Experts say honey bees are dealing with many stressors: chemicals, loss of wildflowers, climate change, nutrition and viruses. But this year, a special problem might have taken down the honey bees more than usual.
A tiny parasite called the varroa mite sucks at the bee’s body, causing big problems. Ramesh Sagili, a bee expert with Oregon State University, predicted these big bee losses because of mites earlier last year.
“It’s a very lethal parasite on honey bees,” Sagili says. “It causes significant damage not only to the bee, but to the entire colony. A colony might be decimated in months if this varroa mite isn’t taken care of.”
He says unusually early and warm spring weather last year made the bees start rearing baby bees early. That gave varroa mites a chance to breed and multiply too.
Read full, original article: Massive Loss Of Thousands Of Hives Afflicts Orchard Growers And Beekeepers