If you’re a beekeeper, then you may already know that varroa mites and others are a serious problem for bee colonies and the men and women who take care of them. Varroa mites, also known by their scientific name of Varroa destructor, are and will continue to be a major threat to the health and wellbeing of bees and bee colonies. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions for combating and otherwise dealing with varroa mites, and foremost among these are oxalic acid vaporizers.
What You Need to Know About Oxalic Acid Vaporizers
1. What Is an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer?
Oxalic acid vaporizers are specialized devices used to treat hives and defend them against varroa mites; a parasite that attacks honeybees. As the name would imply, these devices use a heating element to vaporize oxalic acid, causing it to sublimate and transform into a gas that then permeates the hive.
This oxalic acid eventually kills any varroa mites that it comes into contact with while leaving the honeybees in the colony unharmed. Oxalic acid vaporizers are more effective and proactive for dealing with Varroa Destructor and other parasitic mites than other choices. Compared to more conventional insecticide strips or pads, oxalic acid vaporizers get rid of varroa mites permanently.
2. What Is Oxalic Acid Exactly?
Oxalic acid is an organic compound that is a colorless and odorless crystalline solid at room temperature. Oxalic acid has several uses, ranging from bleaching and cleaning to metallurgy. Pertaining to this article, however, one of its most common uses is by beekeepers as an acaricide or miticide when dealing with varroa mites. In the quantities used by beekeepers for mite control, oxalic acid is entirely harmless to bees, and it won’t contaminate the honey they produce if properly applied.
Oxalic acid is a skin and eye irritant and is toxic to people if inhaled or ingested in sufficient quantities. Because of this, it is important to have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of facemasks, respirators, and bodysuits when using oxalic acid.
3. How Does Oxalic Acid Kill Mites?
During application, the previously vaporized oxalic acid will condense and re-solidify into a fine white powder that coats the hairs of honeybees inside a hive. When varroa mites come into contact with this powder, moisture on the lobes at the ends of their limbs causes the oxalic acid to crystalize and adhere to the mite, gumming up their feet and hindering their movement.
The mite will try to shake the acid crystals off of its limbs, but it is too late by this point. Eventually, the oxalic acid crystals dehydrate the mite, killing it. Oxalic acid can also damage the mite’s mouth, preventing it from feeding and causing it to starve and eventually die.
4. Where Can You Buy Oxalic Acid Vaporizers?
Oxalic acid vaporizers are available to purchase from both brick and mortar retail outlets or online via many major retailers. Be sure to shop around for the best-priced vaporizers and the best competing models. The oxalic acid itself is available for purchase on a variety of websites and many hardware stores.
5. How Much Does an Oxalic Acid Vaporizer Cost?
When compared to other miticides and acaricides for varroa mites, oxalic acid vaporizers are a little on the expensive side, especially when compared to things like miticide strips and pads. However, oxalic acid vaporizers are far more effective than these solutions when dealing with mites, so you can get much more value for your dollar.
How We Reviewed
To determine which brands of oxalic acid vaporizer were the best, we looked at recommended brands, narrowed down our choices, and then tried them out through our volunteer testers. We evaluated each on its features such as a longer or larger heating element, longer power cables, and use AC power instead of DC power. The best even have built-in thermostats on the heating element.
What We Reviewed
- Varomorus Durable OXALIC Acid 12V Vaporizer
- Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- Bee Vaporizer Oxalic Acid Formic Evaporator
- Blue Ridge Bee Company Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- TOOGOO 1 Set New Bee Vaporizer 220V Bee Evaporator Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
- BEYST 12V Bee Vaporizer Oxalic Formic Acid Evaporator
Varomorus Durable OXALIC Acid 12V Vaporizer
[amazon box=”B07DY9VM8T” template= “horizontal”]
The first item on this list, the 12V Vaporizer from Varomorus, is billed as being “Effective, Durable, and Improved.” As oxalic acid vaporizers go, this vaporizer is pretty no-frills and has a simple and sturdy design. The vaporizer is both compact and lightweight, measuring just 18 inches while weighing just 13 ounces.
The body of the vaporizer is made of machined aircraft aluminum, while the handle is made from simple wood. The vaporizer can get from cold up to temp in just a few minutes and has a max operating temperature of 250 celsius.
Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
[amazon box=”B01LZ150BL” template= “horizontal”]
Proudly billed as being made in the USA, the Mite Oxalic Acid Vaporizer from Scott Bee Farm definitely earns a spot on this list. The Mite is constructed with high quality, reliability, durability, usability, and functionality in mind. And it shows: the Mite is a solid piece of equipment, despite its simple and unassuming appearance.
The body of the Mite is CNC machined from aluminum, and the handle is made of squared wood. Twelve feet of power cord also gives you added freedom of movement when using the vaporizer. There are several options to order the Mite with both a carry case and safety kit, and Scott Bee Farm also sells a heavy-duty version of the vaporizer.\
Bee Vaporizer Oxalic Acid Formic Evaporator
[amazon box=”B07T241XN1″ template= “horizontal”]
The Bee Vaporizer is another no-frills oxalic acid vaporizer, distributed by Dorthea. Made from machined aluminum and featuring a rounded wood handle, the vaporizer is both light and comfortable to use. The vaporizer also features a metal cross plate to help block the entrance of the hive while the vaporizer is being used. This is definitely a plus in our book.
Blue Ridge Bee Company Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
[amazon box=”B01LQTM7RC” template= “horizontal”]
This heavy-duty oxalic acid vaporizer made by the Blue Ridge Bee Company gives you a lot of bang for your buck and is perhaps one of the best oxalic acid vaporizers on this list. The heater head is made from CNC machined aluminum while the handle is solid wood.
The heater head is powered by a heavy-duty glow plug powered by DC current. The power cable is 10 feet of heavy-duty, 12 gauge wire, giving you a great deal of flexibility in how and where to use the vaporizer. This is definitely a good choice for this list.
Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
[amazon box=”B01LQTM7RC” template= “horizontal”]
This oxalic acid vaporizer from Scott Bee Farm is the heavy-duty version of the vaporizer listed above. As the name implies, this oxalic acid vaporizer is meant for much more heavy-duty usage, and it shows. The head of the vaporizer is made out of CNC milled aircraft aluminum and is heated by a heavy-duty glow plug built directly into the head of the vaporizer itself.
The power cord is built directly into the neck of the vaporizer, allowing the user to maintain greater control over the vaporizer without interference from the cord. The vaporizer comes with 12 feet of protected electric cord, giving you a little more reach than some other competing vaporizers on the market. Finally, the Heavy Duty Oxalic Acid Vaporizer comes with both a measuring scoop for oxalic acid and an electric timer. This is definitely one of the best vaporizers on this list in our book.
TOOGOO 1 Set New Bee Vaporizer 220V Bee Evaporator Oxalic Acid Vaporiser
[amazon box=”B01LQTM7RC” template= “horizontal”]
This lightweight oxalic acid vaporizer from TOOGOO is definitely a solid addition to this list. The vaporizer is streamlined for ease of use, featuring a power cord that’s integrated into the neck of the vaporizer from the base of the handle. Besides this cool feature, the vaporizer features a foam lined cross plate that seals the hive temporarily while the vaporizer is in use, ensuring that none of the oxalic acid goes to waste. It’s also one of the least expensive oxalic acid vaporizers on this list, which is one of our favorite things about this choice.
ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer
[amazon box=”B01N0V3HW9″ template= “horizontal”]
Unlike most oxalic acid vaporizers on this list, which feature the same metal-block-on-a-stick design, the ProVap110 is both a visual and technological stand out. Instead of the aforementioned design, the ProVap110 is designed to be as simple and as easy to use as possible. Instead of a heavy and cumbersome car battery, this vaporizer can be plugged into any 110 socket or inverter. This gives the user an unprecedented amount of freedom when using it.
The ProVap110’s features don’t end there either. The built-in digital display gives the user information about the temperature of the bowl on the front. Unlike other vaporizers which require several minutes of constant use, the ProVap110 needs only 20 seconds on each hive to be fully effective. And with a bit of regular maintenance after each use, the ProVap110 is ready to go again.
BEYST 12V Bee Vaporizer Oxalic Formic Acid Evaporator
[amazon box=”B07QS883VV” template= “horizontal”]
This oxalic acid vaporizer from BEYST is a vaporizer that is both durable and simple to use. With a CNC machined head and an aluminum and wood handle, using this vaporizer to treat infested hives is easy. The vaporizer’s power cord is incorporated into the handle and body of the vaporizer. Also, the vaporizer includes a foam-cushioned plate to help seal up a hive while in use.
Varroa mites are without a doubt a plague on honey bee populations and colonies everywhere. And whether you have one hive, a dozen, or a hundred, having an inexpensive and effective means of treating infected bee colonies and purging them of mites is a must. With this said, if you have a mite problem, we recommend the Varomorus Durable OXALIC Acid 12V Vaporizer as the solution for your general colony treatment needs.
As a runner-up, we also recommend the ProVap110 Oxalic Acid Vaporizer if you can afford it or need a solution to treat many colonies of bees at once. Finally, we recommend always doing your own research and comparing brands and prices, especially when it involves an important decision that affects the health of your bees.