Beekeeping for Beginners Beekeeping for Beginners
Honey bee with a varroa mite on its backHoney bee with a varroa mite on its back

Varroa Supplies

Treatment & Medication

Varroa easyCheck

A fast, easy and reliable varroa mite monitoring system. Quick and easy to use, only 3 steps.

*Shaker design for a better separation of varroa mites

*Fast and easy to use

*Robust matter: durable product, reusable and perfectly adapted to field use

*The tight-fitting lid is leak proof and comfortable to use

Two molded guide lines allow samples of 200 or 300 bees

Holes in the base and sides of the filter basket allow a better separation of mites from the bees

Why should I monitor my hives?

Major objective: To avoid a too high level of varroa mite infestations that could lead to colony losses.

Why perform monitoring prior to a treatment?

To now the pre-treatment varroa counts of the colony, estimate the degree of (varroa infestation of the colony).To help the beekeeper choose the best treatment strategy to limit the damages to on the colonies.

Why monitor after a treatment?

So that the beekeeper knows the treatment was successful.

And to assessing the need for further treatment.

Did you know?

A 3% infestation can cut honey yield by up to 13 kilos/year (28 pounds).

1- Alcohol wash

An alcohol wash consists of immersing a sample of honey bees into alcohol, and then gently shaking the EasyCheck to detach the phoretic mites so they can be counted. This method leads to the loss of the sample (death of the bees in the sample), but it is the most consistent in terms of delivering accurate results when monitoring. It has been recognized as the most accurate, reliable, and economical option for beekeepers.1-2

2- Powdered sugar roll

 With this method, powdered sugar is added to a sample of honey bees, and then gently rolled to coat the bees in the sample with powdered sugar, causing the mites to separate from the bees. The EasyCheck is then vigorously shaken, causing the sugar and the mites to pass through the white basket’s holes. This method helps keeps the sample of bees alive, but the result may vary depending on use and humidity (humidity can cause the powder sugar to clump, affecting the results).

Useful tips to better fight varroa mite

Regular monitoring of mite infestations throughout the year, beginning in spring (at least four times a year)Monitor your bees for mites BEFORE and AFTER treatment. (Check « Description » tab)Adapt your treatment strategy depending on your varroa infestation. Use your monitoring results to plan your varroa control plan! (Do not only do what you did before)Stay informed about local infestation thresholds

Switch out old brood comb for new every 2 or 3 years minimum

Treat all colonies in an apiary at the same time to prevent re-infestation

Rotate the active ingredients (and not use the same treatment each time!)Use only registered treatments and follow the product labels and instructions.


Apivar is the only Amitraz-based apiary product that treats successive generations of Varroa mites, reducing the mite population in the hive by up to 99% in one application.

Apivar® comes in the form of rigid strips vacuum sealed in sachets containing 10 strips. Because they are rigid they are easy to place in the hive.

Apivar® is a contact miticide and the active ingredient, Amitraz, is distributed throughout the hive by bees contacting the strips and then contacting other bees.

Each application requires 2 new rigid strips per brood chamber. It is important to maintain this dosage as it provides the necessary strip surface area to ensure that the bees are able to distribute enough active ingredient throughout the colony to provide optimum efficacy.

Each strip can be easily suspended between the frames, from the top bars, using a toothpick or match through the hole provided. Alternatively you can use the pop-up triangular tag to hang the strip from the top of the frame.

Hang the strips in the area of the highest bee activity. Apivar strips are suspended in the brood chamber in such a way that the bees can walk on both sides of the strips. Leave the strips in place for at least 6 weeks/ 45 days before removing.

After use, to avoid any risk of resistance developing and environmental pollution, the strips must be removed from the hives and destroyed under approved methods. Do NOT re-use any strips after one treatment.

The shelf life of Apivar® is two years from the date of manufacture, when stored appropriately in unopened sachets.

Storage should be at ambient room temperature and out of direct sunlight.

Apivar® quantitative and qualitative composition
Amitraz.............0.5 g (or 3.33%)
Vehicle...........15.0 g

Sealed sachet containing 10 strips

Formic Pro

Formic Pro is a varroa mite treatment that uses formic acid as the active ingredient. It has two application options of either 14 days, or 20 days. When applied as intended Formic Pro has an 83-97% efficacy and kills mites under the cap and on the adult bees. For those customers familiar with Mite Away Quick Strips, this is a very similar product from the same manufacturer, however the product is much more stable for longer term storage.

All Formic Pro pads come with a field guide and safety data information in and/or on the packaging. Please review all information provided in and on the packaging prior to use.

NOD Apiary Products highlights the following features for your consideration:(source)

Residue Free: Treat during the Honey Flow. Formic Pro leaves no residues in wax or honey.

Ready to Use: Formic Pro is ready to use. No mixing required.

Natural: Formic Pro is made from all natural RAW materials.

Biodegradable: Formic Pro strips are made from all natural biodegradable materials and can be composted.

Quick Options: There are two treatment options when local thresholds are met: Option One: 2 strips for 14 days. Option Two: 1st strip for 10 days remove and replace with 2nd strip for an additional 10 days.

No Resistance: Formic Acid has been used for over 30 years without any known resistance

NOD Apiary provides the following best practice recommendations for application:

Monitor Mite Levels: Monitor your mite levels throughout the beekeeping season. Treat with Formic Pro when mite levels reach the threshold for your area. High mite infestations may require more than one treatment.

Check Expiry Date: Check the expiry date on Packaging. Slow release technology begins to degrade when the product expires and could lead to excessive bee mortality.

Storage: Store out of direct sunlight and in a dry location. Keep product in original container and tightly close lid. Store in a well-ventilated area, away from sulphuric acid, oxidizing agents, and sources of ignition.

Placement in Colony: Always place treatment on bottom brood box. Formic Pro is a brood treatment and is most effective when placed in the heart of the hive.

Temperatures: Optimal treatment temperatures for Formic Pro are between 50°-85°F/10°-29.5°C.Ventilation: Remove entrance reducers. Bottom board entrances must be full width of the hive, minimum height ½ inch or 1.3cm and fully open for entire treatment. If colonies have permanently reduced entrances, set back the upper brood box by ½ inch or 1.3cm, or insert wedges between the bottom box and the bottom board to create a full entrance. Close off screen bottom boards for maximum efficacy. Do not consider open screen bottom boards as ‘ventilation’; bees draw in air through the bottom entrance to ventilate the colony.

For more information on the 14-day vs 20-day application options, or to review a digital copy of Formic Pro’s product label, field guide or Safety Data Sheet, please refer to NOD’s website by clicking (here).

Formic Pro

Varroa Supplies FAQs

Varroa easyCheck

There are two lines on the white basket of the Varroa EasyCheck. The lower line corresponds to about 200 bees and the upper line corresponds to 300 bees. We advise you to take 300 bees to obtain the most accurate results possible. In the case of weaker colonies, you can reduce this number to 200 bees. You will obtain your infestation percentage by dividing the number of varroa found by 2 (if 200 bees) or 3 (if 300 bees). For example, if you find 5 varroa mites with 300 bees, you have an infestation percentage of 5/3 = 1.66%.

You can use methylated spirits or household alcohol. A "winter" windscreen washer fluid (which contains alcohol) can also be used. In all cases, we recommend a liquid that does not foam or only slightly (avoid dishwashing liquid!). After each use, you can filter the liquid with a very fine strainer and reuse it up to 10 counts.

We recommend to monitor at least 4 times per year for the best understanding of your mite loads. But once a month during warm weather is even better. Suggest at least at these times:

Prior to, and after, any mite treatment! To guide your treatment, and assess the effectiveness of the treatment afterwards.

Early spring -> Early detection makes it possible to plan effectively and assess the need for an early springtime treatment prior to placing honey supers.

During a honey flow -> To detect a massive varroa build-up and plan possible intermittent treatment between honey flows.

Late July - August -> Choose the best late-season treatment based on the level of infestation.

September – October – December -> Ensure effectiveness of final season treatment and assess the need for additional treatment in winter (when brood is absent) or early next spring. The goal is to ensure that your bees go into winter with the minimum mite load.