Using oxalic staples in Illinois

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3,496
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I have taken honey off my 1st apiary where I treated half the hives with oxalic strips at the same time as I took out my apevar strips. I do not expect the varoa to have had any real effect on the hives yet but I wanted to see if the oxalic strips had any effect on honey production or hive health and so far there is nothing noticeable. I.e. I cannot see any harm from putting the strips in. They have been in nearly 2 months and most hives still have some strips left. I should have replaced them but. A. I forgot to take any and. B I was taking off a load of honey by myself in the heat and doing strips would have been one job just too many.
 
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Northern Illinois
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International
I'm in the U.S., we're headIng into early winter, most of you are heading into early summer. I am looking towards spring and wondering if the staples should be set in place early spring when the brood nest begins to expand and laying comences again? Maybe I'm overcomplicating things? John, if I understand right, you are stating that in late October (early spring?) you treated half your hives? Is early spring treatment common practice? Three treatments per year? or two treatments? The first being late spring, early summer?
 
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Mummzie

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I'm in the U.S., we're headIng into early winter, most of you are heading into early summer. I am looking towards spring and wondering if the staples should be set in place early spring when the brood nest begins to expand and laying comences again? Maybe I'm overcomplicating things? John, if I understand right, you are stating that in late October (early spring?) you treated half your hives? Is early spring treatment common practice? Three treatments per year? or two treatments? The first being late spring, early summer?
Welcome to the forum @Masbustelo

There have been varied results in the applications and success of the staples.
You will find several threads with users reports of its development and development in the archive section of this forum. From there you can match your conditions to define what might best work for you.

Will this treatment be legal in your area?
 
3,496
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I selected several apiarys in the spring where I treated half the hives with oxalic staples more to initially see whether they did any harm or not . I have yet to do any testing to see if there are less varoa in the treated hives but it's still pretty early on in the season and I don't expect it to be many varoa anyway. My initial feeling is that it does no harm or at least no significant harm to the hives to have oxalic acid strips on them in late spring\early summer . I still plan to use conventional treatments until I'm completely up to speed with oxalic strips. I intend to have oxalic strips in some of the hives for the whole summer and will test for mite levels in the autumn .
 
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5
1
Northern Illinois
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I selected several apiarys in the spring where I treated half the hives with oxalic staples more to initially see whether they did any harm or not . I have yet to do any testing to see if there are less varoa in the treated hives but it's still pretty early on in the season and I don't expect it to be many varoa anyway. My initial feeling is that it does no harm or at least no significant harm to the hives to have oxalic acid strips on them in late spring\early summer . I still plan to use conventional treatments until I'm completely up to speed with oxalic strips. I intend to have oxalic strips in some of the hives for the whole summer and will test for mite levels in the autumn .
John That sounds like an interesting experiment. I spoke to my state bee inspector one evening. I tried to explain what the staples were, etc. His reply was that they wouldn't work here, totally different environment in N.Z. bla bla bla. I built a whole career on doing what others said couldn't and wouldn't. I like to experiment as well. I'm just getting started in bees. This will be my 2nd year. I used the staples late summer , early autumn last year and my last alcohol wash showed zero mites.
 

Otto

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How early in the spring does one desire to place the strips in the hives?
I would go with when you would regularly put treatments in. I aim to get them into all my hives through September. I am in Dunedin, which is in southern NZ so the bees are often a little slower to get going than most other parts of the country. I am coming up to 3 years of only using oxalic staples for varroa control and I am very pleased with the general well-being of my beehives.
John That sounds like an interesting experiment. I spoke to my state bee inspector one evening. I tried to explain what the staples were, etc. His reply was that they wouldn't work here, totally different environment in N.Z. bla bla bla. I built a whole career on doing what others said couldn't and wouldn't. I like to experiment as well. I'm just getting started in bees. This will be my 2nd year. I used the staples late summer , early autumn last year and my last alcohol wash showed zero mites.
I would disagree with your state inspector. I actually think New Zealand is an ideal place to trial and develop these sorts of treatments/products.
A couple of reasons that spring to mind:

Being where we are in the world means our seasons are not very distinct and very variable. This results in large differences from one beekeeping season to the next. Some seasons the bees have a decent break over winter while other years winters are almost non-existent and they barely have a break. This sort of variability means that a treatment needs to be robust to work reliably.

We also have many different beekeepers who keep bees in the same areas (this is the case for most of NZ). I doubt there are any places where these independent beekeepers properly work together with respect to a strategy for varroa control. There is always likely to be someone not doing what they need to and losing hives because of it, which results in invasion pressure for other beekeepers in the area. Again, for treatments to work reliably they really need to work well.

I am sure other beekeepers can add to this but I think that this adds up to NZ being a great place to test this sort of product because if it works here it is quite likely to work anywhere.
 
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How early in the spring does one desire to place the strips in the hives?
I am also in Dunedin and put strips in from the end of summer (beginning February) based on Varroa numbers dropping on a sticky board rather than going with a set time/date. Of course the numbers depend on hive strength which I find is less variable at the end of summer than at the end of winter. After collecting numbers dropping/24 hrs over the past two seasons I decided this year to use 5-10 mites/24hrs on the sticky board as a threshold. Last year I went with 20-25/24 hrs but that was pushing it really and I collected over 15000 mites from such hives over a period of 6 months. But they are doing fine, same queen, very active. I may have been lucky, we learn as we live!
 


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