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What Qvox and Siwolke said; do not mess around with this stuff. There was quite a discussion on Bee-l a while back on this subject. It was mentioned jokingly that someone will probably be stupid enough to try it.
 

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Call me irresponsible, but I had a PHD chemist do the math so I could start my own trial. A large beekeeper I work with has set aside a number of hives to test LiCl. Results are forthcoming, but here's the math:

mM, in the Nature article is millimolar, the moles of a solute in a liter of solution. LiCl is 42.394 grams/mole. At 3.785 liters per gallon, you need 4.01 grams of LiCl in a gallon of syrup to achieve the 25 Mm solution used in the Nature article. This was the MAXIMUM amount of LiCl in solution tested by the scientists. According to the article, both 2Mm (.32g/gal) and 10Mm (1.6g/Gal) solutions proved effective, but over a longer time frame.

While LiCl has the aforementioned toxic effects after ingestion (in tests, 4 doses of 2g each caused toxic effects) it is also reported to be not absorbed through the skin.
https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb%3A%40term+%40DOCNO+4281

The water soluble nature of LiCl is promising, since it won't store in wax, but as it is a systemic method of treatment fed in syrup, it is very inadvisable to feed it to bees that are making honey for human consumption. I prefer to always keep any chemical or medication out of my hives when honey supers are on, but this is perhaps even more important since bees could store the LiCl solution directly as honey.

Lab grade LiCl is readily available online but carries the disclaimer that it is not for food, drug or household use. Use it at your own risk.
 

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Call me irresponsible, but I had a PHD chemist do the math so I could start my own trial. A large beekeeper I work with has set aside a number of hives to test LiCl. Results are forthcoming, but here's the math:

mM, in the Nature article is millimolar, the moles of a solute in a liter of solution. LiCl is 42.394 grams/mole. At 3.785 liters per gallon, you need 4.01 grams of LiCl in a gallon of syrup to achieve the 25 Mm solution used in the Nature article. This was the MAXIMUM amount of LiCl in solution tested by the scientists. According to the article, both 2Mm (.32g/gal) and 10Mm (1.6g/Gal) solutions proved effective, but over a longer time frame.

While LiCl has the aforementioned toxic effects after ingestion (in tests, 4 doses of 2g each caused toxic effects) it is also reported to be not absorbed through the skin.
https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb%3A%40term+%40DOCNO+4281

The water soluble nature of LiCl is promising, since it won't store in wax, but as it is a systemic method of treatment fed in syrup, it is very inadvisable to feed it to bees that are making honey for human consumption. I prefer to always keep any chemical or medication out of my hives when honey supers are on, but this is perhaps even more important since bees could store the LiCl solution directly as honey.

Lab grade LiCl is readily available online but carries the disclaimer that it is not for food, drug or household use. Use it at your own risk.
It's been several months since I read the study, but if memory serves, they only tested it on simulated swarms. Not in a working hive. I seem to recall someone saying it harmed brood production. When it first come out I entertained the idea of running an experiment, but after reading the published work decided against it. There are just too many unknowns right now. OAV is effective, safe, and proven method for controlling varroa destructor.

If you're going to run this experiment I'd make absolutely sure the experimental hives were isolated, I wouldn't want to risk contamination of honey bound for human consumption. So your experimental apiary has to be very isolated, you have to make sure robbing isn't going to contaminate someone else's honey. I think it would be completely irresponsible to use any hive products from the experimental hives. Honestly if your doing this for science the wax, honey and proplus should all be sent to a lab for testing. You can't risk hurting someone.

You need to be extremely careful.
 

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If people really want to conduct scientific experiments, using their bees and equipment, they should probably reach out to a state or local university, and offer to fund the experiment. I'm sure there are many graduate students and doctoral students that might benefit from such research. They'll design the experiment, monitor it, and publish their work.

It's worth a shot.
 

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While reading the last few posts of this thread "The Stand" by Steven King popped into my head.

Alex
 

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After my last post, I received this kind and encouraging private message from a Dick Cryberg in Ohio:
Richard Cryberg said:
I personally hope EPA puts you in jail for ten years for breaking all kinds of laws. You are a criminal if you do the tests you propose and as a criminal should be punished enough to prevent you from doing further harm and creating risk for society. I suggest if you do this unlawful test at minimum you should kill the bees and burn all honey and hive equipment at the conclusion of the test.

To do this legally you need to get an Experimental Use Permit from the Federal EPA. At minimum that EUP will require you to burn or landfill 100% of any honey stores in the hive at the end of the test. If it is burning you would be required to burn at an incinerator licensed for waste disposal.

Dick, also a PhD chemist who has a brain unlike the moron you consulted with.
Is Dick just that, or is there a true legal issue here? Has anyone heard of a US lab testing this? I realize that any non-approved treatment is risky, but anecdotal evidence suggests that thousands of gallons of 12% Amitraz are crossing the border into the US and are then used in commercial beehives nationwide in a wholly illegal manner. Organic acids are dangerous to the person applying them as well, and are also deadly to larval bees. The fact of the matter is that we do not have a satisfactorily affordable mite treatment method and the faster we can get answers to the question of whether this treatment is worth pursuing or should go the way of Coumaphos, Fluvalinate and Fumagilin the better our industry will be.
 

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i'm not an expert on the matter, but here is a comment from randy oliver about it:

"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."

from: http://scientificbeekeeping.com
 

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... is there a true legal issue here?
You can not legally "roll your own" pesticides. To be legal, every pesticide applied must come out of a container that has an EPA registration number, AND the full manufacturers instructions on the label [which must include dosages for the target pest].

That also means that those using "generic" oxalic acid (AKA wood bleach) as a varroa control are in violation of EPA regulations. The only legal use of oxalic acid as a varroacide is when that oxalic acid comes out of a properly EPA registered/labeled package, such as the ones that Brushy Mountain or Dadant sells.

That same principle applies to lithium chloride when used as a pesticide (varroa control). It either needs to be from an EPA registered/labeled container, or you need an EPA experimental permit. They are not impossible to get, for instance, Randy Oliver has an experimental permit for oxalic acid used as a varroa control. (Even though oxalic acid is an approved varroacide, to use it in a manner not on the EPA label requires an experimental permit.)
 

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I would heed Dicks words and Randys; this is not something to mess around with. Join Bee-l and look up the discussion regarding this. Many people do not have a bedside manner but get frustrated with amateurs messing around with chemicals like the above.
 

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“It is used to manufacture mineral waters; in pyrotechnics; soldering aluminum; in refrigerating machines. It is used as a dessicant. HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: Acute poisoning in man reported after 4 doses of 2 g each of lithium chloride, causing weakness, prostration, vertigo, and tinnitus.” Definition online.
 

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Many people do not have a bedside manner but get frustrated with amateurs messing around with chemicals like the above.
When it comes to Dr. Cryberg, I think that is an understatement. However, I find that highly intelligent people tend to be brusque in their speech. That is to say they do not suffer fools gladly. I tend to ignore the manner and focus on the content.
 

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Could have missed it but salt substitute is/was potassium chloride don't remember lithium used that way.
 

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We have a major disconnect in this country between the educated elite, the so-called "scientific community" who burn billions of dollars in research money in their ivy-covered towers without generating any tangible results, and the on-the-ground workers who are engaged in the actual production of real goods and services. The goal of most research scientists seems to be less an actual useful result, and more the pursuit of publication in order to garner that next taxpayer-funded grant check. This study was only accidentally useful to those of us in the industry. The scientists were trying to use genetic material from mites to somehow make the bees biologically resistant to the mites (GMO bees anyone?) but when the research came up with an actual, useful result, our ivory tower wizards had to quickly regain their place in the hierarchy by cautioning us against using the research for our own purposes. The exception seems to be people like Mr. Oliver who are somehow able to stand in both worlds, without treating those of us in the commercial industry with unveiled disdain.
That being said, the caution of the more tactful of you has not fallen on deaf ears, and rather than experimenting myself I'll be working to provide cull-out equipment stocked with bees so that a team of chemists and biologists can design a suitably safe experiment without danger of cross-contamination to production colonies.
 

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When it comes to Dr. Cryberg, I think that is an understatement. However, I find that highly intelligent people tend to be brusque in their speech. That is to say they do not suffer fools gladly. I tend to ignore the manner and focus on the content.
Me too.
 
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