Portable Varroxal vaporizer for fighting the Varroa mite

Reading time: 3 min

Starting situation

The Varroa mite, a parasite approx. 1-2 mm in size, is a serious threat to honeybees and can wipe out entire beehives. Andermatt Biovet AG developed a method to fight the Varroa mite by treating hives with vaporized oxalic acid. It is a method that is gentle on both the bees and the environment.

Objective of the project

The predecessor system was large and required a heavy car battery for operation; this cumbersome equipment had to be transported all the way to the beehive. Therefore, the new device was intended to run on a small, built-in battery. Treatment control was also to be fully automated.

Technical implementation

In order to increase efficiency and make the system easier to clean, induction heating with changing crucible was used. This achieved a heat output of 50 watts, resulting in a treatment duration of just 2-3 minutes. The overall height of the system was limited to 15mm to enable easy insertion of the Varroxal vaporizer into the beehive.

The device was equipped with a whole range of temperature sensors and other monitoring functions to ensure the safety of the system and the reproducibility of the process.

Results

The Varrox Eddy Varroxal vaporizer has an innovative design that clearly sets it apart from other products on the market. The system weighs less than 600g. Thanks to its high energy efficiency, one battery charge is enough to treat up to 18 beehives. Vapor treatment control is fully automated. A single button is sufficient to operate the system. The sales figures for the Varrox Eddy greatly exceeded expectations and the device was sold out just a few weeks after market launch.

In addition to the development of the mechanics, electronics, and software, IMT also provided support to the client during the regulatory approval process and coordinated communication with testing institutions. The customer thus received a reliable, production-ready design that was already approved in the target markets and could be sold directly.

“Developing environmentally friendly products that solve current problems is very important to me. For that I am ready to overcome technical obstacles and work on tight deadlines.”

Stefan Zoller, Electronic Engineer

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