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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Ames, Iowa
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    Ok, mabye I'm not looking in the right area. I'm trying to get some history information on the Varroa mite. The earliest I've been able to find are European problems and treatments dating back to the early eighties. Where would I begin to find the earliest information.

    [This message has been edited by Brandon Shaw (edited April 07, 2003).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I have lots of Bee Journals from the early 70's with articles on them. I never had problems with them then and didn't pay that much attention. Wish I could do that now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Ames, Iowa
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    So what has caused the huge explosion in mite problems? I assume they were imported? What other hosts if any do they have? How do they initially come into contact with the bee's. Everything I seem to come accross deals with the infestations and various experimental treatments (most research being done in Europe).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    As far as I know it has always been assumed that the Varroa only lives on honey bees. Of course it's a negative believe which is difficult to prove. There could be some insect somewhere that we don't know of that carries it, but no one seems to think so. It is believed that they were imported and were not here before. Although, I admit we weren't looking for them before. But we also weren't losing hives at this rate. In fact the Varroa weren't in most of Europe before recent times. Nor were the tracheal mites until recent times.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
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    6

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    I thought I remembered reading that a species of Varroa mite came from Eastern Russia...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
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    423

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    I too would like to know where the bees pick up the varroa. Is it while they are foraging or does the mite just wonder into the hive. I am guessing it hitches a ride from a bee. Maybe one from another colonie and thus the trail begins.

    Thesurveyor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    The accepted theory is that Varoa have to be on a bee most all of the time. They can fall off for a while but can't live for days without a bee and can't walk far. So the mites get on your bees when they are robbing another hive that is infested and they jump from a dying bee to your healthy bee and it brings them home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Ames, Iowa
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    I'm having troubles with this theory. Everything has a purpose in nature... What could the greater purpose of the mite be?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    What is the greater purpose of ticks? Female mosquitoes? To teach us patience? I have my doubts about a purpose for Varroa mites, but you could be right.

    My biggest problem with the current thought on Varroa is I don't think it explains the exposion of mites I see when brood rearing stops in the fall. I suppose it's the stow aways from robbing that is the accepted expaination, but there sure are a lot more mites AFTER they stop rearing brood than WHEN they are rearing brood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    751

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    The way I understand it, at any time a large part of the mite population will be in sealed cells, either reproducing or developing. When there's no brood, all the mites are on the adult bee

    [This message has been edited by Robert Brenchley (edited April 13, 2003).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

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    Has there been any data collected as to the following:

    Do mites transfer from old/dying bees to younger bees as the hive dwindles in population in the fall/winter period? Thus putting a larger strain on the surviving bee population?

    Are there enough bees produced at other times to fend of detrimental effects of the mites?

    Do hives die at certain times of the year at an increased rate compared to other times?

    If you treat/fog/pesticide all year long when possibly not needed, are you further weakening the bees natural ability to develope thier own defenses???


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Do hives die at certain times of the year at an increased rate compared to other times?

    Fall and Winter.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    I love thought producing questions and appreciate the help. (M Bush) I would really be interested if anyone has information concerning the total concept of the questions previously posted. I'm trying to piece together certain thoughts and ideas as to mite timing/the need to continuously fog or treatments/yearly timing for treatments etc.

    I am costantly hoping/praying that there is more to the story about v-mites, and there is something that were all missing. I have thought that chemical strips have an impact on the queen and might cause an increased rate of shut down. Carrying a fogger for the rest of my life seems unbelievable.

    Anyone for open thoughts????

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I love thought producing questions

    So do I. On any subject.

    >I am costantly hoping/praying that there is more to the story about v-mites, and there is something that were all missing.

    I think there is something we are all missing. Among my questions is an explaination for the sheer explosion of mite numbers at a time when brood rearing comes to a halt. Perhaps the mites sense that brood rearing is falling off and the reproduce more? One explaination is the ones picked up from hives that are being robbed out, but I just sense that something else is happening to cause such a sudden and exremely noticable increase in population. I don't have a really good theory or an answer, but I don't feel the current theory adequately explains it.

    Maybe an observation hive will help.

    Maybe doing mite counts on drone brood looking for both the adults who mated and the offspring at different times of year might answer the question of whether or not the mites increase their reproduction rate toward the end of the brood rearing season. If they do it would also explain why the stress increases because there would be more mites feeding on each pupa.

    >Anyone for open thoughts????

    Of course.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Exactly.
    Over the years, more chemicals have been introduced, more techniques (Some good and Bad), seems alot more queens shutting down, high rates of winter kill, proactive treatments instead of reactive chemical treatments etc.
    I hate the thought of long term alternatives that are discussed as with chemicals and carrying a fogger into my old age.
    I also wonder how many mite killed hives are just POORLY managed and that with better all around beekeeping techniques, could of been saved. Mites of course are alot of times the excuse.

    I have not done any small-cell hives but read all I can. Did not want to mess with it till perhaps I'm convinced it would be worth the change-over. I deal with more than 2-3 hives.

    Two areas I wish I would hear more about is better resistant strains and the question of perhaps it not always the level of mite investation but a relationship of the transmitted viral/deseases that the mites transmit.

    The fact that there is an explosion in the fall/winter, is the reason I ask if perhaps carrying a fogger all year long is detrimental to the bees the rest of the year when limiting thier own defenses. I know we took this a little farther and perhaps the Dr. R has info?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    829

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    We are fighting against the Varroa since 1977 and I have tried almost every possibility to treat my bees against the mites.
    With liquid chemicals and in strips, the natural way, all kinds of smoke, oil, grease traps and different acids. Over so many years I have seen all the up and down with the success, hope and disappointment.

    Some chemical companies have now there pocked full of money but most beekeepers are still struggle hard and loosing their hobbies, the little girls.
    Now it’s almost an end because the Varroa is resistant against those “nice” products and no new stuff is on the horizon.

    All beekeepers have to find a new way to treat the bees. We can’t get rid of the mites that’s 100% sure is, doesn’t matter what some trying to tell us. Our bees must live with the parasite and without help there is no way for them to survive.

    The Varroa is not a natural parasite from the Apis mellifera and if we like to wait till the evolution is helping the bees I think this would take a *** long time. Can we wait a few thousand years?

    Everybody can read and find out what is available and the best for his bees. That’s all ok as long as everybody is satisfied and has success.
    I following for a while your discussions about the treatments in the USA.
    You know what I’m missing? Not one told things about success, only what he should do now and how much and how often. What mixture and how to bring it in the hive and many lost their colonies during the last winter. I’m sure, much more going over the hill the next winter.
    I was talking several times about my treatments and now it’s on time to talk about the result. As I sad before, I’m Vaporizing Oxalic Acid and I treated my colonies several times in the row as long as I found mites on the sticky boards. It was work for a few weekends last year, and not the whole year week by week.
    First thing, I lost not one colony and they are all strong and healthy. Now it’s time for the true and I have sticky boards in the hives for 7 weeks. During this period the natural mite fall in my hives was zero. Four days ago I made a test with OA and a few hives have one and one hive had two mites. I can now say it was worth to go for the acid fog because there are absolute no more treatments necessary till next October.

    What you are doing is all your business but think about it.
    For my self, I can do what ever I have to and can forget the weekly or monthly treatment and my bees have less stress during the season. For now, I don’t even have to think about the Varroa.
    Everyone can make the one test and see what happen with the bees.
    If one or the other has similar success with a different treatment, please let as know what it is. This is the only way to help our bees in the future.



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