Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 25 of 25
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hardin Cty, KY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Mites and winter

    You guys are lucky, as much as there are places where environmental factors are stacked against the bees there are places where they are advantageous. I think a good test for mite resistant bees would be to move a colony of them to a place where Beeks are having problems with mites and see how they fare. The beek that does this will most likely go down in history.

    I love watching Alabama teams play football!!!!!!

  2. #22

    Default Re: Mites and winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    If this we
    Elgons were touted as mite tolerant for a few years, but the clear evidence is that they are just about as varroa susceptible as pure Buckfast. If you want more detail I have Erik's email around here somewhere. He is still working on mite tolerance, but the bees are not there yet. Russian bees definitely have the genetics to make it, but there are a ton of negative genetics in the mix such as excessive swarming, defensive stinging behavior, and extreme brood shutdown at any pause in pollen availability.

    I don't claim to have kept all species of honeybee, but I can name all 28 currently recognized species and describe where they are found and what their basic traits are. I can tell you which have been challenged by varroa and which are still unexposed and which four have demonstrated significant tolerance to varroa. I can also tell you that Russians are not a race, they are a hodgepodge of bees that were imported into eastern Russia over 100 years ago.

    Russian bees are not all aggressive, they are not in my experience prone to swarm either. These are again some myths beekeepers tend to spread. Because, as Fusionpower said, they are a mix of various races (as nearly all bees near human settlements!) they have huge variation.

    I had a problem with my Russians being extremely angry some years ago. I sent some 50 queens to testbeekeepers to 4 different countries in Europe. No one of those test beekeepers said they are angry. Why were they angry with me? Because at that moment the breeding process was not ready and the bees had huge mite loads in my hives. With lower mite levels by the testbeekeepers, the daughters of the same queens mated with same drones were perfectly calm.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hardin Cty, KY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Mites and winter

    My experiences exactly, They were in fact pretty docile. Many factors cause ALL bees to get defensive, abscond, swarm. Especially over zealous beekeepers. I had similar experiences with Italians they seem to run a bit slower in comb and honey production than the Russians. In Bavaria Carnies are the favorite and every other household has them. Started with 10 and 5 years later I got 1 treatment free. Hive Numbers varied as I lost colonies and hived swarms. I ruined 1 by starving it (totally my fault). 1 got real aggressive again my fault I was the over zealous beekeeper. I suspect that if I take a TF colony and move it or a queen, package etc. far enough out of the zone they were bred in, the odds of them succumbing to mites are greater than survival. just a theory I have absolutely NO supporting data/ evidence. (stated before I get slaughtered here)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Mites and winter

    I suspect that if I take a TF colony and move it or a queen, package etc. far enough out of the zone they were bred in, the odds of them succumbing to mites are greater than survival. just a theory I have absolutely NO supporting data/ evidence. (stated before I get slaughtered here)
    No slaughter necessary. Great comment. I would disagree because my experience has been that a colony with varroa tolerance is tolerant in a wide range of climates, BUT other traits come into play such as winter hardiness. Most beekeepers can relate to southern produced queens that have problems with overwintering in northern climates. I would expect similar issues with bees that are adapted to my local climate which is less winter stressful than what you get in Kentucky. What I see happening in my bees is that they overwinter with relatively small clusters in the softball to soccer ball size range. The smaller clusters would be in trouble in a northern climate. Do I think this could be addressed by selecting for larger winter clusters? Maybe. I am not sure if there is a relationship between cluster size and varroa tolerance. I have some plans for this spring that include raising queens from the colony that exhibits high varroa tolerance and currently has the largest cluster of overwintering bees. If I am correct, that should provide me with some colonies next winter that would be viable at higher latitudes. The bees I have are derived from races that typically have very good winter survival.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hardin Cty, KY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Mites and winter

    What would you think about swapping colonies next fall. Would you be willing to experiment. What parameters would we have to establish to ensure the integrity of the study and our individual apiaries. My winter is harder than yours but we are relatively close. Your 20+ years of experience are valuable to me. I firmly believe we will be ever learning. If we could put something like that together safely it would be an incredible learning experience. Then we could expand it out with other beeks. What do you think !!!!!

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads