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Author Topic: Scientific study comparing effects on honeybees of: Oxalic acid and Formic acid.  (Read 643 times)

Offline van from Arkansas

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  • Van from Arkansas.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21442305-evaluation-of-spring-organic-treatments-against-varroa-destructor-acari-varroidae-in-honey-bee-apis-mellifera-hymenoptera-apidae-colonies-in-eastern-canada/

The above linked article compares two organic acids for treatment of Varroa and subsequent effects of the acids on honey bees.  I will summarize for your convenience.

In brief Oxalic acid was well tolerated by honey bees in contrast to Formic acid which killed several queens, lowered bee population levels which lead to decrease honey yields.  Both acids were effective against Varroa destructor.

I am providing the link to the data and my summary for your consideration.  I make no suggestions.

Cheers
Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online Ben Framed

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Good post Mr Van, no doubt that formic can, will, and does kill queens. I have no experience in using it. However, I have been of late struggling to educate myself in the (art) and yes I said (art) of using this organic acid. I have started topics here asking questions, as well as commenting on other topics related on this subject. I have asked many question and received many conflicting answers.  And not only questions here at beemaster, but to beekeepers from all over the world through other means. Let me clarify that beemaster is the only forum that I am a member of, but the world is large and round. Youtube is an excellent alternate source of information concerning honey bees. Not only watching the videos, to see and hear what is being done and said, but also I have found that the comment section below the videos to be a wealth and treasure chest of information. It seems the video makers are eager to help answer most questions on that platform regardless of country of origin. I have found that keepers from all over the world experiment and use formic. Again some are very successful users as some not so much. I have found that many opinions, from folks first hand experience using fromic  to vary from person to person, keeper to keeper, and sometimes country to country. Germany, I have found by talking to keepers there, is really big and successful in using formic, as well as scientific in the use of formic. Without putting the stuff to the test myself, I can in no wise promote the use of it, nor will I.  However on the other hand I cannot deny or dismiss the benefits of formic as presented by many many successful users. This is where the word art comes into play, or really art is only one description, science should be the stronger term used. Because to use formic successfully, from all I have gathered is an artful-science. The conclusion that I have reached is an ongoing study, Which is really not a conclusion at all but an ongoing education of this product. I have reached a certain point that I would not be afraid to try, at least the flash method IF I was at the point that a hive was showing sure sign of decline or collapse regardless of how diligently I had treated with OAV.  What would I have to lose if the hive is dying anyway? And as we who have studied such things, and still are studying such things,  know that even OAV diligent users sometimes lose the battle.  I have tried to convey an unbiased opinion until I can say that I have reached a concrete conclusion. Maybe this helps? Lets keep plugging at the pest of bees and learning together.
Phillip Hall
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 02:56:14 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Thanks for posting that Van.
Jim Altmiller

Online Ben Framed

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Thanks for posting that Van.
Jim Altmiller

For sure, thanks Mr Van. I did notice that the date of this study was Sept. 2011. Mr Oliver studies are more modern, So are the studies form the University of Maryland on the formic subject along with studies for Germany.  Strides have been made since the 2011 study. Even so I do not at the present time, see folks using formic successfully. It seems that to much science and education is involved and folks are not ready for this. Perhaps the makers of MAQS and others have tried to reduce the variables of these obstacles in their products, combining both science and art. Even still folks are giving mixed reports on the success of these as per Mr Live Oak for one example. I have stated my last opinion on what I have found about the use of this subject for sometime to come until I have personally used and experienced the stuff myself. And that day may never come either. :grin:


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« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 11:42:34 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Ben,
I bought Miteaway II, Formica acid, when I first started beekeeping. After reading the directions, I knew that you have a very narrow temperature range to use it.  Here in Florida that range is very narrow a with our changing weather very dangerous.
I did a test on one empty hive and in 3 days it burned holes in my screen top board and in screen bottom bottom board.
I never used it. I tried giving it away many times but nobody ever wanted it.
Jim Altmiller

Offline CoolBees

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Thanks for posting this article Van. It is a reassurance that (for now) I have chosen the correct path with OAV.

With that said: I [personally] firmly believe that the final and ultimate solution to the Mite problem - rests with the bees themselves. The promotion of "hygienic traited" bees/queens is the only viable long-term solution. Not that anyone here would disagree with me.  :grin:

So ... [in my small experimental operation] I continue to use OAV, and monitor mite loads year-round, splitting from queens that show promise and replacing ones that don't.

Reinforcement is always good - thanks!
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Online Ben Framed

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Ben,
I bought Miteaway II, Formica acid, when I first started beekeeping. After reading the directions, I knew that you have a very narrow temperature range to use it.  Here in Florida that range is very narrow a with our changing weather very dangerous.
I did a test on one empty hive and in 3 days it burned holes in my screen top board and in screen bottom bottom board.
I never used it. I tried giving it away many times but nobody ever wanted it.
Jim Altmiller

Thanks for the information Jim. Did you chart the Temperature closely for these three days? If so what was the beginning temperature , miid-day temperature, nightly temperature for these 3 days. Thanks for your input as this may help me in this study.
Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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  • Van from Arkansas.
Ben:  Jim started WHEN HE FIRST STARTED BEEKEEPING....  Even if Sawdust kept written records, the ink would have faded by now.  Har har.
Blessings
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online Ben Framed

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Ben:  Jim started WHEN HE FIRST STARTED BEEKEEPING....  Even if Sawdust kept written records, the ink would have faded by now.  Har har.
Blessings

Haa haaa that is funny!! Well Jim?  Is the ink faded? Mr Van, we may never know the answer to this one?... :wink:
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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 :happy: :happy: :happy:
No I didn?t keep records. I really don?t think it would make much of a difference.
By the way, I don?t have he same problem with oxalic acid. Even with repeated doses.
Jim Altmiller

Online Ben Framed

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:happy: :happy: :happy:
No I didn?t keep records. I really don?t think it would make much of a difference.
By the way, I don?t have he same problem with oxalic acid. Even with repeated doses.
Jim Altmiller

That was Mr Van not me!! :cheesy: :cheesy:  :grin:

I am sure that it would not have made a difference in your case because what was done was done but it might have helped me in my adventure of seeking to understand this product and the variables thereof if you had kept records.

''By the way, I don?t have he same problem with oxalic acid. Even with repeated doses.
Jim Altmiller''

No doubt you do not run into the same problems with OAV as these two organtics are not the same, do not work the same, and are not expected to give the same results. Nor should they be expected to give the same results. To compare the two is like comparing Kerosene to High octane, Double A Fuel Dragster Fuel. No comparison. Now let me clarify, I will be basically speaking of the flash treatment, As you know Jim, oxalic is effective in killing mites which are outside of capped brood, which is a good thing and something that we have come to love. But the downside is OAV is (completely and totally) ineffective to mites which are already inside the capped brood cells sucking and living off of our brood, spreading virus, deforming our larva. Laying there safe where multitude of eggs was laid and developing into more mature mites,  just waiting for the day they can emerge and latch onto our bees healthy bees, sucking their fat bodies, weakening our bees, and keeping the vicious cycle going, racing to adding soldiers to their army of numbers. And make no mistake, they will do so. When the OAV is used, the mites which are already in their (bunkers), with all the food they can eat, beneath the cappings are totally safe from OAV treatment. In fact they could not be any safer or be in a safer place.  It is a fact OAV is 100 percent, totally ineffective, as just described.  As Vans (2011) report explained, both kill varroa destructor. But the is where the similarities end. Formic forms a gas. A gas that not only kills exposed mites which may be on the bees and anywhere in the hive as OAV, but also penetrates the cappings (the mite bunkers) and kills the (once safe) burrowed up mites inside the brood cells. And yes, some affected brood will die, especially during the earlier experiments as far back as 2011. But strides have been made according to The University of Maryland, Randy Oliver a scientific biologist, The Government of Germany and many many more. This formic gas has to be regulated and controlled and fully understood in order to keep from overdosing if you please or under-dosing this formed gas. I can see that this discussion is not for the average beekeeper as too much studying and effort must be put forth to be successful in using this product for the average beekeeper. I just do not see the average hobbyist attempting this. But there may be some here who would like to prosper even further in their beekeeping knowledge and learn more of what to do or can be done in certain circumstances? For myself, having this quest for more knowledge, and having put forth the effort of seeking and sharing such knowledge here. Along with the idea of sharing said knowledge with others which may have been here before me, who may also wish to expand their interest in this research conducted by biologist and governments. Now I claim a mulligan on this comment as I said I would not comment any further on what I have learned in a previous post here, until I have tried this myself. And really what do I know? I have only been beekeeping 20 months....
Blessings,
Phillip


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« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 03:38:12 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline ifixoldhouses

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I tried formic acid and followed the directions to the tee, first 3 days were below 85, it caused 3 hives to swarm, tiny little swarms with the queen.
youtube.com BackyardBeesNC

Offline sawdstmakr

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Ben,
The big difference between oxalic acid and formic acid is that oxalic acid is pretty much inert at room temperature while formic acid is not. Formic acid is destroying any metal in the hive from the minute it is placed in the hive. Oxalic acid only damages the metal at the insertion location and that is very minimal.
Jim Altmiller

Offline van from Arkansas

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Mr. fix, I believe your post, max temp 85F.  However brood temp is 92F.  The bees could have easily push the temp up a few degrees inside the hive passing the critical point of 90F for Formic acid.  I am NOT suggesting you repeat application.  Brood temp is above the critical temp for Formic.  Another of many reasons I do not use formic.

However there are beeks that use Formic with positive results.  Do what works for you.

Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.