Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2019
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    Default Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    This week I was scratching my head trying to figure out how to remove the partially filled honey supers before OAV treatment and decided, "you know what, let me just eat some of this stuff and test the toxicity directly".

    I ate maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon, which is about 25% of a dose.

    It's just sour, not even noticeably "acidic". Tastes just like eating any sour candy you can buy in the store.

    Never developed a single negative effect, not even an upset stomach.

    EPA's designation as a pesticide is total Bull.

    Don't try this at home, but seriously am I living in some alternative reality where harmless substances are being labelled as toxic but something like Checkmite/apistan is still being sold over the counter and touted as effective?

    I guess the fact that I can treat my entire apiary and build my own vaporizer for $170 isn't very appealing to these bee supply companies, who helped fund the EPA's decision.

    Just to be clear, I do avoid doing OAV in any apiary where there's an obvious summer dearth - I remove the honey supers and then do my treatment. For 90% of beekeepers here, there's no reason to do OAV during a honey flow, and I don't recommend it. For the other 10%, when there's no avoiding it - I can verify that OA is harmless.

    I'd strongly argue that OAV is just as harmless as formic acid - can both be used when honey supers are present.

    I acknowledge that this is not technically legal - so I don't recommend doing it for anything other than personal consumption.

    End of rant.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 07-11-2020 at 06:02 PM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    You could have eaten rhubarb and spinach as a test too. But don't blame the EPA for doing its' job. BTW the approval is based on copying the Canadians' approval and their investigations - slightly modified from the European position. The real issue is there is no money in it for Corporations and Businesses. It is a pesticide and was "fast tracked" to get approval. I also suggest you protect your eyes - seriously.

    I used to have the same annoyed position but now my beekeeping schedule and methods have no conflict with the EPA label.

    Fun fact and one not so fun: Oxalic Acid is essential to peristaltic action in the human body - look it up and you will laugh. In some places people eat it, in the form of a "marketed" house-hold detergent, to commit suicide. ( Oh - formic acid is not harmless either!)

  4. #3
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    I was scratching my head too, and then it came to me - Darwin Awards.

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post

    I ate maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon, which is about 25% of a dose.

    Never developed a single negative effect, not even an upset stomach.
    Don't despair, it's still early.

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

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Williamsport, PA
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    622

    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Let us know how you enjoy your kidney stones. I don't think OA will kill you quickly in the amount you would get from honey. I do think you will build up Oxalate Crystals in your kidneys. That is only my opinion and why I would not do it with supers on, for the health of me or my customers.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/ca...stals#symptoms

  7. #6
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    Feb 2016
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    Mooresville, NC
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    Let us know how you enjoy your kidney stones. I don't think OA will kill you quickly in the amount you would get from honey. I do think you will build up Oxalate Crystals in your kidneys. That is only my opinion and why I would not do it with supers on, for the health of me or my customers.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/ca...stals#symptoms
    I have had both kidney stones and a heart attack. If I had to do one of them again I would choose the heart attack.

  8. #7
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Wow. I am speechless.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Reminds me of an old joke among Amway distributors. Seems that their laundry product, SA 8 was reportedly so safe that it could be ingested without any ill effects. One person attempted to do this as part of a demonstration and promptly lost his voice. The admonition is "Don't drink the SA8". It has stuck with me for 35 years.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2019
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    Northeast
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    Let us know how you enjoy your kidney stones. I don't think OA will kill you quickly in the amount you would get from honey. I do think you will build up Oxalate Crystals in your kidneys. That is only my opinion and why I would not do it with supers on, for the health of me or my customers.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/ca...stals#symptoms

    Have you ever eaten spinach or almonds before? You're eating the same amount of the same exact chemical that I ingested.

    If you didn't read my original post, I clearly stated that I don't treat with honey supers present unless it's unavoidable.

    OA doesn't cause Kidney stones at these levels - it's such a negligible level when injected into a hive that virtually nothing makes it into the honey. The amount is on the level of 20-50mg/lb which is an extremely small amount that could never cause any harm.

    My original post has clearly drawn some shaken heads, and disapproval.

    Does this mean I do full OAV treatments with honey supers present ? Not unless it's unavoidable.

    Want actual kidney stones? Better not eat too much salad !


    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/kid...-eat-too-much/
    Last edited by username00101; 07-11-2020 at 08:44 PM.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Reminds me of an old joke among Amway distributors. Seems that their laundry product, SA 8 was reportedly so safe that it could be ingested without any ill effects. One person attempted to do this as part of a demonstration and promptly lost his voice. The admonition is "Don't drink the SA8". It has stuck with me for 35 years.
    Wow, I so remember my parents hosting the Amway meetings and putting "other" detergents in Styrofoam cups and seeing them melt. And writing on the rug with marker and cleaning it with blue stuff, and I got to chew gum and spit it into a hanky that they squished all up then removed with pink stuff. Loved all that stuff. Nothing like a good snake oil sales pitch!!

    Gotta love Rich DeVos... His daughter in law not withstanding....

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    I'd strongly argue that OAV is just as harmless as formic acid - can both be used when honey supers are present.
    The dose of OA in OAV is per volume and the volume is different with supers on.

  13. #12
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    May 2019
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    Lake County, Illinois
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    I hope you are kidding as this acid can be extremely harmful even in the vapor format when applied to colonies. There are many beekeepers who will be suffering serious health issues and lung problems from this product and protective clothing is essential. Never even thought anyone would eat it. Maybe you should contact poison control center and ask for help .

  14. #13
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    Oct 2017
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    New Concord, Ohio
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Be careful where you buy your honey if you do buy honey.....

  15. #14
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Wow, i thought this was a joke. Honestly, I'd never injest any chemical, or bleach into my body, or into honey intended for sale or not. I guess you cleaned your innards off well. Is an acid or wood bleach, used to clean wood. Mold oxidation in and on wood. Selling pure unadultrated honey in p.a. ??? Man, I'd hope you were just making a sic inside joke. Lol, hope you dont experience any short or long term results for this definitely non scientific experiment.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    For anyone who's worried about oxalic acid and kidney stones etc - then you'd better stop eating anything with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in it as well - as oxalic acid is produced when ascorbic acid is metabolised.

    Life is tough for anxious people.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richinbama View Post
    Wow, i thought this was a joke. Honestly, I'd never injest any chemical [...] into my body ...
    Eh? Somebody clearly hasn't been reading processed food labels very carefully.

    ... and whatever you do - don't swallow your saliva, as it contains a cyanide derivative.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Ozark, AL
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    838

    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    I hope you are kidding as this acid can be extremely harmful even in the vapor format when applied to colonies. There are many beekeepers who will be suffering serious health issues and lung problems from this product and protective clothing is essential. Never even thought anyone would eat it. Maybe you should contact poison control center and ask for help .
    Can you name one beekeeper who has suffered any ill affects from using/treating hives with OAV?

  19. #18
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    Apr 2019
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    Northeast
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    572

    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richinbama View Post
    Wow, i thought this was a joke. Honestly, I'd never injest any chemical, or bleach into my body, or into honey intended for sale or not. I guess you cleaned your innards off well. Is an acid or wood bleach, used to clean wood. Mold oxidation in and on wood. Selling pure unadultrated honey in p.a. ??? Man, I'd hope you were just making a sic inside joke. Lol, hope you dont experience any short or long term results for this definitely non scientific experiment.
    Heh. This thread is a good example of why I wouldn't dare treat my honey to be sold with OA.

    Even beekeeper's seem to struggle with this concept.. I can only imagine the average American consumer with their lack of education weighing in on this matter.

    If you read my original post, it clearly states that I don't recommend doing this for more than personal consumption.
    Last edited by username00101; 07-12-2020 at 02:07 PM.

  20. #19
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    Sep 2016
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid is harmless - I don't bother removing honey supers any longer.

    Too funny. I wonder if people on municipal water systems know that bleach is used to chlorinate their drinking water? I even treat my well once a year by pouring a quart of bleach into the well. Of course I have a supply of drinking water set aside as it takes a day or two for the water to become safe again.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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