making oxalic strips

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I do not think there is one treatment that only has positive effects. If such a treatment existed no one would look for alternatives. But it does not, or at least I do not think we are aware of any, hence our quest for alternatives. I have exclusively experience with Oxalic acid/Glycerol strips largely made following Otto's description available on this forum, with modifications. I felt confident with that approach because we are only a few km's apart so our environments are similar. But because of this one-approach-only-experience I can't compare effects between this treatment and other ones. And even if I had that experience .. the variables are infinite.
All I can say is that over 5 years I never lost a hive to Varroa, even as a novice beekeeper I had one pulling through that had more than 12,000 mites and only OA/GLY was used, it pulled through easily, no thanks to my late detection of the mite invasion.
It is natural and healthy that alternatives are met with healthy criticism. After all we hope for something better and do not like to risk the bees. But none of us know all that there is to be known or even all that may be relevant to a new treatment set up. In my opinion, we can achieve progress by exchanging information of experiences rather than from dogmatic prescriptions.
It is easy to describe one approach and (sometimes rightfully so) be enthused about that approach, but NZ has so many different conditions, climates and microclimates, seasons, bees even, let alone beekeepers and also every year is different. So describing detailed procedures like Tristan did, like Otto did and many others here on the forum and in NZ is really necessary and very useful, but then there are so many details we do not even realise. I hesitate for that reason to share recipes because they may only work "here".

And then there is hearsay which is a always, with all the best of intentions, a derivative of the actual story.

Oxalic acid treatment is in fact a collection of treatments and sometimes mentioned and judged without describing how the active component was applied; each of these will have its own quirks. Drawing firm conclusions about what is best IN GENERAL is tough, if not impossible.

I try to keep observing the colonies when they are being treated and compare different OA/GLY strip recipes. Sometimes you think something works perhaps a little better, as in the mites fall more rapidly, but then again, that hive may have been in a more or less sunny spot, they certainly have different queens and micro genetics at least.

For myself I know I can only try, make mistakes, get up and try more and harder. I think it is called beekeeping :)

catch is we need to know that recipe and the results so we can start filling in the blanks.
its not about what recipe works but rather understanding how and why it works. once you know that you can make it suit your situation. in fact thats exactly what beekeeping is. you do not follow a recipe, you do what suits the situation and every hive is a different situation.

at the moment there is a fair bit of information, thanks to randy oliver and others who have spent the time, expense and the bees to properly test things out. but with our situation being a little bit different, those differences need testing. a lot of beeks here have done really well so far, tested a lot, it just needs the last bits finished off.
with people looking at low cost treatments there is an incentive for people to spend the time and expense to do the last bit of research.
 
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catch is we need to know that recipe and the results so we can start filling in the blanks.
its not about what recipe works but rather understanding how and why it works. once you know that you can make it suit your situation. in fact thats exactly what beekeeping is. you do not follow a recipe, you do what suits the situation and every hive is a different situation.

at the moment there is a fair bit of information, thanks to randy oliver and others who have spent the time, expense and the bees to properly test things out. but with our situation being a little bit different, those differences need testing. a lot of beeks here have done really well so far, tested a lot, it just needs the last bits finished off.
with people looking at low cost treatments there is an incentive for people to spend the time and expense to do the last bit of research.
No catch at all about this Tristan. Otto put his recipe and method up a couple of years ago. You can see it here: Document: - Making Staples-Otto

I do wonder about how much is being spent in each beekeeper having to research OA strips/staples. You'd laugh if it wasn't for the tears . . .
 

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Did some reading re Randy Oliver. Two American universities ran trials with his OA method but were unable to replicate his results.
Randy is in a very dry location.
 

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Well I have done some searching and cannot find the actual papers from the universities. However I did find this refence to it on another bee chat site, Beesource. Seems the 2 universities involved are Auburn University, and the University of Georgia.

It's one of the great things about America, they do spend a lot of money on scientific research.

squarepeg: Randy's results with Extended OA could not be replicated by Auburn University or the University of Georgia.

Science at work!
 
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Well I have done some searching and cannot find the actual papers from the universities. However I did find this refence to it on another bee chat site, Beesource. Seems the 2 universities involved are Auburn University, and the University of Georgia.

It's one of the great things about America, they do spend a lot of money on scientific research.
"we tested oxalic acid vaporization ...... tested in apiaries in Georgia and Alabama during 2019 and 2020, ........ we did not find evidence that frequent periodic application of oxalic during brood-rearing periods is capable of bringing V. destructor populations below treatment thresholds."

i wonder if they are actually referring to that research.
 
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pic of the strip i left out in 40-45% humidity. crystals of acid on the surface and it comes off in your hands. you get little specks of white acid on your fingers. but being dry it doesn't do much.

20230929_151206 cut.jpg
image087.jpg
 
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i wonder if they are actually referring to that research.

The one I saw was in relation to shop towels with OA/GL mix on them, laid across the tops of the frames.

Which never worked for me BTW although it did not hurt the bees either.
 
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The one I saw was in relation to shop towels with OA/GL mix on them, laid across the tops of the frames.

Which never worked for me BTW although it did not hurt the bees either.
a lot of the shop towel he did had poor results and that was fairly early on.
it took a fair bit of testing to find how much you needed, and what material could hold enough for long enough. hence the change to the swedish sponges (and he uses a fairly thin one which holds half what i was tried). also the maximizer pads.
the shop towels don't hold enough for long enough.
as his trails showed, the less acid used gave not only poorer results but more variation. if you have a lot of variation, your own hives drift mites back to the others.
 
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Righto as stoney used 2 say "poking my head above the parapets" I can't help but feel that people are trying to reinvent the wheel with these oxalic staples. I reckon good old phillb pretty much had them dialled in. I've been using a stainless steel pot a candy thermometer, a polypail and the bathroom scales for three or four years with great results. I think the beauty of these staples is how much room for mistakes their is with them
 
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I've been using a stainless steel pot a candy thermometer, a polypail and the bathroom scales for three or four years with great results.
info please.
how many hives, how many losses. cause of losses. also procedure for making it. the more info the better,

I can't help but feel that people are trying to reinvent the wheel
the thing is i have not seen anyone actually invent "the wheel". even the commercial product sold overseas people have complained that its killed hives. (it uses a high gly mix which would make it very hot).
if it was 'invented" then everyone would be using it with great success. but thats not happening. so i want to know why and work out how to fix it.
 
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Ok..... 300 odd hives roughly 10% -20% winter losses from failed queens, drone layers. And ppb. Not varroa. Standard phill method 4.8kg glyce 3.2 kg ox heated 2 55 degrees in a stainless pot over a gassring. poured over 150 metres of single stitch triple laminate gib tape (the American made stuff) in a poly pail. Soak for 24 hours then flip the polypail and soak for another 24 hours. No "drying".Cut 2 30 cm and apply four staples in the guts of every brood box. Treat twice a year exactly the same timing as synthetics. Done. Have also used the beequip staples when it wasn't possible to source the American made gib tape with similar results. The first Autumn I used the staples I did notice alarmingly high bee mortality but this no longer happens, I think it takes a season for the bees to get used to the acid environment and this is why people give up on them. Downsides include a lot of mess on the baseboard and I do wonder about the long term health effects on the operator, oxalic is a nasty chemical and even with a face mask when handling the dry ingredient and plastic gloves when handling the finished product it is hard 2 not be exposed 2 it in some way. I would never handle the finished product without good quality gloves. Also I think the wheel was invented by a Argentinian called M Maggi in 2015 and was further refined by phill and others on the original oxalic staple forum in 2019. I also think randy Oliver's work is overrated and he missed a opportunity when his son suggested using strips instead of dishcloths and the like. I do wonder why so many experienced Beeks have had such devastating losses and why others have had such success possibly placement of staples and mucking up the recipe( measuring by volume instead of weight)I don't know. I don't think environment has any affect as people use these things all over the country and the world with success. Popping back down.
 
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Ok..... 300 odd hives roughly 10% -20% winter losses from failed queens, drone layers. And ppb. Not varroa. Standard phill method 4.8kg glyce 3.2 kg ox heated 2 55 degrees in a stainless pot over a gassring. poured over 150 metres of single stitch triple laminate gib tape (the American made stuff) in a poly pail. Soak for 24 hours then flip the polypail and soak for another 24 hours. No "drying".Cut 2 30 cm and apply four staples in the guts of every brood box. Treat twice a year exactly the same timing as synthetics. Done. Have also used the beequip staples when it wasn't possible to source the American made gib tape with similar results. The first Autumn I used the staples I did notice alarmingly high bee mortality but this no longer happens, I think it takes a season for the bees to get used to the acid environment and this is why people give up on them. Downsides include a lot of mess on the baseboard and I do wonder about the long term health effects on the operator, oxalic is a nasty chemical and even with a face mask when handling the dry ingredient and plastic gloves when handling the finished product it is hard 2 not be exposed 2 it in some way. I would never handle the finished product without good quality gloves. Also I think the wheel was invented by a Argentinian called M Maggi in 2015 and was further refined by phill and others on the original oxalic staple forum in 2019. I also think randy Oliver's work is overrated and he missed a opportunity when his son suggested using strips instead of dishcloths and the like. I do wonder why so many experienced Beeks have had such devastating losses and why others have had such success possibly placement of staples and mucking up the recipe( measuring by volume instead of weight)I don't know. I don't think environment has any affect as people use these things all over the country and the world with success. Popping back down.

good info. you should put your head up a bit more ;)

so its 1.5:1 mix, 4 staples per brood box. 55c. your in low humidity southland. i would be interested to see the difference between the gib tape and the card board, but it sounds like theres not much difference. the no drying is interesting which i agree with.

the humdity factor is something i think i need to look more into. the bit of testing i've seen so far shows more acid comes out when humidity shoots up (ie due to rain) when the bees can't control it.

randys pads instead of staples is due to them running double broods and its far far easier to throw a pad in between the brood boxes than to put strips in.
but he has done some testing of the beequip staples.

afaik maggi's info went into Aluen cap which is the only one i know of that you can buy (overseas). but it uses 2:1 ratio and people have claimed bee deaths from it. so i would not call it a done deal just yet.
i think the 1.5:1 ratio is better (many thanks to whoever tested that out).

trouble is i keep hearing good success stories but also many failures. but little info on what or why it failed.
getting the mix wrong, overheating the mix. getting to much water in it (from humidity). not getting enough in the strips (cold room, not soaking long enough). plenty of possibilities but no common culprit.

how long the strips last is another question. i don't know how long the gib tape lasts in the hive. the cardboards last 4 weeks and then its torn down. unfortunately some people claim it lasts 12 weeks. incidentally randys testing was to replace them at 4 weeks.

the other thing thats throwing a curve ball is the amount of hives being not treated or abandoned due to the downturn of beekeeping. if your getting reinvasion after treatment it makes it look like the treatment didn't work.
 
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Thanks Tristan , I must admit I was a bit hesitant in posting as prostaplers seem too get treated like flat earthers or antivaxers. I would be interested to hear how the "old school staplers" are getting on ie pinnacle,Glynn,ikwezinz and particularly stoney , otto and philb. Is the pinkcat still using toilet roll cores? Are overboard staples still a thing? Can u still access the original forum?.Humidity is a interesting topic, here in coastal Otago we are plagued by a nor'east flow in spring which saturates everything yet the staples still seem 2 work. I reckon u get 8 good weeks out of a gibtape staple but it definately varies btwn hives. I personally think they are a superior product compared too the cardboard staples ( sorry Russell) but the cardboard ones work out cheaper and are less time consuming and the soaking kit is pretty nifty. Also I think Lyson markets pre made staples in Australia and the U.K. But I have no idea about the ox/ glyce ratio in them
 
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just having a search. found a listing for lyson cellulose strips in eu and also another strip product "oxiplus" in eu but no site in english.

old forum is long gone afaik.

how the humidity behaves in the hive is interesting. i think its worth checking. we know acid amount goes up, but i don't know if that actually causes a problem.
 

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I would be interested to hear how the "old school staplers" are getting on ie pinnacle,Glynn,ikwezinz and particularly stoney , otto and philb. Is the pinkcat still using toilet roll cores?

A lot of beekeepers are not around any more, having gone much the same way as yourself James and for the same reasons. (No money any more). And some that are around prefer Facebook. I know that Glynn is still in business, I bought some queens from him recently I think he is also an AP2.
Otto has staples sussed so pretty sure he will still be up and running, and KingBee is making money by selling staples if not from his bees so I guess still going strong. As to the others you mention I don't know.

Me, I would no longer be in it if I did not also have other income streams. Bees take the most of my time while making the least of my money. Oh well, I do enjoy getting out in the 4WD, glorified hobby I guess :unsure: .
 
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