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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Post


    > varroa control was in the cell size. I my opinion all varroa research
    > which has had limited success should be put on a back burner and new
    > avenues should be pursued. Varroa is winning the war and the use of
    > chemicals both legal and illegal could destroy the beekeeping industry
    > through contamination of wax and honey. Please look at the map of the
    > known distribution of Varroa jacobsoni in 1985 on page 396 and look at
    > the same map today and tell me if the best scientific minds of today
    > have the solution! I DON'T THINK SO!


    Hi Bob -


    While we are not in complete unison in our thinking on parts of this matter,
    I feel you are right on target with your last statement. I will go one step
    further and point out that the use of chemicals today IS destroying the
    beekeeping industry as report upon report is bearing this out. I'm not a
    radical purist that thinks there is no place for drugs and chemicals in our
    daily life but I do get frustrated with our industry when something so basic
    and simple as a different cell size, that seemingly allows the bees to live
    with and keep in check the mites that attack it, as far as I know, is not
    currently being studied by our good scientists even though it is being used
    by many already with very good results and there are no published papers out
    there that I've seen that have spoken negatively of smaller cells and it's
    affect on mites.


    I appreciate John Edward's reply to my post a few days ago on this subject
    and I told him I do appreciate his involvement here on the list. I wish
    there were more like him.


    I wrote: "Is the idea so off base that it's ludicrous?" I still have never
    been told or given a reason by anyone with knowledge in this area that would
    cause me to question it (no longer a theory as it is being done successfully
    in the field). Bob, I'm afraid Dadant or any other major foundation supplier
    won't be turning out the smaller size foundation for you. They won't even do
    it for the USDA. Until this whole issue is proven one way or another in the
    lab or enough beekeepers take it upon themselves to make their own and a
    shift begins to grow, it will stay the same. As time goes by, the physical
    proof will come to light and what will matter in the end is whether one
    still has live bees to keep and make a living from them. It's not looking
    too good with our chemical option is it.


    I wonder at times if it isn't comparable to what happened years ago in the
    building industry with the advent of PVC plumbing. When efforts were first
    made to get PVC accepted in the code book for commercial and residential
    use, it was fought by the union to keep it out. This is only natural when
    ones "corner on the market", (the ability to work with and install cast
    iron) is threatened by a product that is simple to work with and allows
    installation at a much faster rate. Many years ago another man invented a
    machine that could lay bricks at an astonishing rate but it never saw the
    light of day thanks to those who's lively hood was laying bricks by hand.


    Still searching for answers.


    Regards,
    Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Post


    > Does anyone out there know why the larger cell size was used in the first
    > place?


    A Biometrical Study of the Influence of Size of Brood Cell Upon the Size and
    Variability of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)
    by Roy A. Grout, 1931


    INTRODUCTION http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/grout/intro.htm


    "Baudoux (7) in Belgium was the first to conceive the idea of using a larger
    size of cell by increasing the size of the cell base on the artificial
    foundation given to the bees. Others who have worked along this line are
    Pincot, according to Gillet-Croix (26), and Lovchinovskaya (39). The work of
    the first two has not been of a very scientific nature but convincing to the
    extent that manufacturing houses are selling foundation with enlarged cells
    and claiming good results for the use of same."


    REVIEW OF LITERATURE http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/grout/review5.htm


    "Baudoux (7), of Belgium, was the first to advocate the use of artificial
    foundation with an enlarged cell base. In 1893, he reports that a Mr.
    Fromont measured natural combs and found that the greater part had 825 cells
    per square decimeter in comparison with certain sheets of artificial
    foundation which had as high as 907 cells per square decimeter. Baudoux,
    struck by the reduction in the size of bees from an old skep containing
    combs having 912 cells per square decimeter, conceived the idea of raising
    bees in enlarged cells. He accomplished this by means of stretching normal
    foundation to the size he desired and had by 1896 sufficiently proved his
    point in Belgium, that a manufacturing company began to place upon the
    market artificial foundation having an enlarged cell base. It was Baudoux's
    contention that the nurse bees, following a natural instinct, filled the
    bottom of the larger cell more copiously with larval food, that this
    resulted in a larger bee, He also intimated that the larger bee would
    generate more body heat which would result in a greater quantity of brood."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
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    Post

    It has been said that man created this varroa problem over the course of the past century.

    Our we now deeping this man created varroa problem by identifying more subspecies of varroa to contend with?

    Any ideas on how large this problem will grow before we can get a handle on it?

    Comments.

    Dee A. Lusby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
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    Post

    Again, I am going to state,it has been said that man created this varroa problem over the course of the past century.

    Do you feel chemicals have played a part in creating the problem?

    Do you feel artificial enlarged combs have played a part in creating the problem?

    Do you feel artificial diet has played a part in creating the problem?

    Do any of you feel the way we breed bees has played a part in creating of the problem?

    Explain or go into another way that you feel may have helped to create the problem or add to it. as pertains to maintenance, field manipulations, other?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Tennessee, USA
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    20

    Post

    >>It has been said that man created this varroa problem over the course of the past century.

    Of course, varroa was around somewhere for ages before it decided to become a problem.

    I see the issue in terms of 2 main questions:
    How did varroa spread so much?
    Why don't our bees fend it off successfully?

    What I feel most caused the problem to start is the explosion in trade in the past century. Prior to this century, if you wanted something overseas, you were dependent on boats, and motors in those were even pretty new. As transportation technology increased and airplanes became used for shipping, the world shrank - remote areas and resources became more accessible more quickly. So did varroa.

    Enlarged combs: this could have played a part. Varroa started out liking drones - big cells (of Apis cerana if I remember right). The bees they became introduced to (ours) had larger cells all around. They weren't inclined to be limited to just the drones (male? female? it's all good), thus they took tolls on the work force rather than just the breeders (you can probably make do with 10% of your breeding force, you can't do so well with 10% of your working force, especially if you still have to support the brood for the ones that don't make it). To the extent that beekeepers were trying (intentionally or by default) to grow bigger bees using artificially enlarged foundation, they encouraged varroa to use worker cells as well as drone cells. Anyone know how big A.cerana drone cells measure as compared to some of the foundation we use?

    Chemicals: don't think they did much for creating the problem, just preventing the bees from adapting to it. Most of the chemicals probably don't directly increase the susceptibility of the bees to the mites, though they could weaken them somewhat in general.

    Artificial diet: Hard to say directly. I would imagine it's more a matter of having the bees not at the peak of their health due to mild deficiencies of nutrients/micronutrients.

    Way we breed bees: don't know much about bee-breeding practices per-se. Assembling breeding nucs using frames from multiple colonies certainly would increase opportunity for spread. Again, though, the practice of shipping bees all over the place makes it possible for varroa and other diseases to travel great distances very quickly. In selecting for honey production and gentleness, we've probably been neglecting traits for adapting to challenges (grooming, hygeinic behavior, others we don't know about), which could have given us an overall more susceptible stock of bees on which the mites could multiply. Once we have our bees, keeping many colonies together in large apiaries then encourages spread of disease via drifting and robbing, as well as the bees from different hives using the same flower and coming into indirect contact by that.

    Don

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    This is in response to Don's excellently worded post of 11-20-2000 03:51 PM post

    In the post Don wrote:

    Chemicals: don't think they did much for creating the problem, just preventing the bees from adapting to it. Most of the chemicals probably don't directly increase the susceptibility of the bees to the mites, though they could weaken them somewhat in general.

    Reply:

    Chemicals weaken bees. Are not therefore weekened bees more susceptable to mites? How would you relate this to the "Pesticide Treadmill" relative to treatment of agricultural crops for insect predication? or relative to treatment of other farm livestock for insect infestation/parasitic affliction?

    Please see
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/chemtread.htm

    prior to reply.

    Comments???

    regards:

    Dee

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Post

    Another article to give some input into this discussion is one Joe Traynor wrote back in 1968.
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/traynor/abjmay1968.htm

    -Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    This is in reply to Barry's post of 12-06-2000, 12:09 AM

    Barry, the information written by Joe Traynor needs to be read. I agree with what he said except that nowadays it is known that DDT does't work the same in all areas of our country with its various climatic differences, killing more in northern latitudes than in southern ones.


    I also recommend now would be a good time to read the following relative to artificially increasing mite populations thru chemical usage:
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/chemdata.htm

    Sincerely,

    Dee


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Reading England
    Posts
    32

    Post

    This is re the older story Barry posted, I must read it again, but recall a grower not spraying fruit until he thought it was absolutely necessary, and finding it never became necessary. Not so with run of the mill 'tame' bees and mites. Skipping a few treatments will kill them. Cull them, however you take it. These creatures are in my care, I'm not sure I like culling as a management technique. Am I just too soft?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
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    Post

    Johnsewell wrote on 12-07-2000, 04:26 PM the following

    Skipping a few treatments will kill them. Cull them, however you take it. These creatures are in my care, I'm not sure I like culling as a management technique. Am I just too soft?

    Reply:

    YES!!! In the realworld you can play to win in life or be too soft and lose.

    When the chemicals stop working you lose anyway, so what's the hinderance in playing to win. Best to play hard and fast, then be slow and lose.

    You either have to make up your mind to make the necessary changes in life to fit the realworld needs, everyone talks about, but are afraid to do, or learn to do something else in life like working for wages and let someone else make the hard decisions.

    You are either a leader or a follower, only you can make that choice in life.

    Comments,

    Dee A. Lusby

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