What About Varroa?
As the weather cools down and we wind down the beekeeping season, the attention turns to overwintering and the inevitable question of how one deals with varroa. If you know me very well, you know I don't treat for varroa, but instead promote hive health as a way to combat the effects of all assaults on the hive, whether it be pest, disease, environment or beekeeper. As a response to the questions I often receive I wrote a lengthy informational paper which is here on the website: varroa. I feel strongly that we need to push back hard against the current idea that varroa is the cause of everything and that if you don't treat you are an irresponsible beekeeper. I have a strong suspicion that the commercial beekeeping paradigm is on the verge of collapse. I would not be surprised if this winter's losses surpass the height of the "CCD" crisis of 2006-2007. I would not be surprised if the whole package bee industry falls apart this coming spring or in the near future. The lack of understanding that we must breed better bees, and I mean strong bees, not "hygenic" bees that have narrower, weaker genetics, and that we must improve conditions for bees to be strong and healthy is crushing the commercial bee industry. We, as backyard beekeepers must fight against the tide and help one another out by breeding better bees and practicing better management that enables healthy bee hives.