Organic beekeeping: organic acids, an effective solution against Varroa

Imagine a world without bees... A world where fruits and vegetables are scarce, where flowers no longer bloom. A nightmarish scenario that could become reality because of Varroa, a formidable parasitic mite.

But let's not lose hope! Nature offers us a solution: organic acids. Powerful natural substances that can save our bees.

In this article, discover how organic acids can:

  • Eliminate Varroa and protect bee colonies
  • Contribute to organic and sustainable beekeeping
  • Preserve biodiversity and our food security

Join us in this crucial fight for the future of our planet and its precious pollinators!

What are organic acids and how do they act against Varroa?

Organic acids are compounds naturally present in the environment, resulting from the decomposition of organic matter or produced by living organisms. Among the most commonly used organic acids in beekeeping are formic acid, oxalic acid, and lactic acid.

These acids act against Varroa by disrupting its metabolism and causing its death, while being relatively harmless to bees. The effectiveness of organic acids depends on several factors, such as concentration, temperature, humidity, and application period.

Formic acid: an effective and natural treatment

Formic acid is an organic acid present in ant venom and in certain plants. It has been used in beekeeping for many years to fight against Varroa. Its effectiveness is proven, especially when applied in the form of sublimation (transition from solid to gaseous state).

Formic acid has several advantages: it is natural, leaves no residues in honey, and does not cause resistance in Varroa. However, it should be used with caution, as it can cause irritation to bees and an increase in honey consumption by the colony.

Oxalic acid: a quick and targeted solution

Oxalic acid is an organic acid present in many plants, such as sorrel and spinach. It is used in beekeeping to fight against Varroa in the form of a sugar solution or vaporization.

Oxalic acid is particularly effective against phoretic varroas (attached to adult bees) and has the advantage of not leaving residues in honey. However, its effectiveness is limited against varroas present in capped cells (brood). Moreover, oxalic acid should be used with caution, as it can be harmful to bees in case of overdose or repeated use.

Lactic acid: a promising alternative

Lactic acid is an organic acid produced by lactic fermentation, a natural process present in many foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut. In beekeeping, lactic acid is used in the form of vaporization to fight against Varroa.

Although less known than formic acid and oxalic acid, lactic acid has several advantages: it is natural, leaves no residues in honey, and does not cause resistance in Varroa. Moreover, it is effective against phoretic varroas and in capped cells. However, its effectiveness may vary depending on the application conditions and the sensitivity of varroas to organic acids.

Here is a summary:


  • Natural solution and compatible with organic farming
  • High acaricidal effectiveness
  • Low impact on bees
  • Ease of use


  • Necessary precautions for use
  • Variable effectiveness depending on the Varroa strain
  • Risk of resistance development

The future of beekeeping: towards a sustainable and ecological approach

The use of organic acids is part of a sustainable and ecological beekeeping approach. By combining this approach with other Varroa control techniques, such as using Stop Varroa treatment, we can protect bees and ensure plant pollination, essential to life on Earth.


Organic acids are an effective and ecological solution for controlling Varroa in organic beekeeping. Formic acid, oxalic acid, and lactic acid each have advantages and disadvantages, and their use should be adapted according to the needs and constraints of each apiary. By combining these treatments with other sustainable beekeeping practices, such as selecting resistant colonies and optimal swarm management, it is possible to preserve the health of bees and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.