How do they work? This species of Stratiolaelaps works by attacking the phorectic (adult) stages of Varroa mite. They provide an ongoing reduction in the population of Varroa by attacking and keeping it beneath a significantly harmful level to the health of the colony. This is in contrast to chemical treatment which has a one-off effect and cannot be used during nectar season.
Keepers will be provided with paper sachets which are placed on the tops of the frames. The predators are released from the sachet when the bees chew open the paper. The recommended dosage is two sachets (approximately 1000 predators) per hive.
How effective are Predator Mites? Stratiolaelaps are best administered in a colony where the Varroa population is already fairly low and can be controlled as such, as opposed to a colony with a high Varroa count. Our research has shown that regulalry treated hives maintained a far lower Varroa count than untreated hives, which showed a sharp rise during the season..
We have devised a strategy of Predator Mite use through the season. On signing up to the programme, keepers will receive the mites on set dates in March, May, July and September. The mites are stored at 10-15 degrees and should be placed in your hive within 24 hours of being received.
Cost is about £5.50 per hive per treatment (incl vat and postage) and they reckon each hive will need 3 to 4 treatments throughout the year if you do a full programme.