Re: Treat or not to treat
To all people who got offended by my statement regarding commercial beekeeping.
First, I apologize for generalization. I had no intention to hurt anybody personally. My statement was mainly not about beekeepers but about traditional beekeeping practice used in commercial beekeeping. The practice has been developed before Varroa mites. Thus it had no tools against Varroa. "Treatment" (chemical) was urgently introduced to mitigate the problem. The chemical treatment (any) normally stimulates the resistance to the treatment (Varroa resisted to the treatment). So, everybody who treat - actually is working hard to produce more resistant Varroa mites. It is just biology. It reminds to me the story with penicillin, when people unwisely used it and produced penicillin-resistant strains of bacteria. When penicillin did not work, another antibiotic was invented and soon we got resistant strain. Using this approach, we already developed the strains of bacteria, which are deadly - there is no treatment for them available now. Right now, people are dying from bacteria, which originally was sensitive to the ordinary penicillin, but not anymore. It seems to me, commercial approach is heading in the same direction demanding more and more "treatments" (chemical) and making more and more resistant mites!
Another aspect of this is the bees. Any chemical treatment weaks the body and suppresses the natural resistance. Treatment technically is a poison. You are trying to establish the dose, which is deadly to mites and not for bees. But low dose of poison is still a poison and affects bees biology. So, one, actually do a weird selection - bees tolerate the poison and do not tolerate the mites. Is it sounds like reverse to what one wanted?
This is why I feel skeptical about "traditional" commercial approach in Varroa time - it is just against biology. It was reasonably good before Varroa. It needs to be adjusted to new reality. Chemical treatment just creates the super-Varroa. Treatment must be a temporary solution - you could not keep human on antibiotics all the time. Russian says - there is nothing more permanent than temporary solution. It is exactly about Varroa - treatment was used as an emergency remedy at the beginning but becomes a standard now. I am against treatment to be a standard procedure. It must be an emergency remedy.
Spreading super-monster-Varroa in feral bees population is extremely bad since if bees could mitigate a normal Varroa, it does not mean that they are prepared for super-Varroa.
PS I am using the word "treatment" meaning a chemical treatment.
Last edited by cerezha; 08-14-2012 at 03:37 PM.