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Everyone that taught me about bees were very anti chemicals with varroa. Well my losses have pilled up and I have to use chemicals. Main thing I do not want the chemicals in the honey I sell people. I want to sell safe honey. Trying to devise a strategy for next year from what I have read. Don’t have anyone to talk about it with. Oxalis acid is amazing but it doesn’t get under capped brood. Coiuld it be used all year letting the brood hatch out and kill them or would that be too hard on the bees. Could someone kind of guide me in what to do to get my mite count down as low as I can safely. Formic acid but my temperatures when it warms up here cann be very hot and then dip down. Amitraz does not get under capped brood. Just need some ideas. I have had bees for four years and have not read one article about chemical treatment because everyone I took classes with or taught them or at bee class do not touch chemicals. Got Sascatraz bees thinking they would resistant lost a couple. I know it sounds crazy to keep bees for four years and have no chemical knowledge but I haven’t.
 

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I do not want the chemicals in the honey I sell people.
Do you really insist on selling?
Why bother with non-essential honey selling hassles to begin with - on your micro-scale, unreliable bee availability, and being a retired semi-old veterinarian?
The problem is self-created as I see it so far.
:)
 

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Oxalic acid is a very chemically simple substance and an essential part of most animals and plants essential systems. It has a wide range of presence in honey and most of our foods at levels you would not exceed by any reasonable treatment regime. With a bit of planning treatments can be done before or after the presence of honey supers on the hive but if the mites get ahead of you, honey supers can be stacked off or blocked of with an easy barrier for non contaminating treatment during the flow. I think it is the cheapest treatment going as a bonus.

Using it does not prevent you from using in parallel the methods commonly used by treatment free adherents.
Using the spray on method approx 3% in a sugar/water solution can be done with little more than rubber gloves and safety glasses. At this dilution it acts on tissue similar to lemon juice. You would not want to leave it on as a poultice but it wont take your hide off with a loud bang and a puff of smoke:)
Vaporizing it allows it to be applied without having to open a colony but the fume plume is to be avoided with a passion so a cheap half mask respirator is recommended.

There are many many threads on the forum on its use and effectiveness.
 

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Everyone that taught me about bees were very anti chemicals with varroa. Well my losses have pilled up and I have to use chemicals. Main thing I do not want the chemicals in the honey I sell people. I want to sell safe honey. Trying to devise a strategy for next year from what I have read. Don’t have anyone to talk about it with. Oxalis acid is amazing but it doesn’t get under capped brood. Coiuld it be used all year letting the brood hatch out and kill them or would that be too hard on the bees. Could someone kind of guide me in what to do to get my mite count down as low as I can safely. Formic acid but my temperatures when it warms up here cann be very hot and then dip down. Amitraz does not get under capped brood. Just need some ideas. I have had bees for four years and have not read one article about chemical treatment because everyone I took classes with or taught them or at bee class do not touch chemicals. Got Sascatraz bees thinking they would resistant lost a couple. I know it sounds crazy to keep bees for four years and have no chemical knowledge but I haven’t.
Dog This might be a good resource for you to start with: Honey Bee Health Coalition Tools for Varroa Management . Has pros and cons for a number of different options.
I personally use OAV. Late winter/early spring before brood rearing really sets in and then again late Aug/early Sep with a 4 times at 6 day interval schedule.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Dogmechanic, there are a whole bunch of us on Beesource that use OAV exclusively to manage mites. Many report very good overwintering survival rates (100% in some cases). In Virginia I do not have a fall flow, so treating repeatedly during the late summer and early fall does not impact my honey in any way. If you harvest spring honey and let the bees keep whatever they collect in the fall, you do not need to worry about contamination. OA does not permeate the wax so even a super that was left on in the fall and saw OA will be clean for the spring, provided that no honey or syrup remains in the frames. This is not as true for amitraz which does leave a trace residue to the best of my understanding.
 

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Dogmechanic,

Start with you have 2 seasons, supers on and supers off.

For OA for example, treat early with supers off. Then add and do not treat while supers are on.
If you have some mediums that are supers and some that are brood boxes, for example then a good permanent marker can be helpful, I just mark "brood" "extract" on the top bars. I often flop frames around early in the flow to get the bees to move up.

then when you figure you have enough honey, you pull the supers and then treat. Take a bit early and take it all, add some empty for the fall flow leave with the bees for winter stores, then you also have a fall treatment window.

WHEN you start testing "counts" if you find a high mite count hive, mid the supers on, you have 2 choices, leave the supers get what you can and likely loose the hive to mites. Or pull the supers, add to other hives, treat do brood break split whatever, as this out is out of production.

at times your guess on fall flow could be off and you need to feed or spring extract.

OA treatment is less to manage, and IMO easier, than cleaning dead outs and re populating with packages.

Or lean into the "suspected" winter loss, take all the honey, shake the bees out on the snow and store the frames for a package the next year.

All , none, some, there are several choices, choosing to not treat so far has been a choice, if it no longer meets your needs choose another choice.
Use the time this winter to research some options and give one a spin.

GG
 

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Dogmechanic, I am in mid-Missouri so we have virtually the same weather patterns. I only harvest on the first week of July and let the bees keep the fall honey. Here's my schedule for treating with OAV exclusively this year.

I just treated my 8 colonies on 12/9/20. The next time I'll treat is in March. I'll do a triple treatment 4 days apart. After that I'll put on my supers. I pull my honey on the first week of July. With no supers to worry about, I'll treat monthly until September 1 again on a triple treatment 4 days apart. Then I do monthly treatment until December.

This is what I did this year. Repeat again next year.

I'm a hobbyist and sell a small amount of honey to friends. I have a friend who pulled 3000 pounds from 80 colonies this year but he does fall amitraz treatments. I'm a little more concerned with chemicals than he is.

Good Luck.
 

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Jim, When you treat in March, do you have a significant mite drop? I do my last treatment at Christmas and get State inspected in April. Two years in a row there have been zero detectible mites in the apiary at that time. Similar to you, I pull supers in mid June, begin treatments in mid July, and continue weekly until October for a total of 13-14 applications. Then do the standard Turkey Day and Christmas applications. Repeat the following year. About half of my supers are left on the hives all winter so the bees can keep the wax moths away. The rest I do my best to protect. Between me and you, the bees do a much better job.
 

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Jim, When you treat in March, do you have a significant mite drop? I do my last treatment at Christmas and get State inspected in April. Two years in a row there have been zero detectible mites in the apiary at that time. Similar to you, I pull supers in mid June, begin treatments in mid July, and continue weekly until October for a total of 13-14 applications. Then do the standard Turkey Day and Christmas applications. Repeat the following year. About half of my supers are left on the hives all winter so the bees can keep the wax moths away. The rest I do my best to protect. Between me and you, the bees do a much better job.
Do you really insist on selling?
Why bother with non-essential honey selling hassles to begin with - on your micro-scale, unreliable bee availability, and being a retired semi-old veterinarian?
The problem is self-created as I see it so far.
:)
My good friend Greg V. How can I not sell honey. You know my “bee past” . Selling honey is my only joy. I live in the soybean-corn Sahara and honestly have had some bad breaks with bees that I could not help. Also had some bee breaks that if I would of known some things about bees I could have solved. SELLING HONEY is the one big blast I have.. I have a cool apiary name which would take to long to explain. I put up a Uof I tent and sell 50 pounds of honey in two hours. Everybody loves it. Lately the best two hours of my bee life.
Almost all I do is bull**** with people and laugh and have a blast. Probably some people take advantage of this and don’t pay. Everybody has a blast and I made some bucks to apply to the huge bee deficit I have at home. I don’t sweat and have sweat running into my glasses and have bees crawl Up my pants and sting me. Can’t find a single egg in a hive, Have bees who I think are holding out honey on me. They are not putting it in the hive so they are hiding it somewhere. Bee work is hot and a state inspector said I had one of the meanest hives he has EVER seen and he has been doing bees for 15+ years. I am not on this site often but you post a lot. You don’t sell any honey just get some for the kids. Ship me some of that and we split 50-50. Also you showed a picture of you expensive house. OLD RETIRED VET. Man I just had heart surgery yesterday and on a good day I could put you in the shade. It would have to be a real good day though. WHEN YOU RETIRE You down dont quit working. When I was a vet I was successful, real busy and made some good money. Now I do a lot of other projeCT’s and raise bees which has not been real successful boarding on disaster. Going to have to go to chemicals which I know you don’t use but I have no choice. Problem self creative-say what😳😁😁😁😁😁😁 Have a good day my friend
 

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My good friend Greg V.
Sounds good!
I totally get it then - you enjoy selling honey to people and that is all it is to it.
It is not about money (which would not be much anyway).

Right on this forum there are many people who HATE selling honey (and yet they do it for one reason or the other).
I don't sell honey and don't even want to do it and don't care the least to be selling honey.
I don't even run the bees for the honey, to be honest - it is just a side-product.

Well, you got lots of good advice.

PS: here is an idea - IF I really enjoyed selling honey but not much else, I'd find me a beekeeper-partner who'd do the complicated and sweaty beekeeping work (that he enjoys), and I would sell the honey for him.
 

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OA vapour in the early spring, two treatments to cover the varroa brood cycle, then honey supers can go on. If additional varroa treatment needed half way through summer, I use the Drone Brood Capture Method to catch as many varroa on the drone brood and after 24 days remove the frames and freeze killing the little buggers! (varroa, not the bees!) Bayer have a new product on the market called a Hive Gate, an enterance strip that can be used in a broodless period that the bees crawl through to get into the hive wiping a small amount of Bayverol onto themselves as they pass.
 

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Actually, Oxalic acid is legal and safe to use with honey supers present in many parts of the world.

As long as you are fortunate enough to live outside of the US, chances are good that OA is perfectly safe to use with honey supers present.
 

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No need for split energy. Many organic alternatives exist. Some very experienced people can do chemical free beekeeping. Your location will determine your baseline. Suggest OAV as others have. Oxallic acid is in food. My location has mite pressure. So I use Apivar in spring and OAV in fall. Be easy about it and use what you need to keep your bees alive and work on the genetic side with your queens. PS- don’t become a fanatic over ideas. Keeping an open mind is easier on you and your bees.
 

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It is not the "dark side" to start to take prudent steps and engage in some basic animal husbandry. Imagine how cruel "not treating" would be if used with horses, cows, dogs, cats, etc. Regardless, the net difference here is that you will be able to maintain your colony numbers with LESS splits, as even Oxalic is not a 100% certain solution to varroa. Its been 33 years since varroa first infested USA colonies, and we still don't have a reliable and consistent "treatment" that can be relied upon, so we are forced to make splits to break the varroa reproduction cycles and stay ahead of our losses
 

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Sounds good!
I totally get it then - you enjoy selling honey to people and that is all it is to it.
It is not about money (which would not be much anyway).

Right on this forum there are many people who HATE selling honey (and yet they do it for one reason or the other).
I don't sell honey and don't even want to do it and don't care the least to be selling honey.
I don't even run the bees for the honey, to be honest - it is just a side-product.

Well, you got lots of good advice.

PS: here is an idea - IF I really enjoyed selling honey but not much else, I'd find me a beekeeper-partner who'd do the complicated and sweaty beekeeping work (that he enjoys), and I would sell the honey for him.
hmm
Greg,
what if he enjoys selling the fruits of "His" labor.
you are getting warm but still missed a bit.

So think,, you are selling some IT time from a cadre of contractors, VRS doing the IT work and selling your self. can be close but is not the same.

I am the same as Dog, I enjoy selling the output of my efforts.
Not sure I would get any jollies from selling someone else honey....and then I may not know what is "in" the honey.
As well the funds off set the foundation, wooden parts, queens, tools , screws, paint, veil, etc "your" "Funds/Gain" is the food cost saved and heath cost saved, we have that, AND some bucks to offset the cost. I can use these funds for example to "obtain" some 10 inch pine boards, you use the lack of funds to staple and glue together free pallets.
And there is a nitch in the community for a keeper,, the honey seller only not so much.

So yes the goals drive the way we do the things we do.

GG
 

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I likewise truly enjoy selling (or giving away) my honey. Selling some, rather than giving it all away, validates to me that people actually enjoy it, and are not just humoring me, and helps pay for the beekeeping.

This year sales funded my expansion, and the purchase of some equipment. It was a break-even year, the first for me, despite doubling my apiary.
 

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I know it sounds crazy to keep bees for four years and have no chemical knowledge but I haven’t.
been there, and then some... TF used to be easier... then (for me) beekeeping got popular and there was a hive or 3 on every block.. mite pressure went up, biotech (splits,drone culling, etc) couldn't hold back the tide...and of course the virus keep getting worse so it takes less and less mites to kill a hive. locally in the last 5 years people have had to add an extra treatment a year to keep pace
Amitraz does not get under capped brood
true, but the US legal treatment is a long release strip (think flea collar, impregnated ear tag, etc ) that stays in the hive for several brood cycles, the mites emerge and then are killed and don't go back under the cappings.. same with thymol.

Here is a good break down of the OA residue studies, and should give you plenty of studys to goggle scholar if you want a deep dive
as you can see it ranges from no effect to it a max of about 30mg/kg
so if you eat a KG of honey in a day its the same as eating an extra 3g spinach leaf in your salad
 

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Mr. Dogmechanic (and I thought you worked on Mack trucks, my bad)...There is a way to biologically control mites. If you study their life cycle, they have several weakness that can be exploited. Be aware it takes alot more time and effort.

Crazy Roland
 

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JWPalmer, About my mite drop. I use a modified screened bottom board with an oil tray underneath it. So if you mean mite drop on a sticky board, I have no way of knowing. If you mean did I do an alcohol wash to count my numbers of mites, I was a lazy beekeeper this year and did 0 washes. Next year I intend to have that be different and maybe do washes and not treat prophylactically. This would have the added benefit of me not feeling like the bottom kid in the class.
 
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