OAV, putting the risk in perspective - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    There has, so far, been no mention of the formation of kidney stones comprised of oxalic acid and calcium.
    My body produces kidney stones of this type.
    Ask a woman who has passed kidney stones and given birth which is worse. I guarantee she will say kidney stones.

    The foods mentioned in the first post are dangerous for people like me.
    The human body has no use for oxalic acid and it must all be excreted. Some metabolisms cannot adequately achieve that.
    Mine can't.
    Having had four kidney stone experiences, passing them, and having had to have a "percutaneous nephrolithotomy" (where they pierce your back with a probe into your kidney, then insert an ultrasonic device to blast the stones into sand, then insert a 'scoop' to extract the sand, then suture you closed with a drain tube for a week, I have experienced the dangers of oxalic acid.

    I will never expose bees, or honey, to this stuff knowingly.
    I am fortunate to be in Australia, where, so far, varroa destructor has not taken up residence.
    If they do get here, I will have to find another way of coping, if I remain as a beekeeper at all.

    I hope those of you who are cavalier about oxalic acid and exposure to it take heed, and avoid the excruciating agony of forming kidney stones as a result.
    And please consider whether you are comfortable exposing others to it thru the honey you produce.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Scott Taylor View Post
    The human body has no use for oxalic acid and it must all be excreted.
    That's quite an assertion ...

    I hope you'll agree that the human body has a need for a daily intake of Vitamin (Vital-amine) C - otherwise known as ascorbic acid - and, when ascorbic acid is metabolised it produces oxalic acid. Hence oxalic acid can routinely be found within normal human metabolic pathways.

    Perhaps you'd prefer people to use synthetic miticides instead of one which is a natural constituent of honey, and thus a substance that the bees have been familiar with for millions of years ? Is not the use of synthetic miticides in preference to oxalic acid an approach more deserving of the description "cavalier" ... ?

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Cumberland County, NC
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by lamarcarama View Post
    Opening myself up to flames . . . . . . . . .Protection is a wonderful thing, but logic and common sense can also go a very long way to protecting your health both long and short term IMHO.
    Why so? Because to me, you seem to be a person who engages brain before you open mouth (or type on this forum). I'd say that's a good thing and I don’t think you should apologize for that. I also say more power to all who apply the same powerful logic. But a person can only do this when they are informed with backed up facts. That's not the same as someone's opinion at all. I believe that JWPalmer's first idea with this post is clear: help beekeepers make better choices for themselves to keep hives alive and honey safe. Thanks to others who have added some more nuggets of scientific knowledge as well. I can't thank you enough for the references.

    We could start a list of things (Think: bleach, ammonia, lawn chemicals, plant fungicides, second hand smoke) that are in most US households that have very similar potential issues; either over time or within minutes; either via ingestion, inhalation or exposure or a combination thereof. What makes or brake the users of such products is the lack of knowledge and common sense (which isn't so common).

    I was reading a NASA study about house plants that filter for chemicals in the air. It’s amazing how much crap we are all exposed to day in day out, without our knowledge, just because some organization decided it was OK because the levels are low. I’ve attached the sheet in case some of you wish to see what chemicals we accept our daily lives without a second thought.

    The logic behind the toxicity of OA by JWPalmer in honey is the same logic that applies to "lead toxicity" in lipsticks. It's absurd to talk about lead poisoning when you start looking that the facts. In the case of lipsticks, you'd have to eat something like 8 whole lipsticks to get to poisoning levels. Ridiculous right? Yet people are easily swayed by the rhetoric.

    It's all boils down to managing risk to me.

    I'm new to the fascinating world of beekeeping. I started on the band wagon that "no chemicals" was the way to go, until I got slapped back to reality with things like this post and the likes of the material from other sites such as Randy Oliver's. Using NO treatments is a bad idea. Using the wrong treatment at the wrong time and in the wrong way is also a terrible idea. I find that the dialogue about infectious apiaries is hardly discussed, thought it might be because I'm too new.

    At the end of the day, we all want to do what's best for ourselves, the people we love and for the bees, which ultimately means for the world's food supply. I sincerely believe that this is the crux of the matter. I've since stepped down from the band wagon and use common sense as much as I can muster - IPM - along with a healthy dose of conservationism. To me this means that if I need to treat - I treat. The treatment I chose will depend on the situation and I'll be asking for peoples' professional opinions before I decide. Like doctors in a hospital: you don't cure a cold with antibiotics. But if the problem gets worse, you ask for help so to bring in the big guns.

    I believe that sound practice in everything is paramount. I also think that opinions can be more damaging than not. Especially with beekeeping where our practices determine whether or not the bees can do what they do best: which is for hives to stay alive and healthy so the bees can deliver the goods we all need and love.

    I'm just along for the journey, along to help . . . whatever that means. Some times that means doing something I don't like so much. I had NOT considered OA as an option before. I do now, though it’ll probably be something I put in my “big gun” case.

    Off the soap box I go. . . Thanks for this awesome thread!
    best-air-filtering-houseplants-nasa-1.jpg

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Lamarcarama: Some special advice when handling oxalic acid OA - wear eye protection. I use my bee jacket veil and wrap around prescription sunglasses. I have taken people to the hospital for lack of eye protection, mechanical and chemical damage when I worked in a chemical plant and lab. The most dangerous time, IMO, is when scooping OA and handling the wand cup. One misstep and it can "fly" - into an eye! I like my eyes. I also keep a 1/2 bucket of water with me and wet towel - great for cleaning up. If I wiff something I simply hold my breath. My internist told me not to eat it, OA, and if I breath vapors I will cough my guts out - period. With time and experience my nine hives are apparently well propolized - no leaks. I treat nine spaced out hives in less than 2 hours.

    Bee careful

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Where else would you find the first aid for exposure to a product to be to liberally drench yourself with more of the same product?

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Oooh. Super good advice. Thanks. I guess I'm over-focused on the 'V' part of OAV and not thinking enough about the risk a powdered acid presents all by itself...

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    That's quite an assertion ...

    I hope you'll agree that the human body has a need for a daily intake of Vitamin (Vital-amine) C - otherwise known as ascorbic acid - and, when ascorbic acid is metabolised it produces oxalic acid. Hence oxalic acid can routinely be found within normal human metabolic pathways.

    Perhaps you'd prefer people to use synthetic miticides instead of one which is a natural constituent of honey, and thus a substance that the bees have been familiar with for millions of years ? Is not the use of synthetic miticides in preference to oxalic acid an approach more deserving of the description "cavalier" ... ?

    LJ
    Thanks 'little john', for putting words in my mouth. You seem to know more about what I want to say than I do.

    No.
    Oxalic acid has no biological or metabolic value in the human body. It must be excreted, as I said.
    To say that it can be a product of metabolic processes and is sometimes found in the body is a strawman argument.
    It still must be excreted, no matter how it gets there.

    Be careful with the stuff. Some people experience agonising pain from it as crystals that can form in their kidneys.

    As to synthetic miticide, that's your suggestion, not mine.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,867

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    This study seems to be relevant at this point:

    Oxalate content of foods and its effect on humans
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Scott Taylor View Post
    Thanks 'little john', for putting words in my mouth. You seem to know more about what I want to say than I do.
    I wish only to correct your errors.

    No.
    Oxalic acid has no biological or metabolic value in the human body. It must be excreted, as I said.
    To say that it can be a product of metabolic processes and is sometimes found in the body is a strawman argument.
    It still must be excreted, no matter how it gets there.
    You are very persistent about this - I can only conclude that your knowledge of biochemistry must be limited. BTW, I said "routinely" - not "sometimes".

    Just one of many papers which summarise in a few words the importance of oxalic acid in the biochemistry of humans:

    The function of oxalic acid in the human metabolism. Robertson DS, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2011

    Biochemical reactions in cells which involve oxalic acid are described. It is shown that this compound is required for the formation of uracil and orotic acid. The former is a component of RNA which is common to all cells in the human metabolism. On the basis of the biochemical reactions described a possible treatment to relieve the effects of calcium oxalate renal calculi whose origin is related to the metabolic concentration of oxalic acid is proposed.
    So - oxalic acid is implicated in the formation of uracil, which in turn is implicated in RNA production, and so onwards towards protein synthesis etc. Of course excess Oxalic Acid needs to be secreted, but unlike yourself I'm not claiming that it ALL does - that appears to be your agenda, presumably as a result of your medical condition. You are claiming that Oxalic Acid has zero biological or metabolic value - but you are wrong.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,221

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    It is all very nice to point out that OA is in most of the foods we eat and that in can be a pretty harmless compound. But using it in the manner we do as a vaporized acid or in a concentrated solution with sugar in water is not naturally found in nature or in the foods we eat. The chemical can cause permanent lung damage, burn your skin and cause blindness if used incorrectly. I was reminded of the dangers this morning when I did my annual winter OAV treatment. The temperature was about 48 degrees, very humid with absolutely no wind. Due to the lack of wind, I was in a cloud of oxalic acid for about 30 minutes. I have heard over and over again that you can get away with no respirator if you just go down wind from the hives. Well, there was no going down wind this morning. Without the respirator I was wearing, I would be in a world of hurt right now.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,537

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    Good point Dudelt.

    I have eaten a lot of spinach, but I have not yet had the desire to smoke any. I'm sure I would not like it as well.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: OAV, putting the risk in perspective

    I don't ALWAYS wear my respirator to manage the risk of a routine OAV application. I wear it because very occasionally, the routine procedure is interrupted for some urgent, completely unexpected reason. In that fraction of a second I want to know I will be protected from harm so I don't even have to think about it.

    I've done hundreds and hundreds of OAV cycles, and for most of them the mask was probably unneeded. But the two times when it was needed, it likely saved me from significant respiratory injury.

    Why is this such a difficult thing? Get a mask. Wear it. Don't be foolish. Kill the mites.

    Nancy

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