Washington County Beekeepers to host Varroa mite presentation March 5

Community News

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 — The Washington County Beekeepers will present a special program on Varroa mites and Purdue University Queen Bees at the group’s next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 5th at the Washington County Extension Office, 211 Progress Ave. in Springfield.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a potluck dinner, followed by a short business meeting and the presentation by Dorothey Morgan, president of the Queen Bee Breeders Association. Morgan has worked with the Heartland Apicultural Society to raise queen bees which have become a major solution to the Varroa mite problem with beekeepers in Kentucky.

Kentucky beekeepers lose many beehives annually and while there are many causes, one of the most serious is infestation by Varroa mites. Varroa mites are an external parasite that attack the bees and the bee larvae. The mite’s presence in a hive results in infection and disease as well as physical abnormalities in the new bees. There are chemical treatments approved for use in controlling Varroa mite populations, but research at Purdue University has successfully bred queen bees, known as “leg biters,” that control the mites without chemicals. Dorothey has been raising queen bees from genetic stock from the Purdue research with success in her own mite control program.

There will also be a discussion on the upcoming Bee School. The Bee School is 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018, with classes offered for both new and intermediate beekeepers at the Washington County Extension Office.

For more information on the Washington County Beekeepers meeting or bee school, contact the Washington County UK Extension Office at 859-336-7741.


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