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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to today's beekeeping and see two different approaches for using OA to treat for mites.

Is there a difference in kill rate between the two applications ?

I have seen some different opinions on which works and which works the best. Fogger seems a lot faster and easier to use vs the other technique but then the fogger is using the OA mixed with grain alcohol?

What works best for you and your bees?

Thanks,

Jim
 

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As far as I know, fogging has no effect at all and has the same kill rate as snake oil. It has been hyped but no one has ever shown that it actually works. Vaporizing works extremely well.
 

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Alcohol gas phase transition is 75 C. A fogger evaporating alcohol will only heat to 75 C, as the heat of enthalpy will restrict the temperature.

There is as far as I can tell *no* (as in zero) legitimate controlled research indicating a fogger will do anything except clog up with an evaporite deposit of Oxalic.

As far as I can tell "alcohol and Oxalic" in a fogger is just ignorant hillbillies doing useless things. Prove me wrong.
 

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New to today's beekeeping and see two different approaches for using OA to treat for mites.
There really are two valid approaches "for using OA to treat for mites".

The first is vaporizing (technically 'sublimation') oxalic acid in a "dry" form. Various different design devices are available, but they don't involve mixing with alcohol.

The other approach is to apply oxalic acid mixed with a weak sugar solution directly to the gap between frames in a hive as a "dribble" or "spray". The sugar solution is water and sugar, not alcohol.

If one is not familiar with the "dribble" method, here is a starting point:
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-dribble-tips/
 

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If you're new to beekeeping, keep it simple and concentrate on using proven methods, for now.

With applying OA, two methods are proven to work: Dribble and vaporization.

Dribble's main advantage is that it requires nearly no special equipment to apply. However it has a reputation for being slightly harder on the bees and queens because it is delivered into the hive in a form the bees may consume, i.e. sugar syrup. Many beekeepers don't like to use a series of treatments using the dribble method for this reason.

However, since OA doesn't kill any mites that are under cappings with the pupae at the time of application (and that can be the majority of the total number of mites in the colony at certain times of the year) a series of treatments is generally advised in order to catch successive flushes of mites as they emerge from protection under the wax.

OA "vaporization" aka sublimation, poses no risks to the bees and queens when applied in a series, even repeated treatments, just a few days apart. And it can be applied to the colony without breaking apart the stack to access the bees. This is important because one of the most useful times to treat is in early part of winter.

My advice: get a good quality vaporization wand. My favorite is the Varrox, which costs about $160. That can seem like a steep price, but it is an extremely well-built tool and worth every penny. I started with a "cheaper" wand, but it didn't last. I would have been $$ ahead if I had just bought the Varrox wand from the get-go.

The active and passive burn time for a Varrox wand is a total of 4.5 minutes (this is the time when the wand is tied up servicing a single hive). When you're starting out you won't have enough colonies for that short interval to add up to a significant time burden. I use the time while the wand is treating one colony to prep the next one, so I can move right along. There are much more expensive, and equally high quality, devices that reduce the treatment time to 30 seconds or so, but until your bee yard gets big enough to justify it, a Varrox will work perfectly.

You'll also need a small battery. I use a dedicated lawn mower battery, but some people repurpose old car batteries if weight isn't a concern.

And you must budget for, and always wear, the required personal protective gear: a half-face respirator with ACID GAS canisters and goggles.

When you're shopping for a Varrox be sure to check out BeeSource user SNL's business, Oxavap.com. His customer service is fantastic and his prices competitive.

However, big props for you as a new beekeeper to be thinking ahead to how you are going to be dealing with the mite issue. Too many start out just hoping it they won't have to - then they are faced with a hard-to-manage crisis, or worse.

Good luck and have fun with your bees.

Nancy
 

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I have a fogger and vaporizer and used both.Fogger with alcohol and oxalic acid works but it doesnt work near as well as the vaporizer.I would stick with the vaporizer.
 

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Excellent answers given:

As far as I know, fogging has no effect at all and has the same kill rate as snake oil. It has been hyped but no one has ever shown that it actually works. Vaporizing works extremely well.
Alcohol gas phase transition is 75 C. A fogger evaporating alcohol will only heat to 75 C, as the heat of enthalpy will restrict the temperature.

There is as far as I can tell *no* (as in zero) legitimate controlled research indicating a fogger will do anything except clog up with an evaporite deposit of Oxalic.

As far as I can tell "alcohol and Oxalic" in a fogger is just ignorant hillbillies doing useless things. Prove me wrong.
aww... poor fat bee man... lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate the comments. I had bees for a lot of years in the 1960-1990 years but times were simple even thought my Italian bees were never that sweat. ;)

Time to get back into it. At 70 and still working full time as a dentist, I still have a tendency to research everything with all the different problems beekeeping has now. I do appreciate the help esp with all the utubes pushing fogging as the way to go.

I do not have a good base line to what is good and works and what is BS.

I have 2 new bee books but my old book was from 1952 that I used all the years. I had couple of hives of bees all those yearsplus my uncle had a lot of hives and helped when needed BUT it was simple back then....

Just sitting waiting for my "Nucs to be ready while building a few boxes and gear.
BTW- Where is Orange Grove? I had to look on the map. I hunted a lot of South Texas but never been down your road. Do remember seeing a sign for two driving down 59.


I am in the Spring/Woodlands area of Texas till I retire but I like what I do then I am gone some where to a small town.

Jim

Cannot wait to see what people think is the best mite resistant bees out there now and if "small cell" bees does really help.

Anyone ever do a poll on what type of bees each voter uses?
 

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The small cell advantage (for any purpose) is not an accepted proven advantage, despite many claims to the contrary. When tested head-to-head, small cell showed no advantage. Bees do not revert to smaller cells when left to their own devices, so claims that foundation, or other pre-formed cell architecture, somehow provide a harmful distortion are incorrect. And that undermines the argument that small cell is somehow more "natural", and thus better. Beekeepers' efforts to force them to use small cells (which is how you get bees to draw small cells) don't seem to confer an any advantage, so why bother?

As far as I know truly "mite resistant" bees are still more of a work-in-progress, than an actual, guaranteed, item. For some reason even bees that do well in a particular area without treatments don't exhibit that same resistance when set up in other areas. It's obviously a complicated, and still not completely understood thing. Honestly, if reliably mite-resistant bees existed right now everybody would buy them and re-queen immediately.

Until then, I am content with my locally-mated, mutt-girls that all originally arrived on my farm as swarms.

But I don't underestimate the perils of varroa: I monitor regularly all year round and I manage the varroa population in order to keep their depradations low enough that there is little harm to my bees. It's not a sexy, dramatic solution, but it works.

Nancy
 

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Where is Orange Grove? I had to look on the map. I hunted a lot of South Texas but never been down your road. Do remember seeing a sign for two driving down 59.


I am in the Spring/Woodlands area of Texas till I retire but I like what I do then I am gone some where to a small town.
Yup, a little outside of Corpus Christi, and just outside of Alice. Its a great little town. Bees make some fantastic honey!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike, Swapped an email with the "Fat beeman" and he was in favor of the vaporizer tmt vs fogger for OA use.

I used to run 3 forums of the TKF ( Texas kayaking board) and always like to get different opinions on what works the best.

Nancy, Thanks for the time. Seen and had several side posts talking about what a nice helpful, and knowledgeable person you are.

Thanks for the help. It is way too much information and marketing out there to try to fig out what works on your own. I shovel thru it at the office everyday on what is the best product for a specific problem or need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I like The Fat Beeman's posts on utube but wish they were dated better with maybe the month and year up front of the utube or on the title.

I know and like the fact that Don is always a work in progress but somewhat hard to tell what was a new 2011 post vs new 2018 post some of the time and he is continually changing and rigging to a better way to do things for him. He may look a little older in some of the new utubes but it is hard to tell.

I like rigging and building my own gear. Just need that base line on what is the better way to do many of the new things.
 

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Alcohol gas phase transition is 75 C. A fogger evaporating alcohol will only heat to 75 C, as the heat of enthalpy will restrict the temperature.

There is as far as I can tell *no* (as in zero) legitimate controlled research indicating a fogger will do anything except clog up with an evaporite deposit of Oxalic.

As far as I can tell "alcohol and Oxalic" in a fogger is just ignorant hillbillies doing useless things. Prove me wrong.
So every fogger that has an alcohol and OA mixture put through it clogs? Because... the evaporite deposits build up and the fogger can't make the deposits sublimate due to never being able to get over 75 C?

Sounds like some ignorant hillbilly needs to go back to reporting hive thefts.
 

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Hi ,
I have been using oav on 12 hives for several years with very good results.
That said I started oav fogging last year and am waiting to see how the hives look when I can go through them (weather has been a roller coaster to this point)
The one point I would like to make is that in order to do the oa fogging the oa needs to be completely dissolved in the grain alcohol. In order to do this the alcohol needs to be heated to get it to dissolve. (a hot plate works great as there is no open flame.)
As far as the Fat beeman goes, I do like his posts on you tube , but, he has not spent time with oa vaporization. He said his son did not think it worked well.
Also , remember the Fat bee man sells vaporizers..... Just sayin
 

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I found fogging to work exceedingly well twice. Most of the time it was mediocre, once in a while nothing worth reporting. If I move all my hives to a single yard this year I might run a pallet of 4 hives that I'll fog on 5 day intervals when they have a mite load. The portability and independence of the unit is great, and if it just works as a knock down, that's all I'm really looking for.

And hey, on the 4th of July two people with foggers and mineral oil can lay down a smoke screen of epic proportions. No need to buy smoke bombs anymore :no:
 

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Vaporiztion is the simplest, most cost effective treatment for the hobby beekeeper. I honestly don’t know why anyone would do differently unless they were rotating treatments from year to year.
 

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removed, question was answered while i was typeing
 

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So every fogger that has an alcohol and OA mixture put through it clogs? Because... the evaporite deposits build up and the fogger can't make the deposits sublimate due to never being able to get over 75 C?

Sounds like some ignorant hillbilly needs to go back to reporting hive thefts.
I never had any kind of clog when I tried it.It worked for me but just not as well as OAV.It could of been I didnt fog enough or long enough.Also I didnt close the hive off after a quick fog like I do when doing OAV so that may be the reason it didnt work as good.I may test some more this year.
 
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