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How to treat bees without using antibiotics


I just got my hive and will be putting together everything this week. I took a class about five years ago so I need to remind myself what to do. I do remember that our teacher suggested we treat the bees with an antibiotic powder to keep mites away. Does anyone know of an organic way to help the bees? I’d rather not use antibiotics if I can help it.


Hiya Idahobee have a look at the link.Plenty of other info on that site too,



That sounds like vaporizing Oxalic Acid, which isn’t actually approved in the US yet, but it doesn’t mean that people aren’t doing it…

Oxalic acid comes in a powder - for example Savogran Wood Bleach is pretty pure and the right stuff to use chemically. It isn’t an antibiotic as such, it is a chemical which bees tolerate (it is naturally present in honey), but varroa mites do not survive it.

However, if you want treatment free bees, you probably want to look at getting a VSH line (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene). They are readily available in the US, and they have behavior which keeps the mite levels low without treating, mostly… :wink:


There is no antibiotic that kills mites. There are antibiotics for Nosema (fumidil) which will kill off the bacteria that protect the bees from Nosema. There are antibiotics for the prevention of AFB (terramycin) which will kill off the bacteria that protects the bees from AFB. But that is the extent of antibiotics allowed in the US. Both of these are illegal to use in a bee colony in most of the rest of the world.

There are many treatments for mites. The link posted above is my opinion of treating for them and for treating for anything else…


Dawn_SD - check this out


Nice, looks like I am behind the times! :blush:

It also looks like they want you to use specially labeled Oxalic acid for vaporizing though, and that is not available for shipping to California because of stupid state laws. Therefore I will be relying on my VSH bees, won’t I? :imp:


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Hey Dawn,

Just got a E-mail from Beethinking tonight My complete Cedar 10 frame double deep n a medium honey super are in the UPS n should be here by tomorrow late afternoon or before. I should be able to assemble the hive bodies this weekend. If the Wx holds warm (really not a good Wx forecast this weekend). If by chance it is a bit okay. I have Tung Oil ready !! :+1:.

. I need to build another hive stand for it. I am planning to put the third Nuc’s in the Cedar Hive. I wasn’t sure whether the bees or hive boxes would come first but ordered on the 6th n should be here tomorrow. That’s pretty fast (20 days) ! I am like over excited ! :blush:. Have a great Friday ! Gerald.


Actually, that is pretty slow for Bee Thinking! :blush: Some of my orders have come within 10 days. Any how, I hope you like them - the wood is very pretty.



I’m pleased to report that the use of antibiotics in bee husbandry in South Africa is illegal. Methinks that was a very smart move. :grinning: