Apivar Strips for Varroa Mites Overview
Api Var is a synthetic varroa mite treatment beekeepers use to help control the varroa mite population inside the bee hive. Apivar is applied inside the colony by placing plastic strips between frames where bees are exposed to the active ingredient Amitraz.
Available in a 4 pack, 12 Pack and a 60 Pack. The 10 Pack and 50 Pack were discontinued in August 2022.
One of the best features of Apivar is that it can be used during the heat of the summer when many other mite treatments require special consideration. An apivar treatment is most often used during the summer in the six-week period after the honey flow. This is usually July and August for most beekeeping areas in the Northern Hemisphere.
2 strips is typically used per hive. A 4 pack will be enough to treat 2 colonies. A 12 pack is enough to treat 6 colonies.
It is important to harvest honey and remove your honey super or supers from the colony before the treatment period. There should not be any honey for human consumption on the hive when the apivar strip is added. The main benefit of using the apivar package during the summer is the varroa mite population will be low when the bees are raising winter bees during the fall. Apivar is not designed to be used during the honey season when honey boxes are present.
Apivar is safe for bees and deadly for Varroa Mites and has proven to produce healthy and productive hives without leaving significant residues in the comb. It's important to follow package directions when applying Apivar in the brood box. The strips are designed to be used on deep brood frames but can also be used on medium frames. Apivar is one of the preferred varroa treatment by most commercial beekeepers and works very well when there is brood present.
Apivar should only be used when your mite levels are above the threshold where beekeeper interference is needed to help the colony. You can check for mite levels using a product called a Varroa Check which is very helpful for checking mite levels when considering a mite treatment.
The shelf life of Api Var is 2 years from its manufacture date. At Foxhound Bee Company, we do not receive the product immediately after it is manafactured, but typically have a shelf life on our products of 18+months.
Can Apivar be used with honey supers on?
Apivar should not be used when there is any honey on the hive that is to be consumed by people. Any honey on the hive should be left for the bees to eat during the year. It dos not matter what size boxes are used on the hive, only that the remaining boxes receiving the treatment only contain brood and honey for the bees.
Is Apivar considered organic?
Apivar is not an organic treatment for varroa mites but is synthetic with the active chemical ingredient Amitraz. Apivar is not toxic to bees or humans when used according to the package directions. Apiguard is an organic acid treatment that uses Essential Oils and works very well for killing varroa mites.
When should I apply Apivar?
Apivar is best used during the spring, summer and fall when bees are most active and honey boxes are not on the hive. Apivar can be used during the winter in subtropical or tropical environments. Apivar works through contact with the adult bees when they touch the strips, so it's important the colony is active. Formic Pro is a popular mite treatment that works during the spring and fall in cooler temperatures and can be used with honey boxes on the hive.
See our entire collection of Synthetic, Organic, and Physical Varroa Mite Treatments.
Apiguard is a popular alternative to Apivar that can be used during the spring, summer and fall.
From The Manufacturer
Amitraz, an acaricide, is the active ingredient in Apivar strips.
Apivar® is packaged in vacuum-sealed foil pouches. A single application of two strips per brood chamber is sufficient to treat a hive, so you spend less time and effort treating your bees, and there is less disruption of the bees than with many other treatments.
Strips are not individually wrapped and must be used within 2 weeks after opening.
This active ingredient is delivered to the honey bees via the polymer strip, which is specially designed to constantly deliver the active ingredient via the surface of the strip after it is placed in the hive.
Apivar works by direct contact with bees:
The active ingredient is delivered continuously over time. As bees walk on the strip’s surface they pick up molecules of the active ingredient and then distribute them throughout the colony.
Apivar has been subject to a variety of stringent regulatory studies and evaluations and its high effectiveness was proven by various scientific trials in different countries, with a constant efficacy between 97 and 99% for more than 10 years.*
Directions for using Apivar:
See the Apivar Instruction Sheet in the product images
Remove honey supers before application of Apivar.
Use 2 Apivar strips per brood chamber (i.e., one strip per 5 Frames of Bees - FoB).
Separate the double strip and hang each strip between two comb frames inside the brood area or the bee cluster, with a minimum distance of 2 frames between strips.
Suspend Apivar strips in the heart of the brood (not on the edge) in such a way that the bees can walk on both sides of the strips.
Leave strips inside the hive for 42 days, and then remove.
In case of movement inside the beehive far from the strips, reposition the strips into the bee cluster, and leave the strips in place for 14 more days.
Strips must be removed after a maximum of 56 days. DO NOT re-use the strips.
When To Use Apivar:
Hang Apivar strips in the hives in the spring, summer, and/or the fall if Varroa mite infestations have reached the treatment threshold.
Treat all of your colonies ion the apiary simultaneously to avoid re-infestation.
Withholding period for honey collection:
Wait 14 days after removing strips before placing honey supers on hive. DO NOT USE APIVAR STRIPS WHEN HONEY SUPERS ARE PRESENT. If mite infestation reaches treatment thresholds in fall, remove surplus honey supers before using Apivar.