Bees are important for far more than their honey. They’re vital pollinators, helping make sure that fruit and other crops can grow. But, they’ve been under threat from a deadly enemy – the Varroa mite. Now, there’s hope…
Varroa has wiped out bee colonies globally and is a nightmare for beekeepers. We know that first-hand. Out of the eight hives behind Campfire HQ, only one now has a thriving colony.
There may be a solution, though – and it comes from the sun (with a little help from some Czech scientists too). Until now, chemicals were the only way to stop Varroa, but these weren’t enough.
“It has been known for several decades that the Varroa destructor mite is extremely sensitive to increased temperature,” says inventor Roman Linhart. “We applied this knowledge and created a thermosolar hive to raise the temperature in the colony, thus killing the Varroa mites.”
Special glass parts absorb sunlight and transform it into heat. This heat warms the bee colony inside the hive. The bees are unaffected but the mites die.
The hive has undergone university research and testing in recent years by almost a hundred beekeepers. One of them, Pavel Roubinek, says: “Beekeeping in this hive is healthy, ecological, without chemicals and without the Varroa mite.”
Warming hives over the long-term could also increase honey yields because bees, who would otherwise have to stay in the hive to heat the brood, can fly out and gather nectar.
The hives are now being crowdfunded and will eventually go into full production. There’s a video below that explains more!
For excellent reading around the subject of beekeeping and the importance of bees, have a look at these books.