Mites are one of the most serious problems for bees and beekeepers. The most serious of all is the Varroa mite, which is thought to have a possible link to CCD. They first appeared in the US in 1987 and can devastate colonies.

It’s often hard to notice Varroa until it’s too late, but one of the best ways is the sticky board. This is a sticky sheet underneath a mesh cover that can be used as a bottom board. Mites often fall off bees and have to crawl back up into the hive, but with the sticky board they get stuck to the bottom. The mesh gives the much bigger bees something to stand on without getting stuck themselves.


Treatments for Varroa mites ranges drastically. For a long time, Apistan strips were the only treatment available in the US. Over time the widespread use of Apistan created a serious resistance to it. Sometimes it still works, but other times it doesn’t.

Thankfully there are other treatments available, such as Coumaphos strips, Apilife VAR and Apiguard. All of these treatments have specific instructions that have to be followed regarding honey (to keep it from getting contaminated) so whichever you choose, be sure to follow the instructions on the label to the letter.

The latest generation of mite treatments includes Formic Pro, which is a new product from the same company that produces the previously popular Miteaway Quickstrips.

Varroa Mites

Varroa Mites on honey bees

Varroa Mites

Varroa Mites on Honey Bee pupae