Honey bee miticide gets EPA green light

Beekeepers will soon be allowed to use Apivar to treat honey bee colonies for Varroa mites, one of the leading causes of global honeybee population decline and a contributing factor in CCD.

Véto-pharma S.A., the French veterinary pharmaceutical company specializing in honeybee health, announced that the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted Section 3 registration approval of its Apivar miticide effective March 11, 2013.

EPA approval means that beekeepers anywhere in the U.S. will soon be allowed to use Apivar to treat honeybee colonies for Varroa mites, one of the leading causes of global honeybee population decline and a contributing factor in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Véto-pharma is submitting approval applications for individual states and anticipates this process will be complete by the end of April.

(See Honey bee alarm sounded as losses mount)

"Apivar has earned an excellent reputation as a safe and effective means of controlling Varroa mite infestations in honeybee colonies," says José Nobre, Véto-pharma's president and chief executive officer.

"Now American beekeepers can take advantage of the same benefits that much of the rest of the world has enjoyed for some time: Apivar kills up to 99 percent of Varroa mites in one application; it has proven safe and effective for more than 15 years; it leaves no significant residues in hive products; and, it is convenient and easy to use."

Varroa mites damage honeybees by feeding off their haemolymph (blood), particularly at the larval stage, where they weaken the host bees and introduce other diseases, viruses and bacteria. If left untreated, or without appropriate control of the Varroa mite infestation, colonies are subject to a high risk of death and become more susceptible to CCD. As a result, Varroa mites are recognized as the biggest challenge facing the beekeeping industry worldwide.


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Several research projects conducted by scientists in the U.S., Canada, and many European and Asian nations have demonstrated Apivar's safety and effectiveness when used in accordance with instructions. Similarly, other studies have proven that residues of Apivar's active ingredient in honey and wax consistently fall below the limits of detection, and are well below the strict limits allowed by many regulatory bodies, notably the U.S. EPA and the European Medicines Agency.

Apivar's long-acting, low-dose formulation means that when beekeepers handle and apply the product as directed, they can be confident they will not be exposed to any hazardous compounds. Apivar does not emit vapors into the beehive atmosphere or the surrounding environment during application, nor does it require measuring, mixing or any complicated application procedures.

"Canada's regulatory agency granted full approval to Apivar in July 2012, so, now that the U.S. is on board, we are very enthusiastic about the impact that Apivar can have on the health of the North American honeybee population," Nobre said. "Early indications tell us the product is being warmly welcomed in the U.S. market, and we look forward to moving Apivar into the Mexican market in the very near future."

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