Diatomaceous earth and Varroa

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Dec 8, 2008
Reaction score
South Oxfordshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
4 + 1 nucs
Seems like a number of beekeepers also keep chickens. Diatomaceous earth is used to help rid chickens of red mite.

Anyone tried powdering their bees with diatomaceous earth? I assume it would work like the icing sugar treatment and cause the bees to groom off the mites. It is inert so shouldn't harm the bees.
yes but the bee's can eat sugar when it goes in the cells,i expect this stuff would kill any larvae. Does not sound too good,if your an insect,and if i've found the right imformation.

86% silica, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron,and abrasive.

Pest control

Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure deficiency, based on Fick's law of diffusion. This also works against gastropods and is commonly employed in gardening to defeat slugs. However, since slugs inhabit humid environments, efficacy is very low. It is sometimes mixed with an attractant or other additives to increase its effectiveness. Medical-grade diatomite is sometimes used to de-worm both animals and humans. It is most commonly used in lieu of boric acid, and can be used to help control and eventually eliminate a cockroach infestation. This material has wide application for insect control in grain storage.

Is this the same substance you are talking about Wilderness,or is there another one that is safe.

Last edited:
What idea is to try everything what comes into mind? Varroa cures has been researched in europe 30 years. It is not hobby job.
On a certain natural beekeeping site this has been mentioned before, and the response has been that DE is utterly lethal to bees (it'll shred any insect - including bees!)
OK, sounds like a totally bonkers idea.

Thanks for your input guys, I'll stick to what has been tried and tested.

Latest posts