Varroa Mites: Control Them Now

By Gary S. Reuter, Apiculture Technician
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota


An important item for overwintering is to ensure mite levels are low—for sure by the end of August. You need to have at least one round of brood raised without mites in the cells to assure healthy winter bees.

There are few treatments that you can use while the honey supers are on. For the hobbyist, I think the best thing to do is drone comb removal. For this you put a frame of drone comb in the colony and as soon as it is sealed you take it out and freeze it for 48 hours, killing the pupae and the mites. At the time you take the frame out, put another one in, and continue this through the summer making sure you NEVER allow the brood to emerge. If you do you will have raise more mites rather than killing some.

Entomology website:             

Gary’s website:    

Lab website:

How Do You Use Drone Comb? 


We featured a comprehensive how-to article on that very topic in our June, 2012 issue (#24.) You can access it, free-of-charge, at this website, under Newsletter & Catalog. 


This approach is generally very effective.

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