EPA Registers Miticide to Combat Varroa Mites in Bees
EPA is registering a new miticide, oxalic acid, to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies. Oxalic acid is currently registered for this use in Canada and Europe. Recognizing beekeepers’ need for additional registered tools to combat the Varroa mite in U.S. honey bee colonies, the EPA collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the registration.
Consistent with President Obama’s 2014 initiative on pollinator health, which instructed the EPA to expedite review of registration applications for new products targeting pests harmful to pollinators, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs expedited the review of the application. EPA was able to expedite its evaluation in part due to a NAFTA “work share” agreement, which allowed Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to share their data reviews with EPA risk assessors and risk managers. Oxalic acid was registered in Canada for in-hive control of Varroa mites in 2010. EPA also had an established database of oxalic acid studies from its previous registration as an antimicrobial pesticide.
EPA used the existing data and information from Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, including updated reviews of toxicity, dietary exposure, environmental fate and transport, and product chemistry data. After a thorough evaluation of all the data, EPA concurred with the conclusions and registration decision made by our Canadian colleagues.
Varroa mites are parasites that feed on developing bees leading to brood mortality and reduced lifespan of worker bees. They also transmit numerous honeybee viruses. The health of a colony can be critically damaged by an infestation of Varroa mites. If left untreated, the colony will likely die.
Find out about other EPA efforts to address pollinator loss: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection.