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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Chico, Ca. USA
    Posts
    70

    Sad Fire in the hive

    Big Disaster in hive. So sad right now. I was doing an OA treatment, my second one this fall when the hive caught fire I have done this 5 or 6 times in the past with no problems but lost 4 to 5 frames to the fire with half the bee's killed. I didn't find the queen so I'll look in a couple of days to see if she made it. The end of the vaporizer even got burned off. I used a battery charger that I used last week that can do 3 to 4 hives so I don't think that was the problem. I have two deeps and used a half a teaspoon of the wood bleach that I have used in the past. Any idea's of what happened. So bummed!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Yikes!

    Homemade OAV or commercially available?
    How long was it plugged in?

    Did the fire go out on it's own or did you have to... do something?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Chico, Ca. USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    The cheaper of the commercially sold one. It was my first of 3 hives. It was just a matter of a few minutes. I was watching the vapor rise, waiting for it to cease and then it looked like smoke started coming out so I opened the hive and saw the flames. Pulled 3 to 4 out and tossed water on it. This is my second year so I have done the vaporizering a few times and nothing happened. It even burned the end off the vaporizer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Can you post a photo of the burnt vaporizer?
    Curious if the vaporizer actually got hot enough to start a fire or if a bad electrical connection could have been the culprit.

    Anyway, sorry for your loss. That sucks.

    I'm scheduled to treat one of my hives this evening. Now I'm nervous...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    3,944

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    If I had to guess, it was wax (maybe burr comb on the bottom of the frames) that dripped down on the vaporizer and caught fire. Was the vap a little "tilted" in the hive so that it possibly touched the frames?
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    I doubt the fire burned the end off the evaporator. I suspect a bad connection or a fault inside the heating element caused it to arc through and that certainly could ignite wax.

    This is the first time I have heard of a fire. Scorch marks yes, fire no. I have had wax fall into the tray but I think you would have to be using excessive " on " time to get it to ignite.
    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    3,944

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Those vaps can get to 400 (c) so certainly hot enough to ignite wax if dripping down onto the vap.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Yeah, the end of the vaporizer being burned off doesn't sound like wax burning it off. I remember how easily a wire cutter lost a good bit of metal in an instant when someone cut through a live 12 2 wire once. My memory is foggy as to who did the wire cutting. Pictures would be interesting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Those vaps can get to 400 (c) so certainly hot enough to ignite wax if dripping down onto the vap.
    400C ? or F. "Beeswax softens at 90 deg F (32 C) and melts between 143 and 151 deg. F (62-66 C). The flashpoint (temperature at which beeswax flares up and burns fiercely) is 490-525 deg F (254-274 C)"

    That is way hotter than anything needed to vaporize oxalic acid,(The oxalic acid is sublimated/vaporized with the use of heat into the beehive. The sublimation temperature of oxalic acid is 157-189c (315-372f) so my comment on grossly over timing the evaporation procedure if you were approaching flash point of wax (unless there was a malfunction somehow)
    Frank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Those vaps can get to 400 (c) so certainly hot enough to ignite wax if dripping down onto the vap.
    400C ??
    That's 752F, which is hot enough to give off a visible dull glow in a darkened room. I would hope it doesn't get THAT hot!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Curious as to how the bees reacted once the fire was obvious?

    I've only burned bees once, a colony that had AFB. Those that could flew about in panic, but tried to get back "home" by flying back into the fire. Goners. The next morning, I saw a gob of about 40 or 50 survivors on a nearby branch, and sadly had to kill them, too.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,592

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    I am curious about the battery charger and wondered if it was a booster type that accidentally got set on Boost, that is if it has a boost setting. I have been using a battery charger to vaporize for a number of years now and have never had a problem, the output isn't much different than a battery except that it is a constant level. I set my charger on 2 amp and the vaporizer is a modified Heilyser JB200 which takes 5 minutes to vaporize 3 grams of OA, this is not hot enough to light a hive on fire or melt aluminum.

    Could you enlighten us as to the charger setting and type of vaporizer?

    That vaporizer had to be extremely hot to burn the end of it off and light the hive on fire.
    Last edited by WWW; 09-13-2015 at 03:11 PM.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    3,944

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    The Varrox (not the one in use here) can reach temps of 400 (c) that is correct, centigrade, with the right battery. That's why you have a stainless steel pan/steel rod and such a good burn on the OA.
    Last edited by snl; 09-13-2015 at 04:03 PM.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Chico, Ca. USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    The unit was a Schumacher portable jump starter with 12v and 400 peak amps. It was the second time I used it. I bought this one because some beeks recommended it on this forum. I have no pictures but (not sure how to upload from Photobucket) had plastic frames with comb that were on fire and lost 4 to 5 frames. I pulled them out when I saw the excessive amount of smoke and then tossed water into the hive. I probably killed half the bee's and their stores. I didn't see the queen but will have to combine the remaining bee's with the other hive regardless. Kinda of scared now on how to handle the other hive's. Will probably buy the more expensive oxavap. The hive was level. In the past I used a car battery but this is the second time using the Schumacher.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,513

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    just post a link to the photo bucket folder. Make sure the folder is set for public viewing.
    Dan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    3,944

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    I'll ask, what vap unit did you have??
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,592

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    I found what I think is your Schumacher jump starter.

    http://www.centurytool.net/XP400_Sch...p/shuxp400.htm

    The description states that the unit has an "On/Off Switch Activates the Jump Starting Mode" which would probably have nearly the same output as a booster charger. It goes on to state that there is a "12 Volt Accessory Outlet", I am no expert here and don't pretend to be but I wouldn't want to connect my vaporizer to the "jump start mode" cables of this device, I would think that the "12 Volt Accessory Outlet" would be the place to connect your vaporizer.

    Which one did you connect your vaporizer to?
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Chico, Ca. USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    I used the Varrocleaner.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Chico, Ca. USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    That's the one I used. The 12 Volt outlet looks like a cigarette hole. How would I connect the two cables to the outlet hole?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Fire in the hive

    Do you have a voltmeter? I'd like to know what the voltage is on the boost output that you used. (not the 12v accessory outlet)

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