Re: Is their a new way to treat mites?
In my country Apivar is widely used. Here's a few of my personal observations.
You need 2 strips per brood box, ie, in a 2 brood box hive, you need 4 strips. The mode of action is not to kill mites outright. What it does is paralyze them, they fall off the bees and die of starvation over a few days. If you look at the floorboard of a hive with mites dropped by Apistan, the mites will be dead. If Apivar was used, many of the mites will still be kicking.
Because of this somewhat round about way of killing mites, some of them do manage to make it back into the brood cells and lay eggs to produce another generation. You don't get all the mites the first brood cycle. I've found to really get mites down close to zero, the Apivar strips have to stay in the hive 10 weeks. I have spoken to the manufacturers about this and they told me that at 10 weeks, the strips are still leaching around 1/2 the Amitraz they did when they were new, which is enough, but at the 10 week mark they should be removed to prevent underdosing & encouraging resistant mites.
Using Taktic, solves short term problems, and cheaply, sure. However the Apivar strips are designed to release a steady and constant amount of Amitraz into the hive for a sustained period, eliminating mites, and in a way least likely to encourage mite resistance to Amitraz. Expensive? Sure. So is resistance, when nothing works & everybodies hives are struggling/dying.
There is a lesson to be learned from Apistan. It was not incorrect use of Apistan that caused the speedy development of resistant mites. It was the misuse of agricultural chemicals containing the active ingredient Fluvenate, just dropped into hives any which way for a quick mite kill, that allowed resistant mites to develop as dosage was not controlled.
In my country, beekeepers did not use any form of fluvenate other than Apistan strips, which are designed to give proper dose rates to a hive. 13 years after mites arrived here, Apistan is still virtually 100% effective, except for one part of the country where a group of beekeepers misuse it for years (used 1/4 dose), which allowed the hardy mites to survive.
The take away lesson, is that Apivar is expensive, but used right and not abused should give US beekeepers many years protection. But if any random beekeeper is using Taktic at whatever dose rate he sees fit, development of resistance will be speedy, and soon you will not need to worry about how to smuggle in the Tactic, as it won't work anyway, and nor will Apivar strips.
Just my 2 cents
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).