Teenage science (don’t come at me with pitch forks)

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metoday

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I expect this topic may have a knee jerk reaction for some of you so I figured I’d put this post into the ‘off topic’ section of the forum.

So I’ll start out by saying that I’m not a bee keeper, I do however tend to natural ponds and am a lover of nature and all creatures.

When I was half my age, I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen to a captured bee in a glass tumbler when I exhaled ‘salvia divinorum’ smoke.
So I exhaled the smoke from this plant and blew it into the upside down glass tumbler. A small amount of smoke was all that was needed to free the bee from 40 or more parasites which quickly evacuated themselves from their host bee.
The parasites were able to escape the glass and I was able to squish them all.
the smoke cleared, the bee settled down and flew away cleansed of parasites and seemingly unharmed.

I put this out here because I do believe this to be accidental science and in the right hands this knowledge could do wonders for hive health and bee health in general. Maybe.

This experiment occurred once and to one bee only, the learning potential is huge.
Please don’t come at me with pitchforks for animal cruelty or whatever.

Happy discussions please :)
 

Ian123

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What you found was probably a bumble covered in braula (wingless fly)it’s common on them. They also used to be common in bee hives and would ruin good cappings. They are harmless but cause a nuisance and sometimes would cover the queen. Blowing a little smoke over the queen would cause them to drop off. It’s not a wonder varroa cure if that’s what your hinting at!
 

metoday

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I guess I had a Nobel peace prize in mind.

There was definitely a wide variety of things that wiggled away and certainly not a single species of bug.
I kind of hope that somebody could test the difference between normal stuff that you puff on them and this highly psychoactive smoke.
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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Too many - but not nearly enough
You were probably fiddling with a bumble bee, you'd be very lucky to see a 'bug' on a honeybee apart from the odd varroa
Bumble bees and the mites hanging off them have, in general a healthy symbiotic relationship - does them more harm than good to remove them
 

metoday

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So if you have an unhappy hive I guess the symbiotic relationship has broken down or become unbalanced. ( I do not know )
Would it then be beneficial to the bee/hive to be rid of all the ecosystem to then restart again upon visiting its first flower?
 

enrico

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But...... Having said all that, until it is tested on a honey bee to see if varoa mites fall off we shouldn't judge or presume it wouldn't work. Because it would be illegal to use today doesn't mean that it couldn't be legal one day!
 

metoday

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This has sat on my heart for years, I’m just pleased to have handed off my information to those ‘in the know’ and I’m pretty sure there will be a psychedelic bee keeper out there who might capture and record the process on a single bee.
On the bumble I captured I squished wormy things, spider looking things, blood spiders, tiny almost invisible translucent things.
If you’re old enough to remember the cartoon ‘Trap door’ it was a lot like that; followed up with ‘whack-a-mole’.
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I think you need to do a bit of homework.
The difference between bumbles and honeybees would be a start
as well as parasitic mites affecting them.
I'd be more concerned about what you are actually smoking
 

enrico

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I think you need to do a bit of homework.
The difference between bumbles and honeybees would be a start
as well as parasitic mites affecting them.
I'd be more concerned about what you are actually smoking
A bit harsh when he was just passing on his observations, however hallucinogenic they may have been 😁
 
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I guess if you did happen to have some of this growing in your garden (I don't) you could legitimately use some in your smoker. If you happened to check your varroa board before & after it would be relatively normal beekeeping activity.
 

pargyle

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It would be illegal anyway
Actually ... it probably would not be in the UK. It's illegal to produce, import or transport for human consumption and illegal to possess with intent to supply (or to possess on custodoal premises) but ... from the looks of it you could use it as smoker fuel - I don't think that would count as human consumption and you could legally grow it for that use.
 

understanding_bees

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The originator of this discussion thread has made some interesting observations, regarding the effect of a particular kind of smoke on “a bee”. The original observation may well have been initiated by curiosity about “things that happen”.

Curiosity has been a very real influence into investigations which have led to many important discoveries, in many different kinds of situations. Discoveries of a helpful nature have often been disparaged by naysayers, and it does no credit to a naysayer to be so ready to pour scorn on what might be a helpful line of enquiry.

How many varieties of Salvia have been discovered, in various parts of the world? I would not, under any circumstances, advocate the misuse of psychoactive substances. I find it interesting that there are such different attitudes, in various countries around the world, to this particular plant. Many countries have made it completely illegal to own or grow, while some others do not have any such ban on it. For example, I have found information that it is legal in France, Netherlands, and New Zealand, although France and New Zealand specify that it is not legal for human consumption.

Do we have definitive knowledge about the effects of Salvia smoke on varroa mites?

If it is indeed true that Salvia may be legally grown in some countries, I would like to request that beekeepers in France, Holland and New Zealand investigate whether this might provide a useful means of controlling or combating varroa. It may also be a worthwhile exercise in the UK, where, as Pargyle has suggested, this discussion is not about human use of any derivatives of this plant.

In addition to the comments which I have just made, I find it fascinating that seeds are readily available for sale in Australia, although it is apparently illegal there:
“As of 1 June 2002, Australia became the first country to ban Salvia and salvinorin. According to the Australian Drugs and Poisons Committee, salvia had not yet shown evidence of damage or threat to public health/safety but had potential to be abused.”
 

Erichalfbee

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Actually ... it probably would not be in the UK. It's illegal to produce, import or transport for human consumption and illegal to possess with intent to supply (or to possess on custodoal premises) but ... from the looks of it you could use it as smoker fuel - I don't think that would count as human consumption and you could legally grow it for that use.
illegal to use it as a varroacide
 

understanding_bees

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illegal to use it as a varroacide
My suggestion was not designed to encourage illegal use.

I would be most interested if experiments were performed where the use of Salvia was legal, at least for non-human application. That is the reason why I would hope that there may be beekeepers in France, Holland, or New Zealand who might be interested to investigate the effects of Salvia smoke as a possible treatment against varroa.

There are many plants which have some form of "medicinal" properties. It is known, for example, that tobacco smoke can be used to treat bees which have braula infestations. Is there any definitive knowledge on the possible usefulness of Salvia smoke as a "treatment" for honey bees?
 

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