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

    Post

    A few days ago the temperature reached in the 70's here, and after being cooped up for a week, all the bees came out for a stroll. I noticed some could ONLY stroll, and had the K shaped wings caused by tracheal mites. There were herds of them walking off from my buckfast and italian hives, but I noticed there weren't ANY coming from my russian hives. (All hives had some sriveled-wing bees caused by varroa mites).

    Is there nothing the russians can't do?! Varroa resistance-good wintering-good producers- and even tracheal mite resistance? I'm sold. American Bee Journal had a good article about the russians by the Webbs apiary in this months issue.

    Anyway, I digress... my question is at what time of year would a colony succumb to tracheal mites if they are going to? With varroa mites it's obviously in the fall/winter when the mite population explodes. Do tracheal mites have the same exponential growth pattern that varroa does- only to start over after the brood reappears, or do they just gradually build up since they are not dependent completely on new brood?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    >my question is at what time of year would a colony succumb to tracheal mites if they are going to?

    Usually winter because the life span of the young bees has been shortened and so they don't make it to spring.

    >With varroa mites it's obviously in the fall/winter when the mite population explodes. Do tracheal mites have the same exponential growth pattern that varroa does- only to start over after the brood reappears, or do they just gradually build up since they are not dependent completely on new brood?

    They ARE dependant on young bees, so they can't reproduce all winter. Since I can't see them, I've never been sure what kind of populations there are or when they peak. I used to use the grease patties as a preventative. Now I use FGMO fog. When treating with one or the other of these I've had no problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    Greetings Curry,

    Here is some info I hope will be helpful.

    TRACHEAL MITE Indication:
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>Early detection of bad infestation is difficult. [Ref 1, p183]
    Bee crawling about at hive entrance, unable to fly. [Ref 4, p151]
    Bees stumbling around on the ground near hive. (May also be Nosema) [Ref 1, p183]
    Bees climbing on stalk of grass, tries to fly, instead fall to the ground. [Ref 1, p183]
    Bees w/ wings extended at odd angles. ("K-wings", also indication of Nosema). [Ref 1, p183]
    Bees abscond in early spring despite ample honey stores, or in late fall. [Ref 1, p183]
    Poor clustering in cold weather. Loss of bees w/ adequate stores and bees found randomly throughout hive, split clusters that appear small or dwindled. [Ref 4, p151]
    Typically kills colonies from February through late April. [Ref ?]
    No one symptom characterizes this disease. Absence of symptoms does not imply freedom from mites. Only microscopic examination of the tracheae can provide positive diagnosis.[/list]
    [http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/mite-aw.htm]

    TEST for tracheal mites by collecting moribund bees that may be crawling near hive entrance or bees at the entrance as they are leaving or returning to hive. Place in 70% ethyl or methyl alcohol as they are collected. Bees that have been dead for an inderterminate period are less than ideal for diagnosis.[http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/mite-aw.htm] Likelihood of detecting mites is
    higest in fall and winter. Submit to
    Bee Research Laboratory,
    Bldg. 476, BARC-East,
    Beltsville, MD 20705 [http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/directs.htm]

    TREATMENT: When over 30% of bees in colony become parasitized by Acarapis woodi, honey production may be reduced and likelihood of winter survival decreases w/ increase in infestation. Mite population in colony may vary seasonally. During maximum bee
    population, the percentage of bees w/ mites is reduced. Likelihood of detecting mites is highest in fall and winter. Impact of tracheal mites can be minimized by maintaining populous colonies and using menthol. [http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/mite-aw.htm]
    A process of natural selection or "survival of the fittest" has reduced the tracheal mite problem in somewhat isolated, non-migratory operations. Genetic resistance is available, especially in Buckfast and ARS-Y-C-1
    (Yugo) bees. [http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rf/hbtm/index.html]
    Grease Patties are more effective than
    menthol in Ohio. [http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2164.html]

    Good Luck!

    ------------------
    Dave W . . .

    A NewBEE with 1 hive.
    First package installed
    April, 2003.

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