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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Thorn Hill,Tennessee,U.S.A. [Rocky Top]
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    58

    Question

    What is worse Varroa mites or Tracheal mites? Don

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

    Post

    You don't want either. Both are omnipresent and both are manageable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,408

    Post

    Basically they are both a problem but there are bees resistant to Tracheal mites and they seem easier to control.

    There are no bees that genetically can handle the Varroa mites. People talk about varroa mite resitant bees but I haven't seen any yet. Some do better than others but they all get Varroa and something has to be done differently to take care of it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
    Posts
    61

    Post

    Would a cupple of frames of drone comb and a screened bottem board keep the Varroa mites in check?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >Would a cupple of frames of drone comb and a screened bottem board keep the Varroa mites in check?

    It would at least give the mites a good place to multiply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
    Posts
    61

    Big Grin

    I meen letting the drone comb be capped and then freezing it and letting it be cleaned out by the bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,408

    Post

    That is one approach. It works pretty well at a high cost in resources for the bees.

    I prefer small cell as my main approach. While regressing I have supplemented this with FGMO fog and finished the year off with Oxalic acid. After seeing the Oxalic acid work, I admit it is VERY effective, but the FGMO had kept the population down to managable level.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    I agree that the drone foundation is alot of work and never appealed to me either.

    Do yourself a favor and visit the "bees and packages" page off the main page of this site. Contact several breeder, and see what others are doing to fight both v-mites and t-mites. Articles in ABJ also highglight successful beekeepers who are having success with resistant bees. I do not keep a vast stockpile of articles and reference, but start with ABJ, December 2003, page 949. Alot of varied stories, but all the same about improving resistant bee lines, and the ability of bees to handle the mites on their own.

    No matter what you choose, one thing is certain. That poor beekeeping management, is probably the biggest killer of hives. Reacting after the fact to dead hives is not the position to be in. I think alot of dead-out winter killed hives are blamed on mites that are not mite related at all. Its just easier to blame the mites than ones-self.

    To answer your question, V-mites. They are by far the most destructive item to hives today.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
    Posts
    61

    Post

    I have 2 hives of recently installed packages from R Weaver and a hive of a Ferrel colony. Where is a good place to get a Fogger?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
    Posts
    61

    Post

    I have read through past posts on fogging and it still is hard for me to understand what you need and how to treat with it. All of the books don't really have any explenations of alternitive mite control, (it would be nice to be able to get one) they just suggest to use aspitan.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I find it irritating that they not only suggest Apistan but suggest that if you use it you'll be safe. Last time I used it it didn't work. This last winter I know of commercial beekeepers who used it and lost half their hives to Varroa.

    The foggers can be purchase online or at your local hardware store. They tend to be in stock right now, harder to find in the winter.

    A propane Burgess insect fogger is what most of us use. Throw away the insecticide that comes with it, buy a bottom of mineral oil laxitive at your local drug store and fill the resoviour and light the fogger. Take the outer cover off and fog until you see it coming out the top. If you have a SBB fog underneath the bottom open.

    The thymol is a more complicated matter and you'd have to get advice from someone else since I've never used it.
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/rodriguez/index.htm

    The cords are used by many and help also, but are more work than I am willing to do as long as the FGMO fog is working.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Fort Payne, Alabama
    Posts
    1

    Post

    I used the fogger method this year to treat my bees. We did one other thing. We added a little food grade wintergreen to the mineral oil to better deal with the tracheal mites. I believe it was 2 tablespoons of wintergreen to a quart of mineral oil.

  13. #13
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    > There are no bees that genetically can handle the Varroa mites.

    Funny you should mention that.
    There are a number of beekeepers who might be able to change
    your mind on this subject, despite your unqualified statement.

    The issue is described well here by my friend Bob Harrison:
    http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-...e-l&D=0&P=5282

    The pure Russian/Russian, if you can get them, seems to be showing
    encouraging results. The problem is finding a producer willing to
    implement a closed breeding program. Sadly, most of the "Russian"
    queens sold to date have been mongrels.

    (To read the entire thread, which spans several weeks, use the Lightbulb
    buttons to read each week's postings on that thread, and then use the
    upward pointing arrow to go to the list of weekly archives to find the
    next or prior week's postings on the same subject.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    My statement is based on my experiences. Also, I think if they had bees that could actually handle it then why are we all still having problems?

    I know I've bought Russians and other bees that are supposed to be resitant and haven't seen any real difference. Then I've taken any kind of ordinary Carni, Italian, Russian and feral bees and put them on small cell and seen a lot of difference.

    Perhaps someone is doing better than that genetically, but I don't think us beekeepers are seeing it. I'm not.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Post

    I've been following the Russian thread on Bee-L with interest, and the same question keeps coming to mind. What's a hobbyist interested in keeping Russians to do?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Jfischer,
    I have had this discussion not long ago with MB, and I asked him about various articles and other beekeeper and breeder that have or are having success with mite resistant selection, hygenic selection, and MB said simply he has no experience, has not met anyone who had success, or has not read anything on the matter. It is easy to dismiss something and claim never of seeing it.

    I personally could show you 120 hives not treated for mites with chemicals, no fogging or anything else. All inspected this past week, and 1 hive is queenless, and one hive show signs of mite virus symptoms.(however low mite count) I'll take those totals anyday. Can I claim that these hive are mite resistant, probably not. But to say if I throw them on small cell, or start fogging, does that give me the same right to claim smallcell or FGMO success, probably not.

    If small cell is successful, fine. If FGMO is successful, fine. If through selective breeding a bee will eventually emerge that is mite tolerant, or mite resistant, thats fine too. I think the path is clear that genetics and selective breeding will be one way to fight the mites. And if I can do it without converting over all my hives with expensive small cell foundation or can bypass carrying a fogger for the rest of my life thats fine too.

    I feel that we all dismiss other procedures and ideas because they do not fall in line with our own experiences, preferences or agendas. Small cell, and FGMO may work, and thats good. Mite resistant bees and selection of better genetics is moving down that same path. Not sure if alot of other people want to accept this or want to acknowledge it.

  17. #17
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    > I've been following the Russian thread on
    > Bee-L with interest, and the same question
    > keeps coming to mind. What's a hobbyist
    > interested in keeping Russians to do?

    Demand "truth in advertising" from queen
    producers, and vote with your dollars.

    Open mating with a mongrel population
    tends to dilute the traits that are
    being advertised.

    When you buy a computer, you expect that
    the chips are not contaminated with
    impurities that would affect operation.

    When you buy food, you expect an apple to
    be an apple, not a crossbreed with a pear.

    So, do your homework, ask pointed questions,
    and compare notes with other beekeepers before
    you order queens.

    The story told on Bee-L about what has been and
    is being sold as “Russian” bees was apparently
    a real eye-opener to many.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    The story of the pure Russian strain being diluted through open mating is nothing new. I question what people have been looking at, if this is an "eye-opener" for many. Yes I would like to see the results of Russian/Russian stats when handling mites. As there is certainly bad advertising and claims. I wonder however what looking at Russian/Russian will do in the realm of all the dilution problem. The first studies and results for pure Russians were very good, and the problem lies with the problems(ie. dilution) after the fact.

    However I also feel that except for remote breeding and artificial insemination, the main thrust into bees handling mites are in selective survival programs. I am sure that whether Italian, Russians, or other bee lines used, there will be positive outcomes with improvements across the board with survivability. If Russian crossovers help the overall genetics, Its a small step. I feel its more importantant to, as you said "ask alot of questions,and do your homework", and go with breeders who do selective breeding with survivors. Not all bees bought with "Mite resistant" claims will survive. Seems there is alot of claims across the board on various procedures and mite fighting areas, and this is hampered by a fractured, scattered, non-binding group of people called beekeepers.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
    Posts
    61

    Post

    When would you suggest that I start fogging, as of now they have been in the hive about a week, I opened it up to make sure that the queens were released and they are drawing out the pierco fantasticly,and I saw one of the Queens, anywho I have screened bottem boards so should I fog if I start seeing mites or do preventive treatment, the two hives that I packaged are from R weaver and from observing the entrances I havent seen any mites on the foragers. I also have one hive that someone gave to me and I have seen mites on some of the bees in it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    The term "fogging" is a bit ambiguous at this point. There are people who are using straight FGMO fog only. There are people using FGMO fog and cords. Then there are people using FGMO fog with thymol and FGMO cords with thymol.

    I’m one who has used straight FGMO fog (without the cords) and liked it, but it requires diligence. You need to fog every two weeks to stay on top of the mites. It’s not so effective that you can let the mites get the upper hand and then try to turn it around.

    On the other hand with the thymol and with the cords it’s more effective. But if you want to fog with FGMO, I would stay on top of things rather than let them slide until you need to do something.

    On the other hand other treatments like Apistan, Check mite, Oxalic acid, Formic acid, I think you can wait until you know you have a mite problem to treat with these.

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