Posts Tagged ‘Varroa destructor mites’

I’m worried about bees.  They’re such an important part of our existence – without them to pollinate our crops, we’d all be up a creek without a paddle.  And they’re under serious threat – many of the world’s bee colonies are infected with dangerous parasites that are killing honeybees at an alarming rate, possibly also leading to problems like colony collapse disorder.  Worse still, these mites are now developing resistance to miticides which have worked in the past.  According to Wikipedia, a third of the bees in the US (!!) didn’t survive winter 2009.

Australia is almost the only country left whose bee industry remains unaffected by the ominously named Varroa destructor mites.  Most experts agree, however, that it’s just a matter of time before these make it to our shores, especially as they’re now prevalent in neighbouring New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Whilst I can’t do anything to stop the parasites, and will continue to fret about the welfare of the world’s bees, I decided today that I needed to put away some Australian honey.  I know it’s crazy – we only go through a couple of jars a year – but honey lasts almost forever, and I want to continue eating it in a chemical-free form for as long as possible (which will presumably only be until the Varroa mites make it here).

Fellow Aussies, did you know that we can buy organic honey, from the only remaining strain of pure Ligurian bees in the world, at Aldi?  For just $5 a 500g jar?  It’s a ridiculous bargain, and since a Sydney Morning Herald article was written about it last year, the price has actually gone down.

I have my ten glass jars of liquid gold stashed away.  Even if you’re not as nutty as I am, I hope that the next time you have a spoonful of honey, you’ll spare a thought and a prayer for the plight of the world’s bees. And if you’re living here in Oz, give thanks that we still have access to organic honey at such a reasonable price!

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