“Varroa destructor, the Varroa mite, is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on honey bees and is one of the most damaging honey bee pests in the world.[2][3] A significant mite infestation leads to the death of a honey bee colony, usually in the late autumn through early spring. Without management for Varroa mite, honey bee colonies typically collapse within 2 to 3 years in temperate climates.” – Wikipedia

Checking for Varroa – how to determine if your hive is at risk.


GBA strongly advocates using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) treatment approach for varroa. Following an IPM strategy for controlling Varroa will reduce the use of chemical treatments, and boost the effectiveness of chemical treatments – a win/win.

IPM categorizes treatment strategies in three groups:

  • CulturalVarroa concentrates on larvae. Manipulating the queen’s egg laying can knock down the Varroa population.
  • Mechanical – Screened bottom boards allow the mites to fall to the ground, where they cannot easily return to the hive.
  • ChemicalExtended Oxalic Acid treatment and other miticides. 


The following recommendations are based on our experiences at the club Apiary, and input from club members.

  • It is recommended to rotate your treatments throughout the year.
  • Be Proactive! The most important treatment period is spring. Once the Varroa population has built up, it is hard to knock it back down. 


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