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Mighty Mites And Virulent Viruses

Honeybees Rogue Farms

We’re always looking at the latest research on honeybee health.

Colony Collapse Disorder isn’t quite the headline grabbing crisis that it was a few years ago, but it’s still a serious problem that shows no signs of going away. No one is really sure what causes CCD, it’s probably several factors. And no one knows how to cure it.

So CCD is something we have to learn to manage. With another 7 million Rogue Honeybees arriving at Rogue Farms this spring and summer, we better learn quickly.

Here’s some of the highlights from a recent honeybee health conference.

Healthy hive management means providing nutritious food for the honeybees, while minimizing disturbances to the hive.

Healthy hive management means providing nutritious food for the honeybees, while minimizing disturbances to the hive.

Varroa Mites are a major factor in CCD. Since these tiny parasites arrived in the U.S., the number of winter honeybee deaths has doubled. The science tell us that pesticides and poor nutrition contribute to the problem because they can weaken the honeybees’ ability to fight off mites. The good news – the honeybee genome has been sequenced and researchers want to breed mite resistant bees.

Researchers are finding more varieties of viruses in honeybee hives. It also appears that declining honeybee health is behind this problem, too.

So what do we do at Rogue Farms to keep our bees healthy and happy? We start with good food. Pure sugar syrup provides them with carbs for energy and high quality pollen cakes are their source of protein, vitamins and minerals. During winter, we do all we can to minimize disturbances. Even brief exposure to cold air (less than 50°F) can stress a hive. We treat for diseases before they occur and don’t over medicate.

When the spring nectar flow begins, the Rogue Honeybees will have a wide variety of flowers to forage. We’re blessed that the Wigrich Appellation has such a good diversity of food sources for our honeybees. And they in turn will reward us with excellent Rogue Farms Honey by the end of summer.

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