Beekeeping Information Centre

Varroa Treatments

Various treatments are available for Varroa. None of them will eradicate the mite altogether. Treatment should be carried out as part of a programme of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully and apply only as and when they recommend.

varroa mites under microscope

Photo: Vita Europe

Treatments currently available in the UK include:

  • Pyrethroid based varroacides. Apistan and Bayvarol. Mites can become resistant to these chemicals and resistant mites are now present in many parts of the UK. Where mites are not resistant these chemicals are 99% effective making it possible to treat just once a year.
  • Thymol based varroacides such as Apiguard, Thymovar and Api Life Var are not so effective but as yet there is no sign of mites developing resistance. Thymol based varroacides should not be used when there are honey supers on the hive as they alter the flavour of the honey.
  • MAQS Beehive Strips became available in the UK in early 2013. This is a formic acid based varroacide. Unlike pyrethroid , thymol and oxalic acid, formic acid will penetrate the brood cappings and so will kill mites hiding in the capped cells. This means it is can be used for shorter periods when there is capped brood present.
  • Oxalic acid will only kill mites on the adult bees as it cannot penetrate the brood cappings.

Bees are classed as food producing animals and as such beekeepers are required to keep an up to date Veterinary Medicines Record. There is a suggested record sheet as part of the Bee Craft Apiary Guide to Record Keeping.  One can also be downloaded from Bee Base

To check if a product is licenced for use in the UK check the Veterinary Medicines Directorate Product Information Database.
Use the product search facility to find a specific product or to select the species bees.


Understand  Varroa

The National Bee Unit Best Practice Guideline no 11-Varroa. On the same page there are links to fact sheets on IPM (Integrated Pest Management).


vita squareVita videos use the drop down menu to choose the Vita videos showing how to use treatments




Varroa and treatments for Varroa, feature regularly in Bee Craft. Here are a few past articles but for the most up to date information, look in more recent copies of Bee Craft.Varroa-Article-1-300x269


Talking About Varroa

March 2010





Secrets of the Honey Bee Bite Revealed

December 2012




Photo Claire Waring



MAQS Beehive Strips

A New Authorised Varroa Treatment

May 2013