UMSS20 Student Profile: Patrick Hurley

Patrick Hurley, Ecology and Environmental Science
Mites, Camera, Action: Assessing Varroa Mite Treatment Trends in Maine Beekeepers
Mentored by Julia McGuire

Patrick Hurley is studying strategies in which the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, can be treated due to their threat to honeybees. Large-scale beekeepers are more at risk for these mites, as they keep many bees in close quarters. Beekeepers are required to treat for these mites, but current treatments can be expensive, time-consuming, and potentially toxic to bees or their keepers.

Hurley hopes to use integrated pest management strategies that will cause low stress for bees and beekeepers. He aims to help beekeepers make the best decisions for their hive based on various factors when treating for mites.

“I think my research will create a useful source of information for beekeepers in Maine – and elsewhere in the world – to consult when approaching mite treatment decisions. I am hoping to create a tool that both old and new beekeepers will be able to learn from. Ideally, this project will aid in the decision-making process surrounding mite treatments and introduce a new treatment schedule for two organic acid treatments,” says Hurley.