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Author Topic: How effective is Oxalic Acid Vapor really?  (Read 4181 times)
David LaFerney
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« on: November 05, 2009, 11:26:07 AM »

I did OA vapor treatments to my 2 hives about 16 days ago and did follow up treatments 2 days ago.  I am still seeing heavy mite drops on my sticky boards - hundreds of dead mites in a 24 hour period from the larger hive. 

Finsky said that it would take up to 4 weeks to see the full effects of OA treatments, but so far I haven't seen a noticeable reduction in mite drop at all.  Maybe this is normal at this point?

I'm concerned because if these treatments are not working I'm going to lose these hives without a plan B - maybe even then.

Maybe I'm not doing the treatments correctly?  Can anyone point to a reliable how to article on OA vapor?  If not, how about one on the liquid application?

Until I put in the sticky boards a few weeks ago I never saw a single mite, and I still can't see them anywhere else despite carefully watching at the entrance.

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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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Hethen57
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 04:41:27 PM »

David...aren't you getting the results you are looking for...lots of mites dropping that will no longer be leeching off your bees or reproducing in the larva cells?  They should drop anywhere from 24 hours to 2 weeks after treatment.  Just think if you didn't vaporize...at least that is the way I look at it, because I am seeing the same thing on my one hive with a SBB.  I probably would be oblivious to the problem until it was too late without that SBB tray...I need to make some more of those.
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-Mike
David LaFerney
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 05:01:51 PM »

Well sure, lots of dead mites are what I was looking for, but at some point I'm thinking there should be only a few instead of hundreds - it's been over two weeks since the first treatment.  Hopefully that will happen and I'm just worrying prematurely.

Normally I'm not a worrier.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
Hethen57
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 07:29:53 PM »

My last treatment was two weeks ago as well....I will clean off my board tonight and see what kind of drop I get over a 24 hr period and maybe we can compare notes this weekend. 

My hive must have been a mess based on the 24hr drop I saw last weekend (which was one week out from my last treatment).  The hive was incredibly strong all summer and produced 3 splits and lots of honey.  I only found a few mites on my drone larva and never saw a mite on a bee, but when I put on the screened bottom board, it told a different story.  I think that is the problem with Varroa...the more the hive kicks out larva and boosts its population, the more the Varroa multiply exponentially...then in Fall you have a hive full of bees with Varroa.
-Mike
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 10:59:30 PM »

David, when you vapourized the colony(ies) did you have all the gaps/entrances, etc. closed right off for 10 minutes?  That is crucial to success of vapourzing with O.A.  If you have screened bottomboards, that must also be closed off, as air tight as you can get it.  What kind of bottomboards do you use?

The fall before last when I did a consecutive number of mite counts after I vapourized the colony, (using sticky boards), I saw dead mites for about a month.  At that point I gave up because I was sick of putting the sticky boards in.

When I vapourize my colonies, I do it usually the first week of November.  Eeks, that is now, smiling.  That way I can be pretty much assured that there is no brood present and I don't have to repeat the application until late spring.  Those are my two treatment dates a year.  Late fall, late spring, that is it.

In the case of an extremely heavy mite load (which I haven't had), it is imperative to do the vapourizing earlier, like when there is brood, and to a repeat again, to get what was buried within the cell, eating the larvae, ich, when the mites emerge.

It is normal to see the mites continue to drop for quite a period of time.  As I said, I saw them still dropping even after one months time.  If you secured up the hive well enough, that a good part of the vapours did not escape (it does not have to be 100% airtight, but the more airtight the better of course), trust that the vapourizing is working its magic.  O.A. vapourizing works.  As does O.A. syrup trickling.  But, the trickle is only to be done once a year, whereas vapourizing can be performed at any time that one feels necessary.

I know your worrying.  I am a worrier too about things.  But it sounds to me like things are being done right.  But, still, please answer the questions that I asked of you, it may help if I need to make further comments.  Have that great, most awesome day, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
David LaFerney
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 09:13:35 AM »

Cindi - My hives are already pretty tight so the first time I did the treatment I didn't do any sealing other than to block the entrance.  When I did the follow up on Tuesday I did tape everything up just in case that was a factor the first time - I don't really think it was though.

I do have Screened bottoms, but they are fully enclosed to house SHB oil traps.  That was actually very handy because I could put the vapor in from below the screens after removing the oil pans.



After your feedback I'm feeling much more confident that everything is going as it should - I just didn't know what to expect.  Thanks, you are always very pleasant and helpful, and very appreciated.

BTW when I say sticky boards what I am actually using are pieces of blue styrofoam insulation board with pam sprayed on them.  A sharp rap or two on the back dislodges most all of the junk so it's really easy to check and replace them. 
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 07:55:29 PM »

Maybe you don't have that many mites.  My experience with OA vapor was it killed 80 to 90 percent of the phoretic mites.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 10:42:18 PM »

David, thank you for the kind words.  The picture was great.  I think that you have properly taken care of business.  I am pretty sure that you will enter this winter basically mite free, I don't see any reason why not, especially if there is now no brood for the mites to be living with and destroying their future lives.  Good.  I have no empathy for mites, they have no use to me, I don't have time for my bees to become hygienic or learn to live with mites.  I have every intention to always treat with O.A. and not much will change my mind.  Seen too much damage done to my colonies here to ever want to take another chance with doing nothing, or thinking that other "lighter" methods might work.  A strong comment, but is how I feel.  Have that great and most beautiful day, with health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Hethen57
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 12:39:41 PM »

As an update, the 24 hr mite drop on my most infested hive has reduced to about 10, 3 weeks after my first treatment and 2 weeks after my last treatment.  This is down from about 100 over the same period last weekend.
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-Mike
David LaFerney
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 01:27:02 PM »

I'm just now seeing greatly reduced 24 hour mite drops - 25 days after my first OA vapor treatment - as predicted by Cindi and Finski.  This morning I had maybe 50 instead of the hundreds that I was seeing a week or so ago. 

So to answer my own question - so far so good - the vapor treatments (or something) are killing the mites and haven't seemed to have any observable ill effects on the bees.  It would be nice if they could just take care of their selves, but until then I think this is my plan B.

By The Way.  Nov 14 - a marvelous sunny day in the upper 60s (F of course) and I still have drones flying here in middle Tennessee.  The Paulonia tree near my hives has a few flowers in full bloom - usually a spring flower.    Is that weird or what?  Last year it was in the teens right about now.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
danno
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2009, 07:54:08 AM »

Of my 30 colonies I only have screen on four so these I monitored.   3 dropped 1000s.   I could not count they were so thick.  One of the four, a colony going on 2 years old and a Italian queen had a drop of less that 50 in a week.  I'll make cells from them next year
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009, 08:27:28 AM »

Of my 30 colonies I only have screen on four so these I monitored.   3 dropped 1000s.   I could not count they were so thick.  One of the four, a colony going on 2 years old and a Italian queen had a drop of less that 50 in a week.  I'll make cells from them next year

Yeah, that sounds like the plan.  I've noticed comments by some that they didn't see any sign of mites - neither did I until I started monitoring.  This winter I'm building SBB / oil traps for all the hives that I hope to have next year. 
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2009, 09:59:13 AM »

I think that a big mistake that people make is that if they don't see mites ON THEIR BEES, they think that they don't have mites.  In my opinion, that is a huge mistake.  Its the mites that you don't see that are the worry.  Looking at just a few bees to see if they have mites is just wrong.  The sticky boards and other ways of ascertaining mite levels is imperative to understand even close to what may be going on with mites.  Sorry.  Just my 1 cent.  Now some, dependent upon area, etc., may not have any mites, but I doubt it.  Have a wonderful and most beautiful day, health as well.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
David LaFerney
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2009, 10:13:31 AM »

I think that a big mistake that people make is that if they don't see mites ON THEIR BEES, they think that they don't have mites.  ...  Have a wonderful and most beautiful day, health as well.  Cindi


I agree.  I'm starting to imagine that some of the hives that mysteriously fail are just infested with mites and the keeper didn't have a clue because they thought they would just see them.  Besides the mites and SHB it's surprising the amount of debris that lands in the oil.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
rast
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 04:53:29 PM »

Just a for what its worth. I do 3 treatments 7 days apart. This catches the mites that were sealed in the cells. It has worked for me. But remember I don't have a "brood-less" time here.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2009, 10:18:14 AM »

Just a for what its worth. I do 3 treatments 7 days apart. This catches the mites that were sealed in the cells. It has worked for me. But remember I don't have a "brood-less" time here.

Don't you think that if you have an infestation then it's time to treat then instead of waiting for the hive to become broodless.  I mean if you wait until December or whenever in the fall that means that all of your young winter bees have already been stressed by mites and the diseases that they might spread.  I think next year once our flows are over (July1 usually) I'm going go ahead then if needed. 
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
danno
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2009, 01:43:25 PM »

Just a for what its worth. I do 3 treatments 7 days apart. This catches the mites that were sealed in the cells. It has worked for me. But remember I don't have a "brood-less" time here.

Don't you think that if you have an infestation then it's time to treat then instead of waiting for the hive to become broodless.  I mean if you wait until December or whenever in the fall that means that all of your young winter bees have already been stressed by mites and the diseases that they might spread.  I think next year once our flows are over (July1 usually) I'm going go ahead then if needed. 

Thats when I do it.  Right after thistle and before goldenrod in fall.
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