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Thread: Tracheal Mites

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL, USA
    Posts
    30

    Angry Tracheal Mites

    Hi Everyone,
    I had a dead out in October from a nuc that I got in April, it was cool and wet all season and this hive got progressively weaker even though I fed them all summer. When I inspected in mid October they were basically gone with a handful left. I scoped them up into a jar with alcohol and sent them to the state inspector. The letter came back today that they had tracheal mites. I have another hive next to that one that I thought was a little stronger. What would be the contamination factor and how should I treat them?
    Thanks, Mary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    BeeKeeping in Tennessee, University of Tenn. Ext. Service, PB1745:
    "Treatments for Tracheal Mites:
    Resistant Stock: Recently, several newly developed genetic stocks of honeybees have shown some resistance to the effects of tracheal mites. This resistance is not 100 percent; however, research indicated significant improvement when compared to non-resistant lines. One stock, the BUCKFAST bee, can be purchased from Weaver Apiaries in Navasota, Texas. Additional stocks of the “Yugo” bee, tested
    by the USDA, have been released to queen producers to breed and sell. The New World Carniolan stock
    is also reported to express partial resistance to tracheal mite. Some queen producers are advertising “resistant” bees. We do not know whether these stocks are resistant or not; therefore, beekeepers should
    be careful when purchasing stock that claims to be resistant. It still may be necessary to apply additional treatments as explained below.
    "

    You might try requeening to resistant stock, or run a search on this forum for current treatments. Sorry for your loss.
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    I had a similar situation in a hive two years ago, the result cam back; the bees had a high Tracheal mite infection. I treated the hive with Thymol strips, and send 5 weeks later a second sample for a mite test. The result was 0 mite, the hive was tracheal mite free (killing effect 100%).

    IMO when the fumes are strong enough to kill most of the Varroa, there are no survival for the much smaller Tracheal mite.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    The sooner we all stop treating for Tracheal mites, the sooner we will all have resistant stock...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Isn't it sad that beekeepers still have problems with Tracheal mite. TM is just too easily eliminated by breeding. And still we're told to administer grease patties, and menthol and formic and whatever else.

    The real problem is with your source of stock. You can't expect to buy TM resistant bees from the usual southern breeders...unless they are specifically selecting for TM resistance. Yes, the Buckfast bee was shown to be quite resistant to TM. Buying them from Texas is a problem...way too aggressive. The Yugo bee was a flop...maybe somewhat resistant, but worthless in other categories...like production and Chalk resistance.

    Your first colony is cooked. Of course the second one has been exposed and is infested. But, they may be resistant enough to maintain a cluster until spring buildup. If it winters well, and is strong come Dandelion bloom, then yoiu have a colony with some measure of TM resistance.

    From here on, you should purchase your stock from a breeder working on TM resistance. You may have to go the same old route...buying packages to restock your deadouts. Once installed and building, you could requeen that new colony. Isn't there someone in your area raising queens? Ask them about TM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Thanks for your replys. I don't treat with anything, so I will hope for the best. Live and learn. The source was the problem and yes I am working with local queen breeders for next year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    MCC . . .

    Where (or from whom) did you get your nuc last April?

    FYI, September is a good time to "test" for T-mites, levels are high then.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The sooner we all stop treating for Tracheal mites, the sooner we will all have resistant stock...
    You could say the same thing about any other disease thats out there too and that might be just work for a hobbiest or maybe even a side liner. In any case, for commercial beeks, if their hives were not treated for tracheal or varroa or nosema, a beek who makes his living with his bees (say 1500 colonies) could end up with a 80-90% loss the first year. After spending all the following season rearing queens and exploding hives 4-5 ways into nucs then building them up to explode them again 4-5 ways just to get where they were the previous year from those that survived with no chance at doing pollenation or honey, you could very well look at the same amount of losses for the next season. In 10-12 years you might just be able to get down to losing only 40-50%, but at what cost? Those would be some of the most expensive queens were it not for the fact that they went out of business in the second or third year due to unsustainable losses.

    But, if a hobbiest knew what he was doing, looking, and breeding for, someone like yourself and if you do manage to breed a bee that, with out any type of treatment, would only result in a 10-15% mortality rate through the year, I would be glad to buy one of those queens off you for what ever your asking price was, $10,000.00, $20,000.00, even $50,000. which would be reasonable since the hypothitical beek I talked about above would of spent well over $5,000,000 in time and effort and lost revenue over that 12 year period. But nothings garanteed eh?
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Quote Originally Posted by chillard willard View Post
    for commercial beeks, if their hives were not treated for tracheal or varroa or nosema, a beek who makes his living with his bees (say 1500 colonies) could end up with a 80-90% loss the first year.

    In 10-12 years you might just be able to get down to losing only 40-50%, but at what cost?
    Since we were refering to Tracheal mite...In less than 5 years by selecting breeders that come from the strongest over wintered colonies in spring...you will have done away with the TM problems and it will become a minor pest. And 5 years is the outside limit...I would say it's more like 3.

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