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Oxalic Acid Vaporizer

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Tom Bick 

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Just seen a video on the Bickerstaffs website demonstrating a simple Oxalic acid Vaporizer unfortunately not able to create a link but its in the B Movies section.

The point is I have understood that we in this country dont bother with vaporizers as they are expensive, either Bickerstaffs have got it completely wrong or they have just re-invented the wheel because it it simplicity at its best and probably a few quid to produce and they sell it for less than £20

I think this is the link to Bickerstaffs site http://bickerstaffs.website.orange.co.uk/?gclid=CI_S5satw5wCFU0A4wod9k1knQ
 

ian 

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Hi Tom

To put it briefly don't bother with the Vaporiser, even at £20 it's 10 times more expensive than a syringe, it takes 20 times the amount of time to treat a hive. And if you get a good whiff it will do some serious damage..............

To top it all off you won't get any better results with the vaporiser over the trickle.


Regards Ian
 

plumber 

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Tom
have alook at the link below re vaporizers

http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/oa_evaporator/

with Oxalic acid costing £4 delivered for 500 grms @ 2grms a hive thats only about .02p a hive.

no opening of hive in winter muilt applications possible.

hive sealed with foam, joints sealed with tape if your hives have gaps.

stand up wind or buy a mask.

make three or more and speed up treatment
 

m100 

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They are cheap, and even cheaper if you make them yourself, but they have some very serious design issues.

Hot bits of pipe, blowtorches and the fumes are one, but ignore them for now. You have to get the input heat from the blowtorch correct to ensure sublimation and not decomposition, the former will treat your bees with oxalic acid vapours, the latter could gas them with CO or CO2.

Even those with electrical heaters seem to have no obvious control over the ramp rate and the final temperature, and the potential peak temperature quoted by one manufacturer raises some doubts over the probability of sublimation occurring.

Trickling is cheap, and dirt cheap if you mix it yourself, is much quicker in the field, and compared to ramming a pipe or an electric heater through the entrance (after removing the mouseguard and then replacing it afterwards) is far less disruptive.
 

ian 

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Hi Plumber

I think the Oxalic would cost about the same trickled or vaporised.

There's no problem in opening the hive briefly in Winter, having done it hundreds of times can you tell us why this should be an issue.
As to multiple treatments none are needed with a Winter trickle, so it's hardly a plus point in favour of vaporisers.

You don't have to seal up any hives/parts to trickle. So no foam or tape!

Buy a mask or stand up wind!!!!! Lets just hope the wind does not change!:svengo:

And if you make up 3 or more vaporisers you would need a wheel barrow to push the car batteries needed to run them around the Apiary(one for each unit)

Why complicate something so very simple! On the other hand if you want to be the biggest varroa murdering S.O.B on the block apply your oxalic with one of these.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Time4Toys-Xtreme-Pressure-Blaster-Pistol/dp/B000QGDJR4


Regards Ian
 
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plumber 

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if there is no problem opening a hive in winter why does it concern so many.

buy and use a mask

my car and van both use glow plugs a single battery would do depending on ampage required/ number of units. my blowtorch 100s

looking for a job in goverment and you have start with small compications and work up to the monumetal cock ups
 

ian 

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Hi Plumber

I have no idea why people are concerned about taking the lid off a hive in Winter, maybe they have not done it often enough.

Buy a mask: Why you don't need one to trickle.

Plug into your car: That's a long extension cable for many sites.

I am not being funny but can you name the advantages for vaporising as it needs some to justify the extra time, expense and general faffing around. After all you can treat hundreds of hives with a bucket of acid solution 1 syringe and a pair of marigolds.

It's an advantage of one over the other that we are after.

Regards Ian
 

plumber 

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ian

I do object to you refering to my mother in such away

I also so note you are living in the past useing a syringe check out the latest

offerings from Thornes
 

ian 

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Hi Plumber

Keep your mother to yourself:toetap05:

As to living in the past, I made up a dispenser with a Scats sheep drencher and a large domestos bottle with handle as a reservoir some years ago. That was after I binned the vaporiser........................

Obviously I have since upgraded, Swienty have been selling similar models for the last 5 years available at Stonleigh if you don't fancy the trip or P&P.

But obviously for those with a few hives a 2 quid syringe will do


Regards Ian
 
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Tom Bick 

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Sorry left work after posting the thread.

The thing is as I am new to beekeeping two years + and this OA treatment concerns me as the one thing you are told to overwinter bees they need warmth and dry apart from the OA treatment?

If you have a big strong colony this treatment may well be ok but it the colony is smaller and struggling then it may be the end of it.

Mixing the OA is like you say Ian not that difficult but mixing for say 4 hives more difficult I knew a chap who had scales that went down to .01g once in a different life, funny link by the way

I recognised that the pipe in the video had little control over heat on the OA and will require an experienced hand to get it right. The link that Plumber has is a more controlled method and precises one

My conclusion is that to say that the vaporising method no good as it takes a long time removing the mouse gard ect and the extra equipment especially if you have many hives to treat then it may well take a long time but then you have a lot of hives and plenty of actions during the year take a long time

I dont know the better method as a person that perhaps will only have a small number of hives may not even apply OA at all it is as you say a dangerous chemical and may opt for other treatments that will take even longer and my time and I will have to fined that time

Both methods may work just the same but has the trickle method being adopted in this country because its cheap and quick and carried out at a time when we want to be inside in the warm and dry ourselves, is it a standard method throughout the rest of the world.
 

oliver90owner 

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I made a vapouriser from three old diesel glow plugs and a slice off an alumium bar. Not the end of the world for a few hives. I only used it one year (about 5 years ago) and now it has been dismantled 'cos two of the glow plugs were wanted! It worked more than adequately. Perfectly adequate for the job. I sprayed the next year and trickled since. For the hobbyist, no great problems one way or another, IMO.

Regards, RAB
 

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I have used the vapourisation method for 2 years now I have 12 hives and beleive me it is quicker and more convenient to use this method than trickling OA.
Less disturbance to the hives I have 3 lengths of copper tube and use a stopend compression joint on the end of each filling this stop end with OA crystals gives the precise measure of crystals required and I go from hive to hive heating the tubes by the time I have finished the 3rd the 1st is cool enough to move. I keep 2 hives untreated as controls and so far have seen no difference in the hives productiveness (honey or bees) my compatriot has been doing it for 6 years and he runs upwards of 50 hives
 
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Poly Hive 

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If it is fair to say that using vapour or a trickle achieves the same results?

Then I for one would not go the vapour route as having had a wiff of it once it was quite enough.

So on a safety first basis, I would avoid the vapour method on that count even if it was more efficient I feel the risks are too high.

OA is a dangerous chemical and it seems even more dangerous as a vapour.

PH
 
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Tom Bick 

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I keep 2 hives untreated as controls and so far have seen no difference in the hives productiveness (honey or bees)
Hi sherwood can you explain this a bit more for me are you saying the two hives that you dont apply OA to perform no different to the ones you treat or is it that you see little or no damage to the treated colonys with the vapouriser method.

Polly Hive OA is dangerous regardless on how its applied its just that in a vapour we can experience how dangerous it is. I just wonder what it does to the bees long term and will we look back on this treatment and regret it. However for now it is considered as a treatment and a treatment it is.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I have used the vapourisation method for 2 years now I have 12 hives and beleive me it is quicker

No it is not,not in any way,with a multi injection gun used for trickling it takes about15/20 seconds per hive,many do 200 hives per day easily.
And i have used the vapourization method,takes much longer than 20 seconds from start to finnish.
 
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johna 

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Had a talk last night at our ass'n Feb meeting by IAN CRAIG who was president of the SBA.He advocates using a vopouriser made from copper pipe ,and a corner compression fitting with one end sealed off with a stop end.He has made a special roof which he places over the hive in place of its normal roof ,the top of his special roof is polycarbonate sheet so that fuming can be observed , the fume roof seals onto the hive using a sponge seal.The end of the copper pipe protrudes thro inside the cover thro' a heat shield which stops the blowlamp burning the side of the dummy roof when the angle fitting is heated.Ox A is measured and placed into the pipe via the stop end.He uses gloves,goggles and breathing mask when fuming.The hive entrance is sealed with sponge for about 10 to 15 minutes after fuming.Ian runs 60+ hives and has done so for about 60 years. His opinion is that fuming causes a minimum of disturbance to the colony as the time taken to swap roofs is minimal.He keeps immaculate records of his hives and has no problems to report to date.
 

oliver90owner 

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But, Hivemaker, he doesn't want to do 200 hives! For 200 I would agree, but for just a few (not sure about a dozen), it may take no longer than making up the solution.

Regards, RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Rab
you could not even do one hive faster with vapourization,than trickling.
 

m100 

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it may well take a long time but then you have a lot of hives and plenty of actions during the year take a long time
But long manipulations during the rest of the year are usually when the ambient temperature is higher, when there is a lot more hive activity, when bees can also freely leave the hive without chilling, when there are a large number of very short lived summer bees and masses of brood to replace any that die off early. Disturbing winter bees causes cluster temperatures to rise, severely reducing their longevity and a spike in food consumption due to increased hive activity over the following few days.

Dribbling is not entirely disturbance free, but dribbling at brood minimum with pre-warmed oxalic causes very little disturbance, often the bees don't even break cluster and is also a very quick procedure - start to finish in the field it's less than a minute for removing the roof, cracking the crown board, dribbling over 10 seams of bees and reassembling the hive.

It takes more than that just to set up for vaporising let alone the treatment time. Removing the mouse guard, then inserting a vaporiser and surrounding the entrance with foam, and taping up the hive (often damp in winter where even the best tape doesn't stick) takes far longer. In addition heating a pipe with a blowtorch is very uncontrolled and offers zero certainty that you have achieved sublimation and not decomposition.
 

oliver90owner 

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I did not even need to weigh the OA - by volume was close enough. No sugar syrup to make up, no OA to dissolve. Yes, I think much quicker, as long as not at the bottom of a long field!

Regards, RAB
 

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