The Amitraz Strips Efficacy in Control of Varroa Destructor After Many Years Application of Amitraz in Apiaries

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Amitraz is a varroacide used the longest (over thirty years) and most commonly by Polish beekeepers. This involves high risk of V. destructor developing amitraz resistance. Therefore it is necessary to monitor the effectiveness of treatments to ensure appropriate protection of the honeybee colonies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of amitraz used as the contact varroacide (Biowar 500 formulation) to control V. destructor in honeybee colonies. Field studies were conducted in 2011 and 2012. In both years, the amitraz treatments started in the last weeks of August. Two strips of Biowar 500 (500 mg of amitraz per strip) were inserted into each colony and removed after 8 weeks. The control colonies were left untreated for 8 weeks. After removing the strips the control therapy was conducted in all colonies. The average efficacy of amitraz (E%) calculated for the two years combined, after 6 and 8 weeks of treatment, amounted to 90.6% and 94.6%, respectively. As a result of the natural mortality in the control colonies, the population of parasites lowered only by 16.4% and 23.9% during 6 and 8 weeks. The efficacy of the strips was lower in colonies with larger amount of brood.

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