The more mites change, the more bees stay the same

In 1519, Spanish forces arrived in Mexico with weapons both seen and unseen. Between 1545 and 1550, up to 80 percent of the native Aztec population is believed to have been wiped out by disease, possibly a deadly form of salmonella.

In 1987, the varroa mite arrived in the United States with weapons both seen and unseen. In the most recent beekeeping season from 2015 to 2016, beekeepers lost an estimated 44 percent of their bees.

Coincidence? Maybe not. Some thoughts on the evolution of honey bees and varroa mites. Continue reading

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Varroa Mitey, the undefeated, inscrutable to the last

Our local bee club hosted Dr. Meghan Milbrath yesterday. It was free event open to the public and we had some 80 to 100 people show up. Dr. Milbrath spoke on the topic of “Towards Treatment Free” and I thought I would provide a brief summary.

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Dr. Milbrath at the start of her talk. © Erik Brown

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