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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Carp, Ontario, Canada
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    123

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJSpencer View Post
    Sorry guys, not trying to "take over" this thread.
    Adam
    No need to apologies and thanks Adam very much for the information. Is it approved by the CFIA to be used inside the hive?

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    That's a tricky one. It is approved by CFIA as a plant protection product. So I assume once these formal publications are out and we begin to market it specifically for hives, we will need to deal with that. As it is right now, it is a predator for fungus gnats and overwintering spidermite in the soil, which it is fantastic at.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin View Post
    Rhaldridge, if you have the time monitor the mite growth of your treated colonies. It will tell whether it’s working. I’d be interested to see what you get especially since you mite populations are seasonally more active in Fl.

    Byron
    I did a sugar roll assessment in mid-September and got an average of 5 mites per 300 bees. (I tested a full cup of bees, which I believe is 600 bees, and got a drop of 10 mites on average.) Since all my colonies are either long Langstroth (horizontal) hives or nucs, it isn't easy for me to monitor drops, but I will do another sugar roll when the first decent flows start in late January. I checked all the hives yesterday, and they all have brood, so here at least there is little or no broodless period when all mites are available for predators.

    This was in no shape or form a scientific test. It was just a shot in the dark by a first year beekeepers who doesn't want to treat (and doesn't regard introducing predators into the hive as a treatment-- not going to argue that one!) I'm just trying to have enough bees in the spring to expand from, and this was a relatively inexpensive shot in the dark that didn't seem to have a downside.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Danielson, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    [QUOTE=rhaldridge;1027007]
    I did a sugar roll assessment in mid-September and got an average of 5 mites per 300 bees. (I tested a full cup of bees, which I believe is 600 bees, and got a drop of 10 mites on average.) Since all my colonies are either long Langstroth (horizontal) hives or nucs, it isn't easy for me to monitor drops, but I will do another sugar roll when the first decent flows start in late January. I checked all the hives yesterday, and they all have brood, so here at least there is little or no broodless period when all mites are available for predators.
    That doesn't seem to be a high mite count for September. As you have brood rearing through most of the year there is the possibility that they could continue to reproduce. George Scott found from his observation that they wouldn't winter over in the hives in Ontario.
    Byron

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    [QUOTE=BMartin;1027081]
    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post

    That doesn't seem to be a high mite count for September. As you have brood rearing through most of the year there is the possibility that they could continue to reproduce. George Scott found from his observation that they wouldn't winter over in the hives in Ontario.
    Byron
    That leads nicely into my next question, BMartin. WHY don't they overwinter in the hives in Ontario? Is it the temperature? Lack of food? Some other aspect of their life cycle? Anyone know?

    Grid

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Danielson, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    I don’t think anyone knows. That’s why good research is need. I do know that in the commercial use, controlling reptile mites, chicken lice, black vine weevil and in greenhouse horticulture, they have to do periodic releases to get the efficacy. As they are a temperate mite I would imagine they sense the coming winter season and would prepare for a winter dormancy/hibernation of which the hive may not be the correct place. A couple of weeks after I had done releases, I looked at the trays under the SBB and inner covers with a 15x loop and they were teaming with small insect that normally inhabit a hive. Incidentally I did find some Ss also. But if you look now all that insect life is silent and in a winter hibernation mode maybe in the hive maybe out.

    George Scott claims that when using the Ss, mites are no longer an issue and although they can still be found in the hive the populations are very low. He also mentioned that this year other Ontario beekeepers had used the SS with the same success.

    Byron

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin View Post
    I don’t think anyone knows. That’s why good research is need. I do know that in the commercial use, controlling reptile mites, chicken lice, black vine weevil and in greenhouse horticulture, they have to do periodic releases to get the efficacy. As they are a temperate mite I would imagine they sense the coming winter season and would prepare for a winter dormancy/hibernation of which the hive may not be the correct place. A couple of weeks after I had done releases, I looked at the trays under the SBB and inner covers with a 15x loop and they were teaming with small insect that normally inhabit a hive. Incidentally I did find some Ss also. But if you look now all that insect life is silent and in a winter hibernation mode maybe in the hive maybe out.

    George Scott claims that when using the Ss, mites are no longer an issue and although they can still be found in the hive the populations are very low. He also mentioned that this year other Ontario beekeepers had used the SS with the same success.

    Byron
    Maybe we need to convert all our screened bottom boards to hold soil and winter food for the Ss!

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJSpencer View Post
    Hi Grid, if you think it's possible, maybe have a control hive with no varroa treatment whatsoever. For example, in George's video,
    http://www.niagarabeeway.com/bio-con...rroa-mite.html
    which is great, but leaves the question "well, what if the mite-away strips only had a negative effect and the Ss hives are just normal?".
    It would be interesting to see the data from all three.
    Two major Universities in the US are now both getting ready for official experiments and will have published data. Hopefully by next fall!
    Great news on the two major US Universities. Wonderful! Now how about some Canadian trials? Maybe even in Ontario? Anyone? My upcoming experiments will not produce publishable results. I am also reluctant to sacrifice any of my (few) hives to a non-treated control. I know Formic and Oxalic are better than nothing, what I want to see is whether Ss is better than Formic and Oxalic.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grid View Post
    Thanks, AJ. I intend to run my own trial in the spring, do a compare and contrast of 2-4 hives with the Ss and 2-4 hives with Formic/Oxalic. Same bee genetics, same hive configurations, same yard. Try to make it so the only significant variable is the Ss vs Oxalic/Formic. See what I see and will report back. Any advice or help on this little project appreciated.

    Grid.
    What will you be measuring? Mite drop? Mites in an alcohol wash? honey production??

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by c10250 View Post
    What will you be measuring? Mite drop? Mites in an alcohol wash? honey production??
    I have not arrived at a definitive list of measurements, but you are right to ask: I should.

    I was thinking mite drops would be a problem, because I do not want to examine the sticky boards with a microscope to see if the mite on the board is a regular drop, or if it is a carcass chewed on by Ss. I think I need to use phoretic mites as a measure, so probably alcohol roll or icing-sugar roll. Whatever I choose I will use the same method on all hives season long.

    I want to observe mite load, honey production over the season, entrance activity, laying pattern, brood nest health and size, and buildup. Those are the main things I will be looking at. Other suggestions welcome.

    Grid

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Considering that there are 170 mites that live in and around bees in a colony, I'm wondering why someone doesn't do a study of how all of those mites interact with Varroa and Tracheal mites (not to mention Tropilaelaps, but please don't bring them here to study them...)

    A mite that already lives with bees would be more useful as a permanant solution.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
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    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Considering that there are 170 mites that live in and around bees in a colony, I'm wondering why someone doesn't do a study of how all of those mites interact with Varroa and Tracheal mites (not to mention Tropilaelaps, but please don't bring them here to study them...)

    A mite that already lives with bees would be more useful as a permanant solution.
    I wonder what impact Ss will have on the local micro-fauna. Will they also prey on other beneficial mites or pseudo-scorpions or...? So far in my bee yards, if there is a hive-native mite that preys on varroa, either I don't have it, or it does not do so in sufficient numbers to make a noticeable difference. Hives that I have left alone have died from varroa. Maybe I have the wrong bees, or the wrong varroa, or the wrong micro-fauna. Ss, if it works as advertised, will be a LOT better than anything I have seen work for me to date. I am not giving up hope though! I have found someone local to me with bees descended from British Black Bees who say they have never treated. I will be starting a treatment-free yard with those bees, and I am getting 6 nucs as well as 6 queens, so that if a part of their success comes from something in the hive and not just the bee genetics, I will hopefully get some of it in the nucs.
    Last edited by Grid; 12-13-2013 at 02:53 PM.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Following this with interest. Is it just me, or does anyone else find the idea of using other mites to kill Varroa both amusing and oddly satisfying? Assuming it works, of course.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Danielson, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Grid View Post
    I wonder what impact Ss will have on the local micro-fauna. Will they also prey on other beneficial mites or pseudo-scorpions or...?
    They are generalist predators and seem to feed on many different food sources. I would imagine that other mites and small insect in the hive would be food sources. This in itself could be an issue with varroa as they may feed on a more preferable insect leaving the varroa with little predation. If you watch them at work they, like many predatory mites, are constantly moving at a fairly good speed with what appears great determination. You do have to wonder if this little mite or one like it is not responsible for some of the surviving bee trees.

    Byron

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    [QUOTE=BMartin;1029961]

    They are generalist predators and seem to feed on many different food sources. I would imagine that other mites and small insect in the hive would be food sources. This in itself could be an issue with varroa as they may feed on a more preferable insect leaving the varroa with little predation. If you watch them at work they, like many predatory mites, are constantly moving at a fairly good speed with what appears great determination. You do have to wonder if this little mite or one like it is not responsible for some of the surviving bee trees.

    Byron
    The other thing hoped for but not known, and which I am thankfully not able to test, is that the Ss may prey on small hive beetle larvae in the soil. Wouldn't that be nice? Sprinkle some Ss media in the hive, sprinkle some on the ground around it...

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grid View Post
    So far in my bee yards, if there is a hive-native mite that preys on varroa, either I don't have it, or it does not do so in sufficient numbers to make a noticeable difference.
    Looking over my reply, I realized that Ss are not in my hives in sufficient numbers to make a difference either, which is why I would be adding them. If I am adding something to my hives to prey on varroa, it might be wise to choose something that is already in the hives, and which is already preying on the varroa, but which may simply need a population boost. Are there pre-existing known effective predators of varroa already in hives in North America? In your part of the planet? Do we know? I am guessing not, but If there is, we could maybe breed those and add them to our hives, and not be introducing a foreign life-form into the hive eco-system. I guess that was kind of your point, Michael, yes?

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    [QUOTE=BMartin;1029961]

    They are generalist predators and seem to feed on many different food sources. I would imagine that other mites and small insect in the hive would be food sources. This in itself could be an issue with varroa as they may feed on a more preferable insect leaving the varroa with little predation. If you watch them at work they, like many predatory mites, are constantly moving at a fairly good speed with what appears great determination. You do have to wonder if this little mite or one like it is not responsible for some of the surviving bee trees.

    Byron
    When I read about Tom Seeley's experiences in moving Arnot Forest colonies into modern equipment in modern bee yards, I wondered about this. He attributed the failure of these bees to thrive without treatment to a loss of isolation, but I think there are other possibilities. What if some of the bee tree commensal organisms were responsible for the ability of these colonies to tolerate mite infestation?
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
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    194

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?


  19. #99
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    > What if some of the bee tree commensal organisms were responsible for the ability of these colonies to tolerate mite infestation?

    And/or natural comb... there are a lot of things we change...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Stratiolaelaps - A bug to Fight Varroa?

    No idea why putting it on newspaper was thought of. They likely stayed in the media on top of the newspaper until they starved, then walked down the outsides of the hive. All of our successful trials have been dropped directly inside of the hive. The healthy bees later clean up all of the media anyways.

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