Guide to Beekeeping: Varroa Rules

Learn about the varroa mite and the surprising way you can control it.

| January 2018

  • varroa
    Varroa mites are parasites that feed off of honey bees and larva and can spread viruses that can cause direct damage to the immune system of a bee.
    Photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus/Bee-individual
  • cover
    “The Backyard Beekeeper” by Kim Flottum is an excellent resource that urban and rural beekeepers of any skill level can use to raise happy, healthy, productive bees.
    Cover courtesy Quarry Press

  • varroa
  • cover

The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden (Quarry Press, 2018), by Kim Flottum gives expert advice to beekeepers of all skill levels, including those just beginning to participate in this increasingly popular hobby. The following excerpt is from Chapter 5, "Rules of Modern Beekeeping."

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Backyard Beekeeper

Varroa Rules

1) Learn about Varroa.

2) The best way to control Varroa is the worst way to make honey.

3) Use IPM treatments first, soft chemicals next, and hard chemicals — never.

Varroa Rule Number 1: Learn about Varroa

It is well known that the Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, switched gears a few decades ago and moved from its primary host, Apis cerena, often called the Eastern Bee, native to southeastern Asia, to our managed European honey bee, Apis mellifera, which is in use in much of the rest of the world.

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