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Varroa control

The Varroa Control Task Force of COLOSS is composed of Varroa destructor researchers, bee health experts, and extension workers. Current participation includes greater than 60 members from more than 20 countries.

Download the list of participants

Activities of the Varroa Control TF – Report 2014-2016

Formic acid strips used to manage Varroa destructor


Varroa Control members focus on developing and encouraging sustainable solutions for management of the ectoparasitic mite V. destructor, one of the most devastating threats to honey bees. Pivotal to the philosophy of the group is the adoption of Integrated Pest Management schemes.

The group’s specific aims are to:

  • study the impact of beekeeper management on V. destructor and honey
    bee populations
  • study the efficacy and safety of current beekeeper management products
  • improve current management options and to develop novel strategies
  • explore mechanisms of V. destructor tolerance and resistance in different honey bee populations, and to develop diagnostic methods and breeding procedures that improve natural tolerance to varroosis in honey bee populations (with COLOSS Task Force RNSBB)
  • provide recommendations for sustainable V. destructor management to beekeepers (with COLOSS Core Project B-RAP).

The aims of the task force will be achieved by organizing workshops to design common experiments.

Working Groups

WG 1. Varroa infestation assessments (Leaders: Ole Kilpinen)

Compare currently used methods to assess the infestation levels of the colony (e.g. the soapy solution, powdered sugar, and natural mite fall methods).

Download the list of participants of WG1
Download the definitive protocol

WG 2. Brood interruption (Leaders: Ralph Buechler and Antonio Nanetti)

Compare V. destructor control methods using total removal of brood or temporary caging of queens combined with oxalic acid treatment.

The COLOSS – VARROA CONTROL TASKFORCE took step forward and developed two protocols for initiating an international study entitled: