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  1. #1
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    Default Ammonium Nitrate

    I was looking through an older (early '70's) bee book. It suggested using 1/2 teaspoon of ammonium nitrate in a well lit, hot smoker to knock out a hot colony. The burning ammonium nitrate produces nitrous oxide & knocks out the colony for a while.

    Have you heard of this? Does it work without killing too many bees?.

    We usually just requeen a mean colony. That usually fixes the problem without too much loss of bees.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default

    Did that, decades ago - knocks them out, for sure. They fall from the combs and create a pile of unconscious bees on the bottom of the hive. They are at risk of overheating and suffocating. They are entirely non-defensive, and don't recover completely for ten or twenty minutes, sometimes longer. It would be difficult to locate the queen until the bees recover and once more spread out over the combs.

    Perhaps a box with screened bottom and sides could be placed beneath a hive and Ammonium nitrate (NO2) used to remove the bees from their combs, the screen may help prevent them from overheating and/or suffocating. Then they could be re-introduced to their combs by passing them through a queen excluder to locate the queen.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Did that, decades ago
    Me too. The bees we started with were so mean and so runny it was the only way to find the old queen. Worked great. We would spread a sheet in front of the hives, shake and brush the unconscious bees onto the sheet, and run them back in through an excluder. No more dead bees than when using a blower to pull honey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Fair Grove,MO,USA
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    1,658

    Default Nitrate

    Can't buy straight nitrate here any more (fed law) since the Okla. bombing. I tried to buy 11/2 ton to spread on pasture but they wouldn't sell it without mixing something with it (potash). It does work but i always wondered if it was harmful to me. Jack

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    Cleveland, Texas
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    Default

    You can order small quantities (0.5 to 2 kg) of ammonium nitrate online through laboratory chemical suppliers:

    http://www.alfa.com/alf/laboratory_c..._suppliers.htm
    Last edited by Gene Weitzel; 04-02-2009 at 10:53 AM.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  6. #6
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    Jun 2004
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    Jackson, MO
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    Default

    Isn't ammonium nitrate 46-0-0 fertilizer?

    I use this bagged fertilizer for snow/ice melt as it is reported better for concrete than rock salt. The bag says it is derived from urea and a 50# bag sells for $29 at the local coop. No known amounts of any additional products and no questions asked except "Cash or charge?"

    If you want a small quantity, send me a PM.

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

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Cleveland, Texas
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Isn't ammonium nitrate 46-0-0 fertilizer?

    I use this bagged fertilizer for snow/ice melt as it is reported better for concrete than rock salt. The bag says it is derived from urea and a 50# bag sells for $29 at the local coop. No known amounts of any additional products and no questions asked except "Cash or charge?"

    If you want a small quantity, send me a PM.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO

    There is a huge difference between ammonium nitrate and urea. The 46-0-0 fertilizer based on urea is just that white urea, 46% nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is 34% nitrogen (34-0-0).
    Last edited by Gene Weitzel; 04-02-2009 at 02:46 PM.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  8. #8
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    Aug 2008
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    Valley Center, CA
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    Default

    Sounds like ammonium nitrate & a shop vac would be a good way to get rid of an AHB colony.

    Another commercial beek out here told me that adding pipe tobacco to your smoker will get the bees drunk. This came up in conversation long before I got a job as a beekeeper, so I don't remember why he would do this. Any thoughts?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Troy, Illinois, Madison County
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    Default

    I use to work at a transloading fasility and the railcars left in the railyard would leak small amounts of amon nitrate on the ground. Took me 5-10 sand bags and had pure amonium nitrate worked great on the yard. spread it by hand. killed everything it touch but man after it rained the grass grew like wild fire in moon shaped patches since i didnt spread it evenly and was by hand. I had to laugh. so had dark brown dead burned grass from too much fertilizer but in 2 weeks that burned spot was a dark green fast growing grass. I still have access to those rail yards too weeeeee bad thing is that its hydroscopic and absorbs water and turns into bricks after a while sitting in the garage.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2008
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    Troy, Illinois, Madison County
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    Default

    Go here:
    http://www.alfa.com/alf/laboratory_c..._suppliers.htm


    put in Catalog Item # 12363

    That should be Ammonium nitrate, ACS, 95% min
    Kinda pricey. and not sure how much it is.

  11. #11
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    Cleveland, Texas
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    I would caution anyone about putting ammonium nitrate in their smoker. It can combine with the carbon in the smoker fuel to produce small amounts of cyanogen. I personally would opt for CO2 if I had a need to anesthetize bees.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    Orting, Washington
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    Default

    Wow it sounds like some of you realy paid attention in Chemistry Class

  13. #13
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    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default

    If the ammonium nitrate converts to nitrous oxide, why don't you get a can of nitrous oxide if you need to gas a vicious colony?

    Drag racers can buy nitrous oxide. They also make medical grade nitrous too.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I guess that using ammonium nitrate produces just enough to use at one time, for one colony.

  15. #15
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default

    A plume of smoke comes out for a few seconds, enough to do two or three hives.

  16. #16
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    May 2008
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    Fresno California USA
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    Default No2

    Also known as laughing gas.
    Terry; would you make a video if you try it out?
    You're a purty good dancer!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    The Texas City explosion of 1947

    This is what you are flirting with on a small scale when you use FGAN AKA fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate added to your smoker.!
    Timithy Mc Vay, spelling, and some others have made it difficult to purchase this product.

    The Texas City explosion of 1947
    http://www.essortment.com/all/texascityexplo_rkvi.htm


    April 16, 1947 saw one of the worst industrial and civilian disasters occur in Texas City, Tx.
    During the morning of April 16, 1947 a seemingly fine rain of oily mist fell upon Galveston, Texas while in Houston a rumbling reminiscent of a small earthquake was felt. What the inhabitants of these cities didn’t know at the time was that a giant explosion and fire had ripped though the booming town of Texas City.


    As dawn broke upon Texas City that day its citizens began to enjoy what seemed to be a beautiful spring day. A short time later many would believe the end of the world was upon them. For many it was.



    Anchored in the harbor of Texas City that morning was a cargo ship named the “Grand Camp.” In its holds was tons of an ammonium nitrate fertilizer that was to be shipped to Europe. There has been much speculation over the years as to what caused the initial fire upon the Grand Camp but fifty-three years later there has been no definitive answer.


    Texas City in 1947 was a booming town whose many residents worked in the nearby refineries and chemical plants. It also was a place with a small town air in which everyone was a friend with everyone else and each knew the business of the other. On April 16th word spread through out the community about the fire upon the Grand Camp and the “pretty orange color that was coming from the black smoke.” As with any accident or fire a crowd of onlookers appeared to watch the Texas City firefighters in action. As word of the fire traveled, the crowd of onlookers grew in number.

    http://www.essortment.com/all/texascityexplo_rkvi.htm
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  18. #18
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    Feb 2006
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    UP michigan
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    Default

    it will burn on it's own, but to explode you have to have something to get it started. Fire alone won't do that. The old timers around here use to buy it along with a stick of dinimite, put 33%(amonium N) in a barrel, soak with diesel fuel and put the stick of dinimite in to blow stumps and make ponds. Ever since OK city it pretty hard to find. It was a good sorce of N, but urea (46%) was cheeper.

    Camp
    As wonderful as this life is, there are days I really look forward to the next. :)

  19. #19
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    Cleveland, Texas
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mudhoney View Post
    Wow it sounds like some of you realy paid attention in Chemistry Class
    It could also be that some of us have been formally educated in the subject.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  20. #20
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    Nov 2004
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    Owen, WI, USA
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    Default

    I hope you all know the gov'mint 'bots have earmarked this thread for further perusal by an ATF or homeland security agent. I hope none of y'all have any worries about that. Me, I'm getting out my tin foil hat and keeping an eye out for black helicopters......
    Sheri

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