Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Three pillars of Varroa control.

Abstract

The beekeeping sector is facing many challenges. One of the greatest is maintaining healthy colonies that produce high-quality products without any residues of veterinary medicines and with low environmental impact. The main enemy is the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, the most significant honeybee pest and a key factor in high colony losses worldwide. In the previous four decades, three pillars of Varroa control have crystallized to be essential for sustainable management: apitechnical measures, chemical treatments, and resistant stocks of honey bees. In the long term, the latter is probably the most sustainable as it is a step to self-sustaining populations of feral and managed colonies. We recognize the significance of progress in knowledge of all three pillars to conquer Varroa and of their successful usage in accordance with local and global conditions and capabilities. In this review, we present a possible integration of the components of the three pillars of Varroa control strategies in the light of sustainable beekeeping and provide their linkage to the production of high-quality and safe honeybee products and maintaining healthy colonies.