Formic Acid Liquid
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Livingston County, NY
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    Default Formic Acid Liquid

    Anyone use Formic Acid in liquid? (like my mentor)

    Where to get enough for 50 hives?

    What's your method?

    Is there a shelf life?

    Shelf Life of Mite Away?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Wow. Um, ok, where to start.

    First, the use of liquid formic acid as a treatment for varroa is illegal in the united states. I don't advocate the use of it.

    Second, WVa did some very good studies a while back on the information. Using a fumigator, home made of course, some liquid formic acid and some HBH its possible to treat yourself. http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/37598 It is also possible to burn your lungs in the process. Again, it's illegal.

    Third, you can buy pure formic acid on eBay at a fairly decent price. Look for the user dudadiesel, or any other reputable sales person. You can buy it in gallon jugs if you need to.

    Fourth, the shelf life of pure formic acid is fairly long. Once mixed, I'm sure it breaks down. I don't know how long though.

    Fifth, MAQS is now Formic Pro I believe. I haven't tried their new formula, so I'm not sure how long its shelf life is.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    3,796

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Formic Pro shelf life is two years. The Older MAQS was one year.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    there is a place in Binghamton that sells it, not sure how close you are if interested post back and I will see if I can find where I stored the information.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,201

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    if you are looking to buy it in liquid form, the recommendation I got was to go here: http://www.dudadiesel.com/search.php?query=formic
    There numerous websites to learn about how to do a flash formic acid treatment.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    1,218

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Fifth, MAQS is now Formic Pro I believe. I haven't tried their new formula, so I'm not sure how long its shelf life is.
    NOD appears to have some naming confusion. They appear to have 2 products under 3 different names:
    •*The original MAQS
    •*An extended shelf-life version called Formic Pro, at least in the U.S. In NZ it looks like it's called MAQS+. Description and efficacy numbers look identical to those of Formic Pro in the U.S.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Livingston County, NY
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    593

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    I am sure that my mentor did not do anything illegal, & I can't ask him, he died 4 years ago.
    Do you know what the mixture is?
    I spoke w/Betterbee today & Lauri did say that MAQS is Formic Pro now.
    I am due South of Rochester, NY about 30-35 minutes. Do they ship?
    Thanks for the replies.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Look for an industrial chemical supply co. in Rochester. there should be a couple.
    Nick

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,757

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    I have obtained FA from Duda Diesel in a quart container shipped via UPS. The FA is around 96% pure so needs to be diluted, the Canadians use shop towels and 65% FA as a flash treatment, Amrine and Noel the WV guys use a fume board and about a 50% FA solution with a little HBH added. I used FA before I started using OAV and it certainly works but is reliant on the the fume board and is a 24 hour treatment. I also found that due to temperatures outside and temperatures in the hive which can be dependent on the cluster size made the treatment a little inconsistent. Now if there was no OAV I would still be using 50% FA. One just needs to be careful when diluting, wear eye protection and vinyl gloves. You should always keep the stuff refrigerated when you need to mix or use the stuff as when it is cold you have very little volatility so you do not smell any acid vapor. As a matter of fact I just added a 1/2 quart of acid to a 1/2 quart of water marked it as 50% FA and used that on a fume board at 60 to 100 mls depending on the amount of boxes on the colony.
    Johno

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    San Mateo
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    504

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    It seems that even though recipes for DIY formic acid pads have been around for quite a while, very little is discussed here. Here's one recipe:

    A 2-1/2 gallon pail with 250 "Dri-Loc 50" meat pads in it is filled with 8 liters of 65% formic acid and let sit overnight for soaking. (This gives 38 ml of FA per one mead pad.) The pads are applied perforated side down one per brood box (or per hive?) For Varroa, "5 treatments at 5 to 10 day intervals is the minimum. For tracheal, 3 are usually sufficient."

    Does this look like a proven recipe+schedule or is there one published? It would be great if one could replace those outrageously overpriced (both the product and shipping), finicky MAQS with something more handy, equally effective, and potentially easier on bees.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    these three links would give you more than you would like to know about formic, especially link #2

    http://www.ontariobee.com/sites/onta...amphlet-op.pdf

    http://www.mitegone.com/

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/formic/default.htm
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #12
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    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    3,796

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    As Specialkayme noted, liquid formic acid is not labeled as a miticide and illegal to use in the US. That said, there is next to no enforcement of this type of pesticide regulation among hobby beekeepers.

    If you want to learn how liquid formic is used, you'll need to look to countries where it is legal to use and experiment with. (like Canada)

    This is one of those situations where the international scope of the Board bites Americans in the rear. I think (this is me, my personal opinion) that it is irresponsible to encourage off label pesticide uses wherever they occur. And yes, technically, your mentor lakebilly, was violating pesticide laws.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Besides the legality of using it off label, for a beekeeper with only a few hives, it is a pain to deal with. Unless you are familiar with working with acids, I would not recommend it. You will need to mix it, apply it and store the unused portion. There is always risk when storing dangerous chemicals. How many people have the proper equipment and actually know how to mix, apply and store them properly? Yes MAQS and Formic Pro are more expensive, but they are much safer to use for the beekeeper. The extra money spent could save your eyesight or a child who gets into your stored supply when you least expect it.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    San Mateo
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    504

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    ... it is a pain to deal with.
    Do you mean you have abandoned the idea after trying it because it hasn't worked? Many here have been using OAV without any issues. OA seems to be orders of magnitude stronger than FA (pK 1.25 vs. 3.77).

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
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    593

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Being the 3rd week in September, I am confused as to how to go forward.
    I wanted to see if I could treat my 35+ HIVES cost effectively. That is why I was considering Liquid FA. That doesn't seem likely now w/being this late. I Have enough Mite Away to do about 8 hives.
    I could not move or manage my hives the way they should have been because I had a very time sensitive move (sold my property & had to GET OUT quickly). I have supered all my hives, most are three deeps & @ least one medium. Boxes are busting out w/bees, but lite on stores. We have had a LOT of rain. To look @ the amount of bees you would think that there would be lots of honey.I guess the rainy days were spent eating.
    subsequently all my hives swarmed, some twice. I went out today to decide if I should just pick up enough Mite Away to do all my hives.
    I got through three boxes, they were 3 dps, 2 mediums, tons of bees. I looked the bees over quite well & did not see one mite. I realize that doesn't mean much. There isn't much capped brood & they are backfilling everything as expected.

    With very little capped brood, does it make sense to buy MAQS, or just do OAV?
    I think that I will sugar roll to see what I'm up against. I have enough OA to do all, so should I buy MAQS or use what I have?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    5,264

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    Being the 3rd week in September, I am confused as to how to go forward.
    I wanted to see if I could treat my 35+ HIVES cost effectively. That is why I was considering Liquid FA. That doesn't seem likely now w/being this late. I Have enough Mite Away to do about 8 hives.
    I could not move or manage my hives the way they should have been because I had a very time sensitive move (sold my property & had to GET OUT quickly). I have supered all my hives, most are three deeps & @ least one medium. Boxes are busting out w/bees, but lite on stores. We have had a LOT of rain. To look @ the amount of bees you would think that there would be lots of honey.I guess the rainy days were spent eating.
    subsequently all my hives swarmed, some twice. I went out today to decide if I should just pick up enough Mite Away to do all my hives.
    I got through three boxes, they were 3 dps, 2 mediums, tons of bees. I looked the bees over quite well & did not see one mite. I realize that doesn't mean much. There isn't much capped brood & they are backfilling everything as expected.

    With very little capped brood, does it make sense to buy MAQS, or just do OAV?
    I think that I will sugar roll to see what I'm up against. I have enough OA to do all, so should I buy MAQS or use what I have?
    if you have the equipment to do an oav, why don't you put down a sticky board,treat them ,leave it in 3 days and count mites, you will get a good idea how bad the mites are, or better yet do a roll test and get an accurate count. if you have the time oav couldn't hurt.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by baybee View Post
    OA seems to be orders of magnitude stronger than FA (pK 1.25 vs. 3.77).
    OA is usually kept in powder form. Formic is in liquid. While OA is a stronger acid, if I get the powder on my hands I can brush it away before I get any burns. Plus its much less likely to "splash" and get on my clothes or eyes. Not so much with formic.

    OA also has an "active" phase and a "passive" phase when treating. I can be inches away from the powder (passive) without needing a respirator. Turn the vaporizor on, from a distance, and let it do its thing. There isn't a need to get close to the hive when its vaporizing (active). If I do need to get close, pay attention to the wind and wear a respirator. If you're using the dribble method, there are no dangerous fumes. The concentration is fairly weak once its mixed with water (2% at times). Formic is always active. If you have a bottle in your hands, you need goggles, respirator, and gloves. You can never turn your guard down.

    Formic may be weaker than OA, but you have significantly greater odds of injuring yourself with formic than OA. And I speak from experience.

  19. #18
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I have enough OA to do all, so should I buy MAQS or use what I have?
    OA is not recommended for periods when brood is present.

    Do a sugar shake, get a % infestation, order more MAQS and treat with them and be sure.

    Learning how to do a homebrew formic (that's illegal) or learning to treat with OAV when brood is present (that's not in accordance with the label and also technically illegal) is very risky at this stage. Stick with the approved products. The extra money will be worth it.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    United States
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    172

    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Primary reasons not to try pure formic acid
    1. Off label use (i.e. illegal)
    2. Difficult to control dosage
    3. No tried and true dosing method available. Only a handful of "I tried this" and "I do that". There are a few literature papers available.

    I don't see the safety aspect of storage as an issue as many people safety store chemicals like Muriatic acid, acetone, bleach, paint thinner, etc at their residence.

    OAV is definitely the least expensive treatment option, but the most labor intensive as it requires weekly dosing for ~4 weeks to truly treat for an entire brood cycle and get the mites in the cells. I have also never lost a queen using OAV and lost 2/20 doing a half dose of MAQS this year. MAQS isn't really all that expensive in the grand scheme of things. For 35 hives you're talking $150.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Formic Acid Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    As Specialkayme noted, liquid formic acid is not labeled as a miticide and illegal to use in the US. That said, there is next to no enforcement of this type of pesticide regulation among hobby beekeepers.

    If you want to learn how liquid formic is used, you'll need to look to countries where it is legal to use and experiment with. (like Canada)

    This is one of those situations where the international scope of the Board bites Americans in the rear. I think (this is me, my personal opinion) that it is irresponsible to encourage off label pesticide uses wherever they occur. And yes, technically, your mentor lakebilly, was violating pesticide laws.
    Legal, schmegal. Seriously; if it's legal to do something, in your own backyard, with your own bees, 10 meters north of the Canadian border, but it's illegal to do 10 meters south of the border, and there's no oversight or enforcement, then I really don't give a drone's abdomen about that particular law.

    But I do worry about being safe with powerful liquid acids. This ain't Windex or Clorox, folks!
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

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