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Thread: Hygenic Bees?

  1. #1
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Question

    How does one develop hygenic bees?
    Are there any other purposes to hygenic bees except to reduce brood with mites?
    thanks,
    Jason

  2. #2
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    >How does one develop hygenic bees?

    You can TEST for them and breed the ones that test well. The test is usually to use Liquid Nitrogen to kill a patch of brood and timing how long before the bees clean it out. I'm not sure this is the best test for mite hygenics. The bees have to sense that there are MITES in the cell, not a dead larvae. I think a better test for Varroa mite hygenics would be to get varroa off with a powder sugar method and then introduce them into about to be capped cells and see how many of them get cleaned out by the nurse bees.


    >Are there any other purposes to hygenic bees except to reduce brood with mites?

    YES! Hopefully they will clean out diseased brood which helps control ANY brood disease including EFB, AFB, Chaulk brood, Sac brood etc.

    That is the concept.

  3. #3
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    NATURAL RESISTANCE SELECTION - About mid Aug do a sticky-board count of mites in colony. Those with a high mite count should be destroyed. Treat only those that show promise.
    Surviving colonies should again be sampled in Spring and lowest mite-count colonies used for breeding stock. [Bee Culture, Dec '03, p44]

    HYGIENIC BEHAVIOR TEST - Select a 1.5" x 1.5" area of CAPPED brood (which contains about 60 cells on each side of comb or 120 cells total), and CUT IT OUT OF FRAME. Place in freezer for at least 24 hours, then replace into the frame where it was removed (hold in place w/ string until bees reseal/repair). Hygienically clean bees will open the cappings, remove all dead pupae or larvae inside, within 48 hrs. If it takes longer - bees are lacking the genetic factor of HB, so requeen and test again the new brood laid by new queen. [George's PINK PAGES, Mar 02]


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

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

  4. #4
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    Do mite-infected brood ALWAYS die (in capped cell)?

  5. #5
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    >Do mite-infected brood ALWAYS die (in capped cell)?

    No they do not usually die. Which is why I question the validity of hygenic test for mite hygenics. You need bees that detect that there is something wrong when the larvae (or pupae) are still alive, but infested with mites.

  6. #6
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    >NATURAL RESISTANCE SELECTION - About mid Aug do a sticky-board count of mites in colony. Those with a high mite count should be destroyed. Treat only those that show promise.
    Surviving colonies should again be sampled in Spring and lowest mite-count colonies used for breeding stock. [Bee Culture, Dec '03, p44]


    My ferral survivor colony that I removed from an abandoned farmhouse being torn down was the one colony that had the highest mite count in September - October. It had well over three hundred mites in a seven day period. This is a colony that had been survivng with the mites for who knows how long. By the above statement the hive should have been destroyed, not minding the fact that they had been resistant to the attack of mites.

    Did they have an extremely high load or were they grooming them off and out of the hive? Perhaps the mites had no where to go with the shrinking of the brood area? There may have been very few mites at all. I will have more answers when I can determine if they survive the winter. BTW, even after being removed from the farm house in July they still filled out the deep they were transfeered into, and four mediums of PC.

  7. #7
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    In context of feral survival, H&HB, p91 states; "Once colonies survive the first season, their average life span is almost 6 years, indicating that, while an individual swarm has a low probability of survival, those which do survive may persist for many years."

    Seems everything about bees is contradictory. Guess thats why MrBEE says, "It depends".

  8. #8
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    I find the mite resitance issue confusing, partly because I think there are lot of different aspects to why the bees survive them. I'm not sure that getting rid of a mite infested colony is how you get to resistance, because part of the formula is the ability to SURVIVE severe infestation. Of course if they die, they didn't survive.

  9. #9
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    Not being able to afford Liquid Nitrogen, I just figure the ones still alive are the mite resistant ones, seems to work for me.

  10. #10
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    >The test is usually to use Liquid Nitrogen to kill a patch of brood and timing how long before the bees clean it out.

    Is there something magical about liquid nitrogen? I don't keep liquid nitrogen around the house but I always have at least one full cylinder of carbon dioxide. CO2 has a boiling point well above nitrogen but still low enough to instantly freeze brood, IMHO. Would CO2 leave some objectionable residue on the comb?
    George

  11. #11
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    Why so complicated, use a fine needle and pin the larva thru the closed cells, if you go deep enough bees cleaning the cells on both sites of the comb.

  12. #12
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    >Is there something magical about liquid nitrogen? I don't keep liquid nitrogen around the house but I always have at least one full cylinder of carbon dioxide. CO2 has a boiling point well above nitrogen but still low enough to instantly freeze brood, IMHO. Would CO2 leave some objectionable residue on the comb?
    George

    It would probably work. I just don't know that enough research has been done to say how significant the results are from that.

    >Why so complicated, use a fine needle and pin the larva thru the closed cells, if you go deep enough bees cleaning the cells on both sites of the comb.

    As I understand some research has been done on this and resulted in the conclusion that ALL bees will clean out cells with holes in the caps at about the same rate, so the researchers decided the significance of them cleaning out pinholed cells was not significant.

    Some of the research has also seemed to point to cutting out, freezing and putting it back not being a very accurate test for hygenics either.

    I, of course, am just repeating what they have said.

    Personally I think the real trait we want is survival, and that may be more complex than them cleaning out frozen brood.

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