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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default wintergree-salt grease patties Varroa: Is this considered a natural treatment ?

    Hi all,
    I posted this thread by mistake in the “Treatment free”, however, this may be a better place.
    I am new to beekeeping, however, I would to explore a chemical free approach to this art. Specifically I was looking at different ways to address varroa mites without using chemicals or medications. One of the approaches I discovered was the use of wintergree-salt grease patties (West Virgina University). It seems to be an effective way but is it a natural way? It uses salicylic acid (wintergreen) which apparently can be very dangerous (to humans), 10lm on the skin is lethal, once absorbed, it stops the heart. Hence the need to use gloves.

    I am not asking this treatment works (lots of opinion on this subject) but if it meets the "natural treatment standard", if such thing exists.

    Thank you all in advance for sharing your knowledge.
    Jean-Pierre

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: wintergree-salt grease patties Varroa: Is this considered a natural treatment ?

    Personally, I use grease patties and several essential oils but avoid the commercial preparations like Hopguard. I avoid most chemical treatments, but do use powdered sugar, for example, and don't object to the idea of fogging with FGMO. (I've just never actually needed to use it.) Having said that, I personally avoid wintergreen as being too dangerous. But that's just me.

    Don't know that I've actually answered your question, tho.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: wintergree-salt grease patties Varroa: Is this considered a natural treatment ?

    >One of the approaches I discovered was the use of wintergree-salt grease patties (West Virgina University). It seems to be an effective way but is it a natural way?

    There are no "Organic" standards set by USDA yet.

    > It uses salicylic acid (wintergreen) which apparently can be very dangerous (to humans), 10lm on the skin is lethal, once absorbed, it stops the heart. Hence the need to use gloves.

    Actually it is not salicylic acid. It is from the same family of chemicals, but it is methyl salicylate which is the same flavor in anything labeled wintergreen or teaberry or birch. It was often used in the past as a treatment for stomach issues, hence it's use in Pepto Bismol (another salicylate, this time bismuth salicylate) to make it seem familiar to the people of that era who used wintergreen oil. It's pretty harmless in small amounts. But then I expect my honey to taste like honey not like wintergreen. FWIW other members of the family would be the active ingredient in willow bark (salicylic acid), aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and Doan's pills (magnesium salicylate).

    Most all essential oils are antimicrobials that will upset the balance of the microbes in the colony. The other issue is that grease patties have been a bit attractant to Small Hive Beetles.

    >I am not asking this treatment works (lots of opinion on this subject) but if it meets the "natural treatment standard", if such thing exists.

    It does not exist. But wintergreen is a naturally occurring chemical that is acceptable as a food additive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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