The Ss will stay in the hive and cycle. They will feed on the Varroa until the Varroa are eradicated. Then they will leave the hive and move on. They do not negatively affect the bees. The bees recognize the Ss after the initial application and actually distribute them around the hive. This is why one application in the spring and one in the fall is recommended. Residual chemicals that USED to work for the Varroa will impair Ss.
Ss is native to North America. Introduced by Dave Gillespie of Ag Canada.
They routinely end up crawling all over us during rearing. Other than tickle, no other effects.
That link has a video showing one with and one without.
IPM Laboratories is probably the closest to you.
The tubes consist of a peat and bran mixture, a bran mite which is food for the Ss during shipment, and the Ss themselves. They can survive in the tube for at least one week at room temperature. But just like you said, it's always best to get them into the crop as soon as possible.
You might want to support one of this sites advertisers Bugs for Growers in Ohio. See their ad on this page. $30 plus shipping for 12,500 bugs.
I need to say, just to make sure, that everything I write is my opinion.
Like stated earlier, more trials need to be done and a University or government organization needs to properly document the experiments. We now have a lady who is about to start her doctorate on this. So it will be some time still. Skeptics will need to wait, and those willing to take a chance, do so at your own risk.
I will post any key information or results I receive in years to come.
When studying horticulture, beneficials like this one came up, and my first reflex when I read about this mite that eat mites was "I wonder if it'd attack varroa and tracheal mites...?" Glad to see I wasn't the first. I'd sure love to see proper studies conducted for this so that the Canadian government could authorize it.
Speaking of tracheal mites, has your study looked at Ss's behavior towards them?
I could not find any research done vs the tracheal mites. That's a scary mite!
As for the "cease and desist" thing, the reason, through the grape vine, was that there is a bee act from 1920 stating you cannot put anything foreign into a hive. The other rumor is that it was enforced by authorities for fear or losing funding from chemical companies. But let's not get into conspiracies. There is no doubt something is making it difficult to get proper research done on this, but there isn't much more we can do about it. Hopefully the lady we have who plans to do her doctorate on it follows through.
Anyone know where I can get these in Ontario? I know of NIC: http://www.naturalinsectcontrol.com/...p?id=000000257
Anywhere else? I am near Ottawa. I have a source, but like to have choices, compare prices.
There is now progress with a group of researchers. I predict this time next year to have some results. If anything is published I will try to remember to post links on this thread. Main focus is -- does it really work? And do they feed on bee larvae?
Also may be some research on Ss vs the SHB.
In a conversation about these little bugs, a friend of mine asked: "I am not worried about the Ss themselves, I am concerned about their metabolic by products which we don’t know anything about. Would there be any harmful residue in the honey from having these mites in the hive season long?"
I think it is an excellent question. Anyone know?
Anyone know if these are CFIA/USAD approved? That might be an indicator, and would make me more comfortable trying these on my hives in Canada.
As far as our product here goes, the ingredients are very simple. You have the Ss and their temporary food source for shipment which is a grain mite. Then there's the grain for the grain mite to feed on. And for insulation and aeration, mixed in is a peat and vermiculite combination. That's it.
I don't know what the other producers are mixing in.
Good question indeed.
As for the CFIA/USDA, yes they are approved. We are a Canadian company and ship many Ss across the border weekly. They are native all over North America and Europe. You could probably find some in your backyard if you're up for the challenge to rear them!
Sorry guys, not trying to "take over" this thread.
(1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')
As I understand it, there are literally hundreds of creatures living in a healthy hive, in addition to the bees. I'm not concerned with the byproducts of one more bug-- in any case, no one seems to worry about the byproducts of varroa mites tainting the honey.
I decided to try these bugs in my 6 first year hives here in Florida. I put them in the hives in the fall, and all I can report is... so far so good-- all 6 are still alive and fairly vigorous and are maintaining a small amount of brood.
Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF
The hive is full of insects, mites, bees, beetles and more. I doubt there would be any contamination issues. The question is, is there an efficacy in using them. As I mention earlier in this thread I dumped a lot of Ss into many hives at different times and the mites continues to grow at what would be normal seasonal levels. It could be the timing, the delivery, the viability of the predator, it doesn’t work or something else. A good study would be helpful using controls and rate/timing.
Rhaldridge, if you have the time monitor the mite growth of your treated colonies. It will tell whether it’s working. I’d be interested to see what you get especially since you mite populations are seasonally more active in Fl.
Thanks, AJ. I intend to run my own trial in the spring, do a compare and contrast of 2-4 hives with the Ss and 2-4 hives with Formic/Oxalic. Same bee genetics, same hive configurations, same yard. Try to make it so the only significant variable is the Ss vs Oxalic/Formic. See what I see and will report back. Any advice or help on this little project appreciated.
Hi Grid, if you think it's possible, maybe have a control hive with no varroa treatment whatsoever. For example, in George's video,
which is great, but leaves the question "well, what if the mite-away strips only had a negative effect and the Ss hives are just normal?".
It would be interesting to see the data from all three.
Two major Universities in the US are now both getting ready for official experiments and will have published data. Hopefully by next fall!