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Summer Treatment for Varroasis Widely Used in Europe

This method has already been demonstrated on a video produced by Bayer, the manufacturer of Bayvarol.

Formic Acid Treatment is the only treatment to date (apart from heat treatment) which kills the Varroa mite in the Brood cells.

Heavy infestations on Varroasis found in German colonies during the summer are treated by a procedure which gives the beekeeper the opportunity to treat his/her bees immediately without contamination of honey harvest and hopefully save the bees by timely intervention. Using formic acid the treatment procedure is extremely simple but requires to be carried out methodically.

Equipment required

Procedure

The following necessary precautions are taken

suitable mask, acid proof gloves and safety glasses are worn, and a bucket with fresh water is provided. (If at any time formic acid comes in contact with skin, wash copiously and immediately with fresh water.)

When removing gloves after procedures involving formic acid, wash gloved hands completely in fresh water to remove all traces of formic acid from gloves before attempting to remove them.)

The weather forecast is checked prior to the fumigation being done, forward planning makes it more possible to achieve the desired conditions.

The residual formic acid on the returned combs is said to be lethal to the adult mites in the infested colony and appears to go a long way to reducing the adult mite population sufficiently to give the colony the chance to prosper.

The adult mite fall in the colonies is checked either weekly or daily as a matter of routine from then on, to plot the progress of any residual infestation. If after around 14 days from the final fumigation the mite fall is more than 5 mites per day the above described procedures are repeated.

The supers are returned to the hives around two days after the fumigation is done in each case. Formic acid exists in honey naturally and is no longer viewed as a contaminant by the veterinary authorities in Europe.

The dosage of formic acid has to be varied depending on ambient conditions and beekeeper experience.

Read all you can about the mite and get to know it well. Only in this way will you be able to keep on top of the infestations which will be a continuous presence in your colonies from the initial find.