SOS Honey: My hive is no longer producing! The Varroa, the sworn enemy of bees

A nightmare feared by all beekeepers: realizing that your hive is no longer producing honey.

Although this phenomenon can have several causes, Varroa destructor is now considered the main cause of the decline in honey production worldwide. This external parasite, native to Asia, attacks adult bees and larvae, significantly weakening their immune system and reducing their productivity.

The impact of Varroa on bee colonies is devastating:

  • Decreased honey production: Bees parasitized by Varroa are less efficient and produce less honey. The decline in production can reach up to 50% in the most severe cases. Bees parasitized by Varroa have less energy and time to forage for flowers, which reduces the amount of nectar they collect.
  • Weakening of colonies: Infestation by Varroa can lead to a significant weakening of bee colonies, making them more vulnerable to diseases and predators. Bees parasitized by Varroa have a shorter lifespan and are less able to feed and reproduce.
  • Transmission of diseases: Varroa can also be a vector for diseases, such as deformed wing virus, which seriously affects bees. This viral disease can deform the wings of bees, making them unable to fly and feed.
  • Death of colonies: In the most severe cases, infestation by Varroa can lead to the death of bee colonies. The general weakening of bees, the transmission of diseases, and the decrease in honey production can lead to the collapse of colonies.

In the face of this scourge, beekeepers around the world are mobilizing to find effective solutions to combat Varroa.

Several methods exist, but they all require constant vigilance and a reasoned approach:

  • Chemical treatments: The use of acaricides is a common method for controlling Varroa. There are different types of acaricides, but it is important to choose approved products and use them responsibly to avoid harming bees and the environment. Excessive or poorly controlled use of acaricides can lead to the development of resistance in Varroa, making treatments less effective. It is important to follow the instructions for using acaricides precisely and not to exceed the recommended doses.
  • Biological treatments: Natural alternatives exist, such as the use of the natural predator Varroa destructor. This small mite attacks the larvae of Varroa, helping to reduce its population in the colony. Biological treatments are more environmentally friendly than chemical treatments, but they may be less effective and require more rigorous monitoring of colonies. It is important to seek information from an experienced beekeeper or a specialist in biological control before using this method.
  • Cultural techniques: The implementation of cultural techniques, such as crop rotation and the planting of melliferous flowers, can also help limit the spread of Varroa. By diversifying the food sources of bees and offering them a healthier environment, we can reduce the stress of colonies and make them more resistant to parasites. Planting melliferous flowers near hives allows bees to have access to an abundant and varied food source, which can help them better defend themselves against Varroa.
  • Stop Varroa Treatment: The Stop Varroa Treatment, an organic and effective solution for controlling varroa mites, offers unparalleled ease of use. With a guaranteed success rate of 100%, simply lift the frames individually and spray both sides with the treatment. In less than 24 hours, the varroa mite infestation will be completely eradicated. Stop Varroa stands out as the only solution capable of destroying 100% of varroa mites. It is perfectly safe for bees and does not alter the quality of your honey, leaving it free of any toxicity.

In addition to these control methods, it is crucial to regularly monitor bee colonies to detect infestations at an early stage.

Regular inspections of hives allow you to spot signs of infestation, such as the presence of Varroa on bees or larvae, a decrease in honey production, or abnormal behavior of bees.

Early detection allows for more targeted and effective treatments, thus limiting the impact of Varroa on colonies.

The fight against Varroa is a major challenge for the survival of bees and beekeeping.