Friday 23rd of June 2017

Q. What adverse effects do chemical miticides have on a colony?

A. As breeders we are especially concerned about the negative effects of miticides on queens and drones. According to the proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference presented by Fell, R.D. & K Tignor regarding “Miticide Effects on the Reproductive Physiology of Queens and Drones” in the December 2001 issue of ABJ page 888 – 889:
  • It significantly reduces the sperm count in drones
  • Reduced drone production
  • Reduced queen mating success
  • Reduced acceptance of grafted queen cells
  • Reduced queen weight
  • High queen mortality rate
  • Physical abnormalities and atypical behavior in queens
  • Since coumaphos and fluvalvinate impregnated strips are readily absorbed and accumulated into beeswax, there is a concern about the possible ill-effects of miticides to bees. In recent years, some beekeepers have had problems with queen loss and supersedure.

Since becoming aware of this, we avoid exposure to these chemicals in our breeding operation by culling old combs, and replacing them with foundation made from pure virgin cappings wax, which we make with our own press.