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LIFE CYCLE
• Female mite enters tracheae tube through thoracic spiracle [Ref 4, p159] of bees 1 to 8 days old (emerging bees are not infested and bees 12 days old (5 or 6 [Ref 2, p194]) are immune [Ref 13, p377]). Mated female mites move into trachea usually within 24 hrs after worker bee emerges Ref 9, p317]. Female mites use cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between old and young bees [Ref 16, p32].
• Within bee’s tracheae, mites in all stages are found: eggs, larvae and adult [Ref 4, p149]. Female lays 5 to 7 eggs over a period of several (3 to 4 [Ref 16, p32]) days. Egg hatch after 3 to 4 days [Ref 9, p317]. One generation of mites per host is common, second generation is possible in longer-lived bees in fall and winter [Ref 16, p32].
• After mating in tracheae, new females (13 days old [Ref 16, p34]) leave host bee, exiting through spiracle. Mite waits on surrounding hairs for new passing bee [Ref 4, p149, Ref 16, p34]. Males do not leave host bee [Ref 16, p33].
• Time from egg to egg is 14 days [Ref 4, p149]. A. woodi needs at least 14 days to complete its life cycle [Ref 16, p67]. Takes 18 to 28 days to complete life cycle [Ref 2, p194].
• T-mites can’t exist for long (a few hours [Ref 16, p35]) outside a living bee, and are only transmitted by bee-to-bee contact. Spread largely through drifting bees [Ref 2, p194, Ref 16, p36]. Mite parasitism alters bee behavior such that they drift more readily. Swarming moves mites to new areas [Ref 16, p36]. Robbing is probably not conductive (increased activity) to successful mite transfer. Dispersal between bees occurs when bees are calm w/ little motion [Ref 16, p36].
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave for the VERY quick reply!
As a hobbiest (not particularly interested in optimum honey production) I wonder if it would make sense to intetionally interrupt brood rearing for a period of time as an additional method of mite control (both V and T mites). If all queens were caged for, say, 4 weeks, this would have to create problems for both mites.
 

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T-mites don't reproduce in the brood. They are all outside the cells all the time and in a bee virtually all the time.

I don't think a brood break would have an impact.

A good queen, on the other hand, seems to handle the problem anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think a brood break would have an impact because it would later create a break in young bees which the T-mite does need for its life cycle.
 

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John B . . .

It is often said that young bees are needed for a colony to overwinter. The old bees die off and the young ones live through winter.

Breaking brood cycle to reduce the young bees that T-mites prefer might reduce the chance of T-mites reproducing, but would that also affect the hive's "winter bees"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dave,

Here's the plan I have for interrupting the brood cycle in central Wisconsin: I would interrupt the brood cycle from mid June to mid July. The honey flow here is late June to early July so the brood interruption does not effect the number of bees working this flow. The bees working the flow are from eggs laid BEFORE the interruption. During the flow you should get LOTS MORE honey since there is no larva to feed. Then, mid to late July, I would release the queens and begin a feeding program to stimulate brood production. The eggs laid during this stimulated build-up from late July through early Sept would end up being young winter bees. The bees that I gave up because of the brood interruption would have missed the honey flow anyway and would have been too old to be good winter bees. I suppose you could argue that those bees are the bees needed to help rear the young winter bees I talked about. But, I have found from experience that you can start with a pretty small hive in late July and build it up for winter provided you FEED sugar water.

Thanks
John
 

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John B . . .

>build-up from late July through early Sept would end up being young winter bees . . .

If winter begins, say about November, bees "built-up from late July through early Sept" will have died loooog before winter.

Tracheal mites are usually not a problem from May to September. T-mites begin to build-up in late August or September. Best time to treat is September.
 

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I worked two colonies of bees as a 4-H Project in the mid 80's about the same time the mites came into the picture in full force. Needless to say, I ended up loosing both colonies and was out of beekeeping about as quick as I got into beekeeping. I have gotten back into it now, ans was wondering, what is the worst of the two mites the Tracheal or Varroa?
 

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Tracheal mites are a very good indication that you
need a new queen supplier. I think it is amazing
that some queen/package producers get away with
selling such substandard bees, moreso given the
ability of beekeepers to name names when they
discover that they have tracheal mite infestations.

This is the 21st century, so we can demand
tracheal mite resistant bees, and expect to get
them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dave W,

In central Wisconsin, when would you say the eggs are laid that end up being winter bees?
 

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<I think it is amazing that some queen/package producers get away with selling such substandard bees,>

I checked the Bee Journal, couldn't find a single breeder promoting TM resistant bees? What is the trait that gives bees the resistance to trachael mites. Since the mite focus on the hydrocarbons given off in respiration what genetically would counter that? In my many, many discussions with many breeders over the years the subject has never come up although this problem may have been more of a front page issue in the 1980's, before my beekeeping life began.


Trachael Mites are easily prevented and not often seen as a serious problem. I do suspect they claim many more hives than they get credit for due to the effort required to find out that's the reason.
 

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Howdy John,

Wouldn't fogging with FGMO control the trachial mites? Or are you trying to go totally chemical free?

Mabe
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MaBe wrote:
<Wouldn't fogging with FGMO control the trachial mites? Or are you trying to go totally chemical free?>

MaBe, I have no objection with FGMO. A friend uses this method and maybe I will give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dave W wrote

John B . . .>build-up from late July through early Sept would end up being young winter bees . . .If winter begins, say about November, bees "built-up from late July through early Sept" will have died loooog before winter.

Dave, When I said "built-up from late July through early Sept" I was referring to EGGS LAID from late Jul through early Sep. Bees emerging from their cells in Sept will not be dead before winter.
 
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