Today featured two symposia on bee health. One focused on the emerging problems associated with small hive beetle. There was discussion of the beetle’s management in the U.S. and its recent introduction into Australia. Presentations on beetle traps, chemical control and diagnosis were featured. The Russian bees in the U.S. are as resistant to SHB as are other races.
Tropilaelaps mites have some of the same dynamics as found with Varroa sp classification by Australian researchers, as certain types are associated only with specific bee hosts, variations of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata. Studies about these mites will provide important information as there have been incursions into Australia of the host Apis cerana and the mites are also found in some of the close-by islands of Indonesia.
Finally, colony collapse disorder as named in the U.S. considered responsible for more than normal bee losses was discussed, including a unique session featuring short presentations by scientists, officials of Apimondia (Chairmen of the standing commissions on bee biology, bee health, beekeeping equipment, and pollination and bee flora. This was followed by comments from the audience ranging for polite questions concerning the details of the research to more pointed observations by those who believe that pesticides and gmo crops are major causes. President Asger Sogaard Jorgensen took the microphone at the end asking participants to keep an open mind and not fall into the trap of developing hard line philosophical “camps.”
The closing ceremonies that evening featured the Australian group The Sundowners singing Irish and Scottish-derived melodies brought to Australia and the featured song heard before, Waltzing Matilda.
The two most emotional points of the evening were when the Australian chairman turned over the reigns to the French delegation who will host Apimondia 2009 in Montpellier and the selection by a “clear majority,” (75% of the voting delegates) of Argentina to host the congress in2011 in Buenos Aires.