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Lactic Acid - difficulty in buying!

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louiseww 

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As a newbee I was planning to use this as per our session on 'what to do in winter' but have as yet been unable to buy lactic acid. Our local suppliers do not have any.
Has anyone else had this problem? If not where I can I get it - I know it is not to be used until first week of December.
Thanks
 

Poly Hive 

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Lactic acid can indeed be used as a varroa treatment but ONLY when there is NO brood.

Ask your local chemist to get it for you.

PH
 
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OK - I haven't asked a silly question for a while so here goes...is a hive ever totally without brood??? I've had mine since June and they are always there...does it just stop in the winter, and how do you tell if it is a typical cold winter and you can't inspect every frame?
 

Poly Hive 

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On average yes there are times in the winter when hives are broodless, and as I was taught this in Germany then I assume it also applies to the sunny south of England.

In Scotland mine were broodless from late December through to early Feb.

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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Lactic acid can indeed be used as a varroa treatment but ONLY when there is NO brood.

Ask your local chemist to get it for you.

PH
i have to use lactic acid ( or get someone else to dribble oxalic?) as i am allergic to oxalic ( rhubard)

like oxalic treatment it must be done in the broodless stage, it has several disadvanteges over oxalic

1) you have to do it at least twice
2) you have to spray the bees and this means breaking the brood cluster
3) use too much and it can be transferrede to the honey stores

and minor advantages

4)it is does not damage the bees so much as oxalic
5) you can repat it
6) it has been said Queen's don't get suoerceded as frequently but not found a source to confirm this ???)
 

Silly Bee 

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Is a hive broodless?

When a new swarm is being re-hived.
 

Rosti 

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Is a hive broodless?

When a new swarm is being re-hived.
When first housed it must be by definition, but as to how long it remains broodless will, I guess, depend on whether, a) the queen is already mated b) you have given them drawn comb.

Given oxalic is a treatment episode/event rather than a treatment course; if you get them with oxalic early then it should be effective. Not sure if oxalic can affect a queens chance of being mated so each time I have done it I have waited until I have seen the first eggs and then treated.

Other views?
 

Midland Beek 

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15 % lactic acid/water spray is available from Thornes. It is used during the 'active' season and ideally on broodless colonies, because if there is brood the bees may abort it. I have never heard anyone advise the use of this product during the winter.

During the winter and when bees are clustering, oxalic acid in sugar syrup is used, ie. trickling method, and not lactic acid/water spray.
 
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Thanks all, I knew new swarms would be broodless, but just wondered about the rest of the time - esp. in the South West...interesting hobby this isn't it!?
 

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