Causes and methods of using formic acid in beekeeping

Formic acid is a natural means of combating pests that provoke the death of bees. On the use of the substance, its pharmacological properties and contraindications, read below.

What is formic acid used in beekeeping?

Formic acid (methane acid) is used in beekeeping to control pests. Drug-based drugs are also used in the prevention of diseases caused by the tick of varroa.

Formic acid is considered the safest for bees, because when it comes into contact with oxygen, it breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, without affecting the waste products of insects and without harming the environment.

Organic matter has long been used in beekeeping, which is due to a set of its constituent components, because in its natural form it can be found in honey made by bees.

Did you know? During its life period, which lasts from 40 to 180 days, a bee can “earn” no more than 2 g of honey.

Methanic acid is used against pests and fungal infections, such as:

  1. wax moth;
  2. a firegun;
  3. ascofer fungus;
  4. intestinal parasite of nozems;
  5. rotten disease.

Pharmacological properties of formic acid

The tool has an effect on living organisms, which is caused by irritation of the sensitive nerve endings located on the epithelium and muscle tissue, which provokes the stimulation of the formation and secretion of enkephalins and neuropeptides, which are responsible for the regulation of pain and vascular permeability. Thanks to this effect, immunological processes are stimulated that improve tissue metabolism and hemolymph composition.

  • The pharmacological effect of the drug on the body of bees:
  • antibacterial;
  • antispasmodic;
  • locally irritating.

Did you know? Bees communicate with each other with the help of body movements and pheromones secreted into the air.

Processing bees with formic acid in the fall: instructions for use

Bees can be treated with the ready-made “Formic” preparation or a self-prepared concentrate from methanoic acid. Preventive treatment is usually carried out in the autumn. The most suitable time is the beginning or mid-September.

Processing "Ant" is carried out on two hive hives, which can accommodate 10-12 frames with brood. Placing the concentrate in a smaller area can lead to bee death due to low ventilation.

To exterminate ticks and other pests in the hive, for starters, you should prepare materials:

  • plastic bag, size - 20 × 30 cm;
  • rectangular stripes of thick cardboard 20 × 25 cm;
  • 150 ml methane acid.

After the liquid is absorbed into the cardboard, it is placed in polyethylene, which is sealed. Immediately before placing the concentrate in the hive, several holes are made in the bag.

Important! The optimum temperature for the procedure is + 15 ° C, if the thermometer is lower, the processing efficiency is reduced.

The further processing process is carried out as follows:

  1. The roof, pillows for insulation and canvases are removed from the bee house.
  2. Insects are fumigated.
  3. The cardboard impregnated with the product is placed on wooden slats with the holes facing down.
  4. Further, the framework is covered with canvas, the house is insulated and closed.

Video: Bees treated with formic acid


According to beekeepers, formic acid is the safest method to combat diseases and pests of bees, even if it gets on honey, the product is not discarded.

The only side effect of the concentrate is the fact that it cannot be used in parallel with other potent drugs. Especially dangerous to the life of insects is a combination with oxalic acid.

Also learn how to make a heat chamber for bees with your own hands.

Side effects

  • If the drug was used in violation of proportions, then the following symptoms of an overdose may appear in bees:
  • aggression and anxiety;
  • swarm of bees near the hive;
  • death of working insects and uterus.

A side effect can also be observed in the taste of honey. The product becomes sour in taste.

Caution to use

When working with a chemical, precautions must be taken for both humans and insects. Begin processing hives only in protective clothing, which consists of: rubber gloves, gauze bandages on the face, things that cover the entire surface of the body.

Important! An overdose of formic acid is life threatening, so you should strictly adhere to the dosage and ensure good ventilation of the nest. Processing of bee colonies of less than 5 streets is not carried out - due to the inability to provide the necessary supply of oxygen to the hive, which will lead to the death of insects.

The sanitation procedure should be carried out only in the daytime at a temperature of + 12 ° C to + 25 ° C. The weather should be sunny and calm.

Beekeeper Tips

Infectious diseases in the apiary are transmitted very quickly, so experienced beekeepers recommend constantly conducting preventive methods to combat insects that provoke diseases.

To minimize the use of drugs in the treatment of insects, it is necessary to increase their immunity with the help of protein top dressing and the installation of frames with flower pollen. Regular cleaning of the beehive in the hives should be carried out, as well as the disinfection of equipment used to care for insects.

When treating bees for diseases, it is better to use natural remedies, one of which is formic acid. The concentrate in moderate doses is not toxic, therefore it does not harm insects and the environment.

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