Re: Ask Questions Here!
If #2 is undertaken systematically, and not accompanied by #3, it might allow the apiary to continue despite having no internal mite defences at all. In this case its effect is indistinguishable from a chemical treatment against varroa. It will tend to weaken existing mite defences over time. And it will anyway tend to mask mite vulnerability, making evaluation of parent material hard.
Originally Posted by Solomon Parker
Any manipulation that lowers mite levels in the short term will make matters worse in the long term - unless you are able to ameliorate the effect. I emphasise this because its possible that we do such things by accident. For example; I have a lot of young colonies (splits) and little varroa around to infect them.. I must be on guard against the assumption that they are good mite managers, just because they don't have a problem right now. That's why I wait till they've overwintered successfully on their own and built up again before I consider them as parent material.
I'd be grateful for discussion of this sort of thing. How to be on guard against false readings in the selection process when working an apiary for rapid colony number build up. I guess the best thing is only use the tried and tested queens, using the growing young colonies only to supply brood and flying bees. More fiddly stuff unfortunately.
#3 has to be requeening with queens with an expectation of better performance in mite management terms. That ought to be well based expectation, not just a hope.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet