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Thread: Varroa & swarms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Varroa & swarms

    Will bees swarm/abscond due to Varroa infestation in their hive?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Varroa & swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    Will bees swarm/abscond due to Varroa infestation in their hive?
    No, I have never seen.
    The hives just dwindle, there might be (in the end) 20 bees and hand-size of spotty brood left, just before death.

    Only the hives in best condition swarm, and they have the least varroa. Varroa is not the cause for swarming. But of course swaming is natures way to get rid of diseases, too.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Varroa & swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    Will bees swarm/abscond due to Varroa infestation in their hive?
    I thinks thats a YES commander Tom. Saw an untreated hive bail into a pine tree just a month back.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Varroa & swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    I thinks thats a YES commander Tom. Saw an untreated hive bail into a pine tree just a month back.
    That's what I'm thinkin' as of this year, but it's only suspicion at this point.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa & swarms

    Well, the varroa may not make them swarm; however, the small hive beetles that the bees can no longer control due to their (bees') diminished numbers do frequently cause the bees to swarm. I think the more correct term is 'abscond'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Default Re: Varroa & swarms

    swarming due to varroa no - in fact, swarming can be considered a natural way of controlling varroa population numbers within a colony -the colony swarms for reproductive reasons and creates a brood less period - this also creates a "brood less" period for the mite therefore controlling their numbers. Will they abscond dur to mite - no. Absconding is generally due to heavy outside pressure such as SHB or catastrophes such as the tree falling over or continual disruption by predators. In the case of African bees, bees abscond due to lack of nectar flow.

    IF the colony has a heavy mite load after swarming, they will either tolerate it or perish from the stressors of heavy virus load.

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