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Author Topic: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa  (Read 1024 times)

Offline cao

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2018, 01:10:02 pm »
The 'best case' scenario is ....

I would argue that the best case senario would be that the bees build up in the first year enough to survive the winter.  The next spring they are strong enough to swarm.  Which if I understand correctly, that natural brood break would drop the mite levels to nothing or at least a managable level.  That summer they build back up for winter and the process continues year after year after year.  After all that is the goal of the bees(reproduction). 

The 'worst case' scenario ....

The beekeeper interferes too much with the bees and they die that first year. :wink:


Offline Acebird

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2018, 01:28:34 pm »
"Package bees" don't feature in the OP's question ...
LJ

How did you make that determination?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline little john

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2018, 01:57:30 pm »
If we restrict ourselves to data taken from published research, then as can be seen in the following graph:




The 'best-case' - from a survival point-of-view - is to start the year (typically colony year 1 - or the first year of infestation) with 10 mites or fewer.  As can be seen from the graph (green line), providing the mite population is not increased during the season from outside (which would happen if a neighbouring failed, untreated colony is robbed-out by the subject colony) - over a typical season of 6 months the mite population never gets to reach 1000, which is considered to be the minimum threshold for colony demise. But - even if that mite population were to be reduced over winter, providing it doesn't drop below around 100, that population would then be sufficient to cause colony demise in the following year (yellow line).

I take your point about the interference (nice wink) - but I think here we're talking about zero beekeeper intervention ?  As in - "how long would a colony survive these days if left entirely to their own devices ?"  At least, that's how I read the OP.
LJ

BTW - graph taken from Marion Ellis's excellent talk: http://youtube .com/watch?v=q4WvPNmS7uc
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline gww

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2018, 03:11:32 pm »
If a coloney is left compleetly to its own devices, seeley says 8 years and still going.  Even if the question may seem to be left to their own device, it may really mean, left to thier own devices as far as mites are concerned.  There are plenty of studies on this that do not make three years the end result or 1000 mites the death threshold.  On an island of managed bees they were regularly living with over 40 percent mite threasholds.  There is a lot more to do with it then it only works one way.  Location, the bees, the virus load, etc etc.

There are bees and places where it also works just like LJ says.  You don't know with your bees untill they are tried.  When trying they may die just like they die in some places up to 80 percent even when treating.  There are alway exceptions to the rules on all sides.  There are studies on all sides.   The only way to know for sure where you are is to try and to adjust to what ever your bees tell you after trying.

LJ is correct on what the mite modles people have come up with but there are other factors that can effect those modles. 
Some of those factors are understood and some are not.

There is antidoltal evidence that people do better then that and are happy with the results they obtain.  Somebody else may look and say that I would not be happy with that.  It is probly not a good ideal to allow other people to decide what makes you happy.  I bought the only bees I have ever bought from a guy who has had bees for 20 years and does not treat for mites.  I was told that if I kept those bees like the guy I bought them from, I should have the same success he has.  The question then becomes and I happy with that level of success? 
It does not work the same every where cause you can not control all the external things that are around you.  LJ's advice is probly good more then not but is not the only advice for every place out there.  I may or may not be best where you are.  In the end, I still say you don't know till you try.

I am starting my third year.  I start it knowing and even expecting my bees to die.  They are alive right now and looking good.  If I was in seeleys forrest, I would be expecting some of the established hives to die but not all of them. 
Cheers
gww

Ps There is a need to get unstuck on some definition of what does treatment free mean and get more stuck on the definition of what does personal success mean.

Offline little john

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2018, 04:46:18 pm »
Another issue which appears never to be addressed is the comparison which people so frequently make between bacteria and their developed resistance to antibiotics - and the relationship between Varroa and the Honeybee which is one of parasitism and not bacterial disease.

If Adaptation by Natural Selection is to occur, then the mutated genotype must be expressed as an altered phenotype BEFORE the organism reproduces, in order that whatever beneficial changes have taken place within the genetic code may then be passed on to the next generation - thus enabling the organism to evolve (i.e. adapt permanently).

But nothing approaching this ever happens with the Varroa parasite.  If colony death were to be instantaneous the moment a Varroa mite entered the hive, then it might - but - even during a very serious infestation, provided that a handful of larvae can be reared as queens and drones respectively, then the original genetics will proceed onwards to form the next generation.  A completely different mechanism is involved, and so applying the logic of Adaption by means of Natural Selection in this case is flawed.
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline Beeboy01

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Re: How long will a hive last untreated for varroa
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2018, 05:36:45 pm »
My best so far has been six years without any mite treatment. The hive was "hot" and I expect had a lot of Africanized genes in it. It was also a lot more hygienic than the other hives. Didn't produce much honey but was always loaded with brood and threw small swarms which is another Africanized trait.
  Lost most of that blood line to a SHB invasion and only have one hive left that shows similar genetics. I use the hive as a brood producer for splits and building up weaker hives but really should requeen it this year.