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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    434

    Default My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    OAV=oxalic acid vaporizer
    FGMO=Food Grade Mineral Oil

    I applied Checkmite to 4 hives, and OAV treatment to 2 hives. The 2 OAV hives are between two Checkmite hives. All hives had been treated with plain FGMO fogging and a couple sugar dustings early in the summer. The OAV hives where treated 5 weeks in a row with the Checkmite was on the other hives.

    I choose Checkmite because itís the first thing on saw on Amazon last spring when I started, but tried to go TF until my hives started to decline. So I had Checkmite on hand, so thatís what I used. I had enough Checkmite for 4 hives. I have 6 hives so 2 got the OAV treatment. I chose 2 of the double deeps for the OAV.

    My 24 Hour drop count is: OAV hives 19 and 29 Checkmite 10, 47, 29. I have a 6th small hive, but not easy to drop count so I excluded it.

    I have 3 double deeps, before my test the drop counts where 80 90 and over 150 on a very strong double deep, thou the numbers had been falling enough to catch my attention and that is what made me do the drop counts. It was at that point I decided I better do something or I was going to lose them all. The 80 was OAV down to 19, the 90 was OAV down to 29 the 150+ was Checkmited down to 47 The checkmite 10 had no previous count, was a small swarm, re-queened and is now a very strong single deep. The checkmite 29, also no previous count, is a very weak single deep with at least 3 full brood breaks over the summer (killing the queen I either added or marked and growing their own). I'm amazed that with those huge brood breaks, a very weak colony and treated with checkmite they still had a drop count of 29.

    I've read some tests where drop counts weren't that accurate of a way to count mites, but even sugar and alcohol baths failed when compared to sacrificing the colony and doing an alcohol wash on the whole thing. I donít want to kill bees and I wasnít wild about the effort in the sugar roll, so itís drop counts for me. Iíve decided to wait a week in case my recent OAV treatment caused higher drops in the OAV hives and test again. All I did to the checkmite hives was remove the strips and I waited 24 hours to begin the drop count at the same time I did the OAV hives.

    SHB: I lost a nuc early to SHB. Never had large numbers but could find them in any hive any day. But the only hives with lots where weak hives. I installed SBB with oil trays. Once a week Iíd remove the trays and sugar shake and put the trays right back on and catch SHB that were chased or fell through the SBB following the sugar shake. Despite the heat Iíve kept the trays in as they arenít air tight, and kill roaches and ants and SHB. I canít find a SHB in any of my hives now. I did finally learn to use much less oil. But you still have to change it or it gets rancid. Just enough oil so a SHB has to crawl thru it to get out is all it takes. They canít fly back out thru the SBB. Obviously and mite that falls into the trap is toast as well.

    My current plan is to continue OAV on all hives thru Thanksgiving. Iíll do a finally drop count so Iíll have something to compare to at the start of next spring.

    Next year I intend to do OAV treatments 4 weeks in a row during the primary build up. Again as the dirth really takes hold and again 4 weeks thru thanksgiving. I'll do counts before and after and adjust my plan accordingly. I intend to split my hives so I'll have about twice as many as I do now. Unlike other treatments the OAV must be done weekly to each hive. Mine takes about 4 min per hive with some cool off between. I'll start working on using the pre-warmed vaporizer to see if I can reduce the time. I've found the bees don't seem to mind it all. I don't put gloves on, I mounted the unit on a board that seals the entrance. Bees stack up weighting for the entrance to be open and they often bounce off me when I'm getting the unit out. But not headbutting angry, I'm just in the way. OAV doesn't seem to bother them at all.

    Hope somebody finds this helpful.
    Robbin

  2. #2

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Thanks for the update. The checkmite from 150+ to 47 suggests that your mites aren't entirely resistant. In the old days, I'm told, apistan or checkmite would kill 90+% of the mites. A 60% reduction in mite drops suggests some resistance.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    @Robbin - I hate to see someone start using home brewed mite concoctions (OAV & FGMO) when there are effective and approved treatments out there. I'm sorry you bought Checkmite. That has been regarded and promoted by beekeepers in the know as ineffective for at least the last five years. I think if you are trying to rationalize your treating for mites with OAV because Checkmite failed, your argument doesn't hold up as you started with a miticide known by many to be ineffective.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Robbin,

    An easy way to cool the vape down is keep a cup of water close by and dip it in when your done vaping. It will cool it off and you can immediately add more OA and go to the next hive. Works great and will save you lots of time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    @Robbin - I hate to see someone start using home brewed mite concoctions (OAV & FGMO) when there are effective and approved treatments out there. I'm sorry you bought Checkmite. That has been regarded and promoted by beekeepers in the know as ineffective for at least the last five years. I think if you are trying to rationalize your treating for mites with OAV because Checkmite failed, your argument doesn't hold up as you started with a miticide known by many to be ineffective.
    Andrew if you know of an "approved" treatment that is more effective than Checkmite please tell us what it is. I am new and have also been using OAV. Seems to work great, I only have 8 hives.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,981

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    I'm not promoting one miticide over another.

    But this description from Brushy Mountain's Checkmite page is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Checkmite's effectiveness as a mite control:

    This product is labeled for both Small HIve Beetles and Varroa Mites. It is sold under section 18 registrations and is not available in all states. Unfortunately many varroa Mites are resistant to this product; therefore, alternate with different medications. As with all miteacides always follow label instructions.
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/481/
    I am not speaking for BM, but I wonder whether if the major reason they still offer Checkmite is for SHB control ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Hi Andrew,
    I tried FGMO because the fat bee man recommends it. I found it to be VERY ineffective. OAV was certainly effective and I don't think mites can build up a resistence to that. I Rationalize treating with OAV because it's effective, and VERY inexpensive. I compared it to checkmite because I had it on hand. If OAV proves to be effective enough that my hives survive and grow, I'll use just that. If not, I'll use another miticide.

    Bosco500, Thanks for the tip on cooling off the vaporizer. Our local Bee inspector uses Apivar on his hives. Coming from a guy with 40 years of bee keeping experience, I would take that as a pretty strong recommendation. But it ain't cheap....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    Hi Andrew,
    I tried FGMO because the fat bee man recommends it. I found it to be VERY ineffective. OAV was certainly effective and I don't think mites can build up a resistence to that. I Rationalize treating with OAV because it's effective, and VERY inexpensive. I compared it to checkmite because I had it on hand. If OAV proves to be effective enough that my hives survive and grow, I'll use just that. If not, I'll use another miticide.

    Bosco500, Thanks for the tip on cooling off the vaporizer. Our local Bee inspector uses Apivar on his hives. Coming from a guy with 40 years of bee keeping experience, I would take that as a pretty strong recommendation. But it ain't cheap....
    Cool thanks for the tip. Will try that out if the OAV fails me

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Mite-Away Quick Strips, and Apiguard, also work and they don't leave any residue in the combs. MAQS can even be used with supers on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Robbin, thanks for you posts, very interesting! I plan to use OAV as soon as this Goldenrod flow is finished. After much reading I am sold on OAV. Time and mite load will tell. The Bee Club I go to advocated Apivar. I have tried Hopguard with some success but am now set to go with OAV. Will mite count before and after.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    896

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    @Robbin - I hate to see someone start using home brewed mite concoctions (OAV & FGMO) when there are effective and approved treatments out there. I'm sorry you bought Checkmite. That has been regarded and promoted by beekeepers in the know as ineffective for at least the last five years. I think if you are trying to rationalize your treating for mites with OAV because Checkmite failed, your argument doesn't hold up as you started with a miticide known by many to be ineffective.
    While it is true that OA is not an approved treatment in the USA, the fact is that it IS approved in Canada and most of Europe, so it's not just some "home brewed mite concoction". Unfortunately, economics being what they are in this country, it is unlikely that OA will ever be an approved treatment here. Nonetheless it is a well-tested and effective method. Randy Oliver did a substantial, well-documented test of it just a few years ago, back when it still looked like OA might receive approval. His results, complete with photos and detailed instructions, are still available on scientificbeekeeping.com for anyone who would care to check them out.

    We are all adults here and we get to make our own decisions based on the best information available to us. Maybe if enough of us try it out for ourselves, the results may encourage us to push our good Uncle Sam to finally give OA the approval it deserves--just like Canada and most of the European Union have done.

    JMO

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    The economics will trick us either ways on OA prices. I've bought 1 KG of OA from a chemical company on the price of ~$9. On the other hand I already found beekeeper's online stores that sells this at least on double and triple prices(not in US).
    As long as it is not wrapped under some "official" medicine name it will stay cheap.

    Cristian

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    We are all adults here and we get to make our own decisions based on the best information available to us. Maybe if enough of us try it out for ourselves, the results may encourage us to push our good Uncle Sam to finally give OA the approval it deserves--just like Canada and most of the European Union have done.
    Does OA "deserve" registration? Probably.

    My concerns are primarily based on food purity (there is no guidance from the US government regarding withdrawal periods, residues, etc.) And my observation that those using OA are essentially thumbing their noses at US Pesticide and food safety laws. I hate that new beekeepers in the US who rely on BeeSource for good information are encouraged on the OA path - without understanding that there is no label for OA as a miticide.

    I would love to see OA approved as a miticide in the US and I would love to have BeeSource participants be the catalyst for getting it approved.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,815

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    I would love to see OA approved as a miticide in the US and I would love to have BeeSource participants be the catalyst for getting it approved.
    And who is going to pony up the millions of $ that would entail?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: My results OAV vs Checkmite and SHB update.

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    And who is going to pony up the millions of $ that would entail?
    I have no idea how much it would cost and I would suggest partnering with a group like the American Honey Producers, or some other group that knows the process. It might not cost all that much if you can convince the powers that be to recognize the research already done. I'd check with Randy Oliver to see what past efforts have been made to get OA approved and to learn why they have not been successful.

    OA delivery systems are probably too time consuming to interest commercial beekeepers but maybe backyard beekeepers will step up and do what needs to be done. If it is going to happen someone will need to roll up their sleeves and get busy. That person may find that they need substantial money to complete the process but the initial making contacts, learning the process, finding out what has already been done should not be all that costly.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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