I chat with many beekeepers, both commercial and hobbyist, and they all say beekeeping has gotten more difficult over the years. When asked, these beekeepers unanimously say varroa mites are there biggest issue. I hear other responses, such as low queen quality and foraging depletion. However, varroa is a nationwide issue that bas become harder and harder to manage.
Think about it this way, beekeepers are trying to apply a pesticides to an insect. Sound difficult right? Well it is! But beekeepers can successfully manage mites if they monitor and treat and/or manage mites appropriately. By doing so, beekeepers not only save their colonies, but these beekeepers can help colonies in the surrounding areas. So if you want to help bees, please monitor and treat accordingly!
This is why I am excited about the MiteCheck program! MiteCheck is a national survey where beekeepers enter mite and management data. This data is entered into a national database, where it gives the Bee Informed Partnership information about mite infestation, national mite levels, and an idea about colony health across the country. The goal is for beekeepers to fill their survey throughout the season as they monitor for mites. The more participation, the better!
To participate in MiteCheck, follow the hyperlink. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I am more than willing to chat about the program, what you like, what you don’t like, and how we can get more participants! This program is a collaboration between University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, and the Bee Informed Partnership. I think it is a great service, and will truly helps beekeepers now and later. This is an ongoing survey, and will provide longitudinal mite data.
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