Varroa Mite Treatment

Varroa Mite Treatment

A Comprehensive Overview of Varroa Mite Treatment

Varroa mites, specifically Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni, pose a significant threat to adult honey bees and broods. These parasites can weaken bees, spread bee viruses, and eventually destroy bee colonies if not stopped.

Effective mite control is imperative for beekeepers, whether engaged in commercial or hobbyist beekeeping. This guide provides crucial information about Varroa mites. It explains how to eliminate them and offers strategies to prevent their entry into beehives.

APIBUZZ is a leading brand for treating Varroa mite infestations in honey bee colonies. APIBUZZ helps prevent mite populations and promotes healthier and more sustainable bee communities.

Understanding Varroa Mites:

You can see Varroa mites without using a microscope. The females are bigger than the males, measuring around 1.1 mm long and 1.7 mm wide. They display a reddish-brown hue, whereas males are yellowish-white. The eggs of Varroa are round and possess a milky color, with sizes roughly 1.00 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.

Despite residing and feeding on honey bees, Varroa mites primarily target larvae and pupae in developing broods. This behavior is parasitic and it causes problems for honey bees. These problems include deformities, weakness, and difficulties flying. Additionally, the bees bring back less food to the colony.

Ultimately, Varroa infestations can devastate honey bee populations, leading to the demise of entire colonies.

Understanding the Origins of Varroa Mites:

The Varroa mite can easily move between bees, spreading infestations in apiaries and colonies. Moving beehives, queen bees, and used beekeeping equipment daily helps spread these harmful mites.

Additionally, the transfer can occur during foraging bees and swarms, especially from infested colonies. Mites can traverse from one bee to a flower and then attach themselves to another bee visiting the same flower. When the diseased bee comes back to the swarm, the mites can consume and set up an invasion inside the hive.

 

Effective Varroa Mite Management:

If you suspect Varroa mites in your apiary, you must take prompt and strategic steps to minimize their spread.

Gathering Samples:

  • Obtain a sample of the presumed mite and put it in a container filled with denatured alcohol.
  • Store the container away from sunlight.

Identification Marking:

  • Label the diseased hive, including its cover and containers, for effortless recognition.

Hygiene Measures:

  • Wash hands and all tools and equipment used during the process to prevent further Varroa infestations.

Personal Protective Measures:

  • Maintain your bee suit in a plastic sack. Keep your gloves and cap in a plastic sack as well. Store them at the beekeeping location. Wait for further instructions from local beekeeping authorities.

Reporting:

  • Report the infestation promptly to your country's pest control organization.

 

Cultural Approaches for Varroa Mite Treatment:

Several cultural approaches aim to reduce Varroa mite reproduction, minimizing the reliance on chemical treatments:

Resistant Shock:

  • Use bee breeds that are resistant to mites. Examples of such breeds include Russian bees or Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) bees. These breeds can control mite growth and effectively remove them.
Small Cell Comb:
  • Research suggests that mite numbers decrease with smaller cell sizes. Consider using a commercial foundation with smaller hexagons to limit Varroa mite growth.
Brood Break:
  • Temporarily remove the queen bee for approximately three weeks, allowing all broods to hatch. This forces mites out of cells onto adult bees, promoting hygienic behavior and reducing mite numbers. This method can complement chemical treatments for increased efficacy.

Mechanical Approaches:

Changing the colony or hive can greatly affect Varroa mite numbers, especially when combined with other methods. Consider the following popular mechanical approaches:

Mite Trapping:
- Varroa mites show increased reproduction levels in drone broods. Removing drone brood cells before emergence can effectively reduce mite reproduction.


Screened Bottom Board:
- Replace solid wood bottom boards with screened alternatives. This innovative method takes advantage of natural bee behavior. It causes fallen Varroa mites to be unable to re-infest the bee population.

Powdered Sugar:
- Applying powdered sugar to bees enhances grooming behavior, causing more mites to fall off. Although this approach is efficient, it can require a lot of work. Consider its advantages and weak points thoroughly before putting it into action.

Chemical Strategies:

To ensure optimal overwintering results, administer chemical miticides before the generation of winter bees. We can divide chemical control techniques into two groups.

Mild Chemicals:

Mild chemicals encompass naturally occurring chemicals like oxalic acid, formic acid, thymol and hops beta acids, etc. They do not leave residues in hives, making them ideal for use before resorting to hard chemicals.

Hard Chemicals:

Synthetic miticides, such as fluvalinate and coumaphos, are effective but may have decreased efficacy because of mite resistance. These chemicals leave residues in wax, increasing slight sensitivity to nosema disease. However, the residual dose is negligible and safe for both the bee colony and people.

Amitraz, a popular synthetic acaricide, stands out as a safer alternative. It doesn't pollute honey or wax in its natural state, providing a safer approach to managing Varroa mites.

Detecting Varroa Mite Populations:

Maintaining the well-being of your bees requires consistent vigilance regarding mite populations. Regularly assessing your colony enables you to identify when Varroa mites reach concerning levels, signaling the need for intervention. Through regular hive inspections, you can obtain crucial information about the severity of mite infestations. We also recommend using techniques like trapping drone brood, sampling with sugar roll, or using alcohol wash.

These proactive monitoring practices, when combined with appropriate treatments, contribute to sustaining healthier bee colonies and more fruitful hives. Understanding the seasonal cycle of mites also aids in strategically timing your interventions for optimal effectiveness. Tailoring your detection and treatment approaches based on the unique conditions of your region and hive is important.

APIBUZZ Product Series for Varroa Treatment:

APIBUZZ offers multiple choices for beekeepers to administer medications for bees.  Browse our wide range of medications for bees and choose the one that suits your needs best!

APIBUZZ bee mite strips stand out as the primary products widely utilized by beekeepers. These strips have gained widespread popularity among beekeepers for their effectiveness in addressing mite infestations in beehives. These bee strips are as follows below:

Product

 Active Content

Features

Descriptions

APIFLUVA

Fluvalinate

Standard dose

Basic bee mite treatment

APIFLUVA-PRO

Fluvalinate

High dose

For drug-resistant Varroa mites

INS FLUVA

Fluvalinate

Low dose

Mild mite treatment for bee

APIFLUME

Flumethrin

Standard dose

For drug-resistant Varroa mites

APIXPERT

Flumethrin

Slow-Release

One strip can work at least 42 days.

 

APIBUZZ provides liquid solutions for beekeeping. These products spread and soak in well, covering everything thoroughly and working at their best. They work great even in damp conditions. That's why beekeepers from all around the world prefer using them.

 

 Product

 Specifications

Descriptions

LINGMAN 12.5%EC Amitraz Solution

50ml / bottle

Miticide

SALUD-BEE 20% EW Tau-fluvalinate Solution

50ml / bottle

Miticide

LINGMAN 10% BTMAC Solution

50ml / bottle

Disinfection of beehives and equipment, the area surrounding beehives; Bee disease prevention 

 

APIBUZZ also provides a solution for organic varroa mite treatment. Beekeepers employ gentle chemicals to control varroa mites.

Using synthetic miticides for a long time may develop resistance. As the time of year passes, we can see the effects of using synthetic miticides a lot. Studies show that changing chemicals during treatment can help prevent resistance. 

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