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...crossposting this from Bee-L.

Thymol treatments seem to have been embraced by the beekeeping community (larger producers, and even the organic and natural crowd...except for the "treatment free" camp) as a safe and effective mite treatment.

We attended a talk last week by Maryann and Jim Frazier at the Backyard Beekeepers in CT.

Apparently, they have some evidence at Penn State that thymol has an unfortunate side effect..it increases the permeability of other pesticides (presumably both agricultural and beekeeper applied) through the bee cuticle.

They did not present what the evidence/data was that they had observed/collected, but it was clear that despite the fact that it was this years intended "pre installation treatment" for packages in their program, they decided not to use it at all, and although Maryann still recommended other "soft" treatments in her talk, she warned strongly against the use of thymol.

deknow
 

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Some people put all kind of chemicals like Amitraz, Apistan, Chumaphos, Fumidil etc. in there hives and telling there customers honey is an excellent natural product.

Our bees must be very strong creatures to survive in such an environment. But eventually they can’t handle it any more and beekeepers blame someone else for the disappearance of our little girls. Queens have trouble with Chumaphos and drones are sterile. Almost all chemicals penetrate wax and the only way to get rid of the contaminated combs it is fire. I wonder what’s happen if they made candles from this pesticide wax and burn them inside? Do we need a canary in the house, like they used in coal mines hundred years ago?

Because of this problem, many beekeepers in ours and several other European countries waking up. Treatments with naturally products are already everywhere and our honey is pesticides free.

How can somebody make a statement Thymol has side effects with other chemicals? I treat my bees during summer with Thymol strips and in late fall or winter with oxalic acid for several years and don’t need this other “chemicals”.

Both are naturally products and we eat them every day. Oxalic acid is in most vegetables in a higher concentration which we never can reach in our honey.
Thymol is used as a flavoring substance in ice cream, in candies, in baked goods, in chewing gum. Thymol is a natural component of lime blossom honey.

Organic farmers are everywhere, what’s happen with the beekeepers?
 

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I'd like to hear more on possible thymol issues. I spoke recently with a Scottish commercial beek who was quite positive about thymol. Apparently they feed it over there rather then fumigate with it al la Api Life Var or Apiguard. Is the feeding technique legal in the states?

What were the Fraziers talking about as an alternative? I used formic last year with good results...
 

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Compounds from organic sources are not necessarily without risks. Rotenone is one such product and if Thymol possibly is, I'd be very interested in hearing more about it.

I garden organically but I don't put blind faith in natural products being completely harmless.

Wayne
 

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Compounds from organic sources are not necessarily without risks.
Especially when you consider the concentrations used in the 'pesticide' are far beyond any that occur naturally. The reality is that even organic compounds have an LD50
 

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It comes as not surprise that thymol has a negative side effect. The reality is that any pesticide, synthetic or organic, that kills mites will have some detrimental impact on the bees. Finding a concentration that kills the mites effectively, at the same time causing minimal damage to the bees is the goal. Since varroa, over time, ordinarily kill 100% of the bees…..not looking for a fight here….the pesticides are considered, by many, to be the lesser of the evils.
 

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The news from that preseentation was grim. Cumaphos and Apistan were found in pollen trapped coming into hives that had not been treated. COMING IN, I said. HAD NOT BEEN TREATED, I said. Over 170 chemicals have been found in pollen in small concentrations. A few in honey, but not so much.

dickm
 
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