Members are actively encouraged to apply treatment to reduce and control varroa mite population within their hives as soon as possible in September (or earlier, just as soon after honey supers have been removed for human consumption). Irrespective if you are a hobby beekeeper, or a larger scale operation, this should be done to maintain the health of all bees across the district. Ideally we should be treating bees at the same time to minimise the potential of infection spreading to other bees and hives, but this is difficult to manage and largely influenced by when beekeepers have removed the honey supers for human consumption.
Gavin Ramsay pointed out at the recent Association meeting, it is mandatory under EU law that beekeepers should log the treatment of any medical products used within their hive. It is important to record what was used, when it was carried out – and keep this record on file for five years. An example of a record can be found by clicking here. The Perth & District Beekeepers Association recommend the use of ApiVar, this is an approved treatment, and one of the most effective on the market. ApiVar can be purchased directly through the Association if pre-ordered.
To apply the strips, there is a useful guide on how to apply it here from Thornes – or alternatively this short video is clear and easy to follow. Remember to leave the strips on for at least six weeks (two cycles of bee brood). But do not leave this on all winter as varroa mites could develop a resistance to the treatment.
There is plenty of research available on Beebase, Scottish Beekeepers Association and the British Beekeeping Association – to name but a few sites – about the management of varroa mites, and bee health in general.
Of course if you do have any issues then contact members of the Association who will be happy to help. Contact details can be found on the Members Page or email us.