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  1. #21
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    Default

    Since pseudoscorpions are general predators, I doubt they would stick strictly to Varroa mites. Tough, mobile mite, or soft, juicy bee larva confined to a cell? Whichever would be easiest, I suspect would be the ones eaten most often by pseudoscorpions.

  2. #22
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    Default Bee

    The sources I found indicate they are tolerated by the bees and don't feed on bee larvae.

  3. #23
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    They won't eat bee larvae, but will eat mites? Seems strange. Considering that young bee larvae likely represent greater nutritional resources than do mites, what would prevent the pseudoscorpions from feeding on the largely immobile bee larvae?

  4. #24
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    Default

    No idea why some species of animals/insects become specialized in their food sources? But they do. Why does the South American Phorid Flies only prey on fire ants when there are other ant species readily available to them as well? I could only imagine that possibly they gain some substance from the mites that may not be available in the bee larva, even though they may contain more of everything else. What we find palatable and nutritious may not be so to other species.

    I don't think it's quite so easy to explain away in that respect............
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  5. #25
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    >Why or how does the Apis cerana deal with the mites.

    They are small cell bees.
    Does that enter into it? I don't know, but last I heard the primary and most obvious reason has to do with semiochemicals and the fact that varroa are not attracted to cerana worker larvae. Apparently the scent cues are different between cerana and our honey bees.

  6. #26
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    I don't think it's quite so easy to explain away in that respect............ -Bizzybee
    Right. Sort of.

    Phorid flies, though, are specialized parasitoids. Same goes for most parasitoids. Parasites, too, tend to be more specialized than predators are.

    And pseudoscorpions are "general predators." Not specialized predators. Pseudoscorpions will feed on just about anything that they can. Obviously, if the creature is too big or too fast or chemical repugnant, they might not eat it. Otherwise, they likely will.

    And specialized predator-prey relationships tend to form from long associations. Have Varroa really been in North America long enough to form that sort of association? I doubt it.

    I'd like to see some evidence that pseudoscorpions will not eat young bee larvae, yet will eat Varroa mites.

  7. #27
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    Default Dr. Barry Donovan

    I emailed Dr. Donovan and he allowed me to post his response below.

    Unfortunately there are no fact-based answers to your questions because so little is known about pseudoscorpions and their possible interactions with varroa, and with honey bee brood. As far as I am aware, nobody has studied how many varroa a pseudo will eat in a day, nor whether honey bee larvae will be eaten. More than a dozen species of pseudos that live right among bees in a colony are known from Africa and India, so numbers of varroa eaten are bound to vary from one species to another.

    However because we do know that when put together in a container pseudos will eat varroa, we could make an assumption that a pseudo might eat one varroa a day. So if a hive has say 1000 varroa, and the varroa population doubles about ever 21 days, then 1000 varroa would have to be eaten every 21 days to stop the varroa population increasing. One pseudo in 21 days would eat 21 varroa, so to eat 1000, about 48 pseudos would be needed. Now 48 pseudos isn't vary many, and one would I am sure be hard pushed to even see them in a beehive.


    Just a pont - I am now calling pseudos `chelifers', because they are in the Superfamily Cheliferoidea, and `chelifer' has none of the negative connotations of `pseudoSCORPION.

    Here in NZ a couple of native species of chelifers occur around the top edges of supers, and we have just won some money - for 6 months only - to study them. In such a short time we are unlikely to make much progress. Also, chelifers from India and Africa which have co-evolved with honey bees are much more likely to be effective predators of varroa, but as far as I know nobody is researching on them.

    Sorry I can't help any further at this point. We need a lot more money for research, and enthusiastic young researchers prepared to spend many years obtaining data before your questions can be answered with any degree of certainty.

    Cheers,
    Barry.

  8. #28
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    Default The Horses' Mouth

    I love it when people go to the horse's mouth. Researchers are glad to share and the information is soooo good. Thanks!

  9. #29
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    Do you have any idea how small they (pseudoscorpions) are? Eating a 3 day old larvae would be like a cat eating a horse.

    At least in the northeast USA they are very tiny. I played around with them many years ago. I have never have seen any larger than 2 1/2mm and most of them are smaller than female varroa mites. Please lets not introduce some exotic species.

  10. #30
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    Default New Zealand

    Dr. Donovan is in New Zealand so the Chelifers are the ones local to his area I believe.

    He related as soon as he started calling them Chelifers he was granted a six months grant to study them.

    I'm not an all green all the time person (nut) but I think the Hives are seen as a pristine vessel operating independently of it's environment.

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    It seems the Varroa Mites are the Kudzu of the south and it's taking over.

    If we can find a natural predator that would keep the little buggers in check it would be great.

    Now if someone could find a solution to the Kudzu issue they would make a lot of money.

    There was a guy making alcohol with it and he called it Kudzuhol but with the oil price dropping I think it's a bust.

  11. #31
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    Default


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dickerson View Post
    It seems the Varroa Mites are the Kudzu of the south and it's taking over.

    If we can find a natural predator that would keep the little buggers in check it would be great.

    Now if someone could find a solution to the Kudzu issue they would make a lot of money.

    There was a guy making alcohol with it and he called it Kudzuhol but with the oil price dropping I think it's a bust.
    Cattle - They love Kudzu. Will eat it to the ground. Take them to another field and let it grow back and then bring them back again. Have seen this in SC (my home state).
    De Colores,
    Ken

  12. #32
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    Default Cows

    My Mom said they would let the cows work on it and then burn it off and then let the cows back on it.

    She said it takes about three or four years of this to clear an area. Kudzu has little nodules in the roots like nut grass that will regrow each time it's cleared.

    Rumor has it that if you drop a leaf on the ground it will take root.

    Now if we could convince people that Kudzuhol is good like Tequila it might become a cash crop. LOL

  13. #33
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    Default Even further off topic

    BTW,

    How do you get rid of nut grass. Since I started keeping bees, I've let my lawn go au naturale, but that nutgrass drives me nuts.

    Neil

  14. #34
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    Default Natual

    Hey nut grass is green I ignore it.

    I guess round-up if you have to get rid of it.

    You can live off the little nuts if you had to.

    They taste like coconut.

    Look at it as a back up crop when your 401K tanks.

  15. #35
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    Don't get me wrong, I think research into the activities of pseudoscorpions (they're in the order Pseudoscorpiones) in bee hives is well worth the time and effort.

    But I do expect that the pseudoscorpions in bee hives are feeding on bee eggs and young larvae as well as perhaps some Varroa mites. Maybe more so. I think the opportunities for pseudoscorpions to consume eggs or early instar larvae are much greater than the opportunities for them to feed on Varroa. The Varroa that they might eat would most likely be phoretic mites already dislodged from bees, I suspect.

    For a brief overview of some of the pseudoscorpions in northern North America, as well as some general information, this Web site is pretty good: http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/bsc/n...oscorpions.htm

  16. #36
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    Good for you Kieck!! Stick your ground, don't let us discourage you!! Heck, I might even jump the fence and join you
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  17. #37
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    Default Sacrifice

    I would sacrifice a few brood for something that could keep the Varroa Etc. in check.

    They must not care for brood too much or one of the major pests of Honey bees would be the Chelifer. LOL

  18. #38
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
    BTW,

    How do you get rid of nut grass. Since I started keeping bees, I've let my lawn go au naturale, but that nutgrass drives me nuts.

    Neil
    Image is about the only thing I have seen that works. I have sprayed it with roundup. It did nothing but fertilize it, it seems. I have used 10% vinegar solution and it laughed and kept going strong.

    http://www.amdro.com/Image/Nutsedge/index.html
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  19. #39
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    Not sure how I'm "sticking my ground," Bizzybee, unless you mean that I'm not willing to reject information on basic natural history of an organism just because I read that someone hopes it might not be accurate in a specific location. Again, I'm not opposed to doing some research on the topic. I just feel that this is likely to be one of those, "If it sounds too good to be true. . ." things.

    I haven't seen any pseudoscorpions in bee hives, but I don't doubt they could be there. (Just as a side note, I hesitate to use the term "chelifer" because Chelifer is a specific genus in the family Cheliferidae, within the order Pseudoscorpiones. I cannot confirm that all pseudoscorpions that might be found in bee hives belong to that genus. All pseudoscorpions found in bee hives do belong to the order Pseudoscorpiones, thus making them "pseudoscorpions." Anyone know if all pseudoscorpions that have been found in bee hives belong to one genus, or even a family?)

    I suspect that pseudoscorpions will not prove to be very effective predators in bee hives. Again, I'm in favor of doing some research, and if a control measure for Varroa proves to be as simple as increasing numbers of pseudoscorpions, so much the better. Pseudoscorpions are relatively common creatures, though, and if they liked eating Varroa so much, they should be found in huge numbers in most bee hives, given the numbers of mites present in this country. For that matter, if they could/would eat bee larvae and eggs so readily, they should be present in bee hives in large numbers to take advantage of that resource, too. But they don't seem to be all that common in bee hives.

    Just a guess on my part -- and this is sheer speculation -- I suspect that worker bees might keep pseudoscorpions to the periphery of the hives, where the pseudoscorpions might feed on some bee eggs or bee larvae and some dislodged phoretic mites and some other small arthropods associated with bee hives. That would be similar to the ways that many inquilines or social parasites operate in ant colonies.

  20. #40
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    Well Kieck, until someone takes the initiative to stock some hives and watch what happens we'll never know.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

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