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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,934

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb58 View Post
    Boy, you are touchy for someone who posts as much as you do. I don't think I mentioned evolution, I'm thinking of palliative surgery--the varroa infested hive as a disease ridden organism--cut or chemo? Are you thinking of your fans elsewhere: New York, Nebraska, England? Maybe you can change your title to Old F**t. My next suggestion is to candle combs to find areas of infestation. Got a horse analogy for that one?
    Too much coffee or something?

    Sorry for troubling you.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The half that prefer drones.
    Nope. They all prefer drones. Half just get lucky.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #43

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Too much coffee or something?
    If I drained boils all day.....I'd be pretty cranky too.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    >>The half that prefer drones.
    >A citation to support that exists?

    A citation to prove that the ones that, when faced with drone or worker brood, infested the drone brood. That they prefer drones? I'm confused. They sorted themselves out.

    >Drone brooding is for a relatively short part of the season, what happens to them when drone brooding ends.

    And that is exactly the right question. If they did as they do in cerana, they would do nothing when there was no drone brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Too much coffee or something?

    Sorry for troubling you.
    Actually, too many beers after golf, apologies.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If they did as they do in cerana, they would do nothing when there was no drone brood.
    Absurd.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,436

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    There would only be selective pressure if there is a genetic basis for mites getting into worker brood. If there is no such genetic link, and it is chance that some mites end up in worker brood, then there is no possibility of selecting for mites who prefer worrker brood. I have no idea whether there is a genetic basis for varroa mites selecting worker vs. drone brood, or whether they all genetically prefer drone brood and some just end up in the less desirable worker brood. I don't know if anybody in the world can answer that question.

    Also, it does not necessarily follow that selecting for mites that prefer worker brood would be bad, and it could very well be good. Mites don't reproduce as well in worker brood, so maybe it would be good if we could breed a mite that is not attracted to drone brood. For all I know, that could be the silver bullet to Varro mites (although I doubt it). Once again, I don't know if anybody in the world really knows the answer to this question.

    Bottom line, I don't think anybody has any actual knowledge about these factors.

    There is evidence that drone removal is effective in the short-term, and it is most certainly chemical-free. I do know one top-notch beekeeper who has been removing dronce comb (and breeding resistant bees) for a lot of years now, and he has very healthy bees, with no sign of breeding nastier mites.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Videos about drone removal as part of hive management:

    http://beetime.eu/rotation-beekeeping-system/

    Presentation of special frames developed by Randy Oliver:

    http://nwba.njbeekeepers.org/documen...od_Removal.pdf
    9 months, 12 colonies, TF (so far)

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    According to Calderone, they tried to select for varroa that preferred worker brood but they were unsuccessful.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  10. #50

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
    Bottom line, I don't think anybody has any actual knowledge about these factors.
    And I think you are right on the money.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,834

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    I think what we need here on the forum is a top notch entomological geneticist who can sift through all this speculation and give a once and for all answer. But something tells me that even then there will be some who think they know more than that person and will disagree.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I think what we need here on the forum is a top notch entomological geneticist who can sift through all this speculation and give a once and for all answer. But something tells me that even then there will be some who think they know more than that person and will disagree.
    This ultimate arbiter is driven by pressures to publish and obtain funding. Forums are free, but don't pay well, or add to resumes. Fortunately, some knowledgeable folks do post, and those are a real treat, and appreciated.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,436

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    It is amazing to me that honey bees are probably the most studied insect on Earth, yet we still don't know so very many things that would be very helpful to know. And we know even less about honey bee pests and diseases.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,834

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Not all are appreciated, especially when they disagree just for the sake of disagreeing, or maybe a grudge, or envy.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    .

    I'm backing Michael Bush's reasoning in this matter based on his results for the past 10 years of beekeeping - treatment-free - and almost 30 years of beekeeping previous to that - probably mostly treatment-free, as well, before the varroa arrived..

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    I don't see that commercial colonies leave much room for drone production other than between frames. Breaking boxes apart could be considered a subtle form of culling.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    The practial (read lazy) beekeeper would skip culling if the bees can thrive without it. Why not?

    On the micro-level, will the bees in your apiary become more hygenic or mite-resistant if you keep culling drone cells? --I guess I don't want to bring up the selective breeding argument again, but this seems logical to me. If they're dieing from mites, maybe they should die. There certainly are bees thriving without treatment/culling. That seems like ideal selective breeding to me.

    Lastly, I am convinced by those who say that the bees naturally prefer a certain percentage of drones/drone comb in the hive. I don't want my bees spending all their time/resources building new drone comb because I keep cutting it out making them feel unbalanced.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hardin Cty, KY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    WOW lets remember the Top Bar Hive was attractive as a more "natural" bee driven way to "handle" bees. Overthinking it totally defeats the purpose. If you want to or "have" to save a colony from mites culling the drone brood is by far the best way to DECREASE the "Mite Load" (remember these key terms). WHY because TBH bee handling is suppose to be SIMPLE and FUN. Get back to the basics! Who cares what brood mites prefer.....common sense would dictate and we know they prefer drone brood and some end up in worker brood, again SO WHAT. Its not where they are its the "LOAD" they place on the colony's ability to fight off viruses. Culling drone brood and powdered sugar treatments WORK the best at DECREASING the load and neither one involves harsh chemicals. If its not broke DON'T fix it........NOW my answer is the most effective and selective. Select for STRONGER bees, select to not have the mites........CULL the colony. Just my two cents worth.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    917

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I was a little surprised to find 2-4 mites on each of the drone larvae.

    That is high.

    >I haven't done an alcohol wash.

    A sugar shake won't kill the poor bees...

    >Does the count in drone brood correlate with a dangerous level of varroa indicating need for treatment?

    It is a high level of mites.

    > How effective is drone comb culling in controlling mites?

    You would remove the mites that prefer drones... which would select for mites that prefer workers...
    I was looking up actual scientific papers on powdered sugar last night. They pretty much concur. A really heavy application can harm larvae, particularly at 8 days, but a light dusting is apparently fairly safe. And it can get mites off of adult bees. But what they don't say, and I'd like to know because it addresses the real crux of the issue, is does powdered sugar applied to late-stage larvae protect the resulting pupae? That's evidently where the nasty little rascals breed, in capped brood.

    "Only large amounts of powdered sugar applied directly to brood cells harms immature honey bees"
    Nicholas P. AlianoUniversity of Nebraska - Lincoln
    Marion D. Ellis University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/entomologyfacpub/179/
    Last edited by Phoebee; 02-04-2014 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Added reference

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hardin Cty, KY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Drone comb loaded with mites

    Never saw it harm the brood. The benefit outweighs the risk exponentially anyway. Again overthinking it would be a shame, it takes all the fun out. Remember for every scientific paper that says one thing there are several that say something different. Here is a simple rule to follow. If you hear about something TRY IT FIRST, do your own experimenting and share, share, share your results so that everyone may benefit. The beauty is in the experience, if you want to read journals go to the library. Want to learn about bees go to the apiary!!!!!!

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