Spring Varroa treatment

What is the best product for a Spring treatment for Verroa mites: Apivar, Apiguard,Apistan, MiteAway, Hopguard II? I had a bad infestation in the fall and treated with Apivar. It is now February and I opened the hive today and the hive appears healthy. So far the bees have made it through a cold winter. It was -5 degrees Fahrenheit here in Kansas City,Missouri just 5 days ago. Approaching 60 degrees today. An amazing shift in the weather.

Oxalic acid vapor, now if the temps get over 40F, would be a great choice. I’ll be doing some tomorrow. Right now they should be brood-less and the oav will have great success.

Here in NJ I expect them to start rearing brood in the next week or so; except for my 3 deep hives which seem to rear brood all through winter.

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Oxalic acid seems difficult and expensive. Don’t you have to buy a “ vaporizer” and have a car battery to hook it up to? Don’t you have to wear a respirator? It there a convenient formulation of oxalic acid?

Hey @Brick, I know this says ‘fall’ but this older thread has a ton more info in detail plus a video of doing the OAV treatment by one of our members.

Red Hot’s advice to grab the chance to vape before brooding starts is great - OAV is highly effective and causes little disturbance to the bees, without opening the hive and causing heat loss.

I know the heat wands are pricey but at least the oxalic acid is very cheap - so it’s a one-time up front investment that in my mind has many ‘pros’ that outweigh the initial expense. Not giving advice, but I don’t use a respirator - I keep a smoker lit like Bobby does and stay upwind :wink:

I’ll give advice…wear the respirator. Even a little inhaled without the respirator is dangerous to your health, and why would anyone want to end up with an early death over something that is easy to buy to prevent it?

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Knowledge is power :wink:

This thread has turned into an oxalic acid discussion. Does anyone have an opinion or recommendation regarding my initial question? For Spring treatment what is better: repeat Apivar which I used in the Fall, Apistan, Apiguard, Miteaway, Hopguard 2?

I wouldn’t use anything based on Thymol as it is probably too cold to be effective (i.e.Apiguard or ApiLife Var). Probably also best not to use Apivar, as you used it in the Fall and you don’t want to promote resistant mites. Page 11 of this booklet gives very clear advice on Spring treatment, and from their list, I would probably pick MAQS if you don’t want to do Oxalic Acid.

By the way, please note that the mite is Varroa (no “e” in the name). If you are searching for treatment advice, it would probably help you to get better results with the conventional spelling. :blush:

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Apivar = no : Can’t be used with honey supers and Spring is honey super time.
Apistan = no: see above
Apiguard = no: thymol based, too cold.
Miteway = risky; Hard on queens in my apiary so I’ve discontinued its use.
Hopguard 2: risky: most effective with no or very little brood. Who’s cracking open their hives in early Spring to check for the amount of brood?

OAV :slight_smile: do it now when the temps are in the 40’s, hives are broodless and it wipes out almost all of the mites. Easy on bees, queens, brood. Cheap to operate.


$85.00 for a vaporizer that can be used year after year.
You can use a lawn mower battery, cheap, light, rechargeable.
Search Amazon for oxalic acid. For under $10 you’ll have enough for the year and plenty to spare.

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Ok, I think you have me convinced. Oxalic acid it is. Regarding the 12 volt lawnmower battery, they seem to range anywhere from 6 amps (cheapest) to 18 amps (more expensive, but still relatively cheap). Which one should I buy?


Here’s a good thread on that very subject

I personally use a deep cycle marine battery.
My OA vaporizer (Pro-Vap) runs off 110v so I also have an inverter.

It will depend on how many hives you have.

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How about this?

I would shoot Larry an email law@oxavap.com , let him know which OAV unit you’re considering, and ask him which power source he recommends although the one you show says it’s for a vaporizer.


Still little early for deep diving into a hive for inspection. I’d slide a clean sheet of white paper in the front entrance n recheck in 24 hrs. This will give you an estimate of possible mites.

If you get a count near 8 or 9 mites you have a problem n might think about oxide vapor treatment… Many treatments require higher temperatures.

Hope this might give you a rough guide

Cheers n Happy Beekeeping,


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Neewbe here. A single hive. Have a mite issue and planning on OA dribble method. Thoughts please.

Unfortunately beekeeping success over the longterm will require that you understand the story that this graph depicts.

For the full story, visit Randy Oliver’s website:

OA dribble method is not such a bad idea.

On the chart you see that Randy has knocked the mite population back by 60% by using the blue shop towel method of OA delivery…this buys him time until around the end of June. The blue shop towel method is hopefully the treatment style that will be used during the honeyflow…whereas (you are likely aware of this) the dribble method is unacceptable.

And the 2018 update:

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