Don’t bee the next Varroa Bomb!
When it comes to prevention, it’s good to know the source and genetics of your coloinies.
There are initiatives around to encourage more local genetics from reputable beekeepers, such as the Northern Bee Network in our region.
Also, there is a relatively new grassroots State-wide effort underway to bring everyone together to benefit Michigan bees and the bee industry, called Michigan Bee Registry.
Routine inspections and treatment will be the only guard against Varroa mites and associated colony collapse.
Records and journals become essential tools in the beekeepers Merrill box. We are implementing the use of a convenient app, Hive Tracks this year, to help make inspection visits, even inventory records easier and convenient. If you haven’t seen Hive Tracks, you can try it for free before subscribing.
Hive Tracks is incorporating an awesome community feature, where local members can network with other local beekeepers in their community, which seems to offer quite the potential to help us learn who are our ‘Bee-Neighbors’.
Also, there are organizations who are helping to identify apiaries and beeyards in various agrarian communities, to avoid spraying toxic pesticides near the identified colonies. A special project of FieldWatch, BeeCheck is a free service, and you can sign up here:
Also, when you consider purchasing bees, PLEASE consider purchasing local nucs and queens from reputable and established beekeepers. If they are local stock, you know they are adapted to your local climate, and you can usually find details on the genetics.