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Oxalic Acid Vaping

Updated: Apr 30

Oxalic Acid is an inexpensive and highly effective mite treatment, but can be intimidating because of the equipment involved. Here are our best tips and tricks for vaping using Oxalic Acid.


Oxalic Acid vapour is most effective when a hive is bloodless as it does not penetrate the cappings. We use this treatment in late fall and again in later winter/early spring. If you are using it when your hive has brood, you will need to treat multiple times over the course of a month; every 5 days or so.



Wanna vape? Here's what you'll need:

  1. A vaporizer. We use the pro-vap. There are some less expensive units available. They are fairly simple gadgets, so you can feel confident buying whatever your local bee shop carries or recommends.

  2. Power. Some units use car batteries and others come with a standard plug to be used with an extension cord or generator.

  3. Oxalic Acid crystals. These are nice and cheap once you have the vaporizer. It costs about $20/kg.

  4. A good mask with organic acid filters. We recommend a full-face mask as the vapour can irritate the eyes.

  5. Insulated leather gloves (it gets HOT!)


*A note on dose: The label dosage is 1 gram (1/4 tsp) per brood chamber, or 1/2 tsp for a hive in two boxes. There has been a lot of research and testing lately suggesting that so-called mega-doses are more effective and safe for the bees. We use 1.5 tsp per hive.


And here's the step-by-step:

  1. Plug in your unit and let it warm up while you prep everything else.

  2. Scrape your bottom boards if they are removable so you can count your mite drop.

  3. Put on PPE

  4. When the temperature on the pro-vap is 220, you're ready to go!

  5. Measure the dose into the bowl

  6. Turn the pro-vap upside-down onto the bowl. Keep it upside-down until you are at the front of the hive.

  7. Turn it rightside-up and stick the nozzle in the hive entrance. Give two firm taps on the top of the bowl to release all of the crystals.

  8. Watch the temperature gauge. The temperature will go down while the crystals sublimate.

  9. Once the temperature starts going up again, to about 195, you are done.

  10. Check the bottom boards after 24 hours to see how many mites dropped. If it's a lot, you may want to treat again.

Phew, it sounds technical when I type it all out like that but it's quick, cheap and easy once you've got the gear and the know-how. Watch the video, reach out if you have questions, and don't be afraid to give it a try!


Looking for more?


Looking for more beekeeping education? You can find my virtual, on-demand beginner and intermediate courses at https://courses.rushingriverapiaries.com


Or if you'd prefer a more tailored experience, you can join my mentorship group at https://www.patreon.com/thehivementorship

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