The following is the text of an email sent by the National Bee Unit to all beekeepers registered on Beebase. We recommend all members to register to a) give you urgent/important updates, b) help you keep your bees healthy and c) minimise spread of disease by helping the Bee Inspectorate deal with any outbreak of disease efficiently and promptly.
In some regions of the UK, colonies are starting to show symptoms of high levels of Varroa mites, for example wing deformities and perforated cappings. Therefore, it might be prudent to start monitoring colony mite populations and information on how to do this can be found on page 15 of the Managing Varroa booklet. Also, the Varroa calculator can be used to help calculate your estimated mite population in your colonies:
If your colonies have a high amount of Varroa, i.e 1000 mites after calculating it from the average drop, you may want to treat them with a registered varroacide. Suitable treatments where brood is present would include: Apiguard; Apilife Var; Apistan*; Bayvarol*; Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) and Thymovar.
If you wish to use an oxalic acid based product then a broodless condition should be created first. Additionally, if you have honey for human consumption on the hives, remember that MAQs is currently the only registered product which can be used. When using any medicines it is important to remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
*Mite resistance to these products have been recorded and so a resistance test (the Beltsville test) should be carried out before using the product.