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Jerrymac
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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2007, 08:02:09 PM »

That will never happen due to disease,dearth, or mites.

The right genes and the disease and mites are not a problem. No one taking all the honey and they will probably survive the dearth as they will be acclimatized to the area.

So,am I to think we have no ferals around here except for whatever swarms mine have thrown?
If not what happened to them,mites,nosema afb,efb? no treatment let them build survivor super bees?
Ferals should be organic unless someones treating them or feeding them.
Are ferals surviving or dying from these maladies,thats what I really want to know!
If treatment makes weaker bees,we should be overpopulated with ferals that have figured out how to survive without intervention by man.They should be a dominant species.

I will just put what I already have

There are many many feral hives around here. And I don't know of very many beekeepers. In fact the local apple orchards keep begging for beeks for pollination. I think there are a couple of folks up in PA that go after feral bees. I believe they have a yahoo group called the feral bee project or something.

But if there were a bunch of beeks in this area and they were propping up genetically weak bees then it would stand to reason that those bad genes could/would get into the survivors gene pool and weaken them. Also seems people don't want bees around and will get rid of those survivors further lessoning the strong gene pool.
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2007, 08:04:19 PM »

I've read what you wrote but I'm sure man didn't gather up all the bees. Some should have evolved without our help,but I don't think man caused the varroa  explosion,but maybe we did.I agree we need a term defining how long it takes till bees are considered feral after escaping,One generation two,I
don't know. Maybe we should call a swarm renegades till their caught. Wink
But are the bees in the wild(Good term or not??) surviving any better? We need more research there I think to see if organic beekeeping is worthwhile on a large scale or is organic keeping another avenue that may not prove to be all it's cracked up to be.
I mean it would great if we could just dump the bees in a box,capture a swarm and hive them and just expect all to be well if everyone would just use small cell or let them build all their own comb,but I just don't see this as total reality.
Realistically feeding hives is maintaining bees that may not be the most efficient stock at hoarding and gathering so we should probably let them starve.
Someone else can but I'm not going to go that far because hives with zero bees collect zero honey!
But thats just my two cents worth. I was just throwing these ideas as food for thought as in "what if "and
is there any studies on "Non domestic" colonies?
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2007, 08:14:32 PM »

Part of the reason for the term Feral for bees in North America is because it is not believed that there were bees here before the Europeans brought domestic bees over.  So they are all descended from domestic stock.

Bees do survive in the wild for generations.  They always have.
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2007, 09:12:26 PM »

Only is Florida, so far, is an unmanaged hive considered to be a threat or africianized.  The absurdity of that assumption and the requirement to destroy it will only serve to prolong the problems beekeepers are having adjusting to hive management and the affects of varroa.

Feral or wild hives do exist, they always have and always will.  True the advent of varroa destroyed a vast majority of feral hives just as it did managed hives.  But an uncaptured swarm replaces a feral hive just by its existance.  Those hives can and do survive long enough to develop resistance without chemical assistance, whereas many managed hives fail to develop resistance because of chemical intervention.

What is the most practical approach over time?

I say (soap box please) let's ignore the varroa completely and see what develops.  I will allow the use of sugar shakes to prolong hive life as resistance develops and the use of SBB's to help reduce the numbers of mites in the hive.  Use foundationless frames so that the chemical contamination is interrupted.  Lets get back to beekeeping as it was done prior to the varroa invasion and let the bees survive.
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2007, 09:57:05 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.
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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2007, 10:18:20 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.

This has already been said many times on these pages. But here we go again. As you have just stated, there is not much on feral hives. Therefore how do they know the mites had any affect on the ferals? But let us imagine some feral colonies around some apiary. The domestic bees failed because they got over loaded with mites. The ferals went and robbed out those hives bring massive amounts of mites back with them. Instant over kill small cell or not. But also remember a big majority of ferals are escaped domestics and many probably had not regress all the way back to natural. (Small cell is 4.9. Natural can go smaller)

But now what about all the pesticide poisoning, fires, people killing off bees for what ever reason. The reduction of places for bees to live without people getting mad. Predators. Extremely bad years. There are so many ways the ferals could have died, why does everyone blame it on the mites?
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« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2007, 10:19:07 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.

The research on this is perplexing. Jerry Hayes said varroa wipred out 99% of ferals in Florida.
I called BS. I have read two reports neither stated anything on Florida. One report said Varroa wiped out about 75% of feral hives in Northern California. Another in New York said it was about 20% for their area.

Here are my non scientific thoughts on this. An established hive with a few years behind it. Most likey regressed to small cell which was one of many factors that helped it against varroa. Most swarms that were new or throw offs from domestic hives that hadn't been established for very long probably didn't do so well.

AHB are a smaller bee and draw a cell on 4.62 on average. They also abscond rather quickly if the hive is assaulted for any reason. So a varroa infested hive is going to be abandon rather quickly. Bees with Varroa are weakened and probaly would not survive as well and there would be less of them when the hive reestablished a location.

The problem for Florida is the difference in the timeline on when Varroa entered Florida and when AHB entered Florida. And I am having a tought time getting straight answers on what seem like simple questions. But maybe they aren't that simple.

Thanks Buzzbee now I need a drink. I find my bloodpressure is getting worked up again. I had almost calmed down from reading all the crap I have been pouring over lately. Smiley

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2007, 10:27:53 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.

This has already been said many times on these pages. But here we go again. As you have just stated, there is not much on feral hives. Therefore how do they know the mites had any affect on the ferals? But let us imagine some feral colonies around some apiary. The domestic bees failed because they got over loaded with mites. The ferals went and robbed out those hives bring massive amounts of mites back with them. Instant over kill small cell or not. But also remember a big majority of ferals are escaped domestics and many probably had not regress all the way back to natural. (Small cell is 4.9. Natural can go smaller)

But now what about all the pesticide poisoning, fires, people killing off bees for what ever reason. The reduction of places for bees to live without people getting mad. Predators. Extremely bad years. There are so many ways the ferals could have died, why does everyone blame it on the mites?
Now you're kinda getting around to my point. I'm not blaming it all on mites but a lot of people think the mites and everything else is mans fault. Nature has eliminated species on her own before and will again with or without man!



Sorry Understudy for getting up the blood pressure,just felt a little chatty tonight! Smiley
Have one on me,You too,Jerry! Smiley
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2007, 10:45:59 PM »

OH no you don't. You can't just up and quit like that.

Nature does do alot of things. Even extinctions. But a lot of times when things are left alone it all balances out. But man comes along and tries to fix everything, and usually makes a mess out of it.

I still say that if man never figured out how to medicate himself, while there might be fewer people in the world, the ones here would be super men/women. Instead we have propped up all our pathetic genes. One day it will snap and there will be another massive plague like ain't never been seen before. Then besides people dying from disease they will be riots. Governments will fall because they didn't protect their people. (They did. That's what caused the mess.) Wars will break out. Ect. Ect.

Sweet dreams
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« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2007, 10:56:51 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.

This has already been said many times on these pages. But here we go again. As you have just stated, there is not much on feral hives. Therefore how do they know the mites had any affect on the ferals? But let us imagine some feral colonies around some apiary. The domestic bees failed because they got over loaded with mites. The ferals went and robbed out those hives bring massive amounts of mites back with them. Instant over kill small cell or not. But also remember a big majority of ferals are escaped domestics and many probably had not regress all the way back to natural. (Small cell is 4.9. Natural can go smaller)

But now what about all the pesticide poisoning, fires, people killing off bees for what ever reason. The reduction of places for bees to live without people getting mad. Predators. Extremely bad years. There are so many ways the ferals could have died, why does everyone blame it on the mites?
Now you're kinda getting around to my point. I'm not blaming it all on mites but a lot of people think the mites and everything else is mans fault. Nature has eliminated species on her own before and will again with or without man!



Sorry Understudy for getting up the blood pressure,just felt a little chatty tonight! Smiley
Have one on me,You too,Jerry! Smiley

Where is my vodka? Ah here we go. Glug glug glug.

Okay. The mites like AHB were brought over from their natural enviroment by someone doing something that seemed like a good idea at the time. AHB were intentionaly brought in by a scientific team in S. America. Someone thought those pesky excluders needed to be removed.  The mites there is a little debate on. Some say they came in via the ports on some bees in a boat. Others believe someone bringing in queens illegally, like in a shirt pocket or similar. From a varroa positive area helped with this. Here is also another possiblity. the species of Varroa in the US is destructor and for a while it was confused and miscalled Jacobsoni. DNA tests reveiled it to be a seperate species. Possibly a descendant or sister type of mite to Jacobsoni. May have existed hear for a while and finally had a huge growth spurt.

The problem as I am reading it right now is there is no solid answers on how the varroa infestation began. The simple fact is that Varroa until the 80's did not exist in the US. Let me rephrase that V. Destructors presence wasn't confirmed until the 80's it may have gone by unconfirmed for a while before that.

Australlia currently has no Varroa. But sooner or later someone is going to screw up and they will join the rest of us.

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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2007, 07:50:59 AM »

>But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?

Not all of them.  Recent escapees will not:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#feralbees
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm


>Is small cell smaller than natural cell?

No.  Small cell is in the middle of the range of sizes of worker brood in natural cell:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm


>Jerry Hayes said Varroa wipred out 99% of ferals in Florida.

Obviously at least into the first part of the current century (2000) they were having not troubles finding them.  If Varroa wiped them out they would have been gone long before that:
http://www.beesource.com/news/article/floridaferal.htm
http://www.beesource.com/news/article/floridaferalsurvivor.htm
http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/varroaabstract.htm
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2007, 08:27:54 AM »


>Jerry Hayes said Varroa wipred out 99% of ferals in Florida.

Obviously at least into the first part of the current century (2000) they were having not troubles finding them.  If Varroa wiped them out they would have been gone long before that:
http://www.beesource.com/news/article/floridaferal.htm
http://www.beesource.com/news/article/floridaferalsurvivor.htm
http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/varroaabstract.htm



Oh No Michael, didn't you hear all feral bees in Florida are AHB and those don't count because they have a natural resistance to the varroa mite.

My question is what happened between 1987 (when varroa were confirmed) and when AHB were confirmed.
http://news.ufl.edu/2005/06/20/africanbees/
The timeline seems a little bit like a coincedence.
Although the USDA map says 1998 for AHB spread.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=11059&page=6

Michael,
Thanks for those articles by the way. Nice stuff. I am going through them and their references later tonight.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2007, 05:40:40 PM »

But wouldn't the ferals have had naturally  small cell?
If that would be the case,the varroa should not have had the same effect on them with the shorter time to emergence of the bees. I thought this is how you broke the cycle of the mite.Or am I misunderstanding the reasoning behind small cell? Is small cell smaller than natural cell? If so we are intervening in the bees natural process here.

This has already been said many times on these pages. But here we go again. As you have just stated, there is not much on feral hives. Therefore how do they know the mites had any affect on the ferals? But let us imagine some feral colonies around some apiary. The domestic bees failed because they got over loaded with mites. The ferals went and robbed out those hives bring massive amounts of mites back with them. Instant over kill small cell or not. But also remember a big majority of ferals are escaped domestics and many probably had not regress all the way back to natural. (Small cell is 4.9. Natural can go smaller)

But now what about all the pesticide poisoning, fires, people killing off bees for what ever reason. The reduction of places for bees to live without people getting mad. Predators. Extremely bad years. There are so many ways the ferals could have died, why does everyone blame it on the mites?

people blame it on mites because they disappeared the same time all domestic hive's were all dieing from mites and not pesticides at the time all ferals were coming up missing so that make it easy to see it was mites, back before mites showed up there was more feral hives than domestic, I remember not being able to play in parts of the yard because clover was blooming and you would get stung stepping on honeybee's and no beekeepers anywhere in my area because I knew everyone ( I believe that 90% or more were killed), they were everywhere, now if bee's naturally build small cell on their own were did they all go? my conclusion is if bee's really build small cell on there own then small cell didn't work for them, people would sound stupid to say that all feral (over 90%) were killed because they were just escapees from domestic hives and not regressed yet(some feral were loose from back in the 50's and 60's and they swarmed and their swarms swarmed and so on), now you could say T-mites could have got the feral that varroa didn't, who nose? I have always wondered about small cell and if it was the reason bee's lived or was it the bee's? could you really buy a package from anywhere put them on small cell and they live or take a small cell hive that has lived for years and put them back on regular cell and see if they would make it, mine make it and they on regular cell. I think pesticides are out of the question unless they some how treated the entire USA because percentage of farm land is small and was then and domestic bee's wasn't effected, fires and people can't do it, just look at AHB's, if this was true they would be controllable, its the question of ages but mites are more likely the cause of the demise because of the timing... now when I moved to GA. I went for 13 years without seeing a honey bee, apple tree's never had a apple until I became a beekeeper then they were loaded.... jerrymac, robbing is the main reasons mites get spread, and saying a small cell hive will die also must mean small cell isn't what its cracked up to be, if a hive dies from robbing another hive that tells me they was dieing anyway, small cells hives aren't suppose to die to mites is the story,  all hives rob dead or dieing hives and I am sure my bee probably have robbed a hive that was dieing from mites and mine are still here....... its a lot of questions to be answered but some of the answers are probably right in our face we are just looking to hard......... Just some of my thoughts!!!!
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2007, 05:54:15 PM »

I still say the first mistake is assuming they died.  I've never stopped finding them.

But even if you have a stable varroa population within a hive, how many hitchhiking varroa would it take to overwelm a hive?  How many crashing hives getting robbed would it take?  I think this is a problem for any hive where there are a lot of colonies around it crashing from Varroa.

Drones drift shamelessly and workers drift some and robbers will rob anything that is dying from mites.
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« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2007, 06:27:29 PM »

I still say the first mistake is assuming they died.  I've never stopped finding them.

But even if you have a stable varroa population within a hive, how many hitchhiking varroa would it take to overwelm a hive?  How many crashing hives getting robbed would it take?  I think this is a problem for any hive where there are a lot of colonies around it crashing from Varroa.

Drones drift shamelessly and workers drift some and robbers will rob anything that is dying from mites.


were did they go then?, I didnt believe all feral hives died but most did, face it, they just don't up and vanish but most did....

if a hive is crashing and population down for enough to not protect its self then mite population would be down also right, without bee's mites don't last? MB you been around mites longer than me so tell me something, whats a healthy  mite count on a large hive and whats the mite count on a half or less populated crashing hive?  I am sure you counted both...
 now in a small cell hive or a hygienic hive mites shouldn't be successful breeding or reproducing so how do they kill a hive like that that lives or resist mites? just wondering!!!

since hives collapsed in the 90's and mite also of course then when hives come back up in numbers and mites also the small cell want help if you have a number of hive in your area that are crashing from mites, is that what you are saying because your hives will be robbing others that are crashing from mites, if this is true and SC works, sounds like a short term fix, guest we need to work on resistant bee's instead.... we will need a country of resistant bee's to keep robbing and mite transfer from being a crashing thing again like the 90's... I am just thinking and typing as the questions pop up, not condemning know one.....
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« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2007, 07:04:57 PM »

TwT,

The first honey bee I ever remember in my life is the one that stung me on the bottom of the foot when I was five years old. Many years later I remember seeing honey comb built under the eve of a house. Some years later I saw that again. Then in the seventies I had bees move into the walls of a house I lived in. (And at some point in the seventies my dad got some bees from Sears Robuck. Don't know what happened to them) then there were a few that flew into the vehicle I was driving and stung me on the back a couple of times. I really don't know if those were feral or domestic. The point is, I never thought of or looked for bees until I encountered them. So I don't know if they were out on the yard flowers or not as I wouldn't sit and watch for them. I don't know if the dwindled or not. I do know that a few years back a swarm showed up here and eventually moved into my well box. That is when I decided to give beekeeping a try.

I didn't intend to imply that just one of the things I listed caused the loss of a bunch of bees, but that all of them probably had something to do with it. Now if a hive of bees on natural cell is holding their own with mites and does it year after year, and then suddenly the mite load doubles or triples then they will fail. If one feral hive robs from five failing domestic hives, it is possible to over whelm the feral hive with mites.

AND before the mass extinction of bees came about, how much attention was paid to the number of feral hives any where? They could have already dwindled from all the other things I mentioned.
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2007, 07:05:53 PM »

>were did they go then?

They are still out there by my observation. I have no trouble finding them.

>if a hive is crashing and population down for enough to not protect its self then mite population would be down also right

The ones I have seen crashing from varroa have tens of thousands of varroa in them.

> without bee's mites don't last?

No, but they get robbed before that.

> MB you been around mites longer than me so tell me something, whats a healthy  mite count on a large hive and whats the mite count on a half or less populated crashing hive?

Crashing hives have tens of thousands of mites all together.  I can't find enough mites to count in my healthy hives.

> now in a small cell hive or a hygienic hive mites shouldn't be successful breeding or reproducing so how do they kill a hive like that that lives or resist mites?

If a strong hive is robbing out a crashing hive and hauls thousands of mites back I can see the possibility of that causing a crash.  I have not seen it happen.  But that is what I would speculate.  The small cell hives don't have enough mites to amount to anything.  I just had a field day at my beeyard last month and tried to find one dead Varroa mite on a tray to show them and after searching several trays I just gave up finding one.

I haven't treated some of them since 2001 and I haven't treated any of them since 2003.
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2007, 07:31:24 PM »

I observed a couple quad-zillon feral bees in the desert in Arizona they are
lousey out there.There all over the Hollywood hills were I work chimneys under the roof tile in walls everywere.I stopped purchaseing bees because there are so many swarms and cut outs.Its like Cyotes man I see more in L A than I ever saw when I lived in Utah
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« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2007, 10:15:32 PM »

Maybe this is all wrong?
http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/Disorders/Varroa_mites.htm
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Varroa destructor is a common mite found on Apis cerana, the Asian honey bee on which it  does not cause serious damage like it does on Apis mellifera. These mites were accidentally introduced into the United States in the mid 1980s. Before this time, honey bees were found coast to coast across the United States. Now only an estimated 2% of the feral honey bee population remains, and even this derives annually from honey bee swarms from beekeeping operations. Practically speaking, the wild honey bees have become extinct in the United States due to infestation of the Varroa mite.

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« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2007, 10:23:27 PM »

Another document I read. The problem is it doesn't state it sources. What is the basis for this claim. The reports I am reading dispuit those numbers.

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Brendhan
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