Dec. 28, 2020

Holiday Replay: Dr. Sam Ramsey & The Varroa Mite (S3, E31)

Holiday Replay: Dr. Sam Ramsey & The Varroa Mite  (S3, E31)

On this special Holiday Replay, we bring back one of our favorite episodes from the first season, when we invited Dr. Sam Ramsey to the podcast to talk about the Varroa Mite. Sam Ramsey is a life long entomologist. His interests in all things insects...


On this special Holiday Replay, we bring back one of our favorite episodes from the first season, when we invited Dr. Sam Ramsey to the podcast to talk about the Varroa Mite.

Sam Ramsey is a life long entomologist. His interests in all things insects started in his youth along with his parent's encouragement and his siblings displeasure! He continued his studies in college (Cornell) and just recently completed his PhD this year at The University of Maryland under Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp.

Dr. Ramsey made headlines earlier this year with the publication of his doctoral research on the feeding behaviors of the varroa destructor mite on the honey bee. In this episode of the podcast, we discuss with Dr. Ramsey why he studied what was thought to be a closed subject and proved that the varroa was not feeding primarily on the bee's blood, but rather a liver-like organ called the 'Fat Body'. 

This is a fascinating discussion that all beekeepers should listen to. There are many interesting facts, that run counter to popular press and education.

Following are the links mentioned in this podcast:

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Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for2 Million Blossoms your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.

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We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

Dr. Samuel Ramsey

Guest, Researcher

Samuel Ramsey's enduring interest in insect biology started 23 years ago and shows no signs of waning. Having earned his doctorate from Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab at the University of Maryland; Dr. Ramsey maintains a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through the development of IPM strategies and STEM-based outreach initiatives. His award-winning research on Varroa biology has changed the standing paradigm on how this parasite ultimately kills honey bees leading to opportunities to share his work nationally and internationally. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Entomology from Cornell University in 2011 focusing his research on predator/parasite behavior.

His current work, aptly named the Fight the Mite Initiative, was funded largely by the beekeeping community. It focuses on the poorly understood Tropilaelaps mite which is rapidly establishing itself as the next threat to apiculture globally. Prior to the pandemic he was based in Thailand documenting the behavior, lifecycle, and vulnerabilities of this parasite, ensuring that in the event of its arrival in the US, we'll have the knowledge and resources to respond effectively.