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Which varroa treatment???

 
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twinklekat
New Bee


Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Bolton

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: Which varroa treatment??? Reply with quote

Hi, I'm such a beginner that I don't even have any bees or hives yet!!! but I am researching everything so I can be ready for next Spring. I am determined to have a TBH and to not use chemical treatments, how then would you recommend treating varroa mites? I've read so many different suggestions but I decided that your collective expertise would give me the best answer.
Many thanks in advance Smile
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I often wondered what wild bees do? do they pop into the local health centre?

Im often moaned at by beeks in my local club, for not doing yearly treatments etc, and like yourself, Ive read about non chemical ways, ie dusting with powdered sugar, or spraying with sugar water to make them groom each other, but don't bees do that anyway?
one thing I did notice this year, was ants below my hives were removing fallen varroa, presumably taking back to the nest to feed the colony, I see a lot of bee keepers try to keep ant's away from hives, but seeing that, it can only be a good thing, as with most insects in this world, everything has a purpose,
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feral bees die.
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Cie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 242
Location: UK, Wiltshire, Amesbury

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madasafish wrote:
Feral bees die.


They may do in Stoke on Trent, but I know of a number of feral hives that are long established and are doing just fine.

Bees can survive without treatments.
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Ciemon

Just another Warréor
[url=http://simplebees.wordpress.com] Simple Bees [/url] & [url=http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/] Warré beekeeping [/url]
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madasafish wrote:
Feral bees die.


so all those huge hives inside roof spaces we see are an illusion?
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madasafish wrote:
Feral bees die.


That's a convinced pro-treater speaking there.

The pesticide companies would have everyone believe that Varroa is THE problem facing bees. It's questionable whether that is the case.

Take this recent study of neonicotinoids. http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org/pdfarticles/vol67-2014-125-130lu.pdf

"We found honey bees in both control and neonicotinoid-treated groups progressed almost identically through the summer and fall seasons and observed no acute morbidity or mortality in either group until the end of winter. Bees from six of the twelve neonicotinoid-treated colonies had abandoned their hives, and were eventually dead with symptoms resembling CCD. However, we observed a complete opposite phenomenon in the control colonies in which instead of abandonment, they were re-populated quickly with new emerging bees. Only one of the six control colonies was lost due to Nosema-like infection.

A lot of beeks may attribute blame to Varroa for die-outs when in fact pesticides may have done the damage that weakened the colony, and therefore allowed Varroa to get a grip, amongst other parasites and diseases. A wild animal's survival is a precarious thing. An injury may cause it to slow down > find less food > poor nutrition > poor health > weaker > more prone to illness, parasites and predation.

These studies of foulbrood are relevant too, although not directly to do with Varroa –

Goodwin et al. tested 109 ferals and 15 managed hives. 7 ferals had foulbrood spores. All 15 managed hives had foulbrood spores. 6 managed hives had only one larva showing clinical AFB. Only one of the ferals had a spore count higher than the lowest in the managed colonies. Bailey (1958) reported that a study of 100 ferals in Sussex did not reveal any cases of foulbrood although it was present locally in managed colonies. Miller (1935) reported that of the many feral colonies killed in Michigan none had AFB although 13% of the local beekeepers' colonies were infested.

As to why the beekeepers' colonies were massively more likely to be diseased compared to the ferals – it could be the sugar feeding, the transporting to nectar flows, the weekly inspections and other manipulations, the poorly insulated hive, the swarm prevention, drone culling, chemical treatments ...

There's another study, I can't find it now, where attempts were made, unsuccessfully, to infect colonies with foulbrood – the possibility there being that the colonies were strong enough to prevent it taking a hold.

There's plenty of beekeepers about who don't treat.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madasafish wrote:
Feral bees die.


So do treated colonies. First year both of my top bar colonies survived. Second year all 6 of my top bar colonies survived. Treatment feee of course.

My swedish friends (and our member biodlarn) bees in top bar hive have survived 6 years in a row. Treatment free BUT they are allowed to swarm and have a brood break.

Lets say I treat my bees with a brood break (and natural comb and lots of peace).
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I went treatment free about 4 years ago I have only lost two colonies, both small cast swarms, one went queenless and the other starved. Neither were due to varroa. That is significantly better than the average for those who treat.
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lord tedric
Guard Bee


Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 79
Location: Moira,Swadlincote,Derbyshire,UK

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never 'treated' mine one hive used to get sugar dusted regularly but it never did much to stop varroa and this year they are getting left to see if they survive. The other hives seem fine.
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marise
Nurse Bee


Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 48
Location: market harborough ,leicestershire,England

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let the bees do what the bees are designed to do , and swarm ......this gives a valuable couple of weeks of time where there is no brood for the varroa to lay their eggs onto ....this brood break means the varroa do not get a hold and their numbers can be regulated by the bees themselves .
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Georgehood
New Bee


Joined: 18 Aug 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Dover, Oklahoma, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some of the health centers where there are the courses for these varroa treatments for specific period of time. You can join these courses, which will be very helpful and will also get some relief.
---------
http://www.cellublue.com/


Last edited by Georgehood on Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning the brood break:

The original host is Apis cerana. The varroa mite can reproduce in drone brood only. (Length of time of capped worker brood is too short in Apis cerana.) There is only three month of drone brood in Apis cerana.

So the varroa mite is adapted to a nine month brood break.

What do you reckon' does a four week brood break do to mites?! Nothing.

In fact, I observed a higher mite infestation in colonies that do swarm. Colonies that get splitted do have less mites.

I think this is because of:

Mites are adapted to swarming (the cerana swarms multiple times per year) and swarming doesn't just happen in a minute. The bees prepare for swarming one month earlier. All the hormones and pheromones in the hive signalise there is a swarm to come. Mites do notice that and they do enter the broodcells more readily before the swarming incident and they do multiply before the swarming. This is an reaction to the brood break that comes.

In splitting there is no such signal. The beekeeper comes and the split is done. That happens without any warning. This sets the mite's reproduction back.

A mite receives about 35 sperms when she gets mated. She lays 5-6 eggs per brood cycle. Every egg needs one sperm, be it male or female egg. So after six brood cycles the spermatheca is depleted and the mite becomes infertile. In her original host, there are three month of drone brood. Which makes four brood/reproduction cycles. The rest of the year the mites co live phoretic, riding on adult bees or hide in worker brood (but do not reproduce). So she has got 2 more reproduction/brood cycles left in her spermatheca. She is perfectly adapted to her original host, the cerana.

Anyway, bottom line: brood breaks by swarming is no solution in any way to solve the varroa mite crisis in beekeeping.

What you can do is: catch the swarm, treat the swarm outside of the hive. That keeps the treatments out of the hive.

Let the hive swarm. Catch the swarm. Treat the swarm with oxalic or lactic acid. (Dribble or spray.)

Break all cells in the left behind hive/mother hive. Except one. (Or use the swarm cells in small mating units.)

Let the swarm build enough comb in a new hive. Take the honey boxes or combs out of the original hive and transfer to the new hive with the swarm, once they established a broodnest after one or two weeks or so. This way you get a harvest.

Shook swarm the left behind colony with the new queen, treat outside the hive, once the new queen starts laying.

This way you reduce treatments to a minimum (once per year) and outside the hive. If you feel you need treatments. As a beginner you cannot know if the bees died by your manipulations or by varroa or by other causes. It complicates things if you do not treat in the beginning. Be aware. If you are fine with that, give it a try. Keep your hives well nourished at all times, keep them strong, do not manipulate them to death.

Bernhard

Some literature:

http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/89/15/71/PDF/hal-00891571.pdf
http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/695/art%253A10.1023%252FA%253A1006050527004.pdf?auth66=1408178314_35ada80893b638e04a3ddfcfdeb7e194&ext=.pdf
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/89/15/73/PDF/hal-00891573.pdf
http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/378/art%253A10.1007%252FBF00116318.pdf?auth66=1408258701_838a4ddd03697349ed7a0d92449af34c&ext=.pdf
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