An experienced Austrian apiarist has urged her peers to take the constant threat posed by the Varroa mite seriously.
Edith Panzenböck, who heads the Association of Beekeepers in Western Vienna, said: “Varroa is a crucial matter when it comes to the health of bees. Many suppress the issue as it’s not a positive topic.”
The Varroa destructor is a parasite which has been posing the biggest threat to honeybee colonies during winter for decades. It reproduces by attaching to the bodies of the insects.
Edith told broadcaster Ö1: “I have been confronted with Varroa from day one. In my first beekeeping season, the danger may not have been that obvious.
The Vienna-based beekeeper, whose union has around 200 members, said she was trying to keep Varroa a relevant topic.
Edith said: “We attempt to avoid its neglection. Especially young beekeepers must know that their bee colonies are benefiting from being treated.”
Speaking to Ö1, Edith emphasised: “Without anti-Varroa therapies, the honeybees would not survive.”
Apiarists use hive-monitoring apps, oils and pesticides to keep the parasite in check. Edith underlined: “People should stick to registered products and apply them as suggested.”