I posted some info a while back on my attempts at building a homemade oxalic acid vaporizer and thought that I would provide an update on my progress.
Formerly I tried using a small tuna can and a diesel glow plug. It worked OK, but the heated interval was too small and I just didn’t get the amount of vaporization that I was looking for. I am looking for a unit that I can place beneath the screened bottom board of my hives and emit a nice cloud of vapor that will waft up. The tuna can setup just kind of fizzled – not really enough to treat a hive.
I then tried a couple of different household items that may work. Wife’s candle melter? Sure, why not? Why the heck doesnt she just light the candles like you are supposed to anyway? I actually got some vaporization, but the temperature was way too low to get much (good thing for me). Note; You can see a partially dismembered heat controller/probe that I retrieved from my wife's electric fondu pot in the lower right corner. I tried some rigging with it, but did not try to test it.
Next up, the old coffee pot in the basement. I made quick work of tearing the guts out, obtaining the heating disk and re-wiring without all of the controls. This worked really good. Not hot enough to thermally destroy the OA, but enough get good vaporization. I also liked the nice large and flat surface area to place the OA on.
Looking good (note it is hard to see the vapor in the picture, but rest assured there was plenty).
Next, off to the hives. The worst part was dragging 200 feet of extension cord (the tuna can ran on 12 volt DC, which was nice). Again the pictures do not come out so good, mainly because the vaporizer was placed in the dark recesses underneath the hive. My hives are up on cinder blocks and the was a slight breeze, so I took a long sheet of poly plastic and some bags of mulch to seal off the area under the hive. This setup worked good enough to keep most of the fumes where they need to be and not vent to the atmosphere. After I was sure that I got good vaporization, I closed up the front of the hive with more plastic and let her rip.
The results? Hello OA and goodbye mites! Yeah me!
HA!, Die you lil’ bastards!