Varroa, Australia & Asian Bees
This is from an article about asian bees in Australia
"Asian bees (Apis cerana) are capable of carrying two types of Varroa mite – destructor and jacobsoni; the latter would not threaten the health of local bee populations but destructor has wiped out commercial hives and feral populations the world over and Australia is the last remaining major beekeeping country free of it."
Is varroa jacobsoni much less virulent than the varroa destructor, as the article seems to imply? Is australia really free from the varroa destructor? What type of varroa do you guys know of in your area? I know that there is varroa destructor here, but I'm not sure about the varroa jacobsoni.
It is important to understand that the initial observations of varroa
in the USA and Europe were mis-identified as varroa jacobsoni.
It was several years later that everyone realized that what was
infesting Apis mellifera was not varroa jacobsoni, so the
"varroa destructor" name was coined.
Here is a side-by-side comparison. Up top (a) and (b) show
varroa jacobsoni. On the bottom (c) and (d) show varroa
destructor. Note the oval versus round body shape.
No way anyone can confuse the two, once one knows what
to look for.
Australia insists that they are "free of the varroa mite" in general.
While this is very likely be an honest statement, one has to recall
that it was not too long ago that they let Small Hive Beetle not only
get established, but spread far and wide before they "noticed".
Such a large and obvious external pest of bees is hard to
overlook, so one has to wonder if they are in the same position
of hubris combine with willful ignorance in regard to varroa.
One never finds when one is not looking, do one?
Naw, they don't want varroa, and if they had it, they couldn't
keep it quiet, as they would need to teach beekeepers how to
treat the problem, and tell them what was permitted.