DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG=TV9) — There are several challenges facing honeybees. Pesticides are one of them, but also the loss of habitat, disease, and the varroa mite.
Varroa mites are a parasite that is attributed to 80 percent of all U.S. colony losses and can kill a colony within a few days.
For years, beekeepers have been trying to combat varroa mites and a promising area of study has been dietary supplements, keeping the bees well fed and bolstering its immune system.
A product recently approved for sale by the USDA called BeesVita Plus could help contribute to honeybee success according to a University of Maryland entomologist Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp. It shows a 45 percent improvement at controlling varroa than other methods..
VanEngelsdorp says, “What is sort of unique and possibly very exciting about this project is it’s a nutritional supplement and it possibly combats varroa, and so that combination is an exciting possibility.”
VanEngelsdorp says his trials of BeesVita Plus have shown promise to control varroa mites.