Bee Survey shows the importance of proper Varroa treatment
A fascinating new survey from the USA has focussed on over-wintering losses and the effect of honeybee treatments or lack of them. These are the early results and the researchers will try to tease apart the factors to give a cleaer picture early next year.
The results contain some surprises, but the over-riding message is expected and very clear:
if you don’t treat for Varroa with approved treatments, expect higher losses.
The survey which was confined to the USA and undertaken by the Bee Informed Partnership represents 564,522 colonies, 21.7% of the USA’s 2.6 million colonies.
Beekeepers not using registered Varroa control products lost 27% more colonies than those who treated with registered products.
Beekeepers treating with Apiguard did even better, losing 27.8% fewer colonies than those who didn’t treat with known products.
Beekeepers treating with Fluvalinate products (like Apistan) also did better and lost 31.1% fewer colonies
Using powdered sugar, mineral oil or other herbal concoctions produced no better results than not treating.
Drone brood removal and screen bottom boards or small cell-size comb did not show lower losses.
The results of using Vita Feed Green and Vita Feed Gold were inconclusive because of the very small sample size. The raw data suggested fewer losses with the feeds, but the difference was not statistically significant because the sample using the products was tiny (14 respondents using Vita Feed Gold). It is expected that the wider availability of the products this year will show a conclusive and beneficial result in future surveys.