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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    I apologize - it was WLC.

    Man you guys need real names, this letter thing is messing me up.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,084

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    My real name is at the bottom of every Post. My name is Mark. sqkcrk is my screen name. Squeak Creek w/ all the vowels removed. Squeak Creek Apiaries is my business' name.

    WLC is his screen name and won't reveal his/her real name for personal security reasons. You'll have to go to him for anymore detail than that.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  3. #63
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Yeah, we thought about going with Skunky Acres for our bees, because that is what we call our place. It seems over-run with skunks. Thought it would be bad PR though. Went with a Western sort of theme.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,084

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Squeak Brook or Squeak River runs through our propertry.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    >Were we to propogate them what would the negative impact be?

    None that I've seen. I've seen a few around my hives on occasion. I think you just have to stop killing them... everything that kills Varroa will kill them...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    A deep full of composted mulch as a bottom might provide something desirable. I'm sure some beekeeper has tried it

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    >A deep full of composted mulch as a bottom might provide something desirable. I'm sure some beekeeper has tried it

    Sort of. I tried an open bottom over a box so the detritus could build up. I didn't see any difference in the health of the hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,171

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    I am a first year beek and am fascinated by the no treatment approach. M Bushes ideas and others in this thread have real appeal. But it's scary to take that leap. Respectfully and truly curious, are their other livestock that a similar approach has been effective with? Is that approach different than if I were to stop using antibiotics or other medicines? These are honest questions.
    I used to raise goats and every book you read and every vet you talk to says worm worm worm systimatically , I never did worm them if they got a high worm load to the point they were becoming anemic I would sell them to somoeone that didn't mind wormer in their program. I only bred from the ones that could handle a high worm load without effecting their health and eventually I stopped getting sick goats. What the guys who do worm as prevenatitive maintanance have found out that most of their meds are becoming worthless as the worms are becoming immune to them

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    >Every single cutout I have performed has had a worker cell size of 4.9mm or just under 5mm. Is this commonplace in your region?

    I typically see between 4.6 and 5.1mm in the core of the brood nest.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Couple good things varroa did here, was get rid of all the leave it alone beekeepers that spread AFB, and they also exterminated the AMM's that used to be a pain (literally).

    People buy bees from me cos varroas killed their hives, puts money in my pocket although I feel real bad for the people, wish it wasn't that way. But it is.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,084

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Outside of beekeeping, what role do they play?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  12. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    They fill a 'niche' as ectoparasites of Honeybees.

    That's what they do.

    Their purpose? Life.

    It's safe to say that if Varroa never spilled over from Asian Honeybees into European Honeybees, they would have remained a footnote in an entomology journal.

    But, they did spillover, and they carry viruses that are deadly to Honeybees.

    You might as well ask, "What's the role of DWV?"

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    I like mites because I get free pulled out frames for splits

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    I like mites because threads about beekeeping topics that we all dispassionately agree on are usually pretty boring. That's just me, though, heh.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,589

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    > threads about beekeeping topics that we all dispassionately agree on are usually pretty boring.

    Have you seen the one about grooved vs wedge frame?

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ooved-vs-Wedge

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Spring Tx
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    What ever happen to "Only the strong survive" ? And how did bees survive all these centuries with our intervention ? We constantly "fool with Mother Nature" and not all times to the better.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    Varroa and diseases of the honeybee cause me to pay much more attention to the bees than I might have if keeping bees was something that required little effort. The threat of losses caused me to learn to rear queens and split hives and end up with more hives than I ever intended.
    During this experience of learning to keep bees I have met other beekeepers and interested other people in beekeeping and shared honey with them etc. etc. Instead of having 2 hives like maybe I would have ? not sure, now I have over twenty. I pay more attention to the bees.

    I tried oxalic acid one year just to see and had a good result but splitting the hives each spring seems to knock the mites back to where I didn't see any mites after the summer. I aim to do treatment free bees by just never treating and keeping working with the bees that survive. Perhaps it will work perhaps it won't but I will need more time to see how it goes. In the meantime I will just keep moving forward with the treatment free plan.

    If we had a time machine and could go back in time and eliminate varroa mites the present would be different and maybe honeybees would be worse off. I might not even have bees let alone over twenty hives. I don't like seeing mites on my bees and I think of them as pests just as this section of Beesource refers to them as but perhaps there is more good in them than I realize. The threat of losing honeybees has definitely raised awareness of their importance as others have mentioned. Thanks for forcing me to think about this more deeply Mark. The connectedness of things is amazing.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,084

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    It is VW, isn't it. And how little we understand.

    I had a person last night ask me about whether I noticed weather patterns and honey production relationships. I can imagine they are there, but cause and effect are difficult for me to see and especially how to use them to decide how to manage my hives.

    Seems like there isn't enough recognizable data. Or too much maybe. And what of it is meaningful? It's interesting and mindboggling.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  19. #79
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,386

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    As Edwin Starr said in his song "War" ................ absolutely ........nuffin! Mites mean the destruction of innocent lives.......... honeybees!
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
    "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: "What is Varroa good for?"

    It is all amazing. In the smallest little spaces there are cells moving around and in the far reaches of space I believe there is life out there as well. All of these things are part of life and if we went back in time and changed things we might not exist to even need to worry about a mite. Parasites exist for various reasons according to a couple of internet searches I just did. It is amazing that Varroa mites spread so much. I am wondering if after enough years of new home reared queens I could one day end up insulated from them or if over time maybe mites will get there own health issue and become less common.

    Here are two interesting articles on parasites.

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5149803_pu...ecosystem.html

    http://www.ehow.com/info_8754287_fun...parasites.html

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