treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread - Page 31
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  1. #601
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It depends what you are calling EFB. The genuine article is very contagious. Where i am down under we have a disease that looks like EFB exactly, and cannot be positively distinguished by eye, but a lab can determine there is no EFB infection, the disease is called half moon disease and appears to be caused by a faulty queen.

    The varying experiences of some in the USA over the last 40 years leads me to think there are probably different strains with different effects, or even ailments that mimic EFB but are not.
    It is now established that there are many variants. An excerpt from a 2014 study in Britain.

    "We detected 15 different sequence types (STs), which were resolved by eBURST and phylogenetic analysis into three clonal complexes (CCs) 3, 12 and 13. Single and double locus variants within CC3 were the most abundant and widespread genotypes, accounting for 85% of the cases. In contrast, CCs 12 and 13 were rarer and predominantly found in geographical regions of high sampling intensity, consistent with a more recent introduction and localised spread. K-function analysis and interpoint distance tests revealed significant geographical clustering in five common STs, but pointed to different dispersal patterns between STs. We noted that CCs appeared to vary in pathogenicity and that infection caused by the more pathogenic variants is more likely to lead to honey bee colony destruction, as opposed to treatment."

    I believe more recent studies point to even larger numbers of variants including some with antibiotic resistance.
    Frank

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  3. #602
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Thanks Crofter very interesting.

    That study would go some way to explaining the variations we get in anecdotal reports of the disease, and public perceptions.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #603
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    I think it may have been Squarepeg that dug up the bit about there being multiple sub strains. Some are much easier to eradicate than others and oxytet resistance is showing up in some types. I may have just got lucky with a fairly easy type that I managed to stop in one season with ~ 50% losses.

    Some people are still convinced that EFB is little worse than a bad case of chilled brood but others from their experience have found it to be an enemy not to sniff at!

    From shadowing the NZ forum I sense that beekeepers there have a much tougher time than on this continent.
    Frank

  5. #604
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Yes it has all gone to custard over here, the boom is over and now it's the hard times, very hard. Not because of EFB though we don't have that.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #605
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Yes it has all gone to custard over here, the boom is over and now it's the hard times, very hard.
    Wherefore?
    David Matlock

  7. #606
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    OK Riverderwent, this is off topic so others not interested in NZ situation be warned not to read.

    Our problems go back to a little after Y2K, when manuka honey started creeping up in price. At that time there were around 200,000 kept beehives in the country. It was an industry in decline with low profit margins, and a lot of beekeepers were old and wanting to retire, but few new players coming in to buy their businesses. Most different honey varieties were priced similarly so there was little point misrepresenting what type your honey was and there were no rules around that.

    Then manuka became valuable, and i am talking BIG bucks. They say money is the root of all evils. Honey packers were selling manuka for a lot of money, and found that if it was diluted 50/50 with some other honey, you could still call it manuka, who would be to know, and now have 2 highly priced jars instead of one.

    The competition between packers to buy non manuka honey of types suitable for blending forced up the price of all honey, and soon all beekeepers were creaming it, making big dollars regardless what kind of honey they were producing. Guys who had for years been on the bones of their butt, found themselves becoming millionaires overnight.

    All this money attracted new players to the industry, and the number of hives has crept up to now around a million, in a country the size of just one American State. But trouble started to brew as our overseas customers started becoming aware that not all the manuka honey they were paying huge dollars for, was the pure article.

    To protect our reputation and our customer base, the government stepped in and had tests designed to determine the purity of manuka honey, all exported manuka honey must now be laboratory tested first. This has overnight dropped demand for non manuka honey massively, and with all those extra hives, we now have massive oversupply.

    Result, most beekeepers are now being forced to sell their last seasons non manuka crop for less than the cost of production, or in fact, most beekeepers can't even sell it. Some outfits are folding, and many more will fold.

    Even the manuka producers are doing less well. Because the only option now is try to make manuka, meaning anywhere with a stick of manuka is being bombed by massive numbers of hives owned by desperate beekeepers. Per hive production is way down.

    Classic agricultural boom / bust cycle, only in this instance, sadly, of our own making, caused by greed and short sightedness.

    The people affected the worst are the newcomers to the industry, they bought hives when they were priced like gold, borrowed heavily, are not experienced beekeepers, and are now being paid peanuts for their crop. There has been tears, and there will be more tears.

    What I can say though to anyone contemplating buying some manuka honey, is that you can now be assured that the jar you buy that says manuka honey on the label, will be the genuine article, provided it was packed into that jar in New Zealand. Don't buy manuka honey if it was packed anywhere else, it is not covered by our regulations, and fraud is highly likely.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  8. #607
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Thank you OT for your perspective.
    Lots of lessons for folks to consider, no matter their location.
    All the best to you.

  9. #608
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Thank you Clyde . My own situation is OK, beekeeping is little more than a retirement hobby for me now, plus unlike the new crop of beekeepers here my own education was back when beekeeping was a financially tough industry to be in. When the boom happened i knew it would not last, and have always run my operation on the smell of an oily rag, regardless of income.

    All beekeepers here are suffering, but most of the pre boom established ones who did not rush out and borrow money for glamour projects will survive. As to the rest, there are a growing number of abandoned apiaries laying around in the countryside. Balance will eventually be restored.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #609
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    OK Riverderwent, ... .
    Thank you for that explanation. That is a sad tale very well told by you.
    David Matlock

  11. #610
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Thank you Clyde . My own situation is OK, beekeeping is little more than a retirement hobby for me now, plus unlike the new crop of beekeepers here my own education was back when beekeeping was a financially tough industry to be in. When the boom happened i knew it would not last, and have always run my operation on the smell of an oily rag, regardless of income.

    All beekeepers here are suffering, but most of the pre boom established ones who did not rush out and borrow money for glamour projects will survive. As to the rest, there are a growing number of abandoned apiaries laying around in the countryside. Balance will eventually be restored.
    OT,, may be some good Wooden ware available cheap or free coming to your area. not much of a silver lining but better than nothing.
    GG

  12. #611
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Yes, the bee supply vendors are certainly suffering and have laid off staff.

    Anyhow this little aside is totally off topic, back to treating vs not.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #612
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Has anyone in the TF or treatment community noticed a trait whereby the colony appears to not participate in robbing? The effect I have noticed is a very low Varroa count measured by counting dead Varroa on a sticky board post OAV treatment. The counts were very low, <100 in September and rising slightly during robbing season while neighbors were inundated with Varroa. Seemingly the result of simple hive to hive drone and worker bee migration or is this a clear sign of VSH genetics only?

  14. #613
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Yes, the bee supply vendors are certainly suffering and have laid off staff.

    Anyhow this little aside is totally off topic, back to treating vs not.
    Ok then,

    from a treating VRS not treating point of view. Some of these "abandoned" Apiaries, may be interesting to "sift" thru in 18-24 months, post abandonment.
    The "needing treatment" hives should be dead by then and the few left alive could be some stock to "obtain" Obtain could mean setting bait hives 300 yards from the Apiary, could mean talking to the land owner and if the keeper is bank-rupt the "Apiary" would need cleaned up at some point. Clean up could be re use of the good dead out materials and understanding and propagating the survivors. For example a 50 hive abandoned Apiary, may have 2 or 3 hives alive, those would spark my curiosity. IMO closely look at this Lemon and make lemon-aid. There is likely some good sites, some good stock, and some good wooden ware. Some of those places would be good candidates for an out yard to be treatment free using the already there survivors.
    Again sorry for the setback in your area, but sounds like you did not over expand. Some expansion into this vacuum now may be prudent if you have the time or a mentee who wants to do some work for setting up his own sites.

  15. #614
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    Has anyone in the TF or treatment community noticed a trait whereby the colony appears to not participate in robbing? The effect I have noticed is a very low Varroa count measured by counting dead Varroa on a sticky board post OAV treatment. The counts were very low, <100 in September and rising slightly during robbing season while neighbors were inundated with Varroa. Seemingly the result of simple hive to hive drone and worker bee migration or is this a clear sign of VSH genetics only?
    I have read and heard from other keepers that a declining hive , for example fall queenless hive, bees will leave and join other hives, this also can have an impact, if the weekend hive was weakened from Varroa, and the "joining" bees have mites. Robbing and letting in stray bees, I would think both effect the issue you describe.

  16. #615
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Ok then,

    from a treating VRS not treating point of view. Some of these "abandoned" Apiaries, may be interesting to "sift" thru in 18-24 months, post abandonment.....
    Yes good point Grey Goose and the same thought has been running through my mind also.

    There are some different dynamics here, we do not have some of the advantages that have worked in your favor in the US. One being that in the US you have much more land than our little country, and this meant that after the initial varroa invasion and wipeout of your feral hives, there were wide open spaces so that the very few ferals that found a way to survive, were in some cases not surrounded by lots of other hives with different drones to dilute the trait back out of them, and were eventually able to establish as a race of "local survivors". Here, even with the reduced hive numbers that we will have in the next few years, most likely there will be few isolated areas. Not impossible though and the subject has certainly been discussed.

    There has also been discussions about organising some way to deal with abandoned apiaries because of the fear they may become "AFB factories". IE, there may be infected hives that die, and are robbed by nearby kept hives. But are then re stocked by swarms, repeating the cycle and creating AFB dead zones. Because this is a real possibility and in fact a virtual certainty, some beekeepers are initiating "search and destroy" missions to protect their own hives, I already partook in one such mission myself, the apiary involved did not have AFB so the gear was recycled. But another abandoned apiary owned by the same former beekeper did have AFB and the entire thing was heaped up and burned.

    Anyhow, as to wether the situation may give rise to some "survivors", time will tell.......
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 12-04-2019 at 02:33 PM.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  17. #616
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Yet this colony, one of nine, stands out when when counting dead varroa. Eight hives showed the significant impact of fall migration, peaks >500 per treatment, including one that had a brood break and OAV treatment. This hive barely showed a bump-up during the Fall Varroa Bomb migration season; 452 dead varroa for the year, peak treatment value of 104, last two treatments resulted in a DDC of 3 and zero. This is a clear non-traditional behavior for my location over 5 years. I cold interpret that 50-70% came from bee and drone migration bringing Varroa in but robbing would result in hindreds more Varroa infestation during that robbing time frame.

  18. #617

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    Has anyone in the TF or treatment community noticed a trait whereby the colony appears to not participate in robbing?
    I have reported that I seldom witness robbing. Usually when it happens, it is a situation when actually allready dead hive (couple hundred bees left) is robbed.

  19. #618
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    Has anyone in the TF or treatment community noticed a trait whereby the colony appears to not participate in robbing?
    Yes. “Appears” being the operative word. Early on in my modest beekeeping experience when I had high born Italian queens and pretty yellow bees, I would see robbing of my own hives whenever I was less than careful about leaving hives open too long or having honey dripping around. Now, of course, I am reflexively more careful, but I notice when I am harvesting or otherwise doing things that would have triggered robbing in the past, the bees from the same yard don’t go into robbing frenzies. I don’t use robbing screens and don’t need to. My weak hives don’t get immediately plundered. I just don’t see robbing and wrestling or the after effects of dead bees. This is partly because I’m not fiddling with them as often and partly because it’s not happening. Maybe the barely managed and untreated bees in my beeyards and their untreated feral neighbors who had robbing tendencies haven’t survived well enough to pass on their genes to the current residents of my wooden boxes and their closely related feral neighbors.

    But do not make important decisions based on anecdotal reports like this. Serious decisions involving significant investments need to be based on reliable, peer reviewed, repeatable, evidence based practices.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 12-05-2019 at 11:32 PM.
    David Matlock

  20. #619
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    If a non robbing bee could be produced, or located, it would certainly solve a lot of 21st century beekeeping problems right there.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #620
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    OT,, may be some good Wooden ware available cheap or free coming to your area. not much of a silver lining but better than nothing.
    GG
    All those abandoned apiaries? Just call it an extended BOND experiment. Unlikely, but maybe something useful will show up that survives.
    I seem to recall some NZ beek here (OT?) saying NZ bees don't seem to show much if any resistance to mites, maybe due to low genetic variety in the founding stock? Sad if true, but here is one more natural experiment to prove it.

    (Oops. I see this was already addressed. I should read all recent comments before posting!)

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