Confusion is understandable here, so below is a quick guide to these three very similar-sounding names:
Apivar is the trade name for a varroa mite treatment based on the chemical amitraz. Amitraz is an acaricide/insecticide that has been around since 1969. Its chemical name is N,N’-[(methylimino)dimethylidyne]di-2,4-xylidine and is considered a “hard” chemical treatment. Some local areas report mite resistance to Apivar, so be sure to check with other beekeepers in your region.
ApiLife Var is the tradename for a varroa mite treatment made from 74% thymol, which is the active ingredient. It also contains eucalyptol, menthol, and camphor. It comes in the form of a soaked biscuit and is considered a “soft” chemical treatment. One of the main concerns is the strong thymol odor, which tends to linger.
Apiguard is the tradename for a varroa mite treatment made from 25% thymol, which is the active ingredient. It comes in a gel form and is also considered a “soft” chemical treatment. It also has a residual odor that some beekeepers find objectionable.
No mite treatment is perfect, and each has pros and cons. Just remember, if you want a particular product, be sure to have the names sorted out before you order. Selecting one among the others can be confusing.
Honey Bee Suite
Apivar can be confused with the other products. In any case, the best mite is a dead mite.