Time-Release Miticide for Varroa Destructor in Bee Hives


Executive Summary


Starting in 2006, global beekeepers reported unusually high losses of 30-90% of their hives, which has since been termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The U.S. experienced a loss of nearly one third of the honey bee colonies each year over the last decade.  One primary cause has been identified: an infestation by the mite, Varroa destructor.  To combat this pest, many apiaries use organic acids as “natural miticides”.  However, current treatment products tend to be very volatile making them potentially toxic to the bees themselves as well as ineffective after a few days use. MSU researchers have developed a technology that enables a time-release method for delivery of the miticide for a longer, more controlled treatment, which greatly reduces the risk of toxicity to the honeybee hive.


Description of Technology


This technology is a time release miticide compound, which slowly and naturally releases its active ingredients over time to treat mite infestations.  The released active ingredients are environmentally benign and biodegradable. This product is designed to work within a honeybee hive over a period as long as 3 to 4 weeks, requiring fewer applications by the beekeepers.  The slower release allows for a more controlled treatment over incumbent products, which tend release most of their active compounds over the first few days at potentially toxic levels to the bees, especially at warmer temperatures.  The long active period treats multiple mite breeding cycles, which improves control.


Key Benefits

  • More controlled, consistent release of active compound
  • Reduced risk of toxicity to the honeybee hive
  • Less frequent treatment application (lasts 3-4 weeks)
  • Greater range of use at warmer temperatures than currently available miticide products
  • Byproducts are environmentally benign and biodegradable



  • Miticide for apiculture – specifically tested for Varroa mites
  • Treatment for Colony Collapse Disorder


Patent Status: 


Under review


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Dr. Edmund J. Stark, Dr. Patrick B. Smith, Dr. Daniel Henton, Dr. Tracy Zhang


Tech ID: TEC2017-0046


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University