For 2 colonies I would go with the cheaper oxy vaporizer, between $75 and $100.
I suppose after buying other treatments it does just make sense to invest in an OA wand. You guys have talked me into it!How much would it cost to replace one or both of your hives next year, and the year after? A varrox wand is inexpensive in comparison. You can get a band heater style vaporizer from JohnO or Biermann for about the same price.
Just remember that OA wand isn't a magic wand. It works wonders when there is little brood in the hive, but isn't nearly as effective when capped brood is present. And no matter what you use, do mite counts before and after, and generally always.I suppose after buying other treatments it does just make sense to invest in an OA wand. You guys have talked me into it!
Makes sense with OAV. With chemicals that require several week treatments I really see no value of testing for mites other than knowing whether they're really working or not. If they're not working what are you going to do, put on another month of treatment? In my area that could negate most honey crop for spring or I'd be taking off the treatment in late fall/ early winter when opening the hive probably isn't a great idea.Mite counts are important, but not necessarily they way you think. My mite counts are drop dead counts. How many mites fell in the three days after I hit them with the OAV. When the number drops to near zero, that round is done. This is, to me, the most effective way of determining when OAV has done it's job. You can argue with me, but you can't argue with the results.
Thanks! I just may have to do it that way!Jimbo3;
Regarding the respirator issue. For sure they would be nearly impossible to find now without paying 3 or 4 times the price. My wife is sewing up cloth masks at the moment but they really are not close fitting enough for working right into OA dust.
With only two hives though there are workarounds to no respirator. With either the tray type or the band heater you could load up cold, insert into the hive and power up from the other end of the extension cord allowing you to be far away from the action. Same as blasting! A couple of trial runs in the open would easily give you the timing of how long to leave the power on to boil off a charge. I have done that many times and feel that is a perfectly safe practice.