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Condensation and varroa! Missing link to survivalists
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
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: 1856
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: 1059
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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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
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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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Heleen
New Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the reference, Papilion!

Has anyone seen this site? I would love to have any comments on it or futher explaination. The translation out of Russian is bad, probably done by google automatically.

http://www.sama.ru/~yerko/yerko_us/articl_04.htm

It is authentically known, that in a range of temperatures from 30-37,5˚C development of bees is possible during all stage post embryonic development (E.K.Es'kov " Ecology of a melliferous bee " M. 1990.) With the minimal losses. The optimum temperature for development of eggs mite at relative humidity of 60-80 % makes 34˚C ("Beekeeping" 8, 1983, I.A.Akimov, I.V.Piletskaja " About viability of eggs Varroa mite"). And at long influence of temperature 35-36˚C the destruction of eggs mite can achieve 50-95 % depending on relative humidity. The difference of temperatures in 1-2˚C with at the appropriate relative humidity is capable to be a real barrier for mite. But as mite successfully parasitizes on bees it means, that this difference of temperatures is not present. Or, mite has adapted to temperature 35-36˚C, or in broodnest the temperature makes parts 34˚C and relative humidity of 60-80 %. The second circumstance is more plausible, that proves to be true publications. Such microclimate in broodnest parts of a jack keeps, not because the beehive, that is why that at us such a beehive is badly warmed. Existing designs of beehives are adapted to beekeepers, than for bees more. Are guilty as also beekeepers who, press towards to not admit (allow) swarming of bees, unduly expand volume of a beehive. Thus bees probably are not capable to provide optimum a microclimate in beehive.
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Papillon
New Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Straw along sides of hive? Reply with quote

Gareth wrote:

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??


How about arranging some straw along the sides of the hive? Straw should get some condensation on it if it's hot enough in the hive. And then the bees would find it easy to use the water drops in raising the relative humidity in the brood cells, which if I understand correctly, is what we're trying to achieve? Perhaps this might be worth a try as would be easier than trying to find a propolis-like material that we could apply to the inside of the hive. Just trying to think of natural ways of keeping things simple while still imitating the environment inside a feral colony. Also, with straw, the bees could apply layers of propolis to it with time - is that what they do with skeps? It does seem like it from what I've seen on youtube.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Sunflower/Olive oil as varnish inside the hive body Reply with quote

Hi all,

Im going the route to permanently close the floor and to remove the meshfloor too and let the bees seal any remaining gaps with propolis as they see fit.

I am also going the Bush Route with High Entrances.

The problem with closed floors is the mould I read, so I researched a bit and found a site talking about applying sunflower/olive oil varnish (two coats) inside the hive body especially bottom parts and the the floor.

From the web site;
"Apply two coats of sunflower oil to your new hive bodies (especially the bottom body) and bottom boards as you would apply regular paint. You can use a paintbrush or a small piece of cloth."
Source;
http://www.beebehavior.com/natural_beekeeping.php

What is your opinion on this? Did anyone here try this and what results did you get?

Thank you very much.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me thinks one should see, that a permanent closed bottom is a natural thing, not appropiate for an unnatural cavity as any sort of beehive is. This is because the walls in a natural tree cavity has 15 to 30 cm thick walls. Not in a beehive of any sorts, especially the tree has fresh wood that still is alive! Dead wood is a totally different thing.

Thin walled and with little space a bee hive is not ideal. What I have seen so far, that a closed bottom helps in cold weather but does not in a strong honey flow. So if all beekeeping is local, I open up the floors on warm sunny weather with strong honey flows.
My bees do very well with this sort of adaption.

I have tried top entrances and find them working poor where I live. Do not use them except in strong flows.

So in the end, everyone has to figure self what is working best in your locality. What right in the one locality is absolutely wrong in the other. So try this and that and observe yourself. Do not follow dogmas and keep an open mind. (And eyes.) Adapt!

Bernhard
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1059
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaunreiter wrote:


So in the end, everyone has to figure self what is working best in your locality. What right in the one locality is absolutely wrong in the other. So try this and that and observe yourself. Do not follow dogmas and keep an open mind. (And eyes.) Adapt!

Bernhard


I couldn't agree more!
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Gareth
Wise Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
From the web site;
"Apply two coats of sunflower oil to your new hive bodies (especially the bottom body) and bottom boards as you would apply regular paint. You can use a paintbrush or a small piece of cloth."
Source;
http://www.beebehavior.com/natural_beekeeping.php

What is your opinion on this? Did anyone here try this and what results did you get?


This might work BUT, sunflower oil and olive oil are thought to mimic the smell that dead insects give off - the fatty acids are similar. So you could find that you are making the hive smell like a bee mortuary.

Just a thought.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gareth,
Isnt the bee mortuary the very part of their colony life? After winter many bees die, during the summer too. Oil smell + Lemongrass EO might complement each other no?

Zaunreiter,
When you say "work poor" what do you mean by that? They bring in less honey or they colaps as a collony? Care to elaborate please?
Im not after the honey but after the well being of the collony.

biobee,
In that case me spending time on this forum is useless as a beginner and it would be of more benefit for my bees to talk to the locals instead (who keep their floors open in this cold swedish winter).

OT; I cant help but notice you posting very short replies lately which I dont find helpful at all. Actualy they kind of irritate me and make wanna sting you Wink As an Admin more is expected from your replies. Gareth seems to be the oposite and Im happy he actualy focused on my question about using oil inside the hive. Good man Gareth.
Btw, the reason I joined beesource is the lack of replies or incomplete answers, or answers saying to not follow dogmas yet the very hTBH is a Dogma Im happy to test and you are happy to preach it (via your book). Yet you agree with "Dont follow dogmas" as if one can start without some kind of reference (roll eyes).
Please excuse my stings Im a Guard Bee on this forum afterall Wink
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Gareth
Wise Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Gareth,
Isnt the bee mortuary the very part of their colony life? After winter many bees die, during the summer too. Oil smell + Lemongrass EO might complement each other no?


Death is indeed part of the cycle of life. And the death of individual bees is part of the life of the colony.

I have not tried it myself but apparently, if you put a little olive oil or sunflower oil on a bee, and place the bee at the hive entrance, other bees will throw it out. Even if it is alive and healthy. To them it smells like a dead bee. That sort of reaction would make me nervous about giving the hive the 'wrong' smell. You could easily try this and see what happens, of course. Smile
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
When you say "work poor" what do you mean by that?


They shrink in size and get diseases. It could be because we have a lot of wind here, so a lower entrance doesn't catch as much wind maybe. I am not sure, but they don't seem to do well with top entrances here where I live. It also leads to brood spread throughout the hive, which is not nice in a Warre, because you can't get boxes full of just honey.

Bernhard
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Gareth
If the hive smells like sunflower/olive oil from the beggining and is mixed with the smell of Lemongrass and Wax on the top bars I dont think it will cause a problem. I see the colony in your example smelling a bee with a different scent flying into the collony, killing it and removing from the hive. Is this not a very valid possibility?
BTW, the guy in the link sais that he applies two coats of sunflower oil. I assume he waits for it to dry somewhat before introducing it to the bees. The bee in your example had a fresh oil on itself.

@ zaunreiter
When you talk "high entrance" is this with mesh-less and sealed floors? The one and only entrance? It seems you talk about high entrance in Ware hives. Im not concerned with Ware Hives at this time only with hTBH and it seems air circulation is not the same in those two.
Do/Did you keep bees in horisontal TBHs with sealed floors (no draft) and a high entrance ( la Michael Bush ) ?

@ biobee
My sencere apologies for the OT post above. I was edgy when i wrote those stingy words. Good man for writting the Barefoot Beekeeper, it sure helped me look into the right dirrection.

Thank you
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In skeps and Warre hives, no TBHs. Closed floors, no mesh.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any oil won't prevent the buildup of molds. Once there is water or damp, it will get sluggish. The droppings of the bees will rott and soon it starts to stink. If you ever smelled it, like rotting flesh, you probably want to prevent it...

However, if it works for you, it works. It depends much on where you are and what you are doing. With all the questions and good thoughts, I am sure you'll find and sort out a lot of things yourself.

Bernhard
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bernhard.

I am reading through Dennis Murrell's site and find this observation very interesting ;
http://beenaturalguy.com/observations/condensation/

Regards
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MObeek
Silver Bee


Joined: 20 Jul 2011
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Location: Northwest MO, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Che: the article is very interesting indeed. Thanks for posting it.
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biobee
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:


@ biobee
My sencere apologies for the OT post above. I was edgy when i wrote those stingy words. Good man for writting the Barefoot Beekeeper, it sure helped me look into the right dirrection.



Don't worry, I have a thick skin.

And just to be clear, by 'dogma' I mean statements such as - 'you must do x' or 'you must not do y', as compared with 'you could do x' or 'you could try doing y'. Of course, we may all slip into that kind of language occasionally when we are governed by emotion rather than logic, but I know that I prefer to be given suggestions than orders!
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For example we could use a clay roof in summer during flow


Hi Bernhard,
can you please explain why do you suggest Clay Roof in summer? Also why not in winter?

Thanks
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Especially in summer, to help drying hive air and thus nectar to honey transformation.
I use this sort of roof/quilt and I am very satisfied with it. Works as intended. I implement it into all of my hives.

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11214

Bernhard
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Maryland Beekeeper
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Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Columbia, Maryland, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Perone hive Reply with quote

Hi all,
I believe Oscar Perone has designed a hive that attempts to address these issues. Just finished my first one and am awaiting swarm. Will report observations.
Cheers,
Drew
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CCD
Foraging Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2009
Posts: 109
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from either varnishing the inside of the hive or waiting for the bees to do it themselves, I am wondering what else can be done to provide a good condensation surface in the hive?

One of the studies referred to above had plexiglas as a cover board. Is this now perhaps something to recommend as a permanent feature to provide condensation? Other non-breathable materials too such as glass, stone (slate), glazed tiles (large bathroom tiles) etc.

Bernhard - you mentioned using ceramic material for the roof. I think that if it wicked away moisture, as unglazed ceramics would, then the point would be lost? Maybe glazed ceramic would be necessary.

I am reminded of the photo of dozens of log hives on a hillside in France. They looked like mushrooms because all of them had slabs of stone as roofs. That would certainly provide condensation under the roof.

Also, in the days of the skeps, they used to place glass bells on top of the hive as supers for the bees to store honey inside.

Any thoughts as to hive design alterations?
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biobee
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vertical hives are getting crown boards but I may try Bernhard's ingenious multi-purpose condensation traps.

The French 'brusc' hives have a wooden cap on the hive and the rock is placed on top for weather protection and to keep the goats out. The wooden cap would be propolised, however, and the stone roof would certainly encourage condensation.

I think the big trick is in getting rid of excess moisture, which is what my deep floor should do. I have already made something similar for the vertical hives.
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