This is a new letter i just got from Lapp Bee Supply
Dear Beekeepers & Friends
The wholesale price of honey has softened somewhat. However, the shelf price has not changed. The demand for honey still seems to be strong. There does not seem to be a great surplus in supply. Our customers who go to farmers market say that they have excellent to go sales throughout the summer and fall. So what are you going to do? Give it away or hold your price. Is it better to give it to a packer or to a consumer? I'll let you be the judge.
I have a story to tell that has a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe it to be a true story about a Wisconsin beekeeper who has not treated his colonies going on four years. He raises about 60 plus per hive. Winters better than most of us and produces good crops when the years are wet as he is on sand. He likes to raise queens, test the different strains of bees, and judges everything according to his methods. He does not keep many secrets as he loves to talk bees. He has pestered me over the years to buy a SMR breeder queen from Glen's Apearies in California. An interested breeder cost $100.00 shipped to you. Good enough for me as I am tired and retired with only a 100 colonies to play with. The days of the 100 plus barrel crop are over. This year I gave in and ordered an SMR breeder. Glen's now have them in Italic. However, black was suggested so I can tell if the cells take or not. I ordered black.
For you information Glen's Apearies is the only queen breeder that the USDA authorized to sell the 100% SMR breeder queens. These queens are very close to being the 100% resistant to varroa mites. According to beekeeper Ron they are 100% resistance as he has never found a mite in any of his SMR breeder queen nuc boxes.
How does this work? You need to purchase a 100% pure SMR queen. Raise cells from her and cross with your drones for each of your colonies. The first cross your end up with a 50% SMR queen which will reduce the mite population in your colonies approximately
50%. Some pesticides are not that good anymore. 50 % is not good enough not to treat so you should treat the first year. The second year you again buy another 100% SMR queen and raise cells and cross them with your drones that now have some SMR in them. You need to treat in the spring as your new queens need to raise brood and the brood needs to hatch out in order to obtain the protection that you need. If you feel nervous treat again in the fall. You must purchase 100% SMR breeders and requeen yearly for at least three years to build up SMR traits in your drone stock. After that you can sustain the SMR trait in your bees. It would be wise to keep brining in the SMR trait with a breeder as Glen is adding traits to the line for tracheal mites resistance as well as varroa.
If you belong to a bee club, this is a good club project for its members. For more information about SMR queens check the web site:http://members.aol.com/queenb95/smr.html
Herb and Judy Lapp
PS. The SMR queen is really an extreme hygienic queen.