My Fall Varroa mite treatment!

I made a bit of a longer video this AM documenting how I am going about tackling Varroa mites going into the fall.
It’s longer because the subject matter is important.
Interestingly, I had to use two different methods with my bees because of a nuc box entrance’s dimensions.

Let me know how I did! (or if I messed up)


More or less what I did when I first used my hot iron. I scorched a few bottom bars so now I sublimate from under the screened bottom board increasing the amount of oxalic to compensate for the small amount lost on the mesh. I also do it in the evening when the bees have stopped flying. I go in from the back of the hive and stick a bit of duct tape over the entrance. All my poly nuc boxes have home made wooden floors that I can vape through. I make sure the vapour has reached to top of the box by putting a hive tool under one corner of the crown board till I see fumes. Good stuff.


I failed to mention that honey supers meant for consumption need to be removed before treatment.


Drones take 26 days…add another treatment in a week.

Removed ***********************

You could just drop in Apivar strips in between frames. Why did you choose the oxalic acid method?

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Round 3 is indeed next Saturday @Anon.
Round 1 got any bees that were 15 and less hrs away from capping when female varroa head into cells.

You may not have made it to the end of the video. I did use an Apivar strip in one of my hives because of entrance size but I’d prefer not to use pesticides.

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When did you start the treatment?

Why is it that Apivar is referred to as a pesticide, but not OA?

Thank you.

"Apivar strips are made of two components:

Amitraz is an acaricide. It does not kill mites directly, but is rather considered as a sub-lethal miticide with an original mode of action from neurotoxicity type, different from other current Varroacides. Acting on the synaptic transmission of mites, it leads to constant excitation and paralysis, followed by mite drop from the bee’s back. Secondarily, Varroa dies due to starvation as a result of this paralysis. Amitraz acts by contact only.

A plastic polymer specially chosen for its rigidity and to allow a slow and continuous release of amitraz during many weeks.
Apivar strip has been designed to release the active ingredient, from the opening of the pack, as soon as it is put into the hive. Amitraz is available on the surface of the strips for the bees that come in contact. The active ingredient is spread into the colony from one bee to another by contact. After a short period of time, amitraz is hydrolyzed and disappears from the hive." 2

OA_"oxalic has become the organic (carbon-containing) acid of choice."


A local Bee keeper uses of foggy machine and fogs the inside of each of his hives with a combination of lemongrass essential oil and mineral oil. Has anyone here tried that? He has 200 hives so it seems to be working for him…

Sorry, spearmint, not lemongrass.

What are his winter losses?

I wouldn’t go the “kitchen chemist” route.


I will ask but since he invented a dispensing system, I think he does well. Sprays them 2x a year. The Father Bee Man recommends vaporizing with mineral oil and wintergreen. He says it is a slow suffocating kill whereas oxalic acid kills more quickly. He recommends oxalic if the infestation is high and mineral oil if not. So I believe this beekeeper has a good maintenance record and his stay low. As a new bee keeper I told him my count was 2 on about 50 bees thinking that was good and he said that was high by his standard…ps, oxalic acid is not legal in Alabama, US. Now Woodbleach is…:smirk:

Similar here. We have one licensed product that has sugar added so glues up any heating instrument. To add it is supposed to be used only once per year not sequentially. A lot of us have a lot of wood to bleach :wink:

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Oxalic Acid was registered by the EPA for use against Varroa mites on bees last year. You sure it isn’t it okay in Alabama? (Given how much the bulk of Alabamans dislike Obama and how the EPA ruling is tied to the President’s pollinator health initiative, it isn’t far-fetched.)

Nothing in the Apiary Laws about it.

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Bobby !

I’m up here on the West Coast near Seattle. Oxalic Acid been used here several years as Wood Bleach to bleach a lot of hive boxes :grinning: I’m told too Dee !

I have the new iron n crystals n ready to use if my Mite Away Strips lack or colonies get re-infected from swaying, robbing or brought in from late season foraging !

I’ve been able to help control mite buildup using a SBBoard, accidental brood rearing breaks because I lost a queen. Never did try or go after the drone population yet.

Here’s a couple pix’s of yesterday’s treatment:

. Just sharing what I did this first season late summer treatment. Gerald

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I am sure…our local association discussed it last meeting and how some are working with representatives to get that changed.