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Having a number of patents myself, including two which I have pursued violators on, I have to disagree. Big businesses are loath to violate them, as patent courts tend to scale penalties to the size of the violator and size of the violation. Its simply cheaper for them to buy-out or licence the patent.
Seeing as this thread has just been given the kiss of life - just thought I'd take the opportunity to comment re: the above. Patents do NOT work for procedures/ applications/ inventions that people can easily and readily avail themselves of. Strewth - we only need to look as far as Lorenzo Langstroth to see evidence of this ! That guy should have died the richest man in the graveyard, and not as a pauper. There wasn't even enough money in his estate to provide for a grave headstone - Root & others had to hand around a begging bowl in order to purchase that.

D.L.Adair tried making money from his patented beehive by selling 'Trade-Marks' - which were disks of stamped metal attached to the hive body. Anyone caught using an Adair hive without one would then be subjected to the full force of the law ... in theory. So how do you police that ? You can't. It doesn't work.

Because of this, Gallup and Adair decided from the outset that their new Long Hive (which out-performed the Langstroth hive - duly confirmed by A.I. Root) would be Patent-free. And was one of the principle reasons why it never caught on. Because there was nothing for the Agents to sell (the 'rights' to use a Langstroth Hive had been sold for 10 dollars a time during the 1860's & 70's - big money back then. But how much of that $10 did Langstroth ever receive ? )

And yes - Patents can be used to stifle innovation - a good example is a major American welding equipment manufacturer who has filed a patent for the use of exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine to be used as a shielding gas - but they have not been required to demonstrate this technique. Indeed, this method has never been developed. But - because of their all-encompassing 'umbrella' pre-emptive patent for this, no-one in their right minds would now spend serious amounts of time and/or money pursuing this, only to be robbed of the rewards if/when it is shown to work.

FWIW - I will shortly be revealing a minimal-management (2 visits a year) fixed-volume horizontal hive - equivalent to five Warre boxes - which contains 24 standing-frames. I believe it to be a totally novel design. Will I attempt to patent it ? Not a chance - wouldn't waste my money.

58 Posts
Next try not in sirup this time

After a slightly late harvest this WE, I resumed my tests with Lithium. Last year I had incorporated Li Carbonate in syrup with some efficiency but there was clearly a problem with the storage of this syrup and the risk that the following year some of this syrup would end up in the highs. This year I chose to treat with Li chloride in the drinking water of the hives. I dissolved 2g of Li Chloride in one liter of water. The carbonate does not dissolve completely in the water whereas for the chloride, no problem. I then gave 50cl to each hive (4 hives with 2 liters of this mixture).
They take it easily, 50cl are taken in 24h with a strong colony.
For the queen no incidence for me and all those which tested, even on colonies very badly in point which could be saved with lithium.
For the brood, it seems that in the larval state there can be an incidence according to the dose. I could see last year a very brief fall of some larvae on a significant concentration 50mmol, it is written above. At 10 or 25 mmol, I did not observe these drops. On the other hand my hives treated last year are doing well, I was able to divide them and harvest a rise on the stump.
The formula to make the mixture is: for X mmol per liter you have to divide the molar mass by 1000 and then multiply by X, which gives the quantity in grams to put in one liter.
In the case of LiCl, the molar mass is 42.394/1000 X 25 (to have 25mmol/L) = 1.05985 grams.
For carbonate, the molar mass is 73.891/1000 X 25 (always 25mmol/L) = 1.84727 grams.
and results

Before treatment, the 2 new hives that had a break in egg-laying in the spring at the division are for the moment only slightly affected by varroa (counting over 7 days at less than 5).
On the Kenyan, 9 over 7 days and on the old Dadant, the most active, about a hundred falls over 7 days.
48 hours after having given the drink I notice that for the old Dadant and the Kenyan the feeders are empty, for the 2 new hives they are still half and three quarters full.
Still after 48 hours I counted about 650 falls on the old Dadant and about a hundred on the Kenyan one.
For the 2 new ones, I wait until the feeders are empty to count. For the old well infested Dadant, I continue to count and I am thinking of treating again six days after the first treatment.
On the well infected Dadant I was around 15 natural falls/day, with treatment there were at least 970 falls in 6 days.
The Li does not dislodge, a priori, the varroa mite on the capped brood, on the commonly accepted estimate of 100 varroa mites in the hive for a natural fall/day, with 15 falls/day I must find 1500 of them on the diaper after treatment, but a part remains in the capped brood. With the 2nd treatment I will be able to compare, then if I do a 3rd treatment again at 6 days, I will have covered a complete cycle of capped brood. With 3 treatments I should fall (in theory) to zero varroa.
Following the counts on all the hives and on 2 days ½ (60h) then on 24 hours,
the two Dadant who only had one treatment on August 08: 0 on 60h then 1 on 24 hours for one; and, 14 on 60h then 7 on 24 hours for the other.
For the old, well-infested Dadant which received two treatments on August 8 and 14: 748 over 60 hours then 111 over 24 hours.
Finally, the Kenyan who also received two treatments on the same dates: 81 over 60 hours then 24 hours a day. It is always well charred varroa, not natural falls where they still move for the most part, especially over 24 hours.
At the end of the week, I will do a 3rd treatment for the Dadant and the Kenyan and a 2nd for the Dadant which had only one treatment and which had 14 falls over 60 hours.
Perhaps the most effective solution would be to leave them with continuous Li water for about 20 days to cover a complete cycle and that as the births occur, the varroas of the brood are all eliminated.
I am also thinking about the idea of putting Li in candy for the winter to replace the AO treatment.

1,759 Posts
Neet stuff docBB
when you get the winter candy recipe down please share, some like an interesting way to come out in the spring Varroa free.

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