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Condensation and varroa! Missing link to survivalists
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homestaydon
Nurse Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
Location: USA, Illinois, Sheridan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks R Payne will take the information under advisement. Didn't like what was in the Denatured alcohol that I have. See if I can find the Everclear. Now what about the Propolis?
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Don Burton from the Fox River Dells as we refer to it. A small town on the Fox River in Illinois
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John
Scout Bee


Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 270
Location: England / London & Kent

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Maybe William Shaekespeare kept bees ? Reply with quote

Quote:
.... To set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


If the bard did keep bees he seems to have known all about condensation, you never know Confused A very interesting discussion though.

John
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I recall, Shakespeare somewhere refers to 'the King Bee'... so probably not an expert, then! Wink
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John
Scout Bee


Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 270
Location: England / London & Kent

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Shakespeare a contemporary of varroa Reply with quote

At risk of going off topic some wag at Beesource has "Two Gentle Mites of Varroa"! The bard was contemporary with Charles Butler, dying in 1616, 7 years after the first edition of "Feminine Monarchie" in 1609. As Phil points out, Butler's observations on the femininity of monarchs don't seem to have got through.

Whether or not Shakespeare kept bees there is still interesting information locked up in all those old books - not least the damp patch to be observed, (during a nectar flow), on the seat of the stool on which the hive stood. Humidity is clearly an interesting parameter that must be measured.

However, my comments on the bard are off topic and I will now desist.

John.
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homestaydon
Nurse Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
Location: USA, Illinois, Sheridan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:48 am    Post subject: sorta back on subject Reply with quote

At my bee keeping class tonight the instructor mentioned that someone told him about finishing the inside of hives. He said he needed to check into it more. So with an opening like that I explained very briefly the discussion that has been going on here. I told all present that it would be of some value to them to check out Biobees.com to see what they could glean from the vast amount of information here. So I got to put in a plug for the site and the subject. Also while surfing the web looking and material about varnishes that would be non toxic to bees I stumbled onto this site. http://www.beekeeping.org/info/produits/propolis_us.htm
Nealy half way down on the opening page is two formulas for a Propolis based varnish. Thought that was quit neat. Course it took me the better part of an hour tonight to find it again. That's what happens when I don't bookmark something of interest when I first stumble onto it. Smile
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work, Don!

I have uploaded Ed Clarke's article to the library.
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forgeblast
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 31
Location: USA, PA, North East

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a double boiler, I have one larger #10 can and a coffee can that fits inside it so that I am heating the water insead of the can mixed with beeswax, linseed oil, and a bit of mineral spirits.

I had the same though:
Just another thought . If the Bees are living in a tree that is still living ,would the tree its self absorb water from the nest ? I know trees spend a lot of energy effectivly pumping water up to and out of the leaves from the roots . An active system could remove a lot of water this way , if you do the math trees shift a lot of water around.

We heat with wood in the winter and always add more moisture to the air since we are drying it out, would keeping the hives in an area that has more moisture in the winter be more benificial to them?
The heat content, usually called the enthalpy, of air rises with increasing water content. (from http://www.natmus.dk/cons/tp/atmcalc/atmoclc1.htm) Could the increase in temp kill the growing mites?
What is the nomal thickness of tree that bees are building their hive in. Would it make more sense then to use a thicker piece of lumber, or laminate lumber together to provide a more constant environment?
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forgeblast
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 31
Location: USA, PA, North East

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the second post but when I was looking at page 39 of the book constructive beekeeping the author shows the lid for the hive.
In my mind it looks very similar to the Warre top, except that there would be a quilt box between the bars and the top of the hive.
on page 40 the author also talks about overwintering with minimal disturbance and leaving good quality honey for them.
With the thoughts on physical makeup of the air within a hive it would seem that a more hands off approach will allow the bees the abilty to regulate their home.
Thank you for posting that book link its a very intersting read.
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BoBnh
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 230
Location: USA/New Hampshire

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried finishing the insides of my bee boxes, but I am familiar with French Polish.

For French polish, I use a "tea bag" method of dissolving the shellac.

I use seedlac. Seedlac is less refined than flake shellac or buttonlac. Seedlac is sticklac that has been broken apart and winnowed to remove some of the dirt and tree bark.

I take a small piece of cotton cloth (about 3" square)
I put about a tablespoon or 2 of seedlac on the cloth take the corners of the cloth to make a bag, then twist a fine wire around to keep the bag closed and suspend the bag in a 8oz jar filled with grain alcohol (everclear).

It about 20 minutes at room temperature, the solution is ready to use.

The applicator I use is a handful of raw sheep wool with a piece of linen over it.

It can take 100s of applications to get a clear gloss finish, but you don't really need a thick finish inside of a bee box.

Bob
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Calatan
House Bee


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Sweden, Västra Götaland, Göteborg

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gareth wrote:
zaunreiter wrote:

On top there is a study that no varroa survives a humidity of 80 %. 

Bernhard


That study is available here and shows that, at 70% humidity, Varroa reproduce at the highest rate, whereas at 80% they almost stop reproducing completely. In other words, every 1% increase in humidity above 70% in the brood area hurts Varroa.

This suggests that a perfect hive for Varroa control would be one that allows the bees to maintain as a high a humidity as possible in the brood cells.

So


    Small entrance
    No through ventilation
    No bottom screen
    Old comb if possible (to buffer humidity)
    Small cells??
    Non-porous hive walls??


I want to share with you the most fascinating thing on bees I have ever read outside biobees.com. In the latest issue of NordBi-Aktuellt, the Journal of the Swedish Association for Preserving Apis mellifera mellifera, Swedish researcher Tobias Olofsson at the University of Lund describes his work on lactic acid bacteria. On the subject of hive atmosphere he writes (in my own humble translation from Swedish):

Lactic acid bacteria form organic acids such as lactic, acetic and formic acid. These are acids used by beekeepers to combat mites and nosema. Lactic acid bacteria are numerous and resemble small factories in the hive where they prosper in the honey stomach, bee bread, bee pollen and honey. Perhaps they produce an arsenal of substances dispersed in the hive's atmosphere? Perhaps the atmosphere in the hive is important to preserve and this would be a reason to disturb the bees as little as possible. Samples from the lab shows that the bacteria produces large amounts of organic acids that seep into the atmosphere. In modern beehives there are bottom screens and entrances at the bottom; how does this affect a potential atmosphere that might prevent disease? The answer is quite logical, but I put the question to Martin Ferm at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) in Gothenburg. The organic acids accumulates in a fairly closed room but with a bottom screen with the full thrust of the wind at the bottom and with entrances at the bottom that aired these acids out according to Martin.
Wild bees prefer a hollow tree with only a small gap as opening and they are very careful to seal every crack or hole. We will be investigating this properly: what is the atmosphere like inside a hive if it can be left alone and what does such an atmosphere do to mites? Our pilot study that was conducted in the summer of 2009, in a hive during a typical summer day and while winter fodder was given, was just the beginning. Formic acid and acetic acid were found in the hive atmosphere in the visible amount during a typical summer day and in even larger amounts when the fodder was given.
The Board of Agriculture allocated funds for one-fifth of this project, which means we'll be managing the project on a reduced scale and without pay, but we were thrilled because they dared to bet on such an odd project.
The bees will more or less look after themselves and winter on their own honey. Half of the hives (all of foams) have bottom screen and bottom entrances and the other half have a protected passage in the attic and a completely closed bottom. After 6 weeks, all hives appear to thrive equally well. Data will be collected for a year and will be compared with bacterial organic acids measured with the same equipment in the lab.
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Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catalan

Now that is a study worth watching. How very interesting! It backs up a lot of what others believe and have discussed on the forum. It's the bugs! Thanks.
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can someone please explain?
Are these organic acids heavier then air?
Is a hole near the bottom not so good?
Then why do bees prefer their entrance near the bottom? (according to Thomas D. Seeley)

Luc Pintens
Belgium
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting - and more reinforcement for my focus on deep-filled floors and periscope entrances. Funny how all this stuff is coming to light now...
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homestaydon
Nurse Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
Location: USA, Illinois, Sheridan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: I was a bit hesitant about posting this here. Reply with quote

I recently was able to obtain some raw fresh from the hive propolis. About a 1/2 lb. I used a formula I found on the web for Russian varnish using linseed oil, beeswax and propolis. I brought the linseed oil up to boiling with the raw propolis. Then add the beeswax. Stirring to get it dissolved as best I could. Then poured it into a canning jar through a paint strainer. I ended up with a beeswax linseed oil colored wax. My question is about the residue left in the pan. It is very dark brown. After cooling it is almost hard. Something is telling me that this may well be the resinous part of the propolis. Yes-No? Something else tells me that I may want to some how get it reincorporated into my mixture. I'm getting some Everclear 95% alcohol to use to thin the wax out a bit to make it easier to apply. Thinking I might try to dissolve the resinous material with the Everclear to see if I can add it back in the mixture.
Need your thoughts and suggestions. Any ideas will be appreciated. Very Happy
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PChemist
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Location: USA,Colorado, Longmont

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject: Denatured alcohol Reply with quote

If you have a choice between using denatured alcohol and some Everclear, I would go with Everclear or other alcohol for human consumption. The alcohol found in beer, liquor, etc. is ethanol (CH3CH2OH). In order to make "denatured" or "methylated" alcohol, ethanol is mixed with methanol (CH3OH) and sometimes bromine (depending on the source). This is done to stop people from drinking it since methanol causes blindness and bromine is a neurotoxin. I looked it up and saw that the UK requires pyridine to be added. Pyridine causes sterility in men. Most of it will evaporate but I suspect some will remain in the dried varnish. Since we've seen articles showing that even very small doses of the wrong chemical can affect our little friends I think it should be avoided. I haven't seen anything examining pyridine's effect on bees but why not be cautious? Besides, there is plenty of cheap alcohol out there.

Regards,
Jacob
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent thread.
Don't know how I missed it first time around.
Thanks.
Smile
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ homestaydon:
Can you please share the recipe for the varnish?

Luc Pintens
Belgium
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BoBnh
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 230
Location: USA/New Hampshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Maybe William Shaekespeare kept bees ? Reply with quote

John wrote:
Quote:
.... To set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


If the bard did keep bees he seems to have known all about condensation, you never know Confused A very interesting discussion though.

John


Those lines was written by Keats in 1820. Keats died in 1821 at the age of 25. About 200 years after Shakespeare.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Autumn
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Barry Jackson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2009
Posts: 231
Location: UK, London N2

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Shakespeare/bees Reply with quote

If anyone is interested Shakespeare refers to bees 11 times:-
Midsummer Night's Dream Act 3 Sc1/Act 4 Sc5
All's Well That Ends well Act4 Sc5
2 Henry iv Act 4 Sc4 and just a bit further Act4 Sc4
Henry v Act 1 Sc2
1 Henry vi Act 1 Sc5 (refers to smoke driving bees away)
2 Henry vi Act 3 Sc2 and Act 4 Sc2
Julius Caesar Act5 Sc1
Troilus ad Cressida Act1 Sc3
Titus Andronicus Act 5 Sc1
Troilus and Cressida Act 5 Sc1
AND 6 references to HONEY
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homestaydon
Nurse Bee


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
Location: USA, Illinois, Sheridan

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: formual for the varnish I'm using. Reply with quote

imkeer wrote:
@ homestaydon:
Can you please share the recipe for the varnish?

Luc Pintens
Belgium


Linseed Oil 400g 14.1095 oz
Beeswax 125g 4.400 oz
Propolis 200g 7.054 oz

I started out with raw propolis but a very small amount of it went into suspension with the linseed oil and beeswax. I took what settled out reheated it to soften it up then placed it in a jar with everclear. It did dissolve. I strained it through a paint strainer and replaced it back into the jar to let the strained dissolve material clear. It has now settled out. It is about half clear dark red fluid with the rest being fine material that didn't strain out on the initial straining. I'm thinking about incorporating the clear fluid into the first resulting linseed beeswax propolis mixture. I hope I'm on the right track. I have used the first mix on some bar wood and it cured out well and left a natural water repellent finish. It just slightly darken the wood. It looks like the typical varnish finish.
Hope this helps.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
Interesting - and more reinforcement for my focus on deep-filled floors and periscope entrances. Funny how all this stuff is coming to light now...


Phil,

I still didnt drill holes in my new TBH. I was considering the telescope anti-varroa entrance but someone here at the forum adviced to just drill a few holes and forget about the anti varroa entrance.
Your idea resonates well with my gut feeling.

I think I will go with the telescope entrance.

ELABORATE please this part Smile
You mention DEEP-FILLED FLOORS. What is that? I made the summer-winter movable floor with a metal mesh floor (hTBH). In the summer open in the winter closed. Are you saying that bees might do much better with completely closed floors both summer and winter to preserve the Formic acid and Acetic acid of the hive?

Looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards, Dusko
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1573
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dusko

Phil and now one or two other members are experimenting with an enclosed box below the bees containing wood shavings and perhaps dry leaves etc in the hope of stimulating an eco system similar to the natural environment where perhaps earwigs and woodlice etc would live below the bees and maybe eat any falling varroa. As you say it would also allow for a more stable atmosphere in the hive as regards nest scent with it being enclosed.

Must admit I like the sound of it and I'm looking to modify my TBH to accommodate this feature.

Regards

Barbara
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melissabee
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 272
Location: Germany, Bavaria

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do earwigs really eat the mite?
My TBHs are less than perfectly built, with quite a lot of gaps etc. Crying or Very sad , but I do have masses of earwigs in all of them. Good sign? Rather not because of the gaps in the hives, right? Really tricky this whole affair.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

melissabee wrote:
Do earwigs really eat the mite?
My TBHs are less than perfectly built, with quite a lot of gaps etc. Crying or Very sad , but I do have masses of earwigs in all of them. Good sign? Rather not because of the gaps in the hives, right? Really tricky this whole affair.


Earwigs are pretty omnivorous, so I think they will appreciate a nice, crunchy snack - but I have not yet tested this theory. We await the results of your research!
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johnnsally
Nurse Bee


Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 46
Location: Northern Ireland, North Coast

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Slatted floor over leaf litter Reply with quote

Is there any need for any type of flooring over a deep litter floor in the hive?

I assume the floor should be removable for cleaning purposes and checking for infestation, so that could mean a simple deep rectangular box the same dimension as the bottom of the TBH without any need for complicated slatted floors or mesh base......? The key then is having the follower boards reaching down into the litter....?
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Slatted floor over leaf litter Reply with quote

johnnsally wrote:
Is there any need for any type of flooring over a deep litter floor in the hive?

I assume the floor should be removable for cleaning purposes and checking for infestation, so that could mean a simple deep rectangular box the same dimension as the bottom of the TBH without any need for complicated slatted floors or mesh base......? The key then is having the follower boards reaching down into the litter....?


My new deep floor is a simple retro-fit, being an extension of the sides by adding a 4x1 each side and fitting ends. A mesh strip for filler retention and drainage goes underneath - the followers rest on the filling material. It is easy to seal gaps by adding more.

The floor assembly is removable as a unit using simple wire fasteners or anything you care to devise. Removing it can be done with hardly any disturbance to the bees - they don't spend much time on the floor.
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johnnsally
Nurse Bee


Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 46
Location: Northern Ireland, North Coast

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Cleaning a litter floor addition. Reply with quote

Thanks Phil,

Do you think the litter need tipping away and replacing occasionally, given the amount of debris dropped from the comb, or do you envisage leaving it all to develop an natural ecology
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Heleen
New Bee


Joined: 21 Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Limburg Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: reference study? Reply with quote

Hi Bernhard, (Zaunreiter)

You wrote:
On top there is a study that no varroa survives a humidity of 80 %.

Can you tell me the references of this study? I have been trying to find it.

Thank you!
Heleen
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Cleaning a litter floor addition. Reply with quote

johnnsally wrote:
Thanks Phil,

Do you think the litter need tipping away and replacing occasionally, given the amount of debris dropped from the comb, or do you envisage leaving it all to develop an natural ecology


I would expect to simply add material from time to time and let the various bugs and fungi take care of recycling. And having the floor removable allows for the possibility of being able to clean it out completely, should that prove necessary.
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Papillon
New Bee


Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 9
Location: London/E.Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: reference study? Reply with quote

Heleen wrote:
Hi Bernhard, (Zaunreiter)

You wrote:
On top there is a study that no varroa survives a humidity of 80 %.

Can you tell me the references of this study? I have been trying to find it.

Thank you!
Heleen


http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/bio/2002-0125-093525/UUindex.html
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