The aim of this study is to calculate Varroa destructor economic thresholds using mite populations in British Columbia.
We are monitoring V. destructor levels in honey bee colonies from yards located in five different regions of BC, including the Cariboo, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Kootenays, and the Peace Region.
Varroa destructor levels will be correlated with honey bee colony health parameters, including colony strength, honey yield, and mortality. In addition, we will sample V. destructor mites and conduct a metagenomic analysis to identify viruses. Revising V. destructor ET in the province, which reported 32% colony losses in 2022 (CAPA, 2022), will help beekeepers to implement effective Integrated Pest Management strategies.
Additionally, having revised ET will help achieve short-term goals (e.g. active monitoring of V. destructor) and apply long-term strategies (e.g. assessment of novel acaricides) to assist beekeepers in reducing the damage caused by the mite, and enhance honey bee health and colony productivity.