Mexican bees at risk

Bees in Mexico have become susceptible to parasite – the Varroa acari – which is leading to a reduction in bee populations in the country.

Varroa acari are very small ticks. Most adult mites have four pairs of legs and the mouth parts of mites may be adapted for biting, stinging, sawing or sucking. When such mites infect bee colonies they feed on the young bees.

According to research by the National Institute of Forest, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP), not treating the colonies infested by Varroa can lead to a 65 per cent less production in comparison to colonies where the acari is controlled. One problem is that current methods for control are proving relatively ineffectual.

Researchers from INIFAP have recommended an organic control of the pest: using powdered thymol (a natural monoterpene phenol derivative of cymene). This chemical is easy to employ and cheaper, the acari do not develop resistance to it nor does it generate residue on honey or bee wax if generating appropriately. The method consists in using powdered thymol mixed with powdered sugar. The mixture is spread in tin foil and placed in hives 90 days before bloom begins.

The impact of the parasite is significant because Mexico is one of the top five bee producing countries worldwide and also a major exporter to other nation.


About Admin

Been a Beekeeper for 20 years
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1 Response to Mexican bees at risk

  1. solarbeez says:

    I’ve never heard of Varroa acari. Is that the same mite as the Varroa mite? The ones that get on the ‘back’ of the honeybee between it’s wings?


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