Varroa destructor is a mite that attacks the bees and sucks the blood and because infested bees fly around and infest other hives, it is the duty and responsibility of every beekeeper to make sure that his colonies are as Varroa free as possible.
“Varroa mites feed off the bodily fluids of adult, pupal, and larval honey bees, and may carry viruses that are particularly damaging to the bees (e.g., deformed wings, and IAPV), and accordingly they have been implicated in colony collapse disorder.”
So in order to treat our bees against varroa and make sure they are wintering with the least possible amount of mites, we have chosen to to revert natural acids like Formic Acid and Oxalic Acid to eliminate the mites.
The treatment consists of 2 steps and can reach up to 97% elimination:
- September: Formic Acid treatment, 60 to 85% evaporation.
- December: Oxalic Acid treatment, 30 to 50ml solution dripping.
The first treatment was in September with 60% formic acid solution, since Formic Acid evaporates quickly, it is important to “configure” the treatment to the weather and specially the temperature. Higher Temps -> quicker evaporation. Too much evaporation can harm the bees. We chose here the Nassenheider evaporator with the small wick and filled it with 180ml Acid. It was fully evaporated after 10 days.
After 10 days the varroa mites fell from the bees and you can see here the results. the mites are the small dark red spots.
In december when the brood is at lowest and the varroa mites have no place to hide, we proceed with the treatment with oxalic acid, a natural acid that is present in vegetable and can eliminates the mites. Here we use 30 to 50 ml per hive, 10 ml per frame, dripped on the bees. This is always considered the last action for the winter before the spring come.
The results are fantastic, now our trays show no more Varroa and the bees are ready for next years challenge!
Heres a video to prepare us for next years harvest