Oxalic Acid

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So, other than having to dress in a space suit and do this in December, how does one "do" the job? Take each frame out and spray/cover with the solution????

John
 

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So, other than having to dress in a space suit and do this in December, how does one "do" the job? Take each frame out and spray/cover with the solution????

John
Trickle a fixed amount down the occupied seams with a syringe or special applicator. Roof souldnt be off more than a few seconds while its done.
 
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IMO if your Apivar ?/Apiguard? was not effective in decreasing the mite OA trickle is also going to be a lost cause?

Acetic or Oxallic fumigation / sublimation may be a way forward.

Pulling frames in the cold of midwinter is not possibly the best of ideas !
Opening the hive cover is bad enough!!!
 

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Thank you chaps. As for the space suit bit? And I quote Fr***** Pl**** here. "It cannot be stressed too strongly that Oxalic Acid is an aggressive substance and need sto be treated with respect. Acid resistant gloves and goggles shoiuld be worn and an apron of the type used by mortuary attendants, along with wellington boots that have tops coverd by gaiters so that any falling liqiuds do not fall into the boots. A respirator that has specialised organinc acid filtering will be required in cases where the solution is sprayed or vapourised." I reckoned a space suit would be easier was all:)
 

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That water spraying is an old habit. Perhaps 15-20 years old. Lactic acid is from the same period.

Water solution dryes up quickly and it makes small acid crystals into hive.

Trickling makes stiff dirty on bees. Bees try to rub the dirty off and they carefully spread it over the body. Most mites are under abdomen and they rub there with their hind legs like cleaning pollen.

Yes, I looked how they do it. You may see next day small droplets on wings.

.
 

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There are two means of applying oxalic acid. The first and easiest is to trickle a solution of oxalic in sugar syrup that one can buy from any good bee equipment company along with the instructions and a syringe for trickling it over the seams within the hive where bees are. There is a specific dosage but there is no danger to the user other than not doing something blatantly stupid, like swigging it. The problem is that, because one should not normally do it until well into the winter (end of Dec or early Jan) when there is minimal brood, one has to open the hive up and that chills the poor little souls.
The other method that I use is sublimation - or evaporation - of crystals under the brood box which in effect fumigates the whole hive without the need to open up, thus no chilling. In my case I own a Varrox evaporator and instead of shoving the thing in through the entrance, and frying a few bees in the process, I slide a sheet of metal in the OMF varroa tray slot and place the evaporator on that.
Doomsayers will say evaporation of oxalic is dangerous. Again, that only applies if one is stupid in its use. There is oxalic in rhubarb and carrots amongst many other products one eats and they do not kill, so no worry imho. After use by either method it is advisable to give the bees a treat with some fondant, just in case so to speak.
Evaporators are very expensive but there is a Canadian version which, including shipping, works out at about 60% of the Varrox. Google surfing will find it.
Last, OXALICcan be done more than once depending on the mite drop. It also sets the colony up for the forthcoming season and is THE essential winter treatment.
 

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Thank you chaps. As for the space suit bit? And I quote Fr***** Pl**** here. "It cannot be stressed too strongly that Oxalic Acid is an aggressive substance and need sto be treated with respect. Acid resistant gloves and goggles shoiuld be worn and an apron of the type used by mortuary attendants, along with wellington boots that have tops coverd by gaiters so that any falling liqiuds do not fall into the boots. A respirator that has specialised organinc acid filtering will be required in cases where the solution is sprayed or vapourised." I reckoned a space suit would be easier was all:)
A little bit OTT imo. If you are making your own oxalic mix then you must take care. If you applying it as a vapour rather than a liquid then you must take extra care.

If you buy premix applicators, which is cost effective for one or two hives, then only a modicum of protection is needed.
 

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Thank you chaps. As for the space suit bit? And I quote Fr***** Pl**** here. "It cannot be stressed too strongly that Oxalic Acid is an aggressive substance and need sto be treated with respect. Acid resistant gloves and goggles shoiuld be worn and an apron of the type used by mortuary attendants, along with wellington boots that have tops coverd by gaiters so that any falling liqiuds do not fall into the boots. A respirator that has specialised organinc acid filtering will be required in cases where the solution is sprayed or vapourised." I reckoned a space suit would be easier was all:)

at least one guy who takes advices seriously. At leat you ddo not drive against red lights. Well done.

But you may handle oxalic acid with spoon. You need not touch it with fingers or rub it into skin.

When you have acid crystals, you need not respirator.


By the way, it is quite stupid to joke with these things, chemicals and bee diseased. Folks are enough confused with these things. but I do.
To most of beekeepers sugar syrup is too difficult to make. They must ask many times how 1 kg sugar can be added to a litre water. And to some sugar is poison and especially cane sugar. - yes, that is beekeeping at its best.

.
 
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Does Oxallic Acid in any form harm the bee?
The winter bees will not survive late into spring anyway
New brood will not probably have got Oxallated?
What about the poor old queen?
I suppose you could give her the chop and requeen as she will probably turn her toes up any way after being Oxallated, by whatever means?

? means a question to be answered.. not a snarky side swipe at my minimal beekeepering capabilities!
Thanks folks!!!
 

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:iagree:

but love the sound of "Trickling makes stiff dirty on bees" - can you get specialist DVDs of this (without dimmocks)?
 

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The problem is that, because one should not normally do it until well into the winter (end of Dec or early Jan) when there is minimal brood, one has to open the hive up and that chills the poor little souls.

- IT IS NOT A PROBLEM. After one minute the cluster has waked up and the temp is 40C. They are ready to fight. That is why keep hurry. Otherwise you have difficulties to put cover on.


The other method that I use is sublimation - or evaporation -

- FORGET IT NOW WHEN TRICKLING HAS INVENTED
 

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And if you really want to make sure, you can trickle treat your bees with oxalic four times,will do no harm at all.
 

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Does Oxallic Acid in any form harm the bee?
The winter bees will not survive late into spring anyway
New brood will not probably have got Oxallated?
What about the poor old queen?
I suppose you could give her the chop and requeen as she will probably turn her toes up any way after being Oxallated, by whatever means?

? means a question to be answered.. not a snarky side swipe at my minimal beekeepering capabilities!
Thanks folks!!!
these all has been carefully researched. No problems. But if you are afraid, varroa will handle the rest. It makes no harm. Just close your eyes.
 

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Does Oxallic Acid in any form harm the bee? Possibly some, there is discussion on this in the BBKA rag this month
The winter bees will not survive late into spring anyway Exactly
New brood will not probably have got Oxallated?It is applied where there is little or no new brood
What about the poor old queen?Some chose not to apply Oxalic every year for this reason
I suppose you could give her the chop and requeen as she will probably turn her toes up any way after being Oxallated, by whatever means?Rubbish. Oxalic wouldnt be considered if there was a significant queen mortality rate
 

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I would suggest that you put a veil on when dribbling Oxalic acid. It takes 10 seconds and some bees will fly up, even if its just 2 or 3 degrees outside the hive. A veil will also stop splashes - if they occur - from hitting your face.

I have seen no adverse reactions from treating colonies with oxalic acid - either in winter or in the summer with broodless colonies as I did for the first time this summer. However there are some issues with it and it should not be done often I believe. For me once a year is plenty. 3.2% acid. 5 ml per seam of bees so 100 ml will do two hives - maybe three as you probably won't get 10 seams of bees per hive. if you have just a few colonies you can get a 100ml container and applicator from the major bee supplies company for £2.28 (plus postage I guess). More expensive than making your own but easy.
 

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For any that may still have brood,which is often the case here.
 

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