Hopguard

Hopguard is manufactured by BetaTec. BetaTec research has discovered a natural hop compound that is highly effective in combating Varroa. HopGuard® II and HopGuard 3 are scientifically-proven natural Varroa control systems that provide the beekeeper with a natural, safe, and easy-to-use alternative to traditional harsh chemicals.

Each HopGuard 3 kit contains either 10 or 24 insert strips, ready for use.

Honey Supers: The strong smell may taint your honey.
Temperature Range: daytime temps > 50° F
Usage

  • Overview
  • Instructions
  • The daytime temperature should be above 50°F (10°C).
  • Use 2 strips per brood chamber (i.e. one strip per 5 frames of bees; two strips per 10 frames of bees)
  • Strips should be hung between brood frames.
  • Refer to the package label for full instructions.

Formic Pro

FORMIC PRO™ causes mortality to both male and female varroa under the brood cap as well as to the varroa on the adult bees. FORMIC PRO™ is to be used as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

FORMIC PRO is an extended shelf life formulation (24-months) and doesn’t require any temperature-controlled storage.

Honey Supers: OK
Temperature Range: between 50° F – 85° F. Will cause bee mortality if over the specified temperature.
Usage
* Treatment Guidelines
* Application Video

Apivar

  • Apivar is generally regarded as a safe, easy-to-use treatment option for Varroa Mites.
  • Do not use when honey supers are present according to the USDA.
  • The best times are early spring before flowers start to bloom and nectar starts to be plentiful, and in the fall after you’ve harvested your honey supers.
  • The Apivar strips need to be inside your hives for at least 42 days… so if you’re treating in the spring, treat in early spring.

Honey Supers: NO
Temperature Range: none
Usage
* Apivar Brochure
* How to Use Apivar Strips

Apiguard

Apiguard is a slow-release gel that ensures the correct dosage of its active ingredient, thymol. Thymol is a naturally occurring substance derived from the plant thyme.

According to the manufacturer:
Apiguard may taint honey in supers, but it is unlikely, especially if the honey stores are sealed. Apiguard may taint the brood wax, and low traces may reach the wax of the supers. Honey collected during Apiguard treatment can be fed back to the bees.

  • Honey Supers: The strong smell may taint your honey.
  • Temperature Range: works best above 60° F
  • Usage

Varroa Treatments

Resources

The following videos are highly recommended. Randy Oliver maintains a large apiary in Grass Valley, CA. His climate and conditions are similar to ours, unlike many other videos and resources on the web from beekeepers back east or in Canada. He does good science - he uses controls, data analysis, etc.

Methods

Calendar

Treatments that are OK to apply with honey supers are highlighted green.

Spring
March  46 - 66 Apivar, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads
April  49 - 71 Apivar, Apiguard, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Pads
May 52 - 77 Apivar, Apiguard, Hopguard, OA Pads
Summer
June 56 - 83  Apivar, Apiguard, Hopguard, OA Pads
July 58 - 88 Apivar, Apiguard, Hopguard, OA Pads
August 58 - 87 Apivar, Apiguard, Hopguard, OA Pads
Fall
September 56 - 84 Apivar, Apiguard, Hopguard, OA Pads
October 53 - 76 Apivar, Apiguard, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads
November 46 - 65 Apivar, Apiguard, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads
Winter
December 42 - 58 Apivar, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads
January 42 - 59 Apivar, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads
February 44 - 62 Apivar, Formic Pro, Hopguard, OA Dribble, OA Pads

Notes

  • Average temperatures are from here.
  • The above table is approximate, based on typical monthly temperatures and conditions. Please check the weather report, especially before using Formic Pro.
  • The Oxalic Acid Dribble can be used when honey supers are present, but it must NOT be used in the supers - it should be applied to the brood boxes only.