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  1. #1
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    Default Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    So I sent the check out to Heilyser up in Canada for the OA vaporizer today!! Looking forward to getting it after doing lots of research and reading your replies on here!!

    But, I have another dumb question...........how dangerous is the "residue" left on the frames/hive body after treatment?? I mean, can a person pick them up barehanded the day after treatment or is there a time frame?? I read about the grey residue left on the equipment and was just wondering if its safe!! Thanks!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    When I bought the pack of oxalic crystals from the hardware store (it's used for bleaching timber), I noticed there was hardly any safety instructions on the pack. It's pretty much sold to the masses to do with and handle as they will. Can't be that dangerous.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,251

    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Kenosha,WI
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    190

    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Oxalic Acid decomposes into Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide and Water.

    It is found naturally occurring in honey, rhubarb and spinach.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    I've used the vaporizer with pretty decent results and never had a problem with damaging residue. I treat only ONCE per year because I don't believe in a single "miracle" mite cure. I do worry about the potential ph change inside the hive and the colony's reaction to that which also makes me happier to treat only once per year. I wear lightweight gloves while I'm treating and the process is quite smooth. To be honest, I've never gone right inside a hive after treatment and I think the bees pretty much take care of residue through travel or internal cleaning or both.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
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    Feb 2011
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    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    BG, When I started using the OAV method these questions were mine as well, I even worried about whether the OA would rust my frame nails causing the frames to come apart. However after several years of use I discovered that my frame nails would be just fine and by applying the OA in the August/September time frame I will not be back in the hives till spring so residue crystals in the hive was never a problem, the bees will clean things up as they prepare for winter.

    About the Heilyser vaporizer, if the unit has a clean burn there will not be much if anything left on the unit, just swish the pan around in some water and wipe dry, however it would be best to avoid immersing the glow plug.
    Last edited by WWW; 12-29-2012 at 12:48 PM.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  7. #7
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    Apr 2010
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    Rowley, MA
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    253

    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    This is probably a stupid question but is it legal to use this in our hives ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Creston bc canada
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Other than breathing the vapors , there's not really much to worry about.

    Some people are more sensitive to it than others , I have used it both for bees and cleaning log homes , and skin contact with it has never bothered me at all , but it may burn you.

    In the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics we find that upon heating oxalic acid, the water of hydration boils off first, then at 315F the oxalic acid starts to sublime (go directly from solid to vapor), and finally at 372F any oxalic acid which has not yet sublimed decomposes to formic acid and carbon monoxide.

    So some of the residue may contain formic acid , which would soon break down further into less harmful constituents.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
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    690

    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkster View Post
    This is probably a stupid question but is it legal to use this in our hives ?
    EPA says no.

    But I dont like listening to the government anyways.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Creston bc canada
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
    EPA says no.

    But I dont like listening to the government anyways.
    Oxalic Acid is approved for use in Canada
    The Pest Management Regulatory Agency has approved the use of oxalic acid for the control of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies. They have determined that oxalic acid may be safely used, provided that specified conditions are respected.

    As I understand , it is not approved by any agency in the U.S. , but that doesn't necessarily mean it is illegal , just not approved.?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwbee View Post
    As I understand , it is not approved by any agency in the U.S. , but that doesn't necessarily mean it is illegal , just not approved.?
    Yes that's an interesting point. Don't know how it works in the US, but in my country you can do all manner of things to your hive, unless there is a law specifically against it. So for example, sugar dusting has not been approved as a mite treatment. But it's not illegal, people do it, and the cops aren't knocking on their doors.

    There is an approval process for mite treatments, which mainly relates to being allowed to sell the products. So for example Apistan is approved and can be sold, and used, the coumaphos products are not approved and cannot be purchased. Oxalic is approved as a mite treatment, even though you can simply purchase it at the hardware store. All potentially hazardous chemicals such as say, coumaphos, oxalic, or fluvenate, are graded as to the specific hazards, and information is put on the label, which must be followed. So if someone purchased say, coumaphos, by way of a non bee related product, and then used it on his hives, he could be prosecuted for using the product in a non label way.
    Slightly murky though because beekeepers often get oxalic at the hardware store, with no label instructions regarding bees on the pack. So technically they could be prosecuted, but I think the intent of the law is that oxalic has been approved for use with bees, so long as nobody does anything crazy there will be no prosecutions. But if someone used coumaphos, a non approved for bee related use product, there may well be a prosecution.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 12-29-2012 at 04:24 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    I see some room to get iffy about the use of it in hives. It is approved for use as an insecticide. But in every description it is clearly an insecticide for use in gardens etc. I will go with the "It's not forbidden" angle. I would also not use it on colonies I will be harvesting honey from. Since I plan on reareing queens I am not sure I will have much of a problem.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Wait until you get those deposits in your lungs.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2011
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    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    stajerc61, could you go into some detail as to what kind of deposits you are speaking of, some clinical data would be helpful in understanding your statement. If I am to get deposits in my lungs I would like to know what they are. I hope you wasn't just being cynical, that would be disappointing.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Thanks everyone again!! I am hooked on this Oxalic thing and look forward to being able to use it as a tool against Varroa!!

    As for the safety aspect, ive looked up multiple health warnings on the stuff lately and the repeating common thing is wear eye protection and mask and of course rubber gloves. I plan on using a good mask and goggles and wearing chemical resistant gloves and probably a tyvek suit. I will also pay attention to the wind as well and keep it at my back or atleast my side.

    As I get comfortable I will probably lose the suit and stay with the goggles/respirator. This seems like a great treatment and as long as simple precautions are taken, it sounds like a great way to battle Varroa.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    About 25% of produced oxalic acid is used as a mordant in dyeing processes. It is used in bleaches, especially for pulpwood. It is also used in baking powder. It is also present in vegetables. In humans, oxalic acid has an oral LDLo (lowest published lethal dose) of 600 mg/kg.

    I don't know how much you weigh but a Kg is about 2.2 lbs. But for me that works out to a dose of 47,727 mg. That is 1.6835 oz.

    Some of the things it is found in like citric acid is found in oranges and other fruit.
    Amaranth, Asparagus, Beans, snap, Beet leaves, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cassava, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory, Chives, Collards, Coriander, Corn, sweet, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Endive, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Okra, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Pea, Bell Pepper[disambiguation needed], Potato, Purslane, Radish, Rutabaga, Spinach, Squash, Sweet potato, Tomato, Turnip, Turnip greens, Watercress.

    You now have the proof that mother was trying to kill you with all those vegetables.

    Parsley is one of the highest with 1.7 grams of acid per 100 grams or 1.7%. Spinach is nearly 1%
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #17
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    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkster View Post
    This is probably a stupid question but is it legal to use this in our hives ?
    According to the EPA web site:
    "EPA must evaluate pesticides thoroughly before they can be marketed and used in the United States to ensure that they will meet federal safety standards to protect human health and the environment. Pesticides that meet the requirements are granted a license or "registration" which permits their distribution, sale, and use according to specific use directions and requirements identified on the label."

    In other words, it is my understanding that Oxalic Acid is not registered by the EPA, and that the use and/or marketing of Oxalic Acid as a Pesticide in the US without EPA registration is not lawful.

    What OA needs is someone with deep pockets to shepard it through the registration process. And that part of the problem is that since OA is so inexpensive there is no financial incentive to do so. So maybe BeeSource members who support the use of OA in the US should undertake the registration process.

    It is my belief that at its core this is a food safety issue, one which has large amounts of foreign data regarding safety and delivery. It is hard to expect the US to protect our food supply (that seems to be the intent) if they allow materials to be used which have not undergone some sort of review in this country. Should there be means to accept the foreign data? Probably. Reciprocity of evaluations can be a good thing. Though I am not sure I would find the fact that any product had been found safe by XX third world country all that sattisfying.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    Such a review is expensive, often costing close to $100,000. New Zealand, or Canada, has already done it for oxalic, maybe if the right people could talk?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    I think Andrew and OT have really hit at the heart of the problem. No company has seen fit to jump through the hoops necessary to get a specific oxalic product approved when faced with the reality that they would have to compete with what is already being commonly done for pennies per treatment particularly when no one has ever even alleged that there is any resulting safety issue that affects consumers of honey or any other hive product. One might even go as far as to draw a parralel between oxalic use and the different essential oils put in bee feed or even the myriad of different fuels burned in bee smokers. What if it were discovered that the burning of pine needles put off a chemical that proved to be a highly effective miticide (and most of us have observed that a heavy smoke will knock down mites) then would that be cause for the government to intervene? I agree there should be some sort of streamlined approval process that isn't so profit driven to look at and make recommendations for commonly used compounds such as this.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Another question on oxalic vaporizing!!

    This is also from the E.P.A. R.E.D Fact page
    http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/fac...s/4070fact.pdf

    All pesticides sold or used in the United States must be registered by
    EPA, based on scientific studies showing that they can be used without
    posing unreasonable risks to people or the environment. Because of
    advances in scientific knowledge, the law requires that pesticides which
    were first registered years ago be reregistered to ensure that they meet
    today's more stringent standards.

    Quote:
    Oxalic acid is registered for use as a disinfectant to control bacteria
    and germs, and as a sanitizer, in toilet bowls, urinals and bathroom
    premises. Registered products are formulated as ready-to-use liquids or
    solid soluble concentrates, and are applied by sprinkling, pouring, brushing,
    swabbing or mopping the product onto the surface to be treated.
    Oxalic acid also has many diverse, non-pesticidal, manufacturing and
    industrial uses including use in fabric printing and dyeing; bleaching straw
    hats; removing paint, varnish, rust or ink stains; and cleaning wood.
    Regulatory
    History
    Oxalic acid first was registered as a pesticide in 1957 for the current
    bathroom disinfectant uses, as well as use in swimming pool water systems,
    drainage systems, sewage systems, eating establishments (to disinfect
    equipment and utensils), and other sites. At present, five products
    containing oxalic acid are registered.
    End Quote

    Basically OA has been and still is registered as a disinfectant. Including the disinfecting of food service utensils.

    I am wondering if anyone has ever submitted a request for it to be registered as a treatment for bees. Or if they care.

    Also from the same source.
    Although they contain only a small amount of oxalic acid and a much
    greater amount of other active and inert ingredients, oxalic acid products as
    formulated and registered for use as bathroom disinfectants can be highly
    irritating and damaging to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Exposure
    to the concentrated formulations can result in chemical burns to the skin and
    severe to permanent eye damage. However, these risks should be low as
    long as product label directions and precautions are followed.

    The pesticide oxalic acid will not result in unreasonable adverse
    effects to human health or the environment, and all registered products
    containing oxalic acid are eligible for reregistration. These products will be
    reregistered once the required product-specific data and revised labeling are
    received and accepted by EPA.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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