The continuing effectivess of Apistan
Beekeepers often ask how effective Apistan is in combatting varroa a few decades after its introduction. The short answer is that it is still a very effective product in most areas and should continue to be so for a long time if it is used correctly. Here’s a longer answer…
IPM is the key
To inhibit the development of varroa resistance to Apistan, the product should be used only once every 3 – 5 years and should be alternated with other products. This strategy of product rotation (Integrated Pest Management – IPM) has been promoted by Vita Bee Health for more than 20 years. It aids the control of mites and prolongs the life of the limited number of approved medications for varroa control.
Studies show continuing effectiveness
The results of independent and rigorous efficacy studies (summarised below) show that where product rotation is followed, Apistan efficacy can remain almost as high now as when the product was first launched, over 30 years ago.
Summary of Recent Independent Efficacy Studies
Apistan: 92% efficacy (2020, FNOSAD*, France)
Apistan: 94.90% efficacy (2019, Veterinary Bee Inspector, Spain)
Apistan: 94% efficacy (2019, FNOSAD*, France)
Apistan, field study: 84% efficacy (c.f. Apiguard: 86%; Apivar: 79%; HopGuard: 64%) (Insects, 2018)
Apistan, lab study: 95.72% Varroa mortality (Insects, 2018)
Apistan: 96.92% efficacy (2018, Veterinary Bee Inspector, Spain)
Apistan: 89% efficacy (2018, FNOSAD*, France)
Apistan: 95.22% efficacy (2017, FNOSAD*, France)
* The National Federation of Departmental Apicultural Health Organizations
Vita’s ongoing monitoring
A technical programme of research and monitoring of varroa mite resistance to pyrethroids in general, including tau-fluvalinate and flumethrin (the active ingredient of Bayvarol), was set up and operated by Vita in Europe since the 1990s. We continue unofficial testing performed by beekeepers in different parts of the UK and elsewhere and results indicate that very many colonies have mite populations that can be controlled with Apistan.
How you can check that Apistan is still effective
As with any varroa-control product, we recommend monitoring mite levels before, during and after treatment. Apistan is a fast-acting miticide so comparison of daily mite fall before and 24 hours after inserting the strips into the colony will give an immediate indication of the effectiveness of the product.