Beekeepers Losing Hives to Pesticide Resistant Mites
California beekeepers are losing large portions of their hives to a mite that’s developed a resistance to pesticides. As Bob Hensley reports, it could be devastating to growers who depend on bees to pollinate their orchards.
Friday, December 3, 2004
The damage to beehives from the Varroa mite has been kept to a minimum for more than a decade with the use of chemicals. But recently, beekeepers noticed the mites were no longer responding to pesticides. Central Valley beekeeper Orin Johnson says hive losses are so great there may not be enough colonies available for the upcoming pollination season. JOHNSON :10—Right now estimates for Spring pollination are looking at a maybe 25 to 30 percent shortage of bees because of losses. The shortage could be devastating for the thriving almond industry, which uses bees to pollinate orchards. Next year, growers who obtain bees can expect to pay about 25 percent more in pollination fees. The California Almond Board says the mite problem is nationwide so growers around the state can’t turn to other states for help. Meanwhile researchers are working to come up with a new mite-battling pesticide. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.