View Full Version : Vinegar as a medication

08-31-2000, 01:45 PM
Is anyone aware of any research into the use of vinegar for everything that ails the hive?
A beekeeper from the NW is claiming that vinegar treatments are curing everything from AFB to mites. He has been using this for the last couple of years with excellent success. This is second hand information and I don't have any details, but a large operator is going to do some testing on his hives before he will make recommendations.



09-01-2000, 08:52 PM
Mike -

The only thing I've read on this treatment method is a report I received from the Florida Beekeeping group. Be careful of 2nd hand information.


Twenty colonies of honey bees, each with a laying queen and adequate
stores of honey and pollen, were used to evaluate vaporized vinegar
as a method for varroa control. All colonies in the study had
previously been determined by ether roll to contain sufficient varroa
mites to warrant treatment. Colonies were located near Altoona,
Florida in an apiary maintained specifically for research. The study
was started June 20, 2000 and was completed on August 2, 2000.

The colonies were divided equally into four treatment groups of five
colonies each. 1) As per label instructions supplied by the
manufacturer, white vinegar purchased from a local grocery store was
vaporized using a machine that heated the vinegar and then by means
of forced air applied it in the entrance of the colony. The machine
was allowed to preheat for five minutes before treatment began. One
tablespoon of white vinegar was poured into a receptacle in the top
of the machine were it was allowed to vaporize for approximately one
minute before a second and third tablespoon were applied. 2) Prior to
using the machine with vinegar one treatment group was treated only
with hot air for approximately three minutes each to determine if hot
air alone would have any effect on varroa. 3) One treatment group
received two CheckMite+? strips hung in the brood net for
with an USEPA registered varroa control product. 4) The last group of
five colonies received no treatment and served as controls for all
treatment groups. After all colonies were treated a sticky board and
screen were placed on the bottom board to monitor varroa mite fall.
Boards were placed after treatment because a part of the hot air
machine was inserted into the entrance and having the sticky boards
in prior to treatment would have interfered with air movement within
the hive. The boards were removed twenty-four hours later and the
dead varroa were counted. The counts were used as a base line to
measure the changes in varroa population at the end of the study. The
colonies that were treated with either the vinegar or hot air only
were retreated twenty-one days later. At the end of the study at
forty-two days the CheckMite+? strips were removed from that
Also at this time a single CheckMite ? strip was hung in the
nest area of all twenty-study colonies. Sticky boards and screens
were also added at this time. They were removed after twenty-four
hours and the varroa counts were made.

As expected the CheckMite+? preformed well with a significant
reduction in the varroa population. The hot air only treatment and
untreated controls had a significant increase in the varroa
population. Vinegar applied as a vapor may slow the rate of
population increase. This method of treatment needs further
evaluation before a recommendation can be made for its use.