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Oxalic Acid Dribble

Oxalic Acid Dribble

Learn about controlling Varroa mites using the oxalic acid dribble method.

Oxalic acid is an exciting new tool in varroa mite management. The two most common application methods of oxalic acid are sublimation (vaporization), and the dribble method. Of the two of these, we prefer the oxalic acid dribble method in many situations. Many people are rushing to buy oxalic acid sublimation tools (vaporizers) to take advantage of the ease of use and minimal intrusion. These tools are great for times when the temperatures are cold, and opening the hive can be detrimental to colony health.



There exists, however, a much quicker and less expensive method of application. We believe the intimidation factor is one of the main things preventing widespread adoption of the dribble method. We hope that the three videos in the playlist above show how easy this method of mite control truly is. Please keep in mind that no matter which method you choose oxalic acid has some limitations. First, oxalic acid does not kill mites that are reproducing under the capped brood. This means that it is most effective when there is no capped brood in the colony. Second, oxalic acid is not approved for use with honey supers on.


  1. Rob Marshall Rob Marshall

    Hi David! Is the OA sugar water solution supposed to me clear? Mine is yellow ish!
    Thanks, Rob

  2. Devon Wall Devon Wall

    Hi David,
    What is the ideal temperature range for the dribble? Is it too hot to do it now?
    Can I do it with a super on if I don't plan on harvesting the honey?
    I have an 8 frame with two brood boxes. How much oxalic acid would you dribble in? Do you recommend the top or bottom brood box?
    How long does the mixed oxalic acid solution last once mixed with sugar syrup?

  3. David Baker David Baker

    Marie, The treatment is very inexpensive. $8.00 will treat at least 20 colonies.

    We do sell ApiBioxal (the medication) and application syringes. We are working on getting them up on the website. In the meantime, you can order by calling the shop.

    The dosage for oxalic acid dribble is 5ml per seam of bees with a maximum dosage of 50ml per colony, so in the case of two ten-frame boxes, only one would need to be medicated. This is usually the bottom box in the winter, as the top is full of honey, so the bees are found lower in the colony.

  4. David Baker David Baker

    Pat, We have no problem doing dribbles in 30-40 degree weather. However, in our area (front-range Colorado) there's usually a warmer day within a week or two of when we want to dribble.

    When we do treat with oxalic acid dribble in colder weather, we make sure we are ready to go and have two people performing the treatment; one opening the hive and the other applying the medication. This takes about 15 seconds per colony.

    The amount of liquid put on the bees in one teaspoon per seam of bees, an amount they can easily handle.

  5. pat gemperline pat gemperline

    Hello, thank you for the class Sunday. I just wanted to confirm the lowest temp you would recommend doing a dribble oxalic acid treatment. Thank you.

  6. Marie Randol Marie Randol

    How much does the dribble method cost? Do you send everything that is needed to prepare the method of application? Where can I buy the dribble method supplies? I have two hives on top of one another. Do I need to do both hives or will doing the top hive be enough?

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