The following warning comes from Bob Cox, State Apiarist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Do not use any chemicals in the hive unless they are labelled for use in the beehive! The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is concerned about keeping a healthy beekeeping industry within the state and the pure healthy quality of honey. The relatively recent introduction of parasitic mites into the U.S. has put tremendous stress on the beekeeping industry. There is a great temptation to misuse pesticides (i.e. use a product in a way inconsistent with the label) in order to save on the cost of mite control treatments.
It is illegal to use any pesticide product to control mites that is not labelled for beehives. Much time and expense went into testing of the available products to prescribe their safe use. The only products labelled for use in the beehive to control parasitic mites are Menthol, Apistan and Miticur.
If apiary inspectors see any suspect chemical treatments, samples and information will be turned over to the Pesticide Bureau for investigation and possible prosecution.
Every beekeeper should take pride in their beekeeping business and their honey and beeswax products. Think about your well being in the long run and in the big picture of the industry.
This article originally appeared in the March 31, 1993 issue, p. 31.