Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Thanks MSL, excellent info. Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    There is lots of uncertainty with mite counts and thresholds. It should be understood because of population dynamics of bees, brood rearing etc through the season, that a mite count may not mean that much, especially early summer and spring. To fully understand the mite situation, we must do a time series of mite counts year after year using both alcohol washes and brood samples together with estimates of brood and adult bee populations. Luckily, this is for understanding, not for success. Nature doesn't need our understanding to succeed. But it should illuminate what is going on with successful hives. Maybe virus titres are needed as well to fully understand.


    The distinctions between tolerance and resistance are somewhat artificial. For me, resistance is having a predictable mite population dynamic between years in hives that survive. That means, they don't build year upon year. They are in the range of X percentage in the spring, and in the range of Y percentage in the fall year after year. It could be that hives needing lower mite thresholds, actually are having problems with viruses themselves. Unlike some on here, I think this is probably an artificial situation where bees are continually exposed to new viral varieties due to people moving bees. Bees have general mechanisms to deal with mites and viruses and can deal with them if not too dynamic. Indeed there must be or we would all (bees, humans, or any other multicellular organism) succumb to viruses and bacteria. This is a ignored bit of theory when we talk about promotion of virulence and the role of mites. This may be a short term phenomena within a larger framework.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    I have started doing mite counts in brood in late summer as I do my last harvest. I choose this time as the mite situation would be at its worst theoretically. Also I can get a sense of vsh in my population. The mite drop data is not so useful in itself, but combined with alcohol washes, gives a good sense of relative grooming vigour. Also looking at the mites themselves lets one know if active antagonistic grooming is being done, and whether the bees can detect mites, an important 1st step in resistance.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    I thought that the honey bees could not detect a mite as a mite because they smell like the hive. ?
    Proverbs 16:24

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    I don't know about mites, but SHB can even trick honey bees into feeding them.

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

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    I thought that the honey bees could not detect a mite as a mite because they smell like the hive. ?
    I should say like a bee not just the hive.
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #27

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Part of my rationale for asking the question is that my (admittedly unscientific) observations of relative mite drop throughout the season seem to have no discernible pattern either within or between hives other than the predictable (i.e. relatively high bee population = relatively high mite drop).
    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Mite tolerance is not often seen in survivor stock, likely do to the fact its viruses that cause the crashes, and they are constantly changing. As a whole the long and short is hives with the lowest counts do best as they suppress the vector. Be it , keffus, Gotland, or the Arnot forest, that's the mechisim that keeps coming out on top. tolerance at the moment is a pipe dream

    one only needs to look at Kefuss 2015 to see the results..


    Mite counts are very predictive to a hives survival. The key for TF fokes is to us a larger threshold number.. your looking for a number that tells you that hive is not going to be TF and to remove its genetics, traditional thresholds are set for production and economic reasons

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post

    Interesting for the IPM enthusiasts are their remarks in the discussion part of the study:
    “…This suggests that, as infection persisted, colonies reacted more strongly to the presence of varroa. The positive slopes of the regression lines indicate a tendency for both races to eliminate a higher percent of varroa as the infestation level increased. This high elimination may be a simple population threshold reaction. Care must be taken when using high varroa fall as an indicator of susceptibility. Under certain conditions on the contrary, high varroa fall may simply represent lower receptivity… This means that by itself varroa fall is not a valid indicator of susceptibility.”
    It looks close to a proven fact that mite infestation is going down in a long term TF apiary management. In the MSL message there were the numbers from Kefuss study, every year more and more hives had less than 5% infestation. I personally think 5% infestation (mites on adult bees) is the lowest possible threshold for a soft bond method to work.
    But as a comment to the OP: Mite drops are fluctuating, and maybe even close to useless, whereas alcohol wash/sugar roll is much more suited to get an idea of the situation in a colony.

    That said I have to remind myself that it was highly variable mite drops between hives in the same apiary back in late 1990s that caught my curiosity and lead to this where I am today. So they have a function too.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    It looks close to a proven fact that mite is going down in a long term TF apiary management
    more to the point... higher infestation hives die off and the mids were re queened.
    many outhers as well... but ALLSOPP 2006 gives us a clear view in to what a resistant hive should look like
    ALLSOPP 2006.jpg

  10. #29

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    I thought that the honey bees could not detect a mite as a mite because they smell like the hive. ?
    They detect the mites by stress symtoms of the sisters and hormones send out from the attacked pupa.

    . I personally think 5% infestation (mites on adult bees) is the lowest possible threshold for a soft bond method to work.
    Juhani, what about higher level hives which survive and are without virus effect?

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Siwolke “They detect the mites by stress symtoms of the sisters and hormones send out from the attacked pupa.”

    Can you tell me what research or paper you got this information from? I’d be interested in reading it. Thanks.
    Proverbs 16:24

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Siwolke “Juhani, what about higher level hives which survive and are without virus effect?”

    How can you tell there are no virus effects?
    Proverbs 16:24

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Can you tell me what research or paper
    Rinderer ET AL 2010
    indicated that VSH bees remove mite-infected pupae whether mite offspring are present or not (Harris et al. 2009 ,2010 ). Therefore, increased NR is caused by other aspects of hygiene. For example, uncapped pupae are sometimes recaptured by non-hygienic bees within a hygienic colony (Arathi et al.2006 ), and this frequently occurs in VSH colonies (Harris, 2008 ). Perhaps reproduction by Varroa is disrupted by the uncapping of the brood cells, and some uncapped pupae are recaptured with NR mites inside them. Because VSH bees remove mite-infested pupae, it seems unlikely that the stimulus is triggering. Neither odor nor movement of adult Varroa mites elicit removal of mite-infested brood (Aumeier and Rosenkranz, 2001 ). Therefore, the stimulus for VSH probably originates from odors of infected hosts (Martin et al.,2002 ); however, there are other possible triggers for the removal of mite-infested brood, and the specific cues remain unknown (Vandame et al.2002 ).
    https://www.apidologie.org/articles/...27/m09127.html

  14. #33

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Siwolke “They detect the mites by stress symtoms of the sisters and hormones send out from the attacked pupa.”

    Can you tell me what research or paper you got this information from? I’d be interested in reading it. Thanks.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...e-bees-tactics

  15. #34

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Siwolke “Juhani, what about higher level hives which survive and are without virus effect?”

    How can you tell there are no virus effects?
    Because the hives with high virus effects ( defect bees, paralyse ect.) are not thriving and are crashing.

    I donīt know the percentage of my hiveīs infestation because I did not do alcohol wash and itīs hard for me to estimate the numbers of bees which are in my boxes because I do not disturb much and I see that the foraging bees numbers change to a high degree between times when there is no foraging and times of very good flow. So I would have to monitor by alcohol wash when the bees are at home, but I have a day job and itīs not easy for me to do this. Thatīs one of the reasons why I rather count sticky boards.

    To me, alcohol wash monitoring is only a good monitoring if I am able to compare bee numbers with mite numbers and if I use nurse bees and if I have no capped brood for the mites to hide in and if I repeat the wash after the recent capped brood hatched. Nobody IME can claim to have correct numbers, so the way I monitor mites is much more correct IMO, because itīs done for a long time constantly.

    But if I have hives dropping 200-300 mites a day for weeks and they survive ( I have two colonies like that surviving last winter) and hives dropping 5 a week and all without crawlers I wonder what the parameters of survival are.

    I would like to see some statistics done by alcohol wash monitoring showing the rate of survival with different thresholds.
    But I fear there are no beekeepers interested in leaving their monitored high level hives untreated to compare this. ( except me)

  16. #35

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Juhani, what about higher level hives which survive and are without virus effect?
    If a colony like that would appear in my hives, I would have difficulties deciding whether it is used for breeding or not.
    But, being curious in nature, I would probably take some grafts for a test.

  17. #36

    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    If a colony like that would appear in my hives, I would have difficulties deciding whether it is used for breeding or not.
    But, being curious in nature, I would probably take some grafts for a test.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    I would like to see some statistics done by alcohol wash monitoring showing the rate of survival with different thresholds.
    Kefuss 2015 says it all, we see the point hives "remove" them selfs

    But I fear there are no beekeepers interested in leaving their monitored high level hives untreated to compare this. ( except me)

    WTF.. go do a simple google scholar search
    Gotland, Kefuss, Fernando de Noronha’, Arnot forest, African, cape bees, etc.
    there are no bees that live with high mite counts and vuriant virus, none...
    We know restiacnt bees can keep mites in the 3-8% range, and we should breed from those that do at the top end.... the rest are at best useless to us, at worst they are a source of vurlant pathogens

    this says it all
    I donīt know the percentage of my hiveīs infestation because I did not do alcohol wash and itīs hard for me to estimate the numbers of bees which are in my boxes because I do not disturb much
    'edit'
    Last edited by squarepeg; 11-02-2018 at 04:09 AM. Reason: removed personal attack

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    there are no bees that live with high mite counts and vuriant virus, none...
    in my case i have seen mite levels are above the 3-8% range you cite and virology studies performed by dr. stephen martin's group show my colonies have very high levels of the virulent dwv type a virus,

    yet my losses are averaging about half the national average and my honey crop is almost double the local average.

    randy oliver has posted on bee-l about resistant colonies handling mite infestation rates approaching 15%.

    if there there is anything that 'says it all' it is that nothing 'says it all'.

    it's clear you have done a lot of homework msl and have a decent command of the literature.

    the problem is that with so many variables at play when it comes to beekeeping is results here oftentimes don't translate to results there, i.e. one's 'milage may vary'.

    i have seen colonies overcome diseases and pests, survive winter, and produce a better than average honey crop the following season.

    like with most science and especially so when it comes to beekeeping our understanding is evolving. there is much more we have yet to learn than we already know.

    i don't choose sides and tend to roll my eyes when i see very hard line positions espoused from either side of this topic. i think most here appreciate comments that demonstrate an open mind and mutual respect.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    All:

    My apologies for the delay in reply as I have been away from my computer for a couple days.

    I've really enjoyed reading the different perspectives, and it is both impressive and humbling the amount of knowledge that you all have accumulated on the subject. I have much to learn.

    Based on the feedback to-date, I get the sense that there is generally consensus regarding the following principles in a Treatment-Free context:

    1. Lower relative mite numbers in general are better all things equal versus higher relative mite numbers.

    2. Stable or downward trending relative mite numbers at the same seasonal periods each year are better all things equal versus upward trending values.

    3. TF beekeepers are not typically making immediate hive management/manipulation actions based strictly on an observed mite load at any particular point in the season.

    4. (Related to #3) TF beekeepers are generally breeding from stock that has lower relative mite numbers year-over-year all other variables equal.

    Taking the above as a foundation I am curious:

    For those TF beekeepers that do monitor relative mite loads, what is your management protocol? In other words:

    1. What method do you use conduct the count?

    2. How often do you count?

    3. What thresholds/ranges/variability markers do you use in testing?

    4. (Related to #3) How do you interpret the results?

    5. (Related to #4) What actions do you take in response to the results?

    Thank you very much for your help and excellent input. It is most appreciated.

    Russ

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Relative Mite Counts in a Treatment-Free Context

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Rinderer ET AL 2010
    indicated that VSH bees remove mite-infected pupae whether mite offspring are present or not (Harris et al. 2009 ,2010 ). Therefore, increased NR is caused by other aspects of hygiene. For example, uncapped pupae are sometimes recaptured by non-hygienic bees within a hygienic colony (Arathi et al.2006 ), and this frequently occurs in VSH colonies (Harris, 2008 ). Perhaps reproduction by Varroa is disrupted by the uncapping of the brood cells, and some uncapped pupae are recaptured with NR mites inside them. Because VSH bees remove mite-infested pupae, it seems unlikely that the stimulus is triggering. Neither odor nor movement of adult Varroa mites elicit removal of mite-infested brood (Aumeier and Rosenkranz, 2001 ). Therefore, the stimulus for VSH probably originates from odors of infected hosts (Martin et al.,2002 ); however, there are other possible triggers for the removal of mite-infested brood, and the specific cues remain unknown (Vandame et al.2002 ).
    https://www.apidologie.org/articles/...27/m09127.html
    Thanks.
    Proverbs 16:24

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