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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's something a local beek told me the other day (we were discussing treating comb for eggs/vermin) ....

He saw a beek colleague use Star-San (a sulfonic acid/phosphoric acid combo) to spray active comb in his hives. The bees didn't seem to mind it, there didn't seem to be any mortality with them [at least, at the time .... and maybe since] and the colleague says he's had no issues this year with SHB and/or moth maggots overrunning his hives (which has been an issue for him in the past, pre-Star-San).

The formulation is 1 oz per 5 gallons water.

I use the stuff to sanitize my wine-making equipment/btls before using them. Never heard of any bee-related application.

Does anybody know about this, or have an anecdote from somebody?! :scratch:

Thx for any feedback; before I try it, I'd like to think I won't be frying The Girls or any eggs w/in the comb. I confess, it's hard for me to see anything being so effective against maggots/vermin eggs yet not affecting bee larvae/eggs.

Mitch
 

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That would definitely need further testing and is, of course, not an approved use of Star-San. Has he done anything else for SHB or moth control?
 

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Update us if you try it! That would be a very low-cost solution, practically free.
 

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The guy could may be just having some good years with low beetle numbers.I had really low beetle numbers during 2018 and was using grease patties with wintergreen oil.That summer I had low numbers without the grease patties also.Last year I quit using essential oils all together and still had low numbers of beetles.This year and right now I have hives here with even lower numbers of beetles and some hives here even have no beetles.I used to think the oils were helping keep them out but not now.The only thing I have done different here is I bought carni queens from Lappe's.I raised all new queens from them and bought a few more this spring.I did see a week or so ago a bee with a beetle by the leg and have wondered if just maybe the bees are turning to ankle biting like the Perdue Ankle Biters do with varroa mites.I dont know but it was a thought.GregH is up the road about 20 miles and he has bought the Lappe's carni queens also and raising queens from them also and has been seeing low beetle numbers.Hopefully the bees will learn to take care of the beetle one day.Oh and some of these hives here with no beetles have no traps,no DE or anything used to combat the beetles.The hives with beetle traps some will have a beetle here or there and some none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That would definitely need further testing and is, of course, not an approved use of Star-San. Has he done anything else for SHB or moth control?
Hi -- I think he's used traps and possibly oil pans. If he's the person I have in mind, he does what can be done (fundamentally). The Star-San thing needs further inquiry by me. I want to do what the Chinese do: let others take the risks in exploring, and I'll get onboard once I see if it works ......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The guy could may be just having some good years with low beetle numbers.I had really low beetle numbers during 2018 and was using grease patties with wintergreen oil.That summer I had low numbers without the grease patties also.Last year I quit using essential oils all together and still had low numbers of beetles.This year and right now I have hives here with even lower numbers of beetles and some hives here even have no beetles.I used to think the oils were helping keep them out but not now.The only thing I have done different here is I bought carni queens from Lappe's.I raised all new queens from them and bought a few more this spring.I did see a week or so ago a bee with a beetle by the leg and have wondered if just maybe the bees are turning to ankle biting like the Perdue Ankle Biters do with varroa mites.I dont know but it was a thought.GregH is up the road about 20 miles and he has bought the Lappe's carni queens also and raising queens from them also and has been seeing low beetle numbers.Hopefully the bees will learn to take care of the beetle one day.Oh and some of these hives here with no beetles have no traps,no DE or anything used to combat the beetles.The hives with beetle traps some will have a beetle here or there and some none.
Good points; I'm devoted to the scientific method, null hypothesis, etc, and don't wanna say any 1-off action is responsible for anything .....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update us if you try it! That would be a very low-cost solution, practically free.
I'll check into it a little more, and'll post any findings/conjectures/etc if any can be established. Yeah, it would be sweet if the stuff really could do the job! Right now, 1 of my 2 hives is filthy with SHB's -- as usual -- but The Girls seem to be strong enough to keep the little monsters on the run. I'm using both traps and Swiffer pads in the battle. Have to say, though, the pads're creepy to me -- bees get tangled up in 'em, etc, and The Girls plainly don't like 'em (they propolize the things, for example, or try to drag them out of the hive) ....

Mitch
 

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As a glass sanitizer, Star San has a low ph and kills by disrupting cellular membranes with a redox reaction.
At the proposed dilution rate, similar to what is used to sanitize beer bottles, it is not likely to harm bees. (It has never bothered my hands, working with it for 1 to 2 hours at a time.)
But it might have an effect on insect eggs.
I don't know where/how SHB and wax moth eggs are laid. I would expect they are VERY small and vulnerable to an acid chemical.

Anybody know more about the SHB or wax moth egg laying habits?
 
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