Hobbyist beekeeping practices and rejection of chemical treatments major driver of bee-killing Varroa mites and disease

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Hobby beekeeping is very common. A European Bee Health Report found that in many countries, the majority of beekeepers pursue the activity as a hobby. … They note that improving expertise and education are likely good ways to improve honey bee health.

They may be on to something. In fact, in the past months two scientific publications – a large European surveillance study, and an essay in Journal of Economic Entomology – turn the spotlight on bee management, holding handling factors, like the lack of appropriate treatment, largely accountable for the spread of bee mites and diseases.

There are blogs, groups, a podcast, even a conference dedicated to going ‘treatment-free’, or ‘TF’ as they call themselves. Some go as far as to say that any interference on behalf of the well-being of the hive is wrong. They think the Varroa mite should simply be allowed to run its course.

Related article:  No, we aren't losing all of our honeybees. And neonicotinoid seed coatings aren't driving their health problems—here’s why

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The rhetoric is chillingly alike to that of the anti-vaccine proponents’: only expressing ideas about the purported dangers of the treatments….

Please think twice … before starting a honey-bee hive, especially if you do not think you want to put in the work needed to keep the hives disease-free. Please don’t join a movement bent on increasing the man-made spread of bee disease.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: ‘Treatment-free’ Beekeepers Give Varroa Mite Free Rein

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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