Varroa mites are a constant threat to managed honey bee hives, but the most commonly used pesticide used against the mites appears to have negative effects on honey bee queens’ reproductive patterns. A new study explores these effects and offers beekeepers insight on balancing mite management and hive health.
Nonchemical Varroa-management methods are more common among small-scale beekeepers, but chemical varroacides show wide use among all types.
Honey bees are in high demand for pollinating crops, and hives are often trucked thousands of miles a year to serve different crops in different regions and seasons. But researchers say honey bees show signs of stress from all that travel.
Research in Pennsylvania shows that overall colony weight and the number of worker bees to be the leading factors in determining overwintering survival of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. For colonies in which the combined weight of adult bees, brood, and food stores exceeded 30 kilograms, overwinter survival rates were about 94 percent.