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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Another varroa question

    I know that each colony is different and independent of others, but if there is a group of say 6 or 7 hives side by side (or at least in close proximity) are they likely to have similar Varroa infestations? If there were heavy mite drop on one hive (say with a screened bottom so you could count) would it be as likely that the others had a similar problem? I would also ask the same question of tracheal mites. At this point its just a hypothetical question, but itís something I was thinking about the other day.
    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default Re: Another varroa question

    I'll answer from my own experience which is that I often see differences between colonies that are just feet apart. There are some obvious reasons such as how long the colony has been established and the amount of brood in one colony compared to another. An argument could be made relative to hygienic genes, etc. However, I've seen two packages that were hived the same time having significantly different mite loads a couple of months later. Amount of brood, etc. seemed roughly the same. I always remind myself that backyard science is not perfect so the results may have a bit to do with testing and not necessarily the conditions of the colony. Nevertheless, I do my best and manage them accordingly. In my opinion, you can't use one hive to model your treatments across all your colonies. Not sure about the tracheal mite question.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,065

    Default Re: Another varroa question

    Agree with that.

    As a part time job I test mite levels in hives as part of our governments disease surveillance program. There are often differences between one hive and another.

    Very occasionally, we'll do a yard where the hives have moderate or major infestations, but there will be one hive with virtually nothing. I've considered approaching the owners of some of these hives to see if I could use that queen as a breeder, but so far haven't had time to follow through on it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Another varroa question

    Mite loads even get more interesting between colonies if you are pallatized. TK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Another varroa question

    There are so many variables. From the amount of food in the hive, pollen included to the age of the queen, to quality of her mating flight ( her age, if she was an emergency supercedure cell, or swarm cell or a good quality supercedure cell, the number of drones she mated with). And so much more.
    If all the variables are the same, then the mite loads would be close. Take out a variable and it changes the hive and the ability to withstand the mites.

    Add in noseam and virus loads and these can change the variables between hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Edwards, Ms, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Another varroa question

    Yes there is alot of variables. Mainly genetics. There is one thing. Drones. They can travel from one hive to another. Treat the problem in the hive that has the mites. It's not worth risking spreading them to other hives. Doesn't mean there not good bees it just happens. They can gain the genetic behavior.

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