The Varroa mite: An invisible enemy of beehives

Bees, these tireless pollinators, play a crucial role in our ecosystem. They are responsible for the pollination of nearly 80% of flowering plant species, thus contributing to the production of more than one-third of the food we consume. However, these precious insects face many challenges, one of the most formidable of which is the Varroa mite. This parasite, almost invisible to the naked eye, poses a major threat to bee colonies and honey production. In this article, we will explore in detail the Varroa mite, its effects on hives, methods for fighting this invisible enemy, and actions we can take to support beekeepers in their struggle.

What is the Varroa mite?

The Varroa mite, or Varroa destructor, is an external parasite that attacks bees. Originating in Asia, it has spread worldwide and is now considered one of the main factors in the decline of bee colonies. Measuring about 1 to 1.5 mm, it is difficult to spot without close observation. The Varroa mite reproduces in the cells of bee brood, where females lay their eggs. The mite larvae feed on the hemolymph of bee larvae, causing significant damage.

The effects of the Varroa mite on hives

The Varroa mite feeds on the hemolymph of bees, equivalent to blood in humans. This parasitism weakens bees, reduces their lifespan, and can cause deformities. Moreover, the Varroa mite is a vector for several viruses, including the deformed wing virus, which can decimate an entire colony. Bees infected with this virus have deformed wings and a swollen abdomen and are unable to fly. Bee colonies infested with the Varroa mite may also suffer from stress, malnutrition, and a decrease in honey production.

How to detect the presence of the Varroa mite?

Early detection of the Varroa mite is crucial for the health of hives. Beekeepers can use several methods to detect its presence. One of the most common is the natural mite drop test, which involves placing a sheet of paper under the hive and counting the mites that fall after a certain time. Another method is direct observation of the bees, looking for signs of parasitism, such as bees with deformed wings or affected larvae. Beekeepers can also use mite traps or observation slides to detect the presence of the Varroa mite.

Methods for fighting the Varroa mite

Fighting the Varroa mite is a constant challenge for beekeepers. Several methods are used, ranging from chemical treatments to biological methods. Chemical treatments, such as formic acid or oxalic acid, are effective but must be used with caution to avoid harming bees. Beekeepers must follow usage instructions and respect recommended doses to avoid residues in honey and the environment.

Biological methods, such as the use of natural predators of the Varroa mite or the selection of resistant bees, are increasingly being explored. Natural predators, such as Stratiolaelaps scimitus mites or Atheta coriaria beetles, can help control the Varroa mite population. The selection of resistant bees, such as VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) bees, can also contribute to reducing Varroa mite infestation.

Actions to support beekeepers in their fight against the Varroa mite

As actors in our ecosystem, we can all contribute to supporting beekeepers in their fight against the Varroa mite. Here are some actions we can take:

  • Buy local honey: By buying honey produced locally, we support beekeepers in our region and contribute to the preservation of bees.
  • Plant nectar-rich flowers: Nectar-rich flowers provide nectar and pollen to bees, helping them strengthen their immune system and better resist parasites.
  • Avoid pesticides: Pesticides can harm bees and weaken their immune system, making them more vulnerable to parasites like the Varroa mite.
  • Raise public awareness: By informing the public about the importance of bees and the threats they face, we can contribute to bee preservation and the fight against the Varroa mite.

Why not use Stop Varroa Treatment?

The Stop Varroa Treatment, an organic and easy-to-use solution, stands out for its guaranteed 100% success rate, making it particularly suitable for organic beekeeping. Its application is simple: just lift the frames one by one and spray both sides with the treatment. This method ensures complete elimination of the varroa colony in less than 24 hours. It is important to note that this treatment is safe for bees and does not contaminate your honey, thus preserving the quality of your production.


The Varroa mite is an invisible but formidable enemy of hives. Its early detection and the implementation of appropriate control methods are essential to protect bee colonies and ensure the sustainability of beekeeping. As actors in our ecosystem, it is our responsibility to support beekeepers in their struggle against this parasite and contribute to the preservation of bees, sentinels of our environment. By buying local honey, planting nectar-rich flowers, avoiding pesticides, and raising public awareness, we can all act to protect bees and fight against the Varroa mite.