Varroa infestation: Save your bees!
Bees are essential insects for life. our ecosystem, ensuring the pollination of many plants on which we depend. But these precious pollinators are threatened by a formidable parasite: the varroa. This microscopic mite attacks bees, weakening them and can even kill them.
The danger of varroa
Varroa feeds on the hemolymph of bees, depriving them of essential nutrients. It also affects their immune system, making them more vulnerable to disease. A colony infested with varroa can collapse within a few months, with serious consequences for pollination and honey production.
Identify a Varroa infestation
The first step to identify a varroa infestation is the observation of visual symptoms in bees. An alarming sign is the presence of weakened bees, which can crawl on the floor of the hive or on the other side of the hive. proximity, showing difficulties in flyingand general lethargy. Another key indicator is the physical presence of varroa mites on bees. These small mites, red or brown in color, often attach themselves to the thorax or abdomen of bees. They can also be found on brood, affecting eggs, larvae and pupae. The wings of infested bees may appear wrinkled or distorted, and black spots, left by varroa mites, may be visible on their abdomen.
Other Signs of Varroa Infestation
In addition to the symptoms visible on the bees, other signs can indicate a varroa infestation in the hive. A noticeable drop in honey production is often a telling sign. Varroa mites weaken bees, affecting their ability to survive. à collect nectar and produce honey. A mortality rate is also a serious indicator. The presence of an unusually high number of Dead bees around the hive may suggest a serious infestation. Additionally, increased observation of capped drone cells in the hive may be of concern. Varroa mites prefer to breed in these cells, so an increase in their numbers may signal an ongoing varroa invasion.
Diagnostic Tools for Varroa Infestation
To confirm a varroa infestation, several diagnostic tools can be used by beekeepers. The hive bottom test is a simple method: a mesh bottom; is placed under the hive with a white sheet on it. After 24 hours, the number of varroa mites that have fallen on the leaf is counted. A threshold of 3 to 5 varroa mites per day generally indicates an infestation. The wash at agrave; alcoholis another technique: a sample of bees is immersed in water. in a pot containing alcohol 70%, which knocks the varroa mites off the bees. The varroa mites can then be counted at the bottom of the pot. Finally, the varroa meter, a specialized device, makes it possible to precisely measure the number of varroa mites in a colony, providing a quantitative assessment of the infestation.
What to do in the event of a varroa infestation?
It is important to treat a varroa infestation quickly to save your bees. There are several treatment methods, including:
- Chemical treatments: There are acaricide products available to combat varroa. However, it is important to use them with caution as they can also be toxic to bees.
- Biological treatments: there are natural alternatives to fight varroa, such as thyme essential oil or formic acid.
- Cultivation techniques: certain beekeeping practices can help to improve beekeeping. limit the spread of varroa, such as the use of trapped drone cells.
- Use of treatment Stop Varroa : It is the only one to prevent it. eliminate 100% of varroa mites. It can also be used in organic beekeeping. Stop Varroa is safe for bees and will not poison your honey.
Tips for preventing varroa infestations
- Regularly inspect your colonies to detect the first signs of infestation.
- Use varroa resistant colonies.
- Make sure your bees have a healthy and varied diet.
- Limit stress on bees by avoiding excessively frequent handling.
Varroa is a formidable parasite that threatens bees. It is important to mobilize to save these precious pollinators by adopting sustainable beekeeping practices and fighting against the varroa invasion. By following the advice in this article, you can help make your life easier. the protection of bees and preserving our environment.