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Author Topic: mites from down south, uhm...thanks?  (Read 583 times)
Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« on: May 30, 2013, 12:12:07 AM »

I am in Michigan,and do not supply bees, but i have bought them, and know some suppliers supply packages from like georgia / etc.

  so here in michigan we have down to -20 f temps in the winter, our queens stop laying drones in the winter, kick em out of the hive, let the lazy bums die,etc and therefor we have a dramatic drop of varroa in our winters.....but then spring rolls around and we of course have a lot of guys who migrate their hives down south for the winter and bring them back up, as well as package suppliers from down south. michigan has been red hot for sales of packages. a friend i have sold over 1,000 in the first 5 hours when his load came in, and that was early may even, so not early sales. and these were italians, russians and others were back ordered and sold out or just not to be found.

anyways, the topic is....what are the measures if any taken to stop bringing mites up here in the spring, any?
I'm about as govt. hands off as it gets....but I am not liking the sounds of this. It seems to harm all of us no? or do people just think there really is no damage or mites/disease/etc. transfer involved at all? What do y'all think? and if you give a opinion, please state if you migrate hives or not yourself. I do not, so am inexperienced in what is specifically involved or if y'all take specific measures.

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Oblio13
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 06:07:44 AM »

The only long-term way to control mites is to allow bees to evolve resistance. Do you think government bureaucrats with rule books are in any way more qualified than beekeepers to facilitate that?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 08:00:04 AM »

You already have mites.  If there were no mites in the North, it would make sense to try to slow the spread.  But you do have mites.  What's a few more or less?  No, nothing is done to reduce the number. 

What is harming all of us is that people keep bringing in Southern stock that can't survive Northern winters, and stock that is treated and propped up and can't survive without treatments, while those of us raising bees that can survive, in the North without treatments, have to put up with this annual watering down of the genetics from imported, propped up, Southern acclimatized bees and their virulent Varroa mites that can reproduce fast enough to keep up with the treatments.

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 01:11:11 PM »

The only long-term way to control mites is to allow bees to evolve resistance. Do you think government bureaucrats with rule books are in any way more qualified than beekeepers to facilitate that?

I do some what agree with you, like I said I am tea party, and am not fond of govt. control at all....however when it appears man is changing the natural order of things because we can and do....I am not saying govt. should get involved but it certainly needs understanding and recognition imo......bees have been around since the dawn of the flower.....far before man.... how much time do you think they need to fix it themselves, when man is just super quick at doing things and bringing things out of balance.... I would really prefer man finds a solution themselves, without govt. but lets face it....people are greedy and govt. makes it harder so some have to cut corners just to barely make it these days....once more a interference of man... and some make more excuses to NOT do the right thing to make some extra bucks, rather than do the right thing which is usually hard and more expensive....when this happens someone has to bring the boot down on them and pretty much force them. The only entity to do that is 1) fellow beeks and society in general....or 2) govt.  no?
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 01:17:44 PM »

michal, I agree totally with the bringing up non acclimated genetics. Also agree that we have mites....however, do you not agree that our winters and lack of drone rearing in the winter vastly helps our area not have a problem, and that it helps it self regulate it, and a mass infusion by literally possibly tens of thousands of packages as well as migration absolutely raises those mite numbers? it would be impossible imo for it not to.

I understand people who do this will outright hate me mentioning it, I mean I am not trying to take food off of anyone's table here, but some thought does need to be gave I think about it, before it becomes to large of a issue and the mites themselves adapt before the bees do.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 01:56:18 PM »

I think you're overestimating the role packages play.  Most packages are treated for varroa before they are shipped,  and by nature of a package, they go through a brood break.   That is why package bees rarely have a mite issue the first year.   It is the 2nd year that they crash. A substantial portion of the time because the new beekeeper is convinced their "natural" way of dealing with varroa the first was so successful there is no need to do anything different.   I think nucs and migratory beeks are a much bigger problem.

If you want to blame packages for something,  SHB would be a legitimate charge.   They hide in the cracks and crevices of the package box.  That is why I always recommend the boxes be burned when done.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 02:00:14 PM »

>michal, I agree totally with the bringing up non acclimated genetics. Also agree that we have mites....however, do you not agree that our winters and lack of drone rearing in the winter vastly helps our area not have a problem, and that it helps it self regulate it

When I was on large cell, not treating (and later treating) I had tens of thousands of mites in each of the dead hives.  There was no shortage of Varroa no matter how hard our winters were.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 02:57:18 PM »

and people have been migrating and bringing up packages for how long? are you telling me you have mite in epidemic proportions in spring? or do they mysteriously elevated by vast proportions of course after they start breeding in spring, but after southern hives are brought back from the south by the thousands, as well as packages? I totally agree with robo they do not reach epidemic levels often in new hives due to the nature of the package and lack of drone cells in new hives, right off the bat, so that may not be as proportionally of a issue....I just havent studied the issue to know for sure, but they certainly are there, in smaller numbers.
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 03:40:16 PM »

but they certainly are there, in smaller numbers.

As they are in overwintered hives as well.

So whether your neighbor successfully overwinters his hives, or buys packages, I think you are in the same boat.   
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


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