At Apimondia this year, 40% of honey entries for the honey competition were disqualified for adulteration and contamination. What does this say about the health of the world’s managed pollinators? What does this mean for the future of honey? Is “clean” honey possible anymore?
“Bees are actually omnivores, and their meat is microbes. This finding may open a new window on why bees are in trouble: Anything that disrupts the microbial community in a bee’s food, whether it is high heat linked to climate change, fungicides or another stressor, could be causing developing bees to starve.”
This April as the 2018-2019 results start to come in, it is important to understand how to utilize the BIP data as an objective way to prepare for the season by seeing which beekeeping practices work.
Dr. Ramsey fundamentally changed our understanding of Varroa mites in his most recent publication Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph. He has since uncovered a pest potentially more dangerous than Varroa – Tropilaelaps.
Nancy Ostiguy from Pennsylvania State University Center for Pollinator Research analyzed pesticide residues in pollen and wax comb samples found in apiaries from University of Maine, USDA-ARS at Baton Rouge, University of Florida, University of Minnesota and Washington State University.
Much of the knowledge about Varroa was derived from closely related parasitic and predatory mites. Assumption that Varroa mites were blood-sucking was propagated by “chain citing” an English-language study referring to rudimentary Russian-language Varroa publications. However, there are some important differences that prompted Dr. Ramsey to investigate this assumption and conclude that Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat tissue and not hemolymph.