Updated Guide Takes Aim At Varroa Mites
With increased concern over pollinator die-offs, the Honeybee Health Coalition has released a new guide to help beekeepers and farmers manage Varroa Mites. Dewey Caron is with Oregon State University’s Horticulture Department and is a Coalition member, said this edition of the Varroa Management Guide updates the number of mites deemed an actual threat to bee colonies.
“They don’t need to know that they’ve got mites because now they’re spread, virtually, in all colonies. What they need to know is how many mites does a colony have? And that’s a measure of risk. So, if there are very high numbers, it’s a high risk that the colony will not be healthy, will not do a good job in pollination or produce honey, and probably not survive the winter.”
Caron said the mites themselves aren’t the threat; the danger is actually from a chemical reaction caused by their increased presence.
“The issue is that mites are enhancing and changing the pattern of viruses in the honeybee population to the point that viruses that are more detrimental to the bees and likely to produce an epidemic, are favored, leading to entire loss of the colony.”
The latest edition of the Varroa Management Guide also includes new chemical and organic treatment suggestions.
Click Here to check out that guide.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org