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The United States is not alone when it comes to the varroa mite problem. Statistics have shown that honey bee colonies die within 3 to 7 years due to varroa mite infestation, if left untreated, and this cuts across all countries globally. The mites are easy to detect and yet easy to overlook as well. They are so tiny that one would not imagine how serious they can be to honey bees. The mites resemble the usual ticks seen on warm blooded animals such as livestock, and can literally be seen with the naked eye. They look like red dots when trapped on a paper and can also be spotted on the bodies of adult bees.
The main food source of varroa mites is the haemolymph of the honey bee. They suck it dry leaving healthy honey bees weak and helpless. They are highly sophisticated with their parasitic behavior and will mate and develop within capped brood cells, making it highly difficult to eliminate them during their developmental stages. However, chemical poisons when combined with other varroa mite control techniques guarantee lasting results. A product such as Bipinamite is a special formulation that is widely accepted by beekeepers given its efficacy. It however requires strict adherence to stipulated protocols, otherwise mites may develop some resistance, or the honey bee products may become contaminated with chemical residues. In this article, we’ll be taking a detailed look at Bipinamite and how you can benefit from its use.
Bipinamite for varroosis treatment contains one of the most potent ingredients for parasitic control -amitraz. Plenty of research has established some level of resistance and tolerance by the mites against other chemical control products, but apparently amitraz has been an exception. It still remains as the top products for varroa mite control.
Bipinamite contains 12.5 percent of amitraz and takes the form of a transparent liquid with a little yellow coloration and signature odor. It is effective in combating ticks within the genus Varroa. The varroacide is a systemic drug with an acaricidal effect against these invasive pests.
This product has a moderate level of toxicity to warm blooded animals but will never affect the honey bees. Activities such as honey production, foraging, development, or general condition of the honey bees are never affected by the treatment.
Benefits of Bipinamite
- Bipinamite is a highly effective control against varroa mites. Its efficacy can be attributed to amitraz which is its primary ingredient.
- It takes an aqueous form and thus becomes so much easier to administer to honey bee colonies.
- The chemical is systemic and will be distributed widely through contact by the honey bees themselves, making it possible to eliminate most of the mites on adult bees.
- Amitraz can maintain its properties for a long time and that means even those mites that hatch before the next treatment will still be eliminated.
- The product kills re-infesting mites, making it a sustainable solution for varroa mite treatment.
- This product helps prevent colony loss. It helps build stronger bee colonies that are less susceptible to robbers, pathogens, winter challenges and parasites.
- Bipinamite not only wipes out the varroa mites but it also acts as a disinfectant for the beehives. It is ideal for treating molds, pathogens, and other parasites that invade honey bees. This helps creates a healthy home for the bees where a stronger generation of bees are raised.
- The product is best suited for winter preparation of bee colonies. Most colony collapses occur due to heavy varroa mite infestation prior to winter. The treatment helps guarantee a bee colony that is free from the mites throughout winter thus increasing survival rates of bee colonies post-winter.
- Varroa mites have not been able to develop some resistance to amitraz, which presents a huge advantage to beekeepers. This is not the case when you consider other chemical solutions. Though various research has been carried out, it is not yet clear why varroa mites are still susceptible to the acaricidal properties of amitraz.
This treatment plan against varroa mites is applied as an aqueous emulsion that will be distributed through contact from one part of the hive to the other. The emulsion is prepared by mixing 1ml of the product with 2 liters of clean and pure drinking water. This solution should be applied fully during the working day without any leftovers.
The best time to treat bee colonies will be the time when you have the least number of brood and when the club of bees has started developing. The outside temperatures should also be not less than 0 degrees Celsius. You should avoid treatment during honey flow seasons and also remove honey supers before applying the solution.
About 10ml of this solution is enough for a single bee frame. You can apply the solution through small-drop watering of the honey bees within the inter-frame space.
Your first treatment should be conducted immediately after you have harvested the honey reserves. This should be followed by a second treatment just as you prepare the bee families for winter. Mites can devastate bee colonies if left untreated prior to winter, hence the reason treatment is recommended before wintering.
Pros and Cons
- It is so much easy to use this product and requires no skills or experience to handle.
- It is highly effective in combating the varroa mites.
- Makes it possible to treat plenty of apiaries using a small amount of the product.
- It is an economical choice for most beekeepers.
- It is safe for honey bees and will never affect the normal activity of the honey bees.
- Amitraz is widely used as a treatment product for varroa mites. It has been tested and proven to be effective in discriminately targeting varroa mites.
- It is distributed through contact from one bee to the other and is thus more effective.
- The varroa mites are more susceptible to the product.
- An overdose can be dangerous for honey bees.
- It cannot treat mites inside capped brood cells, hence the need to combine the product with other treatment techniques.
Caution with Bipinamite
Excessive application of Bipinamite can be dangerous to the bees. Therefore do not use this treatment plan on small bee colonies. Preliminary testing is also advised for those for those with huge apiaries requiring mass treatment. This exercise should be conducted alongside a professional such as a veterinarian. You can treat 1 to 2 families within 1 to 2 streets then monitor their response to the treatment.
This product should never be ingested since it has a serious harm on humans. It can cause nervous system depression, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. It also has a serious effect on respiratory and cardiovascular systems and can also cause coma and miosis.
Wear protective clothing when working on your beehives. Boots, glasses, thick gloves, and thick suits should be worn. Ensure the solution does not come into contact with your skin, mouth, eyes, nose, or any other part of the body. If it does, it can cause itching, irritation, or poisoning. It should never be inhaled or ingested. Remember also to clean your protective wear and bath thoroughly after being exposed to the solution.
Ensure you adhere to local regulations while using this treatment plan. Read and understand what is stated on the label and adhere to it. You should also check out the product ingredients and ensure what you use has been approved. The use of non-approved chemical products can cause bee death and it is illegal to do so in most states. You might even be required to get pesticide certification before you are allowed to use certain treatments. You can find out from other beekeepers or check out your local authority’s website for any training and certifications.
This product requires proper storage for it to be effective for its stipulated 3 years of shelf life from the day of manufacture. It should be safely stored away from children and untrustworthy adults. Remember, this chemical is poisonous and can kill if ingested. The ideal room temperature is between 0 to 30 degrees Celsius and should be a dark, cool, and dry place. Ensure it is kept away from moisture or contact with water. It should also not be kept near direct flames or heaters since the chemical is highly flammable.
A Final Word
The use of Bipinamite may not be totally effective on its own, but it guarantees substantial results when combined with other proven varroa mite control measures. A popular counter measure that easily works well with chemical control is the use of biotechnical controls. These include targeting the mites that stay safely in encrusted brood cells, especially the drone brood cells. Therefore, these mites can be trapped using foundationless frames. These will attract worker bees and will build drone combs, and you will notice their cells as being much larger. These are placed on infested colonies and then eliminated once they are capped. The other popular biotechnical approach involves destroying the capped brood cells yearly at the end of the honey harvest. Any uncapped brood at the time of destruction will be eliminated once it is capped.
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