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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    Hillbilly,

    I think you're on the right track towards natural mite control. SBB's are a must- they can destroy around 5-10% of the varroa in a hive per month. Imagine losing 10% of your (new) bees every month... it would be hard for them to build up much. I like using the small-cell Pierco frames, but I really don't know for sure if that helps. I've read that fewer mites emerge from smaller cells, but I don't have any personal experience. I do have experience with russians (I bought them in 2000 and have had them since chem-free). I'm sold on them because they have NO problems with T-mites (unlike the few italian and buckfast I have). And the are tolerant of varroa mites. I think partially it's because they're a little more aggressive towards grooming. It's important that bees completely stop brood production at least for a few weeks to kill off last years mites. If you start the year with a relatively high mite population, look out. This may be one trick the russians have over other races. I do have one russian hive however, that had sriveled-winged bees coming out of it the other day, so I'll be interested to see if they make it next year. I may have made a mistake by feeding the bees throughout winter- they may have continued the brood cycle. I have 3 NWCarniolans which did good last year and appear to be similar to the russians (no T-mites and good varroa control for first year). I just like the fact that russians haven't been tampered with... haven't been bred to be more mild(less varroa resistant).

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    >Two things that my house is full of is, bears and bees. Stuffed items of course.<

    You have stuffed bees?

    ------------------
    --
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    There are several of both stuffed around here including a bear dressed as a bee...

  4. #24

    Question

    Curry: It's interesting to hear you say that you've noticed problems with your Buckfast bees AND T-mites (since that's the mite that Buckfast were originally bred to be resistant to - via Br. Adam using the 'survivor' breeding concept).
    --
    On a side note about this Varroa mite 'survivor' concept. Wouldn't it have been interesting to see American beekeepers never use chemicals to fight off the initial Varroa mite infestation? Since many commercial beekeepers were already devastated by the massive loss of colonies for the first few years of the Varroa attack, it seems like we could have gotten to Varroa resistant genetics a lot sooner if we hadn't "bought into" the use of Apistan, (etc.).

    Granted we can't turn back the clock now and certainly additional loss of colonies would have taken place but in the long run, wouldn't we have been better off?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    >On a side note about this Varroa mite 'survivor' concept. Wouldn't it have been interesting to see American beekeepers never use chemicals to fight off the initial Varroa mite infestation? Since many commercial beekeepers were already devastated by the massive loss of colonies for the first few years of the Varroa attack, it seems like we could have gotten to Varroa resistant genetics a lot sooner if we hadn't "bought into" the use of Apistan, (etc.).
    >Granted we can't turn back the clock now and certainly additional loss of colonies would have taken place but in the long run, wouldn't we have been better off?

    My guess is you are right. The big losses had already happened.


  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    dargaville
    Posts
    3

    Post

    Daisy,
    "knock on wood"
    To touch wood is a superstition action to ward off any evil consequences, say of untimely boasting; it can also be a charm to bring good luck. The origin is quite unknown, though some writers have pointed to pre-Christian rituals involving the spirits of sacred trees such as the oak, ash, holly or hawthorn. There is, I’m told, an old Irish belief that you should knock on wood to let the little people know that you are thanking them for a bit of good luck. Others have sought a meaning in which the wood symbolises the timber of the cross, but this may be a Christianisation of an older ritual. The children’s game of tag in which you are only safe so long as you are touching wood is not likely to be connected (an indicator of this may be that at times iron was substituted for wood if there was no wood handy). The phrase itself seems to be modern, as the oldest citation for touch wood in the Oxford English Dictionary dates only from 1908; my searches haven’t turned up anything earlier. (Incidentally, that work doesn’t have a single example of knock on wood, which is the American version of the British touch wood.)
    Simon
    (nothing about hives or bees though)

    ------------------

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,431

    Arrow

    > I wish there was a forum to discuss and talk about
    > survivor/resistant/no chem approach on this site,
    > without having to mix it up with those wishing to
    > do the other things.

    Consider it done. There is now a Forum called Biological Beekeeping. Cell size discussion has been incorporated into it. As on the BioBee List, this is NOT the place to discuss the use of drug and chemical treatments. Here we find other ways to keep the bees healthy, wealthy and wise.

    - Barry

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