Could Beer Save The Honeybees?
The fight to save honeybees has gotten boosts recently from the USDA, the White House, andresearchers who are still working to determine why managed honeybees continue to die off. Now, bees have one more thing on their side: beer.
Or, at least, one of the main ingredients of beer. This week, the EPA approved the use of potassium salts of hops beta acids (HBAs) — a biochemical (or naturally-occurring) pesticide that’s derived from hops, the flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus — around honeycombs. Researchhas shown that HBAs have potential for repelling varroa mites, a dangerous mite that attaches itself to honeybees and sucks out their circulatory fluid. Varroa mites weaken bees and spread debilitating diseases, including deformed wing virus, which causes crumpled up, useless wings in young bees.