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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been using cedar oil spray against small hive beetles, ants and wax moths. the spray is primarily cedar oil, a natural ingredient with high pesticidal qualities.

I have sprayed directly on bees who are not killed by it, but will get out of the way. shb die within seconds, wax moths and ants similarly.

I spray the cedar oil spray on the entrance boards, bottom boards under a screen and on the underside of inner cover sand top covers.

I also spray it on the ground below the hive stands to kill shb in the ground below the hive areas. Keeps populations from building up too much.

This is the first year of my using cedar oil spray in bee hives and I plan to keep testing it and observing it's effect over a number of seasons.
 

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Hey that sounds like some good stuff, I could use it to spray on the board that goes beneath the screen bottom board to kill the shb when they hit it. Where are you buying this at?

kebee
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually, I sell it as part of my pest management business. I am a distributor/re-bottler and got the idea that if it works as well as it does in the businesses and homes I take care of, then it might be good on hives as well. It is noted by the manufacturer to not be harmful to bees, butterflies and wasps. So I gave it a shot.

You can find a description of the spray at this website.
 

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I wouldn't spray anything on the bees that can kill ants and SHB in seconds. Ants are tough little buggers! Maybe we can't hear bees screaming... :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
that's something that I am still trying to work out is if it has any effect on varroa. I would think it should be effective, but it's a matter of how it would be applied I think.

I am hesitant to directly spray the combs themselves because I haven't tested the effect of the spray being applied directly to larvae yet.

Once I can verify if it doesn't harm honey bee larvae, I will make a nuc next Spring and directly spray each comb/frame to observe what effect it may have on varroa populations.
 

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The ability to spray larvae would be great since, if done according to a set schedule, it might prevent "infections" with varroa.
But, what about the ability to control/reduce existing varroa infestations by spraying adult bees as a treatment when the infestation has already reached a damaging level? If adult bees have already show tolerance for the cedar oil spray, have you found mite drop-offs after such a spraying?
 

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The product information states: "Kills and repel nearly all insects...Nature's Defender is an all natural and organic pesticide that affects insects in multiple ways. It works as a contact kill, a repellent, an ovicide (kills eggs and larvae) and as a pheromone disruptor."...."The product can eliminate insects on contact and will dehydrate and eliminate their larvae and eggs as well."
 

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so far, it has shown that it doesn't harm bees, butterflies and the like.
I feel I must point out that just because a bee doesn't keel over immediately upon being sprayed with it doesn't mean it has not been harmed, perhaps fatally. The effects of any insect killing substance can be subtle, perhaps damaging an insect's ability to communicate, navigate, fly, smell, or perform other vital functions. Such affected insects might well die days later, or be ejected from the hive.
 

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I hope you come up with something great. I don't get into those types of testing, so I know naught. I just don't get real excited when the word NATURAL comes up. For thousands of years, ALL poisons were natural substances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
there's one thing that is different here is that cedar oil is not a toxin. neonicotinoids, as you brought up, are a toxin. Cedar oil acts as a biological agent. It causes most adult insects to hold their breath until they expire. A biological reaction, not a toxic one. The cedar oil is not ingested by the insects.

Testing done by the manufacturer has already shown that honey bees in the field are not affected the same way as most other insects are by the cedar oil.

I agree with you on poisons. whether natural or man made, a poison is a poison, but not all pest sprays are poisons. This is one that is not.

in response to Omie. True, long term results directly in a bee hive are not fully known and they will not until further testing and observation are done. Again, the point of this thread is discussing my testing the product directly in bee hives. In it's general usage, it has already been tested and documented over the past 5 years of not causing harm to bees in the field. I am taking it to the hive to see what happens from there.

I must point out that just because something hasn't caused harm doesn't automatically mean it will either. I make no assumptions or efforts to say the cedar oil is a proven help in the hive yet, only that I am testing to see if it can be.
 

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I say "Bravo!" for the effort. Continue your studies. If you find negative long-term effects, you can report back. If you find positive long-term effects, spread the news!

I don't have the luxury of being able to keep my bees in the sun, so I am very interested in new ways to combat SHB. While I am not going to immediately jump on a bandwagon, I will eagerly await your updates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks Andy. That's the point. between here and my blog I will keep documenting how the use of the cedar oil is working or not.

I do know that by spraying the ground below the hive stands seems to have had an effect on diminishing shb presence in general in the beeyard as compared to the weeks before using it.
 

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Nicotine is a natural substance, so why all the hoopla over nicotinoids?
I remember the days when I would treat queen bees against Braula caeca by placing them in a bag and smoking in cigarette smoke. The Braula would fall off and then I would place the pest-free queens, unharmed, back in the hive.
I haven't encountered this pest in years---does it still exist? Has it been totally eradicated due to the (much stronger) treatments, against varroa?
 

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... It causes most adult insects to hold their breath until they expire.
:eek::?::?:
Do you have any references to reliable researches that reported this :?:
It sounds questionable to me--after all, insect breathing is not the same as that of humans.
 

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As I understand it insects do not breath in a fashion that they draw in a breath. they simply have holes in their bodies and the air sort of makes it's own way in and out. I don't think they have a lot of control over it such as holding their breath. This is one of the reasons it is physically impossible for their to be an ant the size of a man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Those insects breathing through abdominal holes have a way to close those breathing holes until they get to clear air. In most of these insects, muscle controls behind these abdominal breathing holes that can close the hole. From NC State university..."Air enters the insect's body through valve-like openings in the exoskeleton. These openings (called spiracles) are located laterally along the thorax and abdomen of most insects -- usually one pair of spiracles per body segment. Air flow is regulated by small muscles that operate one or two flap-like valves within each spiracle -- contracting to close the spiracle, or relaxing to open it."



This is what happens with exposed to this product. I have reports from Rutgers university and others in testing done with this product that pinpoints the cause and effect of the product.

I am a licensed pesticide applicator. I am very familiar with how insects breathe and how they respond to various environmental changes as well as toxins. This is what all the training is for in order to obtain a pesticide applicators license.

To say "holding their breath" is a way of explaining the interaction in layman's terms as most people do not have that specific education about insects. I would be glad to share the Rutgers report with anyone wanting to know more about the study.
 
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