In Ontario, as in other parts of the world, beekeepers employ a variety of acaricides (chemicals that kill mites) to reduce the populations of Varroa mites in their beehives. Over the years, we have identified several natural compounds that exhibit strong acaricidal activity. These compounds are advantageous as they are not deemed toxic to humans, and there is no recorded development of mite resistance to them. Starting in late summer, we began testing several of these compounds in unique formulations and we are contrasting their efficacy with that of commercially available acaricides at the colony level. We will also assess the residues of acaricides in honey harvested from colonies subjected to these new formulations.
The HBRC’s Dr. Berna Emsen, is coordinating this project.