One of the main concerns of beekeepers is the level of Varroa mites present in the hive. Oxalic acid application through the use of oxalic acid evaporator is one of the common ways that beekeepers use as a way of fighting the threat of Varroa.
Oxalic Acid Defined
Most debates regarding the treatments that beekeepers use focuses on using harsh chemicals inside the hive. Many treatments used are based on the unnatural chemicals and beekeepers who follow the principles of natural beekeeping will probably avoid such treatments.
However, oxalic acid is completely natural. Oxalic acid is a type of organic compound present in nature in most plants such as leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and more. Oxalic acid is repellent to herbivores.
Oxalic acid molecule is chemically composed of four oxygen, two hydrogen and two carbon atoms. This is a colorless solid that can dissolve to form the colorless solution in water. This has plenty of practical uses aside from beekeeping, such as a bleaching or cleaning agent and is commonly used for cleaning minerals.
Why Oxalic Acid is Useful to Beekeepers
What makes oxalic acid interesting tot beekeepers? It was revealed to be an effective and direct treatment for the Varroa mites. Oxalic acid has been used for this particular purpose in Canada and Europe for so many years. It was only in 2015 when this was approved to be used for the beehives in the United States.
Oxalic acid is not that expensive, a big plus to it being very effective and natural.
Using Oxalic Acid Evaporator for Oxalic Acid Application
If you have finally decided using oxalic acid for treatment, how should you do it in the first place? There are actually several ways to apply oxalic acid. One is through dribble and the other is with the use of oxalic acid evaporator.
The method of vaporization is a very popular way of oxalic acid application with several benefits.
Once heated to about 100 degrees Celsius, oxalic acid can burn off water that will leave water-free or anhydrous crystals. Once heated even further to about 157 degrees Celsius, sublimation begins. This is the process where solid transforms to gas.
The oxalic acid evaporator will handle this heating process to effectively fumigate the hive. An added benefit of vaporization method compared to the dribbling method is that you can apply this treatment with no need to open the hive. It can be very important once applied in the winter or in late fall when the low temperatures might not make it possible to open up the hive.
Apart from making sure that you don’t disturb your bees, vaporization is notably faster than dribble method.
There are also studies that suggest that vaporization causes less damage to brood and bees unlike dribble that is a more direct mixture application on the bees.
Meanwhile, the use of an oxalic acid evaporator means that fumes will be present so the beekeeper should be extra careful to avoid inhaling them. Using a respirator is recommended due to this.