Actually, Michael, I'm not looking to use it on the bees, I'm looking to use it on my cabbage, broccoli, etc. to kill the cabbage worms. The stuff Gardens Alive sells is called BT SSP. KURSTAKI. It's in powder form in a shaker; you shake it onto the plants and it kills the cabbage worms. I just don't want my girls walking through it and dying. I guess if there's a form you can spray directly into the hive, there's no danger, but I'd like to make sure.
Hi Tia et al,
We have used Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) in the garden for several years to fight the cabbage worms and squash borers. It works, particularly when you inject the Bt with a hypodermic needle into the main stems of the squash plants. We had a lot of trouble with the borers. For the bees we use Certan B401. This is essentially the same thing but a different strain of Bt I think. It also works for its intended purpose, the control of wax moths. Both are described to work on the caterpillar form of the insect by attacking their internals, stop them from feeding and essentially starving them. Now a word of caution for both: Do not store any prepared solution thinking you can save it for later. It does not work. Use your prepared solution completely or destroy the left overs. I dilute it with lots of water and dispose in the sewer. Hope this helps a bit and sorry for the long windedness.
Alex, if you want to try something amazing on those squash vine borers, check out gardensalive.com and their Grub-Away Nematodes. I used to have a big problem with squash vine borers and used to inject Bt into the stems when I saw evidence of infestation (wilted leaves, "sawdust"). Then the year before last, I treated the squash bed with the nematodes. No borers. So last year, I did my whole garden! Expensive but worth it. And they've told me at Gardens Alive I won't have to do it again for at least 4 years. Oh, and if some were to show up despite soil application, you can inject this as well.
Hello Tia et al, well you caught me at our winter home here in Florida. Our girls are in the good care of our scared but very interested neighbors. We love them. Come spring we will return to KY and will apply many of those little tricks we thankfully read about here, including nematodes and maybe a TBH. For me there is immense satisfaction in doing a lot of the building of the bee equipment myself. We are doing it for the hobby only, love our girls and like to tinker with wood and steel. The recycled basket ball court from the neighbor furnished the pipe and some scrap steel that is now the stand for four of our hives. The single pipe set-up lets me use "Tanglefoot," that sticky stuff that prevents ants and other critters to crawl the 18" up into the hive; wish it would also do something against the varroa. Oh well...
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