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Hello,

I am a relatively new beekeeper and am planing to use oxalic acid vaporization as a varroa mite prevention. Unfortunately, I've seen a few on my bees, whenever they were hanging out in front of the hive bottom board. I don't think the mite count is too many, because observing them almost every day, I have only seen 2 bees caring a mite on their backs. I didn't do sugar roll or alcohol roll, so am not sure about the exact count of mites, but fall and winter are approaching and the time to treat approaching too.

Since it is above 90-is yet, I can't use MAQS and don't want to invest in apivar or apiguard.

I read so many reviews and approaches how to use oxalic acid vaporization method. I have 2 deep boxes on each other: the bottom one is a brood box and the top one is the one where they make honey and at this point they are making honey to survive winter.
Some of the reviews suggesting that supper should not be vaporized and it raises too many questions:

1. If I need to remove the supper (top box), where do i put it for 2 hours (that how long it takes to bring the oxalic acid level back to regular in the hive), and what happens to the bees inside of the supper while it is away? do they stay in to fly away and how they get a treat while they are away during a treatment?

2. Whenever you cover the hive airflow, don't the bees get lack of oxygen?

3. I would assume it should be done at a cool time of the day (most probably in the early morning) also to get most of the bees in the hive.

I've seen in one of the youtube videos that vaporization was done from the top side of the hive. I would agree with that beekeeper on the safety, because on the top you know the heat will not burn the hive for sure.

I am even thinking to heat up the acid in a copper cup and transmit it to the hive using a pipe, so whole heating part will be done outside of the hive.

Please share your experience and thoughts about proper vaporization of hive
 

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Get an bee escape board and insert it below the supers the night before. In the early morning when you do the OAV, just insert a plastic political sign under the super, on top of the bee escape board. This makes a good enough seal to keep the vapors in. When your're ready to reunite the parts, remove the super, remove the plastic political sign, remove the bee escape board and put things to right.

But you do not have to separate the two boxes if they are making honey for the bees to eat over the winter in the upper box. You only have to separate the boxes if one contains the honey that will be harvested for human consumption.

No, the bees won't suffocate. The seals should be enough to contain the vapors, but it's not hermetically sealed. Hive boxes just aren't that tight.

Please use the equipment the way it is supposed to be used (in the hive), not trying to burn it off outside (unless your wand is meant to be used that way - some large capacity ones are.)

I have great success using the wand through the front entrance. It works very well that way.

It is critically important that you have the required personal safety gear, including a respirator with ACID GAS cartridges, googles, and gloves.

I have written, in great detail, a couple of times about how I do OAV using my Varrox wand. If you search on my username you will probably turn up my lengthy explanation.

I would do a sugar roll beforehand to get an idea of what you're dealing with. And then again after you've completed the series of weekly treatments to make sure you got the effectiveness you hoped for. OAV is a great treatment when the hives are broodless, which they are not likely to be yet. So its effectiveness will be somewhat compromised by that. I'd still do it, but you may need extra treatments to get the job done.

If you're seeing mites on your bees, even occasionally, you likely have a significant infestation. I've only seen mites on adults in hives with really high numbers.

Do a sugar roll, and then don't delay treatment.

MAQS is a better and more quickly effective choice with a heavy parasite load when there is brood in the hive, but it does require temps not higher than the very low 80s for the first three or four days. And it carries some risk of queen loss, which can be mitigated by using only one strip and repeating the dose after a few weeks.

ETA a link to one of my long descriptions of how I do OAV. See post #4 in this thread:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?328429-first-oav-attempt&highlight=enjambres+OAV

Enjambres
 

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If the bees are making honey for themselves - and they would be in Maine - you most probably would not need to worry about OAV. It is only when the honey is destined for human consumption that you need to worry.

What Enjambres posted is sound - test by sugar roll before and after you finish all of the applications (series of three)
 

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Folks I think the OP is talking about a copper pipe burn and not a wand. I used that method before I bought my first wand and it works,"sorta". I first tried heating the cup and pipe.That did not work well.Put all the heat on the cup and keep it there until the burn is complete. All that said,do yourself a favor and buy a wand.
 
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