This could be a game-changer

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by SuiGeneris, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris Member

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    Turns out a rather common salt, lithium chloride, does a great job of killing mites (92% in 24 hrs). All without apparent stress or toxicity to bees. LiCl has well established safety in humans, and at the amounts needed to treat bees means that honey could be harvested afterwards (although they feed it in syrup, so in practicality, we probably wouldn't be harvesting the honey). Other lithium salts had similar effects, including mineral forms that potentially could be used by "organic" bee keepers.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-19137-5

    Bryan
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  2. Dulcet

    Dulcet New Member

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    I've seen people on the Internet trying to source this based on this paper.

    Few points:

    1. The paper tested the treatment without brood.
    2. It never conducted a study using colonies.
    3. Lithium chloride is toxic to humans, it really isn't something random beekeepers should be mixing with sugar solution - or even owning, to be honest.
    4. It's corrosive, so you don't want it on your skin either.

    Like you I find it it is interesting and I'm looking forward to more research. One day a varroa treatment may make its way through the process.
     

  3. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    ill stick with oxilic acid vapor thats used world wide and is proven....and is a naturally occurring chemical in honey....the addition of unknown chemicals into the food chain in the past has created problems....lithium is not human friendly unless your already nuts..LOL...but the ongoing research should continue, who knows what the future holds..
    https://r.search.aol.com/_ylt=A0LEV...=lithium/RK=0/RS=qfyISL63W2r.P9qFUy6KGpoH1CU-
    since anything the bees ingest ends up in the honey that would include lithium
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    Dulcet likes this.
  4. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris Member

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    @Dulcet,

    1. While this paper did not try anything with brood, previous studies using LiCl containing siRNA did, and did not see toxicity. It was those previous studies which led to this one.

    2. They tested swarms...and again, the source studies which led to this one were performed in intact colonies.

    3. LiCl's toxicity to humans is pretty low; about a half-gram per kilo for rats; estimated to be somewhere around 5g/kg for humans...which is the same as table salt. That makes it about half as toxic as oxalic acid (for rats) or ~1/20th as toxic for humans. LiCl was used for over 30 years for medical purposes (which was then displaced by Li-citrate); its safety profile is very well known, and its pretty safe. You wouldn't want to sit down an eat a bowl of it, but you could drink ~20L of syrup at the effective dose without harm (other than diabetes).

    4. Its not corrosive; its an irritant. And one which falls into the lowest grade of irritant. It is used in some mineral baths at spas, at concentrations much higher than used in the study, without measurable effect.

    @roadkillbob
    Lithium is found in your body at low levels, and is in nearly every food you consume. Its hard to avoid a element which is a relatively common part of mineral portion of soil. There is even some debate over whether it may be a mironutrient for humans. In contrast, oxalic acid while "natural" is not a good thing to consume - its associated with the formation of kidney stones, and indeed, comprises the bulk of some types of stones.

    Bryan
     
  5. Dulcet

    Dulcet New Member

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    You have more confidence than I in some beekeepers handling this stuff, I've watched people sublimate oxalic whose safety precaution was standing downwind. Lithium treatments are linked to heart defects in children whilst it is a low risk the types of people rushing out to source this stuff on a paper they've not seemed to read aren't the most safety-minded of folks.

    It would be nice to see a treatment come out of this that could be fed through syrup, that would be very easy.

    I just think folks trying to buy this stuff and asking how they use 42.3 to make the same solution in the paper are bonkers.
     
  6. mark nic

    mark nic New Member

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    it got me interested in just how much LiCi it took to make the solution they were using so I ask a chemist friend to figure it out for me and here is what he came up with;

    25mM (0.025M LiCl solution).
    1. Atomic mass (from periodic table of the elements) of LiCl is 6.94 + 35.45 = 42.39. So, a 1M solution contains 42.39g. This means 1 liter of solution contains 42.39g LiCl.
    2. 0.025M requires .025 x 42.39g = 1.05975 g/l
    3. Convert gallons to liters: 50gal x 3.785 l/gal = 189.25 liters
    4. Calculate mass of LiCl needed: 189.25 l x 1.05975 g/l = 200.56 or about 201 grams of LiCl needed for 50gal.
     
  7. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    I knew I should have paid more attention in biology and chemistry class..lol a syrup mite treatment would be nice, but its putting a poison in the host to kill the intruder and then having the host produce the honey we eat...the other question is with new brood being born on a regular basis you would have to continually feed the syrup with no control on the intake for each bee, I would think if the same bee kept eating the syrup the level of lithium would eventually be toxic in those bees, where as OA treatment I can regulate how much each bee gets by how many times I treat and its proven not to have much of an effect on the bees health..question..is lithium collective in your system or does the body purge it out over time? unlike lets say mercury that accumulates in your system or I should say the bees system..
     
  8. mark nic

    mark nic New Member

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    not interested in it until its proven safe bit it was driving me nuts trying to figure out the formula I even had my daughter who is real good at math trying to figure it out but it stumped us my friend works at UCLA so I figure her figures are accurate.
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, yes that kind of math left me a while ago. Going to continue with OAV for now.