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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,833

    Default Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    With so many contradictory studies over the years about the varroa mite, is there anything about the mite that we can say is "for sure"? For example, just about everything that I've seen published say's that the mite prefers drone brood to reproduce on. Would you concur that this statement is close to being an absolute about the mite based on the research to date and from personal experience.

    O.k, this may sound like a dumb question, but have they ever done an experiment where they take a live worker and drone larvae of about the age that they would be capped, put them on a plate an inch or so apart, then dump a few live mites right between the larvae, and see which one the mites crawl to, or at least the majority of mites seem to prefer. Then repeat the experiment a few times with different larvae and mites to prove the patten, if there is one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    The reason that mites prefer drones is not the size but that drones stay capped longer which closer matches the cycle of the mites so they emerge fully mature after hatching.

    There are lots of studies and information out there concerning mites and how they reproduce.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,869

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    Putting the larva on plates would not replicate conditions in the hive so it would be invalid. The University of Florida published results of Varroa studies Google IFAS. Several USDA researchers are in Florida too studying Varroa and SHB. They presented their findings at FSBA in Monticello, FL in October and in Orlando at ABF in January. Living where these pests are prolific has the single advantage of attracting the nation's experts also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    >The reason that mites prefer drones is not the size but that drones stay capped longer which closer matches the cycle of the mites so they emerge fully mature after hatching.

    Are you talking about size of the drone larva itself, or the cell? I don't believe the mite understands the difference in the capped duration before it enters a cell, that is a concept that cannot draw the mite to a particular cell, so there must be something else. I guess they are exploring the possibility that an attractive odor may be present in the drone cell that is not in the worker cell, or at least not in the same quantity.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,869

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    I think they mentioned a drone brood pheremone at ABF in Orlando.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    There will be Varroa,for sure.

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

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    Varroa are attracted to any bee brood (both drone and worker) that is about to be capped. It so happens that drone brood produces a stronger odor than worker brood, and thus drone brood attracts more mites. When V-mites reproduce in drone cells, more of the mites' eggs mature (due to longer capped stage than worker brood), causing more "reproduction". Mites do not KNOW which cell (worker or drone) will provide greater reproduction. They are seeking or drawn to the ODOR.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Is anything "for sure" with varroa?

    They have put worker larvae in drone cells and drone larvae in drone cells and, of course drone larvae in drone cells and worker larvae in worker cells. The end results was this:

    Varroa prefer drone larvae in any size cell to worker larvae in any size cell. They preferred drone larvae in large cells to drone larvae in small cells and worker larvae in large cells to worker larvae in small cells.

    All of this would indicate that they are driven mostly by smell and partly by size.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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