Oxalic Acid Shop Towels

Oxalic Acid Shop Towels

Randy Oliver has been testing the effectiveness of oxalic acid soaked shop towels against varroa mites. And has published some new results. This approach appears very promising for anyone who wants to effectively treat for varroa without contaminating the bees, equipment or the environment. It’s simple. Blue shop towels, containing oxalic acid dissolved in glycerin and water, are put inside the hive above the broodnest. […]

Mushrooms and Bee Disease

Mushrooms and Bee Disease

Using natural beekeeping methods can increase honeybee colony vitality, health and resiliency. But achieving those benefits can be expensive in both time and energy. So, they’re not suitable for everyone. Many commercial beekeepers would fall in that category. They, like their bees, are worked to the maximum. With little time, and thin profit margins, few commercial beekeepers can survive the initial catastrophic colony losses often […]

SymBeeotic

SymBeeotic

I think this is the first commercial probiotic supplement for bees. A team of microbiologists at Lund University have patented the treatment, known as SymBeeotic — made from lactic acid bacteria from the stomachs of healthy bees — which they described as a major “boost” to bees’ immune system and are hopeful that it could slow down the rate at which bees are dying. “The […]

Beehive Probiotic News

Beehive Probiotic News

Ted Hankock, at Bee-L, posts a interesting link to a Cosmos article describing some bee gut bacteria transfer experiments. Previous research has demonstrated the importance that probiotic honeybee gut bacteria play to disease resistance. For me, the implications are clear. Running bees un-naturally will produce a cascade of unintended consequences. That’s been my own beekeeping experience. Probiotic relationships, so necessary for a colony’s health, are […]

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping

So, what does a non-migratory Wyoming beekeeper do when the winds are howling and the snow blowing? This one turns down the thermostat. Fires up the infra-red heater. Kicks back and reads. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Randy Oliver’s  Scientific Beekeeping site. It was well worth the return visit.  If you haven’t been there, take the time. For some reason, the site is easier […]

Too few mites? I know the feeling.

Too few mites? I know the feeling.

The Doldrums I setup a test yard of conventional hives and starting counting mites in 1996. Natural mite drop was counted daily in a few hives, twice-a-week in half the hives, and once a week in the rest. I’d count them this way about 9 months out of the year. And then I pick a couple of hives and check the mite fall once a […]

Too few mites to study? Naturally!

Too few mites to study? Naturally!

Dr. Wyatt Mangum has been keeping top bar hive bees and writing for the American Bee Journal for years. The June 2010 issue, page 581, is an interesting read. It’s his “Fourth Annual Report on the Coexistence of my North Carolina Bees with Varroa”. From the Article I gathered the following points: untreated top bar hives have survived with varroa for 6 years (through 2008) […]

Fire In The Hole!

Fire In The Hole!

Well, I had occasion to dig out the old DIY oxalic evaporator. Yep, I still had a couple of them after all these years. It even surprised me, after moving around the country several times. Some new Teflon tape and they were as good as new. With them, I found the cheap Walmart propane torch I bought for this project. Did a torch test. It […]

Probiotics – The Cutting Edge

Probiotics – The Cutting Edge

More From Sweden And The ARS Probiotic research will be the greatest advancement in beekeeping since beekeepers figured out how to harvest honey without killing the bees and destroying the nest. Through it, the importance of environment, bee biology and proper management will be united. The focus will be on bee and human health and nutrition. Natural beekeepers work with these concepts intuitively. But science […]

Oxalic Vaporizer

Oxalic Vaporizer

The Idea Oxalic acid can be sublimated into a beehive as an effective varroa mite treatment using cheap oxalic evaporators built from standard plumbing supplies. The Details Methods Oxalic acid is distributed in a beehive by two methods. One method involves spraying or dribbling an oxalic solution. It has the same drawbacks as using powdered sugar. A second method involves sublimating oxalic acid by heating […]

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