Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    I have always planned on doing oxalic acid via provap 110.
    The problem came when I started asking people in the know about it.
    How the heck can 6 commercial beekeepers be evenly split on oxalic acid vaporization?
    Two commercial keepers by me. One says they have great luck, the other says don't bother.
    Who the heck do I listen to? How am I supposed to make a $500 expense decision based on everyone having different opinions?
    It would be one thing if it was how often to split. I have tried rapid splitting and now I am trying building colonies to 16 frames and doing a split then. That however does not cost me money.
    To set this up, I live in a year round flow/pollen/brood area. Until this date I have not treated for anything. I find very very few sick bees. Maybe 1-2 deformed wings per hive, and the inspectors say my hives are healthy. I bought hygienic/kona queens(so I was told). So far everything seems healthy... What the heck do I do?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Scooby, since you posted this on beesource, you will probably get 100 opinions and still be split 50/50. The trick is to know the limitations of any treatment and work around it. OA works best when the hive is broodless. In St. Augustine, I doubt your hives are ever completely broodless. This means you have to modify the treatment timing to be most effective where you are. That means regular monitoing of mite levels both before and after treatment and most likely multiple treatments per year. There are plenty of folks that have not had good success with using OA. It could be application methods or time of day or frequency or who the heck knows what. Just didn't seem to work for them. Others swear by it and have the mite free hives to prove it. This is my first year using the Provap110 and I love it. Because it is hot when the acid is put in, the OA is literally blown into the hive where it quickly speads. So far my hives all appear healthy and are producing bees at a high rate. Last year at this time, before OAV, my hives were in decline and I lost two of them in November. Apivar kept me from losing them all.

    If you are handy wih tools, you can build a unit that works like the Provap110 for a lot less money. Search for band heater vaporizer on this site.
    Also glad to hear you have changed direction a little and will be splitting from strong hives instead of trying to force weak hives to make bees.
    All the best,
    John
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    1,882

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    at you hive count, I wouldn't bother with a provap, get a cheep pan heater and see how OAV works under you conditions and mangmnet, then you will see for yourself if the provap is worth the investment as you grow. Oxavap has them for $85

    the difference of opinions likely reflects a management difference, changeling the outcome for each beekeeper in your area

    (iirr) You have brood year round, sam comfort spools up his mating nucs in Jan.... going to make OAV ineffective on hives left as dull sized production units
    but your into splitting, so if you take advantage of brood breaks you can knock the mites back with one shot.

    so one thing you can do is go to https://bip2.beeinformed.org/survey/ and put in your state

    in the last 5 years sideliners (given thats your gole) using
    OAV took 27.4% losses
    Thymol to 20.9% loses
    Amitraz took 19.0% losses
    there were more TF sideliners then OAV ones, and they only lost 23.4% !!!
    The fact that under 10% of sideliners used OA,and those that didn't advraged 50% more hives then those that did suggests it not a long term good idea for you and your plans
    Last edited by msl; 09-02-2018 at 10:03 PM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    st augustine, fl, USA
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    51

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Here is what I do not get.
    Brood is open for 8 days
    brood is sealed for 13 days
    as I see it I have 8 days to get the brood that is not sealed treated? Is this wrong?
    so lets say I treat every 4 days.
    First treatment gets eggs and brood about to be sealed.
    Next 4 treatments get all of the eggs as they are laid.
    By treating every 4 days I have hit every open brood cell.
    So why would this not work?

    FYI my hive count should go from 14 to 20 in the next two to four weeks.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Most people seem to have settled on a 5x 5 day schedule when you have brood. Another option is to force a broodless state and treat once; in this case you could dribble OA (for much less cost) or OAV.

    Consider the value of your time. 20 hives with a single pan unit takes a long time. Buying more units will speed it up, but increase your cost.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Chico, California
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    236

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    I would think for a commercial operation the provap is a lot of labor. Once a week for 6 weeks as per Randy at scientific bees. Seems a lot easier to just drop a couple apivar strips in and be done with the it.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    51

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelle View Post
    I would think for a commercial operation the provap is a lot of labor. Once a week for 6 weeks as per Randy at scientific bees. Seems a lot easier to just drop a couple apivar strips in and be done with the it.
    Yeah, I am sure it is. It is also a ton of money. $117 for about 18 hives VS OAV at pennies per hive.
    This is why I am trying to do oav. When I get over 400, I am sure I will switch to the big OAV wand.

    I looked at the charts that were linked. Why do people with more hives have much more loss each year as a %? Once you get big do you lose the ability to manage hives as well? Looked like sideliners were posting 15% vs 25-30% loss in Commercial operations?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Chico, California
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    236

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobertdoo View Post
    Yeah, I am sure it is. It is also a ton of money. $117 for about 18 hives VS OAV at pennies per hive.
    This is why I am trying to do oav. When I get over 400, I am sure I will switch to the big OAV wand.

    I looked at the charts that were linked. Why do people with more hives have much more loss each year as a %? Once you get big do you lose the ability to manage hives as well? Looked like sideliners were posting 15% vs 25-30% loss in Commercial operations?
    400 hives in almonds, $72,000. $6.50 per hive for apivar, $2600...

  10. #9
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelle View Post
    400 hives in almonds, $72,000. $6.50 per hive for apivar, $2600...
    72,000 gross I would assume...

  11. #10
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    May 2015
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    Chico, California
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Yes

  12. #11
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelle View Post
    Yes
    I am hoping to net $150 a colony. Watching every penny the first two years is going to be how I succeed at this. I am also setting income expectations very low.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Scooby, you are not treating brood or eggs when using OAV, you are attempting to kill the mites during the period they emerge with the emerging brood and are phoretic, and the time in which they enter an about to be sealed brood cell to begin the reproductive cycle again. The oa micro crystals appear to be effective for about three days post treatment. Thus the need to treat again around day 5. Since there will always be a few that get capped in before you treat, oa is not 100% effective while brood is present. In a commercial yard, time is money, so a single application of Apivar at roughly $6.50 per hive is actually a lower cost per hive. And it is very effective. I do both. I am finishing up my OAV rounds and will be dropping in the Apivar once completed. This assures that my bees are not fighting mites now and will stay mite free after they stop foraging. You will figure it all out once you start doing it.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    611

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    I just did 31 hives in 5 different locations this morning. From start up to quit was 4 hrs including drive time. I also did feed 15 hives during that time. If I was using wands it would have been all day. I had two wands going at a time before getting the ProVap. If your time is valuable get the ProVap or build the one that can be found on this site. Two Varrox wands are 2/3rds the price of the ProVap. OAV works in Florida, you just have to vape 4 to 5 times per treatment period. JMO but if you’ve done nothing yet, get a plan. Right now your bees should be building but so are the mites.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barhopper View Post
    I just did 31 hives in 5 different locations this morning. From start up to quit was 4 hrs including drive time. I also did feed 15 hives during that time. If I was using wands it would have been all day. I had two wands going at a time before getting the ProVap. If your time is valuable get the ProVap or build the one that can be found on this site. Two Varrox wands are 2/3rds the price of the ProVap. OAV works in Florida, you just have to vape 4 to 5 times per treatment period. JMO but if you’ve done nothing yet, get a plan. Right now your bees should be building but so are the mites.
    This was one reason I was splitting small and using walk away splits.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
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    703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Scooby, you are not treating brood or eggs when using OAV, you are attempting to kill the mites during the period they emerge with the emerging brood and are phoretic, and the time in which they enter an about to be sealed brood cell to begin the reproductive cycle again. The oa micro crystals appear to be effective for about three days post treatment. Thus the need to treat again around day 5. Since there will always be a few that get capped in before you treat, oa is not 100% effective while brood is present. In a commercial yard, time is money, so a single application of Apivar at roughly $6.50 per hive is actually a lower cost per hive. And it is very effective. I do both. I am finishing up my OAV rounds and will be dropping in the Apivar once completed. This assures that my bees are not fighting mites now and will stay mite free after they stop foraging. You will figure it all out once you start doing it.
    Scooby, what JWPalmer says here is bang on.
    I just finished a oav session on my 240 hives with the provap which is a new purchase for me this year. It seems expensive but when I tally the total cost of apivar over that many hives, the initial cost for the gun, generator, extension cord, and 25kg bag of OA is less expensive than the strips for a year.
    One of the deciding factors for me is that I’ve been seeing evidence in the last few years of mites becoming resistant to amitraz. Apistan which after a 10 year break from using it did work in 2012 and 2015 but didn’t work at all this year leaving me with a 15-16% mite level at at the end of August. It was at that point I made my oav equipment purchases.
    I did a 4 treatment program 3 days apart mainly because i still have feeding and other work to do with the bees and we’re running out of time. I haven’t sampled the bees yet but will in about a week or so and I’m hoping to be below 1% at least.
    However, I’m up north and we do get a break in brood for winter so I will do another 2 more treatments (as suggested by another beekeeper) in mid December and early January.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
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    459

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Oxalic Vaporizing is a definite solid tool in our mite fighting toolbox. However, it can be situational poor choice. There are just so many variables. Especially in florida where you'll never get a true broodless period. That being said we use it in rotation. It all depends on the mite loads, time of year, and the window we have for getting the treatment done. We have both the large vmvaporizor and provap. The vmvaporizor is very vast, but takes a small crew of guys to run efficiently. The provaps are fast, but not as fast as the vmvaporizor, however it can be runn effeciently with one person.(Also gets a better controlled burn per hive). We also treat 4 times, 5 days apart to see good mite drop numbers.


    Gotta run, feel free to ask more about this response.


    Aaron

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ouray, co
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    22

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroZomBEE View Post
    Oxalic Vaporizing is a definite solid tool in our mite fighting toolbox. However, it can be situational poor choice. There are just so many variables. Especially in florida where you'll never get a true broodless period. That being said we use it in rotation. It all depends on the mite loads, time of year, and the window we have for getting the treatment done. We have both the large vmvaporizor and provap. The vmvaporizor is very vast, but takes a small crew of guys to run efficiently. The provaps are fast, but not as fast as the vmvaporizor, however it can be runn effeciently with one person.(Also gets a better controlled burn per hive). We also treat 4 times, 5 days apart to see good mite drop numbers.


    Gotta run, feel free to ask more about this response.


    Aaron

    I also do the 4 times 5 days apart. That improved my results.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Greenville, NC, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Oxalic acid via provap 110, and why I hate contrary opinions.

    Ditto on the quarterly treatments 5 days apart. In Eastern NC we seldom get a brood break. I treat with a sticky board so I can see the mite fall. When I start a burn I remove the top until I see vapor coming out the top then I know there was good coverage.

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