Living and breeding conditions were favorable for the mite throughout 2014 and the weather made it extra difficult for beekeepers to control the destructive pest. As a result, the Varroa-based disease pressure in the beehives was high as the year was drawing to a close. – These are the conclusions of the experts participating in the Roundtable “Beekeeping-Agriculture-Industry” that was organized by the German Farmer Association (Deutscher Bauernverband) in December, 2014. The expert body has been analyzing the development of bee populations in Germany for 12 years and fears that in 2014/15 average winter losses will increase significantly, reaching up to 23 percent for the bee colonies in Germany.
With this forecast in mind, German bee experts demand a greater focus on finding new ways to control the Varroa mite. Existing tools do not offer adequate protection, they say, particularly under unfavorable weather conditions. As a result they see a strong need for further research into the whole range of tools – from efficient varroacides to new control strategies.
Bayer has been working in the area of bee health and treatments to combat Varroa for almost 30 years and is continuing research into ways to control this destructive pest. For more information on projects on this topic take a look at our BEENOW Magazine.