Oxalic Acid nutritional supplement for Immune Support of honey bee Colonies

Caution:  Read this - it is NOT the usual yadda yadda! - Do not mix solution until right before you are ready to apply it.  Because of a chemical reaction which takes place over the course of several days it will become poisonous to bees – use immediately and discard any unused solution by pouring it down a drain (and rinsing the container) so that neither bees or anything else can accidentally ingest it.   This sweet solution is poisonous and should be kept securely out of the reach of children and pets!

The treatment material is 3.2% oxalic acid in a 1:1 sugar solution.

·         1 kg sugar

·         1 L of water

·         75 gm of oxalic acid dihydrate – wood bleach

This will make 1.67 L of treatment material – enough for 33 colonies! Obviously with a little bit of math it can be adjusted appropriately for your needs. Accurate measurement of ingredients is essential!

If you absolutely don’t want to use a postal scale, or a cheap digital scale (plenty on the web for under $10), then an approximate dilution would be 3 tsp oxalic crystals to 5 fl. oz each of water and granulated sugar.  This will give you a bit over a cup of treated syrup, or enough to treat about 4 colonies (or 3 really strong ones).  Don’t try to mix any less, just discard the excess! – Thanks to Randy Oliver - http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-acid-treatment-table/

  1. Open the hive and remove supers if needed to get to the main cluster of bees.
  2. Fill the 50 ml syringe with solution (oxalic acid).
  3. Dribble solution on the seams of bees between the frames – distributing it as evenly as possible.

The treatment will seem very scant and you will not wet all of the bees in most cases, but that is OK and as it is supposed to be.  The bees will all work together to clean their selves, each other, and the other hive contents, and they will all get the correct oral dosage.

The 50 ML dosage is the correct size for a 10 frame deep single box colony which is of a healthy strength – if the population is smaller than this the dosage will be too high and should be adjusted accordingly.

This procedure usually takes less than a minute/hive. It is safe to carry out the treatment in cold conditions with the temperature down to 0°C. You can use warm water to make the mixture if it makes you feel better.


It is advised that this only be done when colonies are broodless for best effect, and that it not be repeated.