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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    Cool

    Question for the OA experts: If I pre-treat (before putting it into a hive for the bees to use) brood comb or foundation with OA liquid solution (applied via spray or dipping): 1) would this kill the mites that attempt to breed in the cells? 2) would the coating of OA last long enough to kill mites as they emerge for their phoretic period?
    Triangle Bees

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

    No. As far as I understand OA and as far as my experience with OA goes, I would not expect it to accomplish anything to treat the combs without the bees. Treat the bees, if you want to use OA. Persoanlly, I don't treat, but if I was going to try to get a jump start on it, I'd use powdered sugar on the pacakge before you install it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Thanx for your reply. I've actually used OA quite a bit during the past 2 years while working on regressing the bees to small cell. Nonetheless, I still have a lot of bees on large cell that need help with the varroa mites. The problem is OA doesn't work for mites in the brood cells and my bees are continuously raising brood (at least so far this winter). I know OA kills by contact (there might be some systemic effect as well). My theory is that if a brood cell were to contain some OA molecules/crystals before brood is present, the OA would rub off onto (and/or get into) the house/nurse bee cleaning/preping the cell to receive an egg >> consequently killing any phoretic mites that happen to be riding around on the nurse bee. I think this might work better than vaporizing OA every 8-10 days.
    Triangle Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >My theory is that if a brood cell were to contain some OA molecules/crystals before brood is present, the OA would rub off onto (and/or get into) the house/nurse bee cleaning/preping the cell to receive an egg >> consequently killing any phoretic mites that happen to be riding around on the nurse bee. I think this might work better than vaporizing OA every 8-10 days.

    But they clean and polish the cell with propolis before the queen even lays in them. They are spotless when the bees get done.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Post

    Ok, in the process of cleaning/polishing the cell surely the house/nurse bee would either ingest or get some of the OA particles on her adomen or wings or thorax. I don't know if this would be enough OA to kill or damage or dislodge any mite passengers. Ideally this would be a way to deliver OA in the brood area over an entire brood cycle. Could OA be mixed with propolis? If so, and the bees could be made to utilize this OA laced propolis for brood cell polishing, this might become another OA delivery mechanism.
    Triangle Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >Ideally this would be a way to deliver OA in the brood area over an entire brood cycle.

    I'm not convinced that delivering it over the entire brood cycle is desirable. Most pesticides work because the cross a certain threshold of suvival for the one organism while staying below the threshold of survival for another organism. But even at that the organism you're trying to help is usually damages somewhat. If the OA stayed at a level high enough to kill Varroa and stayed that high over a long period of time what are the detrimental effects on the bees?

    I think you want short periods of exposure that the bees can tolorate at levels that the mites die from.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    761

    Post

    Good point MB. The past month I've OA vapor treated 20 hives, 3 times each. Each treatment was 8-10 days apart. There's no apparent harm to the bees. I plan on doing some OA pre-treated comb and some brood interruption experiments next summer. Thanx
    Triangle Bees

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