What is varroa?
Varroa is a dangerous disease that attacks honeybees. What is varroa, how to recognize it and effectively treat it? We will find answers to these questions. Varroa is a parasitic disease caused by a species of mite called Varroa destructor that was discovered on a bee over a century ago. The disease affects bees, causing losses in the bee colony, and therefore requires constant control by beekeepers. Varroa appeared in UK in the early 1980s and is present all the time. Honey bees do not have any defense mechanisms that inhibit the multiplication of mites, so beekeepers must fight it with preparations based on organic acids and thymol.
Varroa in bees
Varroa in bees is very common and is the most common disease affecting apiaries in the world. The Varroa destructor parasite, which can destroy entire bee families in a short time, appears even several times a year. The most important thing is to quickly diagnose the mite and apply treatment so that varroa does not affect all bee colonies. The Varroa mite inhabits the bee, from which it extracts hemolymph in both adult and maggots. Varroa in bees leads to the rapid multiplication of other viruses and bacteria, as well as damage to the bee and its death. The varroa mite feeds on the bee, significantly weakens it and contributes to the reduction of its immunity.
Varroa medications are selected by a veterinarian or an experienced beekeeper in terms of the number of bee colonies, disease intensity and weather conditions. At the initial stage of the disease, the drug for varroa is strips, soaked in oxalic acid and glycerine. Medicinal preparations limiting the spread of varroa can be based on organic ingredients such as formic acid, lactic acid and oxalic acid or on strong chemicals. Beekeepers always start fighting varroa with agents that do not have a harmful effect on the bees and on the final product, which is honey. Varroa and its control is the most important challenge for every person with an apiary. Treatments that protect the bees from further disease development should always be carried out in accordance with the recommendations.
Fighting varroa with Oxalic Acid
Oxalic Acid for varroa is most often used together with vegetable glycerine, which replaces the sugar solution. Below the text you will find links on how to prepare a solution of oxalic acid and Glycerine. Both preparations are very effective in combating varroa mites, and are safe for bee colonies. The solution for varroa is in the following proportions: 1 kg of vegetable glycerine and 600 g of oxalic acid. Glycerine should be heated to 60 degrees Celsius and added oxalic acid. Mix thoroughly until both ingredients combine to form a homogeneous liquid. Strips of paper are soaked with the solution and then hung on the frames. Oxalic Acid can be used in the form of steam if the air temperature does not drop below 0 degrees Celsius. The method with the use of oxalic acid is used in autumn, winter and after the last honey harvest. The advantage of glycerine and oxalic acid strips is their long-lasting effect, covering two Varroza destructor reproductive cycles, i.e. up to 30 days.
Fighting varroa with Lactic Acid
Varroa control activities can be based on organic lactic acid. Lactic Acid against varroa is used in a concentration of 15% in the autumn, when there is no brood in the nest, because the acid has no effect on the living parasites. Lactic acid is sprayed onto the slices using an atomizer. Be careful not to get the bee wet. Lactic Acid irritates Varroa destructor, which results in their starvation. A higher concentration of lactic acid can harm bee colonies. Lactic acid in a concentration of 80% should be mixed with distilled water in the following proportions: 100 ml of 80% lactic acid should be poured into 500 ml of distilled water. After mixing, we have 15% lactic acid for Varroa.
Fighting varroa with Formic Acid
65% formic acid solution is most commonly used to fight varroa. Varicidal activities with formic acid are carried out at the turn of July and August, right after the last honey harvest. Formic acid for varroa is a very effective agent, and at the same time it is safe for bees and honey. Formic acid decomposes quickly and does not penetrate into the beeswax.
If you are interested in fighting varroa in a natural and safe way for bees, see the products available below. For years, our products have been used by experienced beekeepers who use, among others, organic acids and vegetable glycerine available to buy at HD Chemicals LTD online store.