Washington State Dept of Agriculture Bee Report Highlights Varroa

January 7, 2015

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) convened a Honey Bee Work Group. The Group’s report, A REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE FROM THE HONEY BEE WORK GROUP, attached here, highlights the threat posed by the varroa parasite. The report explains,

The issues are connected: forage provides nutrition needed to resist disease; parasites such as the Varroa mite spread viruses and other pathogens; and a limited gene pool limits the honey bees’ ability to resist/overcome disease and environmental stressors such as pesticides. A limited gene pool also reduces bee breeders’ options as they attempt to improve bee stocks. Control of Varroa mites and genetic diversity are largely issues for beekeepers and researchers to address. Forage and pesticide issues, however, revolve around land ownership, land use, and land management; and addressing them requires the cooperation of many entities.

The report also discusses neonicotinoids and rejects new restrictions on their use,

The consensus of the group is that current scientific evidence does not warrant a ban or moratorium on neonicotinoids at this time.

Read the complete WSDA/Honey Bee Work Group report here.

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