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steve rob

Treatingfor Varroa

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Hi

Just after some input from the more experienced. Don't shoot me down in flames, just trying to find a good method to treat hives for varroa at a reasonable price. I do use Bayvarol once a season, but want to mix it up with oxalic. I am not at a level or want to invest yet in a pro vap 220. I have seen the use of the vaporisers using oxalic acid and 95% alcohol mix but the alcohol in NZ at this level is very expensive. I also know the oxalic acid on cheaper vapourisers is very corrosive but it is a cheap way to start. What I am after is some experienced positive feedback and other sources for alcohol. Some forums say ethyl alcohol but this is also expensive. Can isopropyl alcohol be used? I have heard of the use of food grade mineral oil but again this also gets a negative rap on the net.Your input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

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9 hours ago, steve rob said:

Hi

Just after some input from the more experienced. Don't shoot me down in flames, just trying to find a good method to treat hives for varroa at a reasonable price. I do use Bayvarol once a season, but want to mix it up with oxalic. I am not at a level or want to invest yet in a pro vap 220. I have seen the use of the vaporisers using oxalic acid and 95% alcohol mix but the alcohol in NZ at this level is very expensive. I also know the oxalic acid on cheaper vapourisers is very corrosive but it is a cheap way to start. What I am after is some experienced positive feedback and other sources for alcohol. Some forums say ethyl alcohol but this is also expensive. Can isopropyl alcohol be used? I have heard of the use of food grade mineral oil but again this also gets a negative rap on the net.Your input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Hi, not sure re using alcohol ox vaping. 

Would be expensive, and heat plus alcohol unsafe?

There is a lot of info on oxalic acid mixed with glycerin, which is soaked into Gib strips. Search for that thread.

How many hives? 

There are many methods suitable for smaller Apiaries. Brood break plus ox dribble for instance. Or drone brood removal. They do require more labour and skill. 

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10 hours ago, steve rob said:

I do use Bayvarol once a season,

Is this your only treatment.  If so, then Bayvarol once per season is insufficient.

You should also be using something like ApiVar or Apitrax as an alternative treatment.

You should be doing a minimum of 2 treatments per season. Spring and Autumn.

Some other options are:

Mite away quick strips.

Thymol

 for starters.

 

I suggest as a beginner beekeeper that you do about 3 seasons with standard synthetics and learn beekeeping first before experimenting with alternatives.

 

Best wishes.

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Thank you Trev, was tempted to say the exact same thing - as part of a predominantly hobby group, we always recommend the same, two different synthetic treatments, so one gets to see what a healthy hive looks like before branching out and getting creative with alternatives. The internet is littered each spring with those who lost hives over winter, and mostly varroa is a major factor. Heating alcohol of any type - particularly with a lit smoker nearby is not a sane idea, and I say that with a couple of decades standing at a bench in chemistry labs.

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I have lots of questions and should research it for myself but how do you get alcohol to stay on a hot vapouriser?  

Vaporising oxalic acid for me ended up a treatment that requires chasing your tail and never getting rid of Varroa in sufficient numbers to make it something you could rely on.  

In my experience the duration of the treatment is to short to be effective and the addition of alcohol is likely to make it shorter still, there are safer methods that use oxalic and very effective. Lots of information here on the forum look up the Oxalic Acid thread

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18 hours ago, steve rob said:

I have seen the use of the vaporisers using oxalic acid and 95% alcohol mix but the alcohol in NZ at this level is very expensive. 

 

Steve I'm not sure where you got this information. Oxalic Acid vapourisation is not done mixed with alcohol, it is done using pure oxalic acid. 

 

The odd person has tried doing oxalic acid vapour in a thermal fogger by mixing it with FGMO, but this has not usually worked well and is a rather complex way of attacking the problem. Don't recommend.

Edited by Alastair
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On 28/12/2019 at 3:40 PM, Alastair said:

 

Steve I'm not sure where you got this information. Oxalic Acid vapourisation is not done mixed with alcohol, it is done using pure oxalic acid. 

 

The odd person has tried doing oxalic acid vapour in a thermal fogger by mixing it with FGMO, but this has not usually worked well and is a rather complex way of attacking the problem. Don't recommend.

I agree with your comment re the FGMO/Oxalic fogging method. The fog it not located specifically to the hive it travels outside of the apiary area as well. I would not like to expose neighbors and animals to a toxic cloud drifting to them. Aside from that the level of PPE that is required to administer treatment with this method will make it cost prohibitive from the start.

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Hi everyone

Thank you all very much for this input, very informative and given me ways to proceed with treatment.

Thanks

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