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.
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.
A growing consensus deems Varroa mite infestation to be the leading factor in the struggles of honey bees in managed hives around the world. A new profile in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management details the biology and life cycle of the Varroa destructor mite and the IPM approach to control the devastating ectoparasites.
Nonchemical Varroa-management methods are more common among small-scale beekeepers, but chemical varroacides show wide use among all types.
Some researchers willing to question conventional wisdom, some crafty experimentation, and some high-tech microscopic imagery all add up to a discovery about the Varroa destructor mite that upends years of understanding about how it parasitizes honey bees.