Dear Beekeepers of the World

Please be advised this is official correspondence from the duly-elected leadership of the supreme species EENDT”CHA, known in your human parlance as Varroa destructor–a.k.a. varroa, the mite, the little red pinprick of horror, the scourge of hives and destroyer of beekeepers’ souls. 

This letter hereby notifies you that we will not stop our conquest for world domination. We have now invaded Australia in our quest to colonize every bee hive on planet Earth. Our spread knows no bounds; wherever bees go, we will follow, even if it takes us to the ice cliffs of Antarctica or the cold craters of the moon. We will not relent. 

As the last four decades have proven, your efforts to eradicate us are futile. Although we do admire and respect the ferocity with which some humans have fought against the proliferation of our superior species, we now demand that you lay down your primitive oxalic acid wands and chemical concoctions and surrender your bees to us. 

The time of human domination of Apis Mellifera is over. No more will humans plunder bee hives and rob honey. No more will bees be under the subjugation of a species with merely two legs. How foolish you were for resisting–you pitiful soft-bodied species with no exoskeleton! (that said, we did appreciate the powdered sugar dusting fad that happened about ten years ago–hey, we mites like sweets as much as the next species). 

All beekeepers who lay down smokers now and give up will face no further consequences. All who resist will meet heartbreak and despair, as we are now immune to your once most lethal concoction, Amitraz. Indeed, it is now impossible for you to withstand the rate of our proliferation. Before long there will be more varroa mites on Earth than all bipeds combined. You would be wise to give up your efforts to breed mite-resistant bees, which are doomed to failure, and instead use your oversized craniums to surrender now. 

If you do wisely decide to wave the white bee glove of surrender, our leadership will gladly accept it, on behalf of our great arachnid species, with all the formal protocol that such a momentous occasion deserves, namely that of your leadership bowing down and presenting their ceremonial hive tools. 

On behalf of all worldwide members of Varroa destructor, we await your prompt response. 


The Supreme Senate of Varroa Mite Mothers

[P.S. If you’re a not a beekeeper, I apologize because this probably makes no sense. However, if you are beekeeper, it probably wouldn’t hurt to check your mite levels. I just checked a few of my hives last week and levels were off the charts. Since it was so hot, I did a half-dose formic pro. We will see how well that brings the levels down.]

12 thoughts on “Dear Beekeepers of the World

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. Good idea to treat, but just beware that oxalic acid dribble usually isn’t effective in the summer. It’s better as a mid winter treatment when there is no brood. Better options in summer would be apivar, apigaurd, or formic pro.

  1. Varroa. Ugh! Hate them. Seems we are constantly treating. We do the one strip method also because when we used two, we lost several queens. Still challenging to find a time when temperatures aren’t too hot to start treatment. And then, there’s the limitation it causes on getting in and checking hives. Hoping to check all our hives between the storms over the next few days. The girls are bearding like crazy, and we need to make sure they’re not overcrowded.

  2. HA! Well played, just love your creativity! But I must say, as I’m sure you could predict, they are begging for a treatment-free lifestyle. Treating is a short-term fix for a long-term issue, which will never pay off in the end. Someday folks will realize this. Until then I’m shunned as a freak anti-vaxxer.

    1. No, you do you. I tried going treatment free when I started, which always ended in a lot of dead bees. After 4 years of trying, I finally relented and started treating. I will welcome the day that I can go back to those way, but I’ve got so much invested in them now that I can’t risk losing them. I mostly use formic, thymol, and oxalic treatments, so I trying to keep it as organic as possible. That said, it seems like we have to treat at least three times a year now, which is a lot of work, not to mention pretty pricey. Sometimes I miss the days when I was just a hobby beekeeper and not trying to make a profit from them. It kind of takes the enjoyment out it sometimes.

    1. Later winter freezes are the bane of my existence. I can usually count on one right after Valentine’s day that will finish off any struggling hive

  3. If/when tropilaelaps mites arrive in North America, they will make us pine nostalgically for how easy we had it with varroa. That said, I wish you the best with your hives. I had to euthanize one of my two hives this year after discovering deformed wings in the newly emerging drones.

    1. Yeah, now we look back at the tracheal mite days with envy. Hate you had to lose your hive, but once deformed wing virus starts showing up it’s usually a lost cause

  4. What i can’t understand , we have varoa mite , why can’t we import resistant species Apıs Cerana ????? Makes zero sense

    1. I’m not sure either, given that apis mellifera is imported as well. There is another mite that is supposed to be worse than varroa that apis cerena is host to, which may be the reason. That would probably be the death nail for apis mellifera here if it made its way here

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