Treating Mites With Formic
The S.E. Iowa Beekeepers met on March 29th at
Ron Wehrs. There was discussion and demonstration on how to treat
with formic acid using Mite-Gone pads. They had 95% acid.
Protective gear is a must when handling formic
acid. Here the acid is being siphoned from the original
barrel to be diluted from 95% down to 65% for the treatment
They had to dilute it down to 65%. Two parts
of 95% acid to one part of water makes 65% acid. Note everyone
working with the acid is wearing a protective mask. Proper protective
gear is required!!!!
The pads (uncut) were soaked using 5 gallon buckets
and the 65% formic acid.
The 65% acid container was positioned on a picnic
table and poured into a five gallon bucket. The pads were not
cut. They were stacked on end in a smaller bucket that would fit
into the five gallon bucket. The smaller bucket had holes in the
bottom so the bucket with the pads would sink into the acid. Then
a lid with holes in it was placed over the bucket with the pads.
The pads were then forced down into the acid. The acid will soak
through the plastic film envelope that is over the pads. It takes
about two minutes for the pads to become saturated with acid.
After the pads are saturated, the inner bucket
is raised and the excess acid is allowed to drain off. The pads
were then removed and placed in large zip-lock bags for storage.
The bags were placed, with the pads on end, in plastic buckets.
The bucket was sealed with a lid.
After soaking the pads were placed in ziplock
When using the pads in the hive, they are secured
to the outside comb with toothpicks next to the outer wall of
the hive body. Temperature and humidity affect the evaporation
rate of formic acid so length of treatment may vary. The hive
also needs to be tight so the bees can’t exhaust the acid
fumes. Under normal conditions the treatment takes 21 days.
Two of the cut pads are arranged for placement
in the colony needing treatment.
Text compiled from information submitted by Jim
Clark Pictures by Ron Wehr