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  1. #401
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    so did the bee and the tracheal mite arrive at host/parasite equilibrium or did the tracheal mite become extinct?

    was the treatment for tracheal mites as widespread and aggressive back then as the treatment of varroa is today?
    I never treated for tracheal and dont feel that they impacted our operation too much. It was a difficult diagnosis with no clearly effective treatment originally, though eventually many started using aromatics like menthol. I tried the same no treatment strategy with varroa and quickly found out that this was a whole different "breed of cat". We had entire apiaries completely wiped out. I assume tracheal mites still exist in our operation and around the country but then thats just an assumption.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    The tracheal mite is not extinct. I would theorize that varroa pushed the early colonies so far that the same thing happened with TMs as is now happening with VMs. The bees got over them, and they don't end up being much of a problem anymore.

    Books and magazines from that era listed a litany of treatments and things that had to be done to keep the bees alive.
    In a matter of two years?

    Menthol crystals, which didn't work, and a pesticide strip amitraz as its active ingredient were used as well as grease pattys.

    Something happened to Tracheal mites. I haven't heard a plausible explanation.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #403
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    so if i am understanding correctly jim, for the average beekeeper there was no easy way to make the diagnosis and not much in the way of treatments, unlike varroa.

    sounds like a very different scenario, and one that nature seems to have taken care of.

    perhaps with tm it was more like getting resistance to just one virus, as opposed to the frank parasitism along with having multiple pathogens being vectored by varroa.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    so if i am understanding correctly jim, for the average beekeeper there was no easy way to make the diagnosis and not much in the way of treatments, unlike varroa.

    sounds like a very different scenario, and one that nature seems to have taken care of.

    perhaps with tm it was more like getting resistance to just one virus, as opposed to the frank parasitism along with having multiple pathogens being vectored by varroa.
    Well I could never make the diagnosis though many beekeepers claimed it was easy to spot a "k" wing appearance that was supposed to be an indication. A blender sampling done in just the right manner was supposed to give a good indication as well but I think the only sure way to tell if a bee was infected was dissection which was pretty time consuming.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #405
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    Diagnosis of tracheal mites requires disection of the prothorasic tracheal of the individual bees which is done in a Lab by taking off the head of ther bee and cutting a disc of the front of the thorax w/ a razor. The disc is placed in a solution of KOH (potasium hydroxide) over night which clears the muscle mass leaving the trachea (tracheii?). The trachea are then examined under a microscope to determine presence or absence of mites.

    I have heard that some folks have done field diagnosis for presence w/ a hand lens. I have no experience doing that so I don't know how well it works.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Well I could never make the diagnosis though many beekeepers claimed it was easy to spot a "k" wing appearance that was supposed to be an indication. A blender sampling done in just the right manner was supposed to give a good indication as well but I think the only sure way to tell if a bee was infected was dissection which was pretty time consuming.
    The blender analysis required someone to determine presence of TM DNA.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #407
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    When I was a kid a book I read described how to diagnose it, they had a little device with two pins sticking up, and the bee was impaled on these through the back of the lower thorax, ie, the bee was in an upside down position.

    The two front legs with that section of the thorax were cut off, and according to the photos provided, this exposed some of the main tracheal tubes. The infested ones showed clearly very dark, going by the pics a good magnifying glass would be all that would be needed, or someone with very keen eyesight may be able to see it unaided. Non infested bees the tracheae were almost invisible being the same pearly white colour as the rest of the surrounding material.

    Being a schoolboy bee geek at the time I built one of the devises, but the mites did not make it to my country so I never got to try it. I did impale and dissect a few bees on it though LOL

    Mike Bispham don't ask me for proof or references I don't have any.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #408
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    so did it follow that if a diagnosis wasn't readily available that there was also no good way to know what if any effect the treatments were having?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #409
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    Pretty much.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  10. #410
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    thanks mark. so how devastating was tm to the managed bee population? what were the losses like and for how many years?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #411
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    My recollection was that TM showed up in 1984 or 5 and was pretty much gone, or overshadowed by Varroa, by 1987. Losses were somewhat similar to Varroa mites have been.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #412
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    Im kind of fuzzy on that. I remember our losses running a bit high for a few years after our first positive diagnosis, dosent seem like they were at unmanageable levels though. APHIS got pretty panicky when it was first diagnosed and started depopulating hives that tested positive thinking that they could control it. A neighboring beekeeper had just moved his bees back to South Dakota from an area where they had been found so they came out here started testing then decided they all had to be killed. It was all pretty crazy. Within a couple years pretty much everyone had tested positive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #413
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    Yes it got to the US in 84, from South America (I think). But it had been around in England for a lot longer and was one of the things the Buckfast bee was designed to defeat. American bees threw it off pretty quick but the English bees struggled with it for many years, and possibly still have it in small doses.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    American bees threw it off pretty quick but the English bees struggled with it for many years, and possibly still have it in small doses.
    From Brother Adam's descriptions, it wiped out all of the the native English bees and the only bees left were of Italian descent. The Abbey then spent the next couple of years helping to make up the enormous losses across the country. This is what likely would have happened with varroa if there weren't treatments. Basically a country wide "Bond Test". Similar tobehat happened with Russian honey bees in the Primorsky region. Perhaps the reason Tracheal mites weren't quite as a big of a deal here is that most of the North American stock has some Italian heritage?
    Adam - Zone 5A
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  15. #415
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    My impression is that by the time tracheal mites arrived in America, there was already some resistance in American stocks. I recall reading somewhere that in Florida, researchers had a hard time finding infected colonies to use in studies of the problem.

    It's interesting t speculate on what might have happened to varroa mites had aggressive treatments not been available, as was the case with tracheal mites in the UK in the 20s.

  16. #416
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    you often hear that the pollination by honeybees is responsible for a big portion of the world's food supply. is that true? are there any reliable estimates of what would happen to the food supply if managed bees suffered a 90% loss in a given year?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #417
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    Years ago Steve Taber speculated in an ABJ Article that if all US Beekeepers were willing to go w/out treating Varroa that in 30 years we would have Varroa tolerant bees. He also said that we also wouldn't have any Commercial Beekeepers.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  18. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    you often hear that the pollination by honeybees is responsible for a big portion of the world's food supply. is that true? are there any reliable estimates of what would happen to the food supply if managed bees suffered a 90% loss in a given year?
    Websearch "The Value of Honeybees as Pollinators of US Crops in 2000" by Roger Morse and Nic Calderone. I believe it was published in Bee Culture Magazine and American Bee Journal.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 08-05-2013 at 04:49 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    My impression is that by the time tracheal mites arrived in America, there was already some resistance in American stocks. I recall reading somewhere that in Florida, researchers had a hard time finding infected colonies to use in studies of the problem.

    It's interesting t speculate on what might have happened to varroa mites had aggressive treatments not been available, as was the case with tracheal mites in the UK in the 20s.
    I suppose at some point they had trouble finding tm infected hives but the first few years there was lots of testing and lots of positives. I think speculation that the devastation in the UK somehow lessened the impact in the US is probably pretty relevant though it may have primarily been related more to a resistance by Italian bees in general. So what actually is the current state of the original English bee?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    So what actually is the current state of the original English bee?
    According to Brother Adam it was completely wiped out by tm. Other black bees were imported from mainland Europe in the years after, including various strains tested in the breeding programs at the abbey.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

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