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EPA exempts products to fight varroa mite in honeybees

JACKSON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved two emergency exemptions to help Mississippi beekeepers control damaging varroa mite infestations in honeybee colonies.

The products are HopGuard, manufactured by BetaTec Hop Products, and Apivar, manufactured by Veto-Pharma S.A.

HopGuard cardboard strips treated with potassium salt of hop beta acids may be inserted in honeybee colonies or packages of adult worker bees prior to installation in a honeybee colony.

Apivarslow-release plastic strips contain the active ingredient, amitraz, which will release on contact with bees when strips are suspended in honeybee colonies.

The varroa mite is a harmful, honeybee parasite that feeds on adult bees and developing brood.  If left untreated, varroa mites can deform bees and eventually kill the colony.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry has authority under Section 18 of FIFRA to obtain an exemption from EPA for a non-labeled use of a pesticide if significant losses of an agricultural commodity are likely and alternative, labeled products are not available or effective.

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