- Dec 27, 2008
- Reaction score
- Hive Type
- Number of Hives
- about 70 and rising
In the current outbreak in Scotland it is the native black stock that
seems most affected.
I am right in the midst of this event and have voluntarily destroyed a
significant number of colonies, and without any doubt whatsoever the
dark native bees were *much* more likely to be symptomatic.
Mongrel stock and carnica stock were almost invariably clear, even in
apiaries with a high concentration of symptomatic colonies. Cannot
comment on Italian as they are of not used in Scotland. ( Lots of bees,
big syrup bill and no honey in our environment if you have Italians.)
In other outfits involved in the outbreak it is worst in some who have
never had a non local bee introduced for 20 yrs or more.
Back to the start of another thread, are the black bees resistant to
varroa more than other types? Not in any significant way. They go down
with it in much the same way as all the other stock we have had or seen.
However they are tough and can cope with our environment more
consistently than other types. In isolation in this part of the country
they tend to revert to a relatively low vigour bee and small winter
clusters are actually a normal with them and are not a negative sign.
These bees often happily overwinter on 20 to 25lb of stores, can take
long confinements, and fly in relatively low temps. Many strains are
quite aggressive ( yes, even pure bred ) and they tend to be swarmy in
hot weather, which makes them a less than ideal bee for many areas.
Black bees were collected in Scotland some time ago at the onset of the
tracheal mite crisis in the USA and were trialled over there at the
time. ( No references I'm afraid, maybe others can come up with them ) I
understand they were a failure in the environment they went to and were
eventually disposed of.