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Africanized bees mostly attack feral bees

Farmers resort to rent-a-hives

Dear Ms. Alice: I understand that the Africanized bees are on their way, but for the first time anyone can remember, we have NO (zero, zip) feral bees in our garden. I understand that commercial beekeepers struggle with various diseases and pests, but can their wild cousins be in trouble as well? Just what is going on? — Le Petit Poulet, University Heights

If bees were your business, you would have noticed this trend a few years ago. Home gardeners are seeing it now because it’s gotten so severe it’s hard to miss. Feral honeybees are definitely taking it on their fuzzy chins. The UC-Davis bee team says the enemies are primarily varroa-J mites (or varroa mite, Varroa jacobsoni) and secondarily the tracheal mite. Some bee varieties seem immune to the mite, but our common European honeybee is very susceptible, and they’ve nearly vanished irLsome places.

Varroa may have hit our shores four or five years ago; the less nasty tracheal mites have been around for almost a decade. Now it’s hard to find a place in North America that hasn’t been affected by them. Farmers everywhere depend on feral bees to pollinate crops, and some have even resorted to a rent-a-hive solution during the blooming season. But even commercial beekeepers, who can use a chemical to hold down varroa populations, have lost half their colonies. Some experts guess that the California invasion by the Africanized bees may have been stalled because varroa has wiped out so many feral hives, which the killer bees prey on. Hardly compensation for the agricultural consequences.

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Dear Ms. Alice: I understand that the Africanized bees are on their way, but for the first time anyone can remember, we have NO (zero, zip) feral bees in our garden. I understand that commercial beekeepers struggle with various diseases and pests, but can their wild cousins be in trouble as well? Just what is going on? — Le Petit Poulet, University Heights

If bees were your business, you would have noticed this trend a few years ago. Home gardeners are seeing it now because it’s gotten so severe it’s hard to miss. Feral honeybees are definitely taking it on their fuzzy chins. The UC-Davis bee team says the enemies are primarily varroa-J mites (or varroa mite, Varroa jacobsoni) and secondarily the tracheal mite. Some bee varieties seem immune to the mite, but our common European honeybee is very susceptible, and they’ve nearly vanished irLsome places.

Varroa may have hit our shores four or five years ago; the less nasty tracheal mites have been around for almost a decade. Now it’s hard to find a place in North America that hasn’t been affected by them. Farmers everywhere depend on feral bees to pollinate crops, and some have even resorted to a rent-a-hive solution during the blooming season. But even commercial beekeepers, who can use a chemical to hold down varroa populations, have lost half their colonies. Some experts guess that the California invasion by the Africanized bees may have been stalled because varroa has wiped out so many feral hives, which the killer bees prey on. Hardly compensation for the agricultural consequences.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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