Honey bees facing a tough winter, Bayer researcher says

November 17, 2015

From: Agri-Pulse

By Daniel Enoch

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2015 – U.S. honey bee colonies could be in for a bad winter.

That’s the word from Dick Rogers, the principal scientist with the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina, who’s been studying honey bees for decades. In a blog post, Rogers says he conducts hive evaluations during late summer and early fall, often involving up to 150 samples from hives across the country, and this year he’s alarmed by the prevalence of a hive parasite called the Varroa mite.

Rogers found through his research that a hive containing three Varroa mites for every 100 bees can mean serious trouble for a honey bee colony. That fraction may not seem significant, Rogers says, but a typical colony may contain 40,000 bees – and that equates to more than a thousand parasites, which weaken bees through their feeding and disease transmission activities.

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