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New natural treatment kills varroa resistant to other treatments

American beekeepers now have a new treatment in their fight against varroa. Vita (Europe) Ltd has just received US approval for Apiguard®, an easily applied, herbal-based, anti-varroa treatment that is already proving highly effective in the fight against the mite in many countries across the globe.
Apiguard is very easy to apply, is entirely safe for users, consumers and bees and leaves no harmful residues. It is an ideal component of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program which is essential to control the development of mites that inevitably become resistant to any single treatment regime. Apiguard also helps to control tracheal mites and chalkbrood.

“We have watched with growing concern the damage that varroa resistant to pyrethroids and coumaphos is causing to the United States beekeeping industry,” said Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita (Europe) Ltd. “Apiguard, our new naturally based product, has been thoroughly tested and is already proving to be very effective in regions as diverse as Western Europe, the Middle East, Mexico and New Zealand.”

Pollination in America has been severely affected by the decimation of honeybee colonies this year. The Californian almond crop in particular has been particularly badly hit: California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, but this year the lack of honeybee pollinators was a major factor in an the 18% fall in almond production. For the forthcoming (January 2006) season, bees are expected in be even in shorter supply – with corresponding increases in the price for pollinating colonies.

Dan Cummings, Director of the US Almond Board, said: “We need 1.4 million bee colonies – that’s approximately half of the total number of colonies in the US – to pollinate California’s almond crop. These colonies are becoming increasingly hard to find and in 2005 we heard about colony losses of between 10% and 50% across the country. We are therefore delighted that Apiguard has been officially approved for use in the USA.”

Apiguard is a sophisticated slow release gel that ensures the correct dosage of the active ingredient thymol, a naturally occurring substance derived from thyme, the well-known herb. It is extremely easy to apply: a small opened tray of Apiguard is placed on top of brood frames in the hive and replaced with a second tray when its contents have evaporated (usually after ten days). Bees’ normal social behaviour (feeding exchange and cleaning activities) disperse the treatment throughout the colony.

Apiguard is very competitively priced and usually costs less than other existing treatments. It is ideal for use by large beefarming operations where individual hive management times must be minimized.

Following this registration of Apiguard with the USA Environmental Protection Agency, use of the product can begin in individual States once they individually approve Apiguard.

Apiguard will be distributed in the USA by Dadant & Sons Inc.

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