Elimination of Varroa destructor

The mite called Varroa destructor is the main source of bee colonies mortality in the world. Currently, in order to fight Varroa we mainly utilize chemicals. Unfortunately, their effectivity is not sufficient. The mite has grown resistance to some of the chemicals, significantly decreasing their effect.

It has been known for decades that the only weakness of the Varroa mite is its considerable sensitivity to increased temperature. If we expose the mite to the temperature of 40°C (104°F) to 47°C (116.6°F) for around 150 minutes, the mite is killed. That is valid for all the development stages of the Varroa destructor mite.

The Thermosolar Hive™ is equipped with unique mechanisms enabling it to utilize the sunshine to heat the bee colony and honeycombs slowly. The heat does not harm the bees, brood, nor the honeycombs. Yet it kills all the Varroa mites inside the cells within the distance of 40 cm (15.8 In) from the heat source, which is a special hive ceiling. By a single heat treatment at least 80% of the mites are killed (usually between 90 and 95%). Only those mites attached to the bees currently outside the hive or at the bottom of the hive survive, as they are out of the reach of the heat treatment. Those mites return to the brood in five days in average to multiply themselves.

Therefore it is enough to repeat the treatment 7-14 days later, killing all the mites completely.

10 thoughts on “Elimination of Varroa destructor

  1. Is there a product you have that would be applicable on a large scale? We have thousand of hives. They are your typical 8 frames two boxes high hives with a top and a bottom. Do you sell just a solar top that can be placed on top of a regular hive box? So that it is something that can be used and applied commercially

    Ernie Ferraro

    • Trearmosolar ceiling won’t work alone, so it is not possible to use it on classical hives: It is necessary to heat the brood slowly, so no harm is done. Moreover, without specially constructed and insulated boxes with front window, it is not possible to achieve it. But it is possible to treat more colonies in one Thermosolar Hive. It is not only a hive, but also a treatment device. You can treat more colonies from classical hives just in few days if you have ratio for example 5:1 or 10:1 of classical and Thermosolar hives. Hive has also many benefits for commercial beekeepers, because of its long-term thermal support, for example significantly higher honey yield. It is necessary to note that Thermosolar Hive is not ideal for frequent transportation from one place to another, because glasses could be damaged during transport. So we do not recommend it to commercial beekeepers who transport their colonies several times per season. I would recommed you also our anti-swarming method that is less time consuming than most of other methods and is much more effective – more is here: Blog

  2. Thanks for the reply. Can you expand further on your comment about treating my current hives? Are you implying that we take out our existing frames from The hives and place them in your solar hives for a period Of 150 Minutes? Then repeat the process with untreated hives? Also what are your thoughts on this, your add mentions making custom thermosolar boxes, what about creating a extra large thermosolar hive that can be applied as a skirt to fit over or around an existing commercial hive? It would be large enough to leave enough space in all directions as to not overinsulate. One would extract the commercial tops off and leave them off. I’m curious if this concept would mimic the process to the incumposed commercial hive inside of your thermosolar hive. Perhaps heating it slowly. One could apply a 100 of the thermosolar hives to the commercial hives for a few hours at a time, treating a set or so a day. then repeat the process to the other untreated sets. In any case your product is definately a step in the right direction. I would greatly like to avoid medicating my bees. Thanks for your research, it’s greatly appreciated.

    • Thank you very much, Ernesto! Thermosolar Hive is primarily a treatment device. You can take the brood frames from classical hives, place them into Thermosolar Hives, treat them and than repeat the process with brood frames from other hives. The only problem could appear in places where there is not enough summer sun and which are on the northern edge of honeybee forage regions (like northern Canada, northern Scotland, northern Scandinavia), because than you can have a problem to find enough suitable sunny or almost sunny days with day high temperatures above 20°C. In such parts of the world we would not recommend to use this method of treating more colonies, only to use Thermosolar Hive to treat its one colony. It will be easy to find a few days suitable for treatment of one colony, but it could be hard to find enough days to treat more colonies. But if the conditions are better than this, there is no problem to treat more colonies in one Thermosolar Hive.
      As for extra large Thermosolar Hive suited over commercial hives, I would say that it is an interesting idea, if we are not experienced in this way However, it would cause a lot of problems which are solved in the construction we have designed. For example different temperature and humidity can easily cause deformations of the wood in classical hive contruction. We have such experience from our beginnings several years ago, when we have tried to heat normal hives. This is why Thermosolar Hive is insulated with special foils and is made of high quality wood with special joints and connections. So this is probably not the right way.
      There are several options for commercial beekeepers, for example you can treat more colonies with only small part of Thermosolar hives or you can try one or two hives and you will see how strong is the colony and how much honey it brings and at the end of the season you can try to treat more colonies in Thermosolar Hive to see the results. We are pretty sure that you will take another Thermosolar hives later. It is an investment with quite fast return, at least in western countries with relatively high honey prices. And there is also thermotherapy – treating without chemicals, that many customers would appreciate and which can be an advantage on the market.

    • 🙂 Definitely not, Jason. It is impossible to do thermal treatment in classicaly constructed Langstroth and definitely not with “one point” heater per box. We are very sure about it, because it is not possible even with much more sophisticated point heaters. Not mentioning the impact on the nearest frames.

  3. From what I understand, bees attempt to keep the hive at a particular temperature. Would they be fighting against this device in order to keep the temperature down to what they need?

Leave a Reply