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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » Honey Bee Research » Research » Research Project #424553

Research Project: Determining the Efficacy of Hopguard in Colonies and in Packaged Bees Across the United States

Location: Honey Bee Research

Project Number: 2022-21000-018-02-C
Project Type: Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2011
End Date: Mar 31, 2015

The goals of this project are: 1) determine the times throughout the year to apply HopGuard to optimize control of Varroa under different geographical, time of year, and management conditions, and 2) determine the applicability of the treatment of packaged bees with HopGuard for Varroa mite control and subsequent health and longevity of the resultant hives.

To determine the timing of applications of HopGuard strips in colonies that optimize Varroa control, we will first conduct simulations with the Varroa/honey bee colony population dynamics model developed by Dr. DeGrandi-Hoffman. The model will generate the timing of applications throughout the year that will keep Varroa populations below levels that impact colony health and survival. Simulations will be run using weather conditions from different geographic regions of the U.S. We will put HopGuard strips in colonies at times of year predicted to result in optimum mite control by the model. We will monitor mite populations in the colonies using the sugar shake method and/or sticky boards, and compare mite numbers with predictions from the model. We will as well treat commercial “packaged bees” with HopGuard strips and evaluate mite mortality/Varroa infection. We will establish new hives with treated packages vs. controls to determine if hive health is altered by HopGuard treatment. Hive health will be judged by normal health monitors (Queen behavior, brood development, frames of bees, etc.). The DeGrandi-Hoffman modeling will as well be utilized here to predict needed control from HopGuard to achieve improved hive health.