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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ashland, OR
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    4

    Question Sodium diacetate

    Has anyone used sodium diacetate to control varroa and tracheal mite? If so what were the results?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

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    mountainbee

    this forum is for discussing a beekeeping chat room
    nobody will see your post here
    got here

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/index.php

    and click the link for "Diseases and Pests" and post your question there

    welcome to beesource

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

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    Sodium Diacetate? My first question is where did you hear of this?

    My first introduction to sodium diacetate came at the tail end of one of the seminars at the Sacramento beekeeping conference. Prior to that I had never heard of it.

    The Sacramento referral came from an older beekeeper who mentioned it as a remedy for Nosema. He said you mix it up with powdered sugar and then dribble the powdery mix over the ends of the top bars. He purchased his sodium diacetate from Jarchem and had a zip-lock baggy in his possession.

    I wondered first how he got that baggy through airport security. Then my curiosity was peaked.

    I came home a googled and yahooed "sodium diacetate" (sometimes listed as simple "sodium acetate"). It is used as a food preservative and also as a preservative for high-moisture hay baling. I searched the archives of beesource and bee-l and only found passing references made by Jim Fischer. Jim refuted S.D. as a cure for American Foul Brood in the archives. I could not find the source of the inquiry that Jim was responding to.

    I sent Jim personal correspondence off-list and he pretty much debunked the AFB and the Nosema connection. I also e-mailed Randy Oliver, off-list, with his continuing series on Nosema. He was incredulous as well. Both of these gentlemen agree that S.D. as a cure for anything is not very probable.

    And now varroa? How would it be applied? Who has tried it with success?

    I'm glad you brought this idea to beesource.com as this is a great place to share and discuss ideas. It's also a good place to sift through the chaff to find the kernels of wheat.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO http://www.25hives.homestead.com
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

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    I heard the same pitch in Sac for sodium diacetate. In the food industry it is used to control fungi and bacteria. I know nothing of how it is applied or its total acidity. It is a salt form of acetic acid as far as I understand. Glacial acetic(80%) acid is used to kill Nosema in empty equipment. What grounds did the skeptics base thier decision on? Glacial acetic is very strong stuff, perhaps this salt form is not strong enough? Both oxalic and formic acids have a decent track record, one would think that there may be other organic acids that could have a beneficial use in the hive.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

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    I haven't heard of any formal testing or experiments using sodium diacetate for nosema, AFB or varroa control. I chatted on-line with Jim and Randy, both of whom I consider to be excellent and reliable resources. They didn't cite their sources, but both were rather skeptical of sodium diacetate as a cure/remedy for anything.

    Given their track records, I felt confident in the information they gave me.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

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    > They didn't cite their sources, but both were rather skeptical of
    > sodium diacetate as a cure/remedy for anything.

    There is noting published on this, nor will there likely ever be anything
    published anywhere, so let me cite "my source" - it was a colleague -
    Dr. Mark Fedlaufer, who ran the Beltsville USDA Bee Lab until he got
    promoted to a different post within the USDA (a massive loss for
    beekeeping).

    I will quote Mark in regard to SDA's ability to control/cure AFB, as it has
    been the most common claim made about SDA.

    "On October 14, 2003 we examined six dilutions for the ability to inhibit the
    growth of the bacterium which causes AFB. Unfortunately, all six dilutions
    were totally inactive, yielding 'zones of inhibition' of 0 (zero) millimeters.
    By comparison, 5 micrograms of tetracycline yields a zone of inhibition of
    56 millimeters.

    It
    [the Sodium Diacetate] was prepared in our lab by Jan Kochansky by
    mixing one equivalent of sodium acetate with one equivalent of acetic
    acid
    [that's how it's made] yielding one equivalent of the diacetate.
    It was inactive at all five concentrations tested.
    "

    The tests above were run as a part of a generalized program to do some
    "rumor control", and remove any shred of doubt that might exist about a
    number of different "alternative treatments" promoted by beekeeper
    endorsements.

    The USDA bothered to run these tests as a mere formality, as Sodium
    Diacetate is good at slowing the formation of mold in bread, but simply
    has no ability to kill or even retard the growth of anything other than
    specific sorts of mold. Mark and his team went on to do formal tests of
    SDA on EFB, nosema, and other beekeeping-related diseases and
    pathogens.

    There's lots of stuff that does not do any good at all for beekeepers
    when subjected to objective testing, yet somehow still stumbles through
    the halls at beekeeper meetings and the online discussion groups like
    a zombie from a bad horror movie.

    No one likes to be the guy who lets air out of someone's favorite
    balloon, but someone has to do the "[SIZE=-1]Van Helsing" job, and put stakes
    through the hearts of bad ideas that just... won't... die. The USDA
    used to provide this service back in the days when beekeepers actually
    listened to what the USDA had to say, rather than arguing, insisting
    that this thing or that thing, or this practice or that practice
    "works for me".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

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    Thanks, Jim.

    Kind of reminds me of the letter sent (now mostly by e-mail) by well-intentioned but ignorant Christians concerning how Madeline O'Hare (a misspelling of her name perpetuated in their letters) is going to petition the FCC to remove "Touched by an Angel" from our programming.

    She's dead. The program is long gone, and the petition was rejected in 1975 by the FCC. But the rumor lives on.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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