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Author Topic: oxalic acid in feed  (Read 419 times)

Offline drobbins

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oxalic acid in feed
« on: July 30, 2019, 06:26:03 pm »
Hey Folks,

I've taken all the honey I'm going to this year and I've been doing a little feeding, we're in a dearth around here.
I've added a few essential oils in my "custom" mix :cool:
Surely somebody has experimented with adding oxalic acid to sugar syrup as feed
Is this a waste of time, or possibly harmful to the bees?
Seem like maybe it would make life hard for mites in the cells
Might also be bad for bee larvae?

Thought's? Surely someone has tried this

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 11:01:52 am »
D I have not heard of (feeding Oxalic) to bees or any other creature. Unless the label recommends this, I would not feed oxalic. Just an example. Cutter or Off is an effective deterrent from bitting insects such as ticks. We would not ingest or mix with our food, but we instead follow the label and directions. I know this is an extreme example but the first that I came up with. On the other hand, if you have come across some scientific study that suggest feeding oxalic to bees, I would like to read up on this? Please post. Do you have a vaporizer gadget of some type? One of our new members even mentioned using oxalic with a shop towel.
Thanks, 
Phillip

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 02:15:48 pm »
I'm not an expert in this by any means, but I definitely agree with Phillip.  Just because something is safe for the bees to contact, does NOT mean it's safe to ingest.  I'd be very surprised if something like this would work.  The topical insecticide we use on our bodies is actually a really good example.                     
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Offline drobbins

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 05:53:56 pm »
hey guys

thanks for the reply
I was thinking that with packages they sometimes spray them down with syrup laced with OA
and the "safer" method for treating when they're broodless is a syrup dribble of syrup laced with OA (I vaporize it)
both would result in bees ingesting the OA
I guess maybe both would not involve it being fed to the brood since in one case they're broodless in in the case of a package they won't have brood for a while
I haven't done it, just something I was thinking about
your point with topical bug spray is well taken

thanks

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 10:31:20 pm »
D, just because I have not heard of this does not mean that it is not applicable. I just have simply never heard of feeding oxalic. Therefore I am very shy about the idea, and still feel the same until I learn further. You made some good points as I will quote.

 ''sometimes spray them down with syrup laced with OA
and the "safer" method for treating when they're broodless is a syrup dribble of syrup laced with OA (I vaporize it)
both would result in bees ingesting the OA ''

Perhaps someone such as a scientist will give you a more accurate evaluation? We do have a scientist here, Van from Arkansas


Online The15thMember

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 01:20:42 am »
I once again agree with Phillip. I have never heard of OA laced syrup spray, which as you say would almost certainly lead to at least some bees ingesting it.  Interesting. . .  I too wish for someone more experienced to comment. Too bad this forum doesn?t have a functioning @username mentioning system.  If it did, we could just yell his name - so to speak - and Mr. Van would hear us and could possibly weigh in, if his expertise in fact would serve him in this area.
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Offline drobbins

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 02:56:45 pm »

Like I said, both of the examples I sited would happen at a time when the bees are broodless so that could easily make a huge difference.
Still seems like someone would have experimented with this, they've certainly tried everything else :shocked:

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 04:18:08 pm »

Like I said, both of the examples I sited would happen at a time when the bees are broodless so that could easily make a huge difference.
Still seems like someone would have experimented with this, they've certainly tried everything else :shocked:

''Still seems like someone would have experimented with this, they've certainly tried everything else :shocked:''

If they have not, perhaps someone will since you have brought this idea to light. Such thinking outside the box is how prorogues is made. Certainly worth the try? Thank you for posting and keep thinking outside the box!!  I have read where research was done on essential oil experimentation at some university and was proven to severely retard the development of varroa mites. Not hurting bee larva. I hope to rewind and find this article and post.
Thanks again D,
Phillip[

Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 10:43:45 pm »
When oxalic acid is dribbled as a mite treatment a thin 1:1 syrup is used.  The oxalic acid is bitter so a low sugar syrup helps prevent the bees from eating the syrup/acid mixture.  If the bees eat much of the acid it kills the outright, or it damages them and reduces their life span.  The syrup is just to get the oxalic acid to adhere to the bees body and contact the varroa mites.

When feeding bees it is best to stick to plain sugar syrup.  It is a proven food that does no damage to the bees. 

Offline drobbins

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 01:30:26 pm »
good point, it may very well make the bees just ignore the feed

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 01:52:06 pm »
When oxalic acid is dribbled as a mite treatment a thin 1:1 syrup is used.  The oxalic acid is bitter so a low sugar syrup helps prevent the bees from eating the syrup/acid mixture.  If the bees eat much of the acid it kills the outright, or it damages them and reduces their life span.  The syrup is just to get the oxalic acid to adhere to the bees body and contact the varroa mites.

When feeding bees it is best to stick to plain sugar syrup.  It is a proven food that does no damage to the bees. 
Thanks for commenting, AR.  Your facts are quite welcome on a thread that has been all speculation until now.   :happy:
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 11:34:36 pm »
Thanks Phil and Member for the kind words.

DRobbins if enough Oxalic acid entered the bees blood stream the pH of the blood would immediately drop, become acidic and kill the bee.  Blood is very sensitive to pH change, that is, a drop in tenths is lethal example from 7.5 down to 7.2 would be disastrous.

So Oxalic acid on the outside of a bee is working on eliminating Varroa.  Quantitating the amount of Oxalic acid per bee would bee impossible.  The queen eats constantly to keep up laying and a queen could easily be rationed 10X what a worker would consume of Oxalic acid.  So again quantization would be impossible to predict per each bee.


Good thought, nice try, but keep at it and come up with another idea.  We know lithium chlorine in a bee diet mixed with sugar syrup or water kills Varroa, 4mM is deadly to the mites.  This is being studied this day.

Van
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2019, 10:52:33 am »
When people dribble oxalic acid it is the bees cleaning it up that seems to help with Varroa.  But it also damages their "kidneys" (Malpighian tubules actually which serve that same purpose) and shortens their lives.  I would not feed oxalic acid to bees.  When a lot of bees were dying after being fed HFCS it was decided that it was a high pH that caused it.  Too much acid is just as bad or worse for bees as food being too alkali. 
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Online The15thMember

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Re: oxalic acid in feed
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2019, 12:44:02 pm »
Thank you both Van and Michael Bush for responding.  Your expertise is invaluable to us newbees. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.