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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,151

    Default Re: Do "Strong Hives" Die from Mite loads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    There's always a lot of speculation on feral bees and their health, yet so few real comprehensive or inclusive studies to consider. And that makes sense to me, in that I think it would be pretty hard to find a large enough sample, over a wide enough geography to get a true sense of their condition.
    There is at least one, that I know of. It was done in my country by a government funded project to try to produce a varroa tolerant bee. Because of the stories of beehives that had been in some place "for 12 years", or similar, the team decided to investigate this to see if there was any useful genetic material for their program. They advertised in newspapers asking people to report feral hives, and around 80 were reported. They were checked and 30 of them were suitable to monitor, cameras were set up to see if occupation was continuous. Of the 30 hives, every one of them had died within 12 months, although some had been replaced with new swarms.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Do "Strong Hives" Die from Mite loads?

    very interesting oldtimer, thanks.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Do "Strong Hives" Die from Mite loads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Of the 30 hives, every one of them had died within 12 months, although some had been replaced with new swarms.
    We had one a couple summers back. Homeowners said that hive had been in the eave of the house for years and years. By chance, we met the prior owners, and they confirmed, bees in that eave for _at least_ the last 25 years. So, we started watching it more carefully. By november, no activity at the entrance. Nice sunny march day, our hives beside the house were flying, lots of cleanup, big piles of dead bees on the ground in front of the hive. Out to check the eaves of the old house, nothing. Late may, when we were first starting to watch our hives for swarm preps, guess what, we got a call. The bees in the eave had 'woke up for the summer', and sure enough, lots of activity.

    Just because property owners think the bees have been there 'forever', doesn't make it so, as we discovered.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Do "Strong Hives" Die from Mite loads?

    How long feral colonies survive here has also intrigued me.

    I've been tracking, mapping, and mining feral colonies that I've found catching swarms, making sure to check them every couple of months for activity.

    Lost 1 out of 1 collonies I found from two years ago, 3 out of 5 from last year, and 3 out of 9 from this year.

    Worried homeowners are a bigger problem here than the mites though, for instance a couple of weeks ago I went by to look at a thriving colony that I've caught 4 swarms from in the last 2 years only to find the whole tree completely gone.


    Don

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