From Scratch Mag
- April 23, 2020 April 24, 2020
- 1 Comment on Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizer for Honey Bees [2020 Reviews]
Commercial or hobby beekeepers have one common threat to contend with – mites! Varroa or Tracheal mites are external parasites that affect bees in different hives.
They attack bees causing diseases and death in the colony. For that reason, the control of mites takes the center stage in beekeeping.
In treating mites, application of Oxalic acid happens to be the most popular treatment among beekeepers. Oxalic acid is a mild and natural chemical found in vegetables, fruits, seeds and so on.
Oxalic acids help in treating varroa mites in beehives and this can be done using any of the different methods below:
However, the most popular of the three happens to be vaporization, hence this post relates to the apparatus used in vaporization.
Table of Contents:
A vaporizer activates the properties of oxalic acid by heating it to sublimate it. Vaporizers run on electricity – DC and AC power types. Different vaporizers come backed with unique technologies.
For instance, some come with glow plug technology – which happens to be the most popular. The glow plug vaporizers are easy to use and easy to maintain.
On the other hand, some vaporizers come with embedded heating coils and other heating methods in their acid pans.
This coil-embedded vaporizer can be difficult to maintain when broken. Furthermore, if you are a DIY homesteader, then you can create your vaporizer. It requires little hardware supplies to achieve.
Top 5 Oxalic Acid Vaporizers for Sale:
Controlling pest and other harmful things in your beehive is a full-time job. This determines if your hive or bees make it or not, hence its importance. Here we present to you five of the best Oxalic Acid vaporizers on the market.
Do read on to know more…
Varomorus Durable OXALIC Acid 12V Vaporizer VARROA MITE Treatment
The Varomorus electric vaporizer comes off the shelve as the perfect tool for bee colonies treatment. It works exceptionally well in treating with acid sorrel or formic acid. Made with tough aircraft 6061 aluminium, this top vaporizer will work for you for a long time. Above that, it comes with improved 55 inches long cords.
This easy to use vaporizer heats up faster and happen to be the most effective varroa mite treatment. This US-made product can be shipped at a great speed from Florida.
Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.03.25 – by Scott Bee Farm
From Scott Bee Farm comes this Oxalic Acid Vaporizer comes handy in the vaporization of oxalic acids. It can be used in beehives in killing Varroa and Trachea mites. It’s easy, simple and effective method of controlling mites in beehives.
Every Scot Bee Farm product has the following passed excellently the following tests:
This product comes with CNC machined Oxalic acid pan, Glow plug, Soldered battery clips, 3.66-meter electric wire (protected) and easy to use wooden handle.
You have the choice of picking or ordering it as a Vaporizer or Vaporizer with carrying case or even Vaporizer in Safety KIT with carrying case.
ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer by OxaVap – The Leader in OA Vaporizers
If you need a fast sideliner/commercial vaporizer for a good price, do not look away from the ProVap 110. The truth remains that the ProVap 110 lives up to expectation in terms of speed.
Working at the rate of 20 seconds per hive, you breeze through a collection of hives in no time. Once you plug it into your regular inverter, generator or even household main current it starts right up.
It uses 110 volts and consumes only 2.2 watts of electricity. Why not reach out for this long-awaited special vaporizer.
Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.15.12 – by Scott Bee Farm
The Heavy-Duty Oxalic Vaporizer v.15.12 originates from Scott Bee Farm. The company, Scott Bee Farm are makers of high quality, reliable, durable, usable, functional and expandable vaporizers.
This product ships within 2 working days and they are vastly available on the market. The v.15.12 works easy, simple and effective in killing both Varroa and Tracheal mites.
This vaporizer comes with a CNC machined Oxalic acid pan, stabilization tray, Glow plug, soldered battery clips, protected 3.66-meter protected electric wire, Aluminum tubing.
The Aluminum tubing shields the wiring which the manufacturers carefully integrate into a wooden easy-to-use handle.
It also comes with one digital timer and a measuring scoop for acid.
Blythewood Bee Company Varrox Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The brainchild of Blythewood Bee Company, Varrox Oxalic Acid Vaporize stands tall as an outstanding product at a budget-friendly price.
It features a stainless-steel pan, high efficacy rate, water-resistant for short cooling period and side wings. Why the side wings you may ask.
Well, the side wings serve as a guide that keeps the vaporizer from overturning while in the hive.
This vaporizer operates on any 12-volt battery and will finish a hive in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
What Features to look for when buying an acid vaporizer
As mentioned earlier different vaporizers exist on the market. However, sifting through the various kinds of vaporizers becomes a challenge when you do not know what to look for.
This section highlights the important features in the vaporizer that influences buyer’s decision.
A good vaporizer should be operational for longer but this can only be possible if it’s made of durable materials.
Some vaporizers come in durable aircraft aluminium which happens to be tough enough to stand physical pressure. Go for a good vaporizer with durable materials.
The heating element in the vaporizer supplies the heat that helps in changing the Oxalic Acid crystals to gas. The size of the heating element determines how many hives you can work on at a time. For heavy-duty work or commercial beekeepers getting a vaporizer with large heating, element dimension is ideal.
The length of the cord makes it easy for the vaporizer to reach hives far away from the power source. The longer the cord the better.
Length of the vaporizer:
The longer the vaporizer the easier it reaches inside the hive without opening it.
The working temperature of a vaporizer makes it works faster. Vaporizers with a longer temperature range should be chosen since all the crystals must be vaporized.
Vaporizers should work fast to be able to cover more hive at a time. The faster the heating time the better the vaporizer which saves the user more time.
The vaporizer of your choice should work for different beekeepers. The vaporizer should have expandability feature i.e. being able to connect more vaporizers to treat many hives at a time.
How to Use an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The vaporizer heats Oxalic acid to about 100 degrees Centigrade. At that temperature, it burns off the water contents and leaves behind water-free or anhydrous crystals.
However, as the temperature increases to around 157 degrees Centigrade the crystals sublime transforming to its gaseous state. At the gaseous state, the Oxalic Acid becomes highly effective in treating mites.
After application, the acid gets released into the beehive and spreads all over the inside of the hive. After cooling, the acid remains attached to the inside of hive surfaces.
The mites come in contact with the hive surfaces as they navigate the hive. Also, the mites on the bees’ backs rub against the acid-coated hive surfaces as bees crisscross the hive.
The movement and rubbing against the hive surfaces cause the mites to contact the oxalic acid. The acid, in turn, kills the mites on contact. The mites die more within the first two days of application. Using the Oxalic Acid Vaporizer happen is a simple process and a much quicker way of fumigating hives.
Also, this method keeps the bees from being disturbed since the treatment takes place without opening the hive.
Here are some important points to note before you start vaporizing:
- You can only apply the acid to outdoor colonies with a lower hive entrance.
- Since the vaporization method draws you closer to the bees, then you need to be cautious.
- The bees might become aggressive during the process, so approach the hive from the front.
- Finally, do not forget to put on all your protective gears – suit with veil, gloves, sting-proof footwear, respirator etc.
Simple Steps: How to Use an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
Follow these simple steps when using a vaporizer to get the best result:
Seal the hive up
To avoid the escape of the Oxalic Acid Vapor, take the first step of sealing all cracks and all upper hive entrances. You use masking tape or any other good tape to seal up the hive.
Smoke Up the Bees
Yes, smoke the bees up from the bottom board to keep them at bay.
Prepare the vaporizer
Add exactly 1 gram of Oxalic Acid Dihydrate powder into the vaporizer pan. Depending on the manufacturer of the vaporizer, follow the instruction in the manual to operate it properly.
Insert the vaporizer
Slot in the vaporizer rod to deliver the acid through the bottom entrance.
Light up the vaporizer
Put on the vaporizer so that it heats up all the Oxalic Acid. Allow it to heat up until the entire crystals become vapor (sublime). Keep the vaporizer rod in the passage to deliver the acid into the hive. Keep it running until you are sure the entire hive has been vaporized.
What Time of Day to Treat with An Oxalic Acid Vaporizer?
After considering how to use the Oxalic Acid vaporizer, the next step should be to answer the question When? We can simply answer the question by saying that you have to pick a time that activities and movement of the bees are low. Try not to disturb or inconvenient the bees while you are at it.
Be timely with your treatment, the best time remains at evenings. Bees are less active during evenings, hence that makes it the most suitable time. Also, during this period, activities at the entrance remain at the lowest ebb because all the bees will be in the hives then.
Where to Buy an Oxalic Acid for Bees
Oxalic Acid Dihydrate can be bought in any paint department or store as “wood bleach.” Buying the acid today has become very easy owning to the number of options available. We have put together some options of getting an oxalic acid below:
You can make purchase online if you know where to look or simple Google your request. Just put in the particular one you are looking and hit search, you will have different options available.
Do not be surprised to see ‘Amazon’ – it’s the biggest online market place to buy different products. After concluding the purchase online, the product will be delivered to your doorstep.
Manufacturers’ or Beekeepers’ Club Sites:
You can also checkout any manufacturer’s websites and beekeeper’s club website for this information. On these sites, you will discover various agents or retailers near you from whom you can make you purchase.
Hardware or chemical supply stores:
Go to any of these stores and request for ‘Wood Blech.’ With a call or two, you’ll be hooked.
Does Oxalic Acids Affect Honey?
Oxalic acid is a natural acid can be found in plants, in hives and even in honey in their minutest quantity. Oxalic Acid is not soluble in lipids; hence the acid cannot easily pass from the honeycomb into the honey.
The honeycomb wax keeps the honey safe from contamination with the acid. In addition, the acid dissolves quickly from the hive to tolerable concentration.
Furthermore, remove honey super boxes for 14 days after treatment with oxalic acid to keep it safe. Note that if you apply the treatment while your supers are in the boxes, then you cannot harvest the honey until after 14 days. Why you may ask, well, this keeps the oxalic acid level dissipates from the hive to normal after two weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I Heard The Use Of Oxalic Acid Is Legal In The US, How True Is This?
A: Oxalic Acid as of today stands approved to be used to treat honey bees in the US. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved it.
Q: Is It Advisable To Treat Mites Using Oxalic Acid During Honey Flow?
A: Well, as at today, approval has not been given to the treatment of mites during honey flow. Before treating, remove the honey supers and treat the hive then leave it for at least two weeks for the acid to wear off.
Q: On A Scale Of 1 To 10, How Would You Rate The Effectiveness Of Oxalic Acid In Treating Mites?
A: Well, the effectiveness of the acid has put by experts to around 9.5 or out of 10.
Q: How Many Times Should My Hive Be Treated To Get Rid Of Mites?
A: Treating your hive should happen only once during fall/winter. Do not overexpose your bees to the acid because it can lead to death and other issues. Ensure you check your hive before treating it and if the hive is weak do not treat.
Now, if you are not sure of your hive’s strength do contact a local beekeeper or bee inspector.
Q: I Just Bought Oxalic Acid To Use On My Hive, The Question Is, How Do I Store It To Keep It From Expiring?
A: Keep your dried, unmixed Oxalic Acid in a cool dry place, this will keep it fresh for longer. However, if in mixed solution, keep the Oxalic Acid at room temperature for at least a week, but if you want it to last longer say a few months, keep it in a refrigerator.
Q: How Do I Know When My Stored Oxalic Acid Solution Is Going Bad?
A: It’s quite easy to know when your solution is going bad. If the solution begins to turn tan/brown, then you should discard it immediately.
Also, if it starts giving an off offensive odor, then it has become useless. Bad Oxalic Acid can be harmful to bees, so avoid using them in your hive.
Dear beekeeper newbie, we hope you have learnt enough to get you started with your bee colony. As you have read, do not give anything to chance; attack the mites before they attack your bees.
Be proactive, create a schedule that will help you with the vaporizing your hive from time to time. However, do recall that over-application of Oxalic acid can cause the mite to develop immunity for the acid.
We believe you found this post useful and informative, hence we love to hear from you. Do share your comments and questions and we would respond in record time.
Don’t forget to rate this post. Furthermore, if you love this post and would love others to benefit too, kindly share it.
From Scratch Mag April 23, 2020 April 24, 2020 melissa 1 Comment on Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizer for Honey Bees [2020 Reviews] Beekeeping Commercial or hobby
Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizers – Reviews and Buying Guide (2020)
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Oxalic acid is a very effective treatment for Varroa mite control in honeybee colonies. Beekeepers using this mite control method have two options of application: vaporization and fogging. Vaporization is the most preferred method, as it ensures that the acid has spread to all areas of the hive including inside the uncapped cells.
Beekeepers are treated to a wide array of oxalic acid vaporizers that utilize different technologies. We have thus prepared here a detailed review of the best oxalic acid vaporizers available right now. As a bonus, we include a buying guide at the end that covers treatment schedules and how to go about using an oxalic acid vaporizer. For those who are good with their hands, there is also a DIY section where you learn how to make your own vaporizer. Let’s get started.
Inside this Article
Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizers
10. VarroJet Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The VarroJet Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is a butane powered high capacity vaporizer for large scale beekeepers. It uses a combination of butane gas for heating and 3 AAA batteries for its fan. It delivers a large amount of oxalic acid vapor in a few bursts. In 30 seconds of operation, it can vaporize 2 grams of oxalic acid into your hive.
In operation, a handle brings the oxalic acid cups on a carousel into position in front of the butane torch. An upward movement of the handle connects the cup with the chute. It is heated and releases vapor into the chute. A battery powered fan then pushes the vapor out and into the beehive you are treating. The fan is battery powered. When one carousel cup is empty, just lower it from the chute, and rotate the next cup into place. Once all the cups on the rotating carousel are empty, you may allow up to 3 minutes for cooling and then refill them.
The Varrojet Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is made using heavy duty laser-cut parts. It is largely composed of stainless steel and aluminium as necessary. The vaporizer comes with full instructions for use included.
The single weakness with this vaporizer is the size of the butane can. It is rather small for when you want to go through many beehives in a single day.
9. Blythewood Bee Company NoVarroa Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The Blythewood Bee Company NoVarroa Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is effective to eradicating Varroa mites from beehives. It is made of high quality materials and is solidly constructed. It features a rounded wooden handle, and a round acid pan. The acid pan is deep and wide enough. It takes enough oxalic acid per hive without spilling it out. Aluminium metal is used in the construction of the metallic parts of the vaporizer.
For ease of handling and use, the vaporizer has its electric wires going into the vaporizer through the back of the handle. It has two wires with crocodile clips at the ends. Since you will be using DC power for heating, the polarity does not matter much. The clips of this vaporizer are thus both colored black. The wires are insulated with white colored heavy duty coating.
At the middle of the rod holding the acid pan is an aluminium stopper strip. This prevents you from pushing the vaporizer into the beehive too much. It is a great feature not found on most oxalic acid vaporizers. The stopper rests against the entrance of your beehive to allow the vaporizer to work at optimum insertion into the beehive. It also gives the vaporizer added stability.
A shortcoming of the Blythewood Bee Company NoVarroa Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is its heating element and wire insertion. The element is prone to malfunction and very difficult to replace or repair. The wires too are likely to get uncoated inside the vaporizer rod. They may short circuit, rendering the vaporizer useless.
8. Colorado Cold Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The Colorado Cold Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is a 12V vaporizer with capacity to hold up to 3 grams of oxalic acid per treatment. It is very reusable and lasts for a long time. The vaporizer has a wooden handle and adequately long leads. The leads are fitted with crocodile clips at their ends for your easy use. This is a simple vaporizer that promises to be with you along your beekeeping journey.
You should buy the Colorado Cold Oxalic Acid Vaporizer with confidence. It has a highly reliable heating element that gives you repeated use with no drop in performance. The heating elements are in a duo arrangement to give you even better reliability. They also ensure even heat distribution. The vaporizer comes ready to use once you take it out of the shipping box. No assembly is required for it.
A fully charged 12V battery connected to this vaporizer fully vaporizes oxalic acid in less than 3 minutes. The vaporizer is built in a minimalist design to take up little space but can still comfortably reach the middle of your hive. The electrical connections of this vaporizer are all soldered together. The aluminium bowl used to hold acid in the is CNC machined for high accuracy.
This oxalic acid vaporizer is a great design and is well worth considering. It is symmetrically built to prevent tilting. The vaporizer comes with a scoop to make your work easier. Additionally Colorado Cold claims to test every product leaving their factories so you are sure of quality.
7. OxaVap ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The OxaVap ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer uses AC power in the 110-120V grids. It is suitable for use by beekeepers with their apiaries near home or with an inverter. The device vaporizes oxalic acid quickly and ejects the vapor through a round outlet that you plug into a hole drilled in the sides of your beehive. The back of the beehive is the most appropriate place to use the vaporizer. If you so wish, you can also use the vaporizer at the front of your hives.
Beekeepers using this vaporizer should not be afraid of drilling a hole in their beehive. Bees quickly seal the ¼ inch required opening with propolis. If you prefer to close the hole after oxalic acid vapor treatment, you can use a golf tee or other suitable seal that can be removed easily.
To use the OxaVap ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer, connect it to a power source and allow it to reach 230 0 C. Add an appropriate amount of oxalic acid to the white Teflon lids while holding the vaporizer upside down. Next, invert the vaporizer and push the white Teflon lid onto the bowl. Place the vaporizer stem into your beehive hole or entrance and then turn the whole vaporizer device right side up. Tap the lid lightly to drop all the acid into the bowl.
This vaporizer allows you to go through your beehives quickly, in a sequence and treat them all for Varroa mites. It does not require you to allow the temperature of the vaporizer to get low before a next treatment. The vaporizer takes approximately 2 minutes to reach optimum vaporization temperature of 230 0 C. It even has readouts that allow you to monitor the temperature during use.
6. Scott Bee Farm Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.03.25
The Scott Bee Farm Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.03.25 is effective in the vaporization of oxalic acid in your beehive to control Varroa mites. It is easy to use and has a simple build. The vaporizer is made in the USA using high quality materials that make it very durable. It is reliable, and does not lower its efficiency even with repeated use. Furthermore, the acid pan is CNC machined to exact dimensions.
The Scott Bee Farm Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.03.25 utilizes a glow plug as its heating part. It comes with soldered battery clips and an insulated electrical wire that is 12 feet long. The vaporizer features a long wooden handle that gives an excellent grip. The handle has flat surfaces with a rectangular cross-section. The acid pan is wide and deep enough to take enough oxalic acid per beehive. It works fine even for hives with more than one brood box.
A clearance of ½ inch is required at the beehive entrance for the vaporizer to work effectively. The vaporizer is designed for use with a wide range of batteries including motorcycle batteries. It features heavy wiring that can carry both small and large currents without suffering any damage. With proper maintenance and care, this oxalic acid vaporizer is a great investment for beekeepers.
While the vaporizer is well constructed, it does not have an On/Off switch. This requires you to disconnect one of the clips on the battery to turn it off. Additionally, be sure to leave the vaporizer in the hive for at least 10 minutes after switching it off.
5. Blythewood Bee Company Varrox Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The Blythewood Bee Company Varrox Oxalic Acid Vaporizer by is an outstanding vaporizer loaded with great features. It has a stainless steel acid pan that works with both liquid and crystalline oxalic acid. It has a high efficiency rate, is water resistant, and it has a short cooling period. Additionally, it comes with wings that prevent the vaporizer from tipping over once inserted into the beehive.
To use the vaporizer, load the acid cup with the desired amount of oxalic acid and then insert it into your hive. The amount of acid you use varies depending on the number of boxes per hive that you are treating. Once inserted into the hive, connect the vaporizer to your 12V battery and give it 2 ½ minutes to heat up and vaporize the oxalic acid. You should then disconnect the vaporizer and wait for 10 minutes before removing it or unsealing the hive.
Once outside the hive, dip the vaporizer in water for a minute or two to cool it down. It is then ready for use in the next hive in your queue. You may continue sealing the just treated hive for another 10 minutes to lock in the vapors. Pieces of foam cut and shaped to seal your hive entrances are very great for use with this vaporizer.
The Blythewood Bee Company Varrox Oxalic Acid Vaporizer measures 14 x 3.3 x 0.5 inches in dimensions. It weighs 2 pounds without oxalic acid added in the pan/cup. Blythewood Bee Company has a long history in beekeeping and a wide range of quality beekeeping equipment.
4. Blue Ridge Bee Company Oxalic Acid Vaporizer Kit
The Blue Ridge Bee Company Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is an entire kit containing the vaporizer, its consumables and safety gear. The vaporizer itself is a 12V DC vaporizer. It features a glow plug on one side of the acid pan. The pan itself is at the end of a sufficiently long metal rod. Well insulated leads deliver electrical power to the glow plug. The leads have well labeled and color coded crocodile clips attached at their ends.
A rather long wooden handle is at one end of the vaporizer. It gives you more than adequate protection from contact with any hot parts of the vaporizer. The pan of this vaporizer is made of aluminium. That it comes with some safety equipment makes this a great vaporizer for beekeepers who do not have this personal protective equipment.
The Oxalic acid vaporizer consumables included in this kit by Blue Ridge Bee Company are oxalic acid crystals. The crystals are adequate for up to 50 treatments. Also included, though not a consumable is an oxalic acid scoop that measures out ¼ teaspoon easily.
The safety gear in the kit are nitrile gloves to protect your hands, safety goggles and a vapor mask. The nitrile gloves are black in color, the mast largely white in color and the goggles are mostly transparent all round. They give you excellent, necessary protection from contact with oxalic acid and its vapors.
3. Scott Bee Farm Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.15.12
The Scott Bee Farm Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.15.12 is an advanced version of version v.03.25. It comes with all the features of the original model including a glow plug, aluminum acid pan and a wooden handle.
The wires carrying electrical power to the glow plug run along the aluminium rod. In addition to the standard features of a vaporizer, this one comes with a digital timer and an acid scoop. It makes it easy for beekeepers to add acid to the pan of the vaporizer. The digital timer is a great bonus for beekeepers too. The performance, quality and fabrication of the vaporizer are all top-notch.
The Scott Bee Farm Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.15.12 shows a lot of good craftsmanship. The electrical parts are well built and parts are soldered together. It achieves a good vaporization temperature in a short time. The vaporizer works with any well charged battery including motorcycle and lawn mower batteries.
This vaporizer measures 18 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches in dimension and weighs 1.25 pounds. It does not have a thermostat on it, so do not exceed the 2 minutes required for it to heat up. Turning off the vaporizer requires you to disconnect one clip from your battery since it does not have an On/Off switch.
2. Varomorus Durable Oxalic Acid 12V Vaporizer
The Varomorus 12V Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is an easy to use and fast heating electric vaporizer. It has a wooden handle for easy handling and to make sure you do not get burnt. It has an improved design from previous vaporizers. The vaporizer comes with sufficiently long cables extending to 55 inches (145 cm) with crocodile clips at the ends. It weighs 14.4 ounces and averages 25 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches in dimensions.
Quality craftsmanship is seen in the vaporizer. The metal used in its construction is durable aircraft quality 6061 aluminum. This powerful oxalic acid vaporizer is very suitable for Varroa mite control treatment. It is easily powered by a car battery and does not break down easily. The size of the heating element is 65 x 55 x 12 mm. The vaporizer has a heater working space of 40 x 30 x 10 mm.
The Varomorus 12V Oxalic Acid Vaporizer reaches a temperature of up to 250 0 C which is more than adequate to effectively vaporize oxalic acid. It achieves this temperature within a heating time of around 2 – 3 minutes upon application of electric current. When using this vaporizer, make sure your battery is well charged to get the best results.
This vaporizer works very well in turning oxalic acid into vapor. It is an affordable rugged vaporizer for beekeepers who have one or few hives to treat. The head of the vaporizer may be a little wider than your average hive entrance. To get around this, you can remove the entrance reducer, or use other openings at the bottom of your beehive.
1. VMVAPORIZER MINI Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
At only 3 pounds in weight, the VMVAPORIZER MINI Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is light and an easy to use beekeeping equipment. It runs on propane gas so there are no wires or hoses needed. It also does not need a generator or air compressor. The vaporizer does not require heating time or any allowance for it to cool. It enables beekeepers to steadily move from one hive to the next, treating each hive with an accurate dose of oxalic acid vapor.
This vaporizer is very useful and practical for beekeepers with many beehives to treat. You can easily go through 800 beehives in a day if you must. There is no waiting time between loads, so work is continuous.
The vaporizer comes with a propane tank complete with a propane torch. The torch attaches to the vaporizer with a clamp and ignites easily. Start the propane at full last. After 30-40 seconds, the vaporizer is hot enough and you can reduce the propane to about ¼ open where you hear it whistling. Add a few drops of oxalic acid to the pipe at the top of the vaporizer and wait to hear it boiling. Turn the lever at the rear of the vaporizer once you hear the oxalic acid boiling.
Turning the fan of the VMVAPORIZER sends out a generous amount of oxalic acid vapor from the front of the vaporizer. In a few seconds, you can deliver a full treatment of oxalic acid. This badass vaporizer is fast and effective. Make sure to keep the vaporizer horizontal. Do not tilt it backwards as the oxalic acid will go into the fan.
Instructions on Using an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
Beekeepers using oxalic acid vaporizers need to follow a very specific instructions. If they do not, the treatment may not be effective. In some cases, inaccuracies may end up hurting the honeybee colony instead of helping it! Have a reliable timer with you when carrying out oxalic acid vapor treatments in beehives. To effectively treat your hive using an oxalic acid vaporizer:
- Fill the pan of the oxalic acid vaporizer with adequate oxalic acid dehydrate. The rate to use ¼ teaspoon of acid per brood box. One or two crystals may be used when the liquid oxalic acid solution is not available.
- Place the vaporizer through the hive entrance under the bees. Make sure the pan with oxalic acid is fully inside the hive. Some bit of the support rod on your vaporizer should be in the hive. Allow a distance of 2 inches from the pan to any wax or bees.
- Seal the hive entrance using some damp strips of cloth, foam or other suitable material.
- Attach the battery clips of the vaporizer to your battery for 2-3 minutes. If you are using an external heat source vaporizer, apply heat to the oxalic acid and vaporize it for 2-3 minutes.
- Disconnect the battery clips, or remove the heat source, and leave the vaporizer in the hive for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the vaporizer from the hive and cool it in water. Do not remove the material you used to seal the hive for another 10 minutes.
Oxalic acid is a highly injurious substance to humans. Avoid contact with the acid or swallowing it. Protective glasses, gloves and a mask are the minimum safety equipment you should be worn at all times when working with oxalic acid. Take caution not to touch the metallic parts of your vaporizer when it is in use, and wait a while before touching it after you’ve turned it off as it may be still hot for some time after use. Additionally, do not switch on the vaporizer without close supervision.
Purchasing Oxalic Acid
- 2 Pound Pail – click here
- 40 Pound Pail – click here
Oxalic Acid Vapor Treatment Schedule
Oxalic acid vaporization in beehives is an effective Varroa mite control method. Indeed, it kills mites that are crawling around the hive, on bees and in uncapped cells. Vaporization utilizes portable gear that you position inside the beehive. The acid vapor spreads out into the entire beehive. You must wear safety gear at all times when using oxalic acid.
Treating your beehives with oxalic acid vapor requires accurate timing. You should remove honey super boxes from the hive before starting treatment. The best time to use oxalic acid is therefore when the honey flow period is over. Usually, honey flow is between the months of April and July. Brood build up happens between September and November. It is best that brood build up happens with low mite population in the beehive.
If you notice significant mite numbers in beehives before winter, you are allowed to treat for Varroa mites. Honeybee colonies wintering with large populations of Varroa mites are likely to fail during or before spring. Treat the hive while the colony is still strong so it can easily absorb any losses of bees that may result from the use of oxalic acid and the mite infestation. Treatment with oxalic acid can be repeated 1-2 weeks after a first treatment – if the mites are still present. Do not carry out more than 2 treatments per year.
There are three main time periods when you can treat beehives with oxalic acid vapors. The first is in August if you must. The second, and best time, is in late November extending to early December. In this time, the hive is largely broodless and therefore your oxalic acid vapor treatment has maximum effect. A third and NOT highly recommended time to treat your hive with oxalic acid – or any other Varroa mite control method – is in February or March before honey flow season begins. Proper timing of your Varroa mite control greatly improves colony performance and survival.
Regular inspection of beehives is an important beekeeping practice. Beekeepers should not wait until Varroa mite infestations are obvious. Waiting too long before treatment application greatly compromises colony health. Furthermore, it is advisable to rotate your Varroa mite control methods. You can have oxalic acid vaporization as one method and another 1-2 methods. Rotation ensures that Varroa mites do not develop resistance to any of the control methods used.
Making your Own – Oxalic Acid Vaporizer DIY
The commercial oxalic acid vaporizers as discussed above are efficient and very effective in the job they are designed to do. In some cases however, hands-on beekeepers want something more. In their pursuit of the thrill of achievement, these beekeepers go for a DIY oxalic acid vaporizer. They build the vaporizer from scratch, using bits and parts either bought from DIY stores or cannibalized from other vaporizers. Additionally, if you have a vaporizer or two that are not working, you could take them apart and build one that is working. It saves you from incurring the costs of buying a new oxalic acid vaporizer.
There are several designs of DIY oxalic acid vaporizers. Each beekeeper building their own often comes up with their unique designs and modifications. The most popular general designs of homemade oxalic acid vaporizers are the external heat source vaporizer and the electric energy source vaporizer . The external heat source oxalic acid vaporizer is great for when you do not want to lug heavy batteries to your hives. The electric energy source one gives you better vaporization, control and does away with flames around your beehives.
1. Homemade External Heat Source Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
Building your own external heat source oxalic acid vaporizer is a very rewarding experience. It allows you to avoid the risk of igniting wax in the hive or damaging wood used in your beehive. The common materials you need are: a smoker torch for heat, hand drill scissors, ½ inch plumbing air chamber, brass tube, silicone tape, conical neoprene stopper and the oxalic acid you will be vaporizing.
In this DIY oxalic acid vaporizer, the plumbing air chamber acts as a vaporization chamber while the brass tube is the vapor delivery tube.
- Using your drill, make a hole in the neoprene stopper. The hole should be big enough to take your brass tube.
- Insert the brass tube through the stopper.
- Using the silicone tape, seal the joint between silicone stopper and brass tube to prevent any vapor leaks.
- Fit the stopper into the air chamber.
Using the external heat source DIY oxalic acid vaporizer
- Fill the air chamber of the vaporizer with your desired amount of oxalic acid.
- Seal the hive entrance. You may use a wet rag in combination with your entrance reducer to achieve this.
- Push the brass tube through the rag you used to seal the hive entrance.
- If you have a screened bottom board, seal it. The notch on your inner cover should also be sealed up.
- Using your smoker torch, heat the air chamber for 2.5 – 3 minutes.
- Focus on heating the tip and then moving slowly towards the stopper. Do not heat the brass tube.
- Remove the vaporizer assembly – taking care not to get burns – and allow it some time to cool.
Take precaution not to inhale any of the oxalic acid vapors. A respirator mask is highly recommended. You may use gloves and other personal protective equipment to prevent bee stings and burns. Remember to not use oxalic acid vaporizers with honey supers still present in the hive. Remove honey supers for some time until the oxalic acid completely clears out. This DIY oxalic acid vaporizer saves you from the cost of expensive commercial electrical vaporizers. It does not need you to have 12V batteries that can be heavy to move around.
2. Homemade Electric Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
The homemade electric acid vaporizer requires a source of electrical energy. Usually, the common 12V battery is all you need. The primary reason you want to build this oxalic acid vaporizer if to save on the cost of buying the commercial vaporizer. There are 2 popular designs of the DIY electric oxalic acid vaporizer: one uses a coffee cup heater while the other uses a glow-plug.
The basic construction of an electric oxalic acid vaporizer is a receptacle for the oxalic acid, placed at the end of a long rod, with electricity used to heat the receptacle. Using various combinations of heaters and receptacles, beekeepers have successfully made their own electric vaporizers at home. You do not need to be a pro, just be creative enough and have the right tools. The parts and bits used to make your homemade oxalic acid vaporizer can be bought from hardware stores, home centers and other sellers who stock DIY supplies and accessories.
- Coffee cup heater DIY oxalic acid vaporizer: This one uses the heater you plug into a motorcar’s cigarette lighter. A ¾ inch end cap of a copper pipe is great for holding your oxalic acid. Form the heater coil around the pipe cap. When you plug in the heater, it heats the pipe cap and vaporizes the oxalic acid in it.
- Aluminium Tray DIY oxalic acid vaporizer: Uses a diesel glow-plug and an aluminium tray to hold the oxalic acid. The tray is held at the end of a long rod. You can use a chisel handle for your handle. The glow plug is powered by a 12V battery. It heats up and in return heats your aluminium tray. The oxalic acid in the tray then gets hot and turns into vapor.
Coffee Cup Heater DIY Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
These two homemade electric DIY vaporizers should guide you adequately on how to make one of yours. You may use the same assembly materials and methods. If you cannot find the exact same materials, feel free to use replacements as long as they serve the same purpose. It is advisable to avoid using metals that act as heat-sinks in your oxalic acid vaporizer.
Materials for the Electric DIY Vaporizer
Depending on what type of vaporizer you want to put together, you will need some of the following materials: metal rod, chisel handle, glow plug, car battery, alligator clips, adapter cable, aluminium tray, car/travel coffee cup heater, pipe cap, soldering iron and solder, these materials are for making the two electric DIY vaporizers outlined above.
When building your own vaporizer, consider the electric DIY oxalic acid vaporizers. They remove the need to have fire around your apiary and do not give off smoke. Additionally, these electric vaporizers give clean oxalic acid vapor and are faster that external heat source vaporizers. They achieve all this while being more efficient.
A Final Word
Oxalic acid vaporizers can be an effective tool in the treatment of Varroa mites. The best oxalic acid vaporizers discussed above are top in their performance and durability. They deliver a good dose of oxalic acid vapor that helps rids your hive of Varroa mites. Be sure to follow proper usage instructions for best results.
Have you ever used anyone of these oxalic acid vaporizers before? Leave a comment below and let us know what your experience was like.
If you are having an issue with Varroa mite control in your beehives, read on for a detailed review of the best oxalic acid vaporizers availabile right now.