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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    springfield, missouri
    Posts
    9

    Default Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    I found this article: http://www.aensiweb.com/jasr/jasr/2009/151-157.pdf, and looked interesting. According to the report they used sycamore leaf smoke to control varroa mite. Basically they use 10 grams of smoke (15 puffs of smoke, hive seal up for 15 min.) and determined with a weekly treatment of 4 weeks they got a 94 to 96% reduction in mites compared to 96 to 98% with oxalic acid treatment. My question is has anyone else tried this? Is the sycamore smoke hazards for one to breath, in the article I believe they broke down the chemicals in sycamore leaves, but not being a chemist I 'am not sure what are hazardous. I gathered up a couple bags of leaves the other day, before it rains, to give it a try..
    Thanks, Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Concord, NC, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    Too good to be true for me. The Sycamore trees in my area are in the Platanaceae family and the ones in my yard are Platanus occidentals L. The tree referred to in this study appears to be from a fig called the sycamore fig or the fig-mulberry. None of which are native in my neck of the woods.
    "Everything turns to dust -and there is nothing you can do to stop it".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    I wonder if this is the same as the ficus that is a common houseplant.

    I only browsed the article to find the table with the components listed. I am not trying to be coy, but the answer to the toxicity question is: it depends. It depends on the inherent toxicity and the level of exposure. Toxnet lists information related to the toxicities of many substances, so that would be a starting point.

    A lot of what were reported are hydrocarbons and the others are alkaloids. I am positive that those are not the only components of the raw leaf and that they are only the components that were isolated and identified.

    The authors of the study have big problems with proper protocol. The substance bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is not naturally occurring. It is a plasticizer found only in manmade plastic objects, not plants (well, maybe chemical plants ). If they're leaching that into their samples, which other reported components are present due to sloppy lab habits?
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    445

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodchip View Post
    The Sycamore trees in my area are in the Platanaceae family and the ones in my yard are Platanus occidentals L. The tree referred to in this study appears to be from a fig called the sycamore fig or the fig-mulberry. None of which are native in my neck of the woods.
    I was wondering that too, and then I found that the journal is based in Pakistan, which makes sense when you put two and two together. However, interesting article. I imagine one could find that variety through a nursery. People plant them all the time for ornamentals.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    springfield, missouri
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    Thanks for the reply Woodchip, glad you notice the species of the tree, the native sycamore trees here are also are the Platanus occidentals and not the Ficus Sycomorus, so guess its not worth taking up my time trying the method out here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Concord, NC, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    [QUOTE=kkcattle;1064148]Thanks for the reply Woodchip,

    You're welcome. My forestry background told me something was fishy when I compared the quoted scientific name in the article against my mental notes. I would like to give it a try if I could come up with the correct species of tree in my area. Then I could give up that nasty OA vaporizer (which I just might toss out anyway as I switch to foundationless frames). Chemguy had some interesting comments and makes one wonder how flawed the test studies might be.
    "Everything turns to dust -and there is nothing you can do to stop it".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    The bees are probably just trying to get the smell off of them. Sycamore smoke smells terrible. You could probably use garlic powder with the same effect...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Sycamore smoke to control varroa mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The bees are probably just trying to get the smell off of them. Sycamore smoke smells terrible. You could probably use garlic powder with the same effect...
    Yeah, but then you'd want to eat your bees. Garlic roasted anything is worth eating.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

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