Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Russian Living at the White House?

Russians Saving U.S. from Colony Collapse Disorder
Russian bees are stationed at the White House. (That's a good thing.)
By Kim Flottum, The Daily Green, 4/14/2009

…Down in Baton Rouge, La., there's a USDA Honey Bee Research Lab. There, they've imported and refined several strains of pretty much mongrel bees from eastern Russia that have been living with varroa for over a hundred years. In that time those varroa mites have taken a terrible toll on those bees. But not all of them died. In fact, some have thrived, and it was offspring from these varroa- and tracheal mite-tolerant bees that came to America. After vigorous inspections and extended isolation time to make certain they were disease and pest free, plus a few years of controlled breeding to increase even more this tolerance to mites, they have been released to the beekeepers here that need them. The result is that beekeepers using Russian bees use far fewer (and often no) mite control chemicals to keep their bees healthy…

And now, apparently, Russians are coming to the White House. This July the White House hive is to get one of these USDA developed Russian Queens so that varroa tolerance will reside in DC, too. The White House and the Secretary of the Department Of Agriculture engineered this late last week, and come July, a Russian will be living at the White House. How sweet is that?...

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