Varroa: Fight against the invisible enemy with these natural tips

The Varroa destructor, more commonly known as varroa, is a parasitic mite that has carved out an unwelcome place as the number one threat to honey bees worldwide. This microscopic invader, invisible to the naked eye, attacks adult bees and their brood (larvae), weakening colonies and potentially leading to their death. Fortunately, in the face of this scourge, beekeepers are not defenseless. By relying on carefully chosen natural methods, it is possible to effectively fight against varroa and protect the health of your bees.

Understanding the enemy to better combat it

Before launching into battle, it is important to understand your adversary to some extent. Varroa is an external mite, meaning it lives and reproduces on the bodies of bees. It feeds on their hemolymph, a kind of blood that ensures their blood circulation, weakening them and making them more vulnerable to diseases. The female varroa lays its eggs in the brood cells, and the larvae that emerge from these eggs develop at the expense of the bee larvae, thus perpetuating the harmful cycle.

Oxalic acid: An effective and environmentally friendly biological weapon

Oxalic acid, an organic acid found naturally in certain plants such as rhubarb, has proven to be a formidable treatment against varroa. Applied in the form of an aqueous solution on bees in winter, when there is no brood and bees form a more compact cluster, oxalic acid eliminates mites without harming adult bees. This is a clear advantage over synthetic chemical treatments that can have harmful side effects on bees. Moreover, oxalic acid is a treatment authorized in organic beekeeping, making it a privileged option for beekeepers concerned about an ecological approach.

Thymol: A plant-based remedy with antiparasitic properties

Thymol, an aromatic compound found naturally in thyme and other plants in the Lamiaceae family, offers an interesting alternative in the fight against varroa. Used in the form of a gel or applied by sublimation (vapor release), thymol has an effectiveness of about 80% against mites. Its mode of action is based on disrupting the varroa's respiratory system, leading to its death. Thymol thus constitutes an interesting alternative to synthetic chemical products and can be integrated into a reasoned strategy for fighting varroa.

Healthy bees: The best defense against varroa

It is important to remember that the best defense against varroa is to have healthy and vigorous bee colonies. Well-nourished bees, with constant access to clean water and housed in a healthy environment, will be better able to resist varroa invasions. For this, the beekeeper has a crucial role to play. Providing bees with a varied and quality diet, especially during periods of lack of natural resources (end of summer, fall), is essential. Similarly, ensuring the cleanliness and good ventilation of hives will help limit the spread of diseases and parasites. Certain apicultural practices, such as rotating apiaries on different sites and selecting colonies naturally resistant to varroa, can also contribute to strengthening the natural defenses of bees.

Surveillance and trapping: Keeping an eye on the enemy

The fight against varroa cannot be done blindly. Regular monitoring of acarine infestation in your hives is essential to implement targeted actions and prevent the parasite from proliferating. Fortunately, there are simple and effective methods for evaluating the level of infestation. The bottom board with a mesh screen is a concrete example. Consisting of a mesh-covered tray placed at the bottom of the hive, it allows for the collection of varroas that naturally fall from the bees. By counting the number of mites collected over a given period, the beekeeper obtains a reliable estimate of the

Stop Varroa Treatment

The Stop Varroa Treatment is the only one that eliminates 100% of varroas. It can also be used in organic beekeeping. Stop Varroa is safe for bees and does not poison your honey. To use it, simply lift the frames one by one and spray both sides with the treatment. The varroa colony will be completely destroyed within 24 hours.

Fighting varroa is possible and necessary.

Many natural methods exist to protect bees from this parasite, such as oxalic acid, thymol, colony strengthening, surveillance, and trapping.

Sustainable beekeeping is essential for the health of bees and the environment.

By choosing natural methods to fight against varroa, beekeepers contribute to preserving biodiversity and ensuring food security.

Collaboration between beekeepers, researchers, and authorities is indispensable.

By sharing their knowledge and developing innovative new solutions, it is possible to meet the challenge of varroa and ensure a prosperous future for bees and beekeeping.

Let's protect bees for a sustainable future!