Potential side-effects of synthetic miticides on honeybees

Some of the chemicals in synthetic miticides can contaminate honey and cause it to be rejected at export destinations.

Over time, varroa mites build resistance to synthetic miticides and in some countries, they no longer give satisfactory control.

Beekeepers must find alternative methods for varroa control if they want to stay in business. 

There is increasing concern about potential side effects of synthetic miticides on bees (And on humans). There is a huge amount of information about this subject documented online.

Links to some of the info is noted below.

Disclaimer: - Information on the links below are not necessarily the views of Beequip NZ. We recommend that beekeepers do their own research and then make educated decisions. If you have important relevant info that is not shown below, please email a link to info@beequip.nz 


Amitraz issues:

  1. Amitraz and its metabolite modulate honeybee cardiac function and their tolerance to viral infection. Read more here

  2. Finally, amitraz — a formamidine acaricide — increases the heart rate of bees, with this effect most likely exerted through the interaction with octopamine receptors [76]. Read more here

  3. Amitraz can cause poisoning in animals and humans when ingested, inhaled, or after skin exposure (1). Read more here

  4. Effects of synthetic acaricides on honey bee grooming behaviour against the parasitic Varroa destructor mite. Read more here

  5. Chronic toxicity of amitraz, coumaphos and fluvalinate to Apis mellifera L. larvae. Read more here


  7. Exposure to amitraz appeared to double the relative risk of bees becoming infected by nosema. Read more here

  8. Amitraz As A Contributor To CCD (colony collapse disorder) Read more here

  9. While amitraz does not persist in the hive environment (Martel et al., 2007), its metabolite N-(2,4-dimethylphenyl)-N′-methylformamidine (DPMF) does accumulate and was among the ten most commonly detected pesticides in wax, pollen, and the bees themselves (Mullin et al., 2010). Read more here

  10. Amitraz has been classified as a ‘possible’ human carcinogen by the US EPA based on the studies on mice. Read more here

Tau-fluvalinate and Flumethrin issues:

  1. The adverse effects of synthetic acaricide tau-fluvalinate (tech.) on winter adult honey bees. Read more here

  2. “Sublethal fluvalinate negatively affects the development and flight capacity of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers”. Read more here

  3. Effects of larval exposure to the insecticide flumethrin on the development of honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers Read more here

  4. The negative effect of flumethrin stress on honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker from larvae to adults. Read more here

  5. Effect of Flumethrin on Survival and Olfactory Learning in Honeybees Read more here