Unfortunately, managing Varroa is part and parcel of a beekeepers life. Consequently it is important that we continue to practice our integrated pest management (IPM) during the year.
Good husbandry should be the starting point for IPM control of Varroa. Keep a close eye on
the health of your bees and, in particular, make sure you can recognise the signs of Varroa
infestation. Maintain apiaries to minimise the effects of robbing and drifting. Aim to keep
strong vigorous colonies and try to select strains that seem to show some Varroa tolerance.
Unfortunately, there is no single IPM Varroa programme suitable for all circumstances. This
is because there are enormous variations in infestation level, mite invasion, climate and
IPM methods include:
- Open mesh floors.
- Drone brood culling.
- Comb trapping.
- Dusting with icing sugar.
- Using none pyrethroid Varroacides e.g. Thymol based products, organic acids.
- Shook swarm technique