October 17, 2018

Get Ready for the Mite-A-Thon!

The second annual Mite-A-Thon will take place Saturday, September 8 to Saturday, September 15, 2018 and we invite you to participate! SPREAD THE WORD - Local beekeeping clubs and associations are key to making the Mite-A-Thon a success! The Mite-A-Thon is a national effort to collect mite infestation data and to visualize Varroa infestations in honey bee colonies across North America within … [Read more...]

Join the 2017 Mite-A-Thon

The first annual Mite-A-Thon will take place Saturday, September 9 to Saturday, September 16, 2017 and we invite you to participate! The Mite-A-Thon is a national effort to collect mite infestation data and to visualize varroa infestations in honey bee colonies across North America within a one week window. All beekeepers will be asked to participate, creating a rich distribution of sampling … [Read more...]

Oxalic Acid Registered for Varroa Control

Click here to read the oxalic acid label. The toxicity of oxalic acid (OA) to Varroa has been known for nearly three decades based on experiments conducted in Asia and later in Europe. The initial tests compared spraying weak OA solutions on bees, trickling OA sugar syrups into honey bee colonies and OA fumigation (vaporization). All of these methods demonstrated very high efficacy and were … [Read more...]

Varroa Treatment Comparison

Maine beekeepers are thinking about their bees and parasitic mite controls, spurred by the arrival of this year's beekeeping supply catalogs, coupled with the recent snow melt after January's rain and wind event. Already, there are reports of hive mortality and requests for information and post mortem inspections. So far, most of the inspections reveal mortality due to Varroa and several cases … [Read more...]

Varroa Destructor, the Pest

The Varroa Destructor seems to have come to Maine in 1987, the year after the Tracheal Mite. Both created devastation in the beekeeping world and caught beekeepers off-guard. At that time it was referred to as the Fall Dwindle. It took a closer look to see that the die-outs were coming from a pesky little parasitic mite. The Varroa is now known to suck the blood-like body fluids, hymolymph, from … [Read more...]

When Disaster Strikes

In late winter, beekeepers often find themselves thinking about their bees. Apprehension is most common when the previous fall had dismal honey production and when houses creak and snap on bone-chilling nights during January and February. Unfortunately, there isn’t much northern beekeepers can do during the dead of winter. At best, newspaper can be added on top of fiberboards of live hives that … [Read more...]

Reflections on 2010

The past year presented several valuable lessons to beekeepers. For example: bees should be managed according to weather conditions and plant phenology, not calendar date; monitoring Varroa is crucial since mite populations can explode under certain circumstances; and the timing and choice of Varroa treatment can have variable outcomes. Also, reading pesticide labels is imperative!   In … [Read more...]