Image via ABC Cayalyst 4094061.

Spread Of Varroa Destructor Threatens Australian Bees

Piers sits down with beekeeper activist Simon Mulvany to discuss the spread of a parasite killing honey bees in New South Wales. Simon explains how the varroa mite entered Australia, the only country in the world that was varroa-free until recently. He outlines the enormous damage the mite causes to wild and commercial bee populations and its threat to primary industries. Simon is opposed to the use of Fipronol, an insecticide banned in the UK and EU, to control the outbreak. He points to the work of US entomologist Dr Sam Ramsay as useful in understanding varroa and African countries as exemplars of pesticide-free healthy natural bee populations.

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Further Reading

Save The Bees – Varroa
Dr.Samual Ramsay
PNAS – Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph
NSW DPI – Varroa mite emergency response