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Treatments: Which to use and when

Posted by Charlie Lawrence on

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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