…off we went…got in to the kiwimana mobile nick-named “The Beehive” …'cause it's white and usually full of bees 🙂 …then headed south ….to the Franklin Bee Club…
The Club had a good turn out.
First topic of today's presentation was a demonstration using an oxalic acid vaporizer. This device vaporizes Oxalic Acid crystals into a vapour that removes the varroa mites from a hive.
Graham, one of the clubs' members, had purchased this ingenious device to help reduce the varroa mites in his beehives and Graham did a presentation on how it works.
Firstly you place 1 grams of Oxalic acid crystals in the vaporizer. The vaporizer is then connected to a 12 volt car battery for 2 minutes, which heats up the metal base – the crystals are heated which creates smoke which then drifts up in to the hive.
The process requires you to block up the ventilation in the hive, the fumes kill any varroa mites on the Bees. The process can be done any-time of the year, and even when you have honey supers on the hive.
The fumes won't effect the mites inside the brood, so the process needs to be done every week for three weeks to cover a full, egg to Bee, growth cycle.
All in all, an interesting and promising method to control the mites. Apparently very safe and doesn't kill any bees – we are waiting with interest on the monitoring results over the coming weeks (we'll keep you posted on the results). It is recommend that you wear a mask as the fumes can be dangerous.
This tool can be a great addition to an integrated pest management strategy!
You can check out the Fat Bee Mans video about the oxalic acid vaporizer here where he clearly demonstrates the same process:-
The Fat Bee Man Video about the vaporizer
We are looking at selling these vaporizers in our beekeeping shop.
***Update Dec 2012***
We are now stocking a local engineers oxalic acid vaporizer. Click below to see the product page:-
Also discussed today, was the news that the Club are looking into setting up a Honey extraction facility. This will allow the club to extract its own honey and also allow members to be able to extract their honey in a licensed food premises. NZ Food standards require this in order to be able to sell honey.
This sounds like a great step forward for the Club, perhaps something the Auckland Bee Club could look at doing?
It was great to meet new members and bee-beginners who came along to chat with club members, ask questions – then joined us with the hive inspections all hands on and so enthusiastically ! – great to see you really get involved and experience what Beekeeping is all about.
Great to meet all you guys! Hope to see you next month : )
Graham also showed us his new demonstration hive he built, which is a beautiful piece of carpentry. Built with a glass window so great for demonstration purposes – designed for showing off the busy Bees to school children.