Radallo- Good catch, I've been reading through here wondering when someone would notice that that referred to the old study.
Lithium is essential in the human diet and current scientific evidence supports the consumption of 1000 μg / day of lithium for an average adult with 70 kg. The consumption of lithium provides health benefits for the general population.
source: Gerhard N. Schrauzer (2002) Lithium: Occurrence, Dietary Intakes, Nutritional Essentiality, Journal of the American College of Nutrition
Assuming worse case scenario, a beek gets his bees to eat syrup during nectar flow, the bees metabolize NOTHING, but instead just store the "lithium syrup" full strength (not going to happen), along with their honey crop, the dilution of lithium would be closer to levels close to RDA for lithium than psychoactive levels used in healthcare. It would be much less than what some people take as over-the-counter supplements, sold on Amazon.
The study purports efficacy at very low concentration levels in simulated swarms. The next test is on a production hive. I doubt the efficacy would be as effective as it is under simulated swarm conditions. But it's worth a look. Don't harvest the honey from tested hives, and pay a lab to test lithium levels in the honey and wax.
Do the math. There is no way possible for concentrations of lithium to be a concern. Not at the concentrations used in the study. You'd have to bypass the bees, and spoon the full liter into the mouth of ONE of your customers, and even then ....maybe.
Last edited by Qvox; 01-27-2018 at 08:04 PM.
If you're a hobbyist with a few hives, don't do this. One of the other toxic treatments is good enough. And if you're a no-treat kind of beekeeper, enjoy your dead hives.
But if you're a beekeeper who's interested in your own personal research, and keeping your hives alive, do it. Do it constructively, and responsibility. Design a good test. Make sure you keep good notes.
People today are way too passive, way too dependent on papa gov. big pharma, or some external authority telling them what to do. This one isn't rocket science, the study was done, see if you can duplicate the results. If you can establish efficacy, then by all means make sure your end product is safe. Pay a lab to test the results. Testing for lithium isn't hard, or expensive.
If you're not willing to forgo the cost of the last step (testing your product), don't sell your product to the consumer. ...but for the love of god, stop being passive aggressive, stop virtue signaling, no one is keeping bees in the land of unicorns and rainbows, make up your own mind with actual evidence.
This one is butt simple to replicate. It's not some exotic chemical, crisper, or some complex genetic experiment. It's a simple treatment that can be replicated with the data.
Again, I'm not suggesting this is something for the hobbiest (might be?). Or, that anyone should go gangbusters on all their hives with lithium. But if you have the balls to do a controlled well designed experiment, responsibly and document the results. Go for it! Lithium is cheap and readily accessible. Document, and report your results.
...or you can wait for some commercial interests, to come up with some well researched patented, government regulated, expensive treatment with a cool name.
Last edited by Qvox; 01-27-2018 at 10:39 PM.
But Qvox recommendations are unacceptable.
Being ACTIVE do not imply being outlaw.
Being outlaw, illegal, is something different.
If you do not like the rules, be active to change the rules.
If you can't wait to use your hives for R&D, do it legally, contacting some research group in you nearby.
Who will set a threshold to define a hobbist or something done "constructively" and "responsably"? Everybody for his own?Lol.
randy oliver's comment regarding lithium posted a few days ago:
"It is currently legal to feed colonies a lithium salt as a nutritional supplement, but I cannot recommend putting it into your hives prior to further formal testing."
He also wrote that he had mixed feelings of a patton given on it cause now it could be fed legally as a suppliment but if they label it, it would change that."It is currently legal to feed colonies a lithium salt as a nutritional supplement, but I cannot recommend putting it into your hives prior to further formal testing."
I do know that my salt block that I have out for deer gets hit pretty hard when the water is puddled where it sits.
I tend to choose not to concede my inalienable individual rights to other individuals. I've personally never found the angels of our better nature worthy enough to delegate my inalienable rights. And I don't ask that others conceded their inalienable rights to me. ...just the way I roll, I'm kind of a radical individualist in that way (I guess my American is showing).
But allow me to clarify my position, I meant, if you're not committed to a dedicated trial, conducted responsibly, don't do it. Don't sell untested hive products to others. Don't assume this is either safe or effective for you to begin using as your primary agent against varroa. Don't risk it on all your colonies. With that said, protocol is fairly simple. There is enough information for a beekeeper to make up their own mind about trying it.
But be aware, the devil is always in the details, and application. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered on this one. It's not ready for "primetime" ...just yet.
The researchers only tested it under simulated swarm conditions. Under those conditions feeding for one 24 hour period produced 100% mite kills, with no statistical change in bee mortality. However, in a working hive, both its efficacy and safety, have not been tested or proven.
I suspect, it will be somewhat less effective than 100%, with such a short treatment exposure (24h), if for no other reason than due to dispersion. Not all the bees would eat it. With that said I hypothesize that there may be a couple of applications where this treatment might be very effective. This might be a very effective winter treatment. It also might be a very effective treatment for bee packages.
I think it would be a substantially less effective treatment during the spring and summer, for obvious natural reasons. I also agree with other's concerns about "contaminating" honey, or other hive products. So, I think we need more testing there. I personally would not use any hive products from tested hives until we have more data. At this point I think it would be unethical to sell such products from treated hives.
One last thing, there is absolutely no good data on lithium's effect on a production hive, or its queen and brood production. They only did research on simulated swarms. So, one potential risk is that this treatment might have some as of yet unknown negative impact which would render it useless to us. We just don't know. It is still very much in the experimental phase.
Last edited by Qvox; 01-29-2018 at 12:24 PM.
They might come up with some novel delivery method, or some unique formula, or product, for commercial sale, which is what it sounds like they're going to try to do now.
The more I think about treating with elemental lithium, the more questions I have. The researchers achieved efficacy in their lab experiments, simulating swarm like conditions. That's important. Because this fact, fails to answer what effects, if any this treatment would have on a hive colony.
The number one question I have; would the efficacy hold? Would feeding an active colony, of many more members, under hive conditions, still produce their impressive results (100% mite kills)? It might not. Why not? Because of uneven dispersion. Not all bees would eat the treated syrup. So I surmise, 100% mite kills might be more difficult, perhaps <100% at the tested concentrations or durations. This is important, because while at low concentrations and durations, there was no statistical effect on bee mortality, at longer durations there was an adverse effect on bee mortality. It shortened the workers lives. It should also be noted that I can find no information, or data, on what if any effect it had on the queens. The researchers didn't test that.
Number two; what effect if any, would the treatment have on long-term, normal hive function? How would it affect a laying queen? How might it affect brood production and development? What about sexual reproduction, would it affect the drones, or a virgin queen? Elemental lithium can adversely affect the prenatal health, and development of higher mammals. It can also adversely affect sexual reproduction. Could exposing a hive subject the insects to similar adverse health effects? ...we don't know, it has not been tested. The researchers tested none of this. We have no data.
What other effects might it have, that we can't even guess right now?
This protocol is not yet ready for primetime. I know some of my posts in this thread seem to support personal experimentation, but that's what it would be experimentation. For all we know, it might destroy a hive. Not to mention the health of the hive products.
I would not "try" this unless you're willing to approach this as experimentation. I would not "try" this unless you were willing to isolate the treated hives in such a way as to avoid cross-contamination of other untreated colonies, and eliminate drifting, and robbing activity. I would not "try" this experiment unless you are willing to forgo the use of any hive products from the experimental hives. Selling, or giving others, honey from treated hives, at this point, would be irresponsible, and unethical.
I would not use this as a treatment, it's still very much in the experimentation phase. A lot of questions remain to be answered.
So I am wondering, what would happen if I use Lithium hypochlorite instead of calcium hypochlorite in my pool and my bees happen to drink the water?
Is anyone here actually trying this? or to scared to let the forum know?
I know of 5 apiaries here in Oregon who have set up experimental outyards to test this hypothesis.
we're all collecting data, and so far it seems to be working.
What are the mites drops in comparison to normal?
And is it just me or does this seem like something varroa could adapt to pretty easily?
Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY
Last edited by Tennessee's Bees LLC; 05-17-2018 at 09:37 PM. Reason: deleted duplicate
Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY
I'm a huge advocate for further research into the efficacy and safety of this treatment in working hives. But there are a lot of questions that need to be addressed in BOTH efficacy and safety. Both to the hive, and humans.
Here's what we know: Lithium Chloride systemically killed varroa destructor, under very specific experimental conditions. A short 24 hour exposure to the chemical did not significantly effect bee mortality. ....the bees appeared to remain healthy. However, longer term exposure did shorten bee mortality. So... it's does have a potential negative impact on bee health.
Hey, it killed the mites! But here is what we don't know:
1) How might this effect brood and larva.
2) How might this effect the immune system? Could exposure to LC open the door exposing the hive to some other pathogen?
3) Could the use of lithium chloride pose a risk for human consumption?
4) Would the efficacy hold-up in working hive?
We just don't know.
So with that said, this is still very much in the experimental stage. I'm all for continued research, even personal research. But at this point a beekeeper would have to be willing to use scientific protocols, and ethically, no hive products from the experimental hives should enter the food supply. That means no honey, no wax, no proposals, no woodware, absolutely NOTHING should be used by humans, or used in other hives where products might be used by humans.
The experimental yard should also be isolated. That means finding a location that the research beekeeper is reasonably sure no other active hive would rob from the experimental hives. That's a tough one.
So for most beekeepers, I'd wait and allow the research to continue.
■ Institute of Apiculture Celle
For the time being, lithium chloride is not an approved varroacide. Those who apply lithium chloride to bees behave irresponsibly, violate the German Medicines Act (AMG) and possibly cause unacceptable residues in honey
Following the euphoric media coverage of initial research on lithium chloride, which has an acaricidal effect on varroa mites, we have been gathering more inquiries from beekeepers and the general public on the topic. There was also one and the other, who asked where you could even buy the new Varroazide. Now we have come to know that there already are beekeepers who want to treat their colonies with lithium chloride against the Varroa mite.
We take this as an opportunity to enlighten you in this.
■ The active substance lithium chloride has a pharmacological action against the Varroa mite and rather does not harm the adult bees. Lithium chloride, however, is extremely toxic even in the smallest amounts for the brood of honeybees
Lithium chloride gives the investigations of Ziegelmann and her colleagues1 a very good acaricidal action against the Varroa mite. The use in adult bees in small laboratory cage experiments and with swarming artificially did not show any noticeable negative effects on the adult bees. On the other hand, it has a very good activity against the Varroa mites. The authors of the study just published point out that the results are only to be understood as a first step towards the development of a new veterinary medicinal product. Accordingly, there are still no studies on possible sublethal effects, on possible side effects on adult bees and on bee brood, according to the authors. Likewise, there are investigations into possible residues in the bee products. However, the patent application from 2016 (WO 2017042240 A1) 2 of Sitools Biotech GmbH and the University of Hohenheim already shows that the lithium chloride has a lethal effect on larval stages of the honeybee under laboratory conditions. This toxic and therefore lethal effect on bee brood even occurs at lowest lithium chloride concentrations in the feed.