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Thread: Tracheal Mites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Glen Ellyn, IL, USA
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    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
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    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
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    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    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
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    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
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    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
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    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
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    638

    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

  8. #8
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    >You could say the same thing about any other disease thats out there too

    I can, I would, and I have. If a hobbyist has just four hives and never treats and breeds from his own stock and let's them mate with local feral stock they will soon have much better stock than they can buy from breeders in another climate who treat for diseases. Yes, they will probably lose a few but probably less than if they keep buying non-resistant queens from another climate, and especially less than if they buy poorly mated early queens with no resistance from another climate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    947

    Default Treat your bees well.

    Formic acid treatments are extremely effective for TM.
    At the same time, you will have a very good reduction in your varroa population and the bees clean up the hive in response that is thought to have other benificial effects.
    Meanwhile you have time to investigate queens that are available.
    Be careful about all of the hype.
    For example, "feral stock" or "survivor stock" are two pitches that really throw up red flags.
    Ask about lineage, traits, and hygenic test results.
    I encourage scientific beekeeping; not superstition.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Treat your bees well.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Meanwhile you have time to investigate queens that are available.
    Be careful about all of the hype. For example, "feral stock" or "survivor stock" are two pitches that really throw up red flags. Ask about lineage, traits, and hygenic test results. I encourage scientific beekeeping; not superstition.
    Yep. Good advice.
    The breeder might even be testing their population using tests and assays you aren't familiar with. Interviewing a potential queen producer or queen breeder is good management. Remember that if they don't instantly respond, they're more than likely busy--try again and please, leave a message!



    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Centerburg Ohio USA
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    34

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    How do you use f-acid. I use oils for both mites. The paper towel method with wintergreen and veg. oil.This works for me but Im always open to other things that may work better or cheaoer.

  14. #14
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    We started using Formic in our hives in 1990 when it was approved for treatment of tracheal mites. The varroa wasn't here yet and not knowing enough we didn't think it would work for the varroa as well when they were finally in our area around 92'. through most of the 90's we used formic and apistan to treat our hives. In anycase, the formic pads we used were the bounce paper towels, 3 sheets folded to about 4"x6" square that can hold up to 40ml of 65% formic acid. apply on a day when its not to hot. I use a 4 - 5 aplications in the spring and then again in the fall. mostly the formic is used for the varroa but it does a number on tracheal mites too.

    Be forwarned like it was stated in previous posts about surviver stock. I don't doubt that there are bees the are resistant to mites or other diseases and that owning such bee is an asset to you personally, but genetics should only be a part of what you have planed for your IPM. I too, own and breed stock from "VSH" and along with my freind we have bred them. it's funny how they can still be suseptable to varroa. I don't think that they or any other bee would survive long with out being treated.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  15. #15
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    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    and let's them mate with local feral stock

    And, where did the "Feral Stock" originate?

    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  16. #16
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    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Be careful about all of the hype. For example, "feral stock" or "survivor stock" are two pitches that really throw up red flags

    The above statement is very true.
    I know of a person that is pushing the the "survivor stock" and buys his breeder queens in California?
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    I know of a person that is pushing the the "survivor stock" and buys his breeder queens in California?
    Ernie
    & his bees.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    1,162

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    "I know of a person that is pushing the the "survivor stock" and buys his breeder queens in California?"
    Ernie

    "& his bees. " KJ

    Not sure who you are referring to, but I do purchase the occasional breeder from Glenn's every four or five years to make daughters to mate with our drones here in Oregon, and yes I do get bees for stocking mating nucs on they way out of the Almonds.

    As to the "survivor stock" thing, yes there are a lot of Johnny come lately types, but there are many who are working in earnest to breed better bees. Look for the ones that have been in business a while and are doing some real science.

    According to a recent article, something like 37 genes have been identified associated with VSH and as we develop genetic markers and better testing protocols more breeding advances will be made.

    Regardless of what one's opinion on whether it is possible to breed mite tolerant stock (and there are plenty on both sides of the fence) is it not a laudable goal, or is it just a "red flag" as Harry V put it???
    Last edited by JBJ; 01-22-2010 at 10:25 AM. Reason: clarification
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
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    370

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    I've seen a lot of K wing in my hives lately, but only a single varroa on one drone for all my looking so far.

    I thought K wing came from trachea mites damaging wing muscles so the smaller one swept foward. Is that actually due to varroa instead?

    I understand how hygenic behavior works against varroa--clean them off yourself, clean them off other bees, pull out larva that are infested. But what are the traits that make bees resistant to trachea mites? Is it just that the mites dont attack 'resistant' bees, or do the bees just not get damaged by them somehow??

    Also, I just bought a load of menthol crystals to do the 30-day thing. Would putting them in the hive be a waste of my money, or should I just make my homemade Tiger Balm from the menthol?

    Thanks,

    ~Tara

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
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    928

    Default Re: Tracheal Mites

    I would treat if you think it will save them then you can work on getting so that are more resistance.

    The bees that are more resistant to TM are the ones the groom their selves have you watch bees how they will take their legs and go across there self. One that grooms it self often will knock them off

    when a young bee hatches the thorax is soft for the first 5 days (this is when the mite enters the bees) after 5 days the thorax it becomes hard and the mite cant get into the thorax of the bee to do its damage.

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