Thinking outside the box #3

Discussion in 'Organic Beekeeping' started by BjornBee, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I’m looking for a few volunteers. I’m looking for willing participants who do not care about their health, don’t want to get caught up with health issues or warnings, and those who just want to have some fun. If you have children, perhaps you can get them involved also. If all goes well, you may even get your name in a written article in one of the bee magazines. And wouldn’t that be so neat?

    So what I want to do is this. I want to take a product that has always been assumed to be safe. One that has been used, with seemingly no known side effects, no known long term impact, and no long term concerns. I want to take this product and paint a 18 inch disk on your back. If we have families participate, we can have family members paint their backs with different colors. White, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red, seems like great colors. But once marked, you will carry the spot for the rest of your life. So pick a good one.

    So after being marked, we want to see if rashes develop, whether long term health concerns can be seen, and if even other chemicals would interact with the paint spot. We hold the right to hit this paint spot with a splash of formic acid, maybe some oxalic acid, and a few other chemicals of our choosing. But do not be concerned. You see, others have gone before you, and never has their ever been one complaint.

    Like any good study, we must have transparency. So I add the following jibber-jabber and nonsense for those who want to read it. Those participating in the study can just skip the next paragraph or two. No sense wasting your time reading this. The paint product for the study contains such chemicals as VMP naphtha, Ethyl Benzene, Xylene, High Boiling Aliphatic Hydrocarbon, Anti Flooding Agents, Diarylide Yellow pigment, and Copper Phthalocyanide pigment. We’ll mention them, but just disregard comments on the label such as “contains a chemical that causes birth defects†and “known to cause cancerâ€. Probably just a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo anyways. Labels…what good are they really for anyways?

    And just to cover our bases, cause you never know what may be brought up later, we contacted the company for the MSDS on the product to be used. (Material Safety Data Sheet). After all, we want this to be a first rate study. But who wants to get caught up in details? Yes, the MSDS mentions things like “Primary routes of Entry†for contaminates as “Inhalation and skin contactâ€. Yes, it says to not have it come in contact with your skin. But how are we to conduct a study, let alone use the product as it always has been, if we were to take such written warnings with any real reality. So just disregard all that. Probably just government lingo garbage anyways. Oh, and yes…that discussion with the company representative where we asked if they knew the product was being used by beekeepers? The one where they almost seemingly giggled with delight and said they were quite aware of their product was used by beekeepers….Just disregard that also. That’s the conversation where they commented that they never ran any testing on using their product on humans, let alone other things, like Bees! And when I said since they knew it was being used for things like bees, if they would go on the record as promoting such use, they avoided that answer as if all of a sudden, there could be a problem. I remember as we ended the conversation, something along the lines that “we do not recommend, advise, or promote, the use of our product other than what the label indicates and the product has been approved. We do not advise it be use on human, animal or insects.â€

    Now wait one moment here! This was the same product that is being sold in some bee supply companies, and advertised for marking queens. But now I read and hear, that the stuff is carcinogenic, not made for insects, never approved or tested for such use, and it’s starting to have me wonder a bit. And it has me asking some questions.

    Is it really as safe as some beekeepers suggest, since they never seem to have any problems marking their queens? Yes, everyone says the queens of today are not good as they once were, but that can be easily answered by using the excuse, that queen quality and even hive loss is due to other things. After all, we have a whole list of things to complain about, including neonicotinoids, coumaphos laced wax, etc.

    I do not mark my queens. I do not use chemicals in the hive. I don’t know which one’s may be “safe†but made “unsafe†if in contact with another chemical. I guess if we get some beekeepers to volunteer to have paint spots painted on their backs, we can always throw some formic or oxalic acid on the spots and see what develops. My money will be on a rash developing or some severe skin irritation, if it had not developed by just the paint spot alone. I just hope we do not lose any beekeepers during the testing phase. “Superceding†beekeeper volunteers would slow the results, lessen productivity of the test, and could even spell disaster for the research.

    I guess I’ll continue to ask questions. I’ll wonder how I may be forced to mark queens in the future if we ever have problems with AHBs and we are forced to comply with such things as “Best Beekeeping Practicesâ€. I feel real uncomfortable being forced to put unapproved chemicals in my hive, let alone paint queens with such items.

    Maybe it’s time for the beekeeping community to demand bee safe products. Maybe we should look at how chemicals play off each other and actually see if marked queens are being damaged. Maybe we need to take a step back up sometimes, take a look at everything in our industry, and ask questions.

    Hope you enjoyed.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As soon as I start marking queens, I'll volunteer for your research. Don't hold up your study waiting for me to start marking, tho. I haven't done it in 30 plus years of beeking.

    It reminds me of people who say, "ewww, you kill animals and eat them? I buy my meat at the store."
     

  3. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Instead of paint we could glue on some non-toxic colored disks. Let's see... glue ingredients... Hydroquinone, Ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate, and Polymethyl methacrylate...
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Anyone selling mini branding irons???
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Yeah, I am. Don't get confused though. Even though they look like paper clips, each one is unique in it's own brand on the tip. The go for $9.99 each and I have a box of 250 if you need that many.... ;)
     
  6. busybee

    busybee New Member

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    So, has the marking of queens caused any problems that you know of? ? Mine were suppose to have come marked but I know the one doesn't have a mark. The queen in my other box I haven't seen her, only her works.

    All this crap has to have effects somewhere down the road. :roll:
     
  7. beewildered

    beewildered Guest

    I don't think anything has been 'proven' to be bad for the queen, but I think the point of Bjorns very well written article is you wouldn't do this to yourself, your kids, your wife, or even your dog. Why would you do it to your girls?
     
  8. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    If only queen's could speak..... ;)

    Remember, many times it is not the "safe" product that makes the difference. It is the use of several "safe" products, which magifies the lethal effects. So looking at one relatively safe product, then splashing on some acid, mixing with the chems the bees drag down the street, throw in several years of buildup,....and who really knows?

    When I decided to forego the traditional treatments and keep as much chemicals out of my hives, it only seemed natural to NOT paint the queen's back with everything from nail polish to modeling cement.

    Since I started this push, I have one person who advocates marking ALL queens, to at least now suggesting use of the least damaging marking pen you can get, which is probably the POSCA paint pens. So he went from just "mark all queens" to "I mark mine with a (assumed) safe product"

    Baby steps as they say..... ;)
     
  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Micro chips, and bar code scanner at hive entrance ( can you tell I work for the post office ) :D
     
  10. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    you forgot the set of scales so that the amount of nector and pollen brought in by each individual bee can also be montiored.

    G3
     
  11. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I always find a sign posted at the door helps. "Virgins to the left, non-virgins to the right". Now that would help with finding the queen. :lol: Only if bees could read. :geek:

    I'm having flashbacks to some parties earlier in my life with that sign..... :shock: :? :eek: