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Author Topic: varroa mite in hawai'i  (Read 5837 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2009, 10:27:23 PM »

I just don't like the sound of killing all of the feral bees, I guess they are trying to find the cheapest alternative. What about placing swarm traps out and mapping out known feral hives, then removing them. I guess after they bomb the skies these could then be reintroduced.

I experimented with a hive once that had a high mite count. I sealed the hive for 2 weeks or more, can't remember the duration exactly.

They had sbb and feed. The queen stopped laying, any brood had hatched out, mite problem solved. When I opened the hive there were no eggs nor brood. That hive is alive today.

...JP

That's the key, that's what I've been saying.  The cure is in an interruption of brood cycle.  The best timing for it is right after the main flow for the beekeepers area.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
bugleman
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2009, 03:56:53 AM »

The mite didn't come from a breeder, we aren't allowed to import bees, or used equipment here. 

Hello my bee keeping brother.  I have been thinking about this for almost a year now.

The mite was first reported by a breeder.  Coincidence?  I think not!  Although in this country we are innocent until proven guilty. 

The best thing bee keepers in the 50th state could do is to not repeat the mistakes of those on the mainland.  Please don't ever put insecticides on your bees or use antibiotics proactively.  Bad bees must die.  You know Darwin and all.  Or should I say bad queens must die.  During an infestation is when you treat and requeen.  Treating in a rotation (with insecticides) and as a standard practice is purly manic. 

So in the inverse it is best to let the bee have it's way.  Including not breeding out desireable traits for the sake of non-defensiveness etc.  Some MSH bees would go miles so save your industry.  Burning hives to prevent disease only profits those without mites on other islands for a short time and will kill the industry in Hawaii.  Do your history.  This has happened before.  You can't get rid of all the feral hives PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wished I lived on Hawaii because I would make a lot of money in bees right now.  The solutions are easy.  IPM (integrated pest management) utilizing: Take your pick - MSH, natural comb/or small cell, Formic and Oxalic and powdered sugar and screened bottom boards. 

I know you brothers on the Island can be resistant to change but burning hives is the wrong way to go.  You might just burn the hive with the right genetics that could save your industry.

There you have it, I have rung the bell and am now climbing down out of the tower.

Please visit Michael Bush's website.  He has spent a lot of time and put together many aspects of IPM for mites.  There is almost endless info and data on the net.  Just look for it.  Even check out Dee Lusby's info I believe she has some good stuff if not impressive hives.   shocked

Oh, I forgot to add to IPM stratagies, Drone Brood manipulation and I am sure there is others too.




« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 05:00:56 PM by bugleman » Logged
hoku
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 03:31:35 AM »

Personal update:

Well, I made my first screened bottom board this week.  Havent heard any news of mites in my area from any beekeepers I know(which is not many), but I am 25 miles from Hilo.

Here's the "professional" update story:
http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/news/2009-news-releases/news-release-nr09-02-january-7-2009

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JP
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 08:08:13 AM »

Repeat, why try and kill off feral colonies, its almost nearly an impossibility. Its just a matter of time that an area will get mites anyway.

I for one am very happy for feral genetics, gives us a diverse gene pool. Feral bees, ones that have survived many seasons are your best breeding stock, they come from your area, are adapted to your area.

As beekeepers the answer is not to use chemical means but naturally corrective means, allowing bees to adapt to living with varroa, for example small cell or natural cell production, and breeding a more hygienic bee.

Why not use Oxalic acid, or formic acid treatments? http://www.moraybeekeepers.co.uk/Varroa/oxalic_acid_vapourisation.htm


...JP

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orvette1
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2009, 01:23:08 PM »

I would like to clear up some stuff.  First there are no "breeders" in Hawaii.  We haven't had to have any.  There were so many feral hives, we could catch at least 1 swarm per beekeeper per year, if not more.  Second, letting nature take its course hasn't worked.  Most farmers here rely on feral bees to do the work. Unlike on the mainland we don't have keepers who move hives from farm to farm. Third, when we waited we lost almost every managed hive and most of the feral hives. When you don't have a breeder it is hard to start anew.  Most people think the mite came in on one of the oil tankers, or a navy ship. Keeping out unwanted pests is a full time job here. Unlike the mainland we have some animals that are found nowhere else, so we need to keep it up.  As for IPM, you have to have a pest that will attack the mite, or at least bees who are resistant, there are none here. Or you have to hope you can find a feral hive that has withstood a mite attack. But that is almost impossible.  Most feral hives are on the cliffs.  Unless you live here you can't know what is the right thing for here. As I said before, if the mite gets to the queen breeders, they may go out of business. That is a $7-$10 million industry here. We can't let that happen. IPM is great if you can afford it, but we can't.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2009, 11:33:47 PM »

Orvette1,

Here's a heads up for you.  Bee Culture Magazine, March 2009 issue, page 33, Larry Conner writes about challenges in sideline beekeeping.  In the article he brings up the fact that South Africa beekeepers decided not to fight varroa with chemicals but to rely on the bees to develop a resistance instead.  South African got the varroa under control in 4 years while in Europe and here on the US mainland we're still fighting it with chemicals.  Count the time the Europeans have been fighting the varroa mite that that's over 25 years of battling a problem that took only 4 years to solve by natural selection.

I think I'd just ignore the mites and work with the survivors until the natural selection ruled.  Hawaii would then be ahead of the curve and could sell mite resistant queens to the rest of the world.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
fermentedhiker
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« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2009, 09:22:08 AM »

I can't even conceive of how someone could think killing the ferals would help let alone be effective.  While an Island is the most likely situation for a scorched earth policy to work it's an untenable idea with regards to an insect.  The chance of getting every single feral hive probably approaches the level of statistical impossibility.  Even if successful it is all for naught unless you kill all the managed hives as well.  All it would take is for one hive to be ineffectively treated to allow the whole process to start over again and even if you dodged that bullet they could come in on another ship next week.  Tons of time, effort, and expense would have accomplished nothing but set the development for natural resistance back a couple years.  Just my 2c.
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bugleman
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2009, 11:20:18 PM »

IPM is a range of strategies.  But it does not include the folly of eradication of all the feral bees.  Just to "Save the breeders".  The mite won't integrate if you train the bee to not fight it.  Believe me the EHB has the genes to fight the mite.  Get in contact with the department of agriculture and get some VSH bees in from one of the programs.  You would be doing the entire bee industry of America a good service. 

I just gave you a program that will save millions of dollars.  I am only going to ask for 3%.   grin

Also the feral hives here in Aloha Oregon are starting to really fill back in.   I picked up several feral swarms this summer and they all seemed smaller than the usual bee.  In otherwords they had regressed back to their natural size and had survived the mite.
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