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Diseases, Mites, Pests & Controls

by Bill Troup, Maryland Bee Inspector, Maryland Department of Agriculture

What is in Your Beehive? Is There a Legal Case for Bee-Go?

Note: We do not use any of these chemicals in our hives. However, we wanted beekeepers and the general public to know what many beekeepers use in their hives. - Flickerwood Apiary

Yes it does stink! Whether you have used bee-go or Honey-Robber to remove honey supers or otherwise manipulate bees, these products do leave smelly residues. But, how much of a stink with residues, contamination and adulteration to our honey are we creating by using these products. Do any of us legally know the status of these products? Have we just taken using these products for granted? Let us take a closer look at the control products that we apply to our bee colonies. Let us review and summarize the legal origins and documentation for these products.

Apistan:
A plastic strip impregnated with Fluvalinate, is a registered section (3) general use contact control for Varroa Mites, to be applies in a non surplus honey production period of 42-56 days.

Checkmite:
A plastic strip impregnated with Coumaphos, is an Emergency use, Special Exemption Section (18) contact control for Varroa Mites and Small Hive Beetles, to be applied in a non surplus honey production period for 45 treatment days. (Note: Follow label instructions for special application)

Api Life-Var:
An oasis type material impregnated with Thymol, Eucalyptus Oil and L-Menthol, is a Special Exemption Section (18) emergency use fumigant for Varroa Mites, to be used in a non surplus honey production period for 32 treatment days. (Note: Follow label instructions for special application)

Apicure:
A formic Acid Gel formulation, is a registered section (3) general use fumigant control for Tracheal Mites and Varroa Mite suppression, to be applied in a non surplus honey production period for 21 treatment days. (Note: This control product is not currently available.)

Mite-A-Thol:
An L-Menthol dry crystal based product, is a registered section (3) general use fumigant control for Tracheal Mites to be applied in a non surplus honey production period for 21 treatment days of 70 F, and not to exceed 90 F temperatures. (Note: Various application methods exist for this control: familiarize yourself with them and follow label instructions.)

Sucrocide:
A Sucrose Octanoate Ester derived Biochemical Miticides, is a registered section (25B) general use spray control for Varroa Mites to be applied even during surplus honey production, but not at temperatures below 55 F or on winter cluster at the first sighting of Varroa mites. (Note: Read label instructions for special mixing and application)

Terramycin:
A broad-Spectrum Oxytetracycline HCL Antibiotic, is a registered section (25B) general use dust/ingested control for the prophylactic control and treatment of light infestation/ non scale stage of AFB and application for EFB and PMS. (Note: Prophylactic use of this product is highly discouraged, due to recent resistant strains of AFB)

Fumagilin-B: (Formally Fumidil-B)
A fumagilin-B derived Antibiotic, is a registered section (3) general use liquid ingested control as an aid in the prevention of Nosema disease. To be used when feeding bees in the fall and spring. (Note: The objective is to have this product present in winter feed stores for the bees to consume during long term confinement periods.)

Para-Moth:
A dry crystal formulation of Paradichlorobenzene, is a registered section (3) general use fumigant control for Wax Moth in stored combs. To be applied to the inside on top of a stack of supers/brood combs. (Note: Follow label instructions for detailed applications.)

Garstar 40%:
A premise/ground drench permethrin based insecticide, is a registered section (25B) general use liquid contact control for SHB larvae/pupal stages to be applied to the ground/premise occupied by bee equipment where SHB larvae may exist to pupate. (Note: Follow label instructions for special mixing and application.)

Bee-Go:
An N-Butyric Anhydride based bee repellent, is a non registered control product. Prior to 1998, use of Butyric Anhydride by beekeepers was permitted by a "Special Exemption from the requirement for a tolerance" for the chemical Synonym Butanoic Anhydride in the EPA regulations. In 1998 the EPA revoked the exemption for Butyric in honey leaving it with only one possible agriculture application, as a packaged animal feed additive intended to repel bugs that might get into the feed. Quite an eye opener, HUH! EPA does not consider a bee repellent as a pesticide. Federal regulations state that a product intended to force bees from the hives for the collection of a honey crop is not a pesticide. However, many state laws require that any product that kills, destroys, repels, etc. must be registered in their state as a pesticide. Is this then an FDA issue?

The FDA register of documents indicates that Butyric Anhydride as well as the product Bee-Go was also cancelled by the FDA for the use as a hive fumigant on honey comb and adult bees. Thus, if the FDA cancelled a product, then it must be cancelled by the state. Why then do our bee supply companies still offer these products. Is this yet but another honey scandal just waiting to explode? Does this boil down to a state by state enforcement issue, or an ethical issue on the part of every beekeeper involved? Should then we not stir in this anymore for fear of making a bigger stink; and it does stink considerably already. Good questions to which we do not have all the answers.

Just remember, the Maryland Department of Agriculture registers the aforementioned products for you to se responsibly in your beekeeping operations and the state is thus liable for your proper use and or misuse of these products. We are talking here about every beekeepers ethical and moral obligation to curtail the use of products in their beekeeping practices that are not registered for such use.

Please read and follow all label instructions carefully and contact your State Regulatory Officials for further guidance and assistance on us of Control Products.

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Article Contributed by:
Bill Troup
Honeyfield Apiary
10618 Honeyfield Road
Williamsport, MD
301 223 9662

 

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