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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,479

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    Interesting bit of information I gathered from our latest convention from our guys here studdying formic indoor treatments and thermo-regulation associated to grooming behavoiurs.

    They have been successfully treating mites in an indoor wintering facility with a two week maximum formic acid treatment. They have successfully found a concentration of 15-20 ppm that will successfully drop mites and show very little stress effect on the bees and wintered brood.

    During the tests, they have found that the hives that are infected with varroa without funigation will have 35% of their brood cells infected with varroa.
    Compaired to hives that are infected with varroa with a 10 day formic acid fumigation of the wintering room will have next to 0% of their wintering brood cells infected with varroa.

    This test was done periodically pulling brood frames from the brood nest of the hives in the wintering shed throughout the wintering period. And yes, indoor wintering hives do brood throughout the winter.


    Interesting question they found while performing all their studdies, is they found that the bees displayed a higher grooming behaviour with a lower ventalation air flow than with a higher ventalation air flow into the building. Factor that influenced this behaviour is not known. Being increased CO2 or hunidity were possible theories, but they are planning to investigate further.
    It drew a bit of excitement amoungst the croud, showing that may be methods out there to contol mites by mear manipulation of the bees environment!!

    Also along lines of grooming behaviour they talked about thermo-regulation and grooming behaviours.
    Interesting enough, they found that when introducing mites into clusters of bees, their cluster temp rose from 31 degreesC to 36 degreesC using infer red or thermal imaging. But even more interesting is that only the clusters of bees that exibited a grooming behaviour to remove the mite, held a hotter cluster temp!

    This excited the reaserchers termeniously. They see this increased cluster temp due to grooming activities as a response to hte mite as a marker they will beable to look for when searching for a high grooming bee in their queen breeding efforts. Using the infer red imaging to look for high grooming or hygenic bees will quicken up hte seach termendiously rather than having to physically test the bees hygenic behaviour over a matter of weeks.

    Anyway, just a few rambling thoughts I gathered from the convention I just attended,..
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Denmark, Europe
    Posts
    67

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    I find this rather interesting too!

    If any of this has or will be published on the net - please post a link...


    -Thor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,118

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    Ian:

    Do you know how a 15-20 ppm compares to Mite-Away II formic acid pads? Would acid treatment on hives outdoors have the same benefit? And was the treatment performed before the queen resumed brood rearing? The bees are already starting to raise young here, I can tell this by seeing new wax capping in the trays if my screen bottom board.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

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    Interesting! So, could I assume that the higher cluster temps of grooming bees might also cause greater stores comsumption? And if so, would it follow that wintering of hygienic bees requires heavier initial stores to over-winter?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,479

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    Sorry Brent, dont know for certain what the formic concentrations are within a MiteAway II treatment hive. I do know that the formic concentrations with the MiteGone pads are 6 grams/day evaporation. How that measures in ppm, I dont know. MiteAway II doesnt provide as much a consistant dose throughout its treatment period due to its initial formic blast. Especially if the temp rises.

    Treating formic acid in the winter months outdoors would not work due to the cold temperature. Indoor wintering rooms are maintained at a constant above freezing temp, usually 4 degrees. The formic acid is evapourated and mixed within the air circulation chamber.

    And yes, I do believe the treatment was ment to target the low to no brooding period of the winter. But during the experiment over the years of trials, they have prittymuch tested all senerios.

    >>could I assume that the higher cluster temps of grooming bees might also cause greater stores comsumption

    Good point. This thought was brought up while I was listening into a conversation between two beekeepers. They researchers did notice a raise in the wintering room temp corrilating to increased grooming activity in the cluster with lower air flow ventalation.
    How much more food that will be required, I dont know if we would even notice the difference anymore than we notice the different between our hives now.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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