How to Control Varroa Mites for a Healthy Beehive

By on August 06, 2013

Meet the varroa mites that are the scourge of bee hives around the world.

Varroa mites are out to get the bees in your hive.

A horrible (and relatively new) problem in the apian world, varroa mites can wipe out a hive in one season.

How to control varroa mites

In our new video Trica shows how to test for varroa mites and combat them. Most bees have no way to combat varroa mites, and that’s where you as the beekeeper need to take a hand. Defend your bees through a combination of controls such as good hygiene, monitoring, and—when necessary—naturally derived miticides.

With a Mite Observation Board under your Screened Bottom Board you can get a head count of the mites currently in your hive. If the mites are numerous, use Apiguard® with the active ingredient Thymol (from the herb thyme) which is labeled to control varroa mites.

Just take a look at some varroa mites sucking the life juices out of a bee. Want to fight back?

varroa mites on bee

A biologist has beekeeping, and varroa-mite-fighting, advice

Randy Oliver is a local biologist and beekeeper here in Nevada County. His bee blog, Scientific Beekeeping, is full of buzz for beginners as well as longtime beekeepers. Take advantage of his decades of experience as a teacher and commercial beekeeper. We think you’ll enjoy and learn from his balanced approach.

One article we especially like is aimed at beginners. Randy suggests which of the current debates in beekeeping you can just go ahead and ignore! Then he gives you his basics for keeping healthy bees.

If you have your first colony of bees you can assume that they have varroa mites. Randy tells you how to evaluate the mite infestation, and suggests mite treatments and how to time them.

To get really grisly, read Randy’s articles here about varroa mites, some of which appeared in the American Bee Journal.

Welcome to the mite-fighting world of sugar shakes and more.

Please use our resources to help control the nasty varroa mites and keep your bee hive a healthy one.



  Comments (4)


What do you think of fogging the hives, once the honey is out but before they cluster, with mineral oil and 5 drops of essential wintergreen oil?
The fogging is done 3 times at one week intervals (so let’s say 3 Mondays in a row?) so as to disturb the mite’s reproductive cycle.
The proponents say it is entirely safe and natural. To boot, it is infinitely lest costly than Apiguard.

Posted by Cécile Stelzer Johnson on Aug. 11, 2013 at 9:46:44 AM

Cecile, We cannot comment on home remedies that have not been tested and registered as a pesticide for use in killing mites. I would say, though, that I have concerns about introducing mineral oil (a petroleum byproduct) into a hive.

Posted by on Aug. 14, 2013 at 1:42:05 PM


I need help with BIRD MItes in my tree, side of house, windows, roof and inside of my home.  Infestation of bird mites, springtails, I cannot open my windows or my doors without them floating into my house, landing on the furniture, on my body. SOS, Naomi in Berkeley

Posted by on Mar. 29, 2014 at 9:58:40 AM

Oh dear! That sounds terrible. Here is an article from Penn State on getting rid of Bird Mites:

And this one is from UC Davis with managment guidelines for springtails:

I hope you can get that invasion solved.

Posted by on Apr. 01, 2014 at 4:36:46 PM

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