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Author Topic: Bee documentaries and feral bee deaths  (Read 385 times)
swflcpl
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« on: May 29, 2014, 11:35:22 AM »

I have watched just about every bee documentary out there these days and more than one talks about the fact "due to the varroa mite, all wild/feral bee hives have died as well as many commercial hives".

Is that statement true?  Why would folks like Micheal Bush and others be pushing foundationless as a way for the bees to make their preferred sized cell to control varroa mite if all of the feral hives would already be doing that, but supposedly have all succumbed to varroa?

Seems someones information is skewed way off the chart.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 11:52:46 AM »

It was pretty bad for several years. I did not see any bees at my farm unless the commercial beeks had their hives in the area. After they left within a few weeks, no bees again. Now when my bees and the commercials are not there, I still see them.
Feral bees are surviving on their own. It just took a while for them to select the right genetics to survive all of the problems we have been throwing at them in a very short span.
It takes several generations of bees to change the size of the cells for bees to get to natural size cells/bees. Until they start using the larger size cells for storage and keep building smaller and smaller cells, the hive slowly moves down the new comb and they reduce in size each new generation.
Be sure to check when the documents were created. For a while there (and in some places still) they were correct. In Jacksonville Fl, we now have hundreds of new Beeks and the number of swarms have vastly increased.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
swflcpl
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 12:29:15 PM »

That makes sense.  Thanks for that viewpoint.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 08:08:20 PM »

While bees here in the US had not been exposed to mites and the viruses they gave the bees, many did die as a result. however,those that were able to survive the new parasite began to pass on whatever genes gave them this advantage. Even if they were not robust,they survived the onslaught.
 just as not all humans died during times of plagues and disease, some of the bees survived.  Likely there were also some feral colonies of Russian bees too which may have had a history of mite exposure. But there definitely was a sharp decline in feral and non feral bees. I think with the news of CCD there was a surge in new beekeepers that may have also contributed to feral populations through newbee management practices.Or some just didn't worry about swarm control and left the bees do what they do naturally.
But either way it happened,bees are slowly recovering. The colony losses are decreasing to the twenty percent range from thirty five percent and more.
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hjon71
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 08:51:35 PM »

I don't believe ALL wild/feral hives died. I am pretty confident actually, because where my father lived there were always honeybees working the clover in his fields. And this was during the beginning of the Varroa problem, before he brought in an old established hive from his brother who lived some 10 miles away which had never been treated and thrived. This is the hive I now own.
+1 for buzzbee. Right on the money.
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Quite difficult matters can be explained even to a slow-witted man, if only he has not already adopted a wrong opinion about them; but the simplest things cannot be made clear even to a very intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, and knows indubitably, the truth of the matter under consideration. -Leo Tolstoy
jayj200
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 08:16:10 PM »

It is not the Varroa killing them as much as chemicals.
killed off my two gentel hives and 7 others in the neighborhood last year
then Africans to
came
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