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Perhaps I can help… I’m sure that your tests results would show commercial protocol of chemicals and genetic selection would give you positive results. The tests are designed to do that. Well done. Now if we are really going to look at the true enemy of the honey bee you’ll have to look at you funders… yep.
Now what do we mean? Well lets just say you broadened your scope to take into consideration why we need to toxify and genetically alter the commercial honey bee… we transport billions of honey bees into large scale chemically sustained monoculture croplands that are thousands of acres in size where they are expected to pollinate billions of blossoms taking both pollen and nectar back to the hive. Unlike all other pollinators who exist on a fast food diet, bouncing from bloom to bloom consuming along the way and bringing some back to the hive for the rest… honey bees grocery shop. They visit the blooms and bring back protein and carbohydrates to convert into bee bread and honey. They grocery shop and have meals prepared by bees caste as chefs to make specialized meals for each class of bee: guard, builder, nurse, forager, undertaker… Commercial beekeepers truck their colonies across the country/planet to follow the blooms to make money providing pollination services as Spring springs across the globe. Now beekeepers also harvest honey from those traveling hives and they are paid a high price for varietals like orange blossom, blueberry, raspberry, apple, almond etc… so rather than give that hard earned honey to the bees who made it, they pull it off and feed them corn syrup and beet sugar… because its cheap… but also chemically saturated. Now you want to do a real study.. analyse the food substitutes and run it against test hives left to consume their own honey… then test those industrial diet honeys with wild hives not near too much agribiz acreage. If ya feed honey bees tainted food… roundup ready corn syrup… it is not going to be as healthy as a bee left to eat its own clean honey. Thats the test you need to do. Heck try testing urban bees and honey compared to the commercial bees. Also realize our limited knowledge of genetics seems impressive… but we are in the infancy of development of CRISPR and genetic splicing/sequencing understandings… as we make sisters of sisters cloning our favorite features and traits, we are winnowing genetics of resilience, seasonal activities and cold weather hardiness in favor of abundant fertility, chemical resistance, and forage efficiency. That practice has never been studied against a treatment-free hive. I this helpful?
I really liked what you had to say.
Excellent points. It seems to me the mono-cropping and transporting of bees will have to stop especialy since, based on history, we ARE going to see the Tropilaelaps mite here, later or sooner. It will happen. When it does, transporting bees should be illegal and mono-cropping will be beyond foolish.
please research Paul stamets and protecting our bees using certain mushrooms such as Rishi chaga and I believe agarikon and there are a few others that are very bought beneficial to completely just about inoculate and completely help Arby’s conquer the varroa Mite and the other short Wing disease
A huge problem has occurred with the lack of proper mating of the queens due to low sperm count or damaged sperm from the drones.
The result can be seen in the lack of time the queens are able to produce worker brood before they become drone layers.
The varroa mites prefer to use drone cells for laying and they lay more young mites in each of those cells which results to more predation damage to the individual drone pupa.
Superficially the hatching drones may appear healthy and well formed, but they may not up to the task.
Drones have a propensity for drifting between colonies and are very probably largely responsible for the rapid spread of the mites in an apiary.
I have witnessed a drone feeding on a dandelion flower, so how far can those powerful drones fly from their mother hive given that they can to some extent feed themselves?
I don’t like the idea of line breeding using artificial insemination of virgin queens , but it seems to be a possible means of producing better fertile queens from mite free colonies.
Amen to that. The biggest problem on this planet are the entitled, first world consumers and the industries that exist to feed them.
do you think the color yellow on the bees attracts the Asian mites maybe different cent and look change color of bee does it go after black bumble bees ?it was carred from a yellow asian bird probably carryed over hear or yellow fruit something yellow im guessing
Would oxalate containing crops, being planted nearby to where bees live – such as rhubarb, peanuts and other varieties of plants which harbor high levels of oxalic acid naturally – if allowed to “flower” instead of being grown solely for the crop harvest value … would there be a resistance that could occur over time that could help the bees rid the mites = in conjunction with the formic acid angle as shown in Belgium by the commentator? We often do little or no companion planting, with agriculture’s focus on monocultures. I suspect of course if pests were encouraged to occur and be taken care of by companion planting’s mindset to attract various species of insects which have their predators feeding on the companion plants that are nearby – this way of going “backward in time” in planting crops and flowering plants — indeed might make a difference …
It seems that some destructive things…
It seems that many destructive things have come from asian countries, the japanese beetle, the asian carp, the asian mite, metal eating sheet rock….etc
&/Or MORE all-consuming ambition, a flaw of humanity we might want to breed out of ourselves!
This might be of interest to this discussion https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07290-w
Is there a project that is treating the mite? Mosquitoes are are breeding with asexual mosquitoes maybe something like that can be done with the mites.
just coat the bees with chili powder and give those varroa a seasoning lol
I began keeping bees a decade ago with the intent, by being completely organic, even if it entailed losses, to try to strengthen the stocks. The italian bees we now use have been bred over time to encourage less aggressive behaviors, for our convenience. What I read about the varoa issue is that there is a correlation between the aggressiveness of a type & its ability to fight these parasites. It is my understanding that the African bees, considered a “scourge” because of their aggressiveness, have almost no issue with this problem. (check out “The Monk & the Honeybee-old probably not even on dvd). The Russians mentioned in this article are also a more aggressive strain…not as easy or convenient to deal with. Another issue is, again, for our convenience…the square box of frames we require bees to live in is not their natural structure…in winter, left alone, bees form a big ball in their solid hive structures & rotate from inner to outer for warmth…small bodies that have to crawl away from the cluster, which isn’t even really a cluster when it is separated by frames stun quickly in cold. I had no losses with my Russians when I removed 4 frames in the center of the box & allowed them to make their own natural comb structure. But then, that forces the beekeeper to leave the hive intact, with its honey as intended, for the bees, which, in commercial beekeeping, are usually living on sparse stores, sugar candy, or even corn syrup as their honey has been harvested & sold. Bees are also extremely sophisticated in their orientations, not well understood. When 100’s of hives are trucked around the country for short periods of time, the stress weakens all (who survive) & it has to affect the genetics in time. The truth is, we have done to the honeybee what we have done to our domesticated meat animals. THAT is the real issue here…all the rest is like the hot air being added to the already warming planet by the endless “climate summits” where the can is kicked a bit further down the road & nothing of import is really done…& like the global environmental situation, the honeybee situation is pretty close to the end of that road…& we are still trying to fix what we have created without making the real changes required, because they would impact the “bottom line” & convenience they were created for in the beginning.
What about scientist mutate a bees to where they have no stinger so that people will stop being scared of them, and we all start harvesting and mainlining our own harvest…. If bees are as to regulars flies, a pest but not feared or scary nor causes any harm, Make it mandatory for certain number of people to harvest an maintain a colony all over us, BAM!! We be like Winnie the poo honey plenty for me an you an duh Winnie pooh too
Creo que hay que desarrollar armas biológicas contra estos ácaros que atacan a las abejas. Los virus serían un buen vector a través de los mosquitos. Naturalmente deberían ser inocuos en humanos. Hay que desarrollar la Virología para poder hacerlo.
Thank you for an unusually accurate and up-to-date article about honeybees and the varroa problem.
I’m completely digread whith yours explication. This is relations bitwing waroa might and immunity of bee’s. But second very important matter is nosema ceranae. Destroying malphigiel tubules, bee’is not able to eliminate waste product of hemolymha. Creating levels going to up. Living days dropped of 12 to 14 days. According my opinion, this is CCD. It’s the same as humans. If the kidney function is out, after 5 days the humans will day. Entomologist (doctor s) most to say Howe to eliminate this fungal. This 2 prevent must be applicate in same time.
I believe Bees can naturally overcome nosema ceranae, and it is present in many hives observable by brown streaks on the outside of the hive. This is a sort of bee “diahrrea” if I understand right. The problem with Varroa is that they thrive in the hive environment and reach peak around the time the hive begins to shrink towards winter. This is why they are so problematic.
Where I am from, Luxembourg, treatment chemicals we use are; Formic acid (80%) and Oxalic acid (80%). This treatment seems to work well and I am wondering if perhaps it is more difficult for the mites to develop a resistance to the “natural” acids?
Excuse my lack of understanding, but I wonder if the focus shouldn’t remain on the Varroa mite itself. If it can’t be consistently controlled with miticides, could it be genetically impaired to propagate a pheromonal deficiency? Would that result in leaving the honeybee population alone?
I think you have the right idea, but what do I know I’ve only been keeping bees for 40+ years, I also believe if we don’t change the way I grow culture is done in this country we’re going to continue to stress out and we can Arby’s to the point of no return.
but the smart ones will get the job done. After that, tropilaelops.
The problem isn’t just Varroa (both of them, or as we see all threeof them). It is multi vectoral…lack of forage as first, monoculture crops everywhere. Even simple backyard grasses can’t have some clover or dandelions. Then all kind of herbicides and pesticides that aren’t used per their label…. If we add climate change and current “commercial” approach to beekeeping… Yes, disaster and die off.
Pesticide use on our lawns and in our gardens pose a major threat to hobbyist beekeepers in our suburbs. The bees pick up the chemicals on the plants and bring them back to the hive. It is stored in the wax where it can impact many generations of honey bees.
Here in Brazoria County Texas not only is it pesticides used on lawns and in gardens not to mention crops, but one of our biggest concerns is the overuse of pesticides by the County Mosquito spraying, they have a bunch of to meet of roughly 3.7 million dollars, it’s on a use-it-or-lose-it basis
The problem is “commercial beekeeping”. Bees are stressed from our desires. Left alone and not moved from point to point they would be better off. When money is on the table, leave it to man’s greed to eff things up.
Bill, I tried to see if the data supported this, but as far as I could find the commercial beekeepers had lower losses than average: https://bip2.beeinformed.org/survey/
Could you help me better understand your position?