January 2009 BEE CULTURE 33
Bees And
An unhealthy, untidy mix
Jennifer Berry
This past Spring our lab, along with Clemson University,
received a critical issues grant from the USDA
to study the sub-lethal effects of miticides on honey bee
colony health and performance, (bee population, brood
production, honey production, and colony foraging rates),
brood survivorship and adult longevity, and fi nally worker
learning and responsiveness to queen pheromone. It is
a two year study with our fi rst season’s data collection
almost completed.
The study consists of six treatments with eight colonies
per treatment for a total of 48 colonies. The treatments
are Apistan™, CheckMite+™, MavrikR, TakticR,
copper napthenate and a control (no chemicals). Treatments
were inserted in the spring and fall. The chemicals
used for the miticides are as follows: fl uvalinate (Apistan™
and MavrikR), coumaphos (CheckMite+™), and amitraz
(TakticR). All three chemicals control mites; however
MavrikR and TakticR are not labeled for use in honey bee
colonies but are used by beekeepers.