Oxalic vapour or strips

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3,371
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Hawkes Bay
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Over the last little while I have been looking at various options for varoa control other than conventional treatments which I will still be using. I have whittled down what I'm interested in using to oxalic vapour or oxalic\glycerin strips. I will be trialling one or the other over the summer and at the moment I am just looking for something to keep varoa numbers very low over the whole summer between conventional treatments. I think am leaning more towards oxalic\glycerin but would appreciate comments from people that have used one other or both.
 

frazzledfozzle

Founder Member
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Nelson/Tasman District
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I can’t really give any advice one way or the other but have tried the ox/gl staples.
When I first put them in hives they went into my cell builders because I’m in them every day and coiled keep a good eye on what was going on.

I was really impressed. I had around 60 builders of those probably 10% had significant die off of bees out the front which was scary at the time but I was told those hives probably had high mite numbers and it was sick bees dying.

Come that same Autumn we put staples in everything and had a disaster losing over 200 hives.

We put the staples in and walked away which I now know is wrong and I also believe that the reason the bees died on mass is because once the Spring treatment came out we didn’t treat till putting staples in in Autumn.
I think the bees that have had mites on them have open wounds and when they come into contact with the staples it’s curtains for them.
i have no proof of that it’s just what I think.

There are a lot of very good beekeepers successfully using staples so I think they are probably a really good bet :)
 
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5,526
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canterbury
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Morning John B.....

We have been using O/A staples for a couple of springs now .....with success.
Generally we start putting them in in Septemeber.
It seems to be you always neeed to be refreshing them .....some hives chew through them really quicklty, some hives don't.
We use the blue shop cloths as a final treatement , spread over the top bars and under the queen excluder as we super up.
One year we carried on using staples as we took honey off in Jan /Feb. Next time we looked in them at the end of March about 60% of the hives were dead .Not ideal.
Since then we have used Apivar or Bayvarol as a post honey flow treatement.

This year we have card board strips on order from Hiveworld in Wellington.
Goodluck:cool:
 

kaihoka

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whanganui inlet
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I used strips for two yrs .
I used barvarol this winter cause I had run out of strips.
I think they worked. Any issue I had with loosing hives could easily be explained by other things that went wrong.
I will use strips again but I will mix them up with other treatments.
 
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.
One year we carried on using staples as we took honey off in Jan /Feb. Next time we looked in them at the end of March about 60% of the hives were dead .Not ideal.
Any thoughts on why the hives died.?
At least initially I am and only use them as additional knockdown. At the moment I only use two treatments a year and while I occasionally have some varoa problems I have lost very few hives to varoa in the last 10 years..I am by nature conservative and whatever I use I will be only using it on half the hives in any apiary and closely monitoring the results.
 
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Otto

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69
151
Dunedin
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Semi Commercial
I've only used strips/staples out of those 2 options.

My reasons for not trying vapor, which does appeal to me in some ways, came down to personal safety. My beekeeping is almost always me out by myself and I just did not want to risk an accident breathing in oxalic vapor. The idea of wearing a full protective mask really doesn't appeal to me either.

As I've said before I'm very happy with how my staples are working for me.
 
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35
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Bay of plenty
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Welcome to the experiment. Have not used vapor treatment as it scares me a little and I value my lungs. Have used the staple method extensively for three years now. In my opinion the most important bit of kit for its success is the crowley cup so you can learn what works for you and what doesn't.
 

Mummzie

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I have used strips for the spring treatment and alternate conventional treatment for autumn.
I do find they don't like to raise brood under the strip, therefore prefer the narrow ones. Also need to ensure they don't avoid crossing the strip and you end up with only half a frame of brood.
I have debated hanging the strip on a toothpick to have it hang in the centre of the gap.
 

yesbut

Staff member
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I intend laying gib tape strips across the top of the frames like the shop cloth method. I don't like the dangly staple method, too finicky. The only issue I've had with across the top of the frames is when I overdid one last year and effectively cut the hive in half
 
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Any thoughts on why the hives died.?
At least initially I am and only use them as additional knockdown. At the moment I only use two treatments a year and while I occasionally have some varoa problems I have lost very few hives to varoa in the last 10 years..I am by nature conservative and whatever I use I will be only using it on half the hives in any apiary and closely monitoring the results.
Any thoughts on why the hives died.?
At least initially I am and only use them as additional knockdown. At the moment I only use two treatments a year and while I occasionally have some varoa problems I have lost very few hives to varoa in the last 10 years..I am by nature conservative and whatever I use I will be only using it on half the hives in any apiary and closely monitoring the results.
Too many mites....?E6DFF1C9-EED0-4C6C-BA03-BFBABB27C55C.jpeg
 
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Slightly closer in.... but for photo reasons....
You gotta remmmember these hives will have had three boxes plus of bees, nearly 100,000 slaves.... thr strips dont look like they have been touched by a bee....
 
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I have been following the use of oxalic acid pretty closely for a long time in fact long before strips were even talked about and one of the very earliest recommendations I saw suggested that it not be used more than once a year (this was an oxalic acid\sugar syrup dribble).
One possible hypothesis I have is that short lived summer bees do not get a lethal dose of oxalic acid in their short little lives whereas the overwintered bees do. There is also talk that the strips pull in a lot of moisture especially in winter and that this may have a detrimental effect, it's even possible the bees are collecting moisture from the strips and being orally poisoned. There are so many unanswered questions but with current treatments starting to fail we're going to have to answer some of them pretty soon.
I should have started on this journey a lot earlier but to be honest got put off by the large hive losses some pretty experience beekeepers had with this product..
 

kaihoka

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There is also talk that the strips pull in a lot of moisture especially in winter and that this may have a detrimental effect,
i used strips over the winter and my hives were ok.
but i have a damp climate and i am very vigilant about keeping my hives warm and dry with my choice of sites and number of boxes per bee colony.
if you never normally had to think of such things you could be caught out.
 
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the most important bit of kit for its success is the crowley cup
Dam it, I should of patented the "crowley cup" when Gino suggested, Then now I could of been living the life of a Riley off all my royalties on a beach somewhere warm drinking whiskey while watching the sun go down. But now I'm back in the "land of the bloody cold long white cloud" drinking cheap coffee thinking about going to look at hives as I drive past a beach.
Never mind I got another offer from Nigeria this week, I may take up the offer this time, not going to let this opportunity slip by like I did with the bloody crowley cup.
 
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AAA

5
1
Waihi
Experience
Commercial
I too am thinking of how to use oxalic and glycerin. I prefer to use sublimation and I do use it once a season, in winter normally during bloodless (relatively) period, on warm days. And in autumn after harvest.
I have two provap pro vaporizers that keep me hopping between the two either at end of hive manipulations and feeding, through a hole at top, or as a dedicated vape day, 120 hives per day.
I will follow this topic with interest.
 
715
563
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
Don’t bother with vapour unless your bees have a brood break or you are simply trying to keep the dreaded V at bay. I tried for a couple of years, but felt that I was just sustaining V at a nondestructive level. I could always find V in drone brood.

Staples are a huge success for me, but take a lot of time and effort. Placement and vigilance is key.
 
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Southland
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We've been using vapour for 3 years as an additional treatment in the winter and I'd agree with you @CHCHPaul. Great to use if there's a brood break and once you got the gear it's cheap, but if you got brood you'd need to go back 3 x, 4 days apart, which makes it to much work. Using it is reasonable easy, the mask is not that bad to wear and it's quick.
 
194
270
Bay of Plenty
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Just watched a you tube vid by a Florida based beekeeper I think, called Bob Binnie Bees. He just posted a couple of vids of an interview with Georgia University Bee Lab about oxalic acid, they were working/collaborating with Randy Oliver on shop towels treatments and could not get them to work in their area. Its a 3 part vid but only p1 & 2 are up, but lots of interesting discussion around vaporizing and monitoring bees etc, looking at how to vaporize only once, statistical anomalies around alcohol wash, worth a look.
 
35
52
Bay of plenty
Experience
Commercial
Just watched a you tube vid by a Florida based beekeeper I think, called Bob Binnie Bees. He just posted a couple of vids of an interview with Georgia University Bee Lab about oxalic acid, they were working/collaborating with Randy Oliver on shop towels treatments and could not get them to work in their area. Its a 3 part vid but only p1 & 2 are up, but lots of interesting discussion around vaporizing and monitoring bees etc, looking at how to vaporize only once, statistical anomalies around alcohol wash, worth a look.
He's from northern Georgia. Far enough north that he gets a brood break which he uses along with an ox vap to get good winter varroa control. Interesting what he was saying / not saying about his experience with apivar.
 


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