Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper
As I understand it John Kefus and his partners have managed this - I think they run several thousand hives. I think operations on that sort of scale are requeening yearly, and I would think it would be necessary to be taking breeding queens (and sourcing drones) from the farmed stock, in order to be managing a process of co-evolution with the mites. But it could be there is just too much horizontal transmission of mites genes to allow the milder, less fecund strains of mites to evolve - something that is I believe key.
Originally Posted by Paul McCarty
It may be too that there are limits to the degree to which you can pack hives and expect them to thrive without throwing chemicals at them. Like battery hens; at a certain size and density its impossible to continue without systematically feeding antibiotics.
In theory at least a large operation could be composed of a number of smaller genetically independent apiaries - in which case any such critical-mass problem shouldn't exist...?
These are just my own thoughts mind...
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet