Get to Know Tropilaelaps Mites, Another Serious Parasite of Honey Bees

Tropilaelaps clareae

By Josh Lancette The plight of honey bees is well documented, as is the cause of much of their grief: parasitic mites. Varroa destructor gets the largest amount of attention as the most devastating parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but other serious parasitic mites exist as well. In a new review article published […]

Mite-Resistant Russian Honey Bees Might Not Prevent Varroa Infestations

honey bee with varroa mite

By Meredith Swett Walker Imagine a parasite about the size of a grapefruit, and it’s latched onto your back where you just can’t reach it. Now imagine that parasite is sucking your blood and that its cronies are reproducing rapidly in your home and attacking your family. This horrifying scenario is essentially what the mite […]

Why Human Behavior is Hurting Honey Bees

honey bee with varroa mite

In the search for answers to the complex health problems and colony losses experienced by honey bees in recent years, it may be time for professionals and hobbyists in the beekeeping industry to look in the mirror. In a research essay published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Robert Owen argues that human […]

Why Do Varroa Mite Populations Sometimes Increase in the Fall?

The Varroa mite is public enemy number one to honey bees in the United States. Like little vampires, they suck the bees’ “blood” (hemolymph) and transmit viruses that can harm or kill them. According to Kirsten Traynor, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology at UMD, “We know that Varroa acts as a vector for viruses. The […]

Varroa Mites and Associated Honey Bee Diseases More Severe than Previously Thought

Researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently completed the first comprehensive, multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease as part of the National Honey Bee Disease Survey. Key findings, which are published in the journal Apidologie, show that the Varroa mite, a major honey bee pest, is far […]