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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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One of the commercial beekeepers Charles Linder did a series of tests with live mites by putting OA crystals on their feet as this was the way most folks thought the Oa gained entry into the mites haemolymph. The mites that got the crystals on their feet soon died. He then decided to place some crystals on the hairy spikes on the mites back and these also soon died. As far as research into this is concerned, who will pick up the tab as nowdays the science goes where the money is.
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