Honey Bee Threats Pt 1

Honey Bee Threats Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Washington State University’s new Honey Bee & Pollinator Research, Extension and Education Facility in Othello is now open for business.

WSU Department of Entomology Chair Laura Lavine says their research will cover a lot of territory, including the fact that all kinds of pollinators have been losing habitat and declining in numbers …

LAVINE … “Honey bees are managed and they have experienced also a decline in suitable foraging habitat as well as a whole suite of diseases, particularly the Varroa Mite.”

Lavine says Varroa Mites not only decimate honey bee populations, but spread virus and disease …

LAVINE … “And so, the colony collapse disorder is really a collection, particularly for honey bees, a collection of problems that all seem to have come to a head, in the perfect storm, and the Varroa Mite is kind of a linchpin pest in this situation.”

The Varroa Mite, Lavine says is a LARGE parasite … as parasites go …

LAVINE … “It’s a parasite that lives inside the hives. If you yourself, as a human, had a Varroa Mite on you, it would be the size of a chicken. You would be carrying around a chicken feeding on you. That’s the analogy that’s used. It makes it much more real to me to use that analogy.”

But, Lavine says another HUGE concern is the Giant Asian Hornet …

LAVINE … “You should definitely check out the Washington State Department of Ag website and pest information about the Giant Asian Hornet. It can decimate, I forget the exact number, but it’s like thousands of bees, it just rips the heads off of these bees.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on the Giant Asian Hornet.

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