Survey of Varroa Mite Treatments

Survey of Varroa Mite Treatments

If you are looking for the best varroa mite treatment, we are happy to say the best mite treatment is the one that works for you and your situation.

Not all treatments work for every beekeeper or their bees, so it’s important to know the treatments that are available to you to help with your varroa control.

Honey bee colonies have been taking care of themselves longer than beekeepers, and they are pretty good at it. Bees survive all around the world in different ways based on the particular environment they have to live in. All honey bees are not the same, just like all golden retrievers are not the same.

Some golden retrievers will do anything and everything their owner wants, always eager to please. It’s similar to bees, where one colony will have a desirable trait, and another seems to miss the boat.

This is evident with varroa mites, as one colony in a part of the world will brush them off like it’s no big deal, and another crumble at the first site of them.

Varroa mite populations are all over the world now, unfortunately. Australia was the last major continent standing, and they found them in June of 2022.

If you are looking for the best varroa mite treatment, we are happy to say the best mite treatment is the one that works for you and your situation.

Not all treatments work for every beekeeper or their bees, so it’s important to know the treatments that are available to you to help with your varroa control.

Honey bee colonies have been taking care of themselves longer than beekeepers, and they are pretty good at it. Bees survive all around the world in different ways based on the particular environment they have to live in. All honey bees are not the same, just like all golden retrievers are not the same.

Some golden retrievers will do anything and everything their owner wants, always eager to please. It’s similar to bees, where one colony will have a desirable trait, and another seems to miss the boat.

This is evident with varroa mites, as one colony in a part of the world will brush them off like it’s no big deal, and another crumble at the first site of them.

Varroa mite populations are all over the world now, unfortunately. Australia was the last major continent standing, and they found them in June of 2022.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What Varroa Mites Do

What Varroa Mites Do

Varroa Destructor, commonly called Varroa mites, are terrible pests. When we teach about varroa mites and speak to customers in our store, we explain that this is the only beekeeping pest that does better when the bees do better.

This is because mites need the colony of bees to grow for the mites to grow. Mites reproduce in the same cell that a bee grows in.

So for every cell that produces a bee, that same cell can produce 3-5 varroa mites in the same amount of time. And the queen can lay 1000-2000 eggs each day, so you can see how the varroa mite population can grow significantly.

As the mites grow in the brood nest with the growing bees, they will feed on the bees. Creating wounds and damaging the bee so they don’t function as well as an adult bees.

Over a matter of months, the entire honey bee colony will suffer to a point where it can deal with the pressure.

Varroa Destructor, commonly called Varroa mites, are terrible pests. When we teach about varroa mites and speak to customers in our store, we explain that this is the only beekeeping pest that does better when the bees do better.

This is because mites need the colony of bees to grow for the mites to grow. Mites reproduce in the same cell that a bee grows in.

So for every cell that produces a bee, that same cell can produce 3-5 varroa mites in the same amount of time. And the queen can lay 1000-2000 eggs each day, so you can see how the varroa mite population can grow significantly.

As the mites grow in the brood nest with the growing bees, they will feed on the bees. Creating wounds and damaging the bee so they don’t function as well as an adult bees.

Over a matter of months, the entire honey bee colony will suffer to a point where it can deal with the pressure.

How Bees Deal With Varroa Mites

How Bees Deal With Varroa Mites

Fortunately, beekeepers have a variety of ways to help the honey bees deal with the varroa mites. Over the years, we have learned many ways to reduce mite populations in the hive, but it is not easy.

Varroa mites and honey bees share a similar makeup, and what is designed to kill a varroa mite can also kill a honey bee in a different dose or application.

And when trying to control varroa mites, a beekeeper has to be aware of the queen, brood (growing bees), adult bees, honey, and wax. Not to mention the overall environment and the beekeeper as well.

There are a variety of tools and techniques beekeepers can use to manage mites; some use chemicals, some use natural characteristics of the bees, and some fall somewhere in the middle.

It would be best if we left honey bees to defend against varroa mites on their own so they can learn to deal with them without a beekeepers help. As outlined in Tom Seeley’s Book, Honey Bee Democracy, it is possible for this to happen, and it takes a lot of time.

But our economy and food system depends on honey bees for pollination, and the food system wouldn’t survive the transition the bees would need. The loss of colonies would just be too great.

Fortunately, beekeepers have a variety of ways to help the honey bees deal with the varroa mites. Over the years, we have learned many ways to reduce mite populations in the hive, but it is not easy.

Varroa mites and honey bees share a similar makeup, and what is designed to kill a varroa mite can also kill a honey bee in a different dose or application.

And when trying to control varroa mites, a beekeeper has to be aware of the queen, brood (growing bees), adult bees, honey, and wax. Not to mention the overall environment and the beekeeper as well.

There are a variety of tools and techniques beekeepers can use to manage mites; some use chemicals, some use natural characteristics of the bees, and some fall somewhere in the middle.

It would be best if we left honey bees to defend against varroa mites on their own so they can learn to deal with them without a beekeepers help. As outlined in Tom Seeley’s Book, Honey Bee Democracy, it is possible for this to happen, and it takes a lot of time.

But our economy and food system depends on honey bees for pollination, and the food system wouldn’t survive the transition the bees would need. The loss of colonies would just be too great.

How Beekeepers Manage Varroa Mites

How Beekeepers Manage Varroa Mites

A good beekeeper understands the relationship between varroa mite reproduction and honey bee reproduction. Understanding this makes controlling varroa mites much easier and allows the beekeeper to use fewer or zero chemicals on their bees.

The great thing about beekeeping is there are many ways to keep bees, and you can find a technique or tool that suits each beekeeper.

You won’t find one particular varroa mite control that works for every beekeeper and situation, so it’s important to understand all the tools available and choose the one that fits your goals and the situation.

Some treatments work incredibly well in the spring but are a complete waste of time in the fall. It’s possible to check for the number of mites in a colony by conducting a mite count.

Doing a mite count is fairly easy and is the best way to understand if a beekeeper needs to do anything to help their bees.

When starting, I felt that all of the mite treatments were bad, and it was too confusing to make sense of every single one of them. But as I began to learn about the biology of bees and mites, I learned that most of the treatments for varroa mites are organic or naturally derived.

A good beekeeper understands the relationship between varroa mite reproduction and honey bee reproduction. Understanding this makes controlling varroa mites much easier and allows the beekeeper to use fewer or zero chemicals on their bees.

The great thing about beekeeping is there are many ways to keep bees, and you can find a technique or tool that suits each beekeeper.

You won’t find one particular varroa mite control that works for every beekeeper and situation, so it’s important to understand all the tools available and choose the one that fits your goals and the situation.

Some treatments work incredibly well in the spring but are a complete waste of time in the fall. It’s possible to check for the number of mites in a colony by conducting a mite count.

Doing a mite count is fairly easy and is the best way to understand if a beekeeper needs to do anything to help their bees.

When starting, I felt that all of the mite treatments were bad, and it was too confusing to make sense of every single one of them. But as I began to learn about the biology of bees and mites, I learned that most of the treatments for varroa mites are organic or naturally derived.

Organic Varroa Mite Treatments

Organic Varroa Mite Treatments

The vast majority of treatments for bees are organic based and are sometimes called soft treatments. The word organic is confusing and means different things to different people.

The average person would think that if a treatment is organic, it is something the USDA certifies as natural, whole, soft, harmless, chemical-free, etc…

But when we talk about organic treatments, we mean that the product used is organically derived, but just at unnatural levels.

Essential oil is a great example of this. A lot of people use essential oils, and most of them are made from plants. Tea Tree Oil is a popular one made 100% from Tea Tree leaves.

But it is at such concentrated, unnatural levels that it can hurt you if you don’t use it correctly.

Many varroa mite treatments are similar to this, where they are natural but unnatural levels that can harm the mites and when used correctly, will not harm the colony.

The vast majority of treatments for bees are organic based and are sometimes called soft treatments. The word organic is confusing and means different things to different people.

The average person would think that if a treatment is organic, it is something the USDA certifies as natural, whole, soft, harmless, chemical-free, etc…

But when we talk about organic treatments, we mean that the product used is organically derived, but just at unnatural levels.

Essential oil is a great example of this. A lot of people use essential oils, and most of them are made from plants. Tea Tree Oil is a popular one made 100% from Tea Tree leaves.

But it is at such concentrated, unnatural levels that it can hurt you if you don’t use it correctly.

Many varroa mite treatments are similar to this, where they are natural but unnatural levels that can harm the mites and when used correctly, will not harm the colony.

Apiguard

Apiguard

Apiguard is an essential oil based gel that will reduce both the levels of Varroa mites and Tracheal mites in a colony; mites do not have any known resistance. It uses the ingredient Thymol, which is a derivative of the Thyme plant and is commonly used in cleaning products.

It works by placing the gel in a small area near the brood nest where bees will naturally work to clean it out of the hive. During the process, the bees will spread it around the colony, where it comes in contact with varroa mites.

Apiguard is temperature sensitive, so it’s important to use the amount that is appropriate for the outside temperatures when adding it to the colony.

Apiguard is one of the most popular treatments for varroa mites and is commonly used in the summer after removing honey boxes. It is applied to the hive twice for a full treatment.

Apiguard is an essential oil based gel that will reduce both the levels of Varroa mites and Tracheal mites in a colony; mites do not have any known resistance. It uses the ingredient Thymol, which is a derivative of the Thyme plant and is commonly used in cleaning products.

It works by placing the gel in a small area near the brood nest where bees will naturally work to clean it out of the hive. During the process, the bees will spread it around the colony, where it comes in contact with varroa mites.

Apiguard is temperature sensitive, so it’s important to use the amount that is appropriate for the outside temperatures when adding it to the colony.

Apiguard is one of the most popular treatments for varroa mites and is commonly used in the summer after removing honey boxes. It is applied to the hive twice for a full treatment.

HopGuard

HopGuard

Hopguard is another organic treatment option for mites that uses leaves from the Hop plant (the same plant that produces beer). These hops beta acids are suspended in a thick liquid that coats a cardboard strip. These strips are placed in the hive near the brood nest, where the worker bees spread them around the colony.

The liquid on the strips will eventually come into contact with adult varroa mites over 3-4 weeks, killing the mites and preventing them from reproducing. Hopguard isn’t as popular as other treatment methods but is fine for beekeepers.

It is commonly used as a spring or fall treatment for bees when bee population and brood population is not at it’s peak.

Hopguard is another organic treatment option for mites that uses leaves from the Hop plant (the same plant that produces beer). These hops beta acids are suspended in a thick liquid that coats a cardboard strip. These strips are placed in the hive near the brood nest, where the worker bees spread them around the colony.

The liquid on the strips will eventually come into contact with adult varroa mites over 3-4 weeks, killing the mites and preventing them from reproducing. Hopguard isn’t as popular as other treatment methods but is fine for beekeepers.

It is commonly used as a spring or fall treatment for bees when bee population and brood population is not at it’s peak.

Formic pro

Formic pro

Formic Pro is an excellent option for varroa mite treatment and offers some unique characteristics for beekeepers. Most of the organic and synthetic treatment periods last 30-60 days, which means it has a long treatment period that it covers two rounds of varroa mite reproduction.

This is helpful as the wax capping that protects the growing bee also protects the reproducing mite.

Formic Pro, a formic acid treatment, can pass through the protective wax capping, killing the mite as it reproduces but not harming the growing bee.

Because of this, the treatment period for Formic Pro can be as short as 14 days. Formic acid is naturally found in bee, ant venom, and many other places.

There are more temperature restrictions on formic acid products than other varroa treatments, and because of this, it is typically used as a spring and fall treatment.

It can be used when honey is still in the hive, a unique characteristic that gives formic acid treatments an advantage.

Formic Pro is an excellent option for varroa mite treatment and offers some unique characteristics for beekeepers. Most of the organic and synthetic treatment periods last 30-60 days, which means it has a long treatment period that it covers two rounds of varroa mite reproduction.

This is helpful as the wax capping that protects the growing bee also protects the reproducing mite.

Formic Pro, a formic acid treatment, can pass through the protective wax capping, killing the mite as it reproduces but not harming the growing bee.

Because of this, the treatment period for Formic Pro can be as short as 14 days. Formic acid is naturally found in bee, ant venom, and many other places.

There are more temperature restrictions on formic acid products than other varroa treatments, and because of this, it is typically used as a spring and fall treatment.

It can be used when honey is still in the hive, a unique characteristic that gives formic acid treatments an advantage.

Mite Away Quick Strips

Mite Away Quick Strips

Mite Away Quick Strips is the precursor for Formic Pro and uses the same ingredient, but the shelf life on MAQS (pronounced Macks) is not as long as Formic Pro, and it is more volatile. The formula for Formic Pro is much more controlled, so it is safer for the bees but still toxic to varroa mites.

Both Formic Pro and Mite Away Quick Strips work as a fumigant instead of by contact. Most other treatments work by the bees physically spreading their treatment around, while these two produce vapor from the pads placed across the top bars.

Mite Away Quick Strips is the precursor for Formic Pro and uses the same ingredient, but the shelf life on MAQS (pronounced Macks) is not as long as Formic Pro, and it is more volatile. The formula for Formic Pro is much more controlled, so it is safer for the bees but still toxic to varroa mites.

Both Formic Pro and Mite Away Quick Strips work as a fumigant instead of by contact. Most other treatments work by the bees physically spreading their treatment around, while these two produce vapor from the pads placed across the top bars.

Api Life Var

Api Life Var

Api Life Var is a treatment that uses a combination of essential oils for controlling mites. Api Life Var is another vapor-based treatment that is produced from the small tabs placed in the brood nest.

It can’t be used when honey boxes are present and do not have very high efficacy against varroa mites compared to other treatments. So this isn’t a commonly used method for controlling mites.

Api Life Var is a treatment that uses a combination of essential oils for controlling mites. Api Life Var is another vapor-based treatment that is produced from the small tabs placed in the brood nest.

It can’t be used when honey boxes are present and do not have very high efficacy against varroa mites compared to other treatments. So this isn’t a commonly used method for controlling mites.

Oxalic Acid

Oxalic Acid

Oxalic acid has picked up a lot of steam and is popular with backyard beekeepers and with commercial beekeepers. Much of this is due to the work of Randy Oliver in his research on using oxalic acid as a low-cost way to treat varroa mites.

Compare to other mite treatments, oxalic acid can be used for pennies a treatment and can be applied using multiple ways. As of 2023, most beekeepers are using an off-the-shelf version of Oxalic Acid called wood bleach for their hives.

Oxalic acid can be applied using the dribble method, which involves drizzling oxalic acid and sugar syrup over the brood nest.

The most popular way to use Oxalic Acid is through a oxalic acid vaporizer that turns the acid crystals into a vapor inside the hive. Creating a mixture of glycerine and oxalic acid and soaking it in towels is becoming popular, but as of 2023 is not an approved technique.

An approved technique outside the US for using “towels” and oxalic acid is a product called Aluen-Cap, but it isn’t approved in the US as of 2023. But there is a new product called Varroxsan that is coming to the US.

The main negative of oxalic acid is that it does not treat mites with capped brood. It will only kill mites physically on the bees, so it works best during broodless periods.

Oxalic acid has picked up a lot of steam and is popular with backyard beekeepers and with commercial beekeepers. Much of this is due to the work of Randy Oliver in his research on using oxalic acid as a low-cost way to treat varroa mites.

Compare to other mite treatments, oxalic acid can be used for pennies a treatment and can be applied using multiple ways. As of 2023, most beekeepers are using an off-the-shelf version of Oxalic Acid called wood bleach for their hives.

Oxalic acid can be applied using the dribble method, which involves drizzling oxalic acid and sugar syrup over the brood nest.

The most popular way to use Oxalic Acid is through a oxalic acid vaporizer that turns the acid crystals into a vapor inside the hive. Creating a mixture of glycerine and oxalic acid and soaking it in towels is becoming popular, but as of 2023 is not an approved technique.

An approved technique outside the US for using “towels” and oxalic acid is a product called Aluen-Cap, but it isn’t approved in the US as of 2023. But there is a new product called Varroxsan that is coming to the US.

The main negative of oxalic acid is that it does not treat mites with capped brood. It will only kill mites physically on the bees, so it works best during broodless periods.

Oxalic Acid Towels, Pads and Strips

Oxalic Acid Towels, Pads and Strips

There are advancements in the application of oxalic acid across the world. Europe and South America lead the way in oxalic acid treatments, and Randy Oliver has also conducted a lot of testing of the slow-release technique of applying oxalic acid. This technique involves placing a towel, pad, or cardboard strip in the hive with a low dose of oxalic acid that exposes the bees and the mites to it over the course of a couple months.

This technique has shown a lot of promise, and there are several products on the global market for this. It’s a popular DIY project for beekeepers, but using a tested product is always better than making your own.

The two main products on the market are one called Aluen Cap and another called Varroxsan. Both are extremely similar to each other and involve inserting long cardboard strips into the hive for the bees to be exposed to. Read our posts all about these two products for more information on them.

There are advancements in the application of oxalic acid across the world. Europe and South America lead the way in oxalic acid treatments, and Randy Oliver has also conducted a lot of testing of the slow-release technique of applying oxalic acid. This technique involves placing a towel, pad, or cardboard strip in the hive with a low dose of oxalic acid that exposes the bees and the mites to it over the course of a couple months.

This technique has shown a lot of promise, and there are several products on the global market for this. It’s a popular DIY project for beekeepers, but using a tested product is always better than making your own.

The two main products on the market are one called Aluen Cap and another called Varroxsan. Both are extremely similar to each other and involve inserting long cardboard strips into the hive for the bees to be exposed to. Read our posts all about these two products for more information on them.

Varroxsan

Varroxsan

In the evolving battle against varroa mites, a significant development has emerged: Varroxsan, a cardboard oxalic acid strip. Created by Vita Bee, known for Apiguard, this innovative product offers a new approach to mite control.

Varroxsan uses a mixture of high-quality glycerin and oxalic acid, absorbed by cardboard strips, placed inside the hive for a slow-release effect.

Research indicates that this method effectively reduces mite populations over a treatment period of 42-56 days. This timeframe aligns well with beekeeping schedules, even during honey production. Notably, Varroxsan has shown several advantages:

  • Resistance to oxalic acid hasn’t been observed in bees.
  • It can be used regardless of temperature conditions.
  • Safe during honey flow, with honey supers on the hive.

Varroxsan has been tested by multiple universities and beekeepers in the US and is approved for use in the US by the EPA. There is no doubt that Varroxsan will become a practical, sustainable solution for controlling varroa mites. Especially because it builds on the already common practice of using Oxalic Acid in it’s many forms such as vaporization and through slow-release towels

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In the evolving battle against varroa mites, a significant development has emerged: Varroxsan, a cardboard oxalic acid strip. Created by Vita Bee, known for Apiguard, this innovative product offers a new approach to mite control.

Varroxsan uses a mixture of high-quality glycerin and oxalic acid, absorbed by cardboard strips, placed inside the hive for a slow-release effect.

Research indicates that this method effectively reduces mite populations over a treatment period of 42-56 days. This timeframe aligns well with beekeeping schedules, even during honey production. Notably, Varroxsan has shown several advantages:

  • Resistance to oxalic acid hasn’t been observed in bees.
  • It can be used regardless of temperature conditions.
  • Safe during honey flow, with honey supers on the hive.

Varroxsan has been tested by multiple universities and beekeepers in the US and is approved for use in the US by the EPA. There is no doubt that Varroxsan will become a practical, sustainable solution for controlling varroa mites. Especially because it builds on the already common practice of using Oxalic Acid in it’s many forms such as vaporization and through slow-release towels

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Synthetic Varroa Mite Treatments

Synthetic Varroa Mite Treatments

Synthetic mite treatments, sometimes called hard treatments, have been very helpful for beekeepers over the years and have helped beekeepers deal with mites when other products are not available.

The use of synthetic chemicals by beekeepers is usually the easiest way to keep bees, but it is important the labels are followed to minimize any possible resistance or contamination of the comb.

Synthetic mite treatments, sometimes called hard treatments, have been very helpful for beekeepers over the years and have helped beekeepers deal with mites when other products are not available.

The use of synthetic chemicals by beekeepers is usually the easiest way to keep bees, but it is important the labels are followed to minimize any possible resistance or contamination of the comb.

Apivar

Apivar

Apivar is by far the most popular mite treatment for beekeepers, as it is extremely effective and is easy to use. The company Veto-Pharma produces a plastic strip that has the active ingredient Amitraz in it, which is deadly to mites but doesn’t harm bees when used correctly. The easy-to-use strips are placed in the brood nest for roughly 2 months, where it works continuously to kill varroa mites through contact.

Apivar does not have any temperature requirements so it can be used anytime honey boxes are not present and the bees are active. Apivar comes in multiple sizes, so it can work for backyard and commercial beekeepers.

Apivar is by far the most popular mite treatment for beekeepers, as it is extremely effective and is easy to use. The company Veto-Pharma produces a plastic strip that has the active ingredient Amitraz in it, which is deadly to mites but doesn’t harm bees when used correctly. The easy-to-use strips are placed in the brood nest for roughly 2 months, where it works continuously to kill varroa mites through contact.

Apivar does not have any temperature requirements so it can be used anytime honey boxes are not present and the bees are active. Apivar comes in multiple sizes, so it can work for backyard and commercial beekeepers.

Amiflex

Amiflex

This is a product that is similar to Apivar as it uses Amitraz as its active ingredient, but it is formulated to be a fast-acting, 7-day treatment which beekeepers call a flash treatment. Amiflex was created by Veto-Pharma and started becoming available to US beekeepers in 2023. Read our post all about Amiflex for beekeepers.

Because Amiflex can work very quickly, it provides beekeepers more flexibility when they treat mites which is something that commercial beekeepers will enjoy.

The ability to treat for mites in 7 days vs. 2 months will be well received. However, using the 2-month treatment with Apivar strips is more effective as it will treat the mites for nearly 3 full brood cycles.

This is a product that is similar to Apivar as it uses Amitraz as its active ingredient, but it is formulated to be a fast-acting, 7-day treatment which beekeepers call a flash treatment. Amiflex was created by Veto-Pharma and started becoming available to US beekeepers in 2023. Read our post all about Amiflex for beekeepers.

Because Amiflex can work very quickly, it provides beekeepers more flexibility when they treat mites which is something that commercial beekeepers will enjoy.

The ability to treat for mites in 7 days vs. 2 months will be well received. However, using the 2-month treatment with Apivar strips is more effective as it will treat the mites for nearly 3 full brood cycles.

Check Mite+

Check Mite+

Checkmite is the product that many beekeepers used before Apivar was available and uses the active ingredient coumaphos. It is not recommended that beekeepers use Check Mite+ in their hives at all, as it has many more negative effects than positive effects.

It has been shown that coumaphos levels remain high in a hive for months after the treatment, and the chemical does not degrade quickly.

The accumulation of coumaphos in the wax constantly exposes the queen and the brood to the chemical long after the check mite has been removed.

Varroa mites have also become resistant to the active ingredient, and Check Mite is not as effective against mites.

Checkmite is the product that many beekeepers used before Apivar was available and uses the active ingredient coumaphos. It is not recommended that beekeepers use Check Mite+ in their hives at all, as it has many more negative effects than positive effects.

It has been shown that coumaphos levels remain high in a hive for months after the treatment, and the chemical does not degrade quickly.

The accumulation of coumaphos in the wax constantly exposes the queen and the brood to the chemical long after the check mite has been removed.

Varroa mites have also become resistant to the active ingredient, and Check Mite is not as effective against mites.

Apistan

Apistan

Apistan uses a different chemical called Tau Fluvalinate, which has fallen out of popularity due to mite resistance to Apistan. Because of this, it is not recommended that beekeepers use this for treating mites.

Apistan uses a different chemical called Tau Fluvalinate, which has fallen out of popularity due to mite resistance to Apistan. Because of this, it is not recommended that beekeepers use this for treating mites.

Natural Varroa Mite Treatments

Natural Varroa Mite Treatments

These natural varroa treatments are not at the end because they don’t work; these methods are a great option for many beekeepers. When using natural varroa mite treatments, it’s important to know how they work because they tend to work alongside the bee’s natural cycle. A beekeeper can use what the bees do naturally to help with varroa populations.

These natural varroa treatments are not at the end because they don’t work; these methods are a great option for many beekeepers. When using natural varroa mite treatments, it’s important to know how they work because they tend to work alongside the bee’s natural cycle. A beekeeper can use what the bees do naturally to help with varroa populations.

Drone Brood Removal

Drone Brood Removal

Many beekeepers do drone brood removal to effectively remove varroa mites. The technique involves introducing a specialized green drone frame for the queen to lay drone eggs in. The frame fills with drone brood which is a favorite among varroa mites.

Just before the cells are capped, varroa mites enter the cell and are trapped in the cell with the growing drone. Before the drone cell is uncapped and the newly hatched mites exit the cell, the entire frame is frozen to kill all the mites.

Many beekeepers do drone brood removal to effectively remove varroa mites. The technique involves introducing a specialized green drone frame for the queen to lay drone eggs in. The frame fills with drone brood which is a favorite among varroa mites.

Just before the cells are capped, varroa mites enter the cell and are trapped in the cell with the growing drone. Before the drone cell is uncapped and the newly hatched mites exit the cell, the entire frame is frozen to kill all the mites.

Splitting Colonies

Splitting Colonies

Splitting a colony is a natural way for a colony to deal with varroa mites itself. Bees don’t split their colony to reduce varroa mites, but it is a side effect of a colony naturally dividing itself. When the bees do it themselves, it is called a swarm; when a beekeeper does it, it is called a split.

Varroa mites require a cell with a growing bee in it to reproduce and when the queen stops laying eggs for a week or two, there is a natural break in varroa preproduction as well. This is often a good time to use a mite treatment like oxalic acid vaporization, as it works well when there is little capped brood in the hive.

Splitting a colony is a natural way for a colony to deal with varroa mites itself. Bees don’t split their colony to reduce varroa mites, but it is a side effect of a colony naturally dividing itself. When the bees do it themselves, it is called a swarm; when a beekeeper does it, it is called a split.

Varroa mites require a cell with a growing bee in it to reproduce and when the queen stops laying eggs for a week or two, there is a natural break in varroa preproduction as well. This is often a good time to use a mite treatment like oxalic acid vaporization, as it works well when there is little capped brood in the hive.

Splitting Colonies

Splitting Colonies

Splitting a colony is a natural way for a colony to deal with varroa mites itself. Bees don’t split their colony to reduce varroa mites, but it is a side effect of a colony naturally dividing itself.

When the bees do it themselves, it is called a swarm; when a beekeeper does it, it is called a split.

Varroa mites require a cell with a growing bee in it to reproduce and when the queen stops laying eggs for a week or two, there is a natural break in varroa preproduction as well.

This is often a good time to use a mite treatment like oxalic acid vaporization, as it works well when there is little capped brood in the hive.

Splitting a colony is a natural way for a colony to deal with varroa mites itself. Bees don’t split their colony to reduce varroa mites, but it is a side effect of a colony naturally dividing itself.

When the bees do it themselves, it is called a swarm; when a beekeeper does it, it is called a split.

Varroa mites require a cell with a growing bee in it to reproduce and when the queen stops laying eggs for a week or two, there is a natural break in varroa preproduction as well.

This is often a good time to use a mite treatment like oxalic acid vaporization, as it works well when there is little capped brood in the hive.

VSH Queens

VSH Queens

A VSH queen is short for a queen that has been bred to produce bees that are varroa aware. VSH stands for Varroa Sensitive Hygiene, which means the nurse bees can detect varroa mites under a capped cell and can actually open the cell up to remove the mites.

This technique takes years or decades to breed into a queen and is an excellent way to help bees deal with varroa mites. Introducing a VSH queen into a hive with a high mite load will not reduce the mite load, but it will help to keep the mite population from turning into a mite infestation.

Check out our Vlog: Comparing The Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizer: Corded vs Battery For Varroa Mite Vaporization.

A VSH queen is short for a queen that has been bred to produce bees that are varroa aware. VSH stands for Varroa Sensitive Hygiene, which means the nurse bees can detect varroa mites under a capped cell and can actually open the cell up to remove the mites.

This technique takes years or decades to breed into a queen and is an excellent way to help bees deal with varroa mites. Introducing a VSH queen into a hive with a high mite load will not reduce the mite load, but it will help to keep the mite population from turning into a mite infestation.

Check out our Vlog: Comparing The Best Oxalic Acid Vaporizer: Corded vs Battery For Varroa Mite Vaporization.

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