Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: capping times

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Knoxville, TN


    Has this older computer population model study been discussed?

    A population model for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies
    Stephen Martin*
    National Bee Unit, Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO4 1LZ, UK
    Received 9 October 1997; accepted 4 February 1998. Available online 13 July 1998

    "4.5. Effect of decreasing the host sealed-brood period
    The idea that bees with a shorter sealed period are more resistant to the mite has been the focus of much research and bee breeding programmes. By combining the offspring mortality data (Table 3) with their developmental times (Martin, 1995b) the effect of shortening the sealed brood period on the mite population development was investigated. Fig. 6 indicates that even a 1-day reduction in the sealed brood period would only delay and not prevent the mite build-up. The model indicates that unless worker post-capping times approaching 9 days can be achieved it is unlikely that selecting bees with shorter capping times would give rise to mite-tolerant bees (Martin, 1997b). However, if shorter post-capping times are associated with increasing levels of mite mortality both within the cells and shortly after emergence (Calis et al., 1996) worker post-capping times more than 9 days may prevent mite populations increasing, but data on offspring mortality levels is needed to test this idea. "


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Knoxville, TN


    If you then look at this study

    Reproduction of Varroa destructor
    in South African honey bees: does cell space influence
    Varroa male survivorship?
    Stephen J. MARTINa*, Per KRYGERb
    a Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University
    of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
    b Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
    (Received 18 May 2001; accepted 27 October 2001)

    "One consequence of space partitioning
    in Varroa sp. is that the first (male) egg
    is laid near the cell cap. This increases the
    survival probability of the male mite since it
    is the only place in the cell not affected by
    the bee’s molt (Fig. 2). However, the male
    mite must now pass the constriction caused
    by the bee’s appendages to reach the feeding
    site which is established by the mother
    mite on the bee’s abdomen (Fig. 2). Since
    only one male is produced per batch of
    eggs, its death will result in all the female
    offspring being unmated and so unable to
    produce offspring"

    You could say that the factor of a bee in a tight cell might help push the computer model to longer than 9 days.

    A stretch?

    [size="1"][ June 08, 2006, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: MichaelW ][/size]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    Not counting the possible affect on the male mite, ( )the shorter capping time, and shorter post capping time on small cell seems to make a heck of a dent. Capped in 8 days and emerged in 19.

    This model:


    "Shortening the post-capping time
    Shortening the post-capping time reduces the number of offspring
    that can be produced and the time for the last offspring to
    successfully mate prior to emergence. Post-capping periods for
    worker European bees have been reported to vary from 268 to 290
    hrs (Harris and Harbo 2000) and the model is based on a post-capping
    period of 288 hrs for workers and 336 hrs for drone brood.
    Worker Africanized bees usually have a post-capping period 20
    hrs shorter than European bees (Rosenkranz 1999). However,
    among European bees there is significant variation in the average
    duration of the capped period and this is a heritable characteristic
    (Harris and Harbo 2000), but it can be affected by climatic conditions.
    European Apis mellifera carnica bees had a worker postcapping
    time only 8 hrs longer than Africanized bees at the same
    tropical site (Rosenkranz 1999).
    The model predicts that, in order to bring about a 25% reduction
    in mite population growth (excluding the possible effects of
    reduced mating success and fertility of daughter mites) the postcapping
    period for worker brood needs to be reduced by 7% (20
    hrs) for worker brood, by 9% (30 hrs) for drone brood and by 7%
    (20hrs worker, 24hrs drone) for both. This results in a post-capping
    time close to the minimum reported for worker brood, but
    drone brood has greater phenotypic variation (de Jong 1997) suggesting
    that it may be possible to breed bees that produce drone
    brood with a shorter post-capping period. Buchler and Drescher
    (1990) reported that 25% of the variation in mite populations in
    their colonies could be accounted for by variations in the post-capping
    period, which fits in well with the results of our model.
    However, in a survey of European bees an average 8.7% reduction
    of mite infestation rate was calculated for each 1hour reduction in
    the capping time (de Jong 1997). This is a much larger effect than
    our model predicts, suggesting other factors are confounding the
    comparison in European bees."

    This would indicate that a post-capping period that is 20 hours shorter would make the 25% difference that they think is critical to surviving mite infestations.

    and also:

    "Altering the invasion rate of brood cells by the mite
    The model suggests that the invasion rate of worker cells would
    need to be decreased by 96% to reduce the mite population growth
    rate by 25% (Table 1). Such a large reduction is necessary because
    mites which do not enter worker cells are available to invade drone
    cells. Since mite reproduction is greater in drone cells, only a proportion
    of these "displaced" mites need to enter drone cells to balance
    the loss of population growth. The attractiveness of the brood
    to varroa mites may be affected by a number of factors which may
    interact, including the size of the cell and the strength of the
    pheromone signal."

    And on the effect of cell size and invasion rate and pre capping times:

    "The size and shape of the brood cells
    The diameter of the worker cell appears to affect the invasion of
    varroa mites. In the absence of drone brood, the varroa infestation
    rate has been reported to be 16-50% lower in the small Africanized
    worker cells than in the larger European (Italian) worker cells
    (Guzman-Novoa et al. 1999, Rosenkranz 1999). This in part may
    have been due to a higher visitation rate by nurse bees as the
    European larvae were larger and heavier, and to the longer periods
    spent capping the larger cells which would increase the time period
    over which a mite can invade the cell (Message and Goncalves

    Another study I heard quoted at "Beetopia" here in Lincoln, was about how the majority of the mites get into the cell during the last 24 hours that it is uncapped and a shorter capping time could help with controling the reproduction of the mites. I didn't get the details of where to find the study, but the presenter wasn't thinking of small cell, but of possible genetic traits. The Harbo study mentioned above correlates capping and post capping times to genetics and climate, but there are studies correlating it to cell size. (see the one at the top) I have observed a one day shorter capping time (8 days) with small cell bees.

    Also the model above assumes a 288 hour post capping time (12 days). I have not observed any longer than a 11 day post caping time on my small cell workers.

    I have the official State inspection certificate here for my untreated small cell hives and for the third year in a row the varroa were below detectable levels. For the third year in a row the inspection of all hives in my home yard found no varroa in any of them. So whether that is because of male survivorship or because of shorter capping and post capping times, it seems to work.

    Any mathematical model will make some assumptions. Some will be correct. Some will not. Some will be significant. Some will not. Theory is a wonderful place. Everything works there. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky


    Good discussion. We talked some about this when the state apiarist visited the association last week. However, he took a different approach than comparing Europeans to Africanized bees as these studies do. He compared European bees to Asian bees in which the capping times are so significantly shorter that "the varroa don't even bother" to attempt to utilize the worker brood. To me, this means NO varroa in worker cells.

    My questions include:
    How does the varroa choose between the cells? (perhaps like the queen... using her front legs? I jest)
    How can this knowledge be utilized to benefit us keeping European bees?



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts