Varroa mites are bad news for bees. Their latin name is Varroa destructor, which tells you all you need to know. They’ve gained a foothold in New Zealand since the year 2000, spreading quickly through the country despite attempts to control them, and adversely affecting honey bee populations and pastoral farming. Without control, a mite infestation can destroy a bee colony in the space of four years.
In Germany, recent innovation by an industrial designer and his friends has resulted in the development of a new kind of hive, which creates an environment that the honey bees love, but the Varroa mites hate. It’s a natural alternative to the damaging use of formic acid. Currently a small, home-made invention, the creators are hoping to crowdfund mass production of their hive.
More about the hive project here:
Photo Credit: Timothy Paule II (Pexels.com)