Treatments: Which to use and when

Treatments: Which to use and when

It will soon be time to consider what treatment to use if you find varroa in your hive. After checking using your slide-in floor, the suggestion is to count the varroa on the floor then go onto BeeBase and confirm a treatment is necessary.

BeeBase is not a definitive guide to when you should treat. For instance, if it shows you need to treat in 6 weeks and you are checking in September your product of choice may not be usable because of low temperatures. I would always look at what treatment you would prefer to use then select a time to use it even if it means treating slightly earlier than the ideal time.

My personal preferred treatment is MAQS for the following reasons:

  • Temperature as low as 10 degrees
  • Can be use with supers on
  • Efficacy, 90% plus every time
  • Low disruption time for the hive, the effective period as per manufacturers guidelines is 7 days but in reality the work is done in just 3-4 days
  • On the national hives I find that one strip above the brood is sufficient and with double broods I use two strips, as I do on my Langstroths.
  • I leave my last application until November and my first in March.


A great product that I use on my smaller colonies when time and temperatures allow

  • A softer way of treating for Varroa
  • I also believe this helps with keeping the trachea free from the Treacheal mite probably due to the thymol used
  • Efficacy in my experience 85 – 90 %, I use our multi-function crown board reversed for this product, lots of studies have shown that Apiguard is more effective with the deeper headroom.

Api life var

A little more complicated but very effective

  • Using one strip cut into four pieces - one piece being placed in each corner
  • Repeat the application every week for four weeks
  • Supers off


  • Another great product
  • effective period 6 – 8 weeks
  • Use late summer after your supers have been taken off

Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer's instruction and always use a robust Integrated Pest Management programme (IPM). This will help all of us as beekeepers to keep health bees.

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