View Full Version : Where do Varroa come from??
03-11-2006, 10:41 AM
If one was to put a honey bee in the wild and this bee had no Varroa on her at all and say didn't get any from the hive, where else would the bee get one? Are they on plants?
This is of course hypothetical situation.Maybe treatment can start at the plants, at least the ones in our yard.
03-11-2006, 11:36 AM
Where do they come from?
From mommy and daddy v-mites! Well Duh....
There is more drifting among hives than most realize. One hive within an apiary will transfer mites.
Bees robbing and 'begging" an entrance could carry mites from hives a good ways away.
Drones also gravitate to hives that have virgin queens and are in the swarming mode. You may have drones from colonies of good distances.
Your hives robbing a feral colony (or any other for that matter) may come into contact with bees doing the same from a mile or two in the opposite direction from yours. Meaning your bees could contact bees from 4 or more miles away when it comes to mite transfer. This could happen even if you think there are no other beekeepers close-by.
I am not saying that there are not some very isolated bee yards. But for most, v-mites are something you will deal with. They will find them one way or another.
03-11-2006, 01:42 PM
They only come from other bees. Not flowers. They cannot live without bees for more than a few hours.
03-11-2006, 02:02 PM
Here is an interesting site about v. mites.
03-11-2006, 02:13 PM
>They only come from other bees?????
Varroa has been found (in Florida) on flower-feeding insects Bombus pennsylvanicus, Palpada vinetorum and Phanaeus vindex [http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=478&fr=1&sts= Accessed 8/20/05].
03-11-2006, 04:04 PM
>Varroa has been found (in Florida) on flower-feeding insects Bombus pennsylvanicus, Palpada vinetorum and Phanaeus vindex
Well, of course Bombus is a bee. The others aren't and it's the first I've heard of Varroa on them. Can the varroa get sustainance from them? Can they reproduce on them?
From your link:
"V. destructor is found on a range of honeybees, according to Denmark (2000), including the Asian honey bee species Apis cerana and A. koschevnikovi, and on all races of the European bee A. mellifera. In Florida, V. destructor has been found on flower feeding-insects Bombus pennsylvanicus and Palpada vinetorum but this association is probably incidental and contributes little, if anything, to the spread of this parasite. The mite is spread between colonies on live bees carrying mites."
[ March 11, 2006, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: Ian ]
>>If one was to put a honey bee in the wild and this bee had no Varroa on her at all and say didn't get any from the hive, where else would the bee get one? Are they on plants?
I'd say your hive will be clean from mites until, well it comes in contact with bees from a colony that has mites. Otherwards there is no other direct transfer the mite needs to infect your colony.
Saskatewan is a provence B/W Manitoba and Alberta. Alberta got the mite, then Manitoba due to a transfer of bees to pollination to British Columbia. Saskatewan held its boarders tight, and kept the mite away for a few years longer than we, and then finally migrated inwards.
What am I saying? Well it was the transfer of mite to bee, to bee that infected Saskatewan.
Robbing is probably the most frequent was of transmitting the mite B/W hives, yards and operations. Not to mention AFB and all the rest of those goodies!!
If your bee is visiting a flower with a mite on it, the mite had to get there from another infected colony. My guess is that the infected hive will infect your hive eventually.
So take steps from preventing any robbing from occuring in your mite free yard. It will help your disease control.
03-11-2006, 10:46 PM
Drones carry often mites and they change the hive.
03-12-2006, 11:38 AM
What Ian says about varroa probably goes double for AFB. Robbing definitey transmits disease, and bees are more likely to rod colonies weakened or killed by disease. Unfortunately, my best foragers also seem more prone to robbing
03-14-2006, 06:46 AM
"Varroa has been found (in Florida) on flower-feeding insects Bombus pennsylvanicus, Palpada vinetorum and Phanaeus vindex [http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=478&fr=1&sts= Accessed 8/20/05]." -from website cited by Dave W
OK, like others, I can accept the identification of Varroa on Bombus pennsylvanicus, although it seems a bit out of place. B. pennsylvanicus is one of the largest bumble bees in North America; maybe Varroa occur occasionally on some of the bumble bees mor similar in size to honey bees, but people just haven't confirmed it yet? (Actually, I think I read something a while back about Varroa infesting several species of bumble bees -- I'll have to see if I can find it again.)
And Palpada vinetorum makes some sense -- for those who don't know what P. vinetorum is, it's a hover fly or flower fly (Diptera: Syrphidae). Many of these are mimics of bees, they visist flowers, also, and often come in contact with honey bees. Mites could easily transfer from honey bees to these flies, although I wonder if the mites would survive very long.
But Phanaeus vindex baffles me. I doubt that record, honestly. P. vindex is a dung beetle. The larvae eat dung, the adults eat dung. They don't visit flowers. I don't know how honey bees would come into contact with P. vindex (unless the bees are visiting some very questionable places ;) ). But these dung beetles are hosts to other species of mites (mites that will not transfer to honey bees). I suspect that someone found mites on the beetles and misidentified them as "Varroa."
I think others have already done a good job of explaining how Varroa transfers and spreads from bee to bee and hive to hive -- drifting, begging, robbing, possibly some transfer from bee-to-flower-to-bee.
"I'd say your hive will be clean from mites until, well it comes in contact with bees from a colony that has mites." -Ian
Well put! It doesn't have to be much contact, just contact.