Questions & Answers
How does the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller work?
The Varroa Controller takes advantage that the mite resists less heat than the bee pupae. Both are locked in the capped brood cell. By taking the frames with capped brood cells out and expose them to the correct temperature for the correct time the mite will die.
What do I have to do when I want to do the heat treatment?
In spring, when there are still few frames with capped brood cells, one takes out these frames brushes of the bees and places them in the Varroa Controller. The treatment as such runs fully automatic.
How many mites are killed during the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller?
All mites locked in the cells are killed during the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller.
How do you know the efficiency of the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller?
We know the efficacy of the treatment since the Varroa Controller has been tested many time from us, our clients but also from the Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau, Fachzentrum Bienen, Veitshöchheim in Germany. During this test the Varroa Controller has shown best performance.
Is it the circulated warm air that treats the brood frames against the Varroa mites?
Yes, during the treatment warm air circulates and warms up the brood frames, but apart from warm air also humidification is needed to have a successful treatment.
Why is the heat treatment so much more effective to compare to any other method?
The heat treatment with the Varroa Controller is attacking the mite at the place of reproduction. Already before the mites become a danger to the hive they are killed using the heat treatment.
Can a heat treatment harm the brood?
If the heat treatment runs with correct parameters regarding maximum temperature, correct timing and constant humidification the heat treatment is not harming the brood. In case there would be not enough humidity the brood cells would dry out. As such the Varroa Controller at any time measures humidity and makes sure there is always enough humidity during the entire treatment.
Why increased temperature can kill the mites but not brood during the treatment with the Varroa Controller?
Simply because the mite is more sensitive to heat than the bee pupae. This effect is know for a long time.
What is the best time to do the treatment?
The best time is a.) in spring to eliminate the mites from the hive long before they can be a dange to the hive b.) when forming ne colonies using brood frames to allow a perfect start for the new colony c.) in summer at the time of the honey harvest and after applying the Duplex-Frame box that helps reducing the amount of frames to two only d.) in autumn for the last but very important treatment to reduce the mite population for safe overwintering.
How is the temperature controlled in the brood frames during the treatment with the Varroa Controller?
The Varroa Controller is equipped with very precise sensors measuring the temperature and the humidity at any time during the treatment. These precise sensors make sure that the heat treatment is successful.
Do I have to be present and checking the temperature during the treatment with the Varroa Controller?
No, this is not needed.
Most of the beehives nowadays are standing in the fields. What do you recommend here, what kind of device would you recommend to have to power the Varroa Controller with the electricity.
About half of our clients are using the Varroa Controller with a small generator. Any generator that produced permanently 800W is sufficient.
Which of the mites (offspring and adults) are killed by the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller?
Both types are killed.
Can you put the reference to the research institute who tested the Varroa Controller?
Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau, Fachzentrum Bienen, Veitshöchheim, Germany
Could the mites get resistant to heat used in the Varroa Controller?
No this is not possible.
What weather conditions are necessary for treatment with the Varroa Controller?
It is advisable the open the hive to get the brood frames only if there is an outside temperature of 18 degree Celcius otherwise bees don’t like that too much. When it is very hot (above 33 degree Celcius) one should not do a heat treatment.
Where are the mites located in the colony?
In spring more than 80% of the mites are located in the capped brood cells. This is why the Varroa Controller is designed to kill those.
How and how often do I have to disinfect the Varroa Controller?
If one shares the device it is recommended to disinfect the Varroa Controller after handing the machine over to another bee keeper.
I have 200 hives. How I can integrate the heat treatment with the Varroa Controller into my commercial beekeeping?
With one Varroa Controller the brood frames of 20 hives can be treated with one machine in one day. For 200 hives two or three devices are recommended. Then 40 respectively 60 hives can be treated in one day.
The cost of the Varroa Controller seems high for a hobby beekeeper. It is not reasonable to buy for the beekeeper with small number of hives.
Please consider that a dead hive in spring costs you the bees, the queen, the wax, the time to clean up and disinfect the hive, the honey you can not harvest, etc. All in all the price on the Varroa Controller is equivalent to maybe 7-10 hives you need to buy again is spring.
If you have only a few colonies you may want to find a bee keeper in your neighborhood and share the product with him or her. Maybe of interest is then the Varroa Controller Light.
Can one rent the Varroa Controller?
Yes there are already Varroa Controller owners who rent their device – please check out the section “rent” at the website.