I farm 50 acres. The crops consist of apples, pears, peaches, watermelons, cantaloupes, corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans, and honey. We run a farm market and sell produce at the farm and farm markets. I keep 30 colonies of bees. I have always tried to use the least amount of chemicals in my spraying programs. Checking for insects and spraying only when necessary and using the least toxic chemical in my bee hives I have tried to use herbs and different oils for mites to keep from using toxic chemicals in the bee hives which can e absorbed by the bees wax.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESTULS
The project goals from this grant are to find a non toxic chemical to use in controlling the mites on the honey bees. I have purchased a vaporizing machine for heating 20% vinegar to make a fog that you can blow into the entrance of the bee hive. A 240 watt generator was purchased to run the vaporizing machine so it could be moved from bee year to bee yard. With the grant I can demonstrate its use in controlling the mites to other beekeepers in the state of Indiana and other states with field clinics, bee meetings, conferences and bee schools.
With the help of my local Purdue Extension Agent, presidents of bee clubs in Indiana and other states I was able to demonstrate the vinegar vaporizing machine to several thousand people.
With the vinegar vaporizing machine and other non toxic chemicals (Food Grade Mineral Oil and Thymol, made from the herb plant thyme) I and a lot of other beekeepers have not had to use toxic chemicals in our bee hives. This also has cut our losses of bee colonies from the mites the past two years. There also have been improvements made in ways to vaporize the bee hives with the vinegar machine.
I worked with Dr. Greg Hunt, Honey Bee Research and Extension, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, Kathleen Prough, State Apiarist, Indiana DNR, local Purdue Extension Agent, Floyd County, IN, President Dave Laney, President of the Indiana Beekeepers Association, Presidents of local beekeepers association in state and out of state and any other conferences and meetings through out.