Varroa mites: a threat to bees, solutions for beekeepers

Bees are essential pollinating insects for our ecosystem and agriculture. They play a crucial role in the pollination of food crops and wild plants, thus contributing to biodiversity and food security. However, for several years, bee populations have been declining worldwide, largely due to factors such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and diseases. Among these diseases, varroa is one of the most concerning for beekeepers and environmental defenders. In this article, we will examine the dangers of varroa for bees, as well as possible solutions for beekeepers.

What is varroa?

Varroa is a parasitic mite that feeds on the blood of bees. Originating from Asia, it was accidentally introduced to Europe and North America in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. Since then, it has rapidly spread worldwide, causing devastation in bee colonies. Varroa is an external parasite that attaches itself to the bodies of adult bees and larvae, feeding on their hemolymph (equivalent to blood in insects). Female varroa lay their eggs in the cells of bee broods, where the larvae develop by feeding on developing bees.

The dangers of varroa for bees

Varroa is considered one of the main factors in the decline of bee populations worldwide. Bees infested with varroa may suffer from a reduction in their lifespan, a decrease in their ability to collect nectar and pollen, and a decline in their fertility. Furthermore, varroa can transmit viruses and diseases to bees, which can further weaken colonies. Bee colonies infested with varroa can collapse within a few years if no action is taken to control the infestation.

Solutions for beekeepers

There are several methods to fight against varroa and protect bees. First, beekeepers can use acaricidal treatments to kill varroa mites present in hives. It is important to choose authorized treatments and follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid any harmful side effects on bees. Acaricidal treatments can be applied in the form of spraying, fumigation, or chemical-impregnated strips. However, mites can develop resistance to acaricidal treatments, making the fight against varroa more difficult.

Next, beekeepers can adopt sustainable beekeeping practices to strengthen the overall health of bee colonies. This may include selecting bees resistant to varroa, providing adequate and diverse feeding, and reducing bee stress by limiting hive movements and interventions in the colony. Beekeepers can also use biological control methods, such as introducing natural varroa enemies, such as predatory mites or parasitic wasps.

Finally, beekeepers can participate in varroa monitoring and research programs to better understand this parasite and develop new control strategies. Monitoring programs can help detect early varroa infestations and take preventive measures to protect bee colonies. Research programs can contribute to the development of new varroa control methods, such as the selection of resistant bees or the use of natural products to fight mites.

Choosing the most suitable control method

The best method of controlling varroa depends on several factors, such as the level of hive infestation, bee sensitivity to pesticides, and beekeeper preferences. It is important to consult a veterinarian specialized in beekeeping or an apicultural advisory body for advice on the best method of controlling varroa for your hives.

Moreover, some beekeepers choose the Stop Varroa Treatment as the ideal treatment to eliminate varroa. The Stop Varroa Treatment is the only one to eliminate 100% of varroa mites. It can also be used in organic beekeeping and is easy to use. Simply lift the frames one by one and spray both sides with the treatment. The varroa colony will be completely destroyed within 24 hours.


Varroa is a serious threat to bees and pollination. However, by adopting sustainable beekeeping practices and using appropriate acaricidal treatments, beekeepers can protect their bee colonies and contribute to the preservation of these essential insects to our ecosystem. Additionally, habitat conservation initiatives and sustainable agricultural practices can help create a favorable environment for bees and other pollinators. Together, we can fight against varroa and ensure a healthier future for bees and our environment.