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Over the years varroa threshold keeps getting lower and lower. Viruses are getting bigger and meaner. Much more lethal. As beekeepers work ing our apiaries how do we handle this? What practices can we do to improve things? This year I had my first bout with black queen cell virus. I'm concerned. Obviously varroa needs to be controlled. But these viruses are in the background in our hives waiting for the right conditions to manifest symptoms. As beekeeper s I feel we are sweeping the seriousness of this under the rug. Seriously how do we handle this in an actual working apiary?
 

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Clayton, I beg to differ with your statement: "But these viruses are in the background in our hives waiting for the right conditions to manifest symptoms". These viruses are vectored specifically by varroa and as I recently read the Small Hive Beetles. Before the introduction of varroa, Apis mellifera did not have these viral problems. I am not an entomologist or even a scientist. But I have read Bee Culture and American Bee Journal magazines for a while. One article that I remember said after varroa, bees went from having some problems, to bees being directly injected with the viruses and bacteria. How well would people do with being injected with the flu or other viruses?

I have a small apiary and I have brought in VSH bees and soon Martha Carpenter Mite Mauler bees to have the bees help keep varroa under control. But I also treat very frequently to keep the threshold as low as possible until our honey bees can do this on our own. This is what I have done and I recommend that you and other beekeepers become more proactive in dealing with our varroa problem.
 

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I have been giving my bees a 1% solution of reishi mushroom extractin 1:1 sugar water last year with no colony losses this spring. Paul Stamets led the research about reishi & charga mushroom extract lowering virus levels in bees 700 fold. Bees feed on the 'schrooms in the wild & they know how to treat their ill sisters!! I am conducting a study this summer to determine the duration of action of the extracts & virus loads. I believe that feeding your winter bees the solution can help with winter survival.
 

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Well Clayton, I can tell you how crow tastes.

After reading rdimanin post after mine, I researched Paul Staments. This led me to Scientific Reports and I read the report about bees and mushrooms. In that article the researchers at Washington University reported that 100% of the bees used in the project tested positive for the 2 viruses they were targeting.

So Clayton, I retract my previous posts difference with your statement. Sorry about that, but thanks for giving me a learning opportunity.

Jim
 

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rdimanin,

Please either pm me on this site or post here what you are doing this summer.

Sorry about hijacking this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was at the Kentucky state beekeepers meeting about a month ago. I took a short class on viruses. Viruses are vectored by varroa as you say. But are also transmitted from feces and saliva from the worker bees. I'm willing to bet also from varroa mite feces in the cells even though it wasn't mentioned. We get dead outs in the spring, you see mite feces in the cells. Is this continuing spreading the virus load? I have allot of questions. The info out there seems too quiet.
 

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What practices can we do to improve things? This year I had my first bout with black queen cell virus.
I only worry about things I can control or treat successfully. I have been part of New York Bee wellness's virus testing since they started it, so far none of the hives I have sent in for testing have shown any high virus levels, I treat for mites 4 times a year. Two years ago the two hives I was having tested both died with low virus testing. what can I say.
 

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Clayton,there is a lot of info out there.A quick google of "fecal / oral transmission of honey bee virus" brought up this 16 yr old but still relevant study plus many others.(the authors are still studying and writing papers and speaking at bee clubs about viruses.Judy Chen spoke last Sat in Worcester MA)

https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/2199/PDF

Check out David Evans site.He's a virologist in England working on honey bee viruses(also member on BS)

https://www.theapiarist.org/problems/

Anything by Dave Tarpy is good

https://youtu.be/5l4jV0XP-Cc
 

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I'm hearing more and more beekeepers say they are no longer using brood comb from deadouts.Deadouts are a great opportunity to get rid of any old comb.
 

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I am dealing with DWV in one of my hives now. I was hoping for something more than just treating for mites. Is anyone treating their hives with this? If so please provide details. Thanks
 
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