Are we obsessed with Varroa mites?

January 21, 2016

From: HoneyBeeSuite | A Better Way to Bee


Finding the true culprit

The point of my previous post was that collapse by Varroa is often mistaken for absconding. ButVarroa mites—or more accurately, the diseases they carry—are responsible for a wide array of maladies that are often mistaken for something else. When we don’t see physical evidence of mites—that is, when they are not parading across the bottom board with flags and banners—we tend to blame the something else, whether that something else be absconding, queen failure, starvation, cold, moisture, Nosema, or yellowjackets.

Although they exist, none of these other ailments is as common as infection by Varroa. Bryan observes that, “Beekeepers dismiss being told it’s Varroa because they are told it’s Varroa nearly every time they bring up a loss.” That dismissal is sad because, most likely, it is Varroa that caused their loss. If the answer is dismissed, the problem will not go away. If that beekeeper doesn’t change his management methods, the same will occur again.

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