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OA sublimation - WBCs and Polyhives

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elainemary 

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Been reading various interesting posts about OA vaporising and pros and cons.
I have WBCs (c10 hives) and currently use the cheap Thorne vap mite Vapmite under the open mesh floor with the vap resting on the varroa tray below. Wbc have 2 slots which allow a slide in OMF & a slide in varroa tray.
Some of your posts have made me think this might not be the best method eg if OMF reduces the dose of OA. So thinking this year I could remove the Slide out OMF, quickly reposition the varroa tray and rest the vap on that.
You’ve also put doubt in my mind on the effectiveness of cheap vaporisers

So moving onto my questions:
-anyone use any other ways that would work vaporising WBC hives?
-what vaporiser would you step up to from the cheap one I’m using, suitable for 10-15 hives, that’s more effective?
-finally how do you vap a polyhive? Now got 2 of these (Paradise poly from Modern Beekeeping & BE equipment)

Thanks!
Elaine
 

drex 

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Mine did not come from Thornes but is a cheapo and looks similar. Still doing a good job 10 years later.
Make a thin eke, cut a hole in one side to take the stem of the vape. Clear board on the top. put it on top of hive and vape from the top. I made one that fits both National and WBC and one for my home made nucs
 

Erichalfbee 

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-finally how do you vap a polyhive? Now got 2 of these (Paradise poly from Modern Beekeeping & BE equipment)

Thanks!
Elaine
My poly hives are on wooden floors.
This is an early one. I have a sublimox and vaped over the OMF at the back (dowel in place when not in use)
This year I made ekes to vape from the top.
 

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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You’ve also put doubt in my mind on the effectiveness of cheap vaporisers
How? why?
If a cheap vapouriser heats up the OA to a high enough temperature for it all to sublimate, how can it be less effective than an expensive one........
which heats up the OA to a high enough temperature for it all to sublimate.
I think there's a mindset within the hobbyist beekeeping community that if you haven't paid through the nose for something then it is deemed inferior.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Elaine if worried about some of the subliminate forming on the mesh floor simply use the KISS method and add a little more to make up for any lost.
Yep - been sublimating through the OMF for years with no issues.
Let's be honest about it - sublimation is far from being an exact treatment method, if you have a genuine Varrox, then their directions say to use the little scoops they supply and use 'one or two' scoop of OA per vaping the only specifics are, one for a single brood hive (they don't specify hive type) and two for double brood or Dadant. I've experimented with these spoons and I've found, dependent on how compact the OA is (or even if it's a fairly solid lump) a level scoop can carry between one and two grammes of crystals. And how on earth are you going to scoop out accurately at the apiary with a bit of a breeze blowing, or light rain?
If you use a sublimox, then it's even more of a guess it's just a matter of holding it in the hive and counting a few seconds (elephants, potatoes or sing 'staying alive') And if you're using a gasvape, well, I suppose it depends on how many fingers you have left.
A few years ago, we had Prof. Ratnieks give a talk for East Carmarthenshire BKA, it was to discuss the 'Sussex Plan', and, more importantly (as far as he was concerned) tout his 'hygienic' queens we discussed Sublimation in great detail and, apart from his stubborn refusal to even contemplate assessing the three vape method of treating colonies with brood we gleaned some good information.
LASI had worked out that the 'optimal' dose for vaping a hive - whether,National,14x12,lang or Dadant is 2.27grams (see what I mean about not an exact science)
They also had found that a double dose would still do no harm to the bees.
So if you sublimate from beneath the OMF, the prescribed 2.27 will still be ample regardless of hive size and loss through deposit on the mesh.
Just to make sure, I weigh out around 2.5g of OA per hive - I have small screw top cosmetic pots pot.jpg which, using a 'drugs dealer' scales (Managed to acquire the odd one over the years :) I fill in the comfort of the chamber of secrets with single hive doses of OA, they fit perfectly into the bowl of the varrox, so all I have to do at the apiary is take a dose out of my pocket, unscrew cap, and upend it into the varrox.
 
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This year I made ekes to vape from the top.
As you know ... I don't treat my colonies but I do look after hives that I do treat ... they also are Paynes Polys ... I've always done it with the cheapo chinese one set in a metal tray that slots in where the inspection board usually goes beneath the mesh floor. It works but, as has been noted, you do find that the mesh floor goes rusty in the area above and around where the heated pan sits. I thought about replacing the existing mesh in the floors with stainless steel mesh ... but ... I like the idea of vaping from the top and have been toying with the idea of an eke that goes on the top and using a Gasvap through a hole in the side of the eke.

I thought a 50mm timber eke with a polycarbonate sheet screwed and glued on top and a hole for the Gasvap 'nozzle' to go through on the side would do the job but I haven't made it yet and just wondered what sort of arrangement you have made ? The Gasvap does throw out a fairly good stream of vapour so there is plenty of volume ...

I'd also thought about making a more complex pyramid shaped eke with a hole in the top for the nozzle as this might give a more even spread of the vapour (although whether my measuring and geometry is good enough to construct a pyramid I have doubts ...
 

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I thought a 50mm timber eke with a polycarbonate sheet screwed and glued on top and a hole for the Gasvap 'nozzle' to go through on the side would do the job but I haven't made it yet and just wondered what sort of arrangement you have made ? The Gasvap does throw out a fairly good stream of vapour so there is plenty of volume ...

I'd also thought about making a more complex pyramid shaped eke with a hole in the top for the nozzle as this might give a more even spread of the vapour (although whether my measuring and geometry is good enough to construct a pyramid I have doubts ...
I simply got stan to knock up a few 50mm ekes with a sheet of Paynes crown board cut to size and glued/screwed to the top. He cut a feeder hole in the middle and they easily take a 2litre round rapid. I left the ekes on for duration of 4 vapes and fed at the same time. No problem.
 
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I simply got stan to knock up a few 50mm ekes with a sheet of Paynes crown board cut to size and glued/screwed to the top. He cut a feeder hole in the middle and they easily take a 2litre round rapid. I left the ekes on for duration of 4 vapes and fed at the same time. No problem.
Do you have a cover for the feed hole with just a small hole in it or does the vapour just go down into the hive rather than spilling around the feeder hole ?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Do you have a cover for the feed hole with just a small hole in it or does the vapour just go down into the hive rather than spilling around the feeder hole ?
The sublimox hole is in the timber at the back. The feeder hole is just covered with another square of plastic or a feeder
 

Newbeeneil 

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As you know ... I don't treat my colonies but I do look after hives that I do treat ... they also are Paynes Polys ... I've always done it with the cheapo chinese one set in a metal tray that slots in where the inspection board usually goes beneath the mesh floor. It works but, as has been noted, you do find that the mesh floor goes rusty in the area above and around where the heated pan sits. I thought about replacing the existing mesh in the floors with stainless steel mesh ... but ... I like the idea of vaping from the top and have been toying with the idea of an eke that goes on the top and using a Gasvap through a hole in the side of the eke.

I thought a 50mm timber eke with a polycarbonate sheet screwed and glued on top and a hole for the Gasvap 'nozzle' to go through on the side would do the job but I haven't made it yet and just wondered what sort of arrangement you have made ? The Gasvap does throw out a fairly good stream of vapour so there is plenty of volume ...

I'd also thought about making a more complex pyramid shaped eke with a hole in the top for the nozzle as this might give a more even spread of the vapour (although whether my measuring and geometry is good enough to construct a pyramid I have doubts ...
I Gasvaped 3 nationals and a double nuc today using the eke method and a clear crown board. It worked a treat and with clear board you can watch the vapour disperse across the tops of the frames then see the vapour start to come out of the entrance. I'm convinced the distribution was pretty even.
 

charlievictorbravo 

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I simply got stan to knock up a few 50mm ekes with a sheet of Paynes crown board cut to size and glued/screwed to the top. He cut a feeder hole in the middle and they easily take a 2litre round rapid. I left the ekes on for duration of 4 vapes and fed at the same time. No problem.
Dani,

No issues with wild comb in the 50mm airspace above the frames (in the eke) for the three weeks of the OA treatments?

CVB
 

elainemary 

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How? why?
If a cheap vapouriser heats up the OA to a high enough temperature for it all to sublimate, how can it be less effective than an expensive one........
which heats up the OA to a high enough temperature for it all to sublimate.
I think there's a mindset within the hobbyist beekeeping community that if you haven't paid through the nose for something then it is deemed inferior.
It was quoted in an earlier post on OA that vaporisers don’t always turn the crystals to vapour leading to a crusty deposit on the pan. So this put doubt in my mind, nothing to do with the cost
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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It was quoted in an earlier post on OA that vaporisers don’t always turn the crystals to vapour leading to a crusty deposit on the pan.
Many reasons for that.
If you just use the little scoop provided to 'measure' out the OA, it's not much better than guesswork and if there's too much in the pan it may take more than the recommended time (2.5 minutes on, 2 minutes with no power) to sublimate - I find anything over 2.5g in the pan can sometimes do that.
If the battery is approaching being fully discharged, it sometimes, again, needs more time.
If there is a lump/pile of OA in the pan, it does form a crust which means as the OA underneath sublimates, it leaves the crust no longer in connection to the pan and doesn't get to the right temperature, especially in the last two minutes of the treatment when the battery is disconnected.
If you use Apibioxial, as we all do - it's full of other rubbish which clarts the pan up.
 

elainemary 

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Elaine if worried about some of the subliminate forming on the mesh floor simply use the KISS method and add a little more to make up for any lost.
My poly hives are on wooden floors.
This is an early one. I have a sublimox and vaped over the OMF at the back (dowel in place when not in use)
This year I made ekes to vape from the top.
Thanks Dani, like this idea. Just got to work out now whether an eke can be designed to take my cheap Thornes ‘pan’ device and a way to keep it stable
 
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elainemary 

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I Gasvaped 3 nationals and a double nuc today using the eke method and a clear crown board. It worked a treat and with clear board you can watch the vapour disperse across the tops of the frames then see the vapour start to come out of the entrance. I'm convinced the distribution was pretty even.
Neil, did you make a wooden eke to fit your Nucs so it didn’t affect the polyNuc material? Also when you say Gasvap is that with a sublimox or similar device? Only got a cheap Thornes ‘pan’ I use at the moment and keen to understand alternatives.
Elaine
 

elainemary 

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Mine did not come from Thornes but is a cheapo and looks similar. Still doing a good job 10 years later.
Make a thin eke, cut a hole in one side to take the stem of the vape. Clear board on the top. put it on top of hive and vape from the top. I made one that fits both National and WBC and one for my home made nucs
Thanks having read your reply again, seems you can stabilise the stem by presumably making the hole in the side snug enough? Wondered if the stem would ‘rock’ as I’ve found with mine the weight of the leads and the length of the stem make it a bit unstable. Will give it a go! Thanks for sharing how you do it.
Elaine
 

Newbeeneil 

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Neil, did you make a wooden eke to fit your Nucs so it didn’t affect the polyNuc material? Also when you say Gasvap is that with a sublimox or similar device? Only got a cheap Thornes ‘pan’ I use at the moment and keen to understand alternatives.
Elaine
The nuc was actually a homemade cedar one but I made the eke out of cedar as well. I have also have ekes that will also fit both types of poly nuc I possess.
The Gasvap is device that was designed by a guy that used to be on here and you could probably find the threads relating to its design and uses if you ever lose the will to live. 😄
It's a cheap and simple method of sublimation but comes with it's challenges. Below is a very balanced review carried out by Lawrence of Black Mountain Honey who is also a contributor here.
 

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