The healthy bees managed by

Backyard Beekeepers


The healthy bees managed by Jonathan Garaas are checked every two weeks for signs of a possible mite infestation. Dan Gunderson/MPR News hide caption

toggle caption Dan Gunderson/MPR News

The healthier bees handled by Jonathan Garaas are inspected every a couple of weeks for signs and symptoms of a possible mite infestation.

Dan Gunderson/MPR Information

Jonathan Garaas has learned some things in three seasons of garden beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They're difficult. And maintaining them alive just isn't simple.

Every two weeks, the Fargo, N.D., attorney starts the hives to test the bees and research varroa mites, bugs that suck the bees' blood and that can send infection. If he views way too many of pinhead-sized parasites, he is applicable a chemical treatment.

Lawyer and hobby beekeeper Jonathan Garaas keeps nine flourishing hives outside Fargo, N.D. Dan Gunderson/MPR News hide caption

toggle caption Dan Gunderson/MPR Information

Attorney and hobby beekeeper Jonathan Garaas keeps nine thriving hives outside Fargo, N.D.

Dan Gunderson/MPR News

Garaas has lost hives inside the first two many years as a novice beekeeper. However with nine hives now established near his home and a couple of University of Minnesota bee classes under their buckle, he feels as though he's got the hang of it, even though it's nonetheless difficult.

"You can get the book learning. You can observe the YouTubes. You can be told by others, " he states, but "you must have hands-on knowledge. When you begin placing it all together, it begins making feeling."

Researchers want every newbie beekeeper were because diligent as Garaas.

While experts welcome the increasing national fascination with beekeeping as an interest, they warn that novices are inadvertently placing their particular hives — along with other hives for kilometers around — at risk by maybe not keeping the bee mite populace in balance.

Numerous hobbyists avoid mite treatments, preferring a natural approach, states Marla Spivak, a bee specialist during the University of Minnesota. But that is frequently a deadly decision for bees, she states.

National surveys because of the Bee Informed Partnership program backyard beekeepers tend to be using the biggest losses nationally, and people losings are often the result of an out-of-control infestation associated with varroa mite, says Spivak.

Varroa mites arrived in the United States nearly three decades ago, and they've become a big problem lately.

Untreated hives can spread mites and viruses with other hives within a number of kilometers, Spivak claims. Healthier bees will occupy a dying hive to steal its honey. When they do, they carry the mites with them returning to their hives.

University of Minnesota Bee Squad coordinator Becky Masterman secures a strap on a bee package on top of this Weisman Museum in Minneapolis. Judy Griesedieck for MPR Information conceal caption

toggle caption Judy Griesedieck for MPR Information

University of Minnesota Bee Squad coordinator Becky Masterman secures a strap on a bee package on the roof of the Weisman Museum in Minneapolis.

Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

"the blend of mite as well as the viruses is life-threatening, " claims Spivak.

The University of Minnesota Bee Squad, friends that delivers beekeeping training and mentoring inside Twin Cities, is witnessing more healthy hives come to be quickly infested with mites therefore the viruses they carry.

See also:

  • Brendan Mangnitz


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