Heat treatment for Varroa // Hot Box Hive // Thermal Hives

Hi all,

I’m looking at treatments for varroa and would like to get feedback on heat treatment for varroa. Fully understand the existing treatments, but for discussion would like to focus on heat treatment and it’s effectiveness - and not whether people agree to it or not.

For those unfamiliar, this involves heating the hive up to a temperature for a period of time to eliminate the majority of mites.

Example links:
1)CoCoon Hive
2) Thermalsolar Hive

  1. Mighty Mite killer (heat insert)
  2. The Victor (heat insert)

I have a couple of questions:

  1. Firstly, if anyone has these products above could anyone share their experience - the good, bad and how you think it could be improved. I can’t find many reviews of any of the products.

  2. From a design perspective, is it simply a hot board/plate at the bottom of the hive with a temperature sensor which heats up the hive (which I assume is closed to keep bees in) for a set period of time?

  3. In your view, would it be possible just to create a DIY version or is there some unique mechanism which stops the product from ‘cooking’ the bees!

Any other input or experience people can share would be welcome.

The most popular way of treating for varroa mite is with Oxalic Acid, I wonder if it most commonly used because it is the most effective way treatment.
I watched those clips but saw nothing convincing, but heard a lot of hype. But here in Australia we don’t have the mite yet. I was sort of hoping to read some feedback from those that have the issue in their hives, but after 4 days of nothing maybe that says something.
If you had money to waste and time to burn you could maybe make one but maybe not as good as one that has been built with research and development, unless you had money to invest in the failures as well. But honestly, are the ones made doing the job, with lack of reviews and only the manufacturers claims I personally would can that idea completely and go with what bee keepers have found does the job the best.
So if heat treatment was effective word would have traveled world wide by now among bee keepers.

The unique mechanism is called a thermostat, invented at least 70 years ago to control temperature within pre set limits.

Like Peter I have zero experience as we don’t have the mite here yet. I have read a bit about heat treatments and in theory they should work. The difficulty seems to be getting the heat just right- not too hot and not too cold- and distributed evenly throughout for the correct amount of time- and at the right time/s. When I was reading it did occur to me that using a long type hive might work better as it would be easier to apply the heat to the entire hive.

for what it is worth- I was interested in the heat idea as anything that enabled beekeepers to avoid using chemical solutions seems like it is worth investigating.