Organic acids in the treatment of Varroa

Organic acids are natural compounds that can be used in the treatment of Varroa destructor, a parasite that affects bee colonies. This treatment is becoming increasingly popular among beekeepers who seek to reduce their use of synthetic chemicals in combating this parasite. In this article, we will explore the different organic acids used in the treatment of Varroa, their mode of action, and their effectiveness. 

The most commonly used organic acids in the treatment of Varroa are formic acid, oxalic acid, and lactic acid. These acids are naturally present in the environment and are produced by the bees themselves. 

Formic acid is a volatile acid that has been used in the treatment of Varroa for many years. It works by releasing vapors that penetrate sealed cells and kill the Varroa mites inside. Formic acid is effective at temperatures above 15°C and should be applied in the absence of sealed brood to avoid killing the larvae. 

Oxalic acid is an acid that is naturally present in many plants. It is used in the treatment of Varroa in the form of a sugar solution applied by spraying or sublimation. Oxalic acid works by penetrating the bodies of the mites and disrupting their metabolism. It is effective at all temperatures but should be applied in the absence of brood to avoid killing the larvae. 

Lactic acid is an acid present in milk and many other foods. It is used in the treatment of Varroa in the form of a solution applied by spraying. Lactic acid works by disrupting the acid-base balance of the mites, leading to their death. It is effective at temperatures above 15°C and can be applied in the presence of sealed brood. 

A Natural and Effective Mode of Action 

Organic acids, such as oxalic acid, formic acid, and lactic acid, are naturally present in honey at non-toxic concentrations for bees. They act by directly contacting the mites, disrupting their respiratory system, and destroying them. 

Multiple Benefits 

  • Proven Effectiveness: Organic acids have demonstrated effectiveness comparable to conventional chemical treatments, with Varroa mortality rates reaching up to 90%. 
  • Environmentally Friendly:  Unlike synthetic chemical products, organic acids do not contaminate honey or wax and pose no risk to surrounding fauna and flora. 
  • Compatibility with Organic Beekeeping:  The use of organic acids is permitted in organic farming, making them a particularly attractive solution for beekeepers committed to this approach. 

Different Application Methods 

  • Oxalic Acid Dribble:  This method involves placing a few drops of oxalic acid solution directly on the bees. 
  • Formic Acid Evaporation:  Formic acid is released into the hive as vapor using a specific apparatus. 
  • Sublimation Treatment:  Oxalic acid is sublimated, meaning it's transformed into gas and diffused into the hive. 

Precautions to Take 

The use of organic acids requires taking certain precautions to ensure the safety of bees and the applicator. It's important to follow product usage instructions and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. 

A Promising Future 

Organic acids offer a promising alternative to conventional chemical treatments for combating Varroa. Their effectiveness, environmental friendliness, and compatibility with organic beekeeping make them valuable tools for beekeepers concerned about the health of their colonies and the sustainability of beekeeping. 

Why Not Try an Organic and Easy Oxalic Acid Treatment? 

Stop Varroa treatment is organic and easy to use. It guarantees a success rate of 100%. It's the only one to eliminate 100% of varroas. It can also be used in organic beekeeping. Stop Varroa is safe for bees and does not poison your honey. 

In conclusion, organic acids are effective natural treatments against Varroa. They have the advantage of being low in toxicity to bees and the environment and do not lead to resistance in varroas. However, it's important to use them correctly and integrate them into a comprehensive Varroa control strategy, which also includes prevention and monitoring of infestation.