Categories :

The Basics of Oxalic Acid Gas Vaporizer Treatments

The oxalic acid gas vaporizer is considered a must-have tool in any beekeeper’s arsenal as it helps win the war against the ferocious varroa mites. 

Oxalic acid is a type of naturally occurring substance that allows beekeepers to avoid the use of synthetic chemicals in their hives. The substance has proven its might when it comes to killing mites without causing any serious damage or harm to the colony when used properly.

Varroa mites are the ultimate nemesis of bees, weakening and killing off thousands of colonies. This is why any beekeeper must keep a close eye on the number of these mites and carry out necessary treatments if and as needed. 

Oxalic Acid: What is It, Anyway?

Oxalic acid is a type of naturally occurring organic compound. This is a white crystalline solid that turns colorless in water. You can find this in foods including wheat bran, pecans, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. 

Oxalic acid gas vaporizer
Oxalic acid gas vaporizer add it to the hive before heating it to vaporize the crystals

Some oxalic acid also naturally occurs in honey. Since this is not fat-soluble, it doesn’t accumulate or form in the honeycomb. However, don’t let its natural nature fool you. Oxalic acid is very powerful, and it is even several thousand times stronger compared to the mighty vinegar. 

Oxalic acid has a bitter taste and can irritate the mouth and nose. Beekeepers need to observe the use of proper protective gear every time they use this acid or other types of acid for that matter. 

History of Using Oxalic Acid 

Beekeepers in Europe have been using oxalic acid for the longest time. They found it to be an effective tool in fighting off varroa mites with its efficacy of 90% to 99% when it comes to killing these pesky pests.

However, it was only in 2015 that the use of oxalic acid was approved in the United States. Before using this compound, don’t forget to check with your local state officials to confirm the approval of the registration for the oxalic acid you’re planning to use.

Oxalic acid gas vaporizer
Safety protocols must be followed when using oxalic acid gas vaporizer

The good news is that oxalic acid is quite affordable. Many bee supply companies offer these products specifically labelled to be used in beehives. It is also the most legal way to continue with the application of the product. 

However, some beekeepers choose to go off-label and stick with generics for their oxalic gas acid vaporizer. This decision is completely up to the beekeeper’s discretion. 

How to Kill Varroa Mites with Oxalic Acid

Oxalic acid may be potent enough to kill varroa mites but it does so with just very minimal to no harm caused to the bees at all. The compound is 70 times more toxic to the dreaded varroa mites than to the honeybees themselves. 

However, there continue to be some heated discussions regarding the exact way that oxalic acid kills varroa mites. Some claim that it was because of the mites’ direct contact with the spiky dried crystals. Others also suggest that the mites die once they inhale the vapour. 

Gas Vaporizer for Oxalic accid: Revolutionizing Varroa Mite Treatment

One theory states that the vapour enters through the soft pads of the feet of the mites and reaches their bloodstream from there. The vapour can also damage the parts of the mouth of the mites. 

When using an oxalic acid gas vaporizer, the goal is not to coat the beers but to inject the heated vapour inside the hive. 

Once the vapour cools down, tiny crystals will be left behind on the walls of the hive, the comb, and the bees themselves. The worker bees also get exposed to these crystals as they come and go. 

Either way, one thing is for sure: varroa mites get killed because of oxalic acid with almost no effects on the colony. 

Two Common Methods for Oxalic Acid Treatment 

There are two primary approved methods for using oxalic acid in controlling the population and dangers of varroa mites: vaporization and dribble method. 

Using an Oxalic Acid Gas Vaporizer

Oxalic acid vaporization is the most popular and common way of applying the substance. A small quantity of crystals is placed on the heated wand. Many of these wands need an external power source such as a battery. 

The wand will be inserted inside the hive before it is heated to vaporize the crystals. The water part of the crystals is burned off first. Sublimation occurs once the temperature gets to 314° F when the solid crystals turn into gas.

You can choose from a wide range of these vaporizers in the market right now. Some work exceptionally well but often come with high price tags. There are also cheaper versions that can perform their function just fine. Of course, your choice of oxalic acid gas vaporizer still depends on your budget and what you plan to accomplish with the tool. 

The Dribble Method

Also known as the trickling method, the dribble method is a process where oxalic acid is combined with warm 1:1 sugar water or equal parts of water and sugar. A syringe is then used to apply the mixture between the hive frames to directly wet the bees. 

The tricky part of this method is that you have to be extra careful to ensure that you don’t go beyond the total dose of 50ml for every colony. As expected, you also need to make the necessary adjustments if you have a smaller colony. 

Since the dribble method is also a bit detrimental to the exoskeleton or cuticle part of the bees, this method of application is only recommended to be performed twice a year. 

The bees must also be clustered together in between the hive frames for the application to work. It means that this method works best during cooler weather conditions. 

Safety Precautions

While it is completely safe to use oxalic acid and oxalic acid gas vaporizer for both the bees and the beekeeper, it’s imperative to always follow and observe the necessary safety protocols. Always follow the instructions indicated on the product label and wear the right gear when doing the application. 

Similar Posts From The Same Category: