Traditional African beekeeping methods offer better protection against hive-destroying varroa mites than pesticides, according to a recent study.
The study shows that mites are increasingly resistant to pesticides, and are destroying bee populations in Europe and the United States.
But traditional African beekeeping methods prevent mites naturally. This is because African bee farmers allow bees to swarm—when a bee colony splits—or abscond—when bees abandon the hive. These two behaviours leave mites behind in the hive. European and North American beekeepers prevent swarming.
Photo credit: Wellcome Trust, Wellcome Images