Oxalic acid for varroa treatment. Information about bees and Beekeeping.
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BEEKEEPING
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PESTS

VARROA MITE
Varroa examination
Oxalic acid
Apistan®

TRACHEAL MITE
Menthol treatment
 
DISEASES

FOULBROOD
American foulbrood
European foulbrood
Oxytetracycline

NOSEMA
Fumagilin treatment
 
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Inverted sugar
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OXALIC ACID

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Oxalic acid can kill varroa and tracheal mite, but is primarily used for varroa treatment where it gives the best results.  Oxalic acid dihydrate / C2H2O2 x 2H2O / Oxalic-2-hidrate is what we talk about here, from now on referred to as oxalic acid.  It can be found in nature in small quantities, so it is not something mixed up in a lab somewhere.  You can find it in chocolate, coffee, spinach, strawberries, mango, potato, tomato and in honey also.  You can use it on bees even through the winter if you can catch few days with temperatures above freezing.  You should mix 7.5 parts of oxalic acid with 100 parts water and 100 parts sugar, and that is a recommended dose.  Amounts range from 20 ml of solution for small up to 50 ml for strong colonies.  So 5 ml is the dosage applied to one frame full of bees.  You can use ordinary medical syringe cause then you can see the exact amount applied.  Treatment should be undertaken at almost any time when there is no brood in the hive to get greater efficiency, so late autumn and early winter is the best. 

Apply in late autumn / early winter to:
-get maximum efficiency ( up to 95% ) because there is no brood and no varroa mites protected inside capped brood cells,
-any acid there will be dissolved till next season comes, so it will not show up in honey.

Also it should not be used more than once in three months.  It is possible to obtain very high varroa mortality rate using oxalic acid.  Outer temperature should be well above freezing when applying.  Solution should be warmed to room temperature.  Breathing mask, gloves and eye protection must be worn while working with oxalic acid.  Any solution made must be used within few weeks cause it cannot last longer.

There are actually three methods of applying oxalic acid:
- spraying,
- trickling,
- vaporizing.

Trickling does not require to dismantle hive as spraying does, it is cheaper, faster and very good results are obtained.  Also it does not require any other special equipment as vaporizing does, so it is preferred method of applying.  Extreme precaution is needed when working with oxalic acid.

You need to protect against :
- coming in contact with your skin,
- coming in contact with your eyes,
- against inhaling it,
- against swallowing it.

It is very irritating to eyes and skin.  In case of it coming in contact with skin or eyes, wash with large amounts of water and in all cases seek immediate medical help.  It is important to know that it can be lethal if swallowed. 

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  • LINKS

    HoneyBeeWorld - Oxalic Acid Varroa Treatments for Honey Bee Mites.
    Apiculture - Oxalic acid is another viable alternative for beekeepers to control varroa mites.
    Blackwell Synergy - Oxalic Acid is good alternative for mites control.
    Mellifera Biene Mensch Natur - Oxalic acid, for the treatment of the mites.
    Oxalic acid - naturally occurring substance in honey.

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