Urban ‘treatment-free’ beekeeping leads to explosion in killer Varroa mites

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[Editor’s note: Toni Burnham runs one of 10 hives at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.]

In this season of vitriol we should all perhaps stand down, but there is something that must be said: if you are not raising or using locally-bred queens, or introducing hygienic lines, and you think you are doing survivor stock, you are an idiot. And I am so mad at you that my hands are shaking. My urban treatment-free neighbors, you have just cost me a colony, and a really precious one, too. In fact, I contend that your (lack of) effort is actually an obstacle, and potentially an insurmountable one, to the development of sustainable, resistant bees. Which does not even mention the hammer you are putting down on native bees in your area. Our urban clustered apiaries, containing bomb-silo Varroa factories every few blocks now, means that beekeepers that are really breeding for survival face an impossible challenge while you pump pests out into the world around you.

If you are an urban beekeeper, or are thinking of becoming one, I beg you to help me make a healthier new beginning next season. Please test, treat, know, and care for your bees. Or just leave them to someone who will.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Varroa bombs are real

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