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Saturday April 10th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
 
Edited from a series of emails:

>... you mention a large queen supplier that was supplying queens with nosema, don't expect to to say who, but were the queens carniolans from Slovenia by any chance.

No. Although that is possible, too. I have no knowledge of that one. I was referring to a supplier more local to North America.

> ...there was a lot of problems with queens from Slovenia last season, many hundreds, i believe they could well of had the same probs, definitely one's i had were nosemic, and reports from one large importer of queens disappearing, not building up, failing soon after introduction suggests many were like mine.

I think this is a problem that has suddenly appeared worldwide and taken many by surprise. I have not treated for nosema for decades, but am now on the watch. I'm thinking thymol may be my solution.

> ps, keep up your diary, it's both, interesting and informative.

Keeps me on my toes.

> Pleased to hear you say that about the thymol, don't know if you remember my over long pm on the forum about feeding thymol in syrup,

I can't recall. I think I had to empty my inbox there, too. You don't happen to have a copy?

> well have been doing this for years pre 2002,then the nosema levels rose slowly for the past 7 years, had probs over a year ago in spring and went back to using thymol syrup, this spring nosema no problems at all, R.O.B Manley was using thymol back in the 40's,

So I have been hearing. What was his purpose, do you recall?

> Manley's main reason was to stop syrup from fermenting ,especially when late feeding of colonies is carried out like when they return from the heather in autumn. don't know if you have seen this link about thymol on Dave Cushman's site.....  http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/thymolx1.html

That's where I saw the reference to Manley.

> i use 3 times Manley dose emulsified with lecithin to give a very stable suspension of the thymol throughout the syrup mix, just under 1g per gallon which is 5ml of the thymol pre mix,

How do you make the pre-mix?

> My recipe is same quantities, but not so much surgical spirit, this being replaced by water to emulsify, else the oil tends to just float on top, or a proportion of it.

  • 30g thymol crystals. placed in honey jar,
  • add 5ml of surgical spirit/isopropyl alc/meths any one of these works,
  • place this jar in water bath of boiling water to help dissolve.
    honey jar....140ml of boiling water,
  • add 1 teaspoon of lecithin granules,
  • place jar in hot  water bath to keep hot and help dissolve the lecithin,
  • takes about 10/15 minutes,
  • strain out any undissolved lecithin through tea strainer or such like,
  • then add the dissolved thymol to the water lecithin,
  • shake well, several times.

> this you can then add at 6ml to 1 gallon of syrup, which would be 1g per gallon of thymol, i use 5ml for nosema per gallon, or 5ml per 3 gallons to prevent any fermentation, even if unsealed in hive by bee's.

> lecithin granules are easily obtained from health food shops, very cheap.

> also helps with varroa control, apart from the 7 years of not using thymol i have always used it in autumn syrup feed since the late 70's,

> i currently have 240 colonies and 75 nucs, did go to 300, heading that way again, and higher, now sons can help me some. nothing on your kind of scale though Allen, this is the uk, would not hold as many as you used to run

That, for me, is now a distant memory.

> ps...i believe since varroa the diseases like nosema have been well overlooked, everyone so pre-occupied with varroa that they thought nosema had gone away, when levels have become much worse, then of course there is ceranae.

I really do not know what to make of all that.

> Makes perfect sense really, thymol is a fungicide, nosema is a fungi, so thymol is bound to have a good effect in clearing up, or preventing nosema. plus i believe when the bee's are fanning within the hive to reduce the moisture content of the thymolised syrup, the vapour has has a detrimental effect on varroa ,plus can work in a systemic way within the bee's when the mites feed from them, and the larvae within the cells. And the bee's love the stuff, seems to keep them very healthy.

Do you mind if I use some of this conversation in my diary?

> No Allen i don't mind at all,.

Univar gave me a thymol quote today.  A 25 kilo bag is $1,125.00.  2 week delivery.  Irwin's source (right) looks much more reasonable.  Maybe there is a purity difference?  Click and go...

I brought my Ham radio walkie-talkie along and spent the afternoon playing with batteries.  There is a lot to know.  I have some old rechargeables, and was working on rehabilitating them.  Although they are a little more work, rechargeables can save a lot of money.  I'm looking at getting a Spot and it will eat batteries, too.  Add to that my GPS...

Check out the presentation at left.  Click and go...

 

 

Sunday April 11th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Bill and I went to the Sportsman's Show, and I found the Spot unit I have been looking for, so I bought it.  After activating it, I went to Bill's for his birthday supper.

I activated the tracking feature before driving over and back.  The map at left shows the plots.  The unit sends a 'breadcrumb' every ten minutes, marking my path. I also sent an 'OK' message which shows on the chart, too.  So far this looks promising.  I got the unit for when I am sailing so people can track my progress.  The unit also provides emergency SOS capability.
 

I updated the scale hive charts and they are presented below.  Ellen continues to send me daily readings.

The continuous chart from October 17th through now is at left and the spring chart at right.  Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

 

 

 
Monday April 12th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

 The plan was to launch Bill's tin boat on Ramsey and test out our various outboard motors.  We got off to a good start.  I went to Harri's and got the 9.9 and went to Bill's.  It turned out that his boat trailer had a flat tire.  We pulled it off and went to Princess Auto and that was the afternoon.

Mom took Linda, Sid and me out for a prime rib supper.

I've been using ham radio again.  Bill and Faye are hams, so 2m is handy for keeping in touch.

 
Tuesday April 13th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
 
 
Today in Swalwell
Cloudy. A few showers beginning this afternoon. Fog patches early this morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 7.
Tonight
A few rain showers changing to snow at times heavy and blowing snow this evening. Snowfall amount 10 cm. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 50 becoming northwest 40 gusting to 60 after midnight. Low plus 1.
Wednesday
Snow at times heavy ending near noon then clearing. Amount 10 cm. Blowing snow in the morning. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 in the afternoon then becoming light in the evening. High plus 5.

We knew this was coming.  We just did not know when. 

This probably won't be too hard on the bees.  A few days confinement won't hurt too much, especially if there are enough patties on to hold them.  They won't be foraging on the ground, but maybe they will be able to work bushes and trees if any are yielding.

This is a most vulnerable time.  The nurse bees are old, and working to raise new replacement bees.  The young bees emerging are still not fully developed and ready to take up the tasks.

Open brood and the emerging bees need lots of protein and I was not seeing any pollen around the brood before I left. 

The bees are going day to day and extracting protein from the nurse bees' bodies to feed larvae, and the emerging bees have to make do with what they find.

It is well documented that there is a window of opportunity for the young bees to develop if protein is available.  Additionally, if there is not enough protein for the open brood, it will be torn out by the bees.


Bill & I are still trying to get to the outboard motor testing.  Before we can get on the lake, we have to mount the trailer spare tire, load the boat onto the trailer and head for the lake.


I had lunch with Mom, Linda and Kyla at the Cardinal, then got the valve stem fixed.  I returned to Bill's and we finally got the boat and motors loaded and headed for Bell Park.

The motors both started well and we ran over to Mom's across the lake for coffee.  On returning, I noticed some oil seepage from the bottom end.  Back to Harri, it goes, I guess.

 
Wednesday April 14th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Today in Swalwell
Cloudy. A few showers beginning this afternoon. Fog patches early this morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 7.
Tonight
A few rain showers changing to snow at times heavy and blowing snow this evening. Snowfall amount 10 cm. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 50 becoming northwest 40 gusting to 60 after midnight. Low plus 1.
Wednesday
Snow at times heavy ending near noon then clearing. Amount 10 cm. Blowing snow in the morning. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 in the afternoon then becoming light in the evening. High plus 5.

The storm continues in Alberta.  Here in Ontario, we are expecting plus 18 and sunny.  Bill and I are headed out to camp this morning to check on things.


The trip to Whitefish Falls went well, and we got out to Tepee 2300 around noon.  Everything was in good shape except that one of the docks had come undone.  It took us a half-hour to get it hooked up again and we were back in Sudbury by 4:30.  You can see how Spot tracked us at this page.  Seems to me that the page is screwed up when I checked it just now.  It says the trip was 295 days ago and some of the track that was there earlier is missing. The page was OK a while ago.  I'm not too sure anymore about Spot's reliability.

I had plans to do a few more things, but found I was tired after the day outdoors and went to bed early.

The storm in Alberta apparently caused power fluctuations and outages.

 

Thursday April 15th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
 

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Honey Bee Virus Sampling Information and Some Casual Observations Regarding Essential Oils and Viruses

Hi Dave,

When we were speaking in Orlando, I recall you mentioned that you had used some essential oil mix that seemed to reduce the viruses present in your hives. I can't recall if you mentioned the name of the supplier or could not recall at that moment. If I remember correctly, you said he was a commercial beekeeper and sells the product. You gave me your card and I think I was to email you for the details.

Some of us have been discussing various essential oils and other such compounds and would be curious to know how to contact your supplier and to learn more about the product.

Thanks in advance.

Allen Dick


Allen,

I apologize for not getting this back to you sooner. I have moved my lab to a new location and have had more things added to my to-do list than I want. With all that said we are up and running again and I am in catch-up mode.

The essential oils were used by a few beekeepers last year and I was able to pick up an observed decrease in the viral titers after the application of essential oils. This year we are putting a experimental approach to verify those observations and to give some data that shows the affects of the essential oils on bee health and viral loads.

The contact for essential oils is:

LeFore's Farm Fresh Honey
Jeff LeFore
53588 W. Crockett Rd.
Milton-Freewater, OR 97862
(541) 938-3104
jefflefore@gmail.com

I have shown that monitoring the viral load in bees is useful in monitoring bee health. By monitoring the viral load over time ( once a month) an observable change can be seen in viral titers (the number of virus particles), this can be linked to other factors that affect the bees such as nutrition, mite damage, pesticide damage, Nosema impacts, and a variety of other factors. The reports usually have a short turnaround time and helps with the timing of application of treatments such as the essential oils.

I would recommend a regular monitoring of your bees to establish a baseline so that we can take notice of adverse changes in your bees.

If I can be of further assistance let me know.

Best regards,

David Wick
BVS, Inc.
5501 HWY 93 N., Suite 6
Florence, MT 59833
406-369-4214

www.bvs-inc.us


Allen,

Here is a portion of my presentation that I made at the conventions.
(attached).  The magnitude of the drop is significant.  From high to next to nil.  Now I have to say I had no controls and this was only observational over 20 colonies that I had tracked for over a year.  We are conducting anexperimental program on essential oils this year.

Yes you have my permission to quote me on anything I have given to you.

Please indicate that this was observational data.

The cost is $40 per sample.  One sample per 50-75 colonies per yard is fairly representative of that yard.

I am no currently constrained. If I have too much volume we can expand
without too much difficulty.

Dave


David Wick
BVS, Inc.
406-369-4214
www.bvs-inc.us


This was a casual test, however we were testing nearly 100 samples monthly from the same beekeeper. The colonies that had essential oils only were all similar to the charts that I sent to you. The ones that had other treatments with the essential oils as well had mixed results and the ones that had no essential oils were more typical in the continual increase in the viral load although not consistent, this is why we are conducting an experimental process that will verify these results, I hope. I have tracked these same colonies for two years and the viral load was and is somewhat predictable in the viral load.

I believe that the samples were taken from the top of the colonies, I am not sure of the exact location, I would have to refer to the data set. I do know that I have been successful in the training of the beekeepers to be consistent in sample gathering from the same location.

I hope this is helpful

Dave

Download the BVS bee speciment collection instructions document

Sampling Honey Bees for Viruses.

Download the speciment collection instructions document

The above charts are reproduced in more detail below

 

Download the BVS bee speciment collection instructions document

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Friday April 16th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I picked up a survey from the owner of a boat I am looking at, then met Mom for lunch at Ginga's.  Next, I went looking for a new toilet tank to replace a cracked one at home.  No luck. 

I then ran out to Sudbury Cycle & Marine.  I had noticed the place previously, away out by Coniston.  I was pleasantly surprised to find friendly, helpful staff and a good display area.

After supper, I patched the old tank with Marine Goop and polyurethane.  It looks a good as new.

I'm planning to go to Spragge tomorrow to look at the boat.

 
Saturday April 17th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

The day turned out to be cool and rainy, so I decided tomorrow looks better.  Mom and I went to see Linda.  On the way back home, we stopped at Home Hardware to get some toilet parts.  I spent fifteen minutes searching, stooped down digging through poor stock with no prices on the product and no assistance.  Finally, I threw up my hands and left.  We then went to the Earth Day Market and drove home. 

I dropped Mom off at home and went out to Home Depot for the parts and Wal-Mart for a large monitor for this computer and a few small items.  I don't care what anyone says.  I love big box stores.  They have wide, well-lit and well-marked isles, good selection, good presentation, and knowledgeable staff who are well trained.

I finished repairing the toilet (finally) and cleaned up.  That was my day.

I love this new monitor.  It's a 19" wide Acer. and cost $138.  I could have gone an inch larger for $10 more, but I will be lugging this one around and the added size could be a nuisance.  The higher resolution is also a consideration.  It takes a lot of memory and horsepower to drive extra pixels and this computer is a midget.  I have to turn off some of the Windows 7 eye candy to get decent performance.  Set appropriately, it rocks, even with a big monitor


I played with Spot some more and it seems to be working now.  You can see my current plots from this page (now extinct).  The breadcrumbs expire after seven days, so if the page is empty, that simply means that I have not turned on Spot for a week.

 
Sunday April 18th 2010
 
From a reader located just north of the Okanagan valley in the south central Shuswap, BC, Canada . Latitude: 50 40' N Longitude: 119 13' W Elevation: 325 m, Zone 4B

Re your interest in ordering thymol. I ordered 25 lbs from Lebermuth last year. It had to be shipped as hazardous material separate from the rest of my order. I would suggest getting a shipping quote and a brokerage quote. Together both added significant $$ to landed cost.

I found Lebermuth an excellent firm to deal with. Locally (Richmond) for EO's I deal with Golden Bough Botanicals http://www.goldenbough.ca/

I have been doing lots of trials with various EO home brews with really good success. To early to tell if it is just good luck or if I am on the right track. Because of our mild winter this year I will probably scrub this years data as it is just too good to be representative

50 over wintered singles, new queens - all survived.

74 nucs overwintered (not on hives)
      one died - noted dysentery.
      5 others starved to death by end of Jan. 28

production hives (singles) with old queens.
     19 good, 1 dead from ???,
      3 starved, the rest dinks - shook out.

I attribute starving to mild winter and feeding pollen sub too late? When will I learn? Sure enjoy your site and value your Bee-L postings.

Thanks,
Bob

I'll be updating my scale hive info soon.  The bad weather put some snow on the scale for a day or two, and the thumbscrew fell out of one weight, causing the sudden jump we see on the last chart I posted.

Actually, I see I did not post it since I knew something was fishy since the weather was too cool for such a gain and held off posting pending asking Ellen who is doing the readings for me.  I got an answer and just have to review the data, but I am out of time for now.

I can calculate the effect and adjust it out, but it all goes to show how things can screw up an experiment. For some reason we never hear about all the complications in the neat presentations researchers make at conventions.  Are they immune to the problems we mere mortals suffer?  I doubt it.  Remind me next time we are at a meeting when  they ask for questions to say, "What issues came up during this study which confounded the data and made it necessary to make extrapolations which involved guesses or value judgments"?

I'm off to Spragge today.


I had a good trip out and back. The boat was not in the kind of condition I was hoping, but the yacht club was interesting and I was offered a job as Dockmaster. Tempting, but somehow I doubt I would enjoy standing on shore watching everyone else go sailing! 

They have an unique marine railway system to haul the boats at any time without cost.

I left Spot running and you can see my trip on this page.  Spot seems to be working OK, now.


Here is another thymol supplier.

 

Monday April 19th 2010
April past: 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon in a waiting room at the hospital, waiting while my mother had a cataract removed.  All went well and we were back home by mid-afternoon.  I then went over to Bill's and we took a starting motor to a friend for service.

After supper, I met Bill at Bell Park for a hike.  We wandered down to the Yacht Club and were treated to a tour by the vice-commodore.

The picture at right shows how some of the members wrap their boats for winter.  They wrap a rope around the boat to provide support for the tarps, then wrap the tarp over top.

 

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