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Oxalic and glycerine

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Interesting idea if it works?

 

Oxalic acid and glycerin for varroa mites

For beekeepers who treat for varroa mites, oxalic acid has become the default favorite miticide. It is inexpensive, a natural component of honey, safe for bees when used as directed, and is drop-dead effective. But being beekeepers, we can’t agree on anything, so the disagreement about how to apply oxalic acid rages on.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently recognizes three ways: spray, dribble, and vaporization. The spray method is often used on packages, but disagreement about dribble vs vaporization for complete colonies continues to fester. Being fundamentally a minimalist, I prefer the dribble method (less equipment, less expense, less danger) but each time I say so, I get trounced by those who thrive on great clouds of toxic fumes. Whatever.

Randy Oliver to the rescue

But now, biologist Randy Oliver offers us hope in the form of a disposable shop towel soaked in oxalic acid and glycerin. In fact, I have received so many questions about Randy’s new system, I’ve decided to write a short summary of his findings. However, I highly encourage you to read his paper in full, which details his methods, results, and statistical analyses. It also contains many photos.

The original idea for dissolving oxalic acid in glycerin came from elsewhere, but Randy took the idea and refined it. He tried various methods of delivery to find the one method that would be safe for bees and beekeeper, deadly to mites, and both economical and quick. So far, his new method has exceeded his expectations and, much to his credit, Randy is now working to get the method endorsed by the EPA.

The basic idea

The original research showed that dissolving oxalic acid in glycerin provided a way to slowly release the oxalic acid over time. Unlike dribbles or vapor where the dose is applied all at once, the oxalic/glycerin mix provides a slow release that is remarkably effective against mites but easy on the bees. Randy has been able to extend one treatment to last about 30 days, which means multiple treatments are not necessary. Mites are killed as they emerge from the brood cells without repeat applications.

Randy has amazing photos of his bees raising brood all around the soaked towels, seemingly unaffected by their presence, yet the mite kill is spectacular. After about 30 days, the bees have removed the entire towel from the hive so the beekeeper doesn’t not have to re-enter the hive to collect them. It’s the closest thing to magic I’ve seen in a while.

 

Oxalic acid and glycerin for varroa mites - Honey Bee Suite

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Oxalic shop towel updates @ Scientific Beekeeping

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/scibeeimages/2016-Beyond-Taktic-pdf.pdf

 

straight to the source.

 

"I was pretty stoked about the 4 OA/gly strip treatment--not only did it control the mites (with time),

but the colonies thrived during treatment (Figs. 10 & 11). "

 

it looks promising. however i think this comment is interesting......

 

"Problem #1—the labor involved: When I excitedly showed the results to my son Eric, he rained on my

parade with some simple arithmetic: 4 strips per box, 8 strips per hive, 1500 hives to treat = 12,000

strips to make, insert one at a time, then pry out one at a time for disposal (wearing nitrile gloves at

every step). This treatment wasn’t going to fly, not at our labor costs"

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Oxalic shop towel updates @ Scientific Beekeeping

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/scibeeimages/2016-Beyond-Taktic-pdf.pdf

 

straight to the source.

 

"I was pretty stoked about the 4 OA/gly strip treatment--not only did it control the mites (with time),

but the colonies thrived during treatment (Figs. 10 & 11). "

 

it looks promising. however i think this comment is interesting......

 

"Problem #1—the labor involved: When I excitedly showed the results to my son Eric, he rained on my

parade with some simple arithmetic: 4 strips per box, 8 strips per hive, 1500 hives to treat = 12,000

strips to make, insert one at a time, then pry out one at a time for disposal (wearing nitrile gloves at

every step). This treatment wasn’t going to fly, not at our labor costs"

If you read further that's why he went to paper towel over the strips, probably wouldn't work for commercials given time to produce, but then again in theory it's way easier than strips and similar to MAQ's by way of set and forget vs having to go back to remove the strips.

 

I'm going to give it a go assuming I can find the type of towel he uses and see how it goes

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Hmmm I have all the required bits in the garage, might have to do some mixing tomorrow

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Im going to try it using Oasis foam bricks sliced longways.

The bees remove this foam themselves also.

 

 

When I excitedly showed the results to my son Eric, he rained on my

parade with some simple arithmetic:

The Son may not be as wise as the Father

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I found it interesting the comment made to use this as part of the tool box (my words) for treating varroa. Solely relying on Oxalic or Formic WILL see varroa being bred for resistance to these organoacid treatments.

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"Problem #1—the labor involved: When I excitedly showed the results to my son Eric, he rained on my

parade with some simple arithmetic: 4 strips per box, 8 strips per hive, 1500 hives to treat = 12,000

strips to make, insert one at a time, then pry out one at a time for disposal (wearing nitrile gloves at

every step). This treatment wasn’t going to fly, not at our labor costs"

 

Not a problem at all for us hobbyists with only a few hives

Thanks for posting @ikwezinz

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Not a problem at all for us hobbyists with only a few hives

Thanks for posting @ikwezinz

If it works then it isnt a problem for any operation.

If it works, smart people find a way to make it more affordable

 

Formic WILL see varroa being bred for resistance to these organoacid treatments

This of course is the 64k question.

Will it or wont it?

 

I do have one concern about my DIY treatments using Oasis foam as a delivery medium.

I have no way of knowing what is in the foam and how varied the ingredients are.

Sometimes I see the foam come out of the hives a rusty orange color and I suspect this is a reaction between the foam and the Acid.

It doesn't always happen so the question has to be asked,

How and why does this happen?

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Sometimes I see the foam come out of the hives a rusty orange color and I suspect this is a reaction between the foam and the Acid.

It doesn't always happen so the question has to be asked,

How and why does this happen?

Does the foam residue ever turn up in the honey filter? I ask because you're doing this on sufficient scale where if it could have then it would have.

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Does the foam residue ever turn up in the honey filter? I ask because you're doing this on sufficient scale where if it could have then it would have.

No, they dont store it like they can store OA.

Sometimes it does end up in the burr comb in the vicinity of the treatment.

The wax gets a green stain.

However this isnt to say there are not traces in the Honey.

It is definitely an issue that could be looked at.

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If it works then it isnt a problem for any operation.

If it works, smart people find a way to make it more affordable

 

 

This of course is the 64k question.

Will it or wont it?

 

I do have one concern about my DIY treatments using Oasis foam as a delivery medium.

I have no way of knowing what is in the foam and how varied the ingredients are.

Sometimes I see the foam come out of the hives a rusty orange color and I suspect this is a reaction between the foam and the Acid.

It doesn't always happen so the question has to be asked,

How and why does this happen?

Your other challenge with the foam could be pressing the mixture out as they do so the towel is just moist, not wet?

 

SuperCheap have a box of 200 of the towels they use for $20, I figure I will always use them in the garage if it doesn't pan out, I will be giving it a try this weekend and will see how it pans out

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"Problem #1—the labor involved: When I excitedly showed the results to my son Eric, he rained on my

parade with some simple arithmetic: 4 strips per box, 8 strips per hive, 1500 hives to treat = 12,000

strips to make, insert one at a time, then pry out one at a time for disposal (wearing nitrile gloves at

every step). This treatment wasn’t going to fly, not at our labor costs"

the bit i was looking at was the costs comment. everything seams to come down to cost.

i don't know how many staff they run, but i suspect probably not a lot.

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the bit i was looking at was the costs comment. everything seams to come down to cost.

i don't know how many staff they run, but i suspect probably not a lot.

Thats why (among a few reasons) he change to the shop towel. One application, bees remove it.

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Sounds great and definitely worth a try. Not much to lose if you use oxalic acid in some form already. However, distant rumbles about the possibility of resistance to OA. Something to keep an eye on.

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Nitric acid & glycerine would be quite effective on mites and AFB as well.

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Nitric acid & glycerine would be quite effective on mites and AFB as well.

Builder, beekeeper and budding chemist.

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Who's got a price on glycerine

 

 

everything seams to come down to cost.

Are they forgetting to consider the cost of losses?

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Who's got a price on glycerine ?

 

Glycerin 1L coconut based 99% min USP/BP grade

$14/lt plus freight ($7 for 1lt) pick up available in Chch

The other supplier I found was a little more expensive, had 4lt quantities for sale (maybe 4x 1lt) and was in Kiapoi, so no N.I. suppliers yet. maybe next week.

 

From the original document, usage rate is 25ml per towel, with half of that recovered after pressing, and able to be reused, so 1lt is good for 40 hives, with an additional 40 from the leftovers. Pretty cheap eh?

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Can you get a resistance to the acids?

 

I was always under the impression that a "half-dose" of acid, or at least something sub-lethal, was like getting shot in the leg. Yes, you might survive, but you aren't going to pass on bulletproof-ness to future offspring.

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Glycerine. Available from any rural retailer . Used in teat spray as an emollient

$130 for 20 litres or there abouts

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Glycerine. Available from any rural retailer . Used in teat spray as an emollient

$130 for 20 litres or there abouts

Glycerine » Deosan

Ecolab Glycerine 20L

 

Jac Jay Oxalic Acid 500g

 

SCA Shop Towels - 200 Pack - Supercheap Auto

Tork 420 Multipurpose Cloth 32x38cm 130043 200 Sheets, Pack of 5 | OfficeMax NZ

 

Bookmarked for future reference.

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Glycerin 1L coconut based 99% min USP/BP grade

$14/lt plus freight ($7 for 1lt) pick up available in Chch

The other supplier I found was a little more expensive, had 4lt quantities for sale (maybe 4x 1lt) and was in Kiapoi, so no N.I. suppliers yet. maybe next week.

 

From the original document, usage rate is 25ml per towel, with half of that recovered after pressing, and able to be reused, so 1lt is good for 40 hives, with an additional 40 from the leftovers. Pretty cheap eh?

I dont think 25mls will wet an entire towel let alone have any residue to squeeze out ??

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I dont think 25mls will wet an entire towel let alone have any residue to squeeze out ??

Will let y

 

I dont think 25mls will wet an entire towel let alone have any residue to squeeze out ??

i just tried this, used 100ml of glycerine, heated for a minute in the microwave (it gets very hot) and then mixed it into the oxalic until it was dissolved. It did 5 of the SCA towels cut in half as they are big and it soaked most of it up and after pressing it out has enough for maybe another 1.5.

 

Definitely needed the chemical face mask for the fumes, but other than that it was pretty simple.

 

Now the test is seeing what the hives do with it, I have some needing treatment this weekend so will monitor and advise of the outcome

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Will let y

 

i just tried this, used 100ml of glycerine, heated for a minute in the microwave (it gets very hot) and then mixed it into the oxalic until it was dissolved. It did 5 of the SCA towels cut in half as they are big and it soaked most of it up and after pressing it out has enough for maybe another 1.5.

 

Definitely needed the chemical face mask for the fumes, but other than that it was pretty simple.

 

Now the test is seeing what the hives do with it, I have some needing treatment this weekend so will monitor and advise of the outcome

Great, now we are rolling.

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Now the test is seeing what the hives do with it, I have some needing treatment this weekend so will monitor and advise of the outcome

How will you measure effectiveness? Perhaps a control? Daily mite drop could be interesting to see if there is any knock down effect.

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