Rational Varroa control with Professor David Evans
Varroa remains the greatest threat to bees and beekeeping. The mite, and the viruses it transmits, are responsible for the majority of overwintering colony losses. To avoid these, mite levels need to be minimised. This presentation discusses some of the science behind why Varroa and viruses are a threat to our bees before moving on to practical beekeeping considerations including how and when to control Varroa. Many beekeepers treat at the wrong time of the season for maximal effect, or use the wrong treatment. In addition to a late summer and midwinter treatment (which should be all that are needed for successful Varroa management) the opportunities to treat in the middle of the season, the importance of managing Varroa in swarms and the strategic, landscape-scale, management of Varroa will also be discussed.
David is Professor of Virology in the School of Biology, University of St. Andrews. His research interests include the replication and evolution of important human and animal viral pathogens including poliovirus, Zika virus and both deformed wing virus (DWV) and chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) of honeybees.
He is an enthusiastic beekeeper – an activity that pre-dates his research on honey bee viruses by several years – and a member of Fife Beekeepers, the East of Scotland BKA and Lochaber BKA. He runs about twenty colonies for research and pleasure and is particularly interested in queen rearing and ‘pottering in the shed with bits of wood and a nail gun’, activities which regularly feature on his personal beekeeping website https://www.theapiarist.org/.
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