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formic acid NYSDEC Letter - Registration of Special Local Need Labeling 9/04

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Solid & Hazardous Materials

Bureau of Pesticides Management
Pesticide Product Registration Section
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-7257
Phone 518-402-8768     FAX 518-402-9024

September 17, 2004


Mr. David VanderDussen
NOD Apiary Products USA Inc.
c/o Norman Jensen Forwarding
46763 US Interstate 81
Alexandria Bay, New York 13607

Dear Mr. VanderDussen:

Re: Registration of Special Local Need Labeling for Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads Assigned SLN No. NY-040006

    The Department has reviewed your application, received September 1, 2004, to register Special Local Need (SLN) labeling for Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads (EPA File Symbol 75710-R) in New York State.

    Mite-Away II is a ready-to-use product which consists of wood fiber board impregnated with 47.7% formic acid and enclosed in a perforated plastic pouch. The formic acid impregnated pad and perforated plastic pouch is packaged in an outer pouch which is removed prior to placement of the pad in the brood chamber. Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads are sold in packages of ten individually packaged pads. The product is labeled for treatment of honey bees infested with varroa and/or tracheal mites. The product is currently under review with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for a Section 3 registration. The USEPA's registration decision due date is December 26, 2004.

    The Department has received numerous telephone calls and letters of support for an SLN to allow the use of Mite-Away II to control varroa mites on honey bees in New York during the early fall of 2004. Mr. Robert Mungari, Director of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets' Division of Plant Industry, stated that the New York State beekeepers are facing a crisis battling Varroa mites which have known to have demonstrated resistance to CheckMite and Apistan. He also stated that at last year's meeting of the Empire State Honey Producers' Association, apicultural experts from Canada and the State of Florida raised concerns with the mite levels reported from the New York State Apiary Inspection Program. Apparently the damage threshold is much lower than the Department of Agriculture & Markets anticipated. Add resistance to registered controls to that mix, and we have the present crisis faced by our beekeepers. Also, there are viruses and other pathogens associated with these mites that can collectively cause the collapse of colonies with little or no notice from mid-summer on.

    Mr. Mungari stated that he has data that supports the contention that commercial beekeepers are failing to control this parasitic mite. He also stated that this material is needed now in order to prevent the loss of commercial beekeeping operations critical to the State's agricultural pollination requirements.

    Since the mid eighties, the State's viable honey bee population identified primarily for its importance in crop pollination has been significantly reduced because of the honey bee tracheal mite, the Varroa mite and now resistant American Foulbrood Disease. The feral honey bee population, important in the pollination of wild flowers and carry over into agricultural crops and home gardens, has been decimated.

    There are currently four products technically available for use by beekeepers for varroa mite control:

Apistan (fluvalinate) is a federally registered product but is not effective due to resistance issues.

Sucrocide (sucrose octanoate) has been recently registered by the USEPA and New York State. This product requires every frame of bees to be removed from the hive and every bee sprayed with a solution, a process to be repeated three times, seven days apart. The bees become increasingly agitated and aggressive with successive treatments, making the treatment process difficult and unpleasant for the beekeeper. Also, bees maintain a temperature of over 90% F in the brood rearing area, so the process of treatment in New York State can lead to chilled brood when done in the early fall.

CheckMite+ (coumaphos) is currently registered in New York State, and several other states, under FIFRA Section 18. There has been widespread cases of resistance to coumaphos documented throughout New York State.

ApiLife VAR (thymol, eucalyptus oil, and L-menthol) is currently registered in New York State, and several other states, under FIFRA Section 18. This product was first available for use in New York State this spring. This product seems very promising for late spring and summer applications in New York State when the average daily temperatures would be between the required 59% F and 69% F. However, towards the end of summer (early September) in New York State, the average daily temperatures quickly reach and go below the low end (59% F) of the required average temperature for application of this product. Therefore, the product should not be used in New York State as a fall application.

    The following is from 30-year data for daily temperature averages for three sites in New York State:
CITY Last Day Daily Average is 59% F
Albany September 21st
Syracuse September 23rd
Watertown September 16th

    The Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads are labeled to be applied when daytime temperature highs are between 50% F and 79% F. According to 30-year temperature data, the average high temperature on October 31st for Watertown is 53% F.

    Dr. Nicholas W. Calderone, Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University is the foremost expert in the State on honey bee pest management. Dr. Calderone is also an advisory member on the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets' Apiary Industry Advisory Committee. Dr. Calderone strongly supports the need for an SLN registration of Mite-Away II in New York State. Dr. Calderone considers the situation in New York State to be critical, with the survival of many commercial beekeepers at stake. Dr. Calderone has conducted studies with formic acid which demonstrated high efficacy and no damage to bees when used as a fall treatment.

    Therefore, under the authority of Section 24(c) of FIFRA, the Department hereby grants a Special Local Need registration for Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads (EPA File Symbol 75710-R). Sufficient documentation has been submitted which demonstrates that this product meets the conditions set forth in 40 CFR 162.152.

    The product is assigned the registration number SLN No. NY-040006 and expires OCTOBER 31, 2004.

    Since this product has not been registered and released for sale in conjunction with a FIFRA Section 3 registration, the product will be specifically produced and labeled for the New York State registration in accordance with FIFRA Section 24(c). All products distributed, sold or used in New York State must bear the New York State specific SLN labeling.

    NOD Apiary Products USA Inc. has agreed to add the following statements to their Mite-Away II label before it is released for sale, distribution or use in New York State:

    1. For Distribution and Use Only in the State of New York


    3. EPA SLN NO: NY-040006 EXPIRES 10/31/2004

    The Certificate of Pesticide Registration and a copy of the New York State stamped "ACCEPTED" SLN labeling for Mite-Away II Single Application Formic Acid Pads are enclosed for your records.

    Please contact Ms. Jeanine Broughel, of my staff, at (518) 402-8768, if you have any questions.


Samuel J. Jackling
Pesticide Product Registration Section

cc: w/enc. - N. Kim/D. Luttinger - NYS Dept. of Health
R. Zimmerman/ R. Mungari - NYS Dept. of Ag. & Markets
G. Good/W. Smith - Cornell University, PMEP

Mite-Away Label 9/04 (PDF)