The conclusion drawn from much research is that it is not specifically the Varroa mite, Nosema, bacteria or viruses, which cause the increased bee decline. It may even be that the during the winter period, the bees are exposed to unspecified escalating infection processes that causes death, even though death seems to always be caused by the same disease. It is impossible for a beekeeper to ascertain what has caused the death of the bees.
The current consensus in the scientific community that multiple factors have a role to play is, in the first place, extremely superficial. It may be that something has simply been overlooked. Given the fact that little is known about the mineral requirements of bees, and none of the studies conducted into bee decline have considered this aspect, this may be a clue to resolving the problem. When looking for a solution, we should at least consider on which points scientific research has not yet been conducted and which significant questions have not yet been asked.
- There is no indication of how the various factors work together
- There are no ideas as to what the ‘guiding processes’ are
- The seasonal component has not been included
- The question as to why the Varroa mite is present in the first place, has never been posed
- The question as to why some bee colonies at a particular location survive the winter well while other colonies at the same location don't, has not been asked
In the previous section we explained how the different factors interact and what the guiding process could be. It would be wonderful if we could manage the processes with a single focused measure, it is much more likely that more than one new measure will be necessary.
It is important that considerable diversity at microbial level is present. This minimizes the chance of domination by one or a few species. Naturally, this can also be realized with a wide variety of plants (pollens). This is, however, not sufficient considering the problem with bees has an important underlying environmental component that is not simple to influence.
Administering extra iron consciously imposes a certain management mechanism. The trials have provided a range of observations, which could not have been predicted and which are valuable for the possible solution.
The timing of administering extra iron, for example, is determined by the moment that the bees begin to weaken. This is the case in early July. The timing of administering extra iron is also determined by the moment that the mite begins to attack. If the lack of strength and/or energy is an independent phenomenon, then administering extra iron could be beneficial at any point in time. There are points to consider.