Apiguard is a sophisticated, patented slow release gel that ensures correct dosage of its active ingredient, thymol. Thymol is a naturally occurring substance derived from the plant thyme.
Apiguard gel comes in 50g ready-to-use aluminium trays (two will treat one standard colony). In certain markets, Apiguard is also available in 3kg tubs and 25g sachets.
Apiguard has no harmful effect on the honeybee colony: neither on brood nor on adults. In regulatory terms, the EC maximum residue limit of Apiguard has been classified as “No MRL necessary” because of its low toxicity and hive residue profile.
Once in place, vapour from the Apiguard gel is given off. Unlike some other formulations and raw crystals, the release from the gel works steadily and does not disturb the bees unduly.
Worker bees climb into the Apiguard tray, remove the gel as a hive-cleaning behaviour and distribute it throughout the colony. The gel sticks to the bees’ body hairs and, as the bees move through the hive, particles are left throughout the hive. The worker eventually throws out the gel it is carrying, but the traces remain until they too are removed later.
Apiguard is extremely easy to use:
- Place the opened tray face upwards in the top of brood frames, preferably centred over the colony.
- After 10 days examine the tray and if it is almost empty, replace with a second tray. If there is product left in the tray after 10 days leave until day 14 and then replace.
- Leave the second tray in position for a further 2-4 weeks and treatment has been completed (duration of treatment therefore lasts 4-6 weeks).
Apiguard works best in temperatures above 15°C. But it is also effective at lower temperatures even though the gel takes longer to evaporate and the gel needs to be left I place for longer.
For the latest detailed update on using Apiguard, see Vita’s latest Apiguard FAQ and video (above).