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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not attempted to research this yet, but does anyone know of cases where native bee populations have been influenced by varroa and tracheal mites? It seems if the mites are taking tolls on honeybees, they would also do the same with native bees. Any info would be great, as well as opinions... :scratch:
 

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Varroa mites defiantly take their toll on wild colonies as well and those under human husbandry.

I see far more fall swarms since the introduction of Varroa than in pre Varroa days. I believe that infested hives swarm in a last ditch effort to relieve the colony of the stress of severe infestation, In an attempt to make it through the winter. Just my feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Varroa mites defiantly take their toll on wild colonies as well and those under human husbandry.

I see far more fall swarms since the introduction of Varroa than in pre Varroa days. I believe that infested hives swarm in a last ditch effort to relieve the colony of the stress of severe infestation, In an attempt to make it through the winter. Just my feelings.
This I know. However, I am asking about native populations of bees. Think along the line of bumblebees and the such.
And yes, I agree that honeybees will swarm sometimes in an effort to lighten the varroa load. Why else do I see swarms the size of soft balls in the fall?
 

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I have not attempted to research this yet, but does anyone know of cases where native bee populations have been influenced by varroa and tracheal mites? It seems if the mites are taking tolls on honeybees, they would also do the same with native bees. Any info would be great, as well as opinions... :scratch:
Are you asking about nonapis mellifera bees? Bumbles and hilictid and such?
 

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Seems as though I have heard of such species crossover but I can't direct you to the source. Have you done a web search?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did a brief web search last night, but honeybee affects of varroa was all I could find. Wikipedia says that varroa are found on Apis spp, but I don't know if that's exclusive or not. The mite feeds on hemolymph, which brings about my question as to are they found in bumblebee spp? Bumblebees also contain hemolymph.
If the mites do not affect native bees, I would like to know why. There is very little info I have found so far. Puzzling.
 

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Hemolymph is the insect equivolent to blood in mammals. I would think that tracheal and varroa could more easily infest bumblebees than they would the smaller bees. Tracheal mites would be too big to fit into the trachea of hylictid bees and other small native pollinators. Whereas I would expect the trachea of bumbles to be bigger and easier for tracheal mites to infest.

Varroa depend on being able to reproduce inside of honeybee brood cells. So, perhaps bumblebees don't have a similar number of days of cell growth, so varroa can't thrive there even if they can feed from adult bumbles.

I'm just speculating about the differences between species which could be keeping cross species infestation from occuring.
 
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