Minneapolis Honey Bee Report 2016

July 28, 2016

From: City of Minneapolis

This report summarizes the results of a survey for 57 honey bee hive permit holders in the City of Minneapolis. The survey occurred between January and May 2016 to determine the number of honey bee colonies and extent of threats posed by the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor.

Understanding the issues




Varroa are a pest to honey bees present in most colonies in the United States. When not properly managed, they contribute to colony losses. Varroa are external parasites that feed on developing and adult bees. Damage to the bees occurs because of this feeding and because the mites are vectors of many viruses. Varroa are visible to the naked eye and are related to ticks. Mites spread from colony to colony on drifting or robbing bees. Drifting occurs when beehives are close to each other and bees inadvertently enter a hive that is not their own, whereas robbing occurs when foragers enter a hive that is not their own to steal honey. Early detection of Varroa through alcohol or powder sugar roll tests is the key to healthy honey bee colonies.

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