Varroa mites have long posed a serious threat to beekeepers and their colonies. It is essential that effective treatment plans are put in place against the parasites and their many consequences, such as deformed wing virus. Recently, a study performed by the Pollinator Health in Southern Crop Ecosystems Research Unit in Stoneville, Mississippi, also mitigates another impact the mites have on bees: making them more susceptible to negative impacts of insecticides they encounter while foraging.
This research underscores that treatments for Varroa mites may actually have additional benefits besides battling the mites themselves.
In the study, the miticide amitraz (Apivar), was shown to have not only effectively treated varroa mites, but also improved the overall vitality of the hives by preserving bee immunity to other viruses and insecticides. Varroa mites reduce important immune proteins and detoxification enzymes in bees that are used to fight off foreign substances, so limiting this ability of the parasite is essential in ensuring a successful hive.
Read more about this study here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAARS/bulletins/3612ebd
by: Olivia Schaefer