Do I need Oxalic acid treatment for bees in December?

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bobba 

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Enrico says: Never done it, but he thinks that it makes more harm than good. Well....

When drippling of oxalic acid syrup was tested 20 years ago, bee researchers from 6 countries were in the project. The project lasted several years. Most of Europe uses the method. You may use it for swarm too.

The drippling was invented in Italy 1998 by prof Nanetti. But Enrico has a strong feeling, which he is eager to deliver. He does not give any value to this project researchers.

Oxalic treatment in the middle of winter is usefull, because it kills the rest of the mites before spring brood rearing. If the hive has capped brood, mites are safe under cappings.

If treatments in late summer is missing, oxalic tripling does not help alone. Late summer treatment saves the brood, which are going to become winter bees.

I hope that some day Enrico will give usefull advices about varroa treatment.
I read some papers a while back about the harmful effects of trickling.

They concluded that that the act of trickling sugar syrup onto bees was detrimental, more so the cooler the weather. Hive performance was gauged by observing the build up the following spring.

Just to be clear the papers never said trickling veroha treatment was bad, as the positive effects of the treatment likely outweigh the detrimental effects of the trickling. But the papers did conclude that treating bees with OA vapor was far less detrimental to the hives.

So if a hive had a very low mite load, there is every possibility that trickling could do more harm than good.

So I am in the Enrico camp on this one. Like Enrico I have never done it, but based on research I have read also suspect there is a possibility it may do more harm than good (depending on many factors).

So feel free to blast me too ;), but I think why bother trickling when you can vape. All the research I have read shows vaping to have a higher efficacy and less detrimental effects on colonies.

I dont have much bee keeping experience so have to rely on what I can read. But I understand that sometimes real world lived experiences dont always stack up to what the research says, so if you have been trickling for years without issues and it works for you, than keep going.
 

oliver90owner 

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I used to argue with Finny years ago (see the archives) that trickling oxalic acid in the middle of winter was unnecessary for colony survival, aggravated nosema and was cause of some colony losses.

I trickled only one or two years. After that it was then a case of ridding the colony of varroa, before the winter brooding, and then leave the bees in peace for the duration. Has worked for me.

Of course, there will always be varroa in our colonies and killing a few by trickling will reduce the numbers surviving to springtime - but that is all. You take the risk of slightly nosemic colonies biting the dust.
 

Finman 

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I have used oxalic drippling 18 years. I have not met such problems, what you describe. Neither those has been reported in Finland.

What idea is to use my time with debating with the gyus, who have not used dribbling. Hivemaker used to have all kind of problems with dribbling. His problem was that his bees got pollen during whole winter and he did not have brood brake. And much of your stories originates from Hivemaker's forum writings.

However dribbling is used around the world, where local weather is suitable. Cost is minimal and simple to do.
 
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pargyle 

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However dribbling is used around the world, where local weather is suitable. Cost is minimal and simple to do.
I think that is the key Finnie ... where there is a tight cluster and a brood break it has been demonstrated to work - but bear in mind, in the UK particularly, we are seeing wetter warmer winters and our bees (certainly in the Southern half of the country) are changing - where I am on the South coast there is brood almost throughout the year and with warm insulated hives the bees do not cluster. I have clear crownboards so I can see what the bees are doing without opening them up.

The questions I always ask about trickling in mid-winter:

1. Is it necessary ? - if varroa levels are low going into Autumn do they need a booster in mid winter.
2. Does it do harm opening a hive in mid winter ? My bees propolise everything together when winter starts - it's obvious they want to keep things sealed - cracking the crownboard ? Not good.
3. Is it really good to pour syrup and oxalic acid over them - forcing them to clean themselves and presumably digest some of the OA ?
4. It will affect/damage any brood present.

As always in beekeeping there are going to be those beekeepers who will say 'Well, I've always done it and my mentor before me did as well and my bees are fine' - But that's beekeeping - we change very slowly and improved or different ideas are not readily accepted.

Personnally, if bees needed treatment in mid winter (and I can't think why they would) the better option for modern beekeepers is OA by sublimation. It can be done without opening the hive, it's been proven to be 97% effective on phoretic mites, it will not affect any brood present and it does not drench them in a wet syrup.

But, I know you have been keeping bees since Noah landed the ark and I respect your knowledge and ability to keep bees in a climate that must be very challenging - I'm just surprised that you haven't taken on board OA by sublimation.
 

Ian123 

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The original question was to use oxalic not to trickle or vape, and yes I’d bleach the wood in winter with oxalic. Finsky has said vapings good! What many are forgetting is the original work was the trickle, vaping came as an after thought along with the equipment. I spoke with Hive Maker and he had issues with trickle and thought he got his first mix wrong if I recall correctly. This was early 2000! I trickled several hundred a season back then and never noticed any link with nosema or any such issues. I’ve also not seen info from the original research showing issues with single treatments. People also need to remember that decent vaping kit is also relatively recently available and at a reasonable cost. Try vaping hundreds with a gas vap or cheap pan😂 As to Oliver’s comment it only kills a few till spring, that’s the whole point those few in spring can be catastrophic numbers by autumn. As to opening hives in winter many have done it the nbu have done it, researchers the world over have done it, no issues reported!
 
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Finman 

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I think that is the key Finnie ... where there is a tight cluster and a brood break it has been demonstrated to work - but bear in mind, in the UK particularly, we are seeing wetter warmer winters and our bees (certainly in the Southern half of the country) are changing - where I am on the South coast there is brood almost throughout the year and with warm insulated hives the bees do not cluster. I have clear crownboards so I can see what the bees are doing without opening them up.

The questions I always ask about trickling in mid-winter:

1. Is it necessary ? - if varroa levels are low going into Autumn do they need a booster in mid winter.
2. Does it do harm opening a hive in mid winter ? My bees propolise everything together when winter starts - it's obvious they want to keep things sealed - cracking the crownboard ? Not good.
3. Is it really good to pour syrup and oxalic acid over them - forcing them to clean themselves and presumably digest some of the OA ?
4. It will affect/damage any brood present.

As always in beekeeping there are going to be those beekeepers who will say 'Well, I've always done it and my mentor before me did as well and my bees are fine' - But that's beekeeping - we change very slowly and improved or different ideas are not readily accepted.

Personnally, if bees needed treatment in mid winter (and I can't think why they would) the better option for modern beekeepers is OA by sublimation. It can be done without opening the hive, it's been proven to be 97% effective on phoretic mites, it will not affect any brood present and it does not drench them in a wet syrup.

But, I know you have been keeping bees since Noah landed the ark and I respect your knowledge and ability to keep bees in a climate that must be very challenging - I'm just surprised that you haven't taken on board OA by sublimation.
Old rubbish. Almost all is nonsense.

Basic thing is, that trickling works besr when out temp is +18C. When cluster is open, syrup works best.

Dribbling has been invented in Italy. It is warmer country than UK.

I do not mind read any more. You do not know much about dribbling.
 
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Finman 

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I think the amount of dribble increases with age😳
At least I know what kind of dribbling you are most interested.

At least the best dribbling experts in this forum are such, who do not even use oxalic trickling. Ian123 told corectly about the history of oxalic acid after the year 2000, from its beginning.

I have had much nosemic colonies during 20 years, and I have not noticed any connection to oxalic acid. I have put emerging brood from big hives and brooding in nosemic hives have started well in 2/3 cases.

Where you are real experts is bullying. It is the highest class. That is best what you can teach to new beekeepers. And the moderators are the most eager to bully in this forum. No shame at all.

I have tried to teach to you in using oxalic acid in this forum how long? And same with polyhives and insulation. What I have got is bullying. I feel quite sad to exist in this forum.
 
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Finman 

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I think the amount of dribble increases with age😳
You have real knowledge. Colored with age rasism.

When I visited in England 25 years ago, there was a new law about age rasism at work places. Seemingly it has not worked.
 

Boston Bees 

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Finman accusing other people of bullying.

This is irony at the highest level. I love it.
 

TomH 

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Perhaps a quick change of subject is in order?

....

I see this month's BBKA News mentions matchsticks under the crownboard again :laughing-smiley-004
 

Erichalfbee 

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Perhaps a quick change of subject is in order?

....

I see this month's BBKA News mentions matchsticks under the crownboard again :laughing-smiley-004
Diversionary tactics eh?
@john1 has your question been answered?

Edit
OP hasn’t been seen since swarm’s reply so I guess it has. The squabbling has gone unnoticed so I’ll close the thread and throw another log on the fire
 
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