How Do You Use an Oxalic Acid Evaporator?
Oxalic acid is considered a very effective method for controlling the presence of varroa mites in honeybee colonies. Beekeepers who are using this method of mite control can choose between two application options: fogging and vaporization. Vaporization using an oxalic acid evaporator is the most preferred method since it spreads the acid to the different parts of the hive, even inside uncapped cells.
Today, beekeepers can choose from a wide selection of oxalic acid evaporators that use different technologies. If you are a beekeeper planning to use an oxalic acid vaporizer, there are several very specific instructions that you need to follow.
If you don’t do so, the entire treatment might not be that effective. There are even instances when even the smallest inaccuracy may result in harming the honeybee colony rather than helping it.
Make sure that you use a reliable timer every time you carry out an oxalic acid vapor treatment in your beehives. Here are the steps to follow when using an oxalic acid evaporator to effectively treat your hive:
- Put a sufficient amount of oxalic acid dehydrate into the pan of the oxalic acid vaporizer. The rate you should use here is ¼ teaspoon of acid for every brood box. A crystal or two may also be used as a good alternative in case there is no liquid oxalic acid solution handy or available.
- Insert the vaporizer through the entrance of the hive below the bees. See to it that the pan that contains oxalic acid is completely placed within the hive. The hive also needs to have some sort of support rod on the vaporizer. Be sure you also allow a distance of 2 inches to any bees or wax from the pan.
- Seal the entrance of the hive using foam, some damp strips of cloth, or other similar materials.
- Attach the vaporizer’s battery clips to your battery for about 2 to 3 minutes. In case you are using an external heat source oxalic acid evaporator, make sure you apply heat to the oxalic acid and then vaporize it for around 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the source of heat or disconnect the battery clips, and then leave the vaporizer inside the hive for an additional 2 minutes.
- Take off the vaporizer from the beehive and then let it cool in the water. Avoid removing the material that you used for sealing the hive for 10 more minutes.
Remember that oxalic acid is a very harmful substance to humans. Always avoid any direct contact with the acid or even swallowing it. A mask, protective glasses, and gloves are the bare minimum safety equipment you need to wear and put on all the time when working with oxalic acid.
You also need to take caution to avoid touching the metallic parts of the oxalic acid evaporator when it is in use. Also, wait for some time before you touch it after you turned it off because it might be still hot after use for some time. In addition, never turn on the vaporizer without any close supervision.