If you love honeybees so much, you should also be thinking about bee pest control. This blog post will teach you how to eliminate these bee pests with effective bee pest control methods!
Often at meetings of beekeepers, I hear the old timers talk about how it used to be. They’d go out in the spring set up the hives, maybe add a super or two over the summer, and return in the fall to collect the honey. Beekeeping has changed.
Modern beekeepers must contend with Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticides and herbicides, and (depending on where you live) the small hive beetle. In my area, the small hive beetle is the thing causing beekeepers to lose the most sleep. Here are the main things that you and your bees will have to contend with. Again, I’m writing this in the American South, in your country or region, you may have different problems to deal with. They are the reasons why we need to do bee pest control.
Let’s start with the biggest and most scary, Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD is a new phenomenon famous first in October 2006. Beekeepers began reporting losing 30 to 90 percent of their hives. It’s unclear what the exact cause is and it is possible that there are several factors at work. No dead bees are present unlike in a diseased hive, the colonies just disappear adding to the mystery. Since we don’t know the actual cause there isn’t anything a beekeeper can do to effectively prevent this except make sure that your hives are as healthy as possible. There are many things we can do to affect the health of the hive.
Tracheal mites: a parasite that lives and breeds inside the breathing tube of a bee. Some strains of bees live to increase their natural resistance to this pest and there are several in-hive fumigants available for use.
Small hive beetle: a pest that came along with globalization, can take down an entire hive and destroy a honey crop. The bees have some means of dealing with containing these pests but opening the hive too often where they are present can disrupt the bees efforts and aid the SHB. There are several traps and deterrents available to help the beekeeper keep them under control.
Wax Moths: Wax moths can disappear by keeping a hive strong and healthy. I did lose a weak hive to these pests last year and it is a messy clean up, but with easy recovery. It is also important to properly store equipment when not in use to prevent the moths from getting a foothold.
Nosema a parasite that causes dysentery in honeybees.
Varroa Mites are a parasite that live on the bees, weaken them, and make them susceptible to disease. As an expert at our bee meeting put it “It would be like you having a tick the size of a basketball on you.” They are visible to the naked eye so it’s not difficult to figure out if your hive has a problem with them. So far, for me they haven’t been an issue. Dusting the hives with powdered sugar is a simple way to deal with them. As the bees clean each other off they remove the mites in the process.
These are the major problems most often found by American and European beekeepers. There are ways of dealing with all of them and good hive management will either prevent or control most of them.
Even with all this remember, don’t worry! You can do this bee pest control!
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