A new study shows storing honey bee colonies with elevated levels of carbon dioxide reduces levels of Varroa mites, a method that might prove useful in reducing beekeepers' winter colony losses.
In the search for new avenues to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Varroa mites, researchers have identified breeds of A. mellifera that show signs of "social apoptosis," a defense mechanism common in Asian bees that are resistant to Varroa infestation.
More than 30 years after arriving in the U.S., Varroa mites remain the leading pest of honey bees. A new article in the Journal of Insect Science takes a comprehensive look at integrated pest management of Varroa mites and the prospects for new tools and solutions to reduce honey bee losses.
Mites in the genus Tropilaelaps could follow in the footsteps of Varroa mites as significant threats to honey bees if they were to expand their range. A new test using analysis of the "melt curves" of DNA samples can discern the four known Tropilaelaps species and could be an important tool in surveillance for the mite pests in apicultural settings.