Are they chemical free? You’ll surely get a difference of opinion on that. Thymol, their active ingredient is a naturally occurring compound. On the other hand it doesn’t occur in nature at the same concentrations. So…it’s really an opinion only.
Handle both with care. Especially ApiLife Var. At 75% thymol it will burn your skin. If you get it into your eyes it can cause irreversible eye damage . My personal experience with both is that they are frequently disruptive to brood rearing. Sometimes the queens will shutdown brood rearing for a period of time. A noticeable number hives produced supercedure queens. I’ve had an occasional hive abscond shortly after application.
Otherwise both seem to knock down the mite populations.
There has been some recent comments about thymol and its effects. I have felt that the apiguard and api life products were stronger than the fall thymol dosed syrup I fed my bees the last two years. I didn't like what I read about brood loss and bees bearding on the hives...
I plan to skip using thymol this fall.
While the "API" products may be less harmful, I believe most members would still consider them to be more "chemical" than natural.
Check you're numbers at the end of summer, probably end of july beginning of Aug where you live. You need healthy bees to raise you're winter bees.
I wouldn't do anything rash before then, in my opinion that's any treatment.
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