Varroa treatment: When should you act to save your bees?

The varroa destructor, more commonly known as varroa, is a parasitic mite that haunts the dreams of beekeepers around the world. This tiny red invader attacks honey bees, weakening their immune system, making them vulnerable to diseases, and can even lead to their death.

In the face of this serious threat, the crucial question is: when should varroa be treated to effectively protect your bees and ensure the health of your hive?

Fortunately, there are solutions to fight this parasite. But to optimize the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize the risks for your bees, it is essential to understand its life cycle and choose the right time to act.

Varroa, an enemy lurking in the shadow of the brood

To define the best period of intervention, it is necessary to shed light on the lifestyle of varroa. This parasite reproduces and spends a large part of its existence inside the brood, the beating heart of the hive where future bees develop.

Female varroa, true unwanted squatters, sneakily enter cells occupied by bee larvae. Once installed, they feed on the hemolymph (equivalent of blood in insects) of their host, causing its weakening.

At the same time, the female lays her eggs inside the sealed cell. The varroa larvae then develop at the expense of the bee larva, emerge at adult age and perpetuate the vicious cycle.

Window of action: autumn, strategic period to counter the invasion

Based on the varroa life cycle, two key periods emerge for treatment:

  1. Autumn, undisputed champion of the anti-varroa fight

This is the most popular period among beekeepers to treat varroa. Several reasons explain this strategic choice:

Varroa population at its lowest: At the end of the beekeeping season, the bees' laying activity decreases. The number of brood cells available is drastically reduced, limiting the multiplication of varroa. Intervention at this time allows for more effective targeting of the parasites present.

Minimal impact on bees: In autumn, bees gather inside the hive to spend the winter. This period of lesser activity is ideal for administering treatment without excessively disturbing the colony.

  1. Spring, a complementary intervention for critical cases

Spring treatment may prove necessary if the varroa infestation was particularly severe the previous autumn. This action helps to curb the proliferation of the parasite before it reaches alarming levels at the heart of the beekeeping season.

Beekeeper's arsenal: choosing the right weapon against varroa

In the face of the sworn enemy of bees, the beekeeper has a varied therapeutic arsenal. Each treatment has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered according to the apicultural context and the well-being of the colonies.

Here are some commonly used treatments:

  • Oxalic acid, the ecological ally: Naturally present in beetroot and sorrel, oxalic acid is an effective and relatively inexpensive treatment. Applied in the form of droplets on bees grouped together in winter, it allows for the elimination of a large part of the varroas. Its main asset? Its ecological character, minimizing the impact on the environment and honey.
  • Formaldehyde, a double-edged sword: Effective against varroa, formaldehyde is a treatment to be handled with caution. Its use in the form of fumigation in winter can prove dangerous for bees and the beekeeper if it is not applied in strict compliance with safety instructions.
  • Synthetic acaricides, a fallback solution: There is a wide range of synthetic acaricides available in the form of strips placed in the hive or sugar water baths. These
  • Stop Varroa Treatment: Stop Varroa, the revolutionary solution to fight varroa in an organic and easy-to-use way, guarantees a success rate of 100 % by completely eliminating the varroa colony within 24 hours. Its simple application consists of lifting the frames one by one and spraying both sides with the product. Stop Varroa is not only effective, but also environmentally friendly and safe for bees. It is certified for use in organic beekeeping and leaves no residue in honey.

Choose peace of mind and the health of your hives with Stop Varroa, the 100% effective, natural and safe anti-varroa treatment.