Presentation on theme: "Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Beekeepers Pollinating Agricultural Crops elearning modules."— Presentation transcript:
Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Beekeepers Pollinating Agricultural Crops elearning modules
Module 1: Best Management Practices for Varroa Control
Why is Varroa a problem for honey bees?
Varroa reduces colony vigor by feeding on honey bee hemolymph. They also vector viruses and facilitate infection by other bee pathogens.
Varroa feeds on the _________ of a honey bee.
What is hemolymph?
Hemolymph is fluid that fills the body cavities of an invertebrate. Hemolymph functions like blood for the insect.
What is the relationship between Varroa and viruses?
Varroa can vector or transmit viruses.
That’s what Varroa is and does, now we will discuss how to check and treat for Varroa
d Does your colony have Varroa mites? How do we check?
Start by monitoring your bees often. Checking at least every 2 – 3 months. How do we do this?
1.Inspect your bees carefully, looking for the small brown mites or damaged wings
2. Use sticky boards for an accurate count
3. Use an alcohol wash
4. Use a sugar roll
What are some treatment strategies and do they really work?
Use biotechnical methods or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to suppress mite populations if action is necessary when surplus honey is being produced. What are some examples?
- Drone brood removal
- Comb trapping
- Powdered sugar dusting
- Screened bottom boards
You can also use Varroacides or organic compounds to remove the mites. So, what exactly is a Varroacide?
It is a chemical or combination of compounds that is fatal to the parasitic mite.
Do these methods work, and can we help assure their efficacy? Let’s have a look at what we know, shall we?
Varroa mites have exhibited resistance to some Varroacides in some regions. Check with your local cooperative extension office or apiary inspector to find out which Varroacides are most effective in your area. Rotate your treatments to help prevent resistance. Treat judiciously and follow label instructions carefully.
True or False: The stronger the hive is in summer, the less likely it will be heavily infested with Varroa in the late summer or fall.
False: A stronger colony in summer give the mites a healthier setting to reproduce in very high numbers. They can overwhelm the colony and cause its demise in a very short time!
True or False: Your neighbors’ bee Varroa levels matter in your struggle to keep your colonies healthy.
True. Other beekeepers in your area can easily spread Varroa to your hives.
True or False: Once you have treated with a strong varroacide, leave the colony alone for several weeks to give the treatment time to work.
False. You need to recheck periodically for mites.
Finally, what can a beekeeper do to insure the colony is free of the devastating effects of this hemolymph-sucking parasite called the Varroa mite?
1.You can check your Varroa treatment of choice for efficacy, which means more monitoring and careful management.
2.Always, go back and check for reinfestation. Varroa can multiply rather quickly. Again, this requires constant monitoring and a good management program.