lines [img]smile.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Terry, the fact you don't believe in it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's not sold in grocery stores but used by food processors. I agree with you 100% on the concept that if we wait for the Gov't to solve our problems we will all be out out of business. Too many times the the guy who has a couple hudred or a thousand dollars invested in an operation points the long bony finger of indignation at guys who have their life savings in their operation for not following protocal. They aren't advisarys or bad, just looking at it from a different perspective. I bet you, like me, and many others, spend a considerable amount of time keeping up with reading on the leading edge of scientifically done research. We have a great interest in protecting ours, and the industries reputations and our livelhoods. Unfortunatley there are always a few out there willing to cast doubt on our lot as a whole by abusing what when properly applied could be safe and effective. Despite your derogatory remarks about American Beekeepers I'd bet pound for pound you have just as many in Canada. You just have a lot less beekeepers, probably due to climate. I don't believe crossing the border makes us inherrently bad or you inherrently good! I find it is usually best to leave the high white horse, we all ride sometimes, in the barn when trying to communicate.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Uh oh, looks like I touched a sensitive nerve...
    Sorry about that, I meant no harm. Tryin' to help.

    But I can't resist poking some fun at the outraged
    reaction to what was clearly intended to be a "heads up"
    on an issue that is certain to bite us all in the rear.

    So, here goes... all of this is supposed to be >>FUNNY<<
    so laugh, and realize that I don't have a mean bone in
    my body...

    > First I have never heard of Food Grade Formic

    Well, maybe you have heard of www.google.com ,
    or heard of Heather Clay of the CHC.
    Sounds like you need to check one or the other,
    and buy a vowel. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > and I have been using the stuf for the last 15 years.

    Yeah, like I said, it is depressing how clueless
    even good beekeepers are about this specific issue.

    > I don't believe that I can go to the grocery store and
    > purchase formic acid.

    That's not where food grade formic acid would be sold,
    of course.

    > I don't believe that there is such a thing as food grade Formic

    I'm not going to argue the point. Not only does it exist, but
    it is what should be used in beehives. Don't listen to me,
    ask your own regulatory folks.

    > If someone told me that vaporizing rubarb leaves would kill mites
    > just as well I would use it instead of industrial OA just because
    > it is more organic.

    If someone told me that they had some leaves they wanted to vaporize,
    I'd worry about the impact on my next security clearance drug test!
    Oh, wait a moment, you said rhubarb... never mind. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > I am not suprised that American honey was or still is banned from
    > Europe due to Residues of various substances.

    Oh, please. Drop the nationalistic chest pounding. You are nearly
    as bad as that fellow we still wonder if we really elected or not,
    and he's a real embarrassment to western civilization as a whole. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    We are beekeepers, let's have fun and be buddies. There's much
    more demand for honey than either the US or Canada can ever
    provide, so it is not like the countries "compete" for sales.

    > We in Canada are very cautious in what we apply to our hives.

    Apparently so, except when it comes to basic issues like using
    food-grade formic, rather than the stuff that has unacceptable
    levels of heavy metals and other toxins.

    > We depend on our export markets and the reputaion of our honey.

    As a citizen of the country that is forced to accept most of Canada's
    subsidized exports, I have to point out that Canadian honey is never
    found in the US without something else being blended with it to mask
    the (ahem) "flavor profile" of canola honey. The non-canola Canadian
    honey is fine stuff, if you can find it. I suspect you keep all of the
    non-canola honey for domestic sale, which is understandable. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > I do not agree with the use of Tylosine for the control of AFB or even oxytet.
    > But right now, we have no choice.

    Me, I like using a match to control AFB. Its organic-certified! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > We finaly have 1 product OXALIC ACID.
    > Which is natuarly occuring in honey anyway.

    In such trace amounts as to be undetectable in the bulk of honey,
    and in a very different form from the Oxalic formulation you would
    use to "treat" a colony. Take a chemistry course, and call me
    when you are done, as you may then have better arguments. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > Which is proven to be harmless to bees if applied correctly.

    Clearly so, but I am worried about the PR impact of using something
    that is labeled POISON. Not the practical impact, just the PR impact,
    moreso when the use of the product is without official endorsement.

    > What upsets me is the lenght of time it takes to register a product.

    What upsets me is people who think that the process is so slow - look
    at Mite-Away, which sailed through the EPA in less than a year from
    start to finish, and seems to also be making fine progress with PMRA.

    > Same thing with your Bee Quick in Canada. - My brother made a few phone
    > calls and sent a few emails finaly got PMRA looking at your product.

    Oh, then the Eastern Apicultural Society owes him a "thank you".
    I thought that he was just ONE of several hundred people who had
    asked me about Canadian availability over the past 5 years, and
    was advised that he needed to check with the PMRA, and ask them why
    they had the crazy idea that it was a pesticide of some sort.

    We only sell Bee-Quick where it is enthusiastically welcomed by
    both beekeepers and regulators. That means the bulk of the entire
    planet, except for Canada. To be honest, I'm not even sure that
    Canadian sales would even offset the cost of printing up a bilingual
    label, which would be impolite to not do, even if we were not
    specifically "required". In other words, I'm not sure Canada is
    worth the trouble and expense.

    > No one wants to beheld responsible for registering any product just
    > in case it might prove to have a negative.

    Everything that kills mites "has a negative". That's obvious.
    You can't kill one bug, and somehow not affect the other.

    > I have a buisness to mainaintain, and if I wait for the beurocracy to
    > aprove products in an emergancy situation, I would be out of buisness.

    If you don't "wait" for approval, then you will be not only "out of
    business", but perhaps also fined, threatened with
    jail time, and so on.

    Declaring your own emergency, and deciding on your own course of
    action without a consensus is the sort of thinking that ends up
    with you hiding in the woods, wearing camouflage, and stocking
    a stash of automatic weapons to fight off an RCMP swat team. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > The beekeeping industry is a small and niche industry, Governments tend
    > to ignore us and our problems. We need to work together and be proactive
    > in solving the different problems that we encounter in our industry.

    I am really impressed with the change of heart at the PMRA as expressed
    at the February meeting in Saskatchewan. They had their act together,
    and even had beekeeper issues sorted out on lists that made sense!
    I think that the PMRA has "matured" amazingly from where they were 5
    years ago. I think you CAN "work with them". Regardless, you have
    no choice if you want to "remain in business".

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Post

    Antero:

    I am worried about varroa mites becoming resistant to checkmite. It has been used in the Valley for 3 years. The Americans had resistance show up after 3 seasons both on the East coast and now the west coast. I see no reason why we should not expect similar problems.

    I use some formic for tracheal mites. I usually monitor levels once a year. Stopped using Apistan when it stopped working. I tried trickling oxalic
    acid on my nucs this past fall. I'll monitor varroa levels soon.

    Jean-Marc

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Post

    Jim:

    What is this subsidy you speak of in regards to Canadian honey? I know Alberta and now Quebec have a crop insurance program, but the rest of us pollinate, produce honey etc... with our own nickels.

    Jean-Marc

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > I know Alberta and now Quebec have a crop
    > insurance program, but the rest of us pollinate,
    > produce honey etc... with our own nickels.

    I was not claiming that Canada has any direct
    subsidy for beekeepers, I was referring to all
    the OTHER exports that DO have subsidies of
    one sort or another. I realize that beekeepers
    everywhere are constantly not given the respect
    of cattle ranchers or dairymen, mostly because
    our livestock is so small and so terrifying to
    the typical civilian.

    Crop insurance is not a subsidy. Here in the
    US, there is work underway to try and get some
    crop insurance for beekeepers, but it looks like
    it will be a private insurance program rather
    than a government thing. As for me, I am
    working hard on my own "crop insurance" by
    experimenting with Japanese Hornfaced bees
    for apple pollination. If I can use them on
    apples, my colonies get less stress, and are
    better able to produce a crop as a result.

    But the "alternative bees" are a whole 'nother
    bug to learn to manage, so it is not for everyone.
    I see them as a way to be able to deploy less
    honey bee colonies per orchard, and still get
    the job done at the same level of excellence.
    I don't see it as a 100% replacement, I see it
    as a way for both the grower and myself to
    "hedge our bets" and have a "backup system",
    where both types of bees are used.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Good points Jim regarding the alternative pollinators. I truly believe one of the reason losses were so heavy this year is because we confine 10's of thousands of colonies of bees in a 450 mile stretch of almonds in California for several weeks a year. We then scatter these bees to the winds of migration. Although I have no scientific evidence any time you overpopulate an area with a species natures takes it's course. Disease and pests in overpopulated areas spread and mutate quicker as a result. I know your point is relating to the stress on the hives, I'm just adding to that.

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