Oxalic Acid (OA) has proven itself as an effective mite treatment for years outside of the United States. IT IS NOT CURRENTLY A REGISTERED PRODUCT IN THE U.S. FOR THE TREATMENT OF VARROA MITES. The information contained herein is shared as research information.
We have not experimented previously with OA as a mite treatment. Protocols on its proper mixing and application were not published by a reputable enough source to make us feel comfortable in testing such a product. Recently we attended the American Beekeepers Federation and attended a session by the Ontario Beekeepers Association Tech Transfer Team.
We have confidence in the OBA-TTT and they have proven themselves through their scientific approach towards practical beekeeping. They have shared their protocols for using OA as a mite treatment (legal in Canada) and a practical application method. We have attached for your review their protocol and the safety sheets.
We have shared, in 3-part video form (got a GOPRO for Christmas!), our testing of the oxalic acid protocol on a group of our hives. Oxalic acid should be used during a period of little to no brood. Although the mystery of how oxalic acid actually works to kill the mites has not been solved, experiments conducted by researchers have indicated that mites under capped brood have not been diminished but the impact on phoretic mites is astounding. Reports indicate that oxalic acid used as a mite treatment have removed up to 98% of phoretic varroa mites and is an effective treatment during the months of November through February (no brood). Researchers suggest using oxalic acid once per winter season.
UPDATE Septemper 2015
We are glad to announce that oxalic acid has received unconditional approval for use in honey bee colonies as a varroa mite treatment. The EPA / USDA accelerated the approval process based on White House Administration advancements towards pollinator protection programs. Research conducted by and results published by our European and Canadian friends were apparently used to approve use of the product.
Beekeepers can currently purchase oxalic acid kits from Brush Mountain Bee Farms, a noteworthy supplier in our industry.