- Oct 16, 2012
- Reaction score
- Fareham, Hampshire UK
- Hive Type
- Number of Hives
More drone brood also means Varroa likely to build up faster.
Weeellll ... I love drones as much as anyone, but surely this is fairly well accepted? Isn't it? All the research documents and websites I have seen quote something like 1.5 varroa mites emerging from a worker cell vs 2.5 from a drone cell. I know drones are capped for longer (hence the difference!) but even allowing for this, more drone brood must mean varroa can multiply faster, just in simple mathematical terms. There is a genetic reason why they prefer drone brood by a factor of 10:1 or something .....Where is your evidence for that ?
This is what the NBU saysI cannot see any direct relationship between increased numbers of drones in a colony and increased levels of varroa ?
If an average of 2.5 females come out of a drone cell, vs 1.5 out of a worker cell, wouldn't that by definition increase the number of breeding varroa in the colony?Surely - and I await to be corrected - the only thing that would increase the varroa levels is the number of breeding varroa in the colony
A perfectly good question. But you use foundationless frames I think, so have a plentiful supply of drone comb already I assume, which is perhaps why your varroa already have plenty of drone cells to choose from and don't need any more. For the majority of beekeepers who just use worker foundation, adding more drone comb is likely to have a more noticeable effect?I know, when I have forked out drone brood (not to kill drone brood but to investigate the level of varroa in a colony and validate the levels provided by my sugar rolls) that only a relatively small percentage of the drone brood has varroa in there. So, forgive me, explain why - if there are already spare drone cells that would permit varroa to enter and breed why increasing the number of drones in a colony would exponentially increase the levels of varroa ?
If varroa don't breed preferentially on drone brood, why is drone brood preferentially used for sampling in this way?This is what the NBU says
Fork out a sample of drone pupae as in method 2. If 1 in 50 pupae have mites on them then the infestation is light and will probably need no control, if 1 in 20 pupae have mites on them, then it is medium, if 1 in 10, then it is heavy. If 15% of drone brood is infested then it indicates that the colony may be at risk of collapse.
So...if you have a heavy infestation and the colony is in peril ,with I presume many workers affected, why isn't the drone brood infestation higher if varroa breed preferentially in drone?
I totally agree & hence why my black bees will all be going in a few months. I've ordered 3 more Buckfast and 1 Ligusticta queen for April 20th. In all honesty I'm not sure whether getting rid of my black bees will make much odds to increasing the chances of any new queens being mated with Buckfast drones. I mentioned previously an apiary c. 1.5km from me with around 25 hives and being on the edge of forest I assume there are also a fair few feral colonies scattered around. But I can try. Last year I posted a question about the disposition of open mated F2 / F3 etc... Buckfast and in general people were positive so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.Hi Richard, You would be better off separating the two, crossing is unreliable and while I disagree that they always turn spiteful sometimes you will lose the best traits from each one.
Breed either Buckfast or Blacks, increasing the drone population is a good idea to increase the mating chances of the virgins.
Yes, I agree but ...conversely, I still haven't seen any evidence that increasing drone production (drone comb if you wish) encourages varroa to breed more prolifically ...So who knows.
It is scientifically proven, as far as I can see, that varroa reproduce at a faster rate in drone comb. Perhaps what is lacking in the scientific literature is a study showing that adding more drone comb does in fact lead to heavier overall varroa loads in a hive. I can't see why it shouldn't, but that's not a scientific statement.
same as there's little evidence that drone culling has any significant impact on varroa levels, so..............................Yes, I agree but ...conversely, I still haven't seen any evidence that increasing drone production (drone comb if you wish) encourages varroa to breed more prolifically ...
Of course, but my thinking is that I would swap the B's drone brood for the more favourable A's, therefore adding to better genetics in the area. I know only having 4 hives currently isn't going to maybe have the desired effect but hoping it helps.There is normally a % of drone brood in a hive If you add more from another hive won't they adjust it down to what they want?
Open mating and drone flooding is difficult, your mating apiary is best supported by several others nearby to keep up your chosen genetics. Even then your efforts are easily thwarted if there are other less desirable drones in the DCA.
OK taking out the 'B' drone and replace with 'A' drone - its worth a try I suppose especially if there are not any other known apiaries nearby and you are confident with your new virgin(s), you have to start somewhere.Of course, but my thinking is that I would swap the B's drone brood for the more favourable A's, therefore adding to better genetics in the area. I know only having 4 hives currently isn't going to maybe have the desired effect but hoping it helps.
You may find this video interesting.Of course, but my thinking is that I would swap the B's drone brood for the more favourable A's, therefore adding to better genetics in the area. I know only having 4 hives currently isn't going to maybe have the desired effect but hoping it helps.
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