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Tutorial: how to control Varroa mites with Oxybee?

Table of contents

Oxybee is an oxalic acid-based veterinary drug to control varroa mite population. To better explain you all the key stages for using Oxybee correctly, the Véto-pharma team made a tutorial video at the apiary, in which you will find the safety precautions and instructions on when to treat, how to prepare the solution and how to dribble it in the hives.

Oxybee: an innovative formula based on oxalic acid and glycerol

Oxybee is a veterinary medicine for bees based on oxalic acid, a natural active substance present in very small quantities in honey, and effective in treating varroosis caused by the Varroa destructor parasitic mite. Oxybee consists of a bottle (containing oxalic acid, water and glycerol) in which you mix two sachets (containing sugar (sucrose) and essential oils). Glycerol is a key advantage of Oxybee, as it increases the solution’s adhesiveness to the bee’s body, thus maximising treatment efficacy.1 Oxybee can be used in conventional and organic beekeeping,2 and the 750G bottle is sufficient to treat about thirty hives.

Safety precautions

The Oxybee treatment is sold in a premixed liquid formula, thus avoiding the beekeeper’s exposure to oxalic acid fumes. It is therefore administered without any need for a cartridge respirator, unlike other oxalic acid-based treatments. However, there are a few safety precautions to be observed:

  • In order to prepare and handle the product, the beekeeper must use suitable protective equipment (acid-resistant plastic gloves, safety glasses and protective clothing) to avoid contact with any splashes.
  • The Oxybee treatment is administered to brood-free colonies (mainly in winter) for maximum efficacy.3
  • Outdoor temperature must be over 3°C.
  • Oxybee should never be applied during honey flow (i.e. no honey supers present)
  • The treatment can only be done once per generation of bees.

Preparation instructions

Before starting to make and apply the solution, the beekeeper needs to provide himself with the following items:

  • A pair of acid-resistant plastic gloves,
  • A protective overall and safety glasses,
  • A graduated syringe (with a small piece of flexible plastic tubing to extract liquid from the bottom of the bottle) or else a syringe gun.
  • A container of water at a temperature around 30-35 °C.

1. First place the bottle of acid and glycerol mixture upright in a container of warm water (between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius). The warm water helps heat up the solution, speeding up the dissolving process and making the treatment more pleasant for the bees.

2. Then pour the contents of the two sachets containing sucrose into the bottle, possibly using a funnel.

3. Close the bottle again securely and shake it until the sugar is completely mixed in.

4. Once the mixture has been made, the bottle can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. We advise you to write on the bottle in marker pen the date the product was mixed and make a note in your beekeeping records of the date any treatments are given

Application: action to take

Once at the apiary, you apply Oxybee in drops, i.e. trickling/dribbling it drop by drop into the spaces between the frames in the hive. If you have stored your bottle of Oxybee in the fridge, we recommend to first bring it back up to temperature by placing it upright in a container of warm water (30-35°C) again, so the product’s application is more pleasant for the bees. You then need to extract the product from the bottle, either using the graded syringe with flexible tubing attached to the end (more practical for reaching the bottom of the bottle) or by means of an automatic syringe gun.

The maximum dosages must be strictly observed: 5 to 6 millilitres of solution per inter-frame space occupied by bees, with a maximum of 54 ml for the entire colony.

After applying the treatment, you will observe varroa mite drop for several days.

Watch the video to see a tutorial from the Véto-pharma team, explaining how to use Oxybee:


1. Laub & R. Marx (1987) Glycerin, a natural ingredient of honey, Lebensmittel chem. Gerichtl. Chem.41, 110.

2. For organic beekeeping, it is advisable to validate use beforehand with your certifying agency.

3. Rademacher & M. Harz (2006). Oxalic acid for the control of varroosis in honey bee colonies – a review. Apiology. 37: 98-120.

Legal notices:

OXYBEE powder and solution for 39,4 mg/ml bee-hive dispersion for honey bees. Composition: 1 ml of mixed bee-hive dispersion contains 39,4 mg of oxalic acid dehydrate. Indication(s) for use: For the treatment of varroosis (Varroa destructor) of honey bees (Apis mellifera) in brood free colonies. Contraindication(s): None. Adverse reactions: In clinical trials, increased bee mortality was very commonly (more than 1 in 10 colonies treated displaying adverse reaction(s)) observed. This did not affect long-term development of colonies. Withdrawal period(s): Honey: zero days. Do not use during honey flow. Read carefully the instructions on the product label before use. Special precautions to be taken by the person administering the veterinary medicinal product:This veterinary medicinal product is highly acidic and could have irritating and corrosive effects on the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Avoid oral exposure, including hand-to-mouth contact. Avoid direct skin and eye contact, as well as hand-to-eye contact. Personal protective equipment consisting of protective clothing, acid-proof gloves and safety glasses should be worn. Wash hands and exposed skin with soap and plenty of water immediately. Do not eat, drink or smoke whilst handling and applying the veterinary medicinal product. Remove contaminated clothing immediately. Used measuring devices and empty containers should be disposed of immediately in a proper way. In case of accidental ingestion, clean the mouth with water and drink water or milk, but do not induce vomiting. In case of eye contact, immediately rinse the eye thoroughly with water (remove contact lenses first). Seek medical advice immediately and show the package leaflet or the label to the physician. Marketing authorisation holder: Dany Bienenwohl GmbH, Geyerspergerstr. 27, 80689 Munich, Germany. Distributed by: Veto-Pharma, 14 avenue du Québec, ZA Courtaboeuf, 91140 Villebon-sur-Yvette, France. V0718. Oxybee is a veterinary medicine. Please ask advice to your veterinarian, pharmacist or sanitary organization. In case of persistence of clinical signs, consult with your veterinarian.