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For years now, the mite Varroa destructor has plagued bee colonies in many parts of the world. Infestations of this mite have now become an epidemic of global proportions, threatening to destroy entire populations of honey bees in the Western world.
The development of this reddish-brown mite is perfectly adapted to the lifecycle of the honey bee. Female mites (foundresses) have a flat-shaped body roughly 1.6 mm wide and 1.1 mm long, allowing them to fit between the overlapping abdominal segments, where they feed on the bees' hemolymph (blood). Varroa mites not only cause significant damage to the bees by feeding on their hemolymph, but also act as a vector for viral diseases like sacbrood virus and Acute Paralysis Virus (APV). The wounds inflicted by mites may also be contaminated with bacterial or fungal organisms. In order to prevent this, it is crucial that colonies are monitored for Varroa infestation regularly and that measures to control the infestation are taken when necessary.
The best time to control Varroa with Bayvarol is in the spring prior to the honey flow and then in the Autumn after the honey flow and harvest. The plastic strips are impregnated with flumethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid. This compound is highly effective against Varroa mites and perfectly safe for honey bees.
It is important to verify the presence of Varroa mites in the hive prior to treatment. To do so, a Bayvarol Strip is placed between two honeycombs. After 24 hours, any dead mites can be counted on a control sheet below the hive.
See label for further directions for use.