Tropilaelaps Mites: A Fate Worse Than Varroa
Dr. Sammy Ramsey (via Zoom)
Tropilaelaps mites are spreading across the globe at a rate very similar to that of Varroa in the 1960’s, roughly 20 years before they arrived in the US. If they continue to spread this way, it’s possible that they could be here just as quickly. These mites are much more destructive than Varroa with faster population growth, greater mobility, and no pesticides currently labeled for their treatment. There’s a lot to learn about them. This presentation details what we already know and what we still need to figure out.
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. He is now based in Thailand studying the biology and behavior of this pest and what it will ultimately take to kill it, ensuring in the event of its arrival in the US, we'll have the knowledge and resources to respond effectively.