Varroa treatment of my hives


Time to treat the bees for Varroa (for anyone reading that don't know what varroa are check this out using the oxalic acid vaporizer. I got it last year and it worked pretty good with a good level of mite drop. The way it work is the oxalic acid is turned to vapor when it is heated with the car battery. The vapor coasts everything inside the hive with a fine layer of oxalic acid, it is harmless to the honey bees but is lethal to the varroa. The only downside to this method is that it needs to be carried out when the hive is broodless (no babies) for the best results. The reason is the varroa will be inside the capped cells where the oxalic acid cannot get to them. Hives are usually broodless from mid-November to early January but this winter has been so mild I doubt hives have been totally broodless. I will need to do the oxalic trickle on the remaining polynuc as it would probably go up in smoke if I tried to put the vaporizer into it.Looking at this hive-stand yesterday I saw that its leaning forward far too much, will need to level it off over the next few days.2015-01-08 13.45.12It's important to insert the bottom board so as to trap in as much of the vapor as possible and also to see how many mites drop off over the next few days.2015-01-08 13.45.23The tray on the vaporizer is loaded with the powder, 1g per box, so this hive got 2g. It is positioned into the front entrance so it is on the middle of the floor. Then the entrance is blocked up with a cloth, the terminals are attached to the battery for 2m30s, then disconnected and left for a further 2m. The vaporizer is then removed and cooled in a bucket of water and the hive left sealed for a further 10 minutes. After that the entrance blocks can be put back and everything is back to normal.2015-01-08 14.19.20The highest temperature we had here was 5 degrees Celsius yet the bees were breaking cluster all the time and coming out to have a look at what I was doing. Usually below 10 degrees the bees are tightly clustered in a ball to conserve energy and keep warm. So this was a little annoying as each time bees came out for a look I had to wait until they settled again.2015-01-08 14.42.01With 7 hives treated and 6 to go I had to make a dash down to the Old Mill with Wesley to catch his bus and had no time to change so off I went in the bee suit, getting strange looks along the way.2015-01-08 16.06.13Here is a short video of the vaporizer in action.[embed][/embed]Finally got the last one done just after getting dark...2015-01-08 16.58.33