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gavin 

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Oh dear. Are we all sure that we're not being used by these people? From their briefing paper:

> Setting the scene: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
> Over the last two years there has been a massive, worldwide drop in bee
> numbers. In the UK beekeepers report a one in three loss of bee colonies
> has occurred.

OK then, are we saying that American CCD is the same as UK winter losses? Apparently this is what they have in mind as they continue in this vein later in the piece. Are we saying that one in three winter losses means a year-on-year reduction to 2/3 of the total population?

> In 2007, Lord Rooker, then a DEFRA Minister, said “If nothing is done
> about it, the UK honey bee population could be wiped out in 10 years”.
> However, this is a worldwide phenomenon, and appears that we are heading
> towards a global disappearance of honey bees.

He might have said it, the BBKA might have repeated it, but does *anyone* here actually believe it? Even Brosville?

> Einstein said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the
> globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more
> pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man”.

Goodness gracious me! It gets worse. Lies, lies, lies. Einstein never said anything like it.

> The evidence against these chemicals is strong, ....

Really? April/May exposure via OSR, bees healthy in April, May, June, July ... yet they die in November, December, January, March. How come?

This is pure propaganda, based on half-truths and total falsehoods. Nowhere near the truth. The evidence against these chemicals is weak. They might be part of the bigger picture, but focussing on them to the exclusion of other possible contributors to the winter losses of the winter before last and the one before that is ... utter folly!

> These two behavioural strategies seem to be in place to make
> up for the fact that bees have a lesser detoxifying capacity
> in their bodies compared to some other insects.

You should all read their briefing paper and have a laugh about the Soil Association's ideas on 'tester bees'! However that comment above is also ridiculous - bees are fairly efficient de-toxifiers as they have to face a range of natural poisons in their varied diet. No doubt that is why it is possible to load large quantities of pyrethroids into hives to kill mites (not that I advocate doing so).

That is such a weak paper, clearly written by people with little real understanding of bees and driven to exploit the current concerns about bees. Shame on them!

Gavin.
 

jon 

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I support the soil association and Coop stance on bee research but as Gavin says that article is a bit lightweight. The soil association usually gives very good advice and support. I have noticed a lot of people using the term CCD to describe any type of bee loss. The non beekeeping public are always incredulous that CCD in limited to the US as there is now so much talk about it.
 

Brosville 

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Lightweight undoubtedly, aimed at "the public", but there is no denying that scientifically speaking, neonicotinoids should be removed from sale on the precautionary principal - the ONLY losers would be Bayer and their shareholders (oh dear, what a shame, never mind!)
 

gavin 

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Hi Brosville

I *do* appreciate the opportunity you gave me first thing in the morning to have a good rant, thanks.

Maybe I was getting a bit Brosvillish there too?

all the best

Gavin
 

admin 

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> The evidence against these chemicals is strong, ....

Really? April/May exposure via OSR, bees healthy in April, May, June, July ... yet they die in November, December, January, March. How come?

Gavin.
How come ?

Maybe its because it takes 6 months for the other 15+ chemicals that the bees forage on to mess with the bee's neurons ?

I understand that some research in the states is looking like CCD could be caused by a mixture of chemicals even though each one on its own is below toxic levels in the honeybee.

Gavin do you believe that CCD is not a chemical problem ?

Personaly I think it's due to 80% stress 20% chemicals.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Could it be that the summer bee's do not live that long anyway,but the winter bee's that have to live for several months on pollen ect collected in the summer months cannot survive the cocktail of poisons, nobody knows yet,but i'm sure the answers will be found in the end by the scientists.personally apart from the losses which i have written about in the past,due to direct crop spraying,i have not noticed too many problems in the winter,apart from nosema,and i think that has a lot to answer for.Also found that colonys that do have nosema,then have oxalic trickled over them, may not last long after.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Do you treat for Nosema? My wintering bacame much better when I fed a Fumidil dose per colony each autumn BEFORE feeding up heavily.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Have not fed fumidil for years,until this one,never had any nosema problems when i used thymolised syrup,which has proven to be better than fumidil at prevention,this is the only downside to feeding fondant,so i have found. Its obvious why thymol is good.
 
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gavin 

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Gavin do you believe that CCD is not a chemical problem ?

Personaly I think it's due to 80% stress 20% chemicals.
I'd place new and old diseases, like folk are saying in other replies, as part of the problem and that stress and chemicals add to that and amplify them. I wouldn't like to rank them, but the chemicals in the US are more likely to be from beekeepers.

We don't have CCD. We may occasionally have Marie Celeste which seems similar, but winter colony deaths are not CCD as defined by the CCD scientists.

And yes, you can stretch it and think that there *might* be some chemical in the stores that lasted through the summer and affected the September bees but didn't affect the May ones. This is stretching it though, as exposure in April/May at OSR sites must be huge compared to the left-overs in the autumn.

all the best

Gavin
 

Hivemaker. 

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And i had no probs this year with osr,still think nosema gets overlooked,we have two kinds,but most are completely obsessed with the varroa mite,to the exclusion of all other ailments.
 
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Have not fed fumidil for years,until this one,never had any nosema problems when i used thymolised syrup,which has proven to be better than fumidil at prevention,this is the only downside to feeding fondant,so i have found. Its obvious why thymol is good.

What about your thymol-in-oil-in-oasis trick? Does that not have a residual effect?

Frisbee
 

Hivemaker. 

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Read that it could make drones infertile,but that seems to be untrue,would be better than apiguard as that contains 12g of thymol,mine only 8g,but don't believe there is really any harmful effects in usuing thymol,as it has been used in bee feed for many decades without ill effect, before we even had varroa,where as the treatment for varroa is only in the hive a short time.I would think any of the esential oils are better than the hard chemicals.What treatment do you use Frisbee?
 
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I used Apiguard (? tray, can never remember which name is which) although I ended up being right out of warm weather :), and then oxalic acid in the winter. But I've read about your oil mix and have it and the oasis already to go.........I have to be a bit careful with thymol as it heads straight for my migrane spot :puke:, but I added the thymol to the oil in the oil plastic bottle and put it in the sun outside for a few days, gave it a shake every day and it dissolved very nicely. I put thymol in the syrup as well, so my bees came out of winter fairly well, accidentally I hasten to add, I only discovered the advantages re - nosema in the spring, I think Polyanwood was having trouble with bee squits and thymol syrup was suggested.

Frisbee
 

Hivemaker. 

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This all sounds good to me Frisbee. ROB Manley was feeding thymol,decades ago,also my great uncle was using it in syrup 45 years ago and more,with no ill effects at all. I have used this oasis treatment now for about 6/7 years,soon after getting resistant mites,tried formic,then read about the thymol on spanish beekeeping site.Then took to feeding fondant only,instead of thymolised syrup,then noticed more mite problems,and now more nosema,so am going back to feeding each colony at least one gallon of thick thymolised syrup each autumn,will be interesting to see if i can cut out the oxalic bit again,time will tell.
 
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admin 

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Why cut out the OA Hivemaker ?

I read that Thymol helps to contain numbers while OA knocks verroa dead.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Because when i treated with thymol pads in autumn,and fed thymol in syrup,it seemed to keep the mites in check on its own,as i did not use oxalic to start with,just going to do a little experiment on some and see the difference without the oxalic.. Thymol also knocks them dead.
 
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With the oasis pads you are treating over 6 weeks anyway so that is covering 2 brood cycles.

My biggest problem as I can see is having enough time........enough time to do a 6 week treatment and then getting enough syrup before the weather cools down. It is my problem though, I need to get my a**e in gear :rofl: - which is why I have the oil already mixed, as soon as we hit August anything without a super on is getting it, and since it looks like the season is all over bar the shouting even the supered ones will probably have them removed fairly smartish. I'll be making a few decisions next weekend.

Frisbee
 

Haughton Honey 

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I've heard that this feed mix has had very good results in the US of A if anyone's interested.
 

Hombre 

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Hivemaker,

I can't recollect you having given details of the thymol-in-oil-in-oasis pad treatment that you use, as mentioned by Frisbee. Can you enlighten me as to strength/proportions to use please?

I understand that the duration of treatment is six weeks, but don't know what the temperature constraints are.

I have saved away your previous information regarding dilution of thymol crystals in surgical spirit for a stock solution used for dosing winter syrup to prevent fermentation and as a beneficial prophylactic treatment against nosema spores.

PS The bees propolise mesh put over crown board ventilation holes - I lost the original thread, but did say that I would get back on this. :)
 

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