Integrated Pest Management of Varroa Under Irish Conditions

The future of Varroa control is integrating current treatments with the latest advancements. The idea of an integrated pest management (IPM) may provide a balance between pesticide use and overuse. IPM has the potential to allow beekeepers to keep their operation relatively chemical free and also the power to prolong the life of existing pesticides such as Bayvarol. IPM relies on multiple control methods to pest management.

If a single pesticide is being used to control the pest, there is an excellent opportunity for resistance to develop. The role of IPM is not to eliminate chemical use, but to reduce the amount and the frequency of pesticide application. The Varroa problem is a perfect candidate for IPM.

On completion of the literature review the following were the objectives for May 2003 to December 2003.

  • To carry out a simple Bayvarol resistance test on colonies throughout Ireland
  • To examine the efficacy of different biological methods of Varroa control under Irish conditions. These methods included hive modifications, drone brood trapping, Apiguard and organic acid treatments.

Resistance monitoring is essential in protecting bees from Varroa. The USDA-ARS developed a 'user friendly' screen tool to detect miticide resistance. The assay relies on the comparison of the mite fall after exposure to Bayvarol and the total mite fall after washing.

To monitor resistance on a nationwide scale, Beekeeping Associations were contacted and a number of beekeepers from each region offered to carry out the test on 6-12 colonies per apiary. Sample jars were prepared and sent to cooperating beekeepers, in addition to details of the procedure and a data sheet, which each beekeeper was required to complete.

Beekeepers are presently carrying out this test, as it is advisable to carry it out after the honey has been taken off and prior to Autumn treatment. Results are being returned but are not yet analysed.

Hive modification involved using a variety of floor boards and monitoring mite population using natural mite fall. A test was also carried out to compare the efficacy of Bayvarol, Apiguard and organic acids (formic and oxalic).

The aspirations of the study for the remainder of this year is to finish collecting the data from the present experiments and then analyse it statistically.

In 2004, it is hoped to determine how these control methods (floor variation, drone brood trapping, Apiguard and organic acids) can be used in concert as a means of controlling Varroa and compare their efficacy with Bayvarol. Selection of treatments to be included in the integrated pest management will depend on the results obtained from the present study.

Mary Coffey



Co. Dublin Honey Show

The Dublin Beekeeper’s association will hold its Honey Show on Sat 4th Nov, in Christ Church Hall in Rathgar at 10.30. Entries from Beekeepers across the country and stiff competition have made this event a favourite for Dubliners and visitors from around the country in recent years. 

Entries are now being registered online at Alternatively you can print an entry and post it to the address on the entry form

Co. Mayo BKA Honey Show!

Co. Mayo BKA will be holding their annual honey show on Monday the 23rd of October in the Community Centre, Dromore West, Co Sligo. This event is starting at 5pm and honey needs to be entered before 4.30pm.

The highlight of the show will be an in-depth talk by world-renowned beekeeper, Mark L Winston, who will share insights from his seminal work, "Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive" and world renowned expert on heather honey and Mead, Michael Badger MBE, will be the Chief Honey judge and will also give a presentation on heather honey. The talk will start from 6pm and will be free!

Looking for honey labels and FIBKA lids?

For anyone looking to get the FIBKA jar lids or tamper proof labels for your honey, we have put together the following guidelines in how to apply for them. The document can be downloaded here

Hedge cutting

If you wish to report hedge cutting out of season
Contact the people below
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2
For General Queries:
Tel: +353-1-888 3242
LoCall 1890 383 000 (within Republic of Ireland only - rates charged for the use of 1890 numbers may vary among different service providers)
Fax: +353-1-888 3272

Disease Sampling Form

Teagasc offers a Honeybee disease diagnostic service to beekeepers, more information available here

Bee Research Project!

FIBKA are co operating with CIT to run a beehealth project to improve the genetic diversity of Irish honey bee stocks, funding needed either corporate or individual. Click here for more info!

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

Great news! - The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is released this week. Click here for more info!

Got something to say!?

We are looking for people to submit articles on beekeeping or anything related to it, on a once off or a regular basis. If you think you could put pen to paper, then please email the Beachaire Manager, Dermot O'Flaherty at