Isle of Wight Disease: Wiped Out The Bees

The Acarapis woodi mite became known as the Isle of Wight Disease in the early 1900s.

We like to offer diverse news on the blog and sometimes find stories related to Ventnor or the island that are totally unexpected. Here’s one for example ….

bee beardNorfolk and Suffolk beekeepers are suffering the heartache of having their hives decimated by a virulent pest.

The growing national problem of the varroa mite becoming resistant to the most common pest control method was discussed at a meeting of more than 30 beekeepers in Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich, on Saturday.

What’s it got to do with us, you ask?

Well, not much, except that according to Fred Willis, secretary of Waveney Beekeepers’ Group, it is the “biggest crisis facing beekeepers since the so-called Isle of Wight disease wiped out bees in the early years of the last century” Yikes!

For the fruit lovers among us, it may cause problems with fruit crops this year, particularly blackcurrants and gooseberries. Because of the varroa mite, there are no wild bees at the moment, so the kept bees are the only ones around.

Let’s hope that this new disease doesn’t affect any of the bees on the island … we all need our honey.

More details on Acarapis woodi, a little mite that lives in the bee’s airways, that in the early 1900s became know as the Isle of Wight Disease on Wikipedia

Wednesday, 3rd May, 2006 11:28am



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bird flu

I heard there are no wild bees left in the UK, yet another example of man under-mining his own food chain with industrial agriculture methods…