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KayDee Gilkey Honey Bee Health Survey
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: May 25, 2017

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Bee pollinators contribute more than $200 billion in revenue from vegetable, fruit and nut production in the U.S. To gain a better understanding of current honey bee health in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has taken part in the National Honey Bee Health Survey for the last three years.

Laura Pottorff, CDA Division of Plant Industry's Apiary Program Manager, explains

Pottorff: "The more that we do this, the better our data becomes. It gives us a better window into what is going on with managed bees. We are seeing a number Varroa mite —which is a parasitic mite — that is high in both our commercial and hobby apiary. As well as a few other diseases, but it is the Varroa mite that we think is the most important. That is also true nationally as well. So this parasitic mite feeds on the blood or the hemolyph of the bees and it also transmits or spreads virus diseases to the bees too."

Approximately one-third of those apiaries surveyed were hobby apiaries, she continues

Pottorff: "The fact that a lot of hobby beekeepers may not be applying controls for Varroa mites, may be a big reason why colonies are collapsing or struggling."

She adds that CDA is trying to increase the number of hobby beekeepers to participate in this annual survey.


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