Apistan® strips in a colony
Apistan, a plastic strip impregnated with the chemical pesticide fluvalinate, is currently the only legal material registered for the control of Varroa mites in the United States. Fluvalinate is a contact pesticide, meaning the mites must come in contact with the strips in order for the material to be effective. For this reason, the strips are hung vertically inside the brood nest. Note: In the fall of 1997 mites resistant to fluvalinate were detected in several commercial operations. However, fluvalinate should still be effective in most hobby and side-line beekeeping operations. Current label recommendations require that all honey supers be removed before Apistan treatment but they can be replaced immediately after the treatment is complete (if treatment is performed in spring or during summer dearth). Any honey left in the hive during treatment must be used as bee food or destroyed. Strips must be left on colonies for a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of eight weeks. The number of strips placed on a colony is dependent on the number of frames of bees in each colony. Use one strip per five frames of bees or fractions thereof; they should be evenly distributed throughout the brood nest.