Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 401-407

Sustainable varroa mite (Varroa destructor) control in field conditions

Aleš Gregorc1, Ivo Planinc2

1University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hoče, Slovenia
2National Veterinary Institute, Veterinary Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received December 18, 2021
Accepted October 10, 2022

Experiments assessed the comparative efficacy of oxalic acid solution (OA) and combination of formic acid (FA) evaporation and trickling OA to control the honey bee mite, Varroa destructor, at two apiary locations. Queen caging, consecutive OA treatments of broodless colonies, or combined treatments using OA and FA in colonies with brood increased mite mortality (P < 0.05) in comparison to the pre-treatment period. FA application in colonies with brood in September and October resulted in an average mite mortality of 18% in the first apiary and subsequent FA applications in the same period in the second apiary killed, on average, 73% and 71% of mites; respectively. OA treatment of broodless colonies after queen caging at two apiaries resulted in 18% and 47% mite mortality. Caging the queens and OA treatments in broodless colonies or subsequently use consecutive OA or FA treatments ensure adequate mite reduction before wintering the colonies. Synergistic control methods of Varroa mites using OA and FA along with queen caging is discussed.


The authors thank beekeeper Zdravko Istenič for his collaboration in the experimental management of the honey bee colonies. We are grateful for the assistance provided by Dr. Blair Simpson in writing the manuscript and to Ms. Catherine Diamond for English editing. This research was funded by the Slovenian Research Agency, Research core funding No. P4-164; Research for improvement of safe food and health and by the project CRISPR-B; number N4-0192. The study was supported and research topics discussed by COLOSS, Varroa control TF (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes,


33 live references