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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake Butler, Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default Smoking for mites

    I have heard that when you apply smoke to a brood chamber before inspection that mites tend to dislodge from the bees and fall to the bottom of the hive. Either to bottom board or through to the ground. Has anyone heard of this before? And has anyone taken a mite count just before and just after applying smoke to a brood chamber?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Tyndall, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    However, I have not heard of that method. I would expect the mites would hang on to their victims too tenaciously to be dislodged by smoke. Even if they did, they would just crawl back up and find another host after the smoke was gone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,601

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    To the extent that there could be such a cause and effect, it is insugnificant. I believe that it would take more than the normal amount of smoke to do the job.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,849

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    There is some suggestion that grapefruit leaves with Limonene causes greater mite drop. About everything smokable has been tried. Tobacco is also suggested effective. Tobacco dust was the first insecticide so it should have some effect. The bees do not live long enough to die of lung cancer or all the problems it causes in humans. Remember the drug commercials? I can picture lazy bees stoned on pot, probably cannot get a medicinal use permit anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,601

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    Actually marigolds were the first insecticides. That where pyrethroids come from. There was no tobacco in Ancient Greece.

    Some folks have thought of putting rubarb leaves in beehives because of their oxolyc acid content. Mite work. Who knows.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chittenango, NY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    Did you mean chrysanthemums instead of marigolds? The first insecticide may be sulfur, known to the ancient Greeks and often used to kill bees back in the days when humans killed bees to harvest their honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,837

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    Well I read an interesting one in a very old encyclopeadia (more than 100 years, not quite ancient Greece i'll admit!), for what was called "fly agate".

    The reader was advised to collect those red mushrooms that have the white spots, bring them home and chop into small pieces, and these are to be soaked in a bowl of milk overnight.

    Next day you put the bowl of milk on the table, flies come & drink the milk, then die.

    Had to wonder how many children fell victim to this bowl of milk left on the table!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,601

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    Yeah, chrysanthemums. That's probably the correct flower. I have never been all that good at flower ID.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    A lot of the bk's around here say that Sumac berries is good for offing mites, was talking to a bk in OH and he says that he smokes his hives w/ leaves and sticks from Black Walnut trees till the smoke comes out the inner cover for mite control.
    I know the Sumac doesn't harm the bees and the OH bk is selling queens, but offing the mites? Can't swear to either.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    I've heard of putting raw tobacco in your smoker to knock off phoretic mites. (I would not recommend using any of the chemical laced tobacco the tobacco companies sell. Just grow your own.) You should just be able to barely smell the tobacco in the smoke. If you have too much tobacco, you will knock the bees out.

    If you have a screened bottom board, this may be a way of getting rid of a few mites. If you have a solid bottom, I suspect the mites would crawl back up and onto another bee once they came to.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Smoking for mites

    After reading a number of books, some old some new, and reading these Bee Forums for a few years;

    It appears that most everything imaginable has been used too smoke bees to help rid them of mites.
    No real proof, that anything actually works much at all.

    Of course what do I know ?
    PCM

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