Apilife Var: A New Varroacide With Thymol As The Main Ingredient
A Imdorf, S Bogdanov, V Kilchenmann And C Maquelin
In Switzerland all honey bee colonies are infested by the ectoparasite Varma jacobsoni. Every year more than 90% of the colonies are treated with strips that contain the pyrethroids fluvalinate or flumethrin. Extended use of pyrethroids, however, results in residues accumulating in the wax and, thus, the quality of bee products is jeopardised. In different regions of Italy the efficiency of the varroacide Apistan is now reported to be insufficient. Recent tests suggest that strains of mites resistant to fluvalinate have appeared in northern Italy. It is therefore necessary to find new ways of integrated varroa control. The active substances used should be found in nature and should be without risk for consumers of bee products. Moreover, the residues produced should not accumulate in wax. Besides formic, lactic and oxalic acids, 'Apilife VAR', a product which has been authorized for use in Italy, fulfils such requirements. Apilife VAR is composed of a vermiculite tablet 5 x 9 x 1 cm (porous ceramic sponge), impregnated with a mixture of thymol (76%), eucalyptol (16.4%), methol (3.8%) and camphor (3.8%). The varroacidal effect of the principal active substance (thymol) has been described in studies performed in Italy and Russia.