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Condensation and diatomaceous earth

I’ve sprinkled DE in the tray of my Flow Hive 2 for a few months now. I like the fact that it tells me if there are ants (or other nasties) in the hive and that the bees can’t get to it and be affected. I’ve noticed recently that the DE has swollen a little recently and turned greenish. I assume it’s mould and that I have a condensation issue now that we’re into winter.
I presumed this was a bad thing and cleaned out the tray and replaced with another dusting of DE. Then I wondered if it was absorbing moisture out of the hive and maybe not such a bad thing. Researching the properties of DE, indicated it was good for absorbing moisture - up to 140% of its own weight. The granulated form of DE is supposedly particularly good for moisture absorption, but the powder form is also good. So, my question is this - can it be used for this purpose at certain times of the year? Has anyone tried it? I have both the powder and granulated form of DE here at the farm and thought it might be worth trying as a way of drawing moisture out of the hive and killing ants atc at the same time so long as it’s completely isolated from the bees.

Well DE is a desiccant so kills pests by drying them out (it may also cut them to pieces but that is debated) so I don’t see why it wouldn’t absorb hive moisture too. But in doing so it probably becomes less useful as a pesticide once it is saturated.

I don’t use it in my hives (did use to dust the chooks with it) but I would be changing it more regularly and before it goes moldy.

I think the best way to soak up hive moisture is by getting into quilt box territory.

Your DE is food grade yeah?

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Cutting them to pieces is internet mythology but it is extremely abrasive which aids in the desiccation and absorption of fats and oils from their exoskeletons.

It needs to be kept dry to be effective.

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Unless it’s in a pool filter :rofl: (which is probably the best type of filtration btw)

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Pool filter? What about using it to filter pollen out of honey and hide the geographical region the honey was produced?

That’s horrible, I don’t know why we even import honey into Australia, saw something about Aldi’s being 40% AU ingredients, why even blend it?

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Australian honey fetches good premium in China. To fill shelves in Australia Chinese honey of dubious origin is being imported, blended with some amount of local honey and sold at slightly lower price than pure local one. Packers make money both ways.

Thanks Stevo! The DE is food grade (well the powder one is anyway - I’ll have to check on the granulated). I suppose having green DE is useful as an indicator that there is condensation in there, but yes, I don’t plan on leaving it there in the green form too long.