Emergency exemptions allowed to prevent varroa mite infestation
MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. — Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith has announced approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of two emergency exemptions to help Mississippi beekeepers control damaging varroa mite infestations in honey bee colonies.
The following products have received emergency exemptions under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA):
HopGuard® manufactured by BetaTec Hop Products. HopGuard® cardboard strips treated with potassium salt of hop beta acids may be inserted in honey bee colonies or packages of adult worker bees prior to installation in a honey bee colony. This exemption expires November 30, 2013.
- Apivar® manufactured by Veto-Pharma S.A. Apivar® slow-release plastic strips contain the active ingredient, amitraz, which will release on contact with bees when strips are suspended in honey bee colonies. This exemption begins January 1, 2013, and expires December 31, 2013.
The varroa mite is a harmful, honey bee 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.
For additional information, beekeepers may contact the Bureau of Plant Industry at (662) 325-3390 or toll-free at 1-888-257-1285.