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questions and theories on how OA kills mites

1377 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dudelt
Things are quiet around here so I thought it was a good time for a new theory. From everything I have read, nobody is really sure of the way oxalic acid works to kill mites. It is assumed that it burns or damages the feet of the mites when the crystals pierce them. It has also been stated that the bees do not notice the mites because the mite give off an odor that masks their presence to the bees. I have my own theory and would like to hear your thoughts on it. The one thing I have really noticed when doing oxalic acid vaporization is that the bees in the hive are absolutely covered in the little crystals afterwards. When doing oxalic acid dribble, the bees again are covered with the liquid solution. The only way the crystals or the liquid can be removed from the bees is if the bees begin grooming each other. Is it possible that the presence of the oxalic acid starts a cycle of grooming in the hive and in the process the mites get groomed off the bees? Could the oxalic acid react with the scent on the mites so they now show up to the bees as an intruder?

I have not seen any studies that show proof that OA damages the mites in any way. That in itself makes me wonder what is really happening. We have also seen that the act of putting powdered sugar in beehives will also cause mite drop. Perhaps OA and powdered sugar it work in the same manner.
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If it is simply an action of grooming, why would OAV have such a greater efficacy than powdered sugar?

I lean towards the theory that the acid itself impacts the mites in some way, causing a rapid or sometimes slow demise. With all the curious scientists out there I find it incredible that after all these years the answer remains an enigma.
 
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