Are you struggling to get that mite count down? It’s time you get an oxalic acid vaporizer.
Nature is quite adept at solving natural problems. It doesn’t come as a surprise that after compounding the mite problem with synthetic miticides, we are back to nature.
Oxalic acid is a compound that naturally occurs in vegetables such as spinach and radish. Commercially, it acts as a wood bleaching agent. Now, the E.P.A. has authorized its use as an effective miticide. We also find trace amounts in honey, hence, it is safe to use in a hive.
Beekeepers all over the country are using oxalic acid to save their colonies from the Varroa mite.
Before we get to your options, let’s deal with the basics.
In a hurry or just plain curious?
What is an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer?
An oxalic acid vaporizer is a tool used to turn oxalic acid crystals into vapor. This vapor then quickly condenses to form tiny fine crystals that coat the interior surfaces of the hive, as well as covering the bees. The bees help with the vapor dispersion by fanning it away, allowing it to spread throughout the colony.
When the mites come in contact with these crystals, they die. The bees are unharmed by this process, while the mortality rate of the mites is over 90%.
It only works on phoretic mites, those hitching a ride on adult bees inside the hive and walking around on the surface. Those enclosed in capped cells remain unscathed.
Most beekeepers will treat their hives when the colony has little to no brood. Alternatively, they have to repeat the treatments weekly for at least three weeks to expose emerging mites to the acid.
What should you look for when buying a vaporizer?
When checking reviews online, I’ve noticed that people who give the lowest rating have a complaint about the product either falling apart or breaking down when it’s still new. It is not a disposable product. It shouldn’t behave like one.
Most vaporizers are attached to a battery. Once the oxalic acid has vaporized, the beekeeper turns off the vaporizer by disconnecting the clips from the car battery. Once it has cooled further, it is removed from the hive, and then the process is repeated.
The ability to heat the oxalic acid quickly but efficiently will save you time as a beekeeper.
Your vaporizer will be powered by either a car or lawnmower battery. These are not the heaviest objects but they can be cumbersome if you have to keep moving them.
If your cord is long enough, you can treat several hives without moving the battery, which means less work for you.
Very few vaporizers have a temperature gauge or regulator. Even though the absence of one isn’t a deal-breaker, it is a great asset.
If the vaporizer gets too hot too fast, it can cause the oxalic acid to degrade rather than fully sublimate. That reduces the effectiveness of the oxalic acid.
Best Commercial Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
This vaporizer made it to the top of our list. The vaporizer is very efficient and heats up quickly. Once it’s on, you can tend to several hives without having to put it off. That means no time is lost waiting for the element to heat the pan in between hives.
It takes about 2-3 minutes to heat up to over 200 degrees. Once the vaporizer is hot, it takes about 30 seconds to vaporize 2-3g of crystals, depending on the size of the hive that you are treating.
Only the nozzle of the vaporizer is inserted into the hive. The manufacturer advises the user to drill a hole at the back of the hive (¼“) and insert the nozzle. With the hole being that small, the nozzle acts as a plug, keeping most of the vapor inside the hive.
The vaporizer pack includes two caps where the oxalic acid is placed and a scoop to measure the required dose.
This product has received glowing reviews online. However, the downside is that the Oxavap ProVap vaporizer is quite pricey and will require either an inverter or a small generator to power it.
Best Hobbyist Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- Made in USA!
- Scott Bee Farm’s Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer v.15.12 is used for the vaporization of oxalic acid in beehives as a proven method of killing both Varroa and Tracheal mites. Easy, Simple & Effective!
- Our vaporizer is constructed with the highest quality, reliability, durability, usability, functionality and expandability. Scott Bee Farm is proud to offer the best oxalic acid vaporizer available on the market and is shipped quickly within 2 business days!
- Includes: CNC machined Oxalic acid pan, Stabilization tray, Glow Plug, Soldered battery clips, Protected 12 feet of electrical wire, Aluminum tubing protects wiring and is integrated into handle as well as an Easy to use wooden handle, (1) digital timer and (1) measuring scoop for acid
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, this is a gadget that will serve you for years. It’s safe and simple to use.
The pan only requires an entrance of 12mm in width, which means you can use it if you have a flow hive. Sometimes their entrances can be narrow.
The kit also includes a timer and a scoop to measure the exact amount of oxalic acid crystals needed. Once the pan is hot, it only takes two minutes for the acid to sublimate.
A stabilization tray keeps the pan in the upright position. That enables you, the beekeeper, to place the vaporizer pan in a central position and keep it in place. The position of the pan in the center ensures that the vapors are well distributed inside the hive.
Let’s not forget about the 12 feet of cable. This allows you to keep your battery in one position as you treat several hives in one location.
- Made in USA!
- Scott Bee Farm’s Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer is used for the vaporization of oxalic acid in beehives as a proven method of killing both Varroa and Tracheal mites. Easy, Simple & Effective!
- Our vaporizer is constructed with high quality, reliability, durability, usability and functionality. Scott Bee Farm is proud to offer two product options; the Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer or the Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer. This model sold here is the Mite oxalic acid vaporizer.
- Includes: CNC machined Oxalic acid pan, Glow Plug, Soldered battery clips, Protected 12 feet of electrical wire as well as an Easy to use wooden handle.
It seems to be a family affair, but I assure you, this is an objective choice. From the company that gave you the Heavy Duty Vaporizer that we loved as our runner up, comes this economic model. The only real difference is that it is unaccompanied by gifts.
The quality of the vaporizer itself is very high, using the same grade aluminum used to make the heavy-duty model. Their cord length is also 12 ft, allowing the beekeeper greater flexibility. It also heats up fast and takes 120 seconds to vaporize a 2 g load. Consistency seems to be the motto of this vapoizer, garnering glowing reviews online.
It can be powered by either a lawnmower battery, a motorcycle battery, tractor, or a regular automobile battery. You’re spoilt for choice.
- Easy to use. Fast heating.
- Fast shipping from Amazon.
- Most effective varroa mite treatment.
- Improved design for the comfortable using.
- Durable and powerful, made from top quality materials.
This is another great addition to the list. The only reason it didn’t feature in the top three positions is that it has a short cord.
It is built for longevity. The high-grade aluminum will keep vaporizing oxalic acid for years to come. The heating element is replaceable, meaning should the need arise, you can just get another diesel glow plug. The wires are insulated well and affixed in such a way that the user need not worry about the insulation breaking off exposing the wires beneath.
It starts to vaporize the crystals in just 3 minutes which allows you to move through the apiary quickly. Based on the number of reviews, it is an extremely effective product and is easy on the pocket.
If you haven’t already tried it, using a vaporizer is a safe and effective way to combat varroa. These gadgets come with a manual so please take the time to read through and understand how the vaporizer works.
When’s the last time you did your bees a favor? Well, here’s your chance.