As I read more and more on FGMO I realize I am listening to a creshendo of anecdotal remarks on the efficacy of FGMO. Has anyone done blinded studies that could really MEASURE whether FGMO is working. While I believe it MIGHT work, well designed studies to measure its effectiveness done by impartial beekeeper/scientist need to be done to show in a quantitative way exactly how effective, in a measured way, is FGMO. The ebb and flow of mite population could be based on many factors, and the study would have to identify and respect the many factors effecting mite population while accurately measuring the effect of several different FGMO regimens on mite populations. I want it to work but I am naturally sceptical of hearsay and anecdote, I want studies done, respecting all variables, by impartial individuals seeking truth. OK, shoot me now.
Anyone who knows more may correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand the research on FGMO has been done by Dr. Rodriguez and reproduced by a Mike and Linda Campbell and a few other beekeepers. Here's the details of the research: http://www.beesource.com/pov/rodriguez/index.htm
So it has been reproduced. I do agree it would be nice to have more collabrative evidence, but it seems difficult to interest anyone in research that doesn't make someone a profit somewhere.
>Has anyone done blinded studies that could really MEASURE whether FGMO is working
>I want studies done, respecting all variables, by impartial individuals
I agree totally
>seems difficult to interest anyone in research that doesn't make someone a profit somewhere.
Probably one of the biggest reasons these results have not been scooped up studdied intensely and promoted world wide. No huge potential payback, no huge investment of research.
Aren't you all amazing. I keep telling all of you that I spend a major portion of my retirement income working with FGMO in two continents in collaboration with top notch scientists. (Please read article posted on beesource.com labeled Integragrated beekeeping practices). And all that I keep hearing is "annecdotal." I keep knocking my head looking for support and do not get the courtesy of a reply letter even from big name beekeeping interests.
My work is well known worldwide and many are those who say they are benefiting from implementation of my recommeded technique, yet in eight years of intensive work with FGMO I have received a $60.00 check from a beekeeper in Kansas. Anyone with a two cents worth of common sense can realize how much a person could accomplish should each beekeeper in this country were to mail in a miserable one dollar contribution for continuance of FGMO research. Don't send it to me. I can do without it, thank you. Send it to someone who may volunteer to continue my work. I am sure there will be lots of potential scientists who would perform creditable research with FGMO should they have financial backing.
The only reason why I continue my efforts is because I know that FGMO has great potential for development into a safe, efficient, cost-effective technique to control honey bee parasitic mites.
It is rather easy to sit behind a PC console in the comfort of ones home and critize/demand more and better. But have you asked yourselves, how can I help?
Have a wonderful day.
Date: Monday, March 10, 2003 12:57:43
Subject: [FGMOBeekeeping] Mite fall
Greetings to all
Tom did us a great service in his report and given us the addresses to
obtain the gadgetry
James Fisher brought up some good points relative to the drop and
assumed multipliers .
This of course has nothing to do with the evaluation of Tom's report and
he is not "guilty" of data which are derivatives of various reports from
many corners of the beekeeping spectrum. I also have made my observations
thereto and find this whole view , the least to say ,very confusing.
Then there is another fallacy entering the picture . Theoretically these
values are based on a DAILY count . Let us be more realistic about his
Daily " Thing . I am guilty of not counting DAILY. Sometimes I don't even
remember when last I did it . Was it 2 days ago or was it 4 or 10 , etc. (
That is a sign of aging ! And every body is guilty of that )
Anyway , sometimes a daily count produces NOT ONE dropped Varroa.
If that is the case then what I am to do with the multipliers ? Or , take
the other scenario where one counts 8000 ( After a "treatment" ) and
then sees nothing after that . In either case the multiplier does not
give one reliable clue . Of course there is no such thing as to be without mites
at least not in our run of the mill neighborhood. May in Lower Slobovia
but not here . Assuming one has a real heavy duty mite occupation , I am
talking one which has no more room to propagate since only so many free
brood cells are available . Then (Taken hiding under tergits aside ) , one
should SEE phoretic mites sitting ON the bees by the dozen . On
occasions one can observe that . I have inspected those kinds of colonies
and it is frightening to see. ( And those survived , by the way, using FGMO
treatments ) Although during last November ,December and part of Jan in at
least one colony I counted up to 50 mites dropped off, I never spotted a
phoretic mite !! But here again I was not particular in counting days. That
means , the multipliers go to pot . I am not any wiser .
Then there are the much maligned "Anecdotal" observations .
Premise : There are mites in the colony !!
Now I shall take the ether test ; Result on the glass Zilch / Nada ( I
still have the starter fluid can and start my MG set with it . )
Second : Powder sugar . Did not reveal one mite in the glass ( Using the
prescribed procedures , of course ) either but powdered the bees without
apparent harm to them . The Alcohol test : That's is a little more
productive but does not give any clue to the amount of mites either
since subsequent repetitions from the same colony gives different results
... So, all that effort produces the famous heads scratching exercise,
irrespective what method was used .
But let me clear about this . My application is not the researchers
thoroughness by any means . Students of entomology and the teachers
thereto may have the opportunity and funds to do so ,but the run of the
mill beekeeper has either a wife or a husband or employer with honey "doos" to
So, one is guilty to be exposed to the variables of either professional
or hobby environs and therefore utterly at loss to proper Varroa
And that brings me back to the wet middle finger pointed into the air and
trying to tell from where the wind blows.
The drop off is or at least seems to indicate the number of mite
The maximum drop appears to be in the fall and early winter . The
application of miticides has the indication of mite reduction . And that is
what counts . It is up to the beekeepers to apply what s/he deemed
appropriate, provided one is after the mites
I ended up with FGMO because of it's effectiveness and at the same time
not having an adverse effect on bees and the other hive components and
produce . If somebody has something better , let s/he come forth and stick
their noses out .
At this time, out of 17 colonies , there is a loss of three due to either
starving or queen loss . Yellow jackets probably had a finger in the pie
by reducing the brood and or workers . One has massive chalk brood but
is still strong . The mummies are or were in one great pile below the
lowest ( 3.5 of them) brood box on the screen. The bees used only the upper
Question : Did anyone check for mites within the dead bees in the hive or
I have washed the dead bees from the mass of dead one's and never
found a mite .
I would like to have some input from someone on this . My theory is : If a
colony perished ( Crushed ) by Mites , and the mites cannot fly or crawl
to the next hive a couple of miles off , then there should be dead mites
among the dead bees giving you the indication why the colony crushed . Should ther be no mites among the dead bees , than one could assume that the miticide treatment was indeed effective , in my case FGMO. Any ideas would be welcome .
Meantime , Happy fogging ,ect
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
This post is not one from this dicussion forum but relates somewhat to the same topic . It is not to be taken as an answer to any post But I like to point anyone into the direction of the other beesite dealing with the same topic and someone might be interested to participate there also.
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In an open forum such as this, when a question is stated "Aren't you all amazing?", I guess my answer would be - You bet I am! Of course I feel that was an easy answer given I'm sitting behind my console in the comfort of my home.
Dr. Pedro Rodriguez last question "But have you aked yourselves, how can I help?
I am not retired, I do not have 8 years of research to give, I do not work with top notch scientists, or travel between 2 countries. If you give me your address I would be willing to send you $61.00 as long as you pat me on the back also. My e-mail address is MIKEANDIDA@CS.COM to take me up on my offer.
I do encourage everyone to try thier own thing and if they fail to follow directions to someone elses experiments, let me know how you failed. Maybe by mistake they will find the next big breakthrough. I do know I have learned alot from people asking questions. And yes some of them have been basic questions from newbees, but I always try to remember it was me at one time asking those questions.
As new members join the forum, may I humbly suggest that you will probably all see the same questions again, like "Has anyone done blind studies?" "Whats the best oil to use?" and list goes on. I would rather see someone just direct a member who questions, to the answers, not all the other garbage comments.
I have many questions and thoughts concerning mites, and hope to get them answered as they are posted in the forum.
I did not have the foresight to read every posting concerning FGMO, but after reading many of the comments,(All Appreciated), I know I have asked two questions in particular.
One-Is FGMO treatments as fool proof as stated or are these treatments been given by very experienced beekeepers who happen to be very successful in having healthy hives?
Two-Are all these dead hives I have been reading about caused by mites and the lack of FGMO treatments, or by very inexperienced beekeepers who would of lost hives based on other factors. Do they even know a mite killed hive vs. starvation vs. queenless vs. too small of cluster for winter?