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Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping

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Michael Bush:
>Thanks for your reply Michael.  So you would agree that if there are always drones the mites will stay mostly in the drones? 

On small cell, yes.  On large cell, they will be in both but still there is a preference for drones, just not as strong.

SiWolKe:
After culling drone frames the bees just raise more drones to compensate. They spend energy on drone breeding when they must spend energy on fighting mites and breeding more workers.
Especially in times they have the swarming urge. IMO bees want to have a special number of drones, depending on the state the colony is in. More healthy, more drones.
 
Yes, there are mites in worker and drone brood, but three times more in drone brood as I saw opening cells and counting.
And what about having only one mother mite in drone brood cell and three in worker cells? Who ever counted and compared by research?

But it all depends on how bee stock is triggered to fight mites, if beekeepers eliminate all mites all the time, the bees will never learn to fight. That's why in countries where people have no money to treat, bees became resistant in few years.

In late summer, when the bees kill drones, I see a lot of drone pupa in front of the hives, pulled and meanwhile kill mite babies in this process.
It all evens out if natural process is allowed.

I`m not sure about the drifting. I've had golden drones from buckfast and elgon and black ones from AMM and carniolan. They went back to the mother colonies. Not much mixing there but I place my hives apart by some m.

And I still have never seen evidence that normal constant drifting mite bombs hives. In my colonies the mite infestation always stayed the same, bad or good. If the hive was good, it had no problems with constant low drift, if there was such.   But I have seen that a mite infested , non resistant hive crashed and the surviving bees beg into other colonies spreading virus and maybe mites. Once.

A real high danger is bees robbing honey from weak non resistant hives with no defending watchers present. You can recognize problems when you see wasps going in and out. So I try to treat with non chemical treatments when a colony starts to get into a real bad bad condition.



SiWolKe:
Ihm not sure, small cells make such a difference. It's the same on natural cells IMHO but the next years will show me because I'm changing to natural comb.
My bees were not good building small cells, they built bigger cells on small cell foundation often. Diversity in cell size might be better. Might be.
The difference between worker and drone cells size is still well to be seen, though.

SiWolKe:
Something else:

In germany bee colonies are treated with oxalic in winter. That must make them come out of winter with low mite numbers.
Now the drones are culled in spring. I have yet to meet a beekeeper who examines how many mites he killed with this management. Could be many mite empty cells.
Asking them about it they tell me it's not the mites which are a problem that time of year, but they don't want the drones to eat the spring honey.

So what are the motives?

Ben Framed:
> That's why in countries where people have no money to treat, bees became resistant in few years.

In what countries are you speaking of, where bees have become resistant by treatment free? In France Richard Noel and others in his world wide Group, (if I remember correctly) are part of a program that is seeking to develop such a mite resistant bee as you described. This news will save these folks years in research, breeding, and development.

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