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Newbie. What's "Organic" in our context?


#1

I hear some keepers try to stay “natural” or “organic”.
If I want to try going that route, what mite treatments do I want to avoid?
I hear that OA is considered natural/organic. What about Apivar…MAQ?

Thank you.


#2

Be interesting to hear responses from “organic” experts. As far as I know there is no universally accepted definition of the new age meaning of the word. I could answer your question easily in the context of organic chemistry but that probably isn’t what you want.

Let me illustrate with a couple of examples.

Sugar is an organic compound derived and produced by living things. It’s used for varroa treatments but new age organic experts would object to the refining processes used to purify it.

Oxalic acid is also used for varroa treatment. Again the compound is widely distributed in nature, in rhubarb for example. However most commercial Oxalic acid is synthetic, manufactured from a variety of feedstocks. Traditionally it was made by treating sawdust with caustic soda.

Perhaps you’re more interested in a varroa treatment that will not persist in the environment rather than something acceptably new age organic. If that’s the case, then both sugar and Oxalic acid will degrade naturally.


#3

“…Perhaps you’re more interested in a varroa treatment that will not persist in the environment rather than something acceptably new age organic. If that’s the case, then both sugar and Oxalic acid will degrade naturally…”<<

Thank you for this detailed, thoughtful response.
Yes, degrading into non-toxic components is desirable. Thank you.

My interest also extends to what is exposed to the bees and what the honey is exposed to.

From other posts here on other topics, the bees apparently will move stores from lower boxes into honey supers, so ostensibly any toxic-to-people stuff will be migrated into honey supers even though the supers were not in place when the lower, brood, etc sections were treated.

Please advise.
Thank you!


#4

Everything is natural.


#5

:slight_smile: Everything is awesome.


#6

Have you an organic association where you live. We have the “Soil Association” which sets the parameters for any food labelled organic, I realise that isn’t quite what you’re asking but it might give you a start. Apivar is a no no.


#7

You should check out the standards/requirements for “Certified Naturally Grown” certification.

The requirements are great practices to follow.
I learned a lot reading through the standards.


#8

There are fairly stringent guidelines in most states of Australia regarding the labelling of food as Organic (rather than organic). I do have information somewhere regarding this, I just have to find where I’ve ‘filed’ it. This si in regards to the sale of products registered/certified as Organic.


#9

In Australia, here are the guidelines:
http://aco.net.au/organiccertification/bee-keeping/

The 5 km radius would be the hardest to comply with for most people.