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Author Topic: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?  (Read 2854 times)

Online Lesgold

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Hi folks,

It?s a sad time for beekeepers in Australia with the outbreak of Varroa Mite. I think that we all knew that it would happen eventually but we hoped that we could hide from it forever. I think it is now time to be a little more proactive and start preparing for what will hit us. The spread has been gradual to this point in time but I fear this will change over the coming season. My question to you good people out there who deal with this beast is -?What can we do in preparation for what will happen sooner rather than later?? I realise that education is important and that the continual testing of hives must take place but there must be simple, concrete ideas that we could put into place to help us to make what is going to be a difficult transition. Any suggestions would be appreciated. My initial thinking was to give up beekeeping and start playing golf but that is not the right approach.  Another thought included down sizing so that I could give more attention to a small number of hives and learn how to deal with this pest. I really have no idea.

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2023, 08:09:49 am »
I don't even have any bees yet but I have been reading up for a few months now. I do not know what, if any, regulations are in place regarding its use but it looks like the folks here are dealing with it with some sort of hive treatments and keeping it manageable. Since I will have to deal with it too, I am interested in this discussion. I am sorry to hear that this invasion is coming your way.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2023, 09:50:05 am »
Eric Osterlund is in Sweden.  When he know Varroa were coming, he regressed to small cell and got bees with resistance as much as possible.  When the beekeepers in Africa knew Varroa were coming they agreed as an industry to not treat from the beginning.

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Online Lesgold

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2023, 06:22:11 pm »
Thanks for the link Michael. That was an interesting read. I will be referring back to it regularly as there was just too much to digest in one go. The idea of being treatment free is appealing but will be full of challenges and many disappointments. It is obvious that this path will be a time consuming process with lots to learn. Heading towards small cell beekeeping appears to have merit.

Online The15thMember

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2023, 07:41:31 pm »
I think the biggest thing to prepare for is to lose colonies. :sad: No matter which way you or your country decides on the treatment front, at least at the beginning of this you are going to lose colonies to mites, since your bees are encountering a novel pest.  Hopefully as the keepers and bees adjust, those losses will go down.
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2023, 07:49:40 pm »
It seems like Formic Pro is a common remedy here in America. Is approval for use necessary in Australia? Would it be beneficial to expose the bees to it in small doses to get them acclimated to it?

Online Lesgold

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2023, 08:51:38 pm »
From what I have read, this will be the early heartbreak related to the outbreak. It?s not what we want to hear but it will be a reality. To my knowledge there is nothing available over here to treat for the mite as we haven?t had it before. I?m sure the people running the show will be on to it.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2023, 09:39:45 pm »
Who runs the show there Les?
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Lesgold

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2023, 01:14:21 am »
The New South Wales Department Of Primary Industries is the mob who looked after the varroa response and provide guidance and advice to beekeepers in my state.

Offline max2

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2023, 01:25:44 am »
Eric Osterlund is in Sweden.  When he know Varroa were coming, he regressed to small cell and got bees with resistance as much as possible.  When the beekeepers in Africa knew Varroa were coming they agreed as an industry to not treat from the beginning.

https://www.elgon.es/

Thanks Michael.

the winter losses reported for "No treatment" are a real worry: https://www.elgon.es/varroa.html

About small size cells.
There seems to be a lot of disagreement if this has a positive effect.
See https://www.apidologie.org/articles/apido/full_html/2010/01/m08138/m08138.html
Indeed the study found an average of 5.1%miteload in small cell colonies vs 3.3%mite load in current standard -sized foundation

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2023, 04:10:22 am »
Unfortunately we have been dealing with Varroa Destructor here in America for quite some time now. There is some VERY GOOD information here at Beemaster on the subject, which covers 'every aspect of Varroa' in one fashion or another, by top beekeepers. Great discussions along with quotes, links, pictures, and videos etc., which are invaluable shared knowledge in my opinion... Check out the archives for more..

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline NigelP

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2023, 09:14:23 am »
Yoiu need to know what your authorities will allow as legal treatment.
In the UK it is (technically)  illegal to treat for varroa with oxalic acid vaporization, although it is legal to vaporize with apibioxal which is oxalic acid with additives....the compnay have the sole right. At the end oif the day it will come down to what each individual beekeeper is happy using. I do a three year rotation using different miticide strips.Its expensive but very quick to insert them between frmaes and then remove 6-8 weeks later.  But not good if you have honey coming in 365....

Offline Michael Bush

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Offline Beelab

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2023, 03:48:57 am »
Currently, there are no approved varroa treatments in Australia.
DPI will issue us with miticide strips once we discover varroa in our hives. I think Formic pro.
We can?t buy ANY varroa treatment
I would like to use OA vapours initially if I do find varroa, but it?s illegal in Australia (apparently because it?s toxic to the beekeeper).

Much of Australia doesn?t get a brood break. And we have to deal with SHB.

Any colony that dies from varroa will immediately get a hive beetle slime out.

I?ll take on the challenge, but not looking forward to the future.
Not surprised many hives are up for sale at the moment.

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2023, 10:22:57 am »
What method will they use to verify your infestation? What will be their reaction time? Will all be quick enough that you will be able to save your hive(s)?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2023, 10:35:26 am »
"Beelab"
"I would like to use OA vapours initially if I do find varroa, but it?s illegal in Australia (apparently because it?s toxic to the beekeeper)."


OA should always be used with the 'utmost' care and precaution in my opinion. Unlike the HOney Bee with its hard exoskeleton and hard respiratory passages, we have soft tissue than can be damaged. Eye protection as well as a good respirator to protect our soft tissue respiratory system is 'highly' recommended.  (No matter which way the wind might be blowing).  :grin:

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline paus

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2023, 11:53:15 am »
I plant Lemon Queen Sunflowers every year.  I just read in another website that sunflowers reduce the Varroa load in hives.  Anhyone else heard that??

Online Lesgold

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2023, 07:54:25 pm »
My initial reaction is to reduce the number of hives so that I can focus on the issue when it arrives. I currently run about 30 hives all up in two yards. I might sell half of them and just maintain about 15 hives at home. Keeping an eye on what is happening is much easier when you are located within walking distance of the bees and don?t have to travel.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasion?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2023, 06:53:03 am »
>My initial reaction is to reduce the number of hives

No need to worry about that.  The more you have to start with, the more likely you'll get some that CAN survive.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline beesnweeds

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The New South Wales Department Of Primary Industries is the mob who looked after the varroa response and provide guidance and advice to beekeepers in my state.
Hopefully not, but I think you and other beekeepers are going to be very disappointed with the advice from the National Management Group.  The reason why Randy Oliver (Scientific Beekeeping) got started and funded by beekeepers in the US was because the EPA here is so incompetent in handling the varroa issue.  Any treatments or advice the EPA approves of are expensive or ineffective.  Aussie beekeepers are going to have to make the decision on whether to wait for the government to tell them what to do or start getting the raw materials and information they need now.  I dont know how close you are to the orange management areas but I think you have time to prepare.  I can easily control varroa getting material from my local hardware store if I needed to.  Read up on Scientific Beekeeping and you'll be way ahead of other beekeepers.  A few things about oxalic acid, its been in use for decades with no signs of resistance.  OAD, OAV, and OAE when timed and used correctly are very effective.  2 grams of oa per hive body are needed for effective control when using OAV.  Api-Bioxal is 97.00% and most others are 99.6% pure for a fraction of the cost.  Dont get rid of any hives, you can learn a lot from both successful and crashing colonies. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2023, 11:23:16 pm by beesnweeds »
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Online Lesgold

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Thanks for the advice. At the moment the nearest problem areas are about 350km away. It will only take one infected hive moved into the region to change that. If I?m lucky, it may take a year or two to arrive. If luck is not on my side, it could be a couple of weeks. Time will tell.

Offline beesnweeds

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Next step for varroa in Australia:  Universities and non profits need research money now! :wink:
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline Ben Framed

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They can save their money and come here to "Beemaster" and search the archives..  :grin: :wink:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Bob Wilson

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I suppose treatment might be OK if your livelihood depends on your bees. At least the hope is to hold on to that livelihood until natural resistance builds.
However, for us hobbyists, who can absorb losses more easily, then we can help by keeping treatment free hives and letting the bees develop their own resistance.
You can keep bees without treatment. Many of us here on Beemaster have been doing so for years.

Online Lesgold

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That?s what I?m hoping for. Thanks for posting Bob. I?d be interested in hearing about your journey in relation to Varroa and being treatment free.

Offline Ben Framed

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That?s what I?m hoping for. Thanks for posting Bob. I?d be interested in hearing about your journey in relation to Varroa and being treatment free.

See << Reply #22  below:
https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=52003.msg463813#msg463813
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Lesgold

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Re: What should we be doing to prepare for the inevitable varroa mite invasio
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2023, 02:23:12 am »
Thanks Phillip. I actually read that comment this morning. That is something to look forward to 👎👎👎. It?s going to be hard when it hits, especially for those who rely on their bees. It will be a real head scratcher if any hives survive. If some do, then why? Will cranky hives survive? How about hives that tend to keep their house quite clean? Will my feral hives suffer more than those with good different genetic traits? So many unknowns at the moment.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Lesgold,
When I first researched about keeping bees, and before getting any bees at all, I made a decision based on my philosophical mindset.
I would be treatment free. If I was going to have to add medication/poison to keep them alive, then I wouldn't keep bees at all. I haven't for a moment believed that all the feral bees died out from varroa. They have been there all along, coping through nature. I reasoned that if they could live in the wild without treatment, then I should be able to keep them that way also. I like neither the idea, the cost, nor the trouble of treatment. This probably stems from working in the chemical section of a retail nursery when I was younger.
So, how have I kept them alive without treatment? Beats me. But, here are some things I have always done.
1. I keep my bees in long hives, but I doubt that makes any difference. I dismiss any idea that long hives are in some way a more "natural" beekeeping method.
2. I use foundationless frames. I have from the start. That means the bees build whatever size cell they want (ie. small cell). I don't restrict drone cell either.
3. I don't buy bees. I never have. I got started beekeeping by catching a few swarms. That means most of my bees are the little grey feral bees. However sometimes a swarm may be larger and yellow, which I suspect comes from some other beekeeper's yard. I consider the little grey bees to be feral, more hardy, and more resistant to varroa as well.
4. I always pull spring nucs, sometimes taking the old queen, but sometimes not. I do this to keep my bees from swarming, and I sell off the extra so I can strictly keep my own apiary down to 3 or 4 hives and a couple of nucs. (I live in close quarters suburbia)
5. I don't feed bees in general. Why should I? I leave them enough of their own honey, which is better for them anyway. No sugar water or pollen patties. Now if I catch some late season swarm, then I might feed that nuc a little.
It is true that I have lost a couple of colonies, but those were from sheer stupidity. I have weakened hives by pulling too many nucs, and they couldn't stave off hive beetles, or some such error on my part. Every loss so far I can trace back to some obvious fatal mismanagement. In 6 years I have had no winter losses, although I am sure my hives have varroa also. I imagine that every colony in America does.
All these factors above may be reasons for treatment free success, such as a minor beek like me enjoys, but I have no proof.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 02:46:49 pm by Bob Wilson »

Online The15thMember

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Bob, have you ever seen evidence of viruses in your colonies?  Deformed wings, or lots of hairless bees, or anything like that?
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Online Lesgold

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Thanks for that Bob,

It would be interesting to know the reasons why your bees survive and do well yet others struggle to keep hives alive. I wonder if location could also contribute to the success of your bees. I like your approach and agree with your philosophy. For a transition to what you are doing, I would need to drop the use of foundation and go to foundationless frames. Like you, I have feral bees and don?t buy packages or queens. When I first started in the hobby, I did buy one nuc but the rest were swarms. The nuc I purchased had chalkbrood and struggled for quite a while. I was naive and didn?t realise what the problem was until did some research. I was not a happy camper at that point. The person I purchased the nuc from was a professional who held classes, sold equipment etc. He transferred the nuc to a hive that I supplied and would have known the problem was present. I should have contacted him about the issue but didn?t as it would have meant a 400km round trip to replace the nuc. Instead I just contacted a couple of local beekeepers, got some advice and dealt with it. That guy was obviously wiped off my Christmas card list and lost any future business from me. In saying that, most people I have met who sell nucs or hives, take the time to ensure hives are healthy and disease free. I did purchase a few queen from reputable suppliers early on. In most cases I found the resulting hives to be quiet and well behaved but I didn?t notice any noticeable increase in honey production. A couple of my early mentors gave up buying queens decades ago and allowed the bees to do their own thing. They always had healthy bees that produced large quantities of honey and convinced me that I was wasting my money buying queens. My feral bees go well but I do end up with the odd hive that has attitude problems. I now have bees that seem to keep SHB under control. They have obviously learnt how to deal with the pest. I lost my first hive to the beetle last year but that was due to my error rather than the bees. I am hoping that the bees will eventually develop traits that will help to control varroa. It?s a gamble that may cost me all of my hives but at the end of the day I am comfortable with that.

Offline cao

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Like bob, I have been treatment free since I started 10 years ago.  I started with three nucs, lost one the first winter.  Bought two packages the second year, neither one made it past the summer.  After that, I decided I was not buying any more bees.  Increased hive count each year by making splits until I reached near 100 hives a few years ago.  I decided that was too many too take care of and small hive beetles also took their toll.  Now I am in a better place with between 40-60 hives.  I do have winter losses but nothing out of the ordinary.  I have gotten away from wax foundation.  I do use some plastic foundation but, most of my frames only have starter strips. 

I have seen the occasional hairless bee or one with deformed wings but not very often.  I don't recall seeing any this year. 

I haven't fed my bees other than setting wax cappings and screens for the bees to clean up after harvesting honey for at least three or four years.  Some hives go into winter very light so I expect to lose some hives.


Offline NigelP

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It would seem from a brief reading of several treatment free beekeepers that they are not keeping bees for commercial gain. Affording to leave honey on for bees overwinter is good but makes no commercial sense.  I suspect climate may have a big part to play in whether treatment free can be commercially successful.
In the UK it is not a no go, but a real go slow. The treatment free colonies I have had the misfortune to examine have been small vicious and not worth keeping as major honey producers. I have to help a friend out who is determined to not treat, we are taking off 1 UK super per hive with approx 20lbs of honey in each. A seasons worth of honey gathering, admittedly in not a good foraging area. With most of my treated hives averaging over 200lbs of surplus honey  tells of the possible advantages of treating for varroa. (approx 2 minutes per hive per year).
With good eyesight you will see the varroa mite on the bee below. Would you consciously allow any animal to be parasitized by such a large beast when there are several options to treat?
But each to their own way of dealing with varroa.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2023, 02:32:19 pm by NigelP »

Offline animal

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Ok, just some stupid questions here ...
Treatment free sounds "good" for building resistance. Treatment seems much better for production.

Are all successful treatment free hives small cell/foundationless ?

Have there been any experimental programs of using successful strains of "treatment free" raised breeding stock  in treated hives ?

or alternately ... attempts at breeding bees that are more resistant to formic acid (or amitraz)?
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Online Terri Yaki

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Ok, just some stupid questions here ...
Treatment free sounds "good" for building resistance. Treatment seems much better for production.

Are all successful treatment free hives small cell/foundationless ?

Have there been any experimental programs of using successful strains of "treatment free" raised breeding stock  in treated hives ?

or alternately ... attempts at breeding bees that are more resistant to formic acid (or amitraz)?
The beekeepers club that I am looking at has some members claiming to be selling varroa resistant queens but I question the validity of that claim.

Online The15thMember

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The beekeepers club that I am looking at has some members claiming to be selling varroa resistant queens but I question the validity of that claim.
There are some lines of queens with decent varroa resistance.  They are often labeled VSH (varroa sensitive hygiene) for bees that display hygienic traits and/or behavior.  Beeweaver queens and Purdue mite-biters would be some examples of strains bred specifically for varroa resistance.  Some people also have "survivor stock", bees that are descendants of colonies that survived without treatment the initial onslaught of varroa in the US.  Definitely ask questions of people to test the validity of such claims, but those bees are out there. 

Have there been any experimental programs of using successful strains of "treatment free" raised breeding stock  in treated hives ?

or alternately ... attempts at breeding bees that are more resistant to formic acid (or amitraz)?
   
I'm not really sure what you are getting at, animal.  What could we learn by treating "treatment free" stock?  And why do we want bees to be more resistant to miticides?  Formic does tend to take out weak bees, but I kind of view that as a positive, not a negative.  And I've never used amitraz, but I don't think the bee mortality with those products is high.   
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Offline animal

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the idea was to use hives with varroa resistance produce queens and then use those queens to gradually replace the queens in  commercial hives. Even if the queens were producing varroa resistant offspring, replacement of all the non-resistant bees/colonies would have to be a gradual process because of the numbers needed and possible loss of desired traits through uncontrolled breeding. I'm assuming that using virgin queens would be safest from the standpoint of preserving genetic diversity but would necessarily be a slower process. It seems to me that using pre-mated queens would require many more different and separately developed lines of queens that were varroa resistant.
 The commercial operation would still need to continue treatment as usual until non-resistant bees/colonies are replaced. Hopefully, they would gradually be able to shift to reduced or no treatment.

but I'm no geneticist, much less a bee one, and like I said, just a few stupid questions  :embarassed:

resistance to the chems used for control of the mites would allow stronger concentrations to be used and less frequently ... lowering the chance of resistant strains of mites developing, and if they do, more easily recognized so that they could be burned or otherwise sterilized. Personally, I'd like it if my bees were resistant to permethrin. Dealing with ants and some other pests has been a pain lately (they're not in the hive, I'm just hesitant to spray anything around the house/lawn.)
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Offline Bob Wilson

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I see a black hairless bee maybe once or twice a year, and a wing deformity about the same, although I haven't specifically gone looking for them. Most of my hives appear healthy with large brood nests.

Nigel.
Yes, I am a backyard Beek. I mentioned earlier that I understand the predicament of the commercial beekeeper. While I could conceivably lose all my hives to mites... with a few swarm boxes, I would be back in business the next spring. Not so for the commercial beeks. Their mortgages depend on it.
I regret your negative experience with treatment free hives. I hope you soon make the acquaintance of someone who is doing it better.

Offline Ben Framed

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This may be of interest to some of you with patience, and who don't mind a little 'outside the box thinking'.  lol


https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=55226.msg504067#msg504067
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Michael Bush

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>Are all successful treatment free hives small cell/foundationless ?

Kirk Webster is treatment free.  He makes his own foundation.  It's about 5.2mm.  Standard foundation is 5.4mm.  Small cell is 4.9mm  Natural cell varies within a hive and runs from about 4.4mm to 5.1mm with smaller towards the center of the brood nest.  Most of the people I know who are successful are doing small cell or foundationless.

>Have there been any experimental programs of using successful strains of "treatment free" raised breeding stock  in treated hives ?

There have certainly been people putting resistant stock in their hives since Varroa arrived.  The USDA had their Russians.  The university of Indiana had their "ankle biters".  Dr. Harbo has his SMR which are now VHS.  Dr. Spivak had her Minnesota Hygenics.  Kirk sells queens, though he's almost always sold out.  They are his own stock bred with Russians that he started with.

>or alternately ... attempts at breeding bees that are more resistant to formic acid (or amitraz)?

That is happening even if it's not intentional.  As long as you treat you are breeding bees that do well while treated.
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Offline jimineycricket

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Quote
Have there been any experimental programs of using successful strains of "treatment free" raised breeding stock  in treated hives ?

             Several people have worked on this, but no conclusive documentation available.  Here is good information for you to
read on Randy Oliver's journey. 

https://scientificbeekeeping.com/varroa-management/breeding-resistant-bees/
jimmy

Offline animal

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cool .. thank you, guys.
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline Ben Framed

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It seems when discussing this subject in the past, it was noticed the more aggressive type bee shows more signs of varroa resistance than the bee we are accustomed to such as European bees. Russians come to mind as Mr Bush mentioned above. Russians are known for their aggressive behavior, but it is my understanding some are more aggressive or even gentler than others.

Africanized bees that won the reputation of being know as killer. One major deterrent of these bees is their 'not so gentle' nature and not as much a pleasure in handling that most beekeepers are use to working with. It seems I remember reading here in a discussion or somewhere else, of a 'well known couple' in Arizona who laid claim to such a bee for varroa resistance.

The following article may give hope toward a happier medium concerning aggressive bee behavior toward humans which is highly frowned upon by many.




"Nature Journal"
Perhaps the most dramatic observation was that some of the Africanized bees, after removing the mite, proceeded to bite it in two! These defensive measures against varroa mites are likely the reason why the Africanized bees of Puerto Rico (and, we could infer, elsewhere) have lower mite loads.Jun 17, 2013

Puerto Rico's Honey Bees take on the Varroa Mite - Naturehttps://www.nature.com ? blog ? bio2.0 ? test_207211
http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/bio2.0
Puerto Rico's Honey Bees take on the Varroa Mite - Nature
« Last Edit: October 06, 2023, 12:44:02 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline NigelP

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From the various bits of research that I've read you can breed resistance bees under controlled matings  or II but the trait  doesn't get passed on to the next generation if allowed to open mate. I.E you we can buy  resistant  queens but her progeny are not resistant. Which to me is the key point, you need this to be an inherited dominant trait.
It's why I still treat.
Takes me about 2 minutes per hive once a year, one trip to add the strips and another to take them off.
Easy peasy.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2023, 02:37:45 pm by NigelP »

Offline Ben Framed

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Here is more discussion of the 'gentled down' Africanized Bee of Puerto Rico

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=51731.msg458821#msg458821
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Lesgold

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Hi Nigel,

You may be correct about what you are saying and that may be where we all head. I just have to give treatment free a run. If it works out, that would be great. If it doesn?t, I loose all my bees. For me, that?s not an issue as I don?t keep them for money, I keep bees for fun. Starting from scratch again doesn?t worry me. It?s about the journey and what happens along the way. Where I live, I don?t get a total brood break which is possibly going to be a bit of a challenge. I feel sorry for the people with big numbers of hives. They will be under a lot of pressure to get things right.