When should varroa be treated?

The varroa, a tiny but formidable parasite, represents a constant threat to bee colonies. Its management is crucial for the health and survival of our precious bees. In this article, we will explore the optimal time to treat varroa, a key aspect of modern beekeeping.

Understanding the Enemy: The Varroa Destructor

Before diving into the "when," it is essential to understand the "what." The varroa destructor is a mite that parasitizes bees, feeding on their hemolymph and weakening the colony. It can also transmit diseases, thereby aggravating its impact.

The Importance of Timing in Treatment

The timing of treatment against varroa is crucial for its effectiveness. Treating too early or too late can either be ineffective or cause additional damage to the bees. Here are the key moments to consider:

After the Honey Harvest

The end of the honey harvest season is often the ideal time to start treatment. At this stage, the amount of honey in the hive is minimal, thus reducing the risk of honey contamination by chemicals.

Before the Formation of Winter Bees

Treating before the bees begin to prepare for winter is crucial. Winter bees have a longer lifespan, and their health is essential for the survival of the colony during the cold months.

Why Treat in the Spring?

Spring is the ideal time to treat for varroa, as the brood is still young and the bees are more resistant to treatments. The brood is the developmental stage of the bees, from egg to adult. Adult bees are less sensitive to treatments, as they have developed natural defenses.

Why Treat in the Fall?

Fall is also important for treating varroa, as this is when the bees begin to prepare the colony for winter. Varroa can weaken colonies and make them more vulnerable to diseases and other parasites.

Regular Monitoring

Regular monitoring of varroa levels helps to determine the best time to intervene. Methods such as counting fallen varroa mites help to assess the infestation.

Factors Influencing Treatment

  1. Weather Conditions

Climate and temperature can affect the effectiveness of treatments. Some products require specific temperatures to be effective.

  1. Type of Treatment

The choice of treatment (chemical, thermal, mechanical) also influences the timing. For example, thermal treatments may be less dependent on seasons than chemical treatments.

  1. State of the Colony

The overall state of the bee colony plays a role. A weakened colony may require earlier intervention.

Which Treatments to Choose?

There are many treatments available for varroa, both chemical and natural. The most common chemical treatments are based on amitraz, formic acid, or calcium oxalate. Natural treatments include the use of essential oils, propolis, or fermented substances.

It is important to choose a treatment that is effective against varroa and safe for the bees. It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a treatment.

How to Treat?

The most effective treatment method to use is the Stop Varroa treatment.

This treatment is the only one that eliminates 100% of varroa mites. It can also be used in organic beekeeping. Stop Varroa is safe for bees and does not contaminate your honey.

How to Prevent Infestation?

There is no way to completely prevent varroa infestation, but there are measures you can take to reduce the risk. These measures include:

Proper hive management, including regular colony inspections and prompt removal of infested brood.

The use of varroa control methods that are effective and environmentally friendly.

Diversifying bee forage to provide bees with a varied and healthy food source.

By following these tips, you can help protect your bees from varroa.


Treatment against varroa is an essential element of managing a healthy hive. Choosing the right time to treat is not only a matter of timing but also an understanding of the life cycle of bees and varroa. As beekeepers, our role is to maintain the delicate balance between necessary intervention and preserving hive health. With careful monitoring and thoughtful intervention, we can help our bees thrive, even in the face of threats like varroa.