Honeybee Colony Parasites Threaten Food Supply Around New York State

OLD BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Honeybee colonies are beneath assault on Lengthy Island and round New York state.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, most bee colonies within the state at the moment are infested with a brand new plague of parasitic mites – and it’s threatening our fragile meals provide.

Parker Trager, eleven, was choosing blueberries Monday, after learning the curious and tragic die-off of the pollinating honeybee.

“I attempt to keep a nutritious diet, type of. That’s what I really like about the great thing about a farm.” Parker stated. “I do know that bees pollinate and stuff to create like a properly-organized ecosystem.”

Throughout the nation and New York state, bee colonies proceed to be underneath assault. The Varroa mite may be accountable or $500 million in native agricultural losses this ear.

One third of the world’s meals provide depends on bees.

“I’m not simply speaking about strawberries and peaches and apples – I’m speaking zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant,” stated Caroline Fanning of Restoration Farm Lengthy Island. “We’d like our bees.”

Restoration Farm Lengthy Island in Previous Bethpage is residence to 3 of Lengthy Island’s one hundred bee colonies. They fan out to supply honey and pollinate crops.

This summer time, Cornell College analysis scientist groups are looking for a remedy to the huge die off. CBS2 spoke to the chief of the operation in Ithaca by way of Facetime.

“The Varroa mite is a parasite that’s sort of just like a tick, and it truly latches onto honeybees and it sucks the blood and feeds on the fats shops of honeybees,” stated Emma Mullen of the Cornell College Beekeeper Tech Group.

Ninety % of the New York state honeybee colonies surveyed are already infested. The Lengthy Island Beekeepers Membership names illness, lack of habitat, and pesticides as attainable causes.

“Lengthy Island householders are saying. ‘I’m not going to spray,’ as a result of that could possibly be enjoying an enormous position in diminishing their immune system in order that when the Varroa mite is available in, they’re already working, you understand, with one hand tied behind their again,” Fanning stated.

“We’re truly working with these beekeepers to determine what options we will provide you with,” stated Mullen.

However there isn’t any magic bullet. Infestation is so widespread that for now beekeepers are specializing in simply managing the parasitic mites till scientists develop a remedy.

Specialists stated when one bee colony will get sick and dies, different close by colonies are attacking to steal their hone, which is inflicting the…

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