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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

What is the actual damage varroa does to bees? And what consequences derive from the damage?
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

What is the actual damage varroa does to bees? And what consequences derive from the damage?
Bernhard, One can search the net for what the Varroa does.

The Varroa, attaches to the bee in the cell when brood is capped, drawing Hemolymph/fluids from the bee as it is growing. Similar size wize to a Squirrel on your neck sucking blood.
The Varroa can vector up to 13 or so different Virus, Similar to the mosquito delivering Mallarira. The bite is less bad than the virus. However Any fluid loss is taking vigor from the bee, less trips affield, less payload, less lifespan.
Consequences, shorter bee life, less vigor and eventual colony spirals down and dies. Bees get old and die faster, so young bees need to be feild bees sooner, less nurse bees is less brood.
Some Know Virus can be directly transmitted by Varroa mites, such as: DWV, those in the acute bee paralysis virus complex, and slow bee paralysis virus
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

Bernhard, One can search the net for what the Varroa does.
Oh, I surely know that. But I wanted to know what our treatment-free community knows about it. I mean, that are basics! I would have guessed!


Let me correct and add some things to your list.

First of all, varroa mites do not suck hemolymph liquids. They directly consume the fat body of a bee.

See:
Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph

Samuel D. Ramsey, Ronald Ochoa, Gary Bauchan, Connor Gulbronson, View ORCID ProfileJoseph D. Mowery, Allen Cohen, David Lim, Judith Joklik, Joseph M. Cicero, James D. Ellis, David Hawthorne, and Dennis vanEngelsdorp
PNAS January 29, 2019 116 (5) 1792-1801; first published January 15, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818371116

Story behind it:
https://entomologytoday.org/2019/02/21/inside-look-how-varroa-mite-diet-discovered/



So what that means?

You gotta look what the fat body is for the honey bee. It is a most important organ in the honeybee body. If not the most important.

An extract from my new book.

The liver of the bees
Because proteins are so important for living things, proteins are also stored in the body. In humans, proteins are primarily kept in the plasma, in the muscles and in the liver. The bees also have such a memory: this is the so-called fat body.

The fat body is a very important organ in bees. The fat body swims in the hemolymph, the "blood" of the bees. The fat body works like a liver and detoxifies the hemolymph, freeing it of toxins (e.g. pollen) but also of pesticides.

But the fat body can do even more: there the building blocks of the body are put together, peptides and antibodies are formed, with which the bee body defends itself against pathogens like bacteria or viruses. The fat body is the bee's immune system.
And the fat body stores proteins. Proteins, with the help of which the brood juice and the royal jelly or the wax scales are subsequently produced.

The fully developed fat body is also a prerequisite for long-term bees, i.e. swarm or winter bees that live longer than the "thin" bees.

The varroa mites do not suck the bees' hemolymph, they are not bloodsuckers. Rather, they feed directly on the fat body. It is also more logical because, as living beings, they also need proteins. And they can be found abundantly in the fat body. If the bees cannot develop fat bodies due to sucking varroa, they have the problems: reduced longevity, reduced feed juice production, reduced immune system, reduced detoxification - and no brood in winter due to a lack of fat bodies.

The impact on bees that are preparing for wintering is particularly fatal. Bees don't just need the fat body to make them long-lasting. The bees also need the intact fat body to produce the first brood series in the middle of winter. The time of the generation change in spring, from old to young bees, is significantly shifted back to spring without fat. And this extends the most sensitive phase in the bee year. Bee colonies build up much more slowly, are more susceptible to all other diseases and recover very slowly from the delayed start to the year.


So what practical conclusions to draw out of this as a treatment-free beekeeper?

Make your bees fat again.

Understand the underlying consequences of that damage.

Why are bee colonies under varroa stress so small? Because they are withering away because their inner organ, the liver, the fat body is eliminated. not funny.
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

Oh, I surely know that. But I wanted to know what our treatment-free community knows about it. I mean, that are basics! I would have guessed!


Let me correct and add some things to your list.

First of all, varroa mites do not suck hemolymph liquids. They directly consume the fat body of a bee.

See:
Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph

Samuel D. Ramsey, Ronald Ochoa, Gary Bauchan, Connor Gulbronson, View ORCID ProfileJoseph D. Mowery, Allen Cohen, David Lim, Judith Joklik, Joseph M. Cicero, James D. Ellis, David Hawthorne, and Dennis vanEngelsdorp
PNAS January 29, 2019 116 (5) 1792-1801; first published January 15, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818371116

Story behind it:
https://entomologytoday.org/2019/02/21/inside-look-how-varroa-mite-diet-discovered/



So what that means?

You gotta look what the fat body is for the honey bee. It is a most important organ in the honeybee body. If not the most important.

An extract from my new book.

The liver of the bees
Because proteins are so important for living things, proteins are also stored in the body. In humans, proteins are primarily kept in the plasma, in the muscles and in the liver. The bees also have such a memory: this is the so-called fat body.

The fat body is a very important organ in bees. The fat body swims in the hemolymph, the "blood" of the bees. The fat body works like a liver and detoxifies the hemolymph, freeing it of toxins (e.g. pollen) but also of pesticides.

But the fat body can do even more: there the building blocks of the body are put together, peptides and antibodies are formed, with which the bee body defends itself against pathogens like bacteria or viruses. The fat body is the bee's immune system.
And the fat body stores proteins. Proteins, with the help of which the brood juice and the royal jelly or the wax scales are subsequently produced.

The fully developed fat body is also a prerequisite for long-term bees, i.e. swarm or winter bees that live longer than the "thin" bees.

The varroa mites do not suck the bees' hemolymph, they are not bloodsuckers. Rather, they feed directly on the fat body. It is also more logical because, as living beings, they also need proteins. And they can be found abundantly in the fat body. If the bees cannot develop fat bodies due to sucking varroa, they have the problems: reduced longevity, reduced feed juice production, reduced immune system, reduced detoxification - and no brood in winter due to a lack of fat bodies.

The impact on bees that are preparing for wintering is particularly fatal. Bees don't just need the fat body to make them long-lasting. The bees also need the intact fat body to produce the first brood series in the middle of winter. The time of the generation change in spring, from old to young bees, is significantly shifted back to spring without fat. And this extends the most sensitive phase in the bee year. Bee colonies build up much more slowly, are more susceptible to all other diseases and recover very slowly from the delayed start to the year.


So what practical conclusions to draw out of this as a treatment-free beekeeper?

Make your bees fat again.

Understand the underlying consequences of that damage.

Why are bee colonies under varroa stress so small? Because they are withering away because their inner organ, the liver, the fat body is eliminated. not funny.
Ok So you ask a question you know the answer to ?? why not just state your information. Seems an odd way to initiate a conversation.
Sorry I took the time to answer you.:scratch:
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

You wrote a book Bernhard! Is there an English version and where can it be purchaed?
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

GG, don't be sorry. Bernhard asked the question the same way a teacher would ask a question of a class, to provoke thought and discussion. These concepts are important to remember and are still new to some people. Dr. Ramsey's ground breaking research paper was first published just what, two years ago? Thanks to a Beesource member, many of us became aware of Dr. Ramsey and his research while he was still a grad student at U of Maryland. It helped me define when I treat and feed in preparation for winter and why.
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

bernhard
Make your bees fat again.
This does bring up an interesting thinking point on cause and effect. I read one study that said that it did not seem that the mite did as well in unhealthy colony's where bees fat bodies were not robust. If I have it right, the premise was bees were living due to not being healthy rather then dying even under mite pressure.

I read another study where the mite was being changed when in hives that were not dying due to them being there. It has been insinuated in places that bees were adjusting to living with mites faster (by whatever mechanism with the mechanisms being different in different areas) When left with pressure then they were with breeding programs.

If a goal was to keep bees and not treat, the question becomes, which cause and effects are most important and are we judging them correctly. Also, is the best route to work on only the bees leaving the possible change in mite out of the question?
Cheers
gww
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

If you don't treat, you can expect around 50% hive loss every winter. Ditto if your treatment isn't effective. We tried oxalic acid/glycerol on paper towels, didn't work. The bees promptly propolised the paper towels so the oxalic acid had no effect. Lost half my hives.

Varroa mites, as noted, both damage the bees and are vectors for several wing paralytic diseases -- good sign you have excessive mites is the presence of "crawlers" -- new bees that cannot fly on their first orientation flight and crawl around on the ground in front of the hive trying to fly. Those bees cannot generate heat in the winter by vibrating their wing muscles as the muscles don't work, so the hive freezes out early on.

I use formic acid pads -- nasty, runs the risk of doing the queen in, but highly effective for me with a single treatment last summer/early fall.
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

psfred
If you don't treat, you can expect around 50% hive loss every winter.
I do not doubt that this is true in some areas and maybe even worse. It is not true in every case though. This has not been my experience.

Maybe I should change my above statement to make your statement more true. I do "expect" total loss every year. So far, knock on wood, my bees have a different view and have refuse to die at any rate close to that. This does not mean that I don't expect ebbs and flows. This is my worst year at about 20 percent so far and the year is not over. Still, the three years before were about 95 percent survival average. So four winters averaged out are right at ten percent. I don't know the future yet, only the past.
Cheers
gww
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

This is the first year I've had zero losses. Quite nice, but I don't really expect that every year. Back in the day, before varroa and hive beetles, 10 to 20 percent was normal, and that's what I get when I treat.

Every once in a while you have a queen that doesn't make it through the winter or turns into a drone layer from poor mating and a lack of pollen stores often results in the cluster freezing out in late winter. All but poorly mated queens can be avoided most of the time.

Mite load and effects on hives are indeed variable, just like everything else in beekeeping. I've become convinced that the hive lose due to mites has a lot more to do with the viruses vectored by mites that direct mite damage, so if the mites in an area do not carry many of those viruses, early winter losses will be lower.

I suspect that bees are becoming much more resistant to mites as well -- after all, bees that aren't affected so much will propagate more. One of the reasons I like to collect swarms. They are produced by healthy, well stocked hives generally, weak ones usually don't swarm much--or at least I hope so!

With your loss rate I'd say you are a pretty decent beekeeper -- after all, our job is to keep them fat and happy so they can make us lots of honey!
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

psfred
I would say I am more lucky so far then a good bee keeper. I feel totally lost at all times. I do believe that each person has to find what does work where they are and change if something makes them to stay successful.

I do worry about when it goes bad cause just like all life, things come and go. Right now the deer population is dealing with chronic wasting disease in certain areas. Before that it was black tongue. What is good today can be bad and what is bad can clear up. Finding ways to react in a way to help is the interesting part. I doubt I am a good bee keeper but the hobby has been much better to me then my chickens have, so far.:)

I have read good bee keepers that were treating that lost 70 percent in one year and that didn't happen the years before or the years after but something bad came through one year.

Only time will tell how things will go over all. I read a lot and then get in the hives with preconditioned ideal of what I will find only to be confused when I actually look. I have enjoyed this endeavor so far. I love swarms but only trap a few a year even trying. Last year only one with 16 traps.
Thanks for posting your comments.
Cheers
gww
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

David
Depends on what you call water way. Mom and dad have a little creek that always has water though it doesn't always run. I did catch one by a lake last year. I have not had consistent luck with any trap. One place by a tiny pond has given me two over the years.
I have traps over a thirty mile radius and have found no pattern I can trust but I have also gotten lazier over the years. I leave the traps out all year. I used to clean them out and make sure they has a bit of old comb in them though sometimes only a two inch square. Now I just put lemon grass oil in them every year and everything still seems about the same. Get one or two a year.
Cheers
gww
 

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Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

david
Yes on the foundationless frames.
Cheers
gww

ps I use medium foundationless frames in deep sized traps.
 

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Ha! Has anybody tried the product I’m selling but haven’t actually sold yet?
Nor offered any proof of efficacy. We have had some years with brutal summer heat waves and I can personally vouch for the fact that varroa dosent seem to mind the heat at all. There are plenty of bees that summer in the extreme heat of an Arizona summer, I’m not aware that any of them think it lowers mite numbers.
 

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Not true. 3 hrs at 105 kills 95-100% of mites. These are in plenty of papers that show mites cannot survive those temps but the bees and brood can. There are some mild side effects but far less worse than the chemical and acid treatment side effects. Do you know what temps your hives are at? Likely never get above 95-98 inside the hive. Your Andy Rooney quote is interesting.
 
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