Just how dangerous is Apivar?
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2015
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    Nampa, Idaho
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    Default Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    So, I am treating with this product and following the label - but the warning has me scratching my head. I see instructive material with photos of leather gloved beekeepers supposedly applying Apivar, but the label say to use chemical proof gloves. It also says absorption through skin can be fatal. I used the chemical proof gloves and outerwear are in the wash. But I also handled scissors to open the package and the hive tool, as usual, with those same gloves on after handling the strips. Do I need to put on another pair of gloves to wash the tools? Why the "possibly fatal" warning when all the hype is about how safe this stuff is?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Clarkfield, Minnesota
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Over many Years, it's been used as a mitacide "dip" in dogs. Still available but there are more effective treatment (neonics, like frontline) not without side effects but considered short term. When we dip a dog, we don't rinse it off it even towel it. Just left it dry onto them. No label warning about not letting the dog sleep with you either.....also Amitraz flea collars available with slow release like the strips. I've not compared dosing but, again, no warning about not petting your dog while it wears one. Again, we dont use them because there are better products out there. My point is, amitraz is not just in bees.
    Last edited by twgun1; 09-21-2016 at 09:52 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #3
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    Jun 2015
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Amitraz (active ingredient) has been used as a pesticide for many years and although there have been some deaths, the dose you get by handeling the strip without gloves are really small compared to the one taken up by the farmers. I would not worry.

    I would be more worried about your bees. In addition to actually being a insecticide, armitraz has synergistic effects with many other pesticides making them alot more toxic to your bees. Im not telling you that you should do this or that, but when there are other options, I would use those.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    >Why the "possibly fatal" warning when all the hype is about how safe this stuff is?

    Because it can be fatal...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    B Steve B, I use my hive tool to open the packages. Scissors aren't necessary.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    you could just not treat and then you and your bees have nothing to worry about

  8. #7
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Kind of passive aggressive there, Sickdog5.
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #8
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    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Just saying how did bees ever survive without us? They were probably a lot better off. I haven't treated mine yet and not sure yet if i am going to. I have been only doing this for about 6months now.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Before 1988, in America, honeybees didn't have Varroa mites. Varroa mites are the major problem that most beekeepers face today. That and the viruses that varroa mites vector.

    Had no one ever kept bees then bees may well have been better off. But people do keep bees. So what are we to do? Nothing?
    Mark Berninghausen

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Hey Sickdog5, hows the Dodo doing without our help? But keep up the good work guys like you keep me in business selling bees.
    Johno

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    you could just not treat and then you and your bees have nothing to worry about
    except for varroa destructor et al.

  13. #12
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    Apr 2016
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    St Petersburg, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    I'll say a comment similar to twgun's, that I looked up the ingredient and it was the same thing that is in flea collars on dogs. And those are things we leave around a dog's neck for months and they don't have any side effects. My research (i.e. random googling) says that it's harmful to some insects (but not bees!) but pretty much harmless to mammals and that's one of the perks of using it.

    As far as the extensive caution notices -- basically that's just legal stuff to prevent lawsuits from the teensy tiny percentage of times it might cause a reaction. Sorta like how even on something simple like Advil half the label is taken up by warning labels and "consult your physician before taking any new drug" and a list of side effects a mile long that *might* occur but usually never do.

    Side note if you do decide on something else: One of the reasons I chose Apivar over other treatment methods is that it was less dependent on temperature while other methods either didn't work if it was too cold or were straight up dangerous if it was too hot (I'm in FL, so that's an issue.) So idk what the temperature is like in Idaho but if you're looking for alternate options that's something to factor in to your considerations.

  14. #13
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Just saying how did bees ever survive without us? They were probably a lot better off. I haven't treated mine yet and not sure yet if i am going to. I have been only doing this for about 6months now.
    One of the ways I heard it described was this. Make your hand into a fist. Then put it anywhere on your body. That's how big a varroa mite is to a bee. And it's sucking your bee's blood and crawling into larvae and weakening baby bees so they can't survive. So even without the "it might kill your hive" factor, there's still the compassion towards knowing that something horrible like that is happening to an animal you care about.

    As someone commented, the reason varroa mites weren't a problem before is that varroa mites didn't exist in the numbers they do before. It's not that wild bees had defense mechanisms against them or weren't bothered by them -- it's that they weren't a factor at all until recently! For example, the other day I checked out a 'wild' hive in a tree trunk and when I started removing comb I found out that it was completely infested with hive beetle larvae (I ended up throwing that comb away, of course). I'm not sure how many studies have been done on 'wild' hives and their pests, but I'm willing to bet they have as much or more problems as 'tame' hives.

    The other thing (speaking of tame hives) is that the more gentle the bee's disposition, often times the less pro-active it is against pest control. That's why some beekeepers aren't so convinced that africanized bees are all bad -- they do have less pests than bees bred to be gentle.

    One way to think about all that is that humans caused the varroa problem through keeping/importing bees and breeding bees that are less likely to be defensive towards pests and regardless of if that's good or bad we now have a responsibility to give the bees a hand in fighting it.

    If you are against treating with "chemicals" (I have that in quotation marks because everything's a chemical really so it's a bit of a loaded word with me) there's an entire forum of treatment free methods. Now understand that even with that group of folks it's not recommended you don't use any sort of control for pests, just that you find ways to control them that don't involve manufactured substances. So even if you're wary of commercial products, it's still important and possible to monitor your mite count and take action if needed.


    Ok, sorry to hijack this thread a tiny bit, I just felt there were some misconceptions in the air that I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss. So back to the original comments, long story short please don't as suggested use "nothing" as an alternative to Apivar if you decide to steer clear of it.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Hey Sickdog5, hows the Dodo doing without our help? But keep up the good work guys like you keep me in business selling bees.
    Johno
    never bought bees nor will i. Love all the hate for TF kind of funny if you ask me.

  16. #15
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    Jun 2015
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    Clarkfield, Minnesota
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    never bought bees nor will i. Love all the hate for TF kind of funny if you ask me.
    It's not hate...lets try to be gentle with each other. We've all had experiences (with and without bees) that shape our attitudes towards chemicals and antibiotics.

    I am a Veterinarinan. I know beyond a doubt that antibiotics & insecticides save lives and relieve suffering. HOWEVER, there is some stewardship and common sense that goes along with. Not everyone has that sense of stewardship and common sense, I get that. But there is happy mediums and that's were the majority lay - "reasonable". I strive for that, I think most of us do.

    An non-bee example story that has shaped my outlook on "treating"... We have a few organic dairy's in our practice area. I will not support organic dairy with my purchasing power in the grocery store as I have seen the most cruel neglect of a suffering animal in the name of organic. Simple infection that can be treated with life saving antibiotics, high fevers, extreme pain that can be alleviated with NSAIDS but instead the poor creature is treated with loosely dosed herbs, essential oils and allowed to linger and die over the course of weeks. Several organic dairies have an outlet and a plan to treat and sell those animals but many do not - it is not regulated. Those without indepth knowledge or a similar experience to myself would assume organic animals were treated better. Not always the case.

    I personally believe (and much of my belief is based on science and my post grad education) that the bees are healthier and happier (yes, insects happy) when treated for mites. People on this site need to stop judging those who treat or don't treat unless they know the intimate details of the operation. People on beesourse also need to stop judging others on whether they joined in 2016 or 2002, have 1 hive or 10,000. My kids behavior than a lot of peeps on this site.

  17. #16
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    hey sickdog5, where is the hate, I am just stating a fact. most beginners starting off on a treatment free regimen will lose their bees, a large number of beginners who treat will lose their bees. it is a matter of getting experience. if you try to start at the top you can only go down. remember if you don't like the message beatying on the messenger will not help.
    johno

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    York, York County, SC
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    291

    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    I almost convinced myself. But I also had data, IPM boards. I was looking at my one hive this year as the seed to more hives in the coming years. I do love bees. They are fascinating. The data showed me that if I were to skip fall treatment, I could find myself unable to treat in the spring (we get a very early flow due to warmer temps of winter is not persistant) or unable to super up for the early flow. Most importantly, I want the hive to make it through winter. A dead out in December or January is not in my interest. Neither are the plagues that come along with elevating numbers of varroa. For me it was simple, give up on TF now so I can potentially leverage the investment from this year. Perhaps, as time marches forward a TF opportunity will present itself. Until that time, my livestock get treatments.

  19. #18
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    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    Quote Originally Posted by twgun1 View Post
    It's not hate...lets try to be gentle with each other. I personally believe (and much of my belief is based on science and my post grad education) that the bees are healthier and happier (yes, insects happy) when treated for mites. People on this site need to stop judging those who treat or don't treat unless they know the intimate details of the operation. People on beesourse also need to stop judging others on whether they joined in 2016 or 2002, have 1 hive or 10,000. My kids behavior than a lot of peeps on this site.
    Dangerous enough to follow the directions and use it properly, one doesn't want to find themselves, or their bees in the small percentage of fatality. Healthier & happier, Pass the popcorn please..
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  20. #19
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    Apr 2016
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    St Petersburg, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    [deleted]

  21. #20
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Just how dangerous is Apivar?

    It doesn't cost much to be cautious in dealing with any chemical. After all water is a chemical and can drown you. I don't see too much reason to worry about apivar personally. If you need practice worrying, please continue.

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