I haven't tried one of Ross's varroa traps. Have you? Do you know anyone who has? There was some work done in the labs with the idea. Nothing's ever come of it or been shown effective in the field. Just because Ross Conrad says it's so, doesn't mean it is. Sounded good so he included it, and it helps sell a lot of books...oops, is that too snarky? Lots of things Ross says sound good. Some things I find offensive. One of those is to con folks into believing he has "Found The Way". If his varroa trap is working so well, why is he in the process of converting his 40 colony apiary to small cell. Another thing i find offensive is how he blames the commercials for all our woes...finger wagging, finger wagging. We're all in this together folks.
Ross claims a lot. Claims to have learned everything he knows from the great bee master, Charles Mraz of Middlebury, Vermont. That claim reminds me of a debate years ago, between Benson and Quayle...was it for Vice President back around Regan/Bush era? I would change the names, but the idea is the still same.
Mr. Conrad, I knew Charlie Mraz. Charlie Mraz was a friend of mine. You're no Charlie Mraz.
I was not aware of the studies done on what chemical compound attracts varroa. That's why I posted my question here. Apparently there is not a smoking gun yet. At some point someone broke from the "tried and true" and stopped using skeps. If there was a way to not convert all your hives to small cell, not dust with powdered sugar, not usedrone foundation or use any of the countless chemicals people are using in their hives. And be able to effectively control varroa wouldn't you want it. I have read the threads on here constantly for over a year and know there are some very intelligent beekeepers here. When powdered sugar was first suggested did everyone stick their nose up at that? Some of you people are so quick to point your finger at someone else because they do things differently than you. Take a lesson from a first year been, what works for me in michigan may not work for you in florida.
If it is only a short period of disruption that you are considering, you can achieve the same by moving your queen and some workers into a nuc for that period and achieve a break in the brood cycle.
I was thinking in hours not days.
Here's my thought. Man has devised many ways to trap many different creatures, some methods work good others not so good. Does anyone see my point about trapping varroa outside of the brood chamber? Does anyone really grasp what I have proposed? Can anyone say this is a valid idea worth persuing or does everyone thing this is a waste of time.
Does anyone see my point about trapping varroa outside of the brood chamber?
No, I don't. I'd consider that to be like trying to set a mousetrap inside a room with 50 cats. Different areas of a broodnest will have different concentrations of mites - we haven't even figured out why mites will congregate in certain areas of a broodnest while seemingly avoiding other identical areas....so why would you try to trap mites away from the areas they hang out at?
I think you would have better luck raising tons of pseudoscorpions to eat the mites.
Country boy - I ve been thinking about using false scorpions as a mite control for a long time - I have never heard anyone else even speak of it !!!!!
makes you wonder if there is a mite that can kill the Varroa !!! that would be the best method
Lets just get rid of the cats so the mice can thrive.
Mites will congregate in certain areas of the brood nest, that's a good starting point. Wouldn't you like to know why they do that.
I think it's an interesting idea, one that maybe you will experiment with yourself? You may come up with something that will really help in reducing the treat of varroa in our hives.
Now i'm really going to start a discussion I guess. I keep silent alot lately, but maybe it's because I've been thinking. What I'm thinking of trapping varroa is that it is just going to be another crutch that keeps us fighting nature instead of working with it in a more flowing and natural way. A more flowing and natural way such as what has already been achieved by some people that post here on this forum.
In nature, a parasite can not destroy the host. That's very logical huh? can't bite the hand that feeds you too hard huh? Let me also throw out another thought, just a thought mind you. What if it was to the varroa mite's advantage to have a strong host to feed off of? Hey? what about that? Maybe someone should work more with nature in creating a great strong bee that makes stong hives and stores excess honey for us to harvest, all because of the varroa? The varroa changes and the bees change too and the result just might be better than the bee we had before the varroa came on the scene.
OK, I was just rambling, but hey, there are people who have done just that, or close to it. They have a bee that is a great bee if not because of, then at least even though of, having varroa mites present. (that's a really bad sentence structure there, someone fix it for me?) Some of them post on this forum and some are referred to by posters on this forum and some are unkown to the general public at large.
But I'd also like to hear of your testing results with trapping varroa. I do think it would be a good contribution to beekeers in general everywhere and it would have a place in beekeeping if it shows good results. I just don't think it would be a cure-all and think we should keep our options open to further ideas and results that might be obtained using other processes or systems. I'm thinking again, but that if successful, it may be of the sort of success similar to dusting with powder sugar. It would require more trips to the beeyard with another set of toos needed to keep at hand. Another 'system' if you will, added on to basics of beekeeping.
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Country boy - I ve been thinking about using false scorpions as a mite control for a long time - I have never heard anyone else even speak of it !
Pseudoscorpions have been discussed on here before. Do a search and it will pull up a half dozen or so threads.
I know they will eat mites, but I don't know if they go for live mites or if they just scavenge the dead mites. I have seen them on the outside of my hives before (at first I thought it was a tiny spider on the lid.) but I have not seen them inside the hive...but I guess I have never been looking for them in the hive either. I would imagine the bees would likely try to run them out of the hive if the pseudoscorpions couldn't hide.
>I was not aware of the studies done on what chemical compound attracts varroa.
Dr. Marion Ellis of UNL was working with some people in France who were doing experiments on coming up with an attractant and a trap for Varroa. He said it was promising, but that was several years ago, so maybe not that promising...
Thanks Mr. Bush for your reply. I knew I wasn't crazy.
Many people consider beekeepers to be quite a crazy bunch. Perhaps we are all just a little bit crazy together?
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I remember being at ther BeeMasters course at SFU in 1994. Dr Mark Winston was working on such an idea, using pheromones to trap varroa. He thought he was a few years away from finding the pheromones and then a few more years to develop a commercial product. At the time he also had his hand out looking for research money from beekeepers. Nothing ever came from that work as far as any products are concerned. I think they identified some compounds that were attractive to varroa (I don't know if they were highly attractive or somewhat attractive) but there are quite a few hurdles between finding a compound that is attractive to varroa to having a product that you can stick in a hive and achieve effective varroa control. In the meantime Winston refocused his energies in another faculty at SFU, he longer dabbles in bees.
drice, if you think that you can find a product to trap varroa under a screen in a matter of hours without disrupting a hive (if that was a bad thing) good luck to you. What about the other ones under the capped brood? If icing sugar is working fine for you and your bees then I would encourage you to keep at it.
As far as trying to find such a product, unless you have lots of smarts or access to people who have lots of smarts, a well equipped laboratory, plenty of cash to invest with the possibility of no return on the investment, lots of time to invest, I would have to answer your question that you're wasting your time.
I find Pseudoscorpions in the wild all the time - what i can do is set up on of my small mating nucs with mite infested bees - and put in a few dozen Pseudoscorpions and let them go at it for a few weeks - i can give them bees from a heavy infested hive -
its worth it - really?? what would i lose ? ill keep you posted on my experiment- i can also put the Pseudoscorpions in a peti dish and place live Varroa in with them - see if they will eat them - i know they eat red mites and springtails - why not varroa?
anyhow ill get some tommorow and start on the experiment this week !!!!!
Thanks Country Boy -- got my wheels turning again !!!!