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The varroa mite is similar to the tick you might have seen in livestock. As a matter of fact, they are close relatives. This mite has been devastating bee colonies for decades since it was first reported within the USA in 1980s. There are so many products and techniques that can be used to minimize or even eliminate the varroa mites. The use of miticides and other treatments has been on the rise, even though some beekeepers are still skeptical about chemical treatments. This can be justified since a lot of negative information is out there. However, it is important to note that chemical solutions are only used when deemed necessary and should be used with caution. Local regulations as well as information provided on labels should be adhered to. It is a lack of knowledge that causes most users to brush off a remedy even before they fully comprehend all it entails. Taktic Amitraz offers a chemical solution to the invasive varroa mites. Its main ingredient is the widely used Amitraz that works as a systemic acaricide targeting parasitic mites such as varroa mites.
About Taktic Amitraz
Taktic Amitraz is ideally an acaricidal drug that aims at eliminating the difficult varroa mites without posing any serious risk to the honey bees and honey consumers. It is a systemic and contact drug that will clear out varroa mites from bee colonies. It comprises 12.5 percent of Amitraz as its primary ingredient and will never affect the bee colonies when used properly.
Taktics are compounds that tend to have a little toxicity against warm blooded animals. It only has a serious effect on parasitic ticks, rendering them weak and leading to eventual death. Activities such as development, honey production, and normal activities in bees are never affected by these compounds.
Taktic Amitraz is packaged in 10 pieces pack that comprises 0.5ml each. This is sufficient for treatment of all beekeeping enterprises irrespective of size.
- The use of Taktic Amitraz solution is highly effective in eliminating the invasive varroa mites. A 95 to 99.9 percent efficacy has been reported thanks to the potent chemical.
- Offers a quicker solution to varroosis treatment, and will take a few minutes to treat hundreds of bee colonies.
- It is an easy solution for any beekeeper even though it is advisable that the beekeeper is accompanied by a professional if undertaking treatment for the first time.
- It makes it possible for beekeepers to raise a healthy bee colony especially during the tough winter months. This guarantees stronger bee colonies that are not susceptible to robbing, diseases, or parasites.
- Amitraz is an ingredient that is widely used in most products that target the varroa mites. It is therefore safe to say the product will deliver as one would expect.
- Amitraz is also useful in eliminating other parasites within the hive. It helps disinfect the bee colony of pathogens and mold, thus making the honey bees less susceptible to diseases.
The use of Taktic Amitraz against varroosis will require a Varomor smoke gun or a syringe to be successful. The drug is administered as an emulsion comprising purified kerosene and Taktic Amitraz. The drug can also be mixed with pure drinking water.
The Varomor operating through high pressure allows the beekeeper to administer this solution easily. The device is equipped with a gas cartridge prior to operation and is normally used outdoors. The Varomor will dispense the solutions as expected and ensure the chemicals gets to the varroa mites.
The aqueous solution is prepared by mixing 5ml of Taktic with 100ml of kerosene. Resulting solution is applied to the bee colony in the proportion of 50ml for 500 bee families. While spraying, 1 to 2 clubs of smoke is required for each bee family. A correct measure that can also be used as a guide when treating honey bee colonies is that of 10ml for every bee street. Ensure a two-fold application as well. This will mean carrying out the first treatment after the honey has been harvested, and treating a second time just before winter.
You can also use this solution with a syringe. This is done through droplet watering of the bees within the interframe spaces. Carry out treatment where there is minimum number of brood and when the club of bees is being formed.
The best time to treat honey bee colonies during summer is 45 days before harvesting the honey for the first time. It can also be carried out after all the honey has been harvested and 7 days before you collect pollen.
The best time to work on bee colonies with the Taktic Amitraz is during calm weather while leaving tape holes open. If treated during windy weather, ensure the tapes are closed for between 15 to 20 minutes.
It is also perfect to treat bee colonies in the evening, the time when foragers are already in the nest. If you have existing brood, then carry out the treatment in phases, comprising a 3 day interval for 4 times.
Autumn treatment will work best if conducted under temperatures of 0 to 8 degrees Celsius. This will ensure free moving mites are targeted and eliminated. You can also carry out the treatment in phases, preferably an interval of 3 to 4 days conducted 2 or 3 times.
Bee colonies should also be treated before wintering. This will ensure the bees stay healthy throughout winter and increase survival rates post-winter.
You can also evaluate the drug for safety before carrying out mass hive treatment. This will entail testing 1 to 2 bee families with the solution and then monitoring their response for 24 hours. You can include a veterinarian when doing this. Overdosing bees with Taktic can be deadly and hence the need to exercise diligence when using the treatment. Small bee colonies or nucleus hives should not be treated with this solution. Overuse of the product should also be avoided since the mites can develop resistance to the product.
You should avoid inhaling the product during treatment. The substance should also not come into contact with your skin. Amitraz can have some side effects such as vomiting, respiratory failure, depression of the central nervous system, unconsciousness, and hypothermia. It should therefore never come into contact with your mouth or skin.
Wear protective clothing while treating the hives. Ensure you have thick gloves, boots, glasses, and heavy protective clothing. Do not use ventilated suits while spraying the bee colonies. You should also clean the protective clothing thoroughly and take a bath after treatment is completed.
Pros and Cons
- Effective in the treatment of varroosis.
- Easy to apply the solution on honey bees.
- It comprehensive and will leave no place unturned within the hive.
- The product has a longer shelf life.
- It does not affect bee colonies if used appropriately.
- Guarantees an even distribution of the drug to all parts of the bee colony.
- It makes it possible to treat hundreds of beehives within a short time.
- An overdose can be dangerous for bee colonies.
Proper storage should be exercised with regard to Taktic Amitraz. It should be stored in a dark and dry place with the package unopened. It should also be kept away from children. This is to avoid ingestion of the product. Amitraz can be lethal if it comes into contact with the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
Any remaining solution after treatment should be kept in a tightly-closed container. It should also be well-labeled as Taktic Amitraz and then stored in a cool place such as the fridge. It is however advisable that you prepare a solution that will be completely utilized during the treatment.
The unused and closed Taktic Amitraz product can last for 2 years from manufacturing date.
A Final Word
Varroa mites may devastate bee colonies if not managed. Hives that are left untreated will collapse within two to three years. The mites inflict serious injuries on honey bees resulted in deformed wings, emaciated bees, weak, crawling bees that collapse and die, and wipe out the brood. These mites eventually lead to reduced bee population and a final colony collapse. The treatment of varroa mites through the use of chemicals such as Taktic Amitraz delivers a greater efficiency even though it has its share of drawbacks. Proper management of treatment is thus advised. It would also be wise for the beekeeper to check out the severity of the varroa mite infestation before choosing any of the treatment options available.
If possible, consult a professional before choosing any of the treatment techniques or products. Remember the bottom line is to choose a treatment option that will work and is still safe for the honey bees and the ultimate consumer of the honey bee products.