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Discussion Starter #1
This information may have already been shared or mentioned. I could not find it using a page search so I decided to share it here. Look for some articles on the subject in the future. See Below

Hi

I hope you are doing well amid the current situation. It is true that I have conducted some research here at the University of Florida that has shown the legal 1 g dose of OA per brood chamber to be completely ineffective. I conducted a follow up study to find the effective dose. We again confirmed that 1 g OA is totally useless and found that 2 g OA was better than no treatment, but not significantly better than 1 g. Treating colonies with 4 g did not appear to have negative effects on the health of honey bees, but it was not significantly better than treatment with 2 g. Thus, we can’t outright say that 4 g is better than 2 g, so the true best treatment is probably somewhere between 2-4 g. We have submitted this article for publication, but it has not yet been reviewed by other researchers.

All this said, I’ve been very careful not to make any recommendations of OA treatment, because telling beekeepers to quadruple their dose and that everything is going to be OK is not necessarily true. However, I do intend to take both articles (once the dose paper is published) to the EPA to advocate for a label change. I want OA vaporization to be effective for beekeepers because I feel that there are many positives to the treatment and the current dose does not appear to have any effect on the mites. However, until the label is changed I must only recommend that the label is the law.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

Best,

Cameron

Cameron Jack, Ph.D.
Lecturer and Distance Education Coordinator




Good morning


I don’t mind you sharing our conversation on a bee forum. I would say that the current legal limit of vaporizing 1 g is totally worthless. I don’t necessarily mean that OA vaporization is a bust, because you start see some control at 2 g and a slightly better effect at 4 g. To be clear though, even after three rounds of treatment at 4 g once per week, we still had average mite loads of about 2 mites/100 bees. We started with high loads, so it did knock it down significantly, but we didn’t see the efficacy you would expect from something like amitraz. However, with resistance issues cropping up with amitraz, it is important to have a few more weapons in our arsenal. All that said, I am not recommending anything, just telling you our research findings. As I said earlier, we do plan to take our research to the EPA to advocate for a label change.

At this time, we are probably still getting our best control with amitraz, though we are starting to have some resistance issues ourselves. Thus, we use OA via trickle and vaporization during the winter and early spring. In Florida we don’t have much of a spring and jump quickly into summer, so if we still need a treatment in the spring before the nectar flows, we use thymol.

We really do try to practice what we preach and we use alcohol washes to sample our apiaries at least every other month to monitor Varroa populations. I feel strongly that frequent monitoring is a critical practice these days, especially after treatment, so you know if what you’ve applied is even working for you.


Best,
Cameron

Cameron Jack, Ph.D.
Lecturer and Distance Education Coordinato
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So I am trying to decide what schedule and regimen to use. I know many of you have shared your schedule but could you please add it to this thread for easy access?

How Much?
How Often?

And any other information you feel is pertinent....Thanks in advance.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I would do an OAV single application as soon as the supers come off. Count the mites. This is sort of your baseline. Hopefully it is near zero. Zap them about every two to three weeks and compare the mite drops. When you see a significant increase, say from 10 to 30, time to start a full program. Every three days seems to work best but sometimes that is impractical so at least every seven days until the mite counts drop to less than 10 again. The key is to never let the counts get high in the first place. Although I missed a few applications, the plan for me is essentially every weekend from August through October, about 13 applications. Plus the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones. So far, two years OAV only and no varroa related hive deaths.
 

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When I first started using OAV about 6 or 7 years ago I tried the 3 treatments 7 days apart and although many mites fell I still had high counts so I discounted the 3 treatment regimen and just continued treating until very few mites fell after treatments. Since then I have shortened the time between treatments where I am now treating every 3 to 4 days for at least 6 treatments in a row and at this time will do at least 14 treatments through the year. My colonies go into winter reletively mite free so as we have an early spring flow the treatments will only start after harvesting in Late June early July after which my treatments start. I have always used more than the recommended dosage as over time I have found that there appears to be no ill effects on the colonies so for the normal 2 brood box configuration I fill my silicone capsand will have a half ball from the measuring spoonover the top of the silicone cap so I would estimate at least 31/2 grams. I have felt that the more vapor crystals in the hive the greater the chance of getting a higher efficacy and the longer the crystals will remain in the hive. I have used only OAV for the past 6 to 7 years and am at a loss with what to do with all the bees I have. At present I have more than 40 colonies and want to get down to 20 and I have been trying to do so for the last 3 years, maybe I should just go treatment free for a while.
 

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I use 4/4 treatment schedule and get good results. I use alcohol wash to check. I now have only a home yard, so I treat after sundown to be sure most of the bees are home for the day. I am considering doing a 4/4 treatment on half the colonies and following that with a once a month treatment to see how that works.
 

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The statement "the current legal limit of vaporizing 1 g is totally worthless" raises a flag to me. While I don't doubt that higher doses of oxalic acid could have higher efficacy, the idea that 1 gram doses (per brood box) are "totally worthless" is hogwash. If that were the case, then we should all rejoice, for there are many, many colonies around the world that have been surviving varroa for years with a "totally worthless" treatment regimen. His claims would effectively mean that our bees have already developed their own strong resistance to mites. Because I'm an exuberant mite tester, I can tell you that mine have not developed their own resistance; but they still survive and flourish year-after-year with my 1g OAV treatments.

I think I remember a Randy Oliver article in ABJ in the last year where he tested higher doses with good results up to a certain point, and then diminishing results thereafter. I can't for the life of me find that article though, so maybe I dreamed it. I'm not against higher doses if the science shows it's safe for the bees and much more effective--I just shudder at the idea that the current legal dosing limits are being discounted completely.
 

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The statement "the current legal limit of vaporizing 1 g is totally worthless" raises a flag to me.
Bingo! Not my experience; the legal dose does help, even if not perfect. This makes me question the rest of what is being said. Maybe context is missing.

Perhaps they are trying to do a single-dose treatment? It is pretty apparent that a single dose at the legal limit misses the goal fairly often.

Is the solution a higher dose or more doses? Who knows? Does a higher dose "hang around" longer?

I have creeped up my dose by 50%, when heavily infested, but nowhere near the levels mentioned. No ill effect noted at my levels. I also dose multiple times, using mite drop as the indicator of whether to continue or not, and this seems to work. The evidence is that my colonies survive and thrive.

It seems clear that the "label" merits change, but with the little information given, I am not sure the change suggested is correct or complete.

Looking forward to more work on the "extended release" treatments being explored by various people.
 

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One gram into what - a box ? How big is the box; how many bees are in that box; how well is that one gram circulating ... ?

I remember reading Johno's early posts about the experiments he conducted using a transparent Crown Board (Inner Cover) to check how well the VOA dispersed.

It's all relevant - maybe one gram vapourised from the bottom using a wand, into a box which is packed to the gunnels with bees, isn't all that effective. Whereas the same dose injected at the top, into a box in which the bees can move around more easily is indeed sufficient ?
LJ
 

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All this talk about dosage got me to wondering how much I was actually using when I treat. I have been using the little scoop that came with the ProVap that is marked 1/2 tsp. I use a rounded scoop. Broke out the gram scale and sure enough, 3- 3.5 grams per double brood box.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One gram into what - a box ? How big is the box; how many bees are in that box; how well is that one gram circulating ... ?

I remember reading Johno's early posts about the experiments he conducted using a transparent Crown Board (Inner Cover) to check how well the VOA dispersed.

It's all relevant - maybe one gram vapourised from the bottom using a wand, into a box which is packed to the gunnels with bees, isn't all that effective. Whereas the same dose injected at the top, into a box in which the bees can move around more easily is indeed sufficient ?
LJ

I may have read more into it than I should have but I took it to be 1 gram per brood box and three treatments at one week intervals. I am sure the papers, when released,will be more detailed.

And thanks Johno for answering my message.
 

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This is my routine. For the last 5 years I use OAV exclusively. No mite problems.

When the supers come off I treat 5 times at 6 or 7 day intervals depending on my schedule.

End of December I treat twice one week apart.

In spring I do a treatment to check mite fall.
So far in spring I get maybe 3 mites on the insert.

I use a rounded half teaspoon measure of oxalic acid.

Mite drops after the supers come off are in the 150 to 200 range after the first couple weeks then they are lower as the treatments continue.

As johno said, don't let the mites build up.
 

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I may have read more into it than I should have but I took it to be 1 gram per brood box and three treatments at one week intervals. I am sure the papers, when released,will be more detailed.
Yes, I'm sure that will be the case.

What I was trying to convey was a criticism of the basic rule, (an assumption on my part - never having read the 'official' US label) of "one gram per box".

An 8-frame medium is a brood box. A 12-frame Dadant is a brood box. They're both brood boxes, but with very different volumes, and thus the amounts of bees they hold, apart from variations in congestion also. Is it any wonder there are mixed reports of effectiveness ?
'best
LJ
 

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From my experience, timing of the OAV application to the paired life cycle of the Varroa mite and the honey bee is the key to successful Varroa mite mediation. For my geographic area, Early August is when the Varroa mite populating is rapidly increasing and and simultaneously the winter bees are emerging. Additionally the over all honeybee population is naturally dwindling. I OAV from the bottom of the colony one of two consecutive cycles of once a week for three weeks starting o/a 1 August followed by a single treatment between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have a SBB and a cooking oil sprayed drop board on each colony and I do a powdered sugar roll for an additional mite count. My Varroa mite count has been close to zero for years. I'm an all medium apiary and I use a single heaping one gram measuring spoon per application per colony. My environment is similar to that of Arnie's: high altitude and very arid.
Cheers,
Steve
 

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"I would say that the current legal limit of vaporizing 1 g is totally worthless. I don’t necessarily mean that OA vaporization is a bust, because you start see some control at 2 g and a slightly better effect at 4 g. "

So, now we have Michael Palmer, Randy Oliver, Kamon Raynolds and scientist Jack Cameron having doubts about OAV efficiency or practicality.


Who else do we need?
 

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"I would say that the current legal limit of vaporizing 1 g is totally worthless. I don’t necessarily mean that OA vaporization is a bust, because you start see some control at 2 g and a slightly better effect at 4 g. "

So, now we have Michael Palmer, Randy Oliver, Kamon Raynolds and scientist Jack Cameron having doubts about OAV efficiency or practicality.

Who else do we need?
Yet another troll post from a TF enthusiast using the same "appeal to authority" as previously.

Quote: "Appeal to authority is a common type of fallacy, or an argument based on unsound logic. When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true because it is believed by those who are said to be an "authority" on the subject."

On the other hand - you could weight up your misrepresented examples against the many thousands of beekeepers who hold a very different opinion.
LJ
 

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Yet another troll post from a TF enthusiast using the same "appeal to authority" as previously.

Quote: "Appeal to authority is a common type of fallacy, or an argument based on unsound logic. When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true because it is believed by those who are said to be an "authority" on the subject."

On the other hand - you could weight up your misrepresented examples against the many thousands of beekeepers who hold a very different opinion.
LJ

How many of those thousands of beekeepers need to say out loud their doubts of OAV efficiency and practicality, in order for me to be allowed to say any doubts on the efficiency and practicality of OAV?

Ten?
Fifty?
Hundred?
Thousand?
 

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Ah yes - the 'evidence' implicit within those who remain silent ...

How about those who are more than satisfied with using VOA ? Don't their voices say something to you - or are such a growing band of people deluding themselves ? All those colonies which now survive the winter, whereas before they invariably died-out. Yes, we must be doing something wrong ...

I'm fascinated by why a TF beekeeper is looking for any opportunity to bad-mouth what must be the most simplistic, economical - and from the bees' point of view - the safest treatment for Varroa mites (when applied correctly of course) when compared with current alternatives. Or is it that you actually favour the use of commercial systemic miticides ? Because, from what you have previously posted - it would certainly appear so:

My rule of thumb has always been: what the profs use is good for a hobby beekeeper, but not vice versa. (https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?361089-Mites-Won-t-Stop!-Using-OAV/page2 post #22)
Extraordinary. I'm wondering why you haven't seen fit to post that sentiment over on the TF sub-forum ?

In Britain we have an expression for this - it's called "running with the fox, while hunting with the hounds." In essence - you can't do both - you can't hold two such opposing opinions simultaneously. (Unless you're a politician of course - they do that all the time). :)
LJ
 

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I'm interpreting this to mean that OAV under his conditions is not effective at the specified doses. Change the climate, change the timing, change the size hive and the results would likely be very different. It is very rare for bees to be broodless in south Florida. OAV is most effective with broodless bees.

They say no fence is wide enough that a good politician can't straddle it.
 

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I know for a fact that the brand of OA makes a big difference.

I've had terrible results with some of the generic crap I found on amazon, and would never recommend using just any brand of OA. OA is not all made equally.

If you're starting to get into OAV, I strongly recommend buying laboratory grade OA, or try Florida labs.
 
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