Varroa & Formic Acid    Varroa & Oxalic Acid     Varroa & Formic Acid      

Using Formic & Oxalic Acids
for treatment of
Varroa & Tracheal
Honey Bee Parasitic Mites

A Guide for New Zealand Beekeepers

Use of Medical Drugs Against Varroosis (Italy)

Oxalic acid trickling 
(Practical illustrated demonstration)

Coordination in Europe of research on integrated control
of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies

A Device for Quick, Safe Oxalic Acid Vaporization
Another Oxalic Acid Vaporizer   Evaporation Properties of Oxalic

Central Science Laboratory:
The New Varroa Model & Calculator
This is a comprehensive, well illustrated site.
Monitor honeybee colonies for varroa mites, Predict when treatment is necessary.

From Germany:
Vaporisation of oxalic acid in a field trial with 1'509 colonies
Vaporisation of oxalic acid and working safety
Another German oxalic acid page

Do it yourself Oxalic Acid Vaporizer

Practical Finnish methods, using formic and oxalic acids and thymol
Article   Graphs Thymol

SMR Bees may someday make this page unnecessary

Swiss Bee Research on varroa including diverse treatments
Not all Oxalic Acid Evaporation Devices are very effective!
Bee tolerance of different winter Varroa treatments

Info on Varroa, Tracheal Mites and Resistant Russian Bees:
Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics & Physiology Laboratory

See varroa and tracheal mites live in streaming video

A new, more sensitive and non-destructive
variation on the standard ether roll test.
Click here and here and here

Tracheal Mites in US Breeder Queens

Some varroa and acarine pages from
Tracheal Mites in US Breeder Queens
Blue Shop Towel Tracheal Control (1)  (2)  (3) (4)
Testing for mites  More
Applying Formic
Oxalic Acid for Varroa 

Applying Formic Pads Testing for Varroa How we prepare formic pads
Applying Formic Pads Checking for Mite Drop

 How we prepare formic pads

      Download or view our Our Formic Costing Spreadsheet
MS Excel 4.0 Version  MS Excel 2000 Version

Formic acid in drums and and pads on truckFormic Acid is well established in Europe and in Canada as a legal and recommended treatment for parasitic mites of honey bees -- both Varroa and Tracheal.   Currently, there are a number of methods in use . This article is an attempt to bring information forward without any judgment of the claims of the originators.  One of its strongest points is the lack of harmful residues in honey and wax..  Its major drawback is that treating with formic involves handling of a dangerous substance. Ontario recommendations.

Recent reports indicate that oxalic acid shows promise too.  The books and websites below catalogue a wide variety of methods for control and provide enough  understanding of the mite and its activities to employ them intelligently .

IPM is the latest buzzword for mite control.

First of all...
Background Varroa Information


I've learned a lot from the internet and discussion groups, but I learned a lot more, and a lot more quickly, from just reading these books:

  • Living With Varroa edited by Andrew Matheson:
  • The New Varroa Handbook by Bernhard Mobus & Clive de Bruyn.  Arc & Throstle Press, Nanholme Mill, Shaw Wood Road, Todmorden, OL14 6DA  ISBN 0-907908-67-5
  • Varroa! Fight the Mite edited by Pamela Munn & Richard Jones: ISBN 0 86098 224 6 IBRA

None of these books are listed at or Barnes & Noble, but bee book specialists such as Larry Connor (US), Doug McCutcheon (Canada) and the IBRA (UK) should be able to provide them.


This is a list of sites I've found that deal with varroa, formic acid and Integrated Pest Management approaches to varroa control.  I can't vouch for all the ideas and methods here, and they are presented just so you can get an idea what is out there.  There is no particular order to this list.

Some Relevant BEE-L Discussion Articles

Slow Release Formic Acid Devices

MiteGone -- formic application method

Mite-Away -- formic application method - Google search

Medhat Nasr's 'Homesote' Method

Article From BeesCene, the British Columbia Honey Producers Association's magazine
on this method from sci.agriculture.beekeeping

 The Nassenheider Device.  

  1. The manufacturer's literature -- not necessarily in the correct order.
    These pages were designed to be folded into a leaflet:
    Page One
    , Page Two, Page Three, Page Four, Page Five, Page Six
  2. Link to an email message to BEE-L:
  3. Visit the Nassenheider page
 Miscellaneous Information
Oxalic Acid

Guideline on use of oxalic acid for varroa control:

an instructional PDF file from New Zealand.

The small print: 

This page is for information purposes only. 

I cannot, and do not, guarantee the accuracy, safety or legality of any information or methods discussed on this page or on the pages mentioned here. 

Formic and oxalic acids are dangerous substances and can cause injury if handled carelessly. 

Methods documented here and on linked pages may not be legal in some jurisdictions. Be sure to consult your local authorities about legal and safety issues before proceeding with formic use..

This page has not been updated exhaustively for a while, so is getting a bit out-of-date. Hopefully, however, it is still a good starting point. 

Google search for 'formic acid bees'

Search WWW Search

Reports, literature and corrections are, of course welcome. Write me