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Treatments For Varroa


Oxalic Acid: Questions, Answers, and More Questions: Part 1 of 2 Parts

©Randy Oliver 2006 Why Oxalic Acid? European beekeepers, who have dealt with varroa much longer than we have, and who often face regulations that do not look favorably upon chemicals that may contaminate honey, noted that varroa is susceptible to organic acids–such as formic (in ants), acetic (vinegar), lactic (milk acid), citric (citrus fruits), and […]

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IPM 1 Fighting Varroa 1: The Silver Bullet, or Brass Knuckles?

© Randy Oliver 2006, 2009 The varroa mite is the toughest challenge ever faced by American beekeepers. Our reaction to it reminds me of the five stages of dealing with trauma (greatly paraphrased from Kubler-Ross 1997): Stage 1: Denial (this isn’t happening to me! There can’t be mites on my bees.) Stage 2: Anger (You […]

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Oxalic Acid: Heat Vaporization and Other Methods: Part 2 of 2 Parts

Originally published ABJ Jan 2007 In my article last month, I detailed the use of the oxalic acid sugar syrup “dribble” for varroa control, with the consensus opinion being that the dribble method was both highly effective at killing mites in broodless colonies, as well as being safe for the beekeeper to handle. I’ve added […]

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IPM 2 Fighting Varroa 2: Choosing your Troops: Breeding Mite-Fighting Bees

Second in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa Originally published in ABJ, Jan. 2007 I got tired of getting my butt kicked by varroa. My first step in getting the upper hand on the mite was to forswear the coddling of wimpy bees with synthetic chemicals. This decision cost me dearly as colonies […]

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IPM 3 Fighting Varroa 3: Strategy – Understanding Varroa Population Dynamics

Fighting Varroa: Continued Strategy © Randy Oliver 2006 Joe Beekeeper typically has a gnawing feeling in his gut that the ways he’s been dealing with the varroa mite are starting to fail. I heard a complaint at a recent convention: “How long can we continue in a business where 30% of our assets die each […]

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IPM 4 Fighting Varroa4: Reconnaissance Mite sampling methods and thresholds

© Randy Oliver 2006 Three strategies I’ve found that always fail when battling varroa are: 1. Denial—“I haven’t seen any mites, so my mite levels must be low.” 2. Wishful thinking—“I haven’t seen very many mites, so I’m hoping and praying that my bees will be OK.” 3. Blind faith—“I used the latest snake oil […]

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IPM 5 Fighting Varroa 5: Biotechnical Tactics I

(Photos to be added – check back) Fifth in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa In the “silver bullet” model, any mite kill less than 95% was considered ineffective. Unfortunately, the days of that kill rate are fading for most synthetic chemicals. It would be wise for beekeepers to consider an alternate model […]

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IPM 5.5 Fighting Varroa 5.5: Biotechnical Tactics II

Introduction 1 Drone Brood Management and Trap Combs 1 Powdered sugar dusting 4 The Oliver 15-second sugar dust method 6 Discussion 7 The one-two punch—30 seconds to knock out varroa! 7 My new website 8 References 8 Tactics: Biotechnical Methods II–The one-two punch Sixth in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa Note: this […]

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IPM 7 The Arsenal: “Natural” Treatments – Part 1

Ninth in a series on integrated pest management of varroa © Randy Oliver 2007 randyoliver.com Disclaimer: I am not licensed to make any pesticide recommendation. I am merely reporting on information from appropriate authorities. You should consult your local authority for recommendations. What are “natural” treatments? In the last two articles in this series I […]

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IPM 7 The Arsenal: “Natural” Treatments – Part 2

Tenth in a series on integrated pest management of varroa © Randy Oliver 2007 randyoliver.com Let me tell you, researching and writing this series has been an education for me! Several of my preconceived notions have been stood on their heads. One treatment—powdered sugar—that I had dismissed as impractical, turns out to be surprisingly effective. […]

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