Galvanization and fumes when heated...A Question

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Lburou, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I've been told that the off-gassing when you heat galvanized metal is very harmful if inhaled. I'm planning to begin oxalic vaporization soon and wonder if one should take precautions to keep the vaporizer away from a screened bottom board.....? TIA tec :)
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I wear a respirator when I vapourize either way. With screened bottoms are you vapourizing from below the screen or above?
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    The screen may be stainless and will not react to the OA vapor. I make screens of galvanized iron and the acid vapor causes them rust quickly. I now put the vapor in above the screeen. The zinc does not go off in vapor form when exposed to oxalic vapor.

    Zinc vapor is created when metallic zinc is heated to its boiling point which is many times higher than the temperature of Oxalic acid vapor. I have torch cut and welded on a lot of galvanized metal and gone through indoctrination on the hazards; the fumes will make you nauseous and give you chills and shakes but it takes more than casual exposure to do it. Zinc is quickly eliminated from your system unlike lead, mercury, cadmium etc., which ARE real bad dudes.

    Now the oxalic vapor itself is to be avoided and the least little whiff make you immediately aware of that fact: what method will you be using to heat your vaporizer?
     
  4. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I was actually more concerned about the bees inhaling the vapors, I can wear PPE, but the bees can't. I'm assuming its bad for the bees, just asking for some group think here to sort it out. :)

    I'm planning to use a 12 volt vaporizor, above the screen.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would say you are good to go. I don't believe that the vapours are all that harmful to the bees (my opinion only FWIW). The drizzle method is to mix the Oxalic with sugar syrup and drizzle it directly onto the bees between the frames and I have not heard of any bee losses either way.
     
  6. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Perry, I intended to communicate my concern about the bees inhaling the harmful vapors emminating from galvanized screen that might get hot from the acid vaporizer, sorry I wasn't clear on that. :)
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    aw so! Naw there will be no zinc vapors to bother the bees! It is amazing how little they seem affected by the OA vapor compared to how it affects me. The OA vapor is ~ 300 deg, not enough to ignite the wax that often drips into the pan; certainly much less than the 1000 or so deg. F. needed to vaporize zinc. The acid crystal deposited on the screen does increase electolytic action where the zinc is sacrificial so it will shorten the life of your screening. Slide in a sheet of Aluminum flashing before you slip the vaporizer in.
    !
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :oops: or maybe I didn't read it properly. :lol:
     
  9. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Zinc Oxide Ointment= diaper rash creme! 20% solids. Incidentally it works well mixed with vaseline and cooking oil to make a nice white sticky brush on sticky board goo for your mite drop sheets. good contrast to count mites on and anchors the mites.

    Lburou; are you buying the Heilyser vaporizer?
     
  10. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    After reading a thread where you posted pictures of your home made vaporizor and learning of the heilyser replacement heater, I'm thinking of getting one or two of those and fabricating the rest of it. Any advice? Thanks for the reassurance that the zinc won't be hot enough to gas the bees. :)
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you will definitely need one of those respirators that Perry mentioned. it is likely the wrong time of year to use a vaporizer and first off you must ALWAYS must think about the acid fumes that this process generates and where they will drift. in almost any developed area or subdivision I would suggest you consider other options.
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    The one major downside of Oxalic is the danger to the keeper! I wear one.
    I use the Varrox model (super sturdy) and tecumseh is right, depending on where you live, now is not the time to use it. Up here the ideal month is December, during the broodless period, but not so cold as the bees are tightly clustered.
     
  13. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    What are other options for this.

    kebee
     
  14. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    If you put about 15 ft of leads on your vaporizer (electric) you dont have to be anywhere near breathing the fume; using the pipe heated with a torch is going to put you up close and personal. It is a quick and dirty solution in comparison to the electric, at least in my opinion. After the waiting period you can pull the unit out and there is virtually no fume then; the oxalic is condensed on surfaces throughout the hives and absorbs moisture and no longer airborne.

    I am thinking I may give each hive a shot as soon as they break cluster and hopefully before they restart brood rearing. It could be done without unwrapping or opening the hives, that is the beauty. Problem is I really have no idea what mite load I have as I did no testing after November Oxalic treatment; still have a month or so to meditate on that though!
     
  15. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Be sure you get the correct filter for your respirator. If you are using a respirator you are working in a hazardous environment. Use all precautions and finish the work as soon as possible. Do not languish is a hazardous environment.
     
  16. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    To summarize so far.....

    • Take care to wear PPE
    • Administer treatment above +4 degrees C
    • Be careful of neighbors and pets in close proximity to treatment area
    • The zinc on galvanized screen won't off gas at these temps to harm bees or operator
    • Take care to use correct dose
    • Use wind direction and long lead wires to your advantage

    BTW, its been warm here lately. Into the 70's today with a stiff breeze form the Southeast. Wouldn't be a bad day to do it.....But, I haven't made the vaporizer yet ;)

    Thanks for sorting this out, again, everybody. :thumbsup:
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I have one of those full face mask that people who paint use. you do look quite 'other worldly' when you wear one of those under a bee veil.

    I think Croftenr mentioned long electrical leads to the list of recommendation. When I toyed around with oxalic a few years back I found this was quite helpful. Actually have two sets of vaporizors was a nice plus since it allowed me to leave in one set to cool down while I worked on the next set of hives. Being somewhat commercial grade I had vaporizors and leads to do a pallet at a time.... which actually made the entire process very very quick.

    as to options.... there are any number of other things you might wish to attempt on and off the approved list. oxalic can also be administered as a dribble and sucromid is a spray product that you can obtain from almost any bee supply company. or you can do as some of us have and do absolutely nothing at all <which is really not a suggestion so much as just another option.... this is without a doubt easier to do if you have numbers (the more the merrier) to work with.