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Field testing of thymol (ApiguardTM) under autumnal mediterranean conditions


The negative impact of V. destructor on honey bees in Portugal has been known for 17 years now. To cope with Varroa, Portuguese beekeepers have focused on using fluvalinate and, more recently, amitraz. The inconvenient outcome of this strategy is now becoming increasingly noticed, pushing for the introduction of a “new approach” to cope with Varroa. Therefore, this study aimed at assessing the field efficacy of thymol, in A. m. iberica honey bee colonies kept in a traditional honey production system (southern Portugal). Fifty gram gel cuvettes of Apiguard (12,5 g thymol) were left open on top of brood nest frames of Varroa infested colonies with normal amounts of brood for the season. Apiary temperature and relative humidity, as well as Apiguard disappearance, were monitored across the whole experiment. Some colony “behavioural” variables (e.g. defensiveness, nervousness, propolisation, pupal remains) were evaluated. Assessments of colony condition (capped brood and adult bees) at the beginning / end of the experiment and at the end of thymol usage period were made. Collection of fallen mature Varroa on protected bottom boards (from bees and ants) was maintained throughout the experiment. In Mediterranean beekeeping context, Apiguard clearly seems to be an alternative to ‘traditional’ pyretroid based Varroa control, with an estimated overall efficacy over 88 % (achieved with one month of treatment), meaning that it is very well positioned to integrate regional IPM strategies against Varroa

Palavras Chave

Varroa; Apiguard; Timol; Abelhas; Protecção integrada / Varroa; Apiguard; Thymol; Honey bees; IPM

Tipo de Apresentação
Comunicação oral
Tipo de Revisão
Âmbito Geográfico
Área de Trabalho

Murilhas, A. (2003). Field testing of thymol (ApiguardTM) under autumnal Mediterranean conditions. 8th Expert Meeting of the European Group for Integrated Varroa Control, pp.1-13. European Group for Integrated Varroa Control. Rauischholzhausen, Kirchhain, Alemanha.