In the past few years, there has been a significant decline in number of managed honey bee colonies, as well as perhaps unmanaged colonies, in parts of the western hemisphere. Plant pollination by honey bees is valued at billions of dollars to world economies. Therefore, external threats to honey bees can have serious implications on global food supplies. Several important threats are the parasitic bee mites, Varroa jacobsoni (Oudemans) and Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and chemical pesticides. Some efforts to combat these threats include breeding bees for mite resistance, using chemical treatments for mite control, selecting chemical pesticides less hazardous to bees, and exploring non-chemical alternatives for pest control.


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