Mites could play role in variable bee losses

June 8, 2016

From: Manitoba Co-Operator

Honeybee losses are all over the map in Manitoba this year, as experts eye the impact of the varroa mite



A recently released study by researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that parasites like the varroa mite, as well as fungal nosema, may play a larger role than previously thought when it comes to colony decline, particularly over the winter months.

“Our biggest surprise was the high level of varroa, especially in fall, and in well-managed colonies cared for by beekeepers who have taken steps to control the mites,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology and the study’s co-author. “We knew that varroa was a problem, but it seems to be an even bigger problem than we first thought. Moreover, varroa’s ability to spread viruses presents a more dire situation than we suspected.”

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