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Varroa destructor

A serious honey bee parasite

Varroa destructor is an external parasite that has probably become the worst problem to honey bees worldwide, as there are few regions without infestation. Once it is present in a region or colony, it is probably there forever. It is commonly called "varroa", "mites" or "the mite" by beekeepers. "Varroosis" is a term that is used for the infection of the colony and the "disease", but as it is rather uncertain, I will stick to "varroa".

As it is a relatively new parasite of honey bees we are learning about it all the time. New information soon supersedes old information. For that reason, the information here is brief, otherwise it can become "dated" and mislead readers. Please source up-to-date information from authoritative sources.

An example of new information is the incredible discovery by Samuel Ramsey, that varroa don't feed on hemolymph as previously thought, but fat bodies. In addition, he suggests that some of the usually suggested treatments may be far less effective than previously thought. See the buttons top left for the research article and video.

Some of the varroa pages that were prepared by Dave Cushman have information that has been superseded. Rather than remove them, I have archived them, so they are still available for historic purposes.

Roger Patterson.

Page created 04/11/2020