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Back of the envelope calculation:

The actual amount of OA vapor (oxalic acid that was previously vaporized and is now just fine crystals that enter the hive at high pressure) that gets into the honey from uncapped honey frames from a single OA treatment is around 150-250mg. In total, per pound of honey, there's approximately 10-20mg of oxalic acid if OAV is applied with uncapped honey.

Here's how I arrive at that number:

Assuming 2 deep hive bodies, and 1 honey super, 75%+ of the surface area of the treated hive surfaces (all the bees, frames, and comb in the 2 deep hive bodies) will "consume" the 2 grams. The remaining 25% of the hive surface area is the honey super. That leaves 500 mg of OA for the honey super. Of that 500mg, 50% will "probably" adhere to the bees, the outsides of the honey cells, the wooden frames, the walls of the hive, the inner cover. Leaving, perhaps 250mg to "get into" the uncapped honey. If there's any capped honey, that 250mg will coat the outside of those cells, decreasing the "total" to, perhaps 150mg of OA actually entering into the uncapped honey.

Generally, OA vaporization is applied as follows: 2g 5 days apart for 5 total treatments. If 5 treatments of 2g are applied, that's a total of 750mg-1.25g of oxalic acid that enters into the uncapped honey itself that will later be consumed.

Assuming that honey eventually becomes fully capped honey, each frame may weigh, say 7lbs. 1 super contains, say 70lbs (for the sake of this calculation). Each 1lb sample of honey from that extracted super will contain 10mg-20mg of oxalic acid. If many supers are extracted simultaneously, this may include honey that was not exposed to OA vaporization, further diluting the total amount of OA per lb of honey.

So that leaves us with 10mg-20mg of oxalic acid for 1lb of honey.

Let's say the honey super only weighs 50lbs, not 70lbs. That's still only 25mg of OA that enters into 1lb of honey.

So in total, let's say at the high end of the range, perhaps as much as 40mg of Oxalic acid per 1 lb of honey (the actual amount may be much less).

How does that compare to other foods that people eat ?

A single serving of the following vegetables contain nearly 3-5X the amount of OA in 1lb of honey (treated with OAV):

Beet greens.
Rhubarb.
Spinach.
Beets.
Swiss chard.
Endive.
Cocoa powder.
Kale.

According to this article, 1lb of soy flower, or a typical serving of grits contains nearly 5X as much Oxalic acid as 1lb of honey that was extracted from a super exposed to a full round of OAV treatments.

In conclusion, the amount of oxalic acid in 1lb of extracted honey is at least five times less than the consumption of a typical mixed salad containing beat greens, spinach, kale, swiss chart. The consumption of a bowl of grits, or a handful of almonds will contain multitudes more oxalic acid than 1lb honey extracted from a hive treated with OA vaporization.

Therefore, removing honey supers is probably unnecessary while performing OA vaporization.

#### AR Beekeeper

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But, according to the oxalic acid label, it is not to be used with surplus honey supers on the hive. The label is the law and I would not recommend to anyone that they use the product in a manner that violates that label.

#### Groundhwg

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But, according to the oxalic acid label, it is not to be used with surplus honey supers on the hive. The label is the law and I would not recommend to anyone that they use the product in a manner that violates that label.
I could not find that label anywhere on my can of Savogran Wood Bleach.

#### kaizen

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That sure is a lot of work to prove a point

you ever smell oa vapor? no way would i sell that to anyone if there was a chance of it being in the honey.

if you don't like lifting honey boxes put on MAQ's or something similar that is allowed to be on with honey.

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Two studies demonstrating the relative safety of oxalic acid for human consumptions:

1. Oxalate content of foods and its effect on humans.

Abstract
Oxalic acid and its salts occur as end products of metabolism in a number of plant tissues. When these plants are eaten they may have an adverse effect because oxalates bind calcium and other minerals. While oxalic acid is a normal end product of mammalian metabolism, the consumption of additional oxalic acid may cause stone formation in the urinary tract when the acid is excreted in the urine. Soaking and cooking of foodstuffs high in oxalate will reduce the oxalate content by leaching. The mean daily intake of oxalate in English diets has been calculated to be 70-150 mg, with tea appearing to contribute the greatest proportion of oxalate in these diets; rhubarb, spinach and beet are other common high oxalate-content foods. Vegetarians who consume greater amounts of vegetables will have a higher intake of oxalates, which may reduce calcium availability. This may be an increased risk factor for women, who require greater amounts of calcium in the diet. In humans, diets low in calcium and high in oxalates are not recommended but the occasional consumption of high oxalate foods as part of a nuritious diet does not pose any particular problem.

2. TEA AND COFFEE AS THE MAIN SOURCES OF OXALATE
IN DIETS OF PATIENTS WITH KIDNEY STONES

In this study people consumed nearly 350-400mg of oxalic acid daily, and the only long term effect was kidney stones. Clearly indicating the upper limits of long term oxalic acid consumption.

400mg a day is well over 10,000% the amount of oxalic acid in 1 pound of honey exposed to a full OAV treatment.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but with maximum honey doses of OA of around, maybe, lets say 50mg of oxalic acid per pound of honey - there's no risk to human health by keeping honey supers on the hive.

#### kaizen

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Maybe I'm incorrect with regards to my calculations of OA content of 1 lb of honey. Based on the high estimate of 40mg of OA per lb of honey, and a brief review of studies, a bit of research on oxalic acid content in foods. I can conclude that OAV treated honey is no more "dangerous" than eating a mixed salad, or eating a bowl of grits, or a bowl of bran cereal.

#### MJC417

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That sure is a lot of work to prove a point

you ever smell oa vapor? no way would i sell that to anyone if there was a chance of it being in the honey.

if you don't like lifting honey boxes put on MAQ's or something similar that is allowed to be on with honey.
Formic goes under the cappings, I wouldn't eat or sell honey that was exposed to formic either. Have you ever smelled formic vapors?

#### little_john

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you ever smell oa vapor? no way would i sell that to anyone if there was a chance of it being in the honey.
Oxalic Acid is already in the honey - it's a natural constituent of it. So - you'd better not sell any honey then ?
LJ

#### Tim KS

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Maybe I'm incorrect with regards to my calculations of OA content of 1 lb of honey. Based on the high estimate of 40mg of OA per lb of honey, and a brief review of studies, a bit of research on oxalic acid content in foods. I can conclude that OAV treated honey is no more "dangerous" than eating a mixed salad, or eating a bowl of grits, or a bowl of bran cereal.
....and I doubt that you will ever sit down and consume a pound of honey at one meal. :no: That stack of pancakes might soak up 3-4 ounces at best. Thanks for crunching the numbers, username00101. :applause:

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#### crofter

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I would not worry about the oxalic acid uptake being a safety issue but I see a possibility of there being some taste contamination. The exposure is to a very highly concentrated OA source, many times higher than the dilute concentrations from plant sources. Pure unheated oxalic acid has no volatile component odor from my experience but the finely aerosolized crystals have one of the most acidic PH levelsof any acid and will react on contact with other elements creating other compounds that could have odors.

I am playing a bit with the OA and glycerine strips and there is a slight odor coming off them that I can only describe as "acrid" and not identifiable with the components separately. If that were to be picked up by honey, it might be detectable. I say IF. I dont know if it would be so. According to some existing info it will not taint honey in supers but I would test that proposition very gingerly.

Do a controlled test and have someone with a very discerning taster do a blind test. Not sure whether you should inform the guinea pig ahead of fact. Science says you should not but common sense and your own safety might dictate otherwise

#### Tim KS

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Frank, I can understand your concern with taste or smell in honey from OA. But if we are after such subtle changes in taste, what about the possible changes brought on by, perhaps, the bees walking over MAQs and then into supers.... or Xentari or Montery Bt applications made directly to the comb in supers? Are there concern here as well?

I think we're chasing after problems that are unproven or possibly we don't even have. :scratch:

#### johno

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As I have been using OAV for about 6 years now you can tell how concerned I am about the regulators and as far as I am concerned if they can keep their bees any better than I can I will still take no notice. Now after saying that it is maybe a good thing that Herr Mueller is senile other wise I might have some of his jack booted chums banging on my front door at 4 am in the morning.

#### little_john

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Some time ago there was a thread about possible OA brood frame toxicity, and I did a similar 'back of a ***-packet' series of calculations. There was lots of guesswork involved of course, but the numbers suggested around 2.7 micrograms of OA might possibly enter each cell.

I found it difficult to translate this amount (even if that figure is anywhere near reality) into anything meaningful without even more guesswork.
In particular - how much does a typical brood frame weigh ? Somebody once suggested around 7 lbs, which is 3,175 g - which equates to the average contents of each cell weighing some 35 milligrams. In reality of course, cells will contain varying weights - but - using 35 milligrams as a guide, this implies that contamination with 2.7 micrograms of OA represents around one ten-thousandth of the cell contents.

One might suspect that very young larvae with only a smear of RJ would receive a disproportionately higher concentration of OA - but to offset that, such larvae would be partially protected by being located right at the very bottom of their cells. Those larvae most at risk would be those completely filling their cells and about to be capped.

But - one ten-thousandth of the cell contents doesn't seem to be much to worry about, especially as RJ - like honey - is already acidic.
LJ

#### squarepeg

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have you attempted a similar estimate for the terramycin you applied earlier this season?

#### crofter

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Tim, I am not very concerned with honey consumption safety issues with either Formic or oxalic acid. Any temporary uptake results in honey that is within the range of normal background levels in honey. The ability to taste formic acid levels varies greatly from person to person. I dont think that wholesome honey producers should risk their reputation by approaching discernable levels. This needs good testing with stringent controls not hearsay one way or the other from people with any appearance of confirmation bias.

I have tasted honey that has a definite after bite that could be connected with one or several of these plant sources. Yellow rocket mustard, Blueweed, leafy spurge etc. It would be easy for someone to insinuate the use of one of the organic acids, formic or oxalic. For these reasons I think it best not to appear wildly supportive of treating with supers on. Miteaway Quick Strips or Maqs have done some testing that seems to support that their product passes the test.

For small scale honey producers, image of purity is our biggest drawing card.

#### Bdfarmer555

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For small scale honey producers, image of purity is our biggest drawing card.
This is it...

While logically, I agree username, the reality is that the American consumer doesn't care about boring calculations or studies. It's all about headlines. And if those headlines become "Beekeepers across America are selling honey tainted with chemicals used to kill mites", your honey will be as attractive as roundup ready soybeans.

More often than not, common sense has no place in marketing...

#### elmer_fud

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The difference between formic acid and OAV (as I understand it) is that formic acid is released as a gas/vapor and remains in a gas/vapor state. OAV sublimates the oxalic acid (turns it into a gas) and then the oxalic acid recrystallizes on anything that it touches. I have run OAV with a clear lid, and you can see some of the oxalic acid crystals deposited onto surfaces in the hive and on the lid.

Since the OAV is a solid after treatment is is not going to evaporate off on its own and will remain where it lands to some extent until the bees knock it loose and/or haul it out. Since the formic acid is a gas, and it enters the capped cells, it is probably reasonable to assume that it will also exit the capped cells, although at a slower rate than it enters (due to a lower concentration). I am not sure that pulling the supers at the immediate end (day 21) of formic acid treatment is a good plan, because I do not know how long (and did not find data on) how long it takes for the formic acid to dissipate, but I suspect it will dissipate thru the cappings eventually .

The other thing to consider is the oxalic acid might not be 100% pure, and may also release some other unknown chemical when it vaporizes. This small dose of other chemicals may not hurt the bees, but it may not be good for humans either. If you use a high quality (\$\$\$) chemistry grade oxalic acid it is more likely to be high purity, but most people probably do not.

Based on what I know I have not treated any of my (now 4) hives with supers on.

#### little_john

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The other thing to consider is the oxalic acid might not be 100% pure, and may also release some other unknown chemical when it vaporizes. This small dose of other chemicals may not hurt the bees, but it may not be good for humans either. If you use a high quality (\$\$\$) chemistry grade oxalic acid it is more likely to be high purity, but most people probably do not.
Natural pollen contains far more impurities than industrial-grade OA - including Cadmium, Mercury and Lead. Lead in particular can be present at high levels: up to 0.5mg/Kg is considered acceptable. Pollen composition and standardisation of analytical methods. Campos et al., 2006, IBRA.

Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Nickel, Cadmium, Cobalt, Chromium and Lead were all identified in samples of natural pollen by Harmanescu et al., Mineral Micronutrient Composition of Bee's Pollen, 2007, although Cadmium and Cobalt were identified in only one sample, and at low levels. "The highest contents in all analyzed pollen samples were obtained for Mn content, followed by Zn and Fe, Cu and Ni."

It may be worth mentioning that although Iron is the principle impurity of industrial-grade Oxalic Acid, it is an element essential to human health, with the average human body containing somewhere around 4.2kg (9 lbs).
LJ

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