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how many ya"all read the july issue of bee culture? mr Dick Marron did a wonderfull story on my efforts on keeping all chem's out of the hives.If you are interested in morearticals in this please contact the editor of bee culture say we need more info some people like chem free honey now days. Dick came out to my house and spent time to do a story on it and was very understanding of my point of view. ya know I can't change the world but if one of does something to help {can't hurt}
Don
 

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I don't get bee culture anymore, but it's great that keeping bees without the use of chemicals is getting more attention nowadays. I know that the ability to go without treatments in honeybee colonies is highly correlated with well selected healthy honeybee stock, so you must be making good breeding decisions in your efforts to develop such an excellent bee that is able to achieve that. Keep up the good work!
 

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Don,

I can assure you, that you and others doing the same thing, are doing something that myself and many other beginners are trying to emulate.
I'm not there yet, but I'm trying
thanks for showing us it can be done

Dave

[ August 07, 2006, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ]
 

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I read that story a few times and I am very interested. I am new to bees and I am trying to figure what makes sense and what types of thought go along with certain actions.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Thnx Don. The nuc you sent me has turned into a two box colony. I've only used Lemon Grass and Wintergreen oils in sugar water. I think the small cell helps too.
Happy,
 

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I got 2 nucs from Don this year of small cell bee's. We are new beekeepers and had read about small cell as a way to prevent mites. One hive was NWC and one had a NWC X Russian queen. We have looked all season and not found a single mite. Bee's are strong and healthy!! I am sold on small cell and our mentor here who has only done the large cell is impressed and talking of switching over his hives to small cell.
Cindy
 

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I liked the artical.....

I do think it is important to find a schedule the works for you in treatment and make sure you know what you can and cant do when the supers are on.

I do think organic treatment is the way to go and cheaper then chemicals to boot.

I would like to learn more about what other people are doing that is chemical free.
 

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I've never treated since getting back into beekeeping 4 years ago. Started 4 hives from packages of Carniolans. Hives have screened bottom boards. All hives had mites by mid-summer of the first year (mites visable on workers and capped drone brood).

I always intended on treating, even though I preferred not to, but never could figure out which chemical treatment to use. Some chemicals were supposed to be losing their effect while others seemed too toxic.

The first year I tried using Pierco drone foundation as a mite trap, but left the frames in the hives a leeeetle too long... and about half the drones were out by the time I came back. That gave me lots of drones and lots of mites.

That fall I lost one hive to a cow with an itch and late winter I lost another hive. May have been mites, but it looked like they starved (even though they had lots of honey). We had an extended deep freeze. Many bees stuck head first into cells.

The next spring I replaced the two lost hives with nucs from a local beekeeper using Kona Queen Carniolans. Haven't lost a hive since.

My methods are simple: in the fall I use powdered sugar. The rest of the year I use sumac seed pods in my smoker based on posts I read here at Beesource.com. The sumac produces a thick cool smoke. I just build a wood fire in the smoker using chunks of hardwood (mostly maple, some oak and apple) then just put one sumac pod on the top.

I've switched to all medium boxes and now use pierco 1-piece frames in the brood boxes (I use a mix of pierco and foundationless frames in the honey supers). I use SBB's and leave plenty of ventillation during the winter.

I don't know what is working, but as long as I don't lose hives and don't need chemicals I'll keep doing it.
 

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<I don't know what is working, but as long as I don't lose hives and don't need chemicals I'll keep doing it.> My sentiments exactly. No chemicals here, but FGMO. I've read that the brackish water in the sound across the street might also have something to do with it. Apparently brackish water builds up the bee's immune system. Whatever. I've been a beek 5 yrs now and haven't lost any hives to varroa (knock wood).
 

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gingerbee:

This is a trick that i picked up from another beekeeper. It is parts powdered sugar and 1 part garlic powder. Mix together and spinkle on top of the brood chamber frames. Brush off the rest that are on the top bar. It helps if you have a SBB. You can do this anytime if the year.


I have been thinking of getting a fogger. how does it work? is it electric or gas?
 

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Isaac,

Thanks so much for the help.

One part powdered sugar to one part garlic powder? Applied how often?

And I'm sort of a newbie... what is SBB?

Also, the idea of a fogger and vinegar seems like a good idea, from what I've read.

Would also like to know from others about foggers. Anyone tried this or read about it?
 

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Gingerbee . . .

>what is SBB?

Screened Bottom Board (SBB) replaces standard (solid) bottom board. The screen allows you to easily monitor Varroa mite population and also provides lots of ventilation.

>like to know from others about foggers . . .

Try a search here on BeeSouce, just click "search" at top of this page.

There are lots of "past posters" that have not acheived good results, but may report excellent results. If you want my "2 cents worth", just send me a "Private Mail".
 

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Also, in the article below is a breakdown of the percentage of formic acid used to control mites, and how it's applied.

I'm not suggesting this, only wondering, if vinegar instaed of formic acid was used, and the amount and application followed the formula discussed here, would the benefical result be the same?

http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/pdf/reg/reg_c9405-e.pdf
 

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Also from googling:

Vinegar= impure dilute acetic acid.

Most commercial vinegar is labeled as 5% acetic acid.

The chemical formula for acetic acid is CH3COOH where each C stands for a carbon atom, each H stands for a hydrogen atom and each O stands for oxygen atom.

Formic acid= called methanoic acid, the simplest carboxylic acid.

The chemical formula for formic acid is CH2O2 or HCOOH.


A problem in using vinegar may be that the acid is too diluted. If you had an acetic acid that was 100% then maybe you could dilute it to 65% and have the same results?

But as it's diluted, trying it may not hurt the bees and may result in an elimination or decrease in mites?

I don't know, but it seems worth considering. I'm going to post the question on some chemistry boards and see what the response is. I'll let you know.

Thanks for all the responses and the help,

Ginger
 

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GINGER; check out www.countryrubes.com for complete how to dust with powered sugar. They do a really good job explaining the process.
Welcome to the chemical free idea of beekeeping, altought careful with them trem 'organic' ALOT of people will try and argue that point.
I just prefer to say that no chemicals, that I know of, is in my honey ;)
 
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