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Author Topic: What we really know about varroa tolerant bees  (Read 8462 times)
Finsky
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« on: February 23, 2007, 04:07:53 AM »

Google search http://www.google.fi/search?hl=fi&q=varroa+tolerant+bees&meta=

http://www.funpecrp.com.br/gmr/year2002/vol2-1/gmr0040_full_text.htm

Varroa-tolerant Italian honey bees introduced from Brazil , 2002

in Brazil an isolated population of Italian honey bees has been kept on an island since 1984 without treatment against this mite. The infestation rates in these colonies have decreased over the years. We looked for possible varroa-tolerance factors in six Italian honey bee colonies prepared with queens from this Brazilian island population, compared to six Carniolan colonies, both tested at the same site in Germany..............
In spite of the apparent adaptation of this population of Italian bees in Brazil, we found no indication of superiority of these bees when we examined the proportions of damaged mites and the varroa-infestation rates, compared to Carniloan bees kept in the same apiary in Germany.

Varroa-Tolerant Honey Bees Are a Reality

Finsky: In the end half of 1990-decade it has wroten that it is easy to select varroa tolerant beestock. You just pick them. Now 10 years have gone and we are not so positive with that question.

http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rf/abj/varroa.html
"In the November 1998 issue of The American Bee Journal (pp. 828-832) we reported the results for the first two years of our effort to develop a Varroa-tolerant population of honey bees (Erickson et. al., 1998). "

We have now maintained this Varroa-tolerant honey bee population since November, 1994 via selective breeding, queen mating in isolation, and conventional beekeeping practices, without the use of any other mite control strategies. All colonies were last examined and sampled on July, 27, 1999. Three colonies were queenless, and three others had evidence of a break in brood rearing and new supersedure queens. Two colonies, although vigorous, had visible evidence of Varroa infestation. All remaining colonies appeared Varroa free.     

---- where are they now 10 years later?

**************************

Wednesday 21 August 2002, Ne Zealand

Latest results from varroa research show building a stock of varroa-tolerant bees is possible
http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/press/210802bee.htm

***********************

Canada 2004

Manitoba Project for Varroa Tolerant Bees
 
The Manitoba Queen Breeders’ Association is entering its fourth year of work with an ultimate goal of finding varroa tolerant honeybees. Funding has been secured for our fourth summer of research.

http://honeycouncil.ca/users/Folder.asp?FolderID=4753&NewsID=475

*******************************

Honey bees of the Arnot Forest: a population of feral colonies persisting with Varroa destructor in the northeastern United States, 2006
http://www.edpsciences.org/articles/apido/pdf/2007/01/m6063.pdf

Abstract - Feral colonies of European honey bees living in the Arnot Forest, a 1651-ha research preserve in New York State, were studied over a three-year period, 2002 to 2005. This population of colonies was previously censused in 1978. A census in 2002 revealed as many colonies as before, even though Varroa destructor was introduced to North America in the intervening years. Most colonies located in fall 2002 were still alive in fall 2005. The Arnot Forest colonies proved to be infested with V. destructor, but their mite populations did not surge to high levels in late summer. To see if Arnot Forest bees can suppress the reproduction rate of mites, colonies of Arnot Forest bees and New World Carniolan bees were inoculated with mites from an apiary and the growth patterns of their mite populations were compared. No difference was found between the two colony types. Evidently, the stable bee-mite relationship in the Arnot Forest reflects adaptations for parasite (mite) avirulence, not host (bee) resistance.

********************

http://www.squidoo.com/bee_breeders_initiative/
Posted January 09, 2007, California

There continues to be promising research in Varroa tolerance and resistance through finding and selecting "survivor" stocks, and also by looking at the biology of both the mite and the bee to understand interactions that reduce the virulence of Varroa in stocks.  An example of the former is the introduction of Russian (Primorski) stock into the U.S., and the latter is the work on Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH), previously called suppressed mite reproduction (SMR). Some of these efforts are cataloged at the queen production, breeding and producer lens.







 
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 09:26:14 AM »

Finsky, you put a lot of work into some of your posts.  That must be recognized and appreciated.  I want you to know that I do for sure.  I am going to read the links at a later time this morning.  Just to let you know.  Best of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007, 11:42:58 AM »

.
But answer is here

BeeSMaRt QUEENS
Developed by Dr. John Harbo and others at the USDA-ARS Baton Rouge Honey Bee Genetics and Physiology
Laboratory, this queen escapes many of the depredations of varroa mites by suppressing mite reproduction (SMR).
As these queens suppress the reproduction of varroa mites, and consequently reduce the varroa mite populations,
they protect their colonies from varroa mite damage. These queens have been produced by open mating for more
than 3 years. The level of varroa resistance in open-mated Bee SMaRt* queens is intermediate between pure
SMaRt and nonSMaRt (just plain dumb) queens
, but the honey production, colony strength, brood viability and
tracheal mite resistance of Bee SMaRt* queens is superior to inbred or purebred SMaRt queens.
* trademark

ITALIAN QUEENS
Survivor Italians continue to be our most popular strain. This strain has been maintained by introducing queens
from survivor colonies where mite damage has been extensive. The assumption is that these have characteristics to
enable them to withstand damage caused by mites.

http://www.draperbee.com/info/2007_Bee_Prices.pdf

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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007, 11:54:36 AM »

http://leg2.state.va.us/DLS/H&SDocs.NSF/682def7a6a969fbf85256ec100529ebd/ea9c92e12f2ff5938525714f004be9a4?OpenDocument

Document Summary - Report Published -

Senate Document No. 20
PUBLICATION YEAR 2006
View PDF Version*

Document Title
Study of the Plight of Virginia's Beekeepers

 Author
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

 
Enabling Authority
SJR 38 (2006)

 
Executive Summary
Senate Joint Resolution Number 38 of the 2006 General Assembly requested the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to study the plight of Virginia’s beekeepers and outline possible remedies to the problems identified by the study. The resolution also requested the Department to examine the regulation of honey production by small beekeeping operations.

The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services formed a Work Group to conduct the study. The work group consisted of beekeepers, farmers, and nursery and retail representatives, as well as specialists from the University of Mary Washington, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The work group administered a comprehensive survey to beekeepers and another to farmers in the Commonwealth, and conducted a listening session. During the listening session, experts made presentations on the issues identified by the surveys. A public comment period followed the listening session to provide individuals and groups an opportunity to share their concerns regarding beekeeping, pollination, and honey production. (The work group was assisted by staff in VDACS.)

Key Findings

After reviewing the surveys and listening session presentations the Beekeeper Study Work Group found that:

1. There is complete agreement that honey bees are crucial to the success of agriculture and the health of the environment. Pollination by honey bees increases crop production and quality, thus enhancing producer revenue.

2. The number of honey bee hives maintained by beekeepers in Virginia has decreased by more than 50% since the mid-1980’s.

The feral, or wild, honey bee nests nearly disappeared in 1996 and have only recently begun to reappear in some limited areas.
................... This parasitic mite transmits diseases, reduces honey bee productivity, and is the major contributing factor to the annual 31% mortality rate of honey bee hives in Virginia, up from less than 8% before the introduction of honey bee mites into the state.



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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 03:49:50 AM »


.
Quick collapses of hives in New Zealand

In NZ beehives have collapsed in few weeks for varroa. The reason is that there much wild honeybees colonies in nature, Those have weakened and strong nursed hives have robbeb them. Robbers  get huge miteload with them and hive will suddenly collapse.

There was a plan that Zealander draw all hives from one island and then they kill all wild colonies from nature. Now it has revieled too expencive job.

So... even if you have healty hive it may get too much mites from another source. 
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imabkpr
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 05:27:41 AM »

  Sounds like someone is trying to reinvent the wheel.   Charlie
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BEE C
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2007, 05:58:30 AM »

Those are really great articles Finsky! Thanks, and keep them coming!
 
I am totally surprised to find my hives both made it through the first year so well.  I have a neighbour with hives dying from no treatment for mites and have been worried about our overlap in forage area (five miles approx between us).  Thanks to proper use of formic acid, oxalic acid, screened bottom boards, and being able to requeen one hive with a swarm combination, even though my mite levels got quite high somehow i or the bees knocked them down at just the right times.
 
My mentor breeds his own bees and I took a course in queen rearing from him.  The importance of selecting stock was something I didn't quite comprehend beyond the practical science/mechanics of it this year.  The more I comprehend the threats to bees survival, the more the importance of queen breeding grows in my mind.  Selecting my own stock is something I want to become skillful at doing.  My mentor stresses the importance of raising your own locally adapted stock, and breeds his own bees. 

 These articles really drive home the importance of breeding, but also of local stock selection, there are so many things we can do for our bees to help them, and good stock selection should be integral to any healthy apiary, with the knowledge its practically one of the cheapest ways to improve bees health and survival.  Beyond all the 'tricks' or quasi science out there on how to keep bees, queen breeding and stock selection are skills i want to try to grasp/focus on this year.  Thanks for taking the time to pass on good information for beginners its helped! Smiley
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2007, 06:11:40 AM »

  My mentor stresses the importance of raising your own locally adapted stock, and breeds his own bees. 


The most important in local bees is that they are sensitive local seasons. They start at right time brooding and stop it in time  before autumn. Brooding brake is very essential in you climate. This is very meaningfull to the health of wintering bees. If they have feeded brood, thay are not good winterers.

They raise own stock is a trap for hobbiest. When you select mother queen from 10 hives it is very different when professional choose it from 500 hives.


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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 06:39:12 AM »

.

Genes from Africa to Sweden

16 years ago .........Erik Örterlund Sweden 1991: The beekeeping world is shouting for a Varroa-resistant bee.  And the search is going on.  There are good reports in this respect.  We do know that Apis cerana can handle the mite.  We also know that there are Apis mellifera strains that can live together with Varroa jacobsoni

http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/homage/artcl/EOABJ91en.html

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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2007, 12:51:16 AM »

Steve, I didn't realize that your "neighbour" with the bees lived so far away.  I bet that your bees don't travel even half way to her house and hers probably don't have the strength to travel half way to yours.  But there is still wild bees, gotta always keep that in mind.  If there is enough nourishment, bees really like to forage within 300 feet or so of their homes.  So, plant nourishment like there was no tomorrow.  I will be giving you more seed of EXCELLENT bee forage than you could possibly find places to plant. LOL.

I see that the phacelia, bachelor's buttons, and California poppy are all starting to germinate in a big way.  These are the seeds that fell from the plants last year.  I haven't seen the borage yet, but that will be coming when it is slightly warmer.  Between mother nature, dogs, people, and many other factors, these seeds are spread everywhere.  In a few weeks times I will be sowing more seed of these same seedlings that are presently coming to life.  I will make continuous sowings of seed every few weeks over the next couple of months.  This ensures that there is a continuous growth of forage, providing nectar and pollen, all the way to the frost kill.

That is one of the nice things about annuals.  Many self-seed and once you have these intial plants, they are yours forever.  Spring does get rather busy.

I sent my seed order off to Stokes today.  There are many plants, food and flower, that I will be starting in my greenhouse to get a good head start on the season.  It is heated and I have a lighting system that allows for the more delicate plants that require about 12-15 hours of strong light to get off to a great start.

I am dabbling in growing a few unusual plants (some biennial, some annual) this year.  Just for the fun of it.  Lion's ear is one and I can't wait to see how it grows and performs.  Best of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 04:22:09 AM »

Cindi,
Lions ear? I planted some lambs ear.   grin Borage is quite nice I've heard.... Wink Wink Wink  I know this spring is going to be a busy one!  Can't wait to swap the seeds, good to know there is a bit of a buffer...i'm still going to experiment a little with drone brood.  I've read a bit on it now, and am feeling a bit more secure experimenting with different techniques like that...essential oils also interest me, but more reading to do.  I have a whack of links I downloaded from finsky's and michael Bush's posts so much to learn...going to be a good year.
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2007, 09:45:20 AM »

Leonotis nepetifolia, lion's ear, devil's pincushion.

Google it.  You will see it is a very interesting plant.  The lamb's ear is pretty too, I love the colour of the foliage.

Yup, spring will be beautiful.

Borage, up close and personal



Phacelia, with a little borage flower poking its flower up behinid.



A view of one of the gardens for the bees from my sister's yard.



Enjoy the pics.  Awesome best of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2007, 10:00:05 AM »

Cindi,

If you think I am going to show my wife those pics you are nuts. Like I need another project to do.

I can hear it now. I want another raised bed like hers.

*sigh*

Someone take Cindi's camera away from her.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2007, 10:11:18 AM »

Brendhan, nope, show her the pictures and "just do it."  Make her more gardens, she will love you to pieces.  If you are like my husband, you love nothing more than to do things that please your wife, and if it is gardens, go for it.  Brownie points are great.  Best of best days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 04:56:28 AM »

Cindi,
Borage is awesome.  Nice pics.  I have been looking for borage seeds...could I get some from you when we swap out seeds?
Nice garden pics.  Stef planted out lambs ears because we do a lot of negotiation about what plants...i refused to put it in, so she did.  Then I found an article about its nectar and pollen value to bees, and i have to quietly spread it around now.... grin I still get teased about that. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2007, 08:23:40 PM »

Steve, now that is cool about lamb's ear.  I didn't realize that it was a good nectar/pollen plant.  Now are'nt you lucky Stef told you to plant it?  Great day of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2007, 09:55:57 PM »

What do we know about Varroa tolerant bees?  None of mine had been treated for anything at all from 1975 until 1999.  (I was frightened into using some terramycin in 1974)  Some of mine haven't been treated for anything at all since 2001. Most of mine haven't been treated at all since 2002, and none of them have been treated since 2003.  None of Dee Lusby's have been treated for anything since 1983 when they started regressing to deal with tracheal mites. 

But then before I went to natural cell size, they all died most every year from Varroa from 1998 until 2001.  And in 2001 I DID treat them with Apistan, which had no effect on the Varroa.

And I know the ferals I have were surviving without treatments before I got them and have continued after I got them.

That's about all I know.
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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
Finsky
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2007, 11:42:46 PM »

What do we know about Varroa tolerant bees?  None of mine had been treated for anything at all from 1975 until 1999.  (I was frightened into using some terramycin in 1974)  Some of mine haven't been treated for anything at all since 2001. Most of mine haven't been treated at all since 2002, and none of them have been treated since 2003.  None of Dee Lusby's have been treated for anything since 1983 when they started regressing to deal with tracheal mites. 


That is mystery. Every beekeeper in USA know that they have varroa tolerant bees and same time they report that 30% of states beehives die for varroa.

Huge amount of money is used to breed mite tolerant bees. 

Natural beekeepers spread they message about systems and new beepers are losing their hives when they believe that bees can stand mites.

.

We have no mite problem in Finland now. We have just nor too much hives and honey.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2007, 01:27:33 PM »

Finsky,

You have presented a great deal of information and have obviously read most of the articles you reference.
You also seem to have a good handle on what this information means.

So why not tell us how it is that we come about breeding our bees to get mite resistance?

Naturally, 10% of the bee population is mite resistant (studies numbers).

How do we determine if the stocks we have are mite resistant?

And once we do establish which are, how do we use them productively?

MB has cited that he has untreated colonies since 1974 to about 25 years later.
If he captured 10 swarms a year during that time he would yield about 250 colonies.
Of these, 10% would be mite resistant and live, the other 225 colonies would die.
That would result in him having about 25 hives today (that's about right MB right?)

So we could just capture swarms, and hope they make it, and be happy when they do.
But I think Finsky knows there are more direct methods to achieving this, and I'd like him to elaborate.

-Jeff
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Finsky
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2007, 01:36:36 PM »

But I think Finsky knows there are more direct methods to achieving this, and I'd like him to elaborate.

So why not tell us how it is that we come about breeding our bees to get mite resistance?


-Jeff

Jeff, you try to be really smart  grin   But is does not help me or you.

>>> MB has cited that he has untreated colonies since 1974 to about 25 years later. <<

MB means, I suppose, AFB.  He cannot mean varroa because varroa has not been in USA so long. 

Mite resistant systems MB started 2000, am I right?

MB is mixing all diseases in small cell, but you have in every state beekeeping frofessors. Why they do not konow resolution even if they have whole time to resolve, it.  I have 20 hives and I will not sacrifice not a bit to varroa reserach. I use best practice what others tell me.

1987 my best friend has 60 hives. He had mites and I said to him:"Hi, I give you Perizin mite drug for free. Take it and handle your hives."

He said that he want not bother himself. May be next year. - Yes, he lost 30 hives.

 It is same in this forum. I try to tell how to handle with mites, and you say that I am responsible to world solve varroa problem. You are kidding.
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