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Author Topic: Myth Busting: "easy" chemicals  (Read 1264 times)
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bigbear
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« on: March 28, 2011, 06:04:20 PM »

I really feel the need to advise caution to folks who intend to use chemical treatments.

First of all, it's not that I am entirely opposed to using chemicals.  It's more that I am opposed to casual and un-educated use of chemicals.

Chemicals as a control method are one of 7 control areas that are expected to be implemented in an Integrated Pest Management system.

The education on IPM focuses one to understand that one of the main points of utilizing these 7 control areas, we are able to minimize and even eliminate chemical usage when and where it is not absolutely necessary.

Chemicals are reserved for use only as a last resort or in situations where the combination of the other 6 control areas is not sufficient in controlling the situation effectively.

Then we come to beekeepers.

To better illustrate this, let's use the newly approved Mite Away Quick Strips that are coming out.

I have heard "traditional" Lang style beekeepers discuss this new treatment as if it's the second coming or something.

Not only that, but to hear them describe just how "easy" it is to use makes me a bit nervous.

They are excited because it is able to be applied while honey supers are on, it allows more windows of opportunity to implement and they can be a little lazier about remembering to take it off "in time".

Here's the problem though.

These chemicals, such as MAQS, are not trifles.  These are potentially dangerous chemicals and the companies that produce them are required, by law, to give you the information you need on the label to be able to apply them without damage or injury to the environment, other people or yourself.

Regardless of whether you need a license or not to apply chemicals on your own property or not, that doesn't change the fact that the label is the law.

You as an individual, applying these chemicals for your own purposes, must still follow the directions for how to properly apply the treatment AND wear the described protection equipment to protect yourself while you do it.  Let me re-iterate, THE LABEL IS THE LAW.

How many non-licensed beekeepers even own protective coveralls, nitrite gloves, safety goggles and a respirator approved for various chemicals?

That is what is required by law, and intelligence if you value your health, to apply Mite Away Quick Strips.  Very much the same as applying the Mite Away pads that have been around for awhile.

It really bothers me, not in a peeved way but in a "oh wow, they are really going to get themselves hurt" way, to see people think that just because they don't need a pesticide applicators license for personal use somehow it means they don't have to follow the label requirements for application and protective equipment while using it.

Please, please, please, be careful and follow all the label instructions when using chemical pesticides on your own hives, or yards or houses, etc...

and, if you're not sure, or not in possession of the required gear and equipment to apply them, either don't use them or get someone who does have them to do it for you.

Some of these chemicals can mess you up really bad, permanently in many if not most cases, to squabble about having to get a friend or even hire someone to do it properly for you.

Bee Safe, Bee kind

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Daddys Bees
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 10:12:58 PM »

Excellent information and position there BB!   I know your training has given you a great insight to it all.   stir
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bigbear
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 07:08:04 AM »

The problem with chemicals is how often they are touted as the "easy" way of doing pest control.  The more companies are encouraged or made to provide these chemical treatments in safer packaging and implementation methods, the less people think they have to take pre-cautions.

People get lazy, not wanting to follow proper monitoring methods to see over time what degree or need for treatment there is relative to the presence of a pest.

instead, they want to find the most "powerful" chemical treatment and just keep constantly applying it both as treatment and prevent , whether the situation requires it not.

this leads us to situations such as we have with bedbugs, roaches, mites, and many more.  After prolonged exposure, they adapt and are able to build up adapted populations now un-checked until the next "miracle" comes along to improperly use.  It's a cycle we just can't seem to get people out of.

IPM begins and ends with comprehensive inspections.  Determine what the pest presence and need for controls are, take progressive measures to bring them into control, inspect again. 

I liken the use of chemicals in pest management to chemo-therapy in cancer treatment.

The treatment is about as bad as the problem.  It's an extreme measure to get things under control.

Another things that gets me is the cavalier way people think about "organic" or "natural" treatments.  Folks,  I hate to be the one to break this to you, but poison is poison, regardless of whether it's synthetic or not.  They all need to be handled with the same precautions and safety controls.

The argument of "But it's a naturally occurring chemical" doesn't wash.  These are packaged and used in a way that can astronomically increase the levels they are "naturally" found, thus taking them from harmless to harmful.



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