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Oxalic Acid Safety

More evaporation pictures

March 12, 2010

My latest shots were from 2008, so I phoned Cor a few minutes ago and here is the scoop.  He has two versions of the machines and has sold a number of them.

Here is what he has:

  • A two-hive unit for a single operator -- $3,400 CAD + GST -- and

  • A four hive unit -- $6,200 CAD + GST -- which takes two people to keep up.

Each hive takes 15-20 seconds.

The hives can be wrapped and reduced or open is ok, but use a rag or attach a styrofoam blocker piece to the nozzle to temporarily block while applying.

The unit needs a separate 1000W 110V generator which stays on the truck and is attached with a 50 feet cord.

He checks in the early fall and only treats early if he sees problems. You can repeat a number of times, but usually he just waits until mid-November.

Checks are done by drop boards. His most recent checks were 4 boards each in 6 yards and found a *total* of 4 mites. I actually phoned him back to make sure I heard him right. That is what he says.

He will check and treat again this spring and he is more constrained by the snow in the yards that the amount of brood. There is currently 8" out there, he says.

You can call him at 1-780-986-8582. He is happy to talk to people about his invention, or sell a unit to interested people.


March 14, 2010

> Medhat has developed a vaporizer that uses forced air to open the cluster so that the vapours can penetrate. He has much more data of efficacy of OA vapour.

The title says it all. Actually, Medhat has been very busy, and made a few comments, but I should probably add to what I offered previously, since I realize that the history I offered is incomplete, being up to date to about 2004 but omitting some developments after that. (My lame excuse is that I retired about then and went AWOL. I dropped my diary for a time, around then, too).

At the turn of this century, Cor De Wit developed an air blower oxalic evaporator device that was more or less self contained and would treat four hives at once. It was designed around the proven Varoxx unit.

He presented his results to our AGM in 2002. By that time, there were already such blower units in use in Europe, but I think Cor's was the most ambitious by far due to its design for four hives and short cycle, and wheels for moving around a bee yard far larger than most in Europe. Medhat Nasr was our new Alberta Apiculturalist at the time, as I recall, having replaced Ken Tuckey.

By 2003/4, Cor had further refined the machine and others were copying it, although I did not see others that were on wheels. Most were single-hive units.

There were various attempts, including one that kept a pressure chamber full of liquid oxalic under thermostatic control. That unit is pictured somewhere in my diary. It ultimately blew up, literally, without hurting anyone, but was abandoned as an obviously bad idea.

Various other versions were built in beekeepers workshops and some worked, some didn't. All of them made smoke, though. Most people really did not know if they worked or not because both the application and the monitoring was less than consistent and results were not independently verified or replicated.

That is where Medhat stepped in. With his scientific training, his team (Sam & Roy) and contacts, he helped Cor refine and compact the design and did efficacy studies which he detailed in the ACIDF Project Final Report #20004A071R issued in 2008. (My understanding is that contrary to what some have thought, Medhat and his team do not any make money off this invention or wish to).

So, the machines now on offer from Cor are a product of the work of a group of people. My apologies for not realizing that earlier.

Those interested in more details or getting one can read the brochure at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/2010.htm 

As mentioned, I have compiled some of this material on my site and updated errors and omissions. Any further comments or criticisms are welcome. I'm sure I have missed other worthwhile points.


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