ApiLife Var

Trevor Gillbanks

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I have been looking at and have started using ApiLife Var.
This is a Thymol based varroa treatment and I am using it as a supplement to my usual treatment.
This is available thru various outlets in NZ but it is imported by Api Life Var

I am wondering if there are others on the forum who are using this product and how well it is doing for them.

I have been very pleased with the results so far.

Thanks for anticipated responses.
 
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i know guys who tried it many years ago.
they had big issues with it (if i remember right the bees would properlize the biscuits). i think the workaround they did was to grind it up into small bits.
i suspect the issues are around having the correct temps much like other thymol products but i would guess humidity levels play a role to.
 

Alastair

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I have seen many hives using it although less so over recent years.

Nearly invariably it didn't work, but worse, gave the (usually novice) beekeeper the idea their hive had been treated and so was OK.

I also tried it myself when it first came out. My finding were that if everything such as ambient temperature, humidity, size and population of the hive, was all perfect, it would get a 1/2 decent result. If any of those things were not optimal, it didn't do much at all.

I also found, as per Tristan, that rather than blindly following the instructions, but instead breaking it up and placing it where it would do the damage, would get a better result.

An experienced beekeeper may be able to get a result with it, but for a new player, my own advice would be stay away.

If someone really wants to use a thymol based product, use Apiguard, a much more effective product.

That's my own view of course, could be wrong.
 
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I found it to be pretty ineffective plus increased robbing and I strongly suspect increased feed consumption. I know one beekeeper used it reasonably successfully for several years but basically had it in the hives 24 \7 . If it had worked better I would have persevered with it but when I did trials some of the varoa numbers went up during the trial.
 

mischief

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I had good results with it the year I used it in late Spring, but when it was put in in Autumn, it didnt work and I almost lost the hive. So I went onto OAVs. I did try to find some this last Spring but couldnt see any on Beequip or ecrotek so just stayed with the constantly having to do the OAV.
Both hives have larger colonies than before, so I must be doing something right for a change.

Where did you get the strips from?
 
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We have used an asurequality approved homebrew version of Apilife Var since 2012 in conjunction with a winter oxalic dribble. Ours uses the thymol crystals from Api Services in Wanganui melted with coconut oil. It will be a really useful supplement between synthetic treatments when used on strong hives with lots of bees and elevated temperatures due to brood raising. Don't use it in any queen cell finishers as the thymol seems to get into the royal jelly and the poor wee larvae crawls away from the royal jelly, and the bees cap off the biggest queen cells you have ever seen. So you get suspicious and open them up to discover a thymol - nuked larvae at the very end. We would cut a wafer in half and put four half-wafers in a circle between the two brood boxes, so there is an even distribution of the fumes over the brood frames. That will kill a few Varroa for about 8 days i expect.
 

Alastair

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Ours uses the thymol crystals from Api Services in Wanganui melted with coconut oil.

That would more closely resemble Apiguard than ApiLifeVar.

I have used similar myself, thymol + coconut oil, with some sugar thrown in. Did work quite well but can be disruptive to the hive.

ApiLifeVar also incoporates some other EO's that really don't do anything. Look good on the list of ingredients though.
 
Last edited:
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Oops, shouldn't have mentioned the A word. They dont have any authority, and thymol is covered by a code of practice so all beekeepers can use generic thymol, but there are a few unfortunates who allow Asurequality/Biogro to have a much greater control of their business through an organic management plan. Those unfortunate specimens need approval before they do anything outside of their stated management plan.
 

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