NZBF: Oxalic Strips - what do do once soaked?

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7
6
Dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
Hi, the strips do not really dry, they leak surplus solution for a few days, and depending on humidity may take up water vapour from the air and then feel a bit like sand (crystalised OA) on the surface. That is when I deem them to be ok. I store them in a plastic container with a lid (ice cream containers are great, you just have to eat a lot of ice cream..:)). The strips also absorb water vapour inside the hive when humidity is high and drip again a few days .. just a few drops.
What kind of strip material have you used, never seen this before...
 
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Dave Bee

Gold
5
5
Waitakere Township, Auckland
Experience
Beginner
Hi, the strips do not really dry, they leak surplus solution for a few days, and depending on humidity may take up water vapour from the air and then feel a bit like sand (crystalised OA) on the surface. That is when I deem them to be ok. I store them in a plastic container with a lid (ice cream containers are great, you just have to eat a lot of ice cream..:)). The strips also absorb water vapour inside the hive when humidity is high and drip again a few days .. just a few drops.
What kind of strip material have you used, never seen this before...
Thanks for the info, I've stored them in a container although I don't see crystalisation as yet :unsure: These strips are from Hive World NZ In Porirua, I hadn't seen these before but looks like recycled card or something similar. I see they have the more common dry wall paper for sale on their site now.
 
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18
22
Whakatane
Experience
Commercial
Hey @Dave Bee, I have some of those to try. Did you heat the oxalic and glycerine. and how long did they take to soak through.

I bought them to try Thymol and glycerine. the glycerine didnt soak in but I knew they were sold for oxalic.
 

Dave Bee

Gold
5
5
Waitakere Township, Auckland
Experience
Beginner
Hey @Dave Bee, I have some of those to try. Did you heat the oxalic and glycerine. and how long did they take to soak through.

I bought them to try Thymol and glycerine. the glycerine didnt soak in but I knew they were sold for oxalic.
Hi, I heated gycerine to 70 degrees, put in oxalic then got it back to 70 degrees before removing from heat and soaking strips. It didn't take long to soak through, I left them soaking for 40 mins I guess, then hung them.
 
34
51
Bay of plenty
Experience
Commercial
Hi, I heated gycerine to 70 degrees, put in oxalic then got it back to 70 degrees before removing from heat and soaking strips. It didn't take long to soak through, I left them soaking for 40 mins I guess, then hung them.
If you are using what seems to be the most common ratio 60.40 you probably dont need to take the combined mix quite that high. 57ish should be enough but will require either a bit of stirring or time at that temp. There is some thought that too much temp may not be a good thing.

I soak my strips for 10 - 24 hrs as I want every drop that I can get in them.

Remember to wear your specs 😊
 
7
6
Dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
Have recently been watching Randy olivers latest video on Oxalic towels, he seems to like the 1:1 ratio. thoughts please

As a follower of Otto's wisdom I use 60/40 Gly/OxAc. But my 'forwhatitsworth' gut feeling says 50/50 might be more or less equally suited. I assume that it is the powdery oxalic acid surface of the strips that determines the efficiency of the treatment. With relative humidities of anywhere between 50-80% in a hive the strips take up so much water because of the hygroscopic nature of glycerine that they drip for a few days. The second thing that happens is that, because OxAc is way more soluble in glycerine than in water (about 4-5x) the solubility of the OxAc decreases in the Gly/water mixture and a powdery deposit is formed on the strip surface. In other words the strips contain now a supersaturated solution where part of the OxAc has become solid. From the physics of this process it doesn't seem to matter much whether one uses 60/40 or 50/50.... but hey, I am retired now, who knows what my knowledge is still worth anymore... :)
 
18
22
Whakatane
Experience
Commercial
As a follower of Otto's wisdom I use 60/40 Gly/OxAc. But my 'forwhatitsworth' gut feeling says 50/50 might be more or less equally suited. I assume that it is the powdery oxalic acid surface of the strips that determines the efficiency of the treatment. With relative humidities of anywhere between 50-80% in a hive the strips take up so much water because of the hygroscopic nature of glycerine that they drip for a few days. The second thing that happens is that, because OxAc is way more soluble in glycerine than in water (about 4-5x) the solubility of the OxAc decreases in the Gly/water mixture and a powdery deposit is formed on the strip surface. In other words the strips contain now a supersaturated solution where part of the OxAc has become solid. From the physics of this process it doesn't seem to matter much whether one uses 60/40 or 50/50.... but hey, I am retired now, who knows what my knowledge is still worth anymore... :)
Thanks I have been using 60/40 with very satisfactory results. But enjoyed the info above, always learning.
 
23
14
Russia
Experience
International
When I made oxalic glycerin strips, I used cardboard, which goes to gaskets for the cylinder heads of trucks. Does not flog!!! Paperboard. The width is 3 cm and the length is 30 cm. Each strip. The thickness is 2 mm. It is cut perfectly with a stationery knife. But I don't remember exactly the length. Calculate for the length of your mailbox. Then I took a double plastic garbage bag, put strips in it and filled it with a solution. I wrapped it up hermetically with tape, so that it would not leak out, and periodically mixed it for a couple of days. Usually everything is absorbed without a trace. It is necessary to select the amount of solution and cardboard experimentally.
* Warning. I am describing the experience of working in Russia and some beekeepers in Europe do this. Perhaps your standards and laws prohibit doing this. But I think that there is nothing terrible and dangerous in this
 
5,443
5,731
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
I was reading throgh the Beequip catalogue the other day. They had a section on O/A and all the gears needed.
I was interested to see them marketing a wax melter as a way of heating the glycerine and O/A into a solution.
I kinda like that idea .....bit like a bread maker.... tip the ingredients in, switch on, and hey presto a warm solution soaking into the strips.
 
9
13
Wyndham
Experience
Hobbyist
If you are a non commercial and only doing 50 or so strips at a time, use an old microwave and a large tupperware container to heat the mix up. Better control of the temperature. if you pause regularly to stir.
 
34
51
Bay of plenty
Experience
Commercial
If you are a non commercial and only doing 50 or so strips at a time, use an old microwave and a large tupperware container to heat the mix up. Better control of the temperature. if you pause regularly to stir.
I am not sure that I would ever be forgiven if I used one of my wives Tupperware containers for bee stuff
 

Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
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4,772
I wasn't sure on the microwave idea because by its nature it creates hot spots. But I have no idea on the volatility of the substances in use.
 
7
6
Dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
I wasn't sure on the microwave idea because by its nature it creates hot spots. But I have no idea on the volatility of the substances in use.
Yes, that might be an issue... I would be concerned not as much about volatility, as well about the possibility of oxalic acid being split into formic acid when temperatures exceed ~ 105°C. Not as much for the bees, but formic acid is way more aggressive and corrosive then OA.
 

Trevor Gillbanks

Staff member
Founder Member
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7,143
Palmerston North
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It is a known chemical reaction, but only happens quantitatively at elevated temperatures. Normally the oxalic acid - glycerine mix is only warmed up to max 60-65°C in order to dissolve the OA.
Sorry I read it wrong. Split / spilt.

Same letters but a different meaning.

Yes I know that OA/Gl can be heated to make formic (very dangerous)
 
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