Api Life Var
Api Life Var is one of the latest products available for the control of varroa using organic chemicals. The active ingredients are the well proven Thymol plus Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol and Camphor. Treatment is applied after the honey harvest has been removed and each hive requires a total of 3 tablets. For the first treatment break one tablet into about 4 pieces and place these in the corners of the hive on the top bars of the brood frames. Do not place them over the centre of the brood nest. No eke is required. Repeat this treatment 7 days later and then for the third and last time 7 days after the second treatment. It is essential to follow this timetable as a single or even two treatments will be ineffective as the mites present in sealed drone brood at the time of the first treatment may not emerge for another 16 days and will be able to avoid the treatment unless a third dose is given.
Monitor varroa fall throughout treatment by replacing the varroa tray and use an entrance reducer to reduce the height of the entrance. If the original varroa infestation was high use a fourth tablet if necessary 28 days after the first. The need to do this will be indicated by a continuing high varroa fall after the third treatment.
The manufacturer recommends that for Northern Europe it is better to put two tablets in at the beginning of treatment then 14 days later put in two more, in each case breaking up the tablets and distributing them around the edge of the brood next. Where exactly Northern Europe starts is somewhat arbitrary in the UK but for Scotland it may be more appropriate to follow this regime, also elsewhere in the UK if the treatment is started late and nighttime temperatures are falling. It is not a precise art and the risks of overdosing are small - but if the bees charge out of the hive and hang outside the entrance then they have been over-dosed! If this happens remove all tablet traces and wait for things to return to normal, then re-introduce a single tablet.
Treat all colonies in an apiary at the same time and apply the treatment either in the early morning or the evening.
For 5 or 6 frame nucleus boxes use half a tablet and for mini-nucs use a fraction of a tablet. For example for an Apidea use approximately 10% of a tablet but if the bees rush out of the mini-nuc remove the tablet at once and allow the bees to return to normal, only reintroducing the tablet after reducing it in size still further.
Each satchet contains two tablets. When the last treatment is given any remaining tablets can be removed or they can all be left in place until the hive is opened in winter for an oxalyic acid syrup trickle - which we recommend as the complimentary winter treatment for this late summer treatment.
More technical details are available here.
Please note Apilife Var will melt plastic if it comes into contact with it. The way to prevent this is to use part of the packet the tablets come in by placing a square of it above the tablet and if using plastic frames do the same underneath. The manufacturers have approved this method. It is only direct contact with the tablet, which can cause melting. The vapours given off by the tablet do not cause any problems.
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