What is oxalic acid?
Oxalic acid is used to treat Varroa mites and can be applied to the colony in many ways. One form that is popular with bee keepers is the oxalic acid in a trickle treatment. Oxalic acid crystals or a pre-measured solution is prepared by diluting it in warm water and adding sugar to the mix. This is then applied to the colony in mid-winter when the queen has stopped laying and the colony is brood less. This ensures that all the varroa mites in the colony are on the bees at time of application.
When should I treat my bees with oxalic acid?
The best time to treat bees with oxalic acid is during the winter time when the colony is in its dormant phase and is not active. This is typically around the winter equinox, but this does depend on your location within the UK and the world. If the outdoor temperature is low (below 5°C) and it is around Christmas time the colony is likely to be brood less.
How does oxalic acid dribble work?
Oxalic acid is mixed into a solution with sugar whilst warm and then applied to the colony using a syringe or trickle bottle. The different types of applicators to apply the oxalic acid solution to the colony vary but the general aim is to apply 50ml per colony of oxalic acid which will be toxic to the varroa mites that are on the bees.
Once applied directly to the bees the sugary solution is passed throughout the colony by the bees and the oxalic acid kills the varroa mites it encounters. This method of oxalic acid treatment is quick, easy and effective. Using this method of varroa control is an easy win for the forward-thinking bee keeper.
Andermatt bring Oxuvar 5.7% to the table for this; a pre-measured oxalic acid solution that can be used to as a trickle treatment. Andermatt automatic syringe can be directly attached to the Oxuvar bottle and accurately measures out a pre-set dose giving the user an accurate amount of oxalic acid per colony.