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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Question Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    Producing Varroa-Tolerant Honey Bees from Locally Adapted Stock: A Recipe*


    By E.H. ERICKSON, L.H. HINES, and A.H. ATMOWIDJOJO
    Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
    2000 E. Allen Road
    Tucson, AZ 85719



    ....Snip...
    How To Do It:

    1. Finding Varroa-tolerance
    Varroa-tolerant colonies can be identified using one or more of the following techniques.
    A) Use survivor colonies. Sometimes colonies or whole apiaries go un-treated unintentionally, or they may have been abandoned
    B) Prior to fall treatment with Miticides, look for those colonies with little evidence of mite presence. Use colonies having:
    Good brood patterns
    An absence of worker pupae in uncapped cells
    Few worker brood cells with mite feces in them
    Few drone brood cells with mites
    An absence of bees with deformed wings
    Few bees seen with mites on them
    Few of dead mites on bottom boards
    I've noticed my best hive with six to ten uncapped worker cells on a given inspection, and the occasional sighting of a worker carrying a pupa away from the hive. Does that mean these bees are too aggressive about getting at the mites?

    I've only seen two mites on the tattle tale board, one mite for each of the two powdered sugar treatments I've done. Started from a NUC in April, Italian/Carniolan bees, with new queen raised by the hive in May, this NUC is now three hives.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    I'm not what you would consider a seasoned veteran in this biz, but I'm guessing if you split a nuc into 3 colonies/hives since April, the break(s) in the brood cycle would explain your paucity of mites. But, I'll defer to others with more of a pedigree.

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    Thanks, I did the PS treatments before the splits....But there have been long periods without brood this summer.

    What I'm curious about is why open celled worker brood indicates the bee strain is not a recommended selection for local varroa-resistant stocks.
    Last edited by Lburou; 08-08-2012 at 07:10 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,051

    Default Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    In draught conditions they will remove brood they cannot raise to maturity. We are really seeing it in the observation hive lately and they are anything but hygienic. You might even see them suck the liquid protein out before tossing them out the front door.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Embarrassed Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    I think I understood something that was not in the meaning of the reference I cited in the OP. I assumed the study was recommending not selecting bees carrying the trait causing bald brood. Perhaps the study simply referred to a queen's brood pattern and how they rejected brood patterns with occasional 'misses', leaving empty cells where they want to see worker brood.

    ABeek, I saw a pupa leave the hive as shrunken shell today much like you describe....They have put a little honey away in the last week though. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    I corresponded with Dr. Erickson late of USDA Tuscon (he's retired now) when writing the abstract for our SARE grant. He was very helpful and supportive.

    Using alcohol wash to monitor phoretic mite load:
    www.vpqueenbees.com/awa/

    Selecting for VSH Behavior:
    http://www.extension.org/pages/30984...sitive-hygiene

    Regarding uncapping behavior:
    http://vshbreeders.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=129
    and
    http://vshbreeders.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=125

    General VSH references:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_sensitive_hygiene

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com
    Last edited by adamf; 08-09-2012 at 05:58 AM. Reason: more info added

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Selecting varroa tolerant bees...

    Thanks Adam, I'll bookmark and study those links. A question: Why is the method of monitoring dropped mite count so prevalent when the alcohol method is so easy and definitive?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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