Apistan and Apivar

Varroa – Part 3: Synthetic Chemical Miticides

Chemical miticides are the most effective and easiest way to control Varroa.

The most popular treatments overseas are plastic strip products (Apistan and Apivar) that only require two trips to the apiary – one to put the strips between brood frames, and another to take them out 6-8 weeks later.

This is my recommendation for most Fijian beekeepers.

John Caldeira

Apistan & Apivar are not perfect, though.

It is expensive, at F$12-F$18 to treat one hive in Fiji.

Apistan is the only chemical miticide that is currently registered by Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture for treatment of Varroa. It is available from Commercial Honey Supplies (“Naca”) at 808-0726. CHS can send by EMS or CDP.

However, that is less expensive than the retail price of one kilogram of honey, and far less costly than the loss of production from bees infested with a heavy load of mites. Apistan and Apivar are also not compliant with organic honey standards.

Other treatments will likely be registered later this year.

Apistan and Apivar
Apistan and Apivar

Formulate your own cheaper mite treatments

Larger-scale beekeepers overseas often formulate their own cheaper mite treatments from the active chemicals in Apistan (fluvalinate) and Apivar (amitraz) or buy Chinese knock-off versions.

If a Fijian beekeeper wants to do this, they likely will need to import themselves.

Amitraz is by far the most common mite treatment product used in Canada and the U.S.

The legality of cheaper variants of registered pesticides in Fiji is questionable, but I leave that to you and any guidance from MoA.

Removing chemical miticide from the hive after treatment

An important part of the treatment of any chemical miticide is removing it from the hive after the treatment period. If left in the hive, the dosage gradually reduces to the point where some mites will survive. The beekeeper or BAF staffer who leaves strips in the hive is foolishly breeding mites that are resistant to the chemical.

Annual treatments

Annual treatments with Apistan should work well for most Fiji beekeepers for about 5 years, when the mites will likely begin to show signs of resistance to the chemical.

Therefore, it is good practice for beekeepers to switch to another miticide every few years. My recommendation is Apivar, which is a different chemical but applied and priced like Apistan, and likely will be registered in Fiji within the year.

Also, when treating hives with a miticide, it is best to treat ALL hives in the apiary to slow re-infection from drifting bees and visiting drones.

Synthetic chemical miticides are the most effective way to control mites, but Varroa Part 4 (in a few days) will address organic acids and oils that can be used to produce organic honey.

Originally posted on Fiji Beekeepers Association Facebook Group by John Caldeira: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FijiBeekeepers/

Originally posted on Fiji Beekeepers Association Facebook Group by John Caldeira: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FijiBeekeepers/

Shopping Cart