Re: "What is Varroa good for?"
After doing cutouts for several years and doing it as a business this year one question has constantly crossed my mind when I cutout hives that have been in the same location for several years. How did these bees survive with no intervention? I know sometimes the bees in some of those hives may have died and been replaced by other swarms but many of these hives have comb in them that show they have been there for years without a break that allowed the moths and shb to clean up the old comb. One thought that comes to mind is that we as beekeepers are contradicting nature by placing a large number of hives in close proximity to each other. In nature you don't see feral hives located near one another. I think this makes it harder for hive pests to migrate from one hive to the other due to predation of the pests. When we place hives as close as we do its easier for the pests to spread without having to worry about predators getting them before arriving at the next hive. I know that to be profitable we need the hives where we can work them efficiently but maybe we can look for ways to increase the number of predators to these pests (if we can figure out what they are) into the areas where we keep our bees.
"Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown