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Saga #10

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  • bobbees@xxxx.xxx
    Recycling Beeswax(Background: Part #1 Decontamination...Is it necessary?............................ Looking at today s happenings relative to beekeeping
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 30, 1999
      Recycling Beeswax(Background: Part #1 Decontamination...Is it
      necessary?............................ Looking at today's happenings
      relative to beekeeping with artficial supplemental treatments for
      parasitic mites and secondary diseases one could wonder, just how do our
      present-day honeybees continue to survive? Can all this wonderous
      stuff(chemicals, essential oils, and artificial drugs) really keep being
      placed and dumped into our hives, without ill-effects happening, that
      will take years for both ourselves and future generations to reverse the
      effects of and clean up?...........................
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... From time to time
      short blurps about the seriousness of the problem are published, but is
      anyone paying heed? Taken from the Australin Bee Journal and published by
      Bee Culture, in the USA in June 1996, we learned of: �ORGANIC PROBLEMS -
      CONTAMINATED WAX IN EUROPE - Scientists at the Specialists meeting of
      the 34th Apimondia Congress were in general agreement that the use of
      Apistan over the past 10+ years for the control of Varroasis has brought
      about a situation in which every kilogram of beeswax in Europe is
      contaminated with fluvalinate(the active ingredient). It is most likely
      that recycling contaminated wax for the manufacture of foundations is
      largely responsible for the increase in residue levels. Scientists who
      spoke informally to the session, however, drew back from asserting that
      if the present usage rates continue the time must come when all beeswax
      has no value due to unacceptable high residues. However, they did note
      that importing foundation from countries with no fluvalinate usage could
      help stabilize the situation and may possibly reduce the problem and if
      the use of Apistan was also curtailed. A return to non-residue wax was
      possible after the next 50+ years! Many beekeepers only recycle their
      combs through a 10 year period and if wax recycling for foundtion
      continues it will take 50+ years to get down to unreadable levels and
      this still assumes an almost complete lack of chemical usage commencing
      immediately.�....
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... READING THIS, IT IS
      REALISTIC TO SAY.......IT�S NOT HAPPENING, THIS STOPPAGE OF DEADLY USE,
      AND THE PROBLEM IS BECOMING WORSE! BEEKEEPERS READING THIS, LOOK HARD NOW
      AT THE USA AND SAY THE SAME SCENARIO IS NOT HAPPENING HERE, AFTER ALL,
      WE STARTED USING THE SAME CHEMICAL APPROXIMATELY 2 YEARS
      LATER!.......................
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... If Europe is already
      contaminated, and the situation is becoming comparable in the USA, and
      many countries in other parts of the world are treating also, JUST WHERE
      IS ALL THE UNCONTAMINATED BEESWAX GOING TO COME FROM TO DECONTAMINATE
      FOUNDATION, TO ALLOW BEEKEEPERS THE CHANCE TO RETROGRESS BACK ONTO A
      CLEAN SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM OF KEEPING HONEYBEES? JUST WHO IS WATCHING THE
      STORE? QUESTION: How can beekeepers put something into their colonies
      without knowing HOW TO GET IT OUT? Further, How can governments approve
      the use of chemicals for active treatments and overlook environmental
      concerns relative to HEALTH CONCERNS OF CONTAMINATION AND
      DECONTAMINATION, without asking the question during the approval process
      - How do you get it out, especially with food products concerned? For
      what started out to be short-term treatments, until a long-term
      biological solution can be found for our mite and disease problems, it
      would appear that not very serious business has been going on, due to the
      actual detrimental long-term results acquired and verified so far,that
      will now require years to clean-up. Look at the question, just where is
      all the uncontaminated beeswax going to come from to decontaminate wax
      during recycling, for foundation to get down to unreadable levels? Just
      what makes beekeepers believe there will be much clean wax available to
      purchase for decontamination recycling within our beekeeping
      industry?Ours is an ECONOMICALLY DRIVEN WORLD. When the time comes, what
      makes beekeepers believe that the pharmaceutical dollar for
      uncontaminated wax in cosmetics and medicine won�t prevail, and
      beekeepers willn�t be left to work the problem out, or go out of business
      because they won�t legally be allowed to market contaminated hive
      products? As to what these same beekeepers might do for a living if they
      can no longer sell relatively-clean hive products? They might end up
      becoming MANDATORY HONEYBEE POLLENATORS FOR FOOD CROPS.NO LONGER WILL
      THEY WALK THE FENCE REAPING REWARDS FROM BOTH HIVE PRODUCTS AND CROP
      POLLENATING. WHEN THEIR HIVES� COMBS BECOME DIRTY, WITH CONTAMINATION
      RESIDUES, THEIR HIVE PRODUCTS WILL EVENTUALLY NOT BE SOLD, AND WITHOUT
      SALES CAN THEIR BEEKEEPING OUTFITS SURVIVE! THEN WHEN THEIR MIGRATORY
      POLLENATION HIVES� COMBS BECOME SO CONTAMINATED BROOD WILL NOT LIVE AND
      THE STERILITY OF THE HIVES� BREACHED, WITH SALES OF HIVE PRODUCTS HAVING
      BEEN PREVIOUSLY LOST DUE TO EXCESSIVE CONTAMINATION AND PREVIOUS
      DEMONSTRATED INABILITY TO DECONTAMINATE COMBS, NECESSATING THEIR
      MIGRATORY TREADMILL; AND DECONTAMINATION NOW CANNOT TAKE PLACE AGAIN DUE
      TO LACK OF AVAILABILITY FOR NON-CONTAMINATED FOUNDATION, EITHER ACTUAL OR
      ECONOMICALLY, THE FINAL BECOMES IRREVERSEABLE. WHEN THIS HAPPENS AND IT
      WILL, THEN MASS FOOD PRODUCTION WILL BE IRREPARABLY HARMED BOTH HERE IN
      THE USA AND AROUND THE
      WORLD!...................................................................
      ...........
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... Beekeepers should read
      the article in the December 1995, American Bee Journal by Klaus Wallner,
      Titled �The Use of Varroacides and Their Influence on the Quality of Bee
      Products�. In the article, Wallner goes over the fact that the more
      frequently pesticides are put into the beehive, the higher becomes the
      risk that residues can be detected in bee products such as honey, wax,
      and propolis. Further, that it is obvious that the wrong use of
      preparations creates residues. In temperate zones, contaminated winter
      food, is a possible reason for residues. This is because normally
      pesticides are used during the feeding period, with the consequences that
      winter food is sometimes contaminated with treatment chemcials.(We all
      know that the bees restore their food in Springtime to create more cell
      space for breeding. Thus, the winter food with its residues may penetrate
      the Spring honey thru bee relocation of honey stores). Also gone over in
      the article, was the fact that beeswax has an influence on honey quality
      depending upon the uncapping procedure used during honey extraction. Thus
      it is always important to skim honey as carefully as possible before it
      is transferred to end users. With a filter all coarse wax particles can
      be eliminated. During the honey extraction process, a great many fine wax
      particles float to the surface and can be skimmed. The remaining floating
      particles represent a source for residues in honey, if they contain
      pesticides themselves(Note: from contact strips as an example). IT WAS
      NOTED BY HIM THAT THIS RESIDUE TRANSFER REALLY HAPPENS AND CAN BE EASILY
      DETECTED. THE HIGHER THE CONCENTRATION IN THE WAX, THE MORE RESIDUES CAN
      BE DETECTED IN THE HONEY. He explained that a thin layer of contaminted
      wax was put into petri-dishes and a layer with approximately 2.5mm of
      honey free from residues was put onto the surface. The closed
      petri-dishes were stored in an incubator with 30�C for 30 days(about
      86�F). Then Aqua dest. was added into the honey layer and after 24 hours
      the honey solution was poured off and analyzed. Among the chemicals very
      easily detected were coumaphos and fluvalinate. Wallner asked the
      following question concerning this matter: WHY SHOULD PESTICIDES
      (WAX-SOLUBLE) LEAVE THEIR FAVORITE FAT MILIEU AND GO TO A WATERY MEDIUM,
      THE HONEY? He then seemed to give the answer, in that pesticides with a
      low tendency to migrate, accumulate very easily in the beeswax and
      particles may lead to residues in honey, and went on the state,�In
      practice this means: The wax quality of the beekeeper also influences the
      honey quality. FROM COMBS WITH HIGH CONCENTRATIONS YOU CANNOT GET
      UNPOLLUTED (uncontaminated) HONEY. Thus, the beekeeper has to prevent the
      concentration of residues in the comb during the years he uses
      pesticides.(QUESTION: Knowing many European beekeepers renew their combs,
      that is, melt down old combs and start new ones with foundation every 3-4
      years; few American beekeepers do this, it being common to find combs 50+
      years old in everyday use, then how is the industry going to avoid the
      problem of contaminated honey on the open market?) With the simple test
      Wallner did, IT IS NOW POSSIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME TO FIX A LIMIT FOR
      ALLOWED QUANTITY OF RESIDUES IN WAX WITHOUT HAVING DANGEROUS EFFECTS ON
      THE HONEY QUALITY. FOR SOME PESTICIDES THIS LIMIT IS A 1mg/kg(1ppm),
      BASED ON LABORATORY TESTS(fluvalenate). Tests done by Wallner showed that
      in all countries where varroacides are used, uncontaminted beeswax can
      hardly be found(Note: Australin Bee Journal article in Bee Cluture), and
      often various pesticides can be detected in one sample. Further, that all
      fat-soluble pesticides are being preserved in wax for many years. Wallner
      then noted that this phenomenon does not only appear with varroacides,
      but has ALSO BEEN PROVED WITH PARADICHLOROBENZENE, which is used against
      wax moths in some countries. The following from Wallner, �CAN RESIDUES BE
      WASHED OUT OF WAX?�, I am going to quote for beekeepers to read and heed,
      but it also may point to a solution to our problem which I shall write on
      later in Part #2,Recycling Beeswax. �Fat-soluble pesticides are stored in
      wax and are conserved. A decrease or a degradation does not occur, as far
      as we know. Therefore, one important question is whether or not there
      exists a chemical cleaning process that could solve this problem.
      Laboratory tests showed that heating wax to over 100�C and high pressure
      did not solve the problem. The residues in wax were destroyed with this
      procedure, but also the wax itself had been destroyed. The addition of
      bleach showed similar effects. The exposure to uv-light showed that only
      the residues on the wax surface were destroyed by this aggressive
      radiation. WITH THE SOLAR MELTER THE UV-PART OF THE SUNLIGHT IS NOT ABLE
      TO PENETRATE THE SHEET OF GLASS. In practice these attemts brought no
      solution. Many beekeepers have been using steam heated wax melters, but
      they did not bring remarkable effects either on the residue concentration
      in beeswax.Experience has shown that an effective residue cleansing of
      the beeswax is not possible with our state stage of knowledge. THESE
      PESTICIDES ARE MOVEABLE IN WAX. THEY CAN MOVE JUST LIKE IN APISTAN OR
      BAYVAROL WHICH PERMANENTLY SUPPLY THE PLASTIC STRIP SURFACE WITH
      RESIDUES FROM THE INSIDE OF THE PLASTIC STRIP. IF THE PESTICIDES THAT
      STICK ON THE BEES� LEGS FALL DOWN WHEN THE BEES MOVE IN THE HIVE, NEW
      PESTICIDES ARE ADDED TO THE WAX LAYERS. IN THE COURSE OF TIME, THE
      CHEMICAL CONCENTRATION IN THE COMB WAX OF A COLONY THUS IS ELEVATED AND
      ALSO THE FOUNDATION IN THE NEW FRAMES AND THE UNCAPPING WAX ARE
      CONTAMINATED. A REAL SEPARATION BETWEEN THE BREEDING PLACE, WHERE
      PESTICIDES ARE USED, AND THE HONEYCOMB DOES NOT EXIST. THE BEES
      DISTRIBUTE THESE PESTICIDES EVEN THROUGH QUEEN EXCLUDERS. NATURALLY, THE
      WALLS OF THE HIVE AND THE FRAMES ARE NOT EXLUDED. TOGETHER WITH THE
      HONEYCOMB WAX, THEY PROVIDE A LONG-LASTING SOURCE FOR RESIDUES THAT ALSO
      INFLUENCE THE PROPOLIS QUALITY. PROPOLIS ANALYSES SHOWED THAT EVEN THERE
      RESIDUES OF VARROACIDES ARE TO BE EXPECTED, POSSIBLY IN HIGHER
      CONCENTRATIONS THAT THOSE IN THE BEESWAX.�.
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... Just as pesticides
      have created problems for beekeepers and necessitate caution, so should
      beekeepers be careful when using essential oils. While generally less
      toxic than conventional pesticides, caution and care should always be a
      consideration. Essential oils are also commonly known as �volatile oils,�
      especially since thay can be heated and distilled with little
      decomposition. Because of this, once in honey it�s almost impossible to
      get out, especially as relates to taste and smell. That�s why many
      individual components of essential oils, including thymol and menthol are
      produced synthetically in the laboratory for use in the perfume,
      pharmaceutical, and flavor industries. Concerning safety? Just because a
      compound is a �Natural Product� does not mean it is entirely safe. While
      the large majority of essential oils are reasonably safe in small
      amounts, some contain compounds that are not particularly safe. For
      instance, the compound thujone, a component of many essential oils, is
      quite toxic. Likewise, methyl salicylate, a component of wintergreen oil
      and teaberry oil can be dangerous. The Merck Index states that �ingestion
      of relatively small amounts of methyl salicylate may cause severe
      poisoning and death with average lethal dose 10 ml in children and 30 ml
      in adults�.................
      .........................................................................
      ...............................................Some industry beekeepers
      see essential oils as a �magic bullet� because of their reputation for
      controlling mites and their relatively low toxicity to the user(MAN). But
      this does not mean its technically good for the bees, nor natural to a
      beehive. If we as an industry are to overcome our problems, we must go
      back to a system of beekeeping paralleling the natural environment of
      feral honeybees as much as possible. Further, it must be simple(though
      labor intensive) and capable of being applied universally. While certain
      plants may be used by honeybees in localized areas, that used as
      essential oils may give limited control, if they were intended for use
      across the full spectrum of honeybees throughout our world, they would
      already be in place naturally controlling our parasitic mite problems,
      which they are not. If beekeepers are to travel the longway back to
      biological beekeeping without the use of chemcials, antibotics, and
      essential oils, to a clean sustainable system not unnatural to Nature,
      i.e. technically organic beekeeping, then all that is not paralleling the
      natural environment of feral honeybees needs to be eliminated as
      management control tools. For over 2000 years going back to before the
      time of Hippocrates, beekeepers have kept honeybees without overwhelming
      problems of parasitic mites and secondary diseases. Chemicals,
      antibotics, and essential oils have not been necessary all that time
      until recent history. The only change with recent history is the fact
      that man decided he could change what was natural and breed everything
      bigger and better. With the conception of this idea began many of todays
      woes as the eternal environment tries to correct itself and cleanse
      itself of that which does not belong naturally in Nature. Only wax,
      pollen, honey, and propolis come from a hive and are used by the
      hiveworkers to build their fabulous city naturally free of disease, and
      harmonious with our environment. Beekeepers should traditionally go back
      and keep it that way to solve today�s
      problems....................................
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... Concerning
      antibotics, of which we have only one approved in the USA, it
      is known in our industry to store Terramycin Soluble Powder
      (oxytetracycline) in a dry and cool place and to protect it from
      sunlight, for to do otherwise would break it down chemically, but does
      our industry really know how long it would take. It is universally used
      and assimilated in many hives throughout the off-seasons of beekeeping
      for medication purposes for diseases of foulbroods. Yet, because of
      contamination residues terramycin too, must have usage stopped a minimum
      of 30 days prior to a honeyflow. But how many beekeepers would use it so
      lavishly, if they knew that it�s been documented and scientifically
      proven by Villeneuve in 1980 concerning treatment for American Foulbrood,
      that when terramycin is used, the life expectancy of the bees is reduced
      by 50%. Further, terramycin kills its beneficial bacterial flora,
      enhancing the growth of yeasts and molds, particularly Ascosphaera apis
      which causes chalk brood.Because of this beekeepers should ask, besides
      the possibility of contaminating hive products, how safe to honeybees are
      the use of
      antibotics?..............................................................
      .............................
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... Basically, all that
      this boils down to is that chemicals, antibotics, and essential oils all
      have detrimental effects. Beekeepers should be asking what they are
      before they are used inside of a colony of bees because they bear the
      burden of correcting any detrimental effects, be it within the hives
      treated or the market the hives� products have been sold to. The hardest
      detrimental effects to correct being within the hive, because field
      management must change to correct the underlying causitive effects, once
      they have been identified, that compromise the hives� well-being. The
      easiest being correcting the marketplace, for you merely stop selling
      contaminated hive products. In actuality, better said then done, for to
      correct todays� problems of parasitic mites and secondary brood diseases,
      many beekeepers will not survive the longway back to biological
      beekeeping without the use of chemicals, drugs, and essential oils,
      without the back-up of a stable marketplace in which to support their
      families on their long-road back to traditional
      beekeeping.........................
      .........................................................................
      ............................................... The Saga continues. In
      Part #2 in the next session we will talk about possible decontamination
      procedures for recycling wax into foundation and the making of foundation
      by hand, before we go back into year 3 in the field. So stay tuned for
      the continuing saga. Copy at will, forward at will. Disagree or agree,
      but remember this...oils, chemicals, and drugs are no solution and we as
      an industry will prevail by retrogressing our bees back onto a natural
      system of beekeeping before man decided bigger was better and could breed
      better than GOD. Signed: Dee and Ed Lusby, USA, 1-520-748-0542, EMAIL:
      deelusbybeekeeper@.... Remember the best things in life are free
      including the birds and the BEES, kept by traditional methods that stand
      the test of time eternal.

      Bob & Teresa Butcher
      May the Good Lord Bless you and keep you.
      Come and join us.
      fervent-in prayer@onelist.com
      chess-challengers@onelist.com

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    • tiffany n osander
      This, combined with common sense due to my personal veiws of over-medication in the general human AND livestock populations, and the KNOWN short term and long
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 1, 1999
        This, combined with common sense due to my personal veiws of
        over-medication in the general human AND livestock populations, and the
        KNOWN short term and long term ill effects of over-use of antibiotics in
        particular, both on our health directly and indirectly through our food
        chain, are exactly why I do NOT "treat" my bees for diseases they do not
        have. I have never said anything through all of the "mite" discussions
        and such, but my bees have been perfectly healthy and happily producing
        through the years WITHOUT my "help". I personally feel like they have
        been at it longer than I have, and if their health or productivity was
        dependant on some sort of drug then it would have to be naturaly produced
        or there would be no wild bees. Also, if these treatments are completely
        non-toxic and "safe", then why are there reccommended dosage levels and
        why do you have to wait for it to disipate somewhat before harvesting the
        honey? One of the reasons I like having my own bees is because I know it
        is a much more healthful sweetner to give my children than say corn syrup
        or refined sugar. Many of the gardeners within range of my hive garden
        organically, which makes me feel good about the honey, and is in fact a
        very good selling point for me actually, so why would I go and ADD
        chemicals to it? My customers prefer to buy from me because I don't treat
        my bees for diseases that they do not have. They like my honey because it
        is not full of pesticides and antifungals and antibiotics and oils. But I
        guess I am lucky that I don't HAVE to treat, because I don't live near
        any other beekeepers, so I guess our chance of contracting something is
        greatly reduced. But even if they did happen to contract something, I
        think I would rather wait and see what happens and maybe start all over
        if I have to than to feed my children apistan and antibiotics on their
        pancakes every morning.
        TIFFANY osander@...
        mom, student, massage therapist,
        beekeeper, fire dancer, cometgoddess
        "Leave a little to nature; she understands her business better than we
        do."
        -Montaigne, Essays, 1595

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      • roni thompson
        well tiffany it is good that you do not have to treat but when the livelyhood of a comercial beekeeper is at stack sometimes it has to be done. When the mites
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 1, 1999
          well tiffany it is good that you do not have to treat but when the
          livelyhood of a comercial beekeeper is at stack sometimes it has to be
          done. When the mites really got bad beekeepers who relied on there bees
          to live lost up to 100% of there bees. And the chemicals have not been
          found in the honey. So while not treating works for you that is not the
          answer for everyone. We would all like to not treat but we also like to
          have food on our tables
          --
          In HIM
          Roni

          Homeschooling mother of Elizabeth, cody and wade and wife of beekeeper
          Bruce.
          "God's Word is sweeter than honey,and when you believe it it is like
          honey to the soul"
        • Garry Libby
          Hi, I just wanted to clear the air a little. Fluvalinate, which is the active ingredient in Apistan, is a synthetic pyrithrin, in other words it is an
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 1, 1999
            Hi,

            I just wanted to clear the air a little. Fluvalinate, which is the
            active ingredient in Apistan, is a synthetic pyrithrin, in other words it is
            an imitation of the pyrithrin that is found in mum plants and is sold to
            people to use in their gardens as a natural pesticide.
            i don't think it is as bad a chemical as some people would have You believe.
            Coumophos is the new chemical available in some states that I am afraid of.
            It is a form of nerve toxin, and I don't think it should be sold, it will
            cause nerve damage if handled improperly, chemists gloves are required to
            handle the strips.

            If used according to the directions You will NEVER find Fluvalinate in
            honey, it is hydro-phobic, but it will be absorbed into wax(another good
            reason to follow the directions and remove it before putting on honey
            supers).

            To avoid treating with menthol for tracheal mites, I use Buckfast bees,
            I've never treated them with Menthol and they are doing fine(fifth winter
            approaching), My Italian bees died during their second winter because I
            didn't treat on time, I had them tested at the USDA lab in Beltsville, MD
            and tracheal mites were confirmed.
            There are other strains of bees available that are supposed to be resistant
            to tracheal mites.
            The Russian bees are being released this coming spring, they are
            supposed to be resistant to Varroa mites, I'm buying two and hope they work
            because it would be nice to use one less treatment.
            Garry Libby
            Attleboro, MA USA

            I also do not believe in using anti-biotics to "prevent" American
            foulbrood.In My opinion that is like taking penicillin to prevent a tooth
            ache. There is now AFB that is resistant to terramycin in North America, it
            is believed to be due to people treating with extender patties that had too
            little terramycin in them.
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