We have already introduced you to our new, innovative addition to your varroa toolbox: Amiflex. We know you are excited about the first amitraz-based flash treatment available in the US, and we would like to provide you with all the necessary info to take the best decisions when integrating Amiflex into your varroa treatment strategy; and understand what efficacy you can expect from your treatment.
First things first, it is important to keep in mind that Amiflex was developed as an easy and flexible application to reduce mite infestation before or in-between honey flows, as a follow-up after the end-of-the-season treatment, and as a support to decrease the mite populations between main treatments.
That means, using Amiflex, you will be able to reduce mite infestation during the season significantly, but should not apply Amiflex with the same goal of a full end-of-the-season varroa treatment such as Apivar.
The profile of Amiflex is that of a temperature-independent application with the flexibility of a flash treatment, reducing varroa mite infestation in your colonies substantially before the end-of-the-season treatment in summer or autumn. Amiflex should be used to prevent out-of-control varroa mite infestation at the end of the season that can lead to parasitic mite syndrome and unhealthy winter bees.
Depending on the infestation level in your colonies, the time you have available before the next honey flow is coming up, and your goal using Amiflex, we recommend 1 or 2 applications.
For a single application (for example, one week before a honey flow is expected), apply two gel strips of 3ml each on the wooden supports you will find in the packaging and place them on the top bars in each brood chamber. After the 7-day treatment period, take off and dispose of the wooden supports and remove any remaining gel from the top bars before you set up your honey supers. There is no withdrawal or waiting period after removing Amiflex before you can add honey supers!
For two applications (for example, when you notice an unusually high varroa infestation in spring, and you need to substantially reduce varroa pressure), apply the treatment twice within a time period of three weeks – with a break of one week in between:
Looking at the two different application options for Amiflex, what can beekeepers expect in terms of treatment efficacy?
During the season, with brood present in the colonies, a single application (7-day treatment) will remove on average 56% of the varroa infestation in double brood chamber Langstroth hives and an average of 69% of mites in Dadant hives. Two Amiflex applications (7-day treatment + 7-day break + 7-day treatment) will remove an average of 81 to 83% of all mites from Dadant and Langstroth hives.
When brood is removed from the colonies before the application, treatment efficacy of a single application (7-day treatment) reaches between 98 and 100% in both Langstroth and Dadant hives. In the first 24 hours after Amiflex has been applied, an average of 93 to 94% efficacy can be expected without brood present in the colonies.
You already know there are no two beekeeping seasons alike and that a varroa control strategy must fit the situation in your hives. Monitoring mite infestation and adjusting your management is critical to success, but now you have an additional tool to adapt your strategy when you need to for almost any situation.
While an Amiflex treatment in colonies with brood present does not replace a full “end-of-season”-treatment, it reduces varroa load in your colonies drastically in a short time period. This makes Amiflex a great choice when you need to reduce mite infestation in your hives during the season to avoid out-of-control varroa buildup during the season.
In times of substantial seasonal variation and high viral loads in honey bee colonies, it is essential to have a variety of tools available to control varroa mite infestation. In order to preserve “all tools in the toolbox”, we recommend to follow an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) treatment strategy, alternating between a variety of hive management techniques to reduce varroa pressure as well as authorized chemical and organic varroa treatments.