Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious, how many of you treatment free beekeepers out there have

A) had good results over a long term, 2+ years
B) what is your strategy?
C) did you get the covid vaccine?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
1. Rather poor results. I think it is more due to my poor management skills than mites though. Last year for example I let the bees run wild and they swarmed themselves over and over and ended up with puny weak colonies that didn't survive. Not many mites but other things can kill hives than just mites.

2. Strategy is frequent splits, brood breaks, and extensive drone culling. It appears to work to keep the mite numbers down. I tried oxalic acid on shop towels last year on some hives but don't really have any results to note, since the hives died for other reasons.

3. Yes, in December. Pfizer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I'm running into a lot of people saying treatment free didn't work for them. But to be fair it seems that people are using the wrong frequency of how often to treat with alternative treatment methods. Like for example, many people using the same frequency they'd use for oxalic acid with other methods that aren't anything at all like OA.

So it seems like there isn't a lot of good data.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I sense a bit of a definition problem. To paraphrase from #3

....treatment free didn't work .... using the wrong frequency of (alternative) treatment .....

This leaves me a little confused as to your definition of treatment free and a some expansion or clarification may help the discussion.
Sel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
I am just curious, how many of you treatment free beekeepers out there have

A) had good results over a long term, 2+ years
B) what is your strategy?
C) did you get the covid vaccine?
I have been trying to be treatment-free for 10 years, and also have used various types of treatment. I have not succeeded at either. Last year I treated with Apivar and lost almost all hives. I am old and have serious health problems and do not want to be near any of the products for treatment. There is a reason that the labels are very specific about protecting yourself from their product. Treatment free for me has not worked. I am about to test around 10 colonies and then try and find something that may help but does not adversely affect my health such as Hopp Guard. I have tried this product with no success also but may try one more time.
 

·
Registered
30 hives
Joined
·
71 Posts
I have been trying to be treatment-free for 10 years, and also have used various types of treatment. I have not succeeded at either. Last year I treated with Apivar and lost almost all hives. I am old and have serious health problems and do not want to be near any of the products for treatment. There is a reason that the labels are very specific about protecting yourself from their product. Treatment free for me has not worked. I am about to test around 10 colonies and then try and find something that may help but does not adversely affect my health such as Hopp Guard. I have tried this product with no success also but may try one more time.
why not oav
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,805 Posts
I sense a bit of a definition problem. To paraphrase from #3

....treatment free didn't work .... using the wrong frequency of (alternative) treatment .....

This leaves me a little confused as to your definition of treatment free and a some expansion or clarification may help the discussion.
Sel.
The original post is structured in such a way I don't want to even bother.
How and why is COVID vaccination relevant?
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,805 Posts
I have been trying to be treatment-free for 10 years, and also have used various types of treatment.
Do you have some resemblance of the observation data?
Percentages?
Number of hives, etc?
I am truly interested to know (as you can easily verify, I do report my own numbers publicly).
10 years of observational data is valuable IF it has been collected and reported for a specific location.
Otherwise it is an opportunity lost.
Need to have numbers to classify success vs. failure, otherwise it becomes another useless anecdote.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
I have been trying to be treatment-free for 10 years, and also have used various types of treatment. I have not succeeded at either. Last year I treated with Apivar and lost almost all hives. I am old and have serious health problems and do not want to be near any of the products for treatment. There is a reason that the labels are very specific about protecting yourself from their product. Treatment free for me has not worked. I am about to test around 10 colonies and then try and find something that may help but does not adversely affect my health such as Hopp Guard. I have tried this product with no success also but may try one more time.
If chemicals are your worry, I'd avoid formic acid. Apivar is easy to use and doesn't require nearly the same care against contamination of your skin, but I used gloves when I placed it. Have not bought any for 4 years though. Oxalic acid is probably your best bet. Not medical advice!

Since you are in N Illinois, we are in some sense neighbors. Hello!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Some have asked why not OAV,? I think the original issue for Plannerwgp is his/her personal health concern in being around such a toxic chemical. That is my problem with Oxalic Acid, I am concerned with my abilities in handling an acid in both vapour or liquid form comfortably and safely for my health not necessarily the bees, because it has already been established that they will be fine. Oxalic Acid is labeled with the highest degree of toxicity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
Some have asked why not OAV,? I think the original issue for Plannerwgp is his/her personal health concern in being around such a toxic chemical. That is my problem with Oxalic Acid, I am concerned with my abilities in handling an acid in both vapour or liquid form comfortably and safely for my health not necessarily the bees, because it has already been established that they will be fine. Oxalic Acid is labeled with the highest degree of toxicity.
You don't want to get the pure oxalic on your fingers, certainly. It will burn. But handling it is much like handling bleach. Take care to keep it off skin and clothing. I have not worked with vaporized oxalic and have no comment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Thanks AR1, with being locked down for my first two beekeeping seasons sometimes only online research, without being able to actually directly watch and talk to those who could teach me how to handle treatments such as OA leads to a little fear of the unknown. Hopefully now I can find a local beekeeper that I can go and observe, we don't have any clubs close enough to attend up here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Some have asked why not OAV,? I think the original issue for Plannerwgp is his/her personal health concern in being around such a toxic chemical. That is my problem with Oxalic Acid, I am concerned with my abilities in handling an acid in both vapour or liquid form comfortably and safely for my health not necessarily the bees, because it has already been established that they will be fine. Oxalic Acid is labeled with the highest degree of toxicity.
I believe you are correct. These are all very potent chemicals and the warning sign month package should be ample evidence. Don't be mislead by the often-stated comment that these chemicals originate from organic sources. I am struggling with cancer and I simply cannot take any chance of worsening my condition. Unfortunately, there may be many beekeepers with serious health problems from OA vapor and other chemicals. I feel very bad for the uninformed workers who treat bees for some of the large commercial beekeepers as they may be improperly protected. I had someone try Apivar last year and it devasted 90% of my hives. Another experienced beekeeper in my area had the same issue with Apivar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,805 Posts
I am concerned with my abilities in handling an acid in both vapour or liquid form comfortably and safely for my health
Well, after 5 years of attempting to be a TF, I am learning the OA (especially now after the latest USDA ruling on OA safety - basically not a concern about bee product contamination).

I only consider working the OA in the liquid form (dribble) as the safest and the cheapest approach.

Google "strongest household chemicals" and see what is commonly sold and bought everywhere and routinely used around the house with just common sense precautions (see drain de-cloggers, bleach, etc)
Or google "strong vinegar sale" - people use concentrated vinegar for pickling projects - we are talking food stuff now. Or a weed killer....

Handling the concentrated OA is no different from handling any strong household chemical - which most everyone does routinely and successfully.
Most likely you have a bottle of bleach around the house as we speak (I have bleach as we speak - not for drinking. LOL).
I also have a gallon of drain de-clogger.
I also have a gallon of pine cleaner (Google about that too).
If you afraid to handle OA, you should be just afraid of most all household cleaners and good old vinegar or lemon juice too.
Finally, the OA powder itself is sold as a cleaner widely and only requires very common sense precautions when used as cleaner specifically:
Pour 1 gallon of hot water into a plastic bucket. Put on rubber gloves and add 16 oz. of oxalic acid crystals to the water. Wait until the crystals are completely dissolved before using the solution.
When OA solution is prepared for application, it is akin to diluted lemon juice and not really a concern.
Consider that common household vinegar is 5% solution while the OA solution for bee treatment is much weaker than that (2.5-4.5%). Of couse, acetic acid (vinegar) is weaker then oxalic acid in terms of the PH, but still, these are weak solutions to be panicking about.

So that's the OA personal safety.
It is all about common sense and nothing more.

PS: I don't want to deal with OA vapors at all, however - different subject in the context of cost and safety. Not for me.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
I am just curious, how many of you treatment free beekeepers out there have

A) had good results over a long term, 2+ years No , I see > 50% loss in winter. TF worked until it didn't, had bees since "78"
B) what is your strategy? Now , Brood breaks, new queens, Russian variants, and OA
C) did you get the covid vaccine? NO ,, I trust my Own Immune system more than a first time used RNA modification therapy.
to stay on topic

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I also have a gallon of drain de-clogger.
And that is truly nasty stuff.

There are two frequently recurring topics in the forum where the same words clearly mean different, to the point of mutually exclusive, things to different people. One is "Treatment Free" and the other is "Screened Bottom Board". In both these topics it usually takes just a couple of pages for people to begin talking past each other when they are often actually in furious agreement, just suffering a communication failure.

In the case of "Treatment Free" there is additional complication when the word "chemical" gets into the discussion. We are surrounded by chemicals, everything we see around us is made up of them, we have some nasty examples in our houses yet, to some people, the word means something new and frightening. Unfortunately there is no agreement on what that something is.

I may be all alone in this and just having a little rant but I wonder if there is any agreement out there. I realise that any effort at rigid definitions is likely to immediately go off the rails into fights to the death about trivia but is there any appetite for something like a "what do we mean by..." section in an appropriate places? As a newbie here, I know that it makes it much harder to balance conflicting advice when those providing the input are using the same words but actually talking about different things.

Sorry if that is an attempted hijack but it is hard to answer OP if we don't know what we are discussing.

Sel.
 

·
Premium Member
Mutts.
Joined
·
302 Posts
There are two frequently recurring topics in the forum where the same words clearly mean different, to the point of mutually exclusive, things to different people. One is "Treatment Free" and the other is "Screened Bottom Board". In both these topics it usually takes just a couple of pages for people to begin talking past each other when they are often actually in furious agreement, just suffering a communication failure.

In the case of "Treatment Free" there is additional complication when the word "chemical" gets into the discussion. We are surrounded by chemicals, everything we see around us is made up of them, we have some nasty examples in our houses yet, to some people, the word means something new and frightening. Unfortunately there is no agreement on what that something is.
Sel.
Did not answer the OP since I'm not at the two year mark yet. Your (excellent BTW) summary of the confusion surrounding TF has inspired me to bite;) Aspire to be totally TF long term so my strategy was to acquire local bees from a successful TF keeper. Check and check. Well, semi local and semi successful. See my thread below where I blather a bit about my tpope and Dunwoody bees.

Over wintered seven out of seven. Six of which were absolutely TF by the definitions of this sub forum. The one hive that received a partial treatment, was a 100% chemical free treatment by anyone's definition. (Thermal) Oh, did have one summer loss last year. Stupid newbie mistake... Was still shocked to over winter 100% my first year as a new bee keeper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,805 Posts
Over wintered seven out of seven. Six of which were absolutely TF by the definitions of this sub forum.
Good for you.
Fingers crossed for this to continue.
Keep the accounting straight so that we can get a 5-year study out of you. :)
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top