Varroa destructor, parasitic mite which attaches to bodies of honeybees feeding off body fat. Infestation spreads rapidly, making affected colony very ineffective.
Varroa lays eggs into cells in which there are honeybee larvae. This way young varroa uses honeybee larva as supply of food. Honeybees which are born from such cells are usually disabled, or lacking a wing. They will be unfunctional in some way. If infestation isn’t treated fast, in matter of few months it can cut down entire colony. Sadly, varroa mite became unavoidable part of beekeeping.
For years beekeepers used various chemical treatments to cut down number of varroa mite, until now. These chemical treatments can have horrible side effects to Queens, in some cases even cause their death. But now, we discovered highly effective, yet fully natural treatment.
Nigella sativa, black cumin, also known as black seeds. In religion of Islam it is known as plant in which there is cure for any illness except death illness. Along those lines, after hearing about possibility that it could also work against varroa destructor mite, I tried it on my own apiary. Results were astonishing!
Application of Black Seed Oil
On top of frames, place small gauze upon which you will pour few drops of black seed oil. It’s strong smell will cause varroa mite to start falling off honeybee, disorientated. Unlike chemical treatments which can damage Queen, treatment by black seed oil is perfectly safe. To increase its effect, instead of gauze (which is easier, but works as well) you can make your own strips which u will dub into black seed oil. Position strips between 1-2nd frame and 9-10th frame for maximum effect. Make holes in top part of oil-dipped strips, through which u can slide in toothpick, which will keep them suspended between frames.
This treatment was done on our own apiary, during summer period when temperatures were high. Knowing that oil has strong smell, wich would have stronger effect in high temperatures, we are unsure if it was odor, or any component in oil which affected varroa. Whichever the case, to those beekeepers which consider this treatment dubious, or not worthy attention we would suggest not to give up on it. At least, further experimentation is worth it!
Author of this article considers this natural to be perfectly safe treatment, which does not harm honeybees !
WARNING: Since beekeeping community is very strong and widely spread, it was brought to our knowledge that in some countries only treatments which are approved by government are allowed. Along those findings, we do not take any responsibility in actions of individual beekeepers, that choice is left to you.