Plant Health

The predatory mite Stratiolaelaps scimitus to combat varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in apiaries - risk to biodiversity


Report no:

Publishing: 07.02.2023

Key message:

VKM shall assess the risk to biodiversity posed by using the predatory mite Stratiolaelaps scimitus to combat varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in apiaries.

The risk assessment has been commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency.


Stratiolaelaps scimitus are small predatory mites that live in soil. Preparations with S. Scimitus is currently approved for biological control of Sciaridae (flies commonly known as dark-winged fungus gnats) found in greenhouses, plastic tunnels, and indoor planting. Such preparations are used especially for the cultivation of poinsettias and mushrooms, which are often susceptible to Sciaridae.

The Norwegian Environment Agency has requested a risk assessment since it has received an application for the use of the predatory mite to combat varroa mites in apiaries. The Agency has therefore asked VKM to assess the risk to biodiversity associated with new use of the predatory mite.

The Agency will use the report to determine whether they should permit the introduction and establishment of the species for use in apiaries as a biological control against varroa mites.

Prosject group

The project group consists of:

Anders Nielsen, VKM, Panel on Biodiversity (Scientific leader)

Lawrence Kirkendall, VKM, Panel on Biodiversity

Johan Stenberg, VKM, Panel on Plant Health

Micael Wendell, VKM's Secretariat (Project manager)

VKM's Panel on Biodiversity will approve the risk assessment, scheduled to be published in early February.


Micael Wendell

Project manager, PhD

T: +47 21 62 28 22
Send e-mail

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00

P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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