Amitraz is world-recognized as one of the world’s most effective and safest treatments for the control of varroa mites on honeybees. It is now registered for use in Fiji for control of varroa.
It is available at low cost from AgChem, Fiji’s premier agricultural chemical supply company.
Amitraz is the active chemical in ApiVar strips and probably the most widely used mite control treatment in North America. The label reads to soak the chemical into wood strips.
John Caldeira has also had good success experimentally by mixing 3 ml Amitraz with 5 ml cooking oil and soaking to a paper towel.
Amitraz is a volatile liquid (evaporates fast) and does NOT kill mites in sealed brood cells.
Thus a hive will require two or three treatments a few weeks apart for best control, as it is difficult to replicate the slow delivery of ApiVar strips.
Amitraz is available from AgChem in Lami in 1 liter bottles at $46.25 VIP.
There are 12 bottles per carton.
One liter will treat 100 hives (assuming 3.3 ml per dose, and 3 doses several weeks apart per hive).
Safety is important with all agricultural chemicals, so avoid skin contact, wear proper eye protection, etc.
Due to the high volatile nature of the chemical, it rarely causes any contamination of honey or beeswax.
Pick up in Lami or pre-pay to receive via CDP.
Here’s the AgChem Ltd contact:
- Tel : 336 1499
- Email : [email protected]
- Wailada Road, Suva
- Monday – Friday 8.00am to 4:30pm, closed on Sat -Sun.
Note from John Caldeira
I have had excellent mite kills (90%-99%) using 3 or 4 ml of the 12.5% Amitraz mixed with 4 or 5 ml cooking oil that is then soaked into a paper kitchen towel. Three doses per course of treatment, 2 weeks apart (day 1, after week 2 and after week 4).John Caldeira
Not recommending contrary to the label, but for your knowledge, this is my procedure:
- In an empty non-leaking plastic bag, mix Amitraz and cooking oil for enough doses.
- Paper towels (one towel per dose) are placed into the plastic bag, so the towels soak up the liquid.
- In the apiary, roll up a paper towel and place across top bars of frames containing brood.
- Do not lay the paper towels flat – roll them up so the chemical is released more slowly.
- Use towels within a day or two – they do not store well.
I have also experimented by thickening the liquid with some melted beeswax but not ready to confirm how effective it is in slowing the chemical release and how much more Amitraz is needed to make a one-dose or two-dose treatment with the oil-wax substrate.
In the U.S., some beekeepers are mixing Amitraz with solid vegetable fat but oil-wax should do similar.
For 10 doses:
- Mix 35 ml Amitraz 12.5% and 40 ml canola oil in an empty plastic bag.
- Put 10 paper towels in the bag.
- Squeeze the bag to spread the liquid evenly.
- In the apiary, place one rolled-up towel across the top bars of frames containing brood in each of ten hives.
- Repeat treatment after 2 weeks and again after 4 weeks.
- Allow the bees to chew and remove the towels, or remove after the 6th week.
- Confirm mite level before and after the course of treatment.