Varroa to be let loose…

Not unexpected but bad news all the same :frowning:

No mention of controlling wild hives though.

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As you say, not unexpected. However, varroa is mostly manageable, as long as you are vigilant and diligent. I thought it would be a losing battle from the start. The real shame is that so many hives have been lost to the eradication program, and so many beekeepers have suffered a financial hit.

Australia will adapt, as Europe and US have done. Welcome to the new normal…



Yep…wonder what science they were using?
Australian beekeepers should be somewhat gratified that varroa was “at bay” for as long as it was.

When varroa was on Canada’s doorstep, I visited the world’s foremost authority on the varroa mite (Dr. Jost Dustmann) at a bee research institute in Celle, Germany to get the real story. I did this because of two reasons:

  1. Europe had been exposed to varroa twenty years before Canada and they had been working with formic acid treatment protocols.
  2. The Canadian Federal Government’s decision to close the US border to bee imports to Canada (restocking source for our part of the country) was mired down in politics and scientists were pushing the “fear of the unknown” as hard as they could.

My visit with Dr. Dustmann was prefaced by an explanation to him what government agencies planned to do… which included closing the US/Canada border to package bee imports. He responded in amazement:

  1. Varroa doesn’t respect borders.
  2. The imported package bee industry that had developed between Canada and the US was helping slow the varroa movement to Canada. Taking adult bees off the brood was an effective biological method of varroa pest management.

The Canadian Federal government closed the border, destroyed an industry and many personal livelihoods without compensation, and within 2 years the mite was in Canada anyways.


Australian beekeepers have been fortunate to live without this pest until recently - but as Dawn observed, varroa is mostly manageable, and we will now be joining the rest of the world in incorporating varroa management into our beekeeping practices. Our condolences to those who were impacted by the eradication efforts. Here is a brief update on the Australian varroa situation: VARROA IN NSW - IMPORTANT INFO FOR BEEKEEPERS - Flow Hive AU


As Randy Oliver claims :

Practical application: It doesn’t take much OA to control varroa in a hive if it is applied in the “right” way, and applied early in the season.


My experience with Oxalic Acid/glycerin varroa control has been the same as Randy Oliver’s. Read the article below, go to your neighborhood pharmacy and order in some glycerin, your bee supply stores should soon be stocking oxalic acid, and pick up your blue shop towels/absorbent pads at a hardware store.

NB: Varroa mites are showing resistance to synthetic miticides. But we are fortunate in this part of the world that we have extremely long cold winters. Any hive (feral or domestic) that has a varroa infestation or brood disease usually succumbs to our environment before spring arrives. Mite control may be more of a challenge in Australia with feral hives being so numerous and swarming more common.


I second Dawn’s recommendation and have been successful using OA sponges. You can also buy glycerin at craft stores :+1:


And some supermarkets with a good bakery section (it is used to make soft icing) and Amazon, of course! :blush:

Not true. It can be managed, it just takes effort and vigilance. Varroa has been in the US for many years, and in the UK for well over 30 years. Non-feral colonies can still thrive, but not if you take a “hands-off” approach. I am speaking from personal experience in several countries, over many decades.

Feral colonies manage it by swarming, which creates a “brood gap”, interrupting the Varroa life cycle. Bees will continue. Whether beekeeping will is another question…



I had an infestation here in Portugal. I used a spray (which, I assume, is oxalic acid - no ingredients on the bottle, but great reviews on Amazon) which guarantees 100% effectiveness against the mite. I am not going to question the statistics or guarantees. All I know is that my hive was infested and I counted nearly 3000 dead varroa in the tray after two treatments. Moreover, the treatment did not kill the bees and it is meant to be ‘honey safe’. It’s called stopvarroa. Anyway, I am very happy with it, and one 1.5 litre bottle is meant to be good for 20 hives for up to 1 year


Could be an oxalic acid dribble solution but I find it very suspect for there not to be ingredients listed on the bottle or on the website.

One of the reviews says it is thymol and oxalic acid.

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im incluned to agee if it dont list ingredients i would deem it to be exstreamly suss