Thymol Strips - The
Varroa Treatment for Beekeepers
40 strips per bag<<
premeasured doses of pure crystalline Thymol
>>> No extra
necessary between top
bars and cover
>>> Thymol kills
more than 90% of the mites
The advantages of Thymol :
to use - high efficacy - no resistance - does not pollute - organic
100% Thymol, more than
Method of Application:
has been applied to beehives world wide by various methods; crystal,
powdered and liquid Thymol are used. The Thymol impregnated strip is
made for easy application. The strip provides a controlled release of
vapors. Don't place the strip on top of the brood, the best is the
cross the frames close to the back wall. Add a fresh one 2 or
removing the first .
5 frame nuc = ½ strip, 1 deep super = 1 strip, 2 deep supers
½ - 2 strips, two or three weeks later the same
removing the first.
Applications can be made in any time, when conditions are suitable. All
applicable restrictions must be followed. Thymol should not be use when
surplus honey supers are in place.
Thymol should be used in spring and late summer, when temperatures are
above 15ºC / 59ºF. Do
not use strips at temperatures
above 33ºC / 90ºF. For
best effect - daytime
15º-20ºC / 59º-68ºF, without
12ºC / 54ºF for long periods.
Screened bottom should be closed while Thymol strip is being applied.
Reduce entrance to approx 15 cm / 6 inches.
Safety: Thymol is generally
to use and apply. Rubber gloves and eye goggles should be worn when
handling Thymol, because it can irritate the skin and eyes. KEEP OUT OF
REACH OF CHILDREN and avoid inhaling vapors.
In the EU, Thymol is a
non-toxic veterinary drug for which there is no minimum residue
requirement. Nevertheless, Thymol leaves a slight taste in honey and
wax, which does not persist for long.
There are no published
reports of any resistance of Varroa to Thymol.
Strips is not a registered pest control product and
cannot be sold in Canada.
Thymol vapor kills the mites
but doesn't harm your bees.
Thymol treatment showed
promise as a control agent against Varroa
and tracheal mites in a 1998 study conducted at the University of
Guelph and it is registered for use against these mites in
Canada. Thymol should not be used during honey flow.
Thymol can be safely handled
with gloves see (datasheet),
well ventilated area.
Thymol is not
a winter treatment and
temperatures to be effective.
Ask for our order form
with price and shipping details.
Comments on Varroa Control
destructor) is probably the most destructive
parasite of the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which beekeepers have
encountered todate. Originally a pest of the Asian honeybee (Apis
cerana), the mite is thought to have transferred to the western
honeybee in the Philippines, where both were kept in close proximity,
in the early 1960's Varroa
destructor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The mite rapidly
spread to nearly all parts of the world, where bees are kept, entering
Canada in 1989; the mite was first found on Vancouver Island in Devastating
mite strikes Vancouver Island bees
1993 (personal observation).
Varroa weakens bees by feeding on the blood of both adult bees and
immatures, and by transferring viruses between individual bees and
between colonies. If the mites are not controlled, infested colonies
will die out.
Over the years, a number of
highly effective synthetic miticides
were developed. Compounds, such as Apistan, Bayvarol, Amitraz and
Coumaphos were widely used over much of the beekeeping world. However,
the extensive use and abuse of these compounds, over many years,
resulted in the development resistance in the mites, causing these
chemicals to become increasingly less effective. http://www.mitegone.com/pdfpages/Synthetic
miticides contamination Randy Oliver Oct 09 B.pdf
Moreover, the abovementioned
miticides are fat soluble, and with
continued use, small quantities of these compounds are absorbed into
the combs. While the quantities found in the wax are too minute to
cause visible harm to the bees, they are stress factors which, when
added to other stresses impinging on the bees, under some
circumstances, can have negative effects on the colonies. This fact
alone constitutes a persuasive reason to discontinue use of these
miticides, when alternate control methods are available.
Alternative treatments are
available. Organic acids, such as formic
acid, oxalic acid, and lactic acid, and thymol, as well, effectively
control Varroa without leaving potentially harmful residues.
A number of alternative
miticides, including formic acid, oxalic
acid and lactic acid, as well as thymol are available. Although some of
these organic acids have been used as varroacides for decades, none
have been found to leave residues in beeswax, or to induce resistance
in the mites. Unlike the acids, the essential oil, thymol, will leave
very low levels of non-toxic residues in wax; these are not cumulative
over time, and will evaporate within several months, if the combs are
stored in a well-ventilated location. Resistance to thymol has not been
The effectiveness of formic
acid and thymol is strongly dependent on
the ambient temperature. Success in treatment can only be achieved at
temperatures between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. Compared to thymol,
formic acid has the advantage of killing the mites in capped cells.
However, it is less well tolerated by the bees than is thymol, and
– like all acids, must be handled with due care by the
Oxalic and lactic acids are
effective under a somewhat wider
temperature range. However, neither compound will penetrate the
cappings of brood cells, greatly reducing their effectiveness when
there is brood in the colonies. The best time of year in which to use
these varroacides, therefore, is late autumn and winter, whenever the
colonies can be safely opened.
Success in controlling the
Varroa mite is based on accurate
observations and careful attention to detail. In order to decide
whether and when to treat for Varroa, the first step is to determine
the actual Varroa population present in a given colony. To that end, a
sticky board is placed onto the hive bottom for a period of 1
days. If the natural mite fall (i.e. without the use of miticides)
amounts to 6 mites or more, per day, the colony should be treated
If the natural mite fall, in
early August, amounts to 100 mites or
more per day, the colony contains more than 10,000 mites and will
probably die out soon if treatment is not initiated immediately. If the
colony is on a screened bottom board, the screen must be covered, so
that the treatment will be fully effective. After the treatment, the
mite level should be checked again, by using the sticky board. It is
important to remember that the success of a treatment or treatments is
not determined by the number of dead mites on the sticky board, but by
the number of mites that remain alive within the colony.
It should also be noted that,
even if the Varroa treatment has been
highly successful, large numbers of mites can again be imported in a
short time by bees from neighbouring colonies, especially, if they are
from colonies with heavy mite populations. For this reason, better
overall control is achieved in an apiary if all colonies are treated at
the same time, than if only colonies with high mite levels are selected
for mite control treatment.
The use of both formic acid and
Thymol as varroacides in late summer
is affected only when they ambient day-time temperature reaches at
least 15º C. Both compounds will evaporate within the colony
lower temperatures, but do not reach concentrations lethal to the
If in the late fall, the same
degree of mite control is to be
achieved with formic acid as can be accomplished with Thymol, 4 formic
acid treatment (each 40 ml of 60% acid per colony) must be applied
within 2 weeks.
To kill any remaining mites
with oxalic acid (liquid or vapor), a
mite kill of 90%+ can be achieved only in broodless colonies. For this
reason application of the acid should occur only at the end of November
or the beginning of December.