Vapor treatment methods
Fumigating or vaporizing hives with a smoke fogger or vaporizer is not only effective but also convenient. This procedure does not take much time even in large apiaries. Modern equipment is developed in such a way that the beekeeper can process the hive with medicinal preparations in a matter of seconds.
To date, the beekeeper’s inventory suppliers have invented several varieties of most effective smokers and vaporizers for varroa treatment. The most marketable equipment among beekeepers is the next:
ProVap 110 (ProVap 220)
ProVap 110 (for the European market is an analog – ProVap 220) is professional vaporizer of the Serbian production for oxalic acid treatment designed for the antivarostatic treatment of bees. Such a procedure is recommended in the months of November or December, since during this period there is no brood, which is a very important factor for the complete destruction of varroatosis. The most effective vaporizer on the market – just 20 seconds per hive. It also allows controlling the temperature and dose.
- Effective against varroa (95%)
- Has thermostat to control the temperature
- No gas – therefore fire hazards
- Dose regulation – no need to guess the dosage
The electric oxalic acid vaporizer, or sublimator is a tool for the beehive treatment with oxalic acid by fumigation method.
The sublimator is an oblong device, assembled from the working part, the metal follower of the handle, wooden handle, electrical wire, and clamps.
Metal working part of the sublimator is a rectangular. It is equipped with an electric heater and a circular recess with a diameter of 1.3 inches, designed to accommodate the oxalic acid. The working part of the sublimator is attached to the handle extension. Its function is to keep the beekeeper from burns and the possible ingress of vapors into the respiratory tract, as well as facilitate the process of supplying acid to the hive.
The wooden handle is designed for convenient fixation of the appliance in hand. In the center it is narrowed, so the tool will not slide.
The big advantage of the oxalic acid evaporator is a good thick wire (diameter 8 mm), more than 2 meters long.
Operation of the oxalic acid sublimator
Electric oxalic acid sublimator is used for the prevention and treatment of bee colonies from varroatosis. The device promotes the evaporation of acid in the hive, after which the drug is settling on the bees. Thanks to the constant movement of the honey bees, oxalic acid spreads as much as possible throughout the hive and falls even on those bees that did not have it. The method of fumigation is recognized as the most effective method of controlling varroa mite.
Colony treatment with oxalic acid using an evaporator is carried out at a temperature of from 35 to 50°F:
period with no brood – once;
during the brood period – 2-3 times (with an interval of 7 days).
Connect the vaporizer to a 110V generator, wait 2 minutes for the temperature to reach 450°F (230°C) (it will appear on the display). Then place the dose in the container (flush dose spoon). Treatment of bees with oxalic acid is carried out at the recommended dosage of 1.5-2g for one colony. After the medication is poured into the round recess of the working part – hold for 3 minutes.
Turn the sublimator and immediately inject it into the hive.
The temperature will drop to 410-415ºF (210-215ºC), as soon as it reaches 450°F (20 seconds) it will be enough, and we will move on to the next one.
If the sublimator connected to electrical power it can not be inserted into the hive. Therefore, before the procedure, the clips from the accumulator should be disconnected.
The electric sublimator is narrow, so it passes the entrance track without difficulty. Bowl with the medicine should be set in the hive for about 20-60 seconds. During this time, oxalic acid crystals evaporate and disperse through the hive. For best results, there is a barrier bar attached to the sublimator to close the inlet. Thus, the smoke does not leave the hive and is aimed at destroying mites as much as possible.
Fumigation with oxalic acid is completely safe for bees and effective in the fight against varroa. Remains of the medicine do not appear in honey products.
Be careful – to prevent the ingress of oxalic acid fumes into the respiratory system, it is recommended to wear a respirator.
Varomorus Propane Smoke Fogger
Essentially, it is a modified propane insect fogger, an alternative delivery system of treatments for beehives. Oxalic acid can be used a variety of ways – most common are drizzle (dissolved in syrup and applied to seams between frames) and vaporizer (battery power heat pad burns the oxalic acid creating fumes and is inserted into the hive). Beekeepers are clearly divided on the smoke cannon – some beekeepers swear by it and others say it doesn’t work. With the smoke cannon, the oxalic acid is dissolved and then heated, the resulting fog forced through the hive.
Varomorus allows vaporizing a multitude of active substances (amitraz, fluvalinate, tau-fluvalinate, Bipin-T, thymol, oxalic acid, etc.) with a solvent (purified kerosene, water, ethanol 96%, etc) at high temperature for the treatment of hives against Varroa. Significantly saves time at high rates. Apply it in beekeeping by fumigating bees, and at the same time with the evaporation of the bees receive drugs.
When steam with medicinal substances evaporates, the bees become irritated and intensively move around the hive, which significantly increases the efficiency of using the Varomorus smoke cannon. Varomorus became especially useful for owners of eco-apiaries. So using Varomorus and pure ecological preparations as thymol, oxalic acid, etc. can effectively deal with varroa mite without using chemicals.
For commercial apiaries and beekeepers with a large number of hives, this device has become a real deal. With the help of Varomorus, the beekeeper can process hundreds of hives within a few hours, and at the same time get a high quality of processing.
It works with a camping gas tank and can vaporize different doses of active ingredients with the appropriate solvents. It is very productive, you can treat about 100 hives in just 30 minutes.
To use it, safety measures such as using the mask, gas filter, protective gloves must be taken. Be advantageous to have fire extinguishers at hand.
Warning: It is not the ideal machine for oxalic acid treatments. It is advisable to use special vaporizers.
Varrojet is an electric smoker for the Varroa mite treatment of bees with any drug. The efficiency of varroa mites treatment is up to 98%. This is a type of electric smoker for treatment applying combustion with substances such as amitraz impregnated in special strips. It works with batteries, and its use is simple, just apply 10 seconds per hive. Smoke (vapor) with medicinal substances is injected directly into the hive through the hive entrance.
It is an ideal treatment for winter when there is no breeding. When you use liquid amitraz you should impregnate 3 or 4 drops in the strip. One strip is enough per one hive. The treatment should be repeated three or four times.
The first prototype of Varrojet – an electric anti-varroa smoker – was designed almost 30 years ago in Serbia. The one presented now is an improved product. Thanks to its ease of use and high efficiency, the improved smoker has become an essential tool for many beekeepers not only in Europe but all over the world.
Advantages of using Varrojet:
Easy and safe using
compatible with all hive types
complete dosage control
protecting beekeeper from smoke
safe monitoring infection level of the hives
high efficiency per unit of time – about 10 seconds per hive
long service life – more than 3 years with an apiary of 100 hives.
Varrojet has a is battery powered micromotor (2хAAA 1.5V, not included), so it’s an absolutely portable device.
Electric bee smoker
The non-professional solution, but some beekeepers, especially those who prefer to use an electric smoker during a regular inspection of the hive, quite successfully use this method. It takes more time compared to professional analogs, but this is a good solution for amateur beekeepers. In addition, it can be used as an additional method of dealing with varroa, along with stripes etc. The principle of operation is the same as for Varrojet.
When treating hives with medicinal preparations with the help of electric bee smokers or smoke foggers, beekeepers are advised to wear respirators, since the smoke that is released, enters the respiratory tract and can damage the health of the beekeeper. Smoke carries no threat to the bees.
Smoke foggers and electric foggers are practical to use. Due to their simple design, they will serve in the apiary for a long time and reliably.
What is the best anti-varroa treatment method?
For beekeepers, the spring treatment of bees for varroatosis has become an annual necessity. Let’s try to find out what Varroa mite control methods are currently available and what is the treatment process.
Varroatosis is caused by a parasite called Varroa mite, which feeds on the blood of the worker bees and also parasitizes on their pupae and larvae. In the most advanced cases, up to five or more pests can be on one insect. The disease manifests itself in the weakness of bee colonies, the defectiveness of drones and the loss of their sexual function. In such a family, defective baby bees are born, and the life span of sick insects is much shorter than healthy ones.
The insidiousness of the Varroa mite is that it quickly gets used to the same anti-varroa drugs, and the means must be changed or alternated with different treatment methods. Externally, the parasite is noticeable even without any magnifying devices. The mite looks like a round brown glossy plaque on the body of a bee.
Even one mite on the body of an insect significantly weakens its vital function, so it is important to treat bees in a timely manner.
The treatment of this dangerous disease can be carried out both in spring and in autumn. In this case, we consider it in the spring, because it is the most effective and safe.
Methods of combating the Varroa
Varroa mite control is, perhaps, one of the most unpleasant, but necessary duties of a beekeeper. Processing is usually carried out in the spring. At the same time, families should be treated systematically, changing various means so that the parasite does not get used to it. Next, we consider the most popular and effective means of getting rid of the disease.
1. Varroa Mite Monitoring with Hive Screen Bottom Board
Such a component of the hive as a screen bottom board is no longer something exotic. Moreover, in every hive, this board installed by default, immediately upon the setting of the bee colony. Beginner beekeepers can set such a grid in the spring, before the beginning of the honey flow (if it is not already in the hive). The use of such a grid-lattice board reduces the total number of mites by 30%, and when using varroa traps for mites – by all 50%.
Such a board looks very simple – each cell has a size of 3x3mm, so the bee cannot crawl through it. The minimum cell size is 2mm. The wire mesh is made of wire in the frame of a frame-and-strip aluminum edging. Such a board is nailed to the bottom of the hive by small carnations. Its direct function is to prevent the mite from re-contacting the bee when the mite falls to the bottom, it will not be able to get close to the insect again.
2. Varroa Mite Control Medication
Varroa Mite control is effective if you use several methods at once. For example, treatment with special preparations helps for a long time. The names of such drugs may differ, but they contain the same substance – amitraz. For example, Apivar is sold in the form of strips impregnated with amitraz. These strips are placed in the hive (1 strip per 5 frames) and releasing the active substance over a 6 weeks period.
3. Processing smoke cannon
Effective treatment of Varroa mite in the spring can be carried out with the help of a smoke gun. This device is intended for fumigation with such preparations as thymol, amitraz and other chemical constituents. The basis is usually water or another solvent, due to which the drug in the smoke cannon evaporates, producing an intense irritating effect. Thus, the mites shed themselves from the bees. There are a lot of moke guns samples, but most popular is Varomor because of its convenience and simplicity.
4. Oxalic and formic acid
The processing of bees and mite control for many years were carried out by such a simple means as oxalic or formic acid. Now, despite the abundance of funds for varroa mite control, beekeepers continue to use these substances for the rehabilitation of bees. The concentration of acids used in the solution for Varroa is from 1.4 to 2.7%.
The inhabitants of the hive are irrigated from special dispensers – fine aerosols. Treat insects with acids carried out at a temperature not lower than 16°C. Each frame should be treated separately. The method is quite time-consuming, but effective – 90% of mites are destroyed.