Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatments - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    He has written that honey samples have been sent to PA for Maryanne Frazier to have tested thru a program set up by Penn State. One sends a sample and a check and gets results on the presence or absence of something like 170 chemical compounds. They use the chemical nameas and not the Brand names because the chemicals sometimes go by differentr Brand names or are parts of some different Brand name mixtures.

    I don't think any samples that have gone thru this analysis have been found to be chemical free. Bees pickup all sorts of stuff from the environment in which they forage, which is generally polluted to a greater or lesser degree.

    If a beekeeper uses no miticides, antibiotics or other chemicals in their hives, those should not show up in the analysis, but sometimes they do from other sources or from old comb previously used in hives that were treated w/ miticides and other stuff.
    Mark Berninghausen

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  3. #82
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    We have had honey tested for sugar adulteration.
    Although we've not had sees honey tested for pesticides, I do know someone that did have the Penn state tests.run on 4 samples.of dees honey. The limit of detection is 1ppb. 3 of the 4 found everything below the LOD....the 4th found 1ppb coumaphos.

    Deknow

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Which shows presence, but only at a level 99% below tolerance levels. If I stated that correctly. Tolerance being 100ppb, I believe. Though Deans' criteria is 0 tolerance, I believe. Right Dean?

    The sample results which Dean writes of shows how some chemical compounds can appear in honey samples even when not used by the beekeeper.
    Mark Berninghausen

  5. #84
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    All this is intertwined. WE all certainly need to protect the wholesumness of honey. What we do not want or need is a pesticide scare. Apple juice and Arsenic is the current scare..... Europe had for decades used liquid Formic acid for control of Varroa mites before the US infestation. It worked well for them. When the first varroa was found around the Orlando Florida area, it was also found that beekeepers were treating with liquid formic acid and wearing gas masks. Thus the health issue was raised by the FDA about the dangers to beekeepers...And several beekeepers did end up on oxygen tanks from scarring of their lungs from formic usage in liquid form. Thus the delay for many years before approval was granted for formic use for mite control in honeybees. In the late 1990's, DRs. Feldhaufer, Kochunsky, Shimanuki and Pettis formulated formic into a gel, concocted the delivery system and postulated the treatment time. DR. Frank Eischen of the Weslaco lab did the initial testing....The testing was done in Mexico, across the border from the lab. There was an ongoing bee research project going on in Northern Mexico and the FDA was still raising red flags about formic usage. The delivery system was simple. Cut a slit in the plastic bag and place on the top bars. The formic would slowly vaporize. Remove after the recommended time elapsed. Well like all new products, this one, APICURE, had a few problems and was removed from the market until a better delivery system was developed. ALL the current Formic products on the market are a direct descendent of a brain child called Apicure and a few researchers that were willing to bend the rules to save beekeeping. TED
    Last edited by Ted Kretschmann; 12-01-2011 at 07:45 PM. Reason: spelling
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    I moved the honey testing posts to the honey forum.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #86
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    York Region, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    I am not a commercial beekeeper but I have kept bees since 1981, long before the mites came to my area. I used to order packages from the southern states until tracheal mites where found there and they closed the border in the early 80's. Beekeeping was easy then, I had almost no winter losses for years until varroa mites came. Ontario bred queens resistant to tracheal mites so they have never really been a problem to me.
    In 1993 I found a dead bee with a mite on it and took it to the bee supply store to ask if it was varroa. No one was sure. I asked at our bee club and most said they had never seen it, didn't have it, and suggested it was caused by PPB (piss poor beekeeping). I treated with the only thing available, Apistan. It worked like a charm. Of those at the club who didn't treat, after 3 years they lost all their bees. Mites were bad then and everybody was losing colonies or getting wiped out.
    After the non-treating beekeepers gave up, the mites slowed down a little. We heard about the problem of Apistan resistance in the States and formic acid pads were suggested as an IPM strategy. It was recommended to use formic acid pads in the spring and Apistan in the fall. I killed hives with formic acid when the colonies weren't strong enough to handle the dosage and had others abscond. They were temperature sensitive and the instructions hadn't been completely figured out. By the time it was warm enough in the spring to use the pads it was time to super so I couldn't treat. The hives would build up fine, produce a crop and crash in September. I was wiped out. Built up again, they figured out the formic acid instructions, and things were good, only to have Apistan resistance show up. You only found out it didn't work when it was too late in the fall to do anything about it. Then Checkmite was suggested as an alternative for Apistan. From what I had heard, that stuff was more dangerous to me than the bees so I didn't use it. I tried SBB, drone trapping with a shallow frame in a deep super. It was suggested to pull honey by Sept 1st and treat but that just lost the fall crop and the bees were honey bound and had no room to lay. That year I lost half of my colonies, split everything and built the number of hives back up again. The next year I was wiped out again. I sat out for two years and hoped someone would figure out how to keep bees alive. Started again and used formic acid in the spring, Apistan in the fall and a follow up with Oxalic acid. Things were good again although I had losses every winter.
    A commercial beekeeper put 20 nucs within 100 feet of my yard and I got AFB. I burned the infected colonies and treated with TM in the spring and fall for a few years. Formic acid pads were discontinued so I switched to Apivar. The new MAQS are not registered for use or sale in Canada so I used Apivar both spring and fall with a follow up with oxalic acid. Things are good again but I am concerned about using Apivar in the spring and fall. Next year I will make my own formic acid pads for the spring.

    Maybe some of the newer beekeepers forget that there was no internet back then with instant answers for almost everything, and youtube to show you how. I was a book learned beekeeper. I didn't go on the web till 1996 and there wasn't a whole lot of set in stone information.
    Before the mites came, my only concern was swarming

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Thanks for the information Whix. I am in the same boat as you when it comes to the current treatments available. Between the provincial apiarist office and me we have come up with a treatment schedule to reduce the risk of apivar resistance in the short term. I use Apivar in the spring when the temps are not stable, can be used while hives are still wrapped mid to late april is a good time for me to use. It is on for 45 days so the hive is protected from reinfestation during that time like an invisible shield. that will take me to the end of May or so. By this time the hives are strong and well on their way. Then i took a page from Roland here on beesource and scratched the capped drones throughout the summer. The trick was to keep just enough from a few strong hives just incase of supercedures. Come fall, my levels were between 0 and 2% in the yards. Each yard tested as a group. For fall treatments i used formic and the meat pads. The recommeded dose is 40 ml on the pad and change out the pad every 4-7 days with 3 doses for trachea and 5 for varroa. Very labour intensive...that was the draw back
    I have had some issues in the past with trachea and since my levels of varroa were low, I did not do the 5 treatment times. Instead i did 3. I figured with the low counts by Sept 15th, knocking back some mites would be good, but make sure the trachea was taken care of.
    Some observations, by day 4 most of the hives 60%+ had removed the meat pad by themselves...industrious little buggers.
    Labour intensive

    The reason it was advised to me to do it this way was:
    The build up in the spring is our critical time. Apivar then will see to it they have a longer protection and then they will be strong for the honey flow. Then use the formic in the fall or OA in the fall as a clean up measure. Cleaning a few mites in the fall is easier on the hive since they are starting to shut down by this time and the winter bees are already in the works.
    I have to say, the bees looked better than they have had in a couple of years. This treatment regimen should prolong the Apivar life, so i am told, but only testing will know if it works...before and after. The nice thing about the spring apivar treatment is, if eventually resistance is shown, still time to save the hive with a formic flash before the flow. This will knock back the mites until the fall.
    JMO

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    So as somebody said, I made my point, and if you could lay off me, that'd be fine.
    Off topic! I wanted to reply to this some how. Last night the words did not put together welll
    Here goes after a mornings sleep

    The mark, the making of a good leader, employer, moderator is a person who will do no less that what he asked of the people around him.

  10. #89
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen



    I'll say it again. I made my point and I quit posting. Lay off me.

    That's what I ask of those around me. Now do the respectful thing and quit harping when someone does what you asked.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 12-02-2011 at 11:00 AM.

  11. #90
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    Sold Out Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Medhat was also recomending treating with apivar when doing the first hive inspections this spring. I put mine in while feeding patties mid march and the treatment was done for the begining of May when I unwrapped. This knocks the mites back just when brood rearing is really kicking in.


    In the November issue of Hivelights the provincial reports show low varroa levels this fall across Canada.

  12. #91
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Systemics.....Back when tracheal mite first hit and later when varroa reared its ugly shell, beekeepers came up with the idea of feeding something to their bees that would make them unpalatable to the mites....The first idea that worked was the crisco/sugar grease patty....You would put about a pound of the stuff on a piece of wax paper and place over the topbars of the hive in the brood nest. What happened when the bees consumed the stuff they would get nice and greasy of course. Researchers figured that young tracheal mite could not pass off from bee to bee, as they could not get a grip on the subject so to speak. What really happened as was later learned was the grease masked the smell of the bees and the tracheal mite could not hone in on their intended target to parasitize. Later, when varroa hit, the patty had another ingrediant added-wintergreen oil. This worked well. Made the bees nice and greasy. It caused a break in the brood cycle. Caused Varroa mites to drop. This idea still has merit if a better delivery system could be found. As temperatures warm up in the spring, grease being grease, has a tendency to run. Well, the patty is over the brood nest and you can see what can happen......I used a ton of this stuff in early mite years..... The next systemic was HALLS MENTHOL COUGH DROPS.....Researchers could never prove one way or the other that this worked for tracheal mite control. You would place six drops per hive over the brood nest. BEES LOVE THE STUFF!! So while you thought you were treating your bees for mites, you were actually giving them a treat to eat. I remember those days, six for you stinging devils and one for me, six for you and one for me......Later, we discovered PEPPERMINT CANDY...We would buy this scrap peppermint candy from Bob's candy cane company by the ton box in Georgia. You would liquefy into a syrup and feed your bees with it. It worked well as it controlled both mites because the bees must have been very pepperminty to the discerning palates of the pests. Bees would whiten up the comb, store vast quantities of it for food, and really brood and build up on it. WE fed tons upon tons of the stuff. Maybe 200 tons in ten years.. Sadly, Bobs went south of the border with their production and thus we lost one of the best systemics and bee feeds we ever had. This had merit then and still does today, the feeding of peppermint syrup. Botanical systemics in the future, is where real mite control of the pest will be . Just one last the thought, the red food coloring would give the bees a red rear after they had engorged themselves on peppermint syrup. That was always worth a laugh.. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  13. #92
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Haemerrhoids? lol
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  14. #93
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Ted you seem to use a lot of essential oils in your operation would you care to give more info on the subject? what kind of oils, how they are applied, and how often?

  15. #94
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    So we as commercial industry started out with menthol-a botanical and we are back to botanicals and natural substances. They have taken the form of thymol, formic acid, and the latest to come on the stage-hopsguard. There will be others as time goes on that will be even softer in their formulation but with a high ablility to impair and kill the mites. There is now no need for extreme harsh substances to control these pest. Substances such as coumophous are hopefully a thing of the past. And there is no need to create more bumps in the road by useage of questionable chemicals such as Filiprinol for the control of beetles..Sure the cassettes work, but the bees and beetles interact and the chemical is spread through out the colony. So this can not be good for short or long term health of the colony. So be very careful when using this form of beetle control. Thus the harshest chemicals used for pest control in the colony have been placed in them for the control of Hive beetle, not varroa. Though coumophos did have a duel usage but was created initially for beetle control......TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  16. #95
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    The peppermint was peppermint candy that was diluted into syrup. It makes a nice 1part water, 1 part candy spring feed. The wintergreen oil was mixed at a ratio of two cups wintergreen oil and two gallons of canola oil. We then had cut cardboard strips from boxes and soaked them in this mixture. You place one strip per colony. The bees chew up the strip, thus strowing the stuff all around the hive. You must use a sticky board to test the mite fall to make sure you have just the right amount of wintergreen in the mixture.... PLEASE WEAR CHEMICAL GLOVES AND MIX IN WELL VENTILATED PLACES< LIKE OUT DOORS WHEN HANDLING WINTERGREEN as it is dangerous!!! The grease patty mixture had five drops of wintergreen added to it per patty. Currently I use Apiguard, which is a thymol derived gel. As a commercial beekeeper, I buy it by the tub. It takes around thirty to forty of these little blue tubs to treat the bees. I will be rotating out on a yearly basis between Apiguard, Formic, and hopsguard. Thus one substance is used on year, another the next and so forth. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  17. #96
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    We only treat once a year-in the fall regardless of what substance we use. The only exceptions were the peppermint and grease patty, that was used in the spring in the past. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  18. #97
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Good posts Ted. I'm with you on the Fiprinil "roach hotels". Never could see putting a chemical like that (yes it's a neonic) in a bee hive just because I saw an occasional SHB. Of course in our climate they have never been much more than a minor pest, I know they are much more serious in the southeast. For us it just took a few changes in management to deal with them. don't risk making a minor problem worse is how I looked at it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #98
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Beetles can be a very serious problem in the southeast. We have changed our management where our colonies are not disturbed much during the month of August. This is a peak month for beetles and the more you disturb your colonies during that time frame, it seems the more colonies you loose here in the Southeast..I know beekeepers that put the cassettes with fiprinil in their bees. They keep loosing bees by the hundreds of colonies and blaming it on the beetles. So what is killing them-is it the beetles or the chemical OR did the chemical weaken the colony so the beetles could kill them??? These home remedies I never did use. Like paper plates soaked in maverik. Corrall powder across the top bars....Shop towels soaked in Tic Tac-trade name for Amitraz....Fogging hives with mineral oil...Fiprinil in cassettes for beetle control. Fogging hives with Formic acid...What are these substances applied in an unorthodox way in bulk doing to your bees??? You have to admit beekeepers are an inventive lot. But as a honey producer that has struggled severely in the earlier years when mites first hit to pay the bills, pay the loans and the help, I could not afford the risk of the use of home remedies.... It would take one incident of a chemical find then and now in my honey to push me out of business. Especially since I am a Sioux member and produce a good product for the cooperative. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  20. #99
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Ted, I'm sorry I'm not a comercial beek, however I've been following this thread with great interest. I'm fascinated with keeping and if the opportunity came up / if I'm able to build up large enough I'd love to be commercial. That being said and knowing that I'm very small (only 3 hives) have you or anyone else read any of this info? http://www.beeworks.com/informationc...ve_beetle.html For beetle control some sort of external trap may work well and keep any kind of chemicals out of the hive. This one however is not a chemical at all. Any thoughts? Being from Pa we don't have nearly as much of a problem with beetles as down south, but I did have to remove and freeze some frames this year to save the hive from SHB.

  21. #100
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    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Thanks delber, I had heard of such a trap and know of people using similar devices with good results. I have looked at the standard japanese beetle garden trap (fancy glass jar-one way in). I know Dr. Russell has a bucket trap he uses. I will bait up some of the jap beetle traps with the bait formula that is on the site you recommended and let you know how it works this spring. Mites I have under control but the beetle is a constant aggrevation.. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

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