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  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    So lets get past the "it's not approved in the US for beekeeping" thing right off. I know, but if I want to treat my hives, they are my hives.

    After much study, the 2 most common methods of application seem to be Vaporization with a heating unit inside the hive or the Dribble/Drench method. Both require accurate measurements of how much OA is being applied to a given size hive. Both methods only work on phoretic mites and both seem to be reasonably equal in effectiveness.

    The vaporizers run $100/200 dollars and require you to lug around a car battery for power. At best, they take a few minutes per hive to heat up then cool down. Not a huge deal but still a long day if you have very many hives.

    The dribble method requires a partial disassembly of the hive and dribbling between each frame of the entire hive. A huge amount of labor. I wont even consider it.

    Which brings me to the propane fogger.
    My plan is to buy a new fogger. My current one has been used for insecticide and I dont want to try to clean it out.
    Next is to figure the calibration of the trigger pump. I can immerse the pick-up tube in a graduated cylinder and measure how much liquid is dispersed with each pump of the trigger. Lets say for example 20 pumps moves 200ml water, then it is 10ml per pump. This is easy to check periodically to maintain my calibration.

    Next, make up a solution that would have water and OA in a concentration that would give for ex. 1gram of OA per 4 pumps.

    The common dosage of 1 gram per brood box can be administered quickly, 4 pumps, from the front of the hive opening then closing the hive with an entrance closing block. Nucs get 2 pumps, you get the idea. I could change the concentration of the solution to suit my needs as long as I know how much solution is dispensed with each pump.

    It does not appear to matter what form the OA is in for it to work in the hive but it appears critical that it be evenly distributed throughout the hive. The vaporized is a very small fume particle and the dribble is a water/OA/sugar solution droplet. The fogger would deliver a very small water droplet throughout the hive.

    The added moisture would be bad for the hive when cold but on a really warm late fall day when the hive is mostly broodless I cannot see how the moisture from the fog will have any adverse effect.

    I have search the web and have not found any examples of this delivery method except a German Youtube video showing an air compressor/forced air type fogger on a wand.
    I did treat this fall/winter with the "crack pipe" method. Just figured there had to be a better way.

    I expect to be doing this in the coming year and will document my findings for posting here on Beesource.

    Like many of you, I am working towards treatment free beekeeping, but right now, a little treatment is necessary to have bees to keep.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    capathome

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    sounds good, but try it on your hives first! I would be very worried about the dispersing levels. The vaporizers ae easy and simple... get 2 or 3 going and its a cake walk. I can tell you that the "fog " will be harder to control application location in the hive given the faster time period.
    the vaporizer takes about 5 minutes to disperse.

    I can also tell you its nasty stuff. not sure how close you want to be to that fog...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by capathome View Post
    The common dosage of 1 gram per brood box can be administered quickly,
    I believe that 1 gram is the common dosage for "vaporization".
    Using a fogger as a "liquid" dispensing unit I wonder if the dosage should be calculated based on the dribble method concentration?
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Mcarthur, Ohio,USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I would think that a gram delivered by vaporization is fully integrated into the hive. I would think that a gram delivered by dribble method assuming 20% of the dribble runs off would be actual .8 gram dosed. I am confident that with the breadth of knowledge on this forum we can get dosage right.

    My concern is about using this delivery method.

    I do have an acid gas respirator.

    capathome

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    We were talking on another thread that the "fog method is based more on the time of exposure than actual concentration level not my area of expertise....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    The temperature range of Oxalic acid vaporization is quite narrow; around 315 deg. F. Below that it will not evaporate and if you go much above that it breaks down into formic acid vapor, and carbon monoxide. What is the temperature of a fogger? How well will it stand up to acid?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
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    586

    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I've never treated with OA, and have no experience with using it. It occured to me that if the idea is to get it into "fog" form, it might be possible to use one of the ultrasonic humidifiers to vaporize a liquid containing some concentration of OA. Like I said, I've never tried it for the application of a chemical, but I used to used it as a means to control moisture levels for my tropical pet scorpions and it worked well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    857

    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by capathome View Post
    The dribble method requires a partial disassembly of the hive and dribbling between each frame of the entire hive. A huge amount of labor. I wont even consider it.
    Capathome,

    The oxalic drible method is not as much work as you think. It is quick and easy, either tip the lid forward and drible each seam of bees. Or, tip the upper hive body forwad and treat each seam of bees in both bodies.

    A syringe or small hand pump sparyer can be used drible the OA.

    Unless you have a colony you didn't mind sacrificing I would be leery of trying a new delivery system.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Mcarthur, Ohio,USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The temperature range of Oxalic acid vaporization is quite narrow; around 315 deg. F. Below that it will not evaporate and if you go much above that it breaks down into formic acid vapor, and carbon monoxide. What is the temperature of a fogger? How well will it stand up to acid?
    Am I safe to assume that if OA works as a heated vapor and it works as a wet room temperature dribble, it will also work somewhere in between these 2 temperature ranges as a roughly 200 degree (though cooling VERY quickly) fog?
    capathome

    The foggers have some aluminum, steel and brass parts. They can easily be neutralized after using.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The temperature range of Oxalic acid vaporization is quite narrow; around 315 deg. F.
    I don't think you would have sublimation of the OA until it is free of water. Delivering the acid via a fogger will keep the acid suspended in a liquid solution, and it seems that the application would more resemble a "misting" of dribble solution throughout the hive rather than crystal deposits through vaporization.
    To everything there is a season....

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    I don't think you would have sublimation of the OA until it is free of water. Delivering the acid via a fogger will keep the acid suspended in a liquid solution, and it seems that the application would more resemble a "misting" of dribble solution throughout the hive rather than crystal deposits through vaporization.
    Exactly what I was thinking! Recent reading here on Beesource has led me to think that as the dribble evaporates, it leaves behind the active crystals.
    capathome

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I'm afraid I missed those discussions. Will the acid left behind after water evaporates from a mixed solution be the same as acid that has been heated and vaporized?

    I should have paid more attention in Chemistry class.
    To everything there is a season....

  13. #13
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    Feb 2011
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    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I did see another thread where someone suggested that the syrup dribble solution evaporates leaving behind crystals however I am not inclined to believe this hypotheses. I think the OA would turn the sugar syrup acidic which would in turn burn the mites when they come in contact with it, and the bees clean up the syrup by ingesting it. Oxalic vaporization is a whole nother animal which actually does form crystals. The fogging idea would be similar to the dribble but without the syrup to hold it in suspension therefor would be more prone to being absorbed quickly into the surrounding wood present in the hive, fogging would probably be affective but more so if it could be applied directly onto the bees.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  14. #14
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    Sep 2011
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    Mcarthur, Ohio,USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    It is my understanding that the acid forms crystals within the hive as it cools from a vapor when using a heated vaporizer. I can attest to this as I had bees exiting the hive with white crystals all over them when I used my makeshift vaporizer.
    There is some considerable discussion as to HOW OA works on the varroa mite. Certainly NOT my area of expertise.
    For me, that it does work is what is important.
    As to your question, I'm not certain if the sublimation of OA as a vapor leaves a different "crystal" than the simple dehydration of a water/OA solution.
    I guess it goes back to if dribble works, and sublimation works why would a fog (a middle ground of application method) not work?
    capathome

    Does OA work differently depending on how it is applied?

  15. #15
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    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    If spraying with a hand pumped sprayer produces up to 98% mite kill, the only advantage I see of a fogger is speed of application. Using the % OA mix for the hand pumped sprayer may be a good place to start.

    30g OA dih in 1 l water.
    That is sprayed at 3-4 ml per comb side

    Thats taken from "Bee tolerances of different winter varroa treatments". Found on the link below.

    http://tinyurl.com/nsl458r
    Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    fogging would probably be affective but more so if it could be applied directly onto the bees.
    I tried Thymol/FGMO fogging years ago and can attest that the fogger does an excellent job of dispersing fog throughout the interior of the hive and contacting a high percentage of the bees.

    I wonder if OA could be fogged with better contact and residual effect if using FGMO as the vehicle for dispersion?
    To everything there is a season....

  17. #17
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    Sep 2011
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    Mcarthur, Ohio,USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Exactly! While the dribble method is more labor intensive, I could do it. However, I run 3 mediums as a brood nest so it would require removal of one box to the ground then tilting of the second.
    Also would not want to use the dribble method when it is cold due to the excess moisture in the hive, precisely the time when I am looking at OA treatments on broodless bees.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I like your idea Mike, perhaps this FMGO/Oxalic mixture, is something that capathome can try in his trials, the correct percent of OA would need to be calculated but this is not my area of expertise.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  19. #19
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    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    I used Thymol/FGMO too. I agree the fogging unit does a good job, the main reason I would love to see the fogger work is that treatment is so quick, literally seconds per hive.
    Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Another Propane Fogger Oxalic Acid Idea

    Fogging sure would be an easy delivery method. There still seems to be a lot of mystery behind how the OA actually effects the mites. It might be that the acid must be in a dry state, dehydrated, to work correctly. The oil might not allow the same type of action as the dry acid. Only one way to find out.
    To everything there is a season....

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