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sahtlinurk 

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i attended a beekeeping meeting at Wantage and there was a man talking about his bees. And he is going down to the route of having only these hygienic bees who groom themselves more often and clean the cells from varrao and varrao affected bees. The way he reached to his conclusion was to inspect every dropped mite on his varrao floor for damage. The colony with hygienic gene had broken and bitten mites. He also found the antennas of the young affected bees which were broken off while pulled out from the cell and very young mites which had dropped form removed youngsters. The guy never uses any chemistry on his bees and he has been successful so far. And his advice was actually to breed only from these colonies which have these signs.

So. I changed today one of my floors to open mesh one. and as inspecting the debris on the old floor i found loads of these antennas. does it mean that i got ( i mean my bees) this hygienic gene?I found no varrao form the floor. some eggs, cappings an these antennas. nothing else. I don't have magnifying class to check for young mites, can't see them with bear eye. thoughts?

Lauri


I mean Hygienic Bees not hygientic bees. Sorry
 
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Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Interestingly, I 'rescued' a colony from an old and knackered National on a farm late last year - some on here may or may not remember. The colony had been in residence for about 4 to 5 years and wasn't believed to have been a swarm that had moved in much later. Sadly, the old beek that owned the hive had become very infirm and had simply abandoned it. There were even a couple of supers on there that, along with the brood box, were completely wedged with 'curly comb', where they placed it in every orifice!

When I tried to count any mite drop after re-housing and moving the colony to a new, isolated location nearer to my place - in order to determine whether or not they'd need any treatment ahead of the fast-approaching winter - I couldn't find one mite on the board over a period of 10-12 days.....and this was a BIG colony.

I'm wondering if this particular colony is able to resist the destructive effects of varroa somehow and I will be monitoring accordingly this coming season. You never know, they might even be worth making increase from at some point if this is the case.
 

Poly Hive 

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Interesting point about hygienic behaviour.

The work done by Steve Taber was aimed at AFB not Varroa as that was not a known issue at the time his work was being done.

I suppose the holy grail is a strain of apis melifera that attacks varroa. One can but hope.

PH
 

Norm 

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Here is a sign of hygienic behaviour. I found this drone pupa cast out on the landing board. It has a mite attached and a puncture to it's thorax.



It is my belief that most of the very varroa susceptable bees have long since gone and if beekeepers would just stop poisoning their bees with strong acids and the like, they could give them a chance to develop stronger resistance.

I'll get my coat.............:leaving:
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Fascinating it might just be the start of mother nature balancing the books something she can do and has done quiet well in the past
 

mbc 

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Interestingly, I 'rescued' a colony from an old and knackered National on a farm late last year - some on here may or may not remember. The colony had been in residence for about 4 to 5 years and wasn't believed to have been a swarm that had moved in much later. Sadly, the old beek that owned the hive had become very infirm and had simply abandoned it. There were even a couple of supers on there that, along with the brood box, were completely wedged with 'curly comb', where they placed it in every orifice!

When I tried to count any mite drop after re-housing and moving the colony to a new, isolated location nearer to my place - in order to determine whether or not they'd need any treatment ahead of the fast-approaching winter - I couldn't find one mite on the board over a period of 10-12 days.....and this was a BIG colony.

I'm wondering if this particular colony is able to resist the destructive effects of varroa somehow and I will be monitoring accordingly this coming season. You never know, they might even be worth making increase from at some point if this is the case.
All that curly comb suggests wax moths before a new swarm moved in. Even old combs tend to stay straight if inhabited by bees
 

Haughton Honey 

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All that curly comb suggests wax moths before a new swarm moved in. Even old combs tend to stay straight if inhabited by bees
Apologies. I meant to say that the 'curly/wavy comb' was only in the voids, not on the original brood/super frames.

I might add that there was no sign of wax moths, although can't of course discount the fact that it might have been present in the past!
 

MrB 

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if beekeepers would just stop poisoning their bees with strong acids and the like, they could give them a chance to develop stronger resistance.
As of yet, i have no practical experience, but that sounds like very good advice!
 

mbc 

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monitering your mite situation and only treating when necessary is asurer way of keeping some bees alive
 

oliver90owner 

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mbc,

I think I like your attitude to varroa! I agree.

The bee farmers don't have the time to monitor all stocks and need to maximise the income at almost any cost, as long as it is cost effective. Us hobbyists are not quite so dependent on that last drop of honey that can be squeezed out of the bees. So blanket medications are not used quite as much by hobbyists as bee farmers, I think. The breakthrough will likely as not be a hobbyist as there are a lot of out there looking at this problem on all their hives.

Regards, RAB
 

mbc 

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I think beefarmers in the uk are doing it for the love of bees rather than profit as our climate makes beefarming marginal and anyone with the wit to rmanage a successfull beefarm here would be certain to make a fortune at any truly profitable venture.
Beefarmers and hobbyists alike have the same responsibility in maintaining our bees
All the best
mbc
 

oliver90owner 

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mbc,

Yes, they maintain numbers. But farming practices (just look back at Finman's posts for eg), but re-queen on a regular basis. Some might be queen rearing, but a lot simply buy in, from wherever, for the maximum yield. I am not saying that is wrong, because like you say they have to make a living; it is their income.

Changing queens is not my priority at any particular time. Absolute maximum yield is not my number one aim in life. Applying oxalic acid to every colony, all at the same time is not my way of doing things. If I were to break even in the year, or over a couple or three, I am extremely happy. I like keeping bees; I like honey; I find the bees fascinating. I doubt there is any profit ever. I do not worry about such things; it is a hobby.

Regards, RAB
 

MrB 

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Changing queens is not my priority at any particular time. Absolute maximum yield is not my number one aim in life. Applying oxalic acid to every colony, all at the same time is not my way of doing things. If I were to break even in the year, or over a couple or three, I am extremely happy. I like keeping bees; I like honey; I find the bees fascinating. I doubt there is any profit ever. I do not worry about such things; it is a hobby.

Regards, RAB
Sounds a great attitude for keeping bee's
 
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Coming back to the original post people have been trying to breed bees which can cope with varroa for some time now and to date there has been no great breakthrough. The individuals seem to be able to get it to work for them but these bees do not seem to travel very well, in the sense other beekeepers cannot reproduce the results. The explanation may be it is not the bees which are being selected but the varroa so when the bees are exposed to varroa from another area, everything goes back to normal.

There is also a bit of wishful thinking in interpreting the results of hive debris. No bee did the damage to Norm's pupa, the mandibles are not big enough. That dent is the natural result of drying out. I believe it also happens to varroa.

I am not knocking people like Ron Hoskins, who I have heard speak, but the magic bullet has not been found yet.
 

m100 

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The colony with hygienic gene had broken and bitten mites.
Bitten mites could also mean a creature other than a bee is having a munch on the varroa after it has dropped onto the floor.
 

mbc 

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excellent post rooftops,
I think you could be right about peaple managing to breed bees not quite as susseptible and varroa not quite as deadly. A sucsession of these little breathrough's might however lead to localized great breakthrough's where beekeeping might get back to the good old days of treatment free success
All the best
mbc
 

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