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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    charleston, wv, usa
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    Default Help design a varroa experiment

    I would appreciate input on setting up an experiment to test the efficacy of a substance that hopefully will repel varroa mites. I do this, sacrificing any chance of monetary gain, to provide you with something constructive to do instead of ripping each other on BeeForum.
    The idea:
    An old wives' tale, that has been shown to be valid, is that Osage oranges will repel spiders and other insects (cockroaches, mosquitoes, etc). Varroa mites are Arachnids. So why can't I find any studies that test Oo on varroa mites (I'm not the best at searches tho). Rader S. fire up your supercomputer.
    The ingredient in the hedgeapple is ELEMOL, which I suppose is a volatile alcohol needing a time-released delivery system or a tweaking of the molecule. Chemguy, any thoughts?
    How do they figure out what will be effective and not harm bees? Probably by killing a lot of bees. Hopefully, Elemol won't be toxic to bees. WLC, where does one start?
    I've waited all summer for the Osage oranges to get ripe and now that I have my freezer full, I don't know how to proceed. I am building a still, but would like to try some Oo mash to see if the bees tolerate it.
    All replies welcome, except those questioning my sanity.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Not many references out there that I find. But here is one test of elemol vs. varroa:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=mB0...varroa&f=false


    Curiously, here is a study on "Essential oil from Eupatorium buniifolium leaves as potential
    varroacide" that mentions elemol:

    http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...9718005564.pdf
    Eupatorium buniifolium is one of the varieties of the aster family.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
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    408

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    This sounds interesting. Keep us posted, and if I hear anything, I will contribute as well.
    No one famous.

  4. #4
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    charleston, wv, usa
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    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Thanks Graham. Told you I don't know how to do searches, and I tried many permutations. Guess I'll have to read the first study to see why the results were so ambiguous (?) and what dosage they used. Maybe the reason there isn't much out there is it's not effective.
    The second link gives hope that maybe the Oo leaves would contain Elemol also.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,048

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...9718005564.pdf

    I think you just need to click past the offer and scroll down to get the text.

    You start by reading the current literature, of course.

    I can see that one would need to either have a source of the extracted essential oil available, or you would need to extract the essential oils yourself.

    If you've ever used peppermint oil, or the like, you'll understand why I would urge caution.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,597

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Try using a spacer or removing a couple of frames and just put one right on top of the brood nest. Try blending it and deliver it like apiguard with before and after mite counts. If it kills mites and not too many bees then you are onto something. If it kills too many bees or not enough mites like that then try making a disti!ate and deliver via paper towels or in syrup feed or drench. Play with dosages until you come up with something that doesn't kill too many bees and measurably kills mites. Share your results and if it looks promising at all I'm sure others will give it a try. Naturally occurring and free -- if there is even a hint of efficacy people will try it.
    5Y-25H-T-Z6b-0 winter losses in '14

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
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    292

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    I have a colony sitting in a fence row of Osage Orange aka Bodarck (sp?) I caught this colony as a swarm this spring. They did not make surplus honey this year, after reading this information I will check them for mites. Our daughter has a friend that keeps "Hedge balls" in her closet and under her sink to help control insects.
    Since these bee's made no surplus honey I am wondering if the hedge balls are controling the bees?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    289

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Intriguing idea.

    Apparently, elemol is quite a bit less volatile than menthol and far less volatile than formic acid. Since that is the case, it might not be necessary to develop a delivery system other than that which is already in use for those latter two compounds.

    elemol: 0.00024 mm Hg at 20 deg C (estimated)
    menthol: 0.8 mm Hg at 25 deg C
    Formic acid: 42.6 mm Hg at 25 deg. C

    (Higher vapor pressure usually indicates greater rate of evaporation)

    Tweaking the structure of the molecule is of course possible. But, in the absence of information on the mechanism by which elemol repels inscects, doing so would be as productive as throwing a quarter at a casino and expecting to hit the jackpot.

    As for isolating the elemol, if you are planning to use a steam distillation keep in mind that you will get a mixture of all volatile substances contained within the pod, and that this mixture might not exhibit the same properties that pure elemol would.
    Pete. New 2013, 3 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2012
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    charleston, wv, usa
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    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    My head hurts from trying to decipher those studies. I don't understand the omissions of data in the first study, and it seems elemol is not a major constituent in the Uruguayan study.
    Looks promising for extracts of E. buniifolium. Perhaps a local Asteracea would have similar profiles.
    Anyway, Oo has elemol, sesquiterpenoids, liminol, et al. A cocktail of compounds.
    I think I'll ask Santa for a gas chromatograph.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    289

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by HIVe+ View Post
    I think I'll ask Santa for a gas chromatograph.
    Don't bother; he is still working on my request.
    Pete. New 2013, 3 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    289

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by HIVe+ View Post
    I don't understand the omissions of data in the first study
    If you're referring to the blank entries in the row next to elemol, that is most likely because it was not evaluated for anything other than repellency. If you're referring to an absence of more detailed experimental procedures, that is because the table is a summary of a summary of the primary literature. Apologies if I am telling you something that you already know.

    The paper from which the table is copied is here: http://www.apidologie.org/articles/a...-3_ART0010.pdf There is reference to the fact that this table is a summary of several researcher's results.

    The original research (primary literature) on elemol that is referenced in the table was contained in a 1990 dissertation by B. Kraus : Untersuchungen zur olfaktorischen Orientierung von Varroa jacobsoni Oud. und deren Störung durch ätherische Öle, Dissertation, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Fachbereich Biologie, 1990. (I think this translates as "Studies on the olfactory system of Varroa jacobsoni (Oud.) and its interference by essential oils" Goethe University, Frankfurt, Department of Biology). I have not looked for this dissertation. Someone at WVU likely has a copy, though. Here is the abstract of the dissertation:

    Abstract

    "In laboratory tests, 21 of 32 oils tested were repellent to mites; citronella oil (C) had the greatest effect, followed by lavender oil. Only oil of cloves was attractive to mites, and one of its constituents, eugenol, was also attractive. The lowest effective concentration for 5 oils tested was 0.1% (in 10 g wax); this was not toxic to bees. The repellent effect of C to mites was reduced by marjoram oil or cinnamon oil. When oils were incorporated in the midrib of comb in mating hives, bees were unaffected. With marjoram oil (M), the number of mites in brood cells was reduced by 45%, and with oil of cloves by 31%. M also disturbed the orientation of mites. In tests of the effect on mites of honey bee alarm pheromones, the sting apparatus and individual constituents, especially 1-octanol, were repellent. Mites were hardly attracted by bees 5 mm away, but they could distinguish between nurse bees and pollen foragers. Adult bees seemed to be as attractive as larvae."
    http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/1...72D09924DB7CCF

    Note: Although the dissertation refers to V. jacobsoni, it is likely that the results also apply to V. destructor http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108385
    Pete. New 2013, 3 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    charleston, wv, usa
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    57

    Default Re: Help design a varroa experiment

    Thanks Pete. No, you weren't pointing out something I already knew. I was confused by all those different names at column headings; should have realized it was a compilation, but lack experience.
    I'll get in touch with the folks at WVU after the first of the year. Perhaps I can interest them in investigating some local flora.
    Thanks for the additional links.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

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