Honeybee populations worldwide are being threatened, and the varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) is to blame. These bloodsucking mites cause honeybees to become deformed, lose weight and disease resistance, and have difficulty mating. Mite infestations weaken colonies and if left untreated, the colonies eventually die.
The loss of honeybees as pollinators is not only a concern to agriculturalists and professional beekeepers, but also to honeybee lobbyists, honey producers, and home gardeners.
In the USA varroa mites have appeared in 35 states, from South Dakota to Maine and south to Florida, and their spread continues. In states where mites have been detected, nearly all wild honeybee colonies have been severally impacted. The populations of commercial colonies have been reduced by as much as 50 percent.
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. While current control measures effectively manage captive, commercial colonies, they are impossible to implement in the wild. Consequently, gardeners are forced to rely on other pollinators, such as bumblebees and wasps, to pick up the slack. Gardening to attract and feed these beneficial insects can only help increase visitation rates and successful polination.
for Endangered Species
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