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Potential New Varroa Mite Treatment Using Glycerin & Oxalic Acid

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TFF Admin

Not sure how many of you beekeepers out there are readers of American Bee Journal but there is a VERY interesting article in the January edition written by Randy Oliver on page 43 that goes over a new varroa mite treatment he has been doing research on using food grade vegetable glycerin/oxalic acid solution that is soaked into paper shop towels and layed on the top bars of the frames.  It appears to be VERY effective and an excellent treatment rotation to whatever you may be using now.  It would also be a LOT less hassle to apply this treatment than sublimating oxalic acid into the hive.  Very economical to use as well. 

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flman

I was going to get a couple of hives for a hobby last spring, but then I got too busy with work and it never happened. I just so happen to have a bee supply less than 4 miles away.

Well, maybe this spring? BTW, how early can you get started in a colder climate?

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TFF Admin

In my opinion, in your case, I would recommend (if you can get them) 3 nucleus colonies that have over wintered in them.  (remember the rule of thumb in survival........3 is 2 and 1 is NONE)  With these crazy weather swings it is hard to say exactly when other than when the temps get into the 50's which is usually around March and sometime late February.    If you can get nucleus colonies or full sized hives then you will have to go with package bees.  Again I recommend at least 3 colonies and install them in NUCLEUS hives.  The reason for starting the packages in nucs is that they are 5 frame vs. 10 or 8 which allows the bees to MUCH better regulate temperatures in the nuc boxes.  They can also regulate temps if you have a late hard freeze much better in a nuc.   If they fill up the first box, add an 2nd nuc box on top.  Once they have filled up 2 or 3 nuc boxes, THEN you can transfer them to 10 or 8 frame hives. 

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TFF Admin

This is a 5 frame nuc

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/hive-colony-maintenance/queen-rearing/nuc-boxes/unassembled-complete-nuc-kit-telescoping-cover

As each nucleus colony box fills up (bee draw out and fill 4 out of the 5 frames minimum, you can add another box on top of that nuc box already full of bees.  I have some nucleus hives that are 4 boxes high.

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/hive-colony-maintenance/queen-rearing/nuc-boxes/unassembled-growing-box

Once you have enough boxes in the stack, you can move all of the frames to a full sized 10 or 8 frame hive.  Actually you don't have to do this but you DO need to either continue to add a new box when the rest become full or split the nucleus hive in half and start a new hive.  If you allow the hive to become overcrowded with bees, they most certainly will swarm on you about half to 1/3 will leave to start their own new colony.  Nucs are cool because they make honey, they sell for GOOD money (read $140 - $200 each), and they can be used to save a hive that has lost its queen.  They over winter much better are quick to build up in Spring. 

Here are some examples of nucs stacked upto 3 high

https://beesincorporated.com/products/

This is a ten frame Lanstroth hive (actually a deluxe starter kit, this is what I started with and I would recommend for you) eventually you will use the ten frame hive and its components once your nucs fill up.

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/beekeeping-kits/complete-beekeeping-kits/deluxe-starter-kit/deluxe-10-frame-beekeeping-starter-kit-wood-frames-painted-1

If you have any Amish communities nearby, I am sure there is someone there making beekeeping equipment that you can buy MUCH cheaper that online.  I buy mine from a local Amish family who makes their beekeeping woodware out of cypress. 

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TFF Admin

If and when you get your first hives or packages of bees, now you have a new method of treating them for mites to get started off right.  Even new package bees and hives being sold have mites. 

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alleyyooper

That method is not new at all and still may not be (?) section 18 approved in all states. Same with the formic acid in Mite away, mite away II USDA approved Organic.

But is against the law for me to use it Canadian style. Which Is Liquid Formic in a bucket, fill up with pads like found in meat trays to soak up the blood. take them out and let them drip then install them on the top bars.

99% effective.

If you go back about 10 years maybe more you will read about a bee keeper being fined for the blue towel found in the hive with Oxalic acid. 

:D  Al

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TFF Admin

Agree the method is not new however, the chemicals or compounds are.  Have you read Randy Oliver's  article on this technique yet.   

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TFF Admin

For those who want to read up on the most recent research and field trials using oxalic acid & glycerin to treat for varroa mites, check Randy Oliver's series entitled "Beyond Tactic".  

 

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alleyyooper

Just remember if you have state inspectors who visit your regestered bee hives what they find in the hive has to be section 18 approved or you will get a nice fine.

There just are to many approved mite treatments and use properly is safe.

And yes I read the articale and still don't see where it is new? every since rthe mites arrived in the USA beekeepers have tried about every thing under the sun up to and includeing laqure thinner.

Problems arrise when the state has not gave the treatment a section 18 approval.

 

:D       Al

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TFF Admin

I neglected to remind as does Randy Oliver in this article IF you DO use this treatment be mindful to ensure it IS legal to do so and has been approved for use in honey bee hives. 

Great to see you posting again in the Apiary section Al!  How are your bees doing in this bitter cold?  

 

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