Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)
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  1. #1
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    Default Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    I have been using SMC management for several years now as described in Harmonic Farming: Bees and had excellent results. Do not need any medication or treatment, just management.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Please elaborate and give us something to chew on. How many colonies? what are your results? Health issues on none? What have you been doing to control mites, nothing?

    I dont mean to be rude but your post sounds like this: I bought a leash at pet surplus and took my dog for a walk around the block.

    Give us something to chew on buddy!

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Yes WI-beek, I would have liked more explaination about what this thread was about,..besides SMC also.

    I guess we were "supposed to" check out Harmonic Farming: Bees, [A book,.$24.95,.144 pages. Release date, Mar.2011] on are own with no link provided. >> http://goolymooly.ca/data/publishing...book_bees.html << Thanks anyway,..wmgysi
    Last edited by Oldbee; 01-15-2011 at 12:51 PM.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Maybe we are supposed to buy the book?
    Old Guy in Alabama

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    If you click on the tab (above the picture of the bees) that says "TOC and Chapter 4" you can read what Werner has written.
    Last edited by Adrian Quiney WI; 01-15-2011 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Correction

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Here's one better: the link to a sample chapter.

    http://goolymooly.ca/data/publishing...book_bees.html

    He drives home an important point: we can't continue keeping bees with these chemicals. And many beekeepers would concede what used to work just ain't cutting the mustard.

    At the ABF conference in Galveston, Randy Oliver gave a great talk on looking to nature as the model for our selection of mite-tolerant bees. It's the "virulent pressure" that keeps the bees tough and resistant. His solution is challenge the bees, allow the stress from mites to bring out their best.

    The term he used in this talk was epigenetics, the process by which genetic information, as modified by environmental influences, is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism. To put that in English, mite pressure flips the genetic switch which brings out the bees' response for survivability.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    oops, that link has already been provided!

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Very interesting!! Thanks for posting.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    Please elaborate and give us something to chew on. How many colonies? what are your results? Health issues on none? What have you been doing to control mites, nothing?

    I dont mean to be rude but your post sounds like this: I bought a leash at pet surplus and took my dog for a walk around the block.

    Give us something to chew on buddy!
    Sorry, just google Harmonic Farming: Bees or Werner Gysi you will find it, but someone has now linked to it. You are free to print the information but please give credit to the author, if shared.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    "At the ABF conference in Galveston, Randy Oliver gave a great talk on looking to nature as the model for our selection of mite-tolerant bees. It's the "virulent pressure" that keeps the bees tough and resistant. His solution is challenge the bees, allow the stress from mites to bring out their best."

    "The term he used in this talk was epigenetics, the process by which genetic information, as modified by environmental influences, is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism. To put that in English, mite pressure flips the genetic switch which brings out the bees' response for survivability."

    Dr John Kefuss,Of Toulouse France,Has been practicing and advocating this technique for years, Well known as the 007 or "the live and let die" technique.
    Good to hear Randy Oliver has joined this well known procedure.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    For those that like to work their apiary in a sustainable, holistic way here is what I did with my bees yesterday, April 10/11. The 5 minute movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY6JhtfPF4w will show how to manage the varroa first thing in the spring. As I work with nature I use "natural pointers" (as explained earlier) to manage bees. These pointers are very critical in order to be in harmony with nature and at the same time help the beekeeper to structure her/his management. The first "natural pointer" is the pussy willow showing us that fresh pollen is available and this triggers the queen to lay a lot more eggs (hazelnuts will be at about the same time). The next "natural pointer" is when the temperature (in the shade) reaches 15 degree C, sunny and no wind. The attached movie will show the management at that time. Hope some of you can adapt this kind of management. I will keep you posted on the next management "dandelion flowering" but you can already read up on this at: http://goolymooly.ca/data/publishing...book_bees.html . Use the tab Holistic Hive Management and then select the tab that interests you. These are all pdf files. Feel freeto print them out to carry to your apiary. I would appreciate if you would refer to this method as SMC (sustainable mite control) by Werner Gysi. I am on a mission to save the bees and will travel across Canada this summer, starting June 8. in Calgary till August 12., reaching as far as Ottawa, ON. I have over 50 events confirmed, some to beekeeping associations. If you like to invite me please contact me.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    thanks for the link. i was disappointed to see the formic acid treatments.
    when given star thistle make honey

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Quote Originally Posted by stangardener View Post
    thanks for the link. i was disappointed to see the formic acid treatments.
    You must have watched a different movie. There is no formic acid involved in my management. However, I mention ways in my book Harmonic Farming: Bees (but no mention on this in that movie) how to transit from formic acid to a holistic way of beekeeping, using IPM (intergrated pest management). But ultimately there is no need for any chemicals or antibiotics. I call it sustainable as I do not rely on an outside source to produce honey, clean wax and propolis and bees that are not pampered.
    go to youtube and key in Werner Gysi, there is more information there.
    Good luck

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    wmgysi,

    Thank you for your material. One question. In your Early spring stage, you essentially split the hive, separating the capped brood from the queen. My question is: Is it risky to split a hive that early - before drones are flying - so that the new queen raised in the hive containing the capped brood might have a hard time finding a sufficient number of mates?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    wmgysi,

    Thank you for your material. One question. In your Early spring stage, you essentially split the hive, separating the capped brood from the queen. My question is: Is it risky to split a hive that early - before drones are flying - so that the new queen raised in the hive containing the capped brood might have a hard time finding a sufficient number of mates?

    Thanks,

    Adam

    This is certainly a valid concern. We have done this for over 5 years now and those hives always produced several queen cells and success rate is at 90% or higher. The queen may wait for her mating flight in order to find good gene pools, so the laying of eggs may start later than when splitting at a later date, when the dandelions are in full bloom (about 14 days from now at the latest). Once the dandelions flower it triggers the colony to gather as much nectar as they can and produce as much drone brood as is possible. If you remove capped drone frames to fill two brood boxes (20 frames) you will see that this so created split will also collect a ton of the early spring honey, as they are ready for it. As egg laying by the young queen is at least 30 days after splitting (but most likely more as you appropriately pointed out) there will be view surviving mites encountered, as their life cycle in the reproductive cycle is about 27 days (Anderson and Trueman http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/..._mite.htm#life ).

    The original hives, immediately after capped bee brood removal, go into high gear and will pick up astonishingly fast. It is as if they try to go into survival mode. You need to do this before you believe me. I was surprised myself when I did my first experiments 7 years ago. But my description here is tested for the past 5 years now. This is with it a reason why I had to update my original book from 1995 and release Harmonic Farming: Bees last year.

    1. If you are not sure if it keeps the mites on a sustainable level I suggest to do a mite check in the fall.
    2. If you do not get a queen out of the split after lets say 33 days, unite the bees back using the newspaper method (more on breeding would be described in my book but is not the topic of this thread).
    3. If nothing else, at least you will have gotten rid of most of the mites in the original hive and you can do another split at this time (if at all needed).

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgysi View Post
    You must have watched a different movie. go to youtube and key in Werner Gysi, there is more information there.
    Good luck
    my internet does not support movies so i only read text on the web page. i'm glad you were able to move away from the acid.
    when i read your original post i did not realize you were the author of the link. thanks again for the work.
    when given star thistle make honey

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    The problem seems to lie in the fact that the mites live longer than 27 days. According to an article from the University of Florida Department of Entomology and Nematology, they can last months as adults, feeding off adult bees. Here is a link and quote:

    "The phoretic period of the mite appears to contribute to the mite's reproductive ability. Although mites artificially transferred to brood cells immediately after they mature are able to reproduce, their reproductive rate is lower than that of mites undergoing a phoretic period. The phoretic period may last 4.5 to 11 days when brood is present in the hive or as long as five to six months during the winter when no brood is present in the hive. Consequently, female mites living when brood is present in the colony have an average life expectancy of 27 days, yet in the absence of brood, they may live for many months."

    This means that the removal of capped larvae sets them back - but the adults riding around on bees will keep right on going. That means that you've got to do something to kill adult mights (like sugar roll or oxalic) to knock them out - OR perhaps the setting-back of the breeding mites is enough to keep them in balance (with the removal of drone brood perhaps as well).

    The question I have, is in the setting back of the colonies you're pulling the brood out of. You're setting them back early in the spring by taking their capped brood. It is commonly held that a single big, strong colony will produce far more honey than several small ones. If honey is one's goal (and it's not mine - but if it is) then how does this approach to management affect honey production? Would one have to employ other management practices, such as later combining colonies in order to get their best harvests?


    Adam

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    How odd it is that this method is almost identical to the ots or on the spot queen rearing method but he claims the mites dont die before the queen lays egg but when they all rush for the first avilable larva! LOL!!

    So which is it wmgysi? Do the mites die before the queen starts laying or do the mites die when they all go into the first larva available and die when to many mites feed on one larva?

    I think neither works. I think some die, but if either were true then there we would not need treatments after winter when the bees naturally dont raise brood for a month or longer at a time.

  20. #19
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    Smile Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    WI-beek, I think Werner and Mel are on to something. The exact mechanisms might not be clear, but the results they claim seem impressive, and correlate with other information that is only a few clicks away. I've watched Mike Palmer's vimeo's three or four times, and he says he doesn't treat his nucs for mites. Kirk Webster doesn't treat his nucs for mites.
    I haven't treated for mites, and the year before last I noticed, as Mel points out, that it was the colonies that had a brood break that survived through to the spring. The colonies that built up big, and stayed big, died before December of their second year.
    Just as Adam says splitting the colony early sacrifices potential brood build-up, and last year I missed out on the early honey flow by doing that. However, I entered winter with 21 colonies, only 2 of which had started as packages, and all had undergone a brood break. Admittedly, it was a mild winter, but all 21 colonies are still alive including 9 nucs (2 storey 5 framers) and this year I am planning to sell bees to my bee-supplier.
    I am working on integrating Mike Palmer's nuc method, Mel's splitting principles, and Roland's single deep method to manage bees without chemical mite treatment.
    This year, I plan to have a dequeening event of all 10-12 production colonies in June, and at the same time supplement those colonies with brood from the nucs to compensate for the loss of bee production. All of the production colonies will get a queen cell that I aim to produce from three different hives. The nucs themselves will also be split to make more nucs.

    This takes some planning and who knows if it will work consistently over time, but I keep good notes and live in hope.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Sustainable Mite Control (SMC)

    To me the thing is this:

    What is the lifespan of a female mite?


    The OP claims that it's only 27 days. But according to the University of Florida, that is only when there's brood present, and they can last much longer when there's not - several months even.

    If they last for months, then taking the capped brood out of a hive means you set the population back in the hive they're removed from, but they're boosted in the hive you move them to. If the mites emerge and just latch on to the adult workers and wait until new brood is in place (and I believe that's exactly what they do), then what all this does is delays the population explosion.

    Now, I don't mean to discount the positive potential of that delay, but I do want to fully understand what's going on. wmgysi suggests that the break is long enough that the mites cannot survive, but if what I'm reading about the mite from the University of Florida is true, then the can survive the break.

    I see my link above doesn't work, so here's the key passage:

    "The phoretic period of the mite appears to contribute to the mite's reproductive ability. Although mites artificially transferred to brood cells immediately after they mature are able to reproduce, their reproductive rate is lower than that of mites undergoing a phoretic period. The phoretic period may last 4.5 to 11 days when brood is present in the hive or as long as five to six months during the winter when no brood is present in the hive. Consequently, female mites living when brood is present in the colony have an average life expectancy of 27 days, yet in the absence of brood, they may live for many months."

    And the link to the source again:

    http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm


    To clarify the term "phoretic"

    phoresy [ˈfɒrəsɪ]
    n
    (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Zoology) an association in which one animal clings to another to ensure movement from place to place, as some mites use some insects
    [from New Latin phoresia, from Greek phorēsis, from pherein to carry]

    Adam

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