I was at our local bee club meeting on Monday night and we had a guest speaker who is a renouned queen breeder in our area. He has quite a large operation and spoke to the topic of queen rearing. To make a long story short, a very interesting evening and he made a few comments about control of the varroa mite.
One of his methods I will cite, I find it very radical and would want to check out the mite drop with my two colonies before I proceeded with what he told us.
He told us RIGHT NOW, before there is an enormous amount of brood present, to take out all brood in the hive. Freeze it to kill it for two days and return it to the hive for the bees to clean up. He maintains that if this is done now, there should be low varroa infestation. I undestand that this may interrrupt the varroa cycle to have cleaner hives. I don't know. Just someone's radical method to help with the interruption of the varroa cycle. This was his 2 cents and it seemed quite sound in practice.
By the way, I was speaking to another beekeeper that keeps bees on Vancouver Island, which is a short distance off our coastline. He said that Vancouver Island has been virtually mite free until a short time ago when a beekeeper living over there got angry off for one reason or the other and brought a hive from the Lower Mainland to their Island. This has the varroa now living on their once clean island. They do not have big numbers, but nevertheless it has now infected Vancouver Island. This man was discovered when an inspector inspected his yard and found that he had 11 colonies, 1 more than the 10 that he had registered and he was busted!!!!!!
Vancouver Island has a 100% quarantine on bees imported from other parts of our province, that has been in place for many years, to make the story short. Importation can occur from Hawaii or New Zealand, for example. But not from B.C.
I know this is fact about Vancouver Island now allowing B.C. bees to be imported to their island to be true because it is one of the topics that was discussed by our instructor in the beekeeping courses level 1 and 2 that I took in April of 2005. This ban is still in place. We talked about it indepth yesterday. Vancouver Island will not even allow the importation of B.C. queens to their island. I found that entire topic interesting.
Best of the best days. Cindi