Topics, Treatments For Varroa, Varroa Management


Miticides 2011

First published in: American Bee Journal February 2011

Colony health and production these days is largely a function of varroa levels in the hives—the more mites, the more problems. It is no longer a matter of simply knocking the mites back once a year with a “silver bullet”—it is becoming increasingly clear that mite levels must be kept low all season. Here is […]

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The Learning Curve – Part 3: The Natural Miticides

Randy Oliver “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”—Charles Darwin. And changes have been the name of the game lately. The varroa mite has clearly demonstrated its adaptability to change—now it’s time for beekeepers to […]

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The Learning Curve – Part 4: The Synthetic Miticides

Randy Oliver Paradise Lost The overall impact of the varroa mite upon beekeeping was recently brought home when I spent time with beekeepers on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Until recently, these lucky beekeepers enjoyed a true beekeeping paradise—abundant nectar and pollen flows, minimal agricultural pesticides, and best of all, no loathsome varroa or tracheal […]

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The Learning Curve – Part 5: The Future

Randy Oliver “I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” – George Burns Miticides in Development There are a number of new varroacides currently in development by various parties—some fairly close to release. Some are synthetics; some are naturally derived, such as propolis or plant extracts, […]

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The Learning Curve – Part 1: 2009 Progress Report

Randy Oliver Physicist Neils Bohr once quipped, “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” This definition clearly excludes me from being any sort of expert, since I exuberantly continue to make new mistakes in my own beekeeping adventures. It appears unlikely that, […]

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The Learning Curve – Part 2: Killing Mites without Killing Your Bees

Randy Oliver “U.S. beekeepers crossed the Rubicon of pesticide application when Varroa mites were introduced in the late 1980s. They literally “tore down the fence,” as one wag put it, quickly transforming themselves from anti-pesticide fundamentalists into willing pesticide applicators.”—Dr. Malcolm Sanford (2008). Those of us who remember the arrival of varroa, and the devastation […]

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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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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 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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IPM 6 The Arsenal: Our Choice of Chemical Weapons

I’m clearly in the “minimal chemical” camp, yet all my commercial buddies, without exception, depend upon “off label” use of agricultural miticides to keep their colonies alive. These are top-notch beekeepers, and I greatly respect them, learn from them, and have no problems with their methods. The reality is, they would all likely have gone […]

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An Early Summer Test of Mite-Away-Quick Strips(tm)

Randy Oliver In the February issue of this Journal, I wrote about a fall trial that I performed with the new formic acid delivery method—Mite-Away Quick Strips (MAQSTM).  I had been impressed by their efficacy and ease of use.  Imagine my surprise and dismay when I received a couple of phone calls from beekeepers in […]

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Oxalic Acid Treatment Table

Be sure to read “Oxalic Acid – Questions and Answers” and “The Learning Curve – Part 3”  before using oxalic acid. It is critical to apply it correctly, or you risk seriously harming your bees!” Important Note:  the following proportions refer to common oxalic acid dihydrate (wood bleach).  If you manage to get your hands […]

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Simple Early Treatment of Nucs Against Varroa

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2013

Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com Starting the season with a low level of varroa allows a colony to get a jump on the mite and its associated viruses.  I tested a simple method for incorporating varroa management into nuc production. Introduction When I try to understand something about beekeeping, I seek out examples from the extreme ends of […]

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