Beekeeping Behavior, Mite Mitigation, and Hive Health in Denver
Christy Briles, Peter Anthamatten,
Katie Prince, Quin Joel
The beekeeper’s worst enemy is the bee mite, Varroa destructor, which carries a range of diseases that can result in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony death if not properly managed and treated. Urban beekeeping has exploded in Denver; yet, many novice beekeepers are unaware that Varroa infestations in a single hive can contribute to a large-scale “epidemic” by spreading mites between urban and commercial beehives. We will be conducting an initial mite survey, analyze the data using a GIS, and develop a web application that can be used to monitor mite population and problem areas using the survey data.
In 2015, a crowd funding campaign raised over 12 million dollars to support a new beehive construction called the Flow hive. The new hive frames allow honey to be harvested directly from the hive without opening the hive with little disturbance to the bees. The inventors claim the method is less stressful on the bees and increases honey production since the hive is disturbed less frequently and the frames are rarely removed. However, there is no research to substantiate the claims, and more specifically, how the Flow compares with the 160+ year-old Langstroth hives. We are comparing the Flow and traditional Langstroth hive constructions to determine if there are any significant differences in bee health, honey production, foraging patterns, and maintenance of the hive.