Varroa Mite Treatments

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Beekeepers are engaged in a battle with a formidable foe – the varroa mite. As guardians of honey bees, beekeepers are challenged with finding effective varroa mite treatments. Whether through chemical interventions, natural remedies, or integrated approaches to management, varroa control is essential. Let’s look at some of the most common ways to treat bees for mites.

Beekeeper using syringe with oxalic mite varroa treatment in beehive.

A leading cause of colony deaths, there are no easy answers for varroa mite infestations. However, beekeepers must continue to search for the best control methods for this pest of honey bees.

Why Mite Treatments for Bees are Necessary

Finding mites inside a honey bee colony is nothing new. Most honey bee colonies actually have several types of mites in residence. Thankfully, most cause no problem for the bees or the beekeeper.

However, Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) are a different story. These small reddish mites are external pests. They are visible to the naked eye and look like a tiny red dot on the bee’s body.

Mites infiltrate the hive and begin feeding on adult bees, spreading viruses and weakening the bees. Mature female mites enter bee brood cells and reproduce by laying eggs.

Newly hatched mites will feed on the developing bee larva – setting up a deadly cycle of sick, weak bees. These infestations can escalate, leading to weakened colonies, compromised immune systems, and devastating colony losses.

In areas with varroa mites, most infested colonies will die withing 2-4 years without some type of mite treatment plan for the bees.

Varroa mites on bee brood show need for varroa mite treatments image.

Key Considerations Before Treatment

Before choosing a method of varroa mite treatment, the beekeeper must face several critical decisions. If only the factors were clear – a decision would be easy. However, that is not the reality.

  • not all treatments are equally effective at ridding the colony of the mite infestation
  • some have temperature restrictions
  • some available varroa mite treatments (yes, even approved treatments) may contaminate the honey and beeswax in the hive (at supposedly safe levels)
  • some treatments can not be used when honey supers are on the hive
Mites visible on bees in hive lacking varroa mite treatments image.

Varroa Mite Treatment Threshold

How many mites are too many? It depends. (If you thought I was going to give you a definitive answer, you must be a beginning beekeeper.)

Those of us who have been around a while know that most questions in beekeeping have several answers.

But, I do have some guidelines for you to consider regarding when to treat your bees for mites. This involves determining the varroa mite threshold and that is often a moving target.

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Regardless of the method used, testing for varroa mites is critical to saving your hives. These involve sticky boards, sugar shakes and alcohol washes.

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Beekeeper inserting chemical mite treatment into beehive - bee larva with varroa mites.

Chemical Treatments

Research has provided us with several chemical treatment options for varroa control. These products are generally divided into two groups: hard and soft.

Those considered to be hard chemical treatments are often of synthetic origin. They boast great efficacy but can be hard on the colony and/or have a greater risk of chemical buildup in the beeswax or honey.

Treatment strips for varroa control in a busy beehive image.

Hard Chemicals

Please understand that just because these varroa treatments fall into the hard category – that does not mean you should avoid them.

They have been tested and approved because they work with supposedly little risk to the bees or humans.

Also, varroa resistance to some of these products is reported in the industry. If you choose to use these products, it is important to rotate them.

You must use your own judgement when deciding what to put in your hive – weigh the risks-rewards.

Apistan (fluvalinate)

Apistan (fluvalinate) is an older substance used for mite control in honey bees for years. It is an impregnated strip that kills by contact. Strips must be placed inside the hive and then removed after a certain time period.

Reports of wide spread resistance to fluvalinate has been reported in colonies over recent years. Also, chemical residues may persist in beeswax in the hive. Most beekeepers that I know no longer use it.

Checkmite+ (coumaphos)

Sold as Checkmite+ – coumaphos is another product that has been used for varroa control and coincidently also aids in controlling Small Hive Beetles.

As great as that sounds, there are serious considerations within the industry regarding the negative effects in the hive.

I have never used this product. Sold as a restricted pesticide in some areas – you may need a veterinarian approval to purchase.

Apivar (amitraz)

Apivar (amitraz) is a synthetic miticide that kills by contact. Impregnated strips are placed near the brood nest much like Apistan. This chemical was used for mite control for a while in the past, then pulled and now allowed again.

Apivar has time usage restriction. Do not place honey supers on your colony for at least 2 weeks after treatment.

Low levels of residue can be detected in the beeswax and honey. Mites can develop resistance.  But, some beekeepers report good results with this approved varroa mite treatment product.

Soft Chemicals

Soft chemicals are those treatments that are derived from natural substances. They work without leaving noticeable residues in the wax or honey. Unfortunately, they are not the quick and easy fix that hard chemicals promise.

They are not as effective in mite removal and you must monitor the colony to make sure they worked. With soft chemical mite treatments – you can’t simply put in a strip and forget it.

There are also several essential oil recipes for bees that you can make and try in your hives. Many beekeepers feel that essential oils promote good health in honey bee colonies. But, use care – some essential oils are absorbed through the skin. Wear gloves.

Don’t think that these treatments are weak – many of these natural compounds are strong and should be used with care.

Two mite treatment pads impregnated with formic pro.

Formic Acid

Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) formic acid (organic acid) works as a fumigant. Biodegradable treatment pads are placed in the hive for 7 days.

After 7 days, you can remove the pads or not. A plus, you can use Mite Away Quick Strips when honey  collection supers  are on the hive.

Formic Acid also kills mites in capped brood (many others do not). This is an organic treatment but it is also strong – especially if the temperatures are very warm.

Some beekeepers have reported queen loss or a reduction in brood production. I never had any problems while using this product. But, I always follow the directions on the label!

Extreme temperatures above 92° F during the treatment application may cause colony absconding. In my region, the temperature requirements for some of these treatments were a big problem.

Formic Pro is another option for those wanting to use formic acid. This version has a longer expiration date for the package in case you want to keep some on hand.

It works in the same way as MAQS with some of the same benefits and challenges. I periodically use formic acid treatments in my colonies, they are very effective.

Thymol Products

Essential oils are natural compounds distilled from plants. One of the most popular essential oils used for mite treatments is thymol.

There are several thymol products on the market. They do a good job of varroa control in beehives. But, they must be used in a particular temperature range.

How well thymol products work depends on colony strength and weather conditions. Also, check after the treatment period to ensure success.

Apiquard

Apiguard is a gel containing thymol that acts as a fumigant to kill mites. Like most of the natural treatments, this product is temperature sensitive.

Temperatures should be between 59° F and below 105° F. (Personally, I would want it to be much cooler in my humid climate before I used it in my hives.) Use twice at 2-week intervals to complete a mite control plan.

Api Life VAR

CONFUSION ALERT:  There is a difference between Apivar and Api Life V A R.  One is a synthetic chemical and one is a softer essential oil based treatment. Both are approved for use in beehives.

Api Life Var (thymol, eucalyptol oil, menthol, camphor) Api Life VAR is another contender for the one of the best varroa mite treatments.

The product features a green spongy pad impregnated with oils and works as a fumigant. Treatment involves placement of pads on the top bars of the hive – 3 times at 7 day intervals. An acceptable temperature range is between 65-85° F.

Very high temperatures during the treatment period can cause serious colony disruption including bees leaving the hive or absconding.

Oxalic Acid

Used in Europe for years, beekeepers in the United States can now use oxalic acid as a varroa mite treatment. Oxalic acid (Oxalic acid dihydrate-organic acid) is used in two ways for mite control – as a drizzle or as a fumigant (vaporization).

Drizzle

The drip or drizzle method involves mixing OA with sugar water and pouring this over the cluster of bees.

The drizzle method is best used in early Winter or late Fall-when the bees are clustered together. The colony should have little or no brood so the majority of mites will be on the adult bees.

The yearly limit of drizzle applications is 2 per year. This is because the acid is somewhat corrosive to bee bodies. Do not use drizzle treatments in extreme cold or the bee cluster can become chilled.

Langstroth hive undergoing oxalic acid treatment with front entrance closed with a towel image.

Vaporization

Oxalic Acid Vaporization – A small amount of OA crystals are placed on a special wand and slid into the hive. The wand heats causing the crystals to vaporize.

As the vapor cools, crystals reform inside the hive. Honey bees remove the acid crystals and expose varroa to the substance.

Oxalic acid vaporization is a very effect varroa mite treatment during Fall and Winter – times when less brood is in the hive. It does not kill mites hidden inside the brood cell.

You need to make or purchase an oxalic acid vaporizers. Be careful when purchasing a wand. You want one that works properly, you do NOT want to be inhaling any fumes. Wear appropriate safety mask etc. Follow the manufacturers directions – read the label.

Using OA in the Summer

Vaporization is my current method of mite control. I believe it is the best varroa mite treatment for bees in my area. 

We have a lot of hot weather That makes some of the other natural or organic varroa mite treatments unsuitable during July/August. This is the time that I need to have a healthy hive – getting ready to raise healthy fat bees for Winter.

Because this method does not kill mites hidden inside the brood cell, the southern beekeepers I know – repeat this treatment every 5-7 days for 3 times. Thereby, covering a complete worker bee brood cycle.

But, some researchers feel the control is not good enough. That even using multiple treatments over a period does not reduce the mite load enough. I don’t argue that point – but for me, it is the best thing I have right now.

Fogging with Oxalic Acid- Should you?

You will hear a lot of information on the internet and YouTube about fogging with Oxalic Acid. We humans are always looking for an easier way to do things. No harm in that -but you may harm yourself or your bees.

Fogging with OA is not approved in the US (at this time). I have not seen any approved research reports that say it is a good idea. I will not use this method for the present.

HopGuard (Potassium salt -hops beta acids)

Potassium salt of hop beta acids (16%) is a natural product made from hop compounds. It is safe to use any time of year – even when honey supers on the hive.

It is more effective when there is less brood in the hive as it does not kill mites under the cap (where the majority of them are).

Beekeepers report that it is messy to work with. Also, beekeepers in my region have not reported consistently good results using Hopguard. Still, you may decide to give it a try in your apiary.

Honey bees on bottle of essential oil being used for varroa mite control image.

IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Approaches

Chemicals are not the only way to fight varroa. In an integrated pest management plan (IPM) beekeepers use all methods to battle the mite.

One way beekeepers deal with mites is the use of mechanical methods. Using screened bottom boards (instead of solid), causes some mites to fall to the ground and perish.

There was high hopes for the use of screened bottom boards (also called IPM boards) in the beginning but I have little confidence in them at this point as a varroa control. The number of mites removed is just too insignificant.

However, screened bottom boards are great at giving your hive extra ventilation and I think they are worth the effort in that respect.

Powdered Sugar Use

Several years ago, the use of powdered sugar become a popular treatment plan for varroa. Beekeepers would take a cup of powdered sugar and use a sifter to dust the bees.

Removing the hive top and dusting the top bars as bees came up from below. The idea was that as the bees groomed themselves to remove the sugar – more of the mites would be knock off.

Unfortunately, this method has proven to be very ineffective. t does not result in a significant reduction in mite populations (much the same as the use of a screened bottom board).

Few beekeepers bother to use powdered sugar dusting today. But, I must admit that the white bees looked like little flying ghosts for a while – rather cute.

Red arrow shows varroa mite on drone larvae.

Drone Brood Removal

Some beekeepers advise the removal of developing capped drone bees (the mites favorite host). They use special drone frames to encourage drone production. Once filled with capped brood and developing mites inside, the frame is removed.

Freeze the whole frame, killing the mites and the drone brood is sacrificed as well. After thawing, the frame is put back into the hive for reuse.

Personally, I am not a fan of this method. You must remember to remove the frame at the proper time. Otherwise, you have just created a mite maternity ward.

Expert Tips

  • varroa mites are the #1 killer of bee colonies worldwide. 
  • always – READ THE LABEL – manufacturer recommendations change.
  • choose a mite treatment option and try it. If, the first one doesn’t work, try again. After treating, do another mite count. Don’t assume the treatment worked.
  • keep a log of what worked or didn’t work in your colonies each year. Good hive records can make beekeeping more enjoyable.
  • record your beekeeping year in your beekeeping journal so you will have years of records.
  • if you want to go treatment free – find a reputable breeder of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) bees
  • you must check to ensure that the treatment plan you choose really works for your bees.

FAQs

Why is it important to treat bees for varroa mites?

Varroa mites are a serious threat to honey bee colonies. They weaken bees, decrease their immunity to other pathogens and spread viruses. Unchecked they result in colony death.

How can I determine if my colony has a varroa mite infestation?

Even though varroa mites are visible to the human eye – you can not rely on visual inspections. Look for signs of varroa infestations such as bees with deformed wings. The real determination requires doing mite counts using approved varroa testing methods: alcohol wash, sugar shake etc.

Are there natural alternatives to chemical varroa mite treatments?

Yes there are natural alternatives to chemical control of varroa mites. However, they do not work as quick and easy and you must test to make sure they were effective.

Can varroa mites develop resistance to treatments?

Yes, it is common for varroa mites to develop resistance to treatments – especially chemical treatments such as fluvalinate or coumaphos – rotate your treatment methods.

Final Thoughts

What you choose as your varroa mite treatment for bees is as individual as you. The goal is not necessarily a complete kill of every mite – rather a reduction in varroa mite populations. I tell my students in my online beginners class – you need a mite mite control plan. As the industry strives to breed bees with more mite resistance we use what we have.

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53 Comments

  1. Hi Charlotte,

    What is your comment and experience about “physical treatment Anti-Mite Frame”?

    Regards

  2. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I have no experience with it. Research using different types of products in mite control do hold some promise. Time will tell if this type of item is feasible or not. I am waiting until more research studies have been done.

  3. Linda Cauble says:

    Oxalic Acid Vaporization , do you leave your honey supers on during treatment? Thank you,

  4. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Hi Linda. I would remove the honey supers (for human consumption) if I need to treat. I usually avoid this by treating before and after the honey flow. We dont really have a Fall flow here so that works out well in my treatment plan.

  5. Jim Schultz says:

    How effective is the sugar dusting I see on the internet?

  6. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    In my opinion, it makes the bees look pretty and white. They may eat a little of it. For mites, I have no confidence in it. It did not work for me.

  7. Thomas (Tom) Holley says:

    would a good varroa plan be three 7 day treatments in the spring/early summer and one treatment in late fall { both times with vaporization}? also would you treat new nucs in spring when you get them?

  8. Thomas (Tom) Holley says:

    I have some old equipment that i bought before taking your class and wish i had not. nevertheless do you think spraying and/or soaking the equipment in clorox water would kill all pathogens and parasites? By the way, i learned more in your class than in local club class and on you tube, thank you

  9. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    All things are relative. Bee genetics, pest rate in your area etc. For me, I usually vaporize 3 times in very early Spring (5-7 days apart), 3 X after I remove honey supers for the year (late July) and 3 x in late October. Yes, I am getting a couple of nucs this year (first time – I generally prefer packages) and after letting them settle in for a week or so, I will treat them with OA vap.

  10. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Thank you Thomas. What a wonderful comment about my class. Don’t fret over used stuff. The only big problem to worry about is American Foul Brood. There is no way to get rid of that without special treatments. It is a small risk in my area but still a risk. I don’t think Clorox will do much but it wont hurt to spray it with a Clorox solution. (well before the bees arrive). If you can bring yourself to dump the honeycomb and only use the wooden ware with fresh wax foundation that will lower the risks too. In my early days I purchased a little used equipment from a beekeeper and it turned out just fine. But there is always the risk of Foul Brood.

  11. Don Cooper says:

    Thank you. Very informative.

  12. Can oxyalic acid be used when honey supers are on?

  13. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I would not.

  14. Hi Charlotte,

    When using OA as vaporizer do you rotate treatments and use a different product?

    Thank you,

  15. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I have not had to rotate in the last 2 years. But if I did – I would use thymol or formic acid products.

  16. Thanks for taking time to explain each treatment and the effects on the bees. One you gave a plus on I’ve been using and the other you gave a plus on I’ll most likely use for the rotation.
    Thanks again

  17. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Thanks Tom, It is not an easy situation thats for sure! I just continue to do my best and try to keep up with changes in the beekeeping community.

  18. Thank you for all of this very helpful information on treating for mites. Can you leave honey supers on when treating with Apigard?
    Thanks!

  19. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    You are welcome. No, you cant have supers for human consumption on when using Apiguard.

  20. Thomas Clancy says:

    Hi Charlotte,

    There is a wide range on prices of Vaporizers . How did you finally conclude that the VARROX was the best ?

    I did see that the construction is such that it won’t turn over but others much cheaper also have similar handels.

  21. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    The Varrox has been used in Europe for many years so I hoped the quality would be there. It has held up well so far. The big pull to spend that much was also helped by the fact that you can dunk this wand in a bucket of water to cool it. You must not put OX crystals on a hot cup – they may start to melt and damage your lungs. With the cheaper wand I would have to wait for the wand to cool before going to the next hive. This one is made so that you can dunk it right in the cool water without damaging the unit.

  22. HI Charlotte, thanks you so much for the valuable insight on treating mites. I just started two hives with nucs this late June to show my grandchildren how to raise bees. I did this 30 years ago for our children and it was a great experience. I live in Southeastern PA. Based on what I have read I think I’ll treat by Vaporization of Oxalic Acid. i did not do this 30 years ago and my bees did eventually die after 6 years. Now that I’m older and I hope a bit more wise I been researching this. Going to buy that wand. Thank you for the reference. I just tested for mites with the Varroa Mite Testing Kit from U of M. Found 1 mite in 300 bees. My questions are: Should I retest and then treat or just treat as a preventative measure? Who do I buy the Oxalic acid from? And do I treat them year last week in Oct, first week March 2019 and then after my supers are off in late July? 3x 5-7 days apart.

  23. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Hi Steve. Yes, I am a big fan of testing. Unfortunately, the years that I chose to not treat due to low count numbers – I ended up loosing hives to mites in late Fall. Here in my area, I have not been able to avoid treating. I do use the testing to evaluate how well my treatment is working. I too do the March, July Sept/Oct schedule. Legally…. you are supposed to buy the OA from a bee supply, properly labeled etc. But I “have heard” that some beekeepers buy pure (99%) OA on Amazon.

  24. Randy Wilson says:

    I did the sticky board method last week for 3 days and counted 4 mites. I did it again for the 3 days immediately following and counted no mites. To be surre I knew what I was looking for I used a magnifying glass as well as taking pictures of the mites, so I am pretty sure in my numbers. This hive is new having started from a nuc in mid-May this year. The breeder says he gets his queens from VP Queens and they are bred with VSH. They also do an OA vaporization on the hives just before creating the nucs. Is it possible I just have very few mites at this point? I am planning to do the OA vaporization in probably November (as I will be away for all of September and October). I live about 40 miles north of Dallas, TX.

  25. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Yes, it is absolutely possible that you have a very low mite load. If you are concerned, you might do a sugar shake with nurse bees from the brood nest area. Otherwise, you OA treatment in November sounds like a good plan. Be sure to watch them next Spring to make sure mite numbers dont climb too fast.

  26. Kathy Johnson says:

    When you treat with OA, you are supposed to remove the honey supers—why? and how do you ‘mark’ frames that were treated so they don’t get ‘mixed up’ with frames that weren’t treated. I interchange my frames all the time, and am wanting to be careful about chemicals in all parts of the hive. Thanks!

  27. phil buxton says:

    vaporized hive sept 8 next morn several hundred varroa on inspection board cleaned board reinstalled sept 9 around fifty mites on inspection board

  28. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I do not treat with my supers on – because that is the law. FDA regulations require it. As for the frames, I dont do much interchanging between the super I leave for the bees food and my harvest supers – so it is generally not a problem for me. However, once the hive gets a few years older – its easier to tell which frames stay on the hive longer. And, OA is naturally occurring in the hive to a degree.

  29. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Hopefully, it is working. It may take several days to be complete though as mites will continue to fall. If you still have brood, remember it has to be repeated a couple of times.

  30. Snowie Herrera says:

    Hi Charlotte,
    Do you have any experience or knowledge of a Victor-for Varroa mite thermal treatment? We purchased one and have used it once with ? Results. We live in southeast GA, pretty hot most of the time and you are.
    Thanks in advance

  31. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I do not. I think the “jury is still out” on that method of treatment. I know one beekeeper in my group who used it and it was not effective. However, that doesnt mean it would not work for others.

  32. Hi Charlotte!
    this summer i treated with MAQS in august and it was the last time i used MaQs.
    that killed one queens and stopped spawn in others hives.
    So, i found your site and i bought a varrox.

    i wondering if its to late for this year for treating my hives oa vap ? my hives are isolated for the winter. i had plan to treat in october but i just reseived my varrox sooo late

    thanks a lot

    Julie from Québec, canada

  33. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Hi Julie, To the very best of my knowledge its a great time to use your varrox. Because oxalic acid does not kill mites under the brood cap, times of little to no brood are perfect for its use. However, where I live-we cant wait until a broodless time to treat. Go for it!

  34. Thank you for taking the time to help inform those of us with less knowledge on Varroa treatment.
    Do you have a link to the OA that you prefer to purchase or any recommendations?

  35. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Hi Thomas, Legally you are supposed to buy OA that is labeled for bees. But many beekeepers do order quality OA crystals from Amazon.

  36. John Markes says:

    Why is no one using parasitic mites, like hypoaspis mites, to control the varroa mites? Long term protection and no harm to bees.

  37. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Interesting idea John, I am sure some of the researchers have considered it. Perhaps, they thought other ideas had better promise. Maybe they will look into this more in the future.

  38. I have used the dribble in the fall as I do not own a vaporizer tool to apply OA. I was wondering what you think about using a clean spray bottle and making up the drizzle liquid ban spraying each side of the frame with the bees on it. The dribble gets them very wet and the vapor would envelop the bees in a vapor. Wouldn’t two gentle light sprays on each side be as effective? What do you think?

  39. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I dont think so Sharon. There is a fine line between killing mites and harming the cuticle of the bees. During vaporization – the chemical changes as the vapor forms and then cools.

  40. New beekeepers, treat your bees or you will be buying new bees every year after winter, that makes your bee supplier happy. Check your bees for mites and treat if needed. Also treat in the summer and that is for the winter mites, because it will take time before your winter bees will emerge and those bees have to be top notch healthy for winter. And after you get them over winter include treating in the spring.

    There is one more option. Break the brood cycle for 12 days. lock your queen up for 12 days to get an brood interruption, but you have to check for new queen cells and remove them or the bees will make new queens.

    I have seen videos of folks sugar coating bees/hives as well have I seen comments on it. Be careful, sugar coating will kill open brood/ larvae if they get covered in powder sugar.

    Also understand how your treatments work. Some treatment may be only active for 2 hours while another treatment does not actually directly kill mites but makes them sterile so they can not reproduce. Also be aware that some treatments will not treat capped brood while another will kill mites inside capped broods.

    Do an alcohol wash to check for mites, the sugar testing is not accurate enough. Sacrifice 300 bees to save a hive is not much considering that a queen can lay around 2,000 eggs a day.

    Charlotte, thank you for posting this.

  41. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    Mites are a big problem. Not the only one but they can not be ignored.

  42. Hi Charlotte and thank you for all goods informations.
    I have a lot of mites this summer cause i did not treat last fall like i had planned.

    I am wandering if it’s too hot (26 C, 78.8f) to use OA vap? I dont have
    anything else to treat and i just saw a lot of mites in my hives.
    I know it will not kill in the brood but that it might lower the amount of mites a bit.
    I can not find anything about temperature and oa vap on a web. I know that is usually for spring and fall treatement.
    Thanks a lot for your time
    Nini

  43. Treated hive in fall for high mite load with formicpro. Surprisingly this hive wintered so well that I did a split in the spring. When my population started to dwindle 6 weeks later I checked for mites and found 3 out of 100 also concerned for failing or missing queen. I did one strip of formicpro for 1 week and ordered a new queen. Is it dangerous to continue with Second strip? Also how long do I wait to introduce new queen after treatment? I live on coast of SC.

  44. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I don’t like to requeen until after treatments are finished. You can – its just a bit risky

  45. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    I do it in the summer when I have to. I try to avoid temps over 90.

  46. Randell Thompson says:

    why do we vaporize with OA 7 days apart for 3 weeks when drones are capped for 24 days?

  47. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    My best answer to that – any type of treatment does stress the colony to a degree. We can’t get rid of every single mite in the colony but want to knock them down below a threshold. While we won’t hit every new mite in drone cells (over 21 days), we are covering a long period of time that should help control the infestation.

  48. Elizabeth Judice says:

    Here in Texas we are currently feeding our bees because of the dearth. Is there a treatment where we can leave the sugar syrup in the hive or do we need to remove the feeders for any of the treatments?

  49. Charlotte Anderson says:

    I have treated while feeding. In general, as odd as it sounds, even feeding can cause the colony a little stress so that’s why it is usually recommended to remove them. However, I think being hungry would cause more stress . So if it were me, I would probably just go ahead.

  50. Mary W Truland says:

    We treated our nine hives 5 days apart with Oxalic Acid for five days. It was thorough and early in the day when the hives were still quiet. We did this for five treatments, waited one week and inspected for mites and we did have mites, often more than one. We have restarted the treatments but I don’t know whether my bees are picking up mites from other local hives, whether we have the timing wrong, or if this very hot wet weather makes miteless living impossible. The bees still have nectar to gather, are peaceable, busy and don’t act desperate.
    But I do.

  51. Charlotte Anderson says:

    Mary, depending on where you live – I think it is impossible to have a mite-less hive. They do pick them up from flowers, drifting bees etc. It is good to check your colonies after any treatment for effectiveness. Good for you that you know this is important. Finding a few mites is not a problem – a large infestation is a different matter.

  52. Wesley Segelquist says:

    Charlotte, have you any information on extended release oxalic acid. I am aware it is not commercially approved at this time. But as an experimental treatment for trial. Only have two hives and expense of vaporizer seems out of line.
    Thank you, Wesley

  53. Charlotte Anderson says:

    I do not. I know that the idea is really appealing and several researchers have worked on it but I have not heard of any that have been able to get the dose just right. Though they don’t last as long – some of the cheaper vaporizers might work for a while with only 2 hives.