The Victor Varroa Mite Destroyer is made by GreenBeehives, a company that has many beekeeping products and a good reputation for quality. It aims to solve the Varroa mite problems for beekeepers, without needing to introducing chemicals into the beehive. This is a green solution that is geared towards beekeepers that want to practice organic beekeeping. Let’s check it out and see if it lives up to its aim.
About GreenBeehives The Victor Varroa Mite Destroyer
The GreenBeehives The Victor is a telescoping Langstroth beehive top that heats up to kill Varroa mites in beehives. It has a thermostat to keep it from overheating. This unique beekeeping equipment is a great tool for beekeepers with Varroa mite problems in their beehives. Varroa mites are pests of honey bees that can cause deformities in bees and lead to honey bees absconding from the beehive. The mites can be found moving around in the beehive, attached onto bees, or in capped brood cells.
GreenBeehives The Victor comes in two sizes for differently sized beehives. Beekeepers purchasing The Victor have the option of 8-frame and 10-frame sizes. There is no difference in the pricing of the two sizes, so beekeepers with 10-frame beehives are not disadvantaged. This means that The Victor is made with beekeepers using Langstroth beehives in mind. It is made into the style and shape of a telescoping top for Langstroth beehives and fits well in the beehive.
This Varroa mite control equipment is built into exact dimensions. You can leave it in the beehive for the necessary periods of time and bees do not build comb on it or around it since it leaves no spaces around itself. The cover comes in a pleasant yellow color. It also has fans that blow air so that the entire hive is evenly heated up.
How to Use the GreenBeehives Victor Telescoping Top
This Varroa mite control solution is an electric powered product. It runs on 12 Volts of DC power. As such, a suitably sized batter is required to power it. GreenBeehives recommends a 12V, 55Ah battery of the SLA type to run The Victor. Fully charged, a battery can power the heated telescoping top for more than one cycle of use.
In cold conditions, GreenBeehives advises beekeepers to use a slightly more powerful battery to compensate for the increased heating needs. To use The Victor telescoping top to control Varroa mites in a beehive, follow these steps:
- Charge the battery you will be using until it is full. Between sequential uses of The Victor, check for battery drain and recharge the battery as necessary. One treatment using the telescoping top takes 3 hours, so take it into account before proceeding.
- Remove the telescoping top and the inner cover from the beehive. The Victor is placed on top of the beehive and replaces these two components for the period of Varroa mite treatment.
- Move the brood boxes of your beehive onto the top of the beehive stack. If you have more than one brood box, you should stack them all at the top. The idea is to have the brood boxes heated up as a higher priority over the other boxes, in order to ensure mites in capped brood cells die too.
- Place The Victor telescoping top on top of the brood boxes that you have placed at the top of your beehive stack.
- Connect the terminals of the battery to the power cables of The Victor telescoping top. Make sure to get the connection right, such that the positive terminal is connected to the positive power cable, and the negative terminal to the negative power cable.
- Once connected to your battery, The Victor starts working immediately. The thermostat on the telescoping top shows you the current temperature of The Victor and the target temperature of 420 C. A red dot on the thermostat indicates that the equipment is heating up. The thermostat on The Victor maintains a temperature of 420 C for 3 hours and then shuts down the telescoping top.
- After The Victor shuts down automatically, remove it from the top of your brood boxes and disconnect it from the battery that was powering it. If you have another beehive to treat, you may proceed to carry out the treatment if your battery has enough charge to last another 3 hours.
- Return treated brood boxes to the bottom of the beehive stack and wait for 12-14 days before repeating the treatment in the same beehive.
A single treatment for Varroa mite control using The Victor kills up to 80% of the Varroa mites in a beehive. The dead mites include those in capped brood cells. The Victor raises its efficiency level to 95% when you repeat a treatment after 12-14 days. Beekeepers using this equipment should do a sticky board Varroa mite count before during and after treatment. It helps you determine how well The Victor has killed mites in each beehive that you treat.
Without a sticky board count, you might have poor results and not know. However, if you carry out treatment in the right way and use The Victor properly, you will get great results in Varroa mite death. On the day of treatment, you should expect a mite fall that is about 4 times higher than before treatment. The mites that die in capped brood do not fall until the brood hatch. You will see them on the sticky board progressively for 12 days after treatment. That is why you should repeat treatment after 12-14 days.
Pros and Cons
The Victor is a very portable Varroa mite control solution. It folds up nicely and does not take much space even when you include the cables that come with it in the purchase package. Additionally, this telescoping top for Varroa mite treatment is not heavy. It is easy to carry with you to the apiary and when moving it from one beehive to the next for treatment.
Beehive products are of better quality and safety when they are produced in a green beekeeping operation. Beekeepers are increasingly aware of the need to have fewer or no chemicals in beekeeping. This telescoping top is a green solution to the Varroa mite problem in beekeeping.
3. Auto shut off
This Varroa mite control solution is very user friendly. It features an automatic shut down feature that serves two important purposes: free you up to do something else in the apiary while treatment is going on, and prevent overtreatment and over-discharge of your battery when treatment is completed. This feature is integrated into the thermostat of The Victor Varroa mite control telescoping cover. This also makes sure it does not get excessively hot and harm any bee brood.
GreenBeehives gives very impressive guarantees on The Victor Varroa mite control top. The guarantees are due to the high quality and effectiveness of The Victor. Beekeepers buying this Varroa mite control solution are given a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 2-year warranty on the product. Unsatisfied customers get refunded with their money in full. This is a great assurance to beekeepers that they are getting a quality product that works as promised, from a reputable manufacturer.
1. Only for Langstroth beehives
This treatment for Varroa mites is not available in sizes and dimensions that are appropriate for use in beehives other than the Langstroth beehive. It is understandable that the Langstroth beehive is the most popular beehive , but it would be great if the Varroa mite control telescoping top was available for use in top bar and Warre hives too.
2. A deep cycle battery is needed
The Victor requires heavy duty deep cycle rechargeable batteries for proper working. The lighter duty batteries that some beekeepers might find cheaper to buy do not work well or for long with this item. Car batteries require recharging between two consecutive uses with this heating equipment. This requires beekeepers aiming to use this equipment to invest in additional batteries, whereas they may already have a car battery they can use when they visit the apiary.
The GreenBeehives The Victor Varroa Mite Destroyer is effective at its job while allowing the beekeeper to avoid introducing chemicals in to the beehive. Some of the chemicals that would be used to control these Varroa mites might also have the potential to harm bees – especially if over-applied. Varroa mites have also shown resilience in the face of chemical treatments over time. They develop resistance to some of the commonly used chemical treatments over time, rendering the chemical treatments useless in beekeeping. For more information on homemade Varroa mite treatments, click here.
A Final Word
Heat treatment is an altogether different method of Varroa mite control. Mites cannot develop resistance to heat treatment that can kill them. This makes the GreenBeehives Victor a piece of beekeeping equipment that you can use for many years to control Varroa mites in your apiary. It is a worthy investment for beekeepers of all experience and skill levels, whether beginner beekeepers or experienced beekeepers.