Oxalic acid bees dribble is a unique method that makes use of the combination of oxalic acid and sugar syrup. A large syringe is used for the application by squirting the mixture on bees clustered in between frames.
While the physical contact with syrup laced with oxalic acid doesn’t harm the bees, it is inevitable for them to consume a small quantity of the syrup that contains oxalic acid that can be mildly harmful for them. This is the reason why it is best to do the oxalic acid dribble in just a single treatment instead of a repeated series.
It is especially essential during winter when the individual bees need to stay alive for a longer period of time. The good news is that a single treatment is often all that is needed during the brood pause. This means that oxalic acid dribble can be considered as satisfactory option during this specific time of the year. This method can work best if the hive only has two boxes. This can also be used if there are several boxes like a hive containing three medium boxes or more. However, this can make for extra work.
What Equipment Do You Need for an Oxalic Acid Dribble?
You only need inexpensive and modest equipment to mix and apply the treatment. These include glass containers for mixing the sugar syrup and oxalic acid, a gram scale, a wood or plastic stirrer, and one 60 cc plastic syringe for doing the dribbling in measured and controlled amounts.
You can prepare the mixing items yourself using household items then add the oxalic acid bees dribble kit that comes with the rest of the things you need, such as the personal protective gear, the syringe, and the oxalic acid.
The necessary personal protective gear includes eye protection for keeping your eyes protected from splashes as you mix and apply the solution, N-95 or particulate mask, and gloves as protection of your skin from the acid.
Mixing the Oxalic Acid Solution
The oxalic acid must be measured accurately and your best choice here is a scale that reads in grams. Goggles, gloves, and mask must be used when mixing.
Combine the right amount of hot water with the appropriate amount of oxalic acid. Stir this mixture until the oxalic acid crystals are dissolved. Avoid shaking the container then stir the sugar in until it is also dissolved.
Tightly close the container then label it with POISON 2.5% Oxalic Acid. Avoid placing this mixed syrup in a repurposed food container, specifically drinking bottles where this could get mistaken for a beverage. Never keep unused syrup following the treatment. Get rid of it by diluting this with a large amount of water then pour this down the drain.
Every time you work with oxalic acid bees, you need to make sure that there is an available source of clean water for flushing any accidental contact with your eyes or skin. Prepare two gallons of fresh and clean water to the bee yard when doing the treatment.