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Author Topic: First time fogging with Acetic Acid  (Read 1921 times)
UtahBees
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« on: November 22, 2008, 01:48:34 AM »

The president of our local bee org here in Utah County, Utah owns a vinegar-based fogging machine, where he uses a 35% vinegar solution to fumigate the hive with. This year with my new May-packages, I decided to have them fogged to help reduce the mite population. Although, this might be a topic of debate on whether it really works or not, I wanted to share with you the process, so you could see for yourself how it was done today.

1.) An attachment is fixed to the machine, and then affixed to the front entrance to allow the vapor to enter:


2.) After the coils are hot and can vaporize the 35% vinegar solution, the vinegar is added to the reservoir.


3.) The fogger is allowed to operate for 3-4 minutes on the hive, until the solution was all used up. When removed I did not see more than 3-5 bees per hive rolling around on the bottom board, if that. A few bees came flying out, but the hive was calm (as one might be with a fogger just taken off Wink), and I noticed more drones coming out first than females.

4.) We had fun inspecting the drones. And here's one that we found:


In case you can't see it, here is the female mite after being gently scraped off the drone above:


The process was very affordable. It probably cost him more in gas to come out and go back home. I had my three hives, and my brother-in-law's six hives fogged.

Regards,

Scott
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 07:16:11 AM »

Utah,

Thanks for sharing.  These acetic foggers have been discussed a few times here before, but we never got any details of the machine itself.  A lot "great thing since sliced bread" support, but no willingness to share the details.     In fact, one user claimed he went from 90% loss rate to 18% loss rate when using acetic acid.  When I questioned what he attributed the 18% loss to, it went unanswered Undecided

If indeed it works half as good as the claims, why isn't there a push to share the technique?  If more people where able to try it,  there would perhaps be more support. 

The process was very affordable.

Perhaps if you ignore the initial cost of the unit.  Oxalic acid has caught on because of the relatively simple tools needed to use it.   I'm sure more beekeepers would buy into acetic fogging if a homemade appliance could be built for a reasonable price.   The average beekeeper isn't going to lay out $500-$600 for a fogger to treat their hived.

Looking forward to hearing more and how it works out for you. 

BTW,  my rant was not targeted at you,  more the lack of information available.   Thanks again for sharing.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 07:33:49 AM »

So what was the difference in mite counts before and after? Did you see thousands of mites on the bottom afterwards? Did you have a serious mite infestation? When was the fogging done?

90% loss....hmmmm. President of the club.....hmmmmm. Sure glad they found something to work.  Wink  I'd sure love to sit in a few of those meetings.... shocked
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 07:56:41 AM »

90% loss....hmmmm. President of the club.....hmmmmm.


Don't confuse this guy -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,7326.msg49850.html#msg49850

with Utah's bee club president.  Two different guys.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 08:03:20 AM »

Robo,
Not sure who you are talking about. I did not see anyone from Utah on the link provided. I have no clue who is pres from the local club as referenced.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 12:16:07 PM »

I'm sure the method will continue to be debated. I plan on going to the hive today to check the bottom board. But, I did not have a serious mite infestation. I never measured the mite count before the fogging either and probably won't be a great test case.

I did however pull brood frames (eight of them totally) from three hives two weeks ago to replace with honey frames for winter. When I did so, the witnessed many new bees hatching and found one mite only on one of the new hatchlings:



So, if you find one, can you assume a certain number? I don't think you can for sure, but with the eight frames being removed from over my three hives, even if they had more mites, they are now dead. Then we found one mite on a drone, pictured above, in my brother-in-laws hive (out of two hives) upon inspection. We fogged five hives in total yesterday.

Sorry that I can' be more helpful, but there's always next time Smiley

The affordability part for me was that I bought a service, not the unit. A few dollars or so to fog my hives is worth the experimentation with my first-year packaged hives, that have no serious mite infestation upon inspection. Also the service wasn't advertised to me; with the information I had heard about acetic acid, I decided to give it a try and asked the owner of the machine if he provides a service fee for fogging.

Unfortunately this was more of a "look how it's done" post, rather than "look at my results" post, so most beeks will be disappointed I gather.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Scott
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 04:59:00 PM »

Scott, excellent.  You did a great thread here and the pictures and description were marvelous.

I really have to dig out my records last year of vapourizing with oxalic acid.  I had the sticky boards in for 3 days prior to vapourizing, performed the 3-day mite count and then vapourized.  The daily mite count, I thought was reasonably low -- I spent a great deal of time the following month, re-inserting the sticky boards, mite counting each time, until I just got sick and tired of doing it.  Then I stopped.  I will dig out my records in the next couple of days and hopefully re-find this post to place my counting results in. I thought that I had had a low mite count too, but the mite deaths over the following month after vapourizing surely told a different tale.  Great and wonderful day, great health.  Cindi
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