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Video: Oxalic acid trickling

Here is a great little video that shows how to apply an oxalic acid trickle. It features Bee Craft Deputy Editor, Margaret Cowley (UK). She has the coolest little plastic squirt bottle that dispenses exactly 5 ml of the solution at a time. She just squeezes the bottle until the upper chamber is full, then she applies the measured amount into a seam of bees. After each seam, she refills the chamber and repeats.

The treatment is being applied on a December day with temperatures around 42-43 degrees F in a hive with one brood chamber and a super for winter. She treats the entire hive in a matter of moments—as fast as she can re-load the dispenser. Also of interest in this four-minute video is the cat and the woodpecker netting. (I love cats and never heard of woodpecker netting!)

Then too, Margaret cracks me up. As she trickles the solution, a little bee pops up between the frames and Margaret interrupts her narration to say, “hello.” So cute.

Be sure to enjoy.

Rusty
HoneyBeeSuite

Comments

Paula
Reply

Wow, that’s good stuff, I just wish I could go into a hive and have them “chilled” out like that. Here in Florida it seems they’re always ready to go!

Steve
Reply

I want a bottle like she uses. Easy breezy.

Jan Brett
Reply

I love the square hive, so the frames in the super are reversed! So, I wonder which month you would do this in Colorado?

Rusty
Reply

Jan,

I was wondering about that. I’ve never seen it before.

Susan Luber
Reply

Yes, very nice. But WHY is this being applied??? Thanks. I love Honey Bee Suite . . . but this time need a bit more information.

Rusty
Reply

Susan,

It is applied to control varroa mites without using synthetic pesticides. Posts earlier in the week explained the whys and hows.

Jeremy
Reply

Thank you for sharing! Your blog is much appreciated.

Virginia
Reply

Thanks so much, this and your previous post about OAD are very helpful. I’ll definitely be trying that method this fall. I’ve seen everything from 30-50 ml as upper limit for dosage per colony, but I have 8-frame equipment, so that probably means applying closer to 30 ml?

Also, I treated with Apiguard in mid-August last year because mite levels soared around that time. I would not feel comfortable waiting until December to treat. Would OAD in late fall work in conjunction with a late summer application of Apiguard? I was very happy with how that knocked mite levels way back, but I knew they weren’t going into January mite-free. Yet both colonies survived the winter and are doing well.

Rusty
Reply

Virginia,

Yes, I would say a knock-down in August with something like HopGuard or Thymol and then a mid-winter treatment with oxalic would be ideal.

For 8-frame equipment, just don’t go above 5 ml per seam of bees and you will be safe. The maximum for a colony is 50 ml, even if that colony is in a nuc. Read the EPA label, if you are in doubt: the label is the final authority. It says, “The maximum dose is 50 ml per colony whether bees are in nucs, single, or multiple brood chambers.”

Virginia
Reply

Thanks Rusty!

Pedro
Reply

Hi,

She makes it look easy, I will have to consider oxalic acid. Watching the video makes me more confident for trying it, thanks.

In the end of the video, she puts back the supper with the frames at 90º to the brood chamber frames. It was probably due to the filming as in the beginning the frames were all aligned. But my question is, is this a problem? I did this the other day and only noticed later. I went back and put it right. But I wonder what would happen if I had left the super with the frames at 90º?

Thank you for sharing the video.

Pedro

Rusty
Reply

Pedro,

I don’t know the answer. I wondered the same thing and I guess I will have to ask.

just for the love of bees
Reply

Why would you endorse putting any poison in a hive?

Rusty
Reply

To save honey bees from a cruel and agonizing death.

Dave
Reply

That is a great video and a really neat squeeze bottle. Thanks for sharing. With this treatment being effective at lower temperatures that is of interest to me.

I noticed the frame in the top super were orientated 90d to the frames in the brood chamber. That seems odd to me.

Rusty
Reply

Dave,

Me too. I will try to find the answer.

janey
Reply

Can anyone advise me as a first time beekeeper if I can put down apiguard now in the spring on top of the brood box? I harvested honey in October. I believe I could harvest again but I think I’ll wait.
I’ve had my hive right at a year now.

If I do put apiguard down, can I still harvest honey in a month or so?

Thank you for your help,

janey

Rusty
Reply

Janey,

Harvest first, then use Apiguard. You don’t want to use it while honey supers are in place because the wax can absorb it. Follow the package directions for spring use.

Dlan
Reply

The bottle seems like a simple method for application. Any one know where a bottle like that can be purchased?

Rusty
Reply

Dian,

See Megan’s comment.

Carole
Reply

Hi Rusty-I have ordered some Vivaldi boards, but can’t seem to find any ROUND Swienty feeders-just the square one. Do you/anyone reading the blog know of a source? Thanks so much-I appreciate it! Neat video

Rusty
Reply

Carole,

I do not know. Anyone else?

Rusty
Reply

Hey Megan, thanks!

Henrik Andersen
Reply

My friend has square boxes and he can also turn the frames 90 deg. He says his bees doesn’t care which way the frames are turned.

PS. I live in Denmark

Rusty
Reply

Henrik,

I asked Margaret Cowley (in the video) about this. She said she usually puts the super on parallel to the brood frames, but she wasn’t thinking about it at the time the video was made. But she and I agree with you that it shouldn’t make any difference to the bees.

Daniel P
Reply

Rusty,

Not sure whether you can help me (us) with top bar hives, but since the top bars do not have any space between them (unlike the Langstroths), it would not be possible to drip the oxalic acid solution from the top.

Any suggestions from you or your followers?

Thanks for your efforts on our (and our bees’) behalf, and for your excellent writing.

Daniel

Rusty
Reply

Daniel,

I have one top-bar hive. For oxalic, I removed two bars from the end, spaced the bars so there was space between them, dripped the oxalic, pushed the top bars together, and returned the two end bars. It took a few minutes longer than the Langstroth but caused no problems.

Emily
Reply

Margaret is such a natural presenter, she speaks calmly and explains everything really well. Can see why they chose that hive to film, good as gold. Love the cat stalking in the background too.

Mark Moore
Reply

Thanks for sharing. I’m trying this winter. When you played this you probably noticed putting the super back warm way onto the brood box set cold way?

Rusty
Reply

Mark,

Yes, this is mentioned over and over in the comments.

Pedro
Reply

Interesting study. But the pre-condition of no brood in the hive is not attainable in a large part of the world. Is it just because of mites in capped brood who are not reached by the treatment or is oxalic acid toxic for bee larva in uncapped cells?

Sean
Reply

Pedro,

It’s been shown in studies that there’s no harm to brood with vapourising. I use it when required and if in the laying period, I’ll do three treatments 5-7days apart to cover the mites hatching cycle. I can only speak from my own experience but I have never seen dead brood or the queen stop laying.

Pedro
Reply

Sean,
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. It is very useful to know!
Where I have my (2) hives there is always some brood in the hive year round and now I will feel more comfortable trying it out.
Thanks!

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