Varroa resistance through Africanization?
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  1. #1
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    Question Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    I monitor varroa using a bottom board count. Last season i treated with Formic Acid when numbers started to climb in August. I harvested some honey in June and the bees seemed more easily riled than before and I did not check for varroa this year until early September due to being away. I saw one live mite and about a dozen dead ones with missing legs and punctured carapaces. I do not remember seeing dead mites in previous counts. In short my bees are more aggressive but also more hygienic regarding varroa. As these are characteristics of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive. This is OK as they are not that hostile and less management will be required. Does this make sense?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    As long as the bees aren't stinging a little Africanizing can be a good thing.

  4. #3
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    I'd be a bit surprised if Africanized bees have really moved into the Durham NC area. One would hope that the NC state agencies would already be aware of that if it had happened .... https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/african...north-carolina

    Increased defensiveness by a bee colony is also associated with bees that are under stress from predators (probably not bears in Durham), such as skunks and raccoons, or robbing by other bees.

    Also, mite-biter bees tend to be more defensive ... http://www.beeculture.com/breeding-m...ontrol-varroa/

    I'm not saying that your bees are being ravaged by raccoons, or have morphed into mite biters - just pointing out some other possibilities. In any case, doing a sugar roll or alcohol wash would provide you with better information as to the actual mite load in that hive.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    I have 2 VSH queens and I think they are hotter than the Carniolans. I don't seem to have the mite problem that I had last year.
    4a

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Aggressiveness has nothing to do with controlling the mites. Over last season and this summer I had a very aggressive hive. It is vsh + aggressiveness that I think they are AHB genetics mixed in. The mite load is still the same to infect the hive but the bees live on. They can even keep the ants at bay while on the open grass field on top of an ant hill. Either I have the most aggressive mites or bees around. I got scared and the hive is no longer living. My conclusion is that aggressive bees are not necessary resistant to the mites.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #6
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    Orange Grove, TX
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    NO Africanized bees are not the answer to varroa. Chemical treatment and specific breeding by those qualified with enough numbers are the answer.

    If you have never worked with an Africanized colony, you have no idea what one is. I grew up in Hidalgo County TX, the first county they were discovered in, I live 100 miles from there now. You do not want anything to do with Africanized bees. They are not an answer for anything. They are the failed product of an experiment and should have been destroyed from the beginning. Africanized bees are not the answer for any malady you or honey bees in the US are facing.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    I suspect your queens may have just mated with feral survivors which are resistant to mites and diseases.

    Some can be a little meaner than others. Nothing I would call Africanized.

    You might try setting swarm trap and see what you catch.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
    characteristic of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive.
    Africanized bees haven't made it to north Florida yet, so it's very unlikely they're in North Carolina.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    There are a lot of denials in this thread that they could be africanized, yet nobody has bothered to say how to tell for sure. Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization, there is an excellent chance someone brought in a few queens and now the traits are dispersing into the OP's area.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    There are a lot of denials in this thread that they could be africanized, yet nobody has bothered to say how to tell for sure. Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization, there is an excellent chance someone brought in a few queens and now the traits are dispersing into the OP's area.
    I couldn't agree more.
    In fact I'll go as far as saying bees with African genes should not be allowed in inter state bee commerce.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization
    I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only?
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    If I remember correctly, there is a video on YouTube in which Daniel Weaver states that their bees have at least 10% African in their heritage.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Try looking up testing for Africanized honey bees (using the FABIS test). The modified version of the test (FABIS) Fast Africanized Bee Identification System measures the forewing length. Average over 9mm is European.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike17l View Post
    I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only?
    the Bweaver website FAQ's:
    http://beeweaver.com/faq

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only?
    BWeaver states on their website that their bees are in an africanized area and have been affected by interbreeding. There is a video as stated above where Daniel Weaver speculates that their bees have been somewhat improved by incorporating traits from Africanized bees. I purchased 3 queens from them in 2015 and could see clear evidence of africanization. Two of the colonies threw usurpation swarms and were much more defensive than normal. One of the queens was more defensive than I like but had several outstanding traits so I used her for breeding. I have an apiary with these bees and am very much pleased with the results of intercrossing with my line. They are more productive and more disease and pest resistant than my line in pure form. So yes, if you want proof, I have it in spades. Due diligence would have saved these otherwise unproductive comments.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #16

    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
    I monitor varroa using a bottom board count. Last season i treated with Formic Acid when numbers started to climb in August. I harvested some honey in June and the bees seemed more easily riled than before and I did not check for varroa this year until early September due to being away. I saw one live mite and about a dozen dead ones with missing legs and punctured carapaces. I do not remember seeing dead mites in previous counts. In short my bees are more aggressive but also more hygienic regarding varroa. As these are characteristics of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive. This is OK as they are not that hostile and less management will be required. Does this make sense?
    All bees get more aggressive when their mite count gets higher.

    Their nature and behaviour can change really dramatically, within months and with the same queen (and genes).

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    the Bweaver website FAQ's:
    http://beeweaver.com/faq
    Ahh, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    BWeaver states on their website that their bees are in an africanized area and have been affected by interbreeding. There is a video as stated above where Daniel Weaver speculates that their bees have been somewhat improved by incorporating traits from Africanized bees. I purchased 3 queens from them in 2015 and could see clear evidence of africanization. Two of the colonies threw usurpation swarms and were much more defensive than normal. One of the queens was more defensive than I like but had several outstanding traits so I used her for breeding. I have an apiary with these bees and am very much pleased with the results of intercrossing with my line. They are more productive and more disease and pest resistant than my line in pure form. So yes, if you want proof, I have it in spades. Due diligence would have saved these otherwise unproductive comments.
    The bold (I added) is all you needed, the rest is speculation. The aggression you see means nothing. You cannot see africanization. Thanks.
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  19. #18
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Now that the Africanization of BeeWeaver bees is settled I will share my experience with them. I started with three packages in 2014. Through swarming and splitting I now have twenty colonies. I have had to re-queen two colonies and kill one because of aggressiveness.
    We can speculate on the cause of this aggressiveness 'til the cows come home, but I believe it is the AHB traits rearing their ugly heads.

    By the way, I can't see the wind blowing, but I know it is by the conditions it creates.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Now that the Africanization of BeeWeaver bees is settled I will share my experience with them. I started with three packages in 2014. Through swarming and splitting I now have twenty colonies. I have had to re-queen two colonies and kill one because of aggressiveness.
    We can speculate on the cause of this aggressiveness 'til the cows come home, but I believe it is the AHB traits rearing their ugly heads.
    You split and allowed your bees to requeen themselves, by open mating, 20 times and expect them to maintain the same characteristics. That not realistic for any line of bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    By the way, I can't see the wind blowing, but I know it is by the conditions it creates.

    Alex
    I can's see the wind either, but if the leaf moves I am mostly sure why it moved. But I must acknowledge there may be other factors at play moving that leaf, and not necessarily the wind.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
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  21. #20
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    Default Re: Varroa resistance through Africanization?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike17l View Post
    You cannot see africanization.
    But you sure can feel it
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

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