Albert used three wicks in his 22 hive experiment this past summer. He used 1/8" x 3/4" kerosene lantern wicks wrapped and sewn around a 1/8" dowel rod. He started his experiment in June using three wicks in the PVC Deal™ reservoir, and ended it in September. He used 7% natural wintergreen oil in light mineral oil. The hives tracked an average of one pint of oil every 10 days. He kept the mite infestation to under 5% in this experiment. As you can see, the hives tracked up a lot of oil during the treatment period. The only problem he encountered was in late August and early September when he found four hives superseding their queens. He actually caught two hives balling their queens. Albert used natural wintergreen while I used synthetic in my tests, with results that were not as good as his. Also, I have had reports from beekeepers who have had better results in their grease patty and paper towel treatments using natural wintergreen as compared to the synthetic. The fumes from the wintergreen seemed to cause the bees to supersede their queens in late summer and early fall. This problem will have to be addressed in our future wick system experiments.
Dr. Amrine also had the same supersedure problem at the University with their experiments. He is currently preparing data from this experiment to be uploaded to his web site soon.
The PVC Deal™ reservoirs, shown attached to the bottom boards above and below, were made to accommodate the acid, oil and syrup treatments.
We are currently working on a new treatment system for the organic acids and feeding systems!