HopGuard® Varroa Miticide Bee Letter

The Georgia Bee Letter is a periodic newsletter bringing you the latest news on apiculture at the University of Georgia and beyond.

News Release

ApiVar®and HopGuard® both Varroa Miticides Receive Section 18 Approval for Georgia

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted the state of Georgia a specific
exemption under the provisions of section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,
and Rodenticide Act of the Georgia Department of Agriculture for the use of amitraz(ApiVar®) and potassium salt of hop beta acids (HopGuard®) in honey bee colonies to control varroa mites. This authorization for use for both products are subject to the conditions and restrictions listed below.


Apivar is an unregistered product (EPA File Symbol 87243-R) formulated as a sustained release plastic strip impregnated with 3.33% amitraz (0.5 g active ingredient per strip) manufactured by WYJOLAB for Veto-Pharma S.A.. All applicable directions, restrictions, and precautions on the product label as well as the section 18 use directions submitted with an updated application must be followed.

Label instructions are more detailed, but to summarize: To control varroa, remove honey supers before application of Apivar, use 2 strips per brood chamber with a minimum distance of 2 frames between strips. Bees should walk on the strips. Leave strips in the boxes for 42 days, then remove. Reposition as needed so bees stay in contact, then leave for 14 more days. Strips must be removed after a maximum of 56 days.

A maximum of 2 treatments, spring and fall, may be made per year if varroa mite infestation reaches treatment thresholds. Honey supers must be removed before strips are used, and cannot be replaced until 14 days after strip removal. Protective gloves are required.


1. HopGuard®, which contains 16% potassium salt of hop beta acids, may be applied to honey bee colonies according to directions, restrictions, and
precautions on the product label.
2. HopGuard® may be applied using treated cardboard strips at a rate of one strip (1.92 grams of potassium salt of hop beta acids/strip) per five deep
combs covered with bees in each brood chamber. For example, two strips are needed for a 10-frame brood chamber when all the combs are covered with bees.
3. For control of varroa mites, a maximum of three applications per year (6
strips of approximately 11.52 grams of potassium salt of hop beta acids) per
ten-frame colony may be placed in the brood chamber. Strips are to be placed only in the brood chamber (not the honey super). The folded strips must be opened and hung over a center brood frame with one-half of the strip on each side of the frame. Apply at a rate of one strip per five deep combs covered with bees in each brood chamber. Strips must be placed hanging between frames, and within the colony cluster, and not laid on top of the frames. Leave the strips in the colony for four weeks. Retreat, as necessary, up to three times per year. Application timing (usually during spring, summer of fall) should be based on the levels of varroa mites observed in the colony.
4. Applicators must wear protective (chemical-resistant) gloves when handling treated strips.
5. Honey should not be harvested from the brood chamber. Users may only
harvest honey from the honey supers. Residue data suggest that quantifiable levels of potassium salt of hop beta acids are not expected to be present in edible honey as long as the product is used according to directions.
6. Unused strips should be stored in a cool, dark area.
7. Any adverse effects resulting from the use of HopGuard® under this
emergency exemption must be immediately reported to the Georgia
Department of Agriculture.
8. HopGuard® applications can be made in Georgia until December 31, 2013.