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Pseudoscorpion

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A youtube clip involving pseudoscorpions and varroa, shows a mite getting eaten...it's a German clip, so maybe someone here can

ascertain if there's anything new, provide a brief summary ?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, yesbut said:

it's a German clip, so maybe someone here can ascertain if there's anything new?

 

Can't help with the German, but can confirm that as far as the pics go anyway, it isn't a new thing, pseudoscorpions eating varroa in a petri dish has been filmed before, going back several years.

From time to time i find pseudoscorpions in alcohol washes, just little ones that are not much bigger than varroa. Interesting thing being they come off bee samples, they must have been on a bee. But for all that, i still have to treat for mites, the pseudoscorpions don't get it done.

 

Yesbut didn't you and a few others trial commercially bought pseudoscorpions a few years back? How did that end up?

Edited by Alastair

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16 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Yesbut didn't you and a few others trial commercially bought pseudoscorpions a few years back? How did that end up?

No, it was Hyper-Mite (Stratiolaelaps scimitus )  . Couldn't keep them in the hive. 

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I can help with the German :)

The report talks about experiments a science teacher is doing with his biology class in order to help his bee hives.

The interesting facts they are talking about are:

- pseudoscorpions (ps) have historically been in all bee hives but have been destroyed together with the varroa through the use of chemicals to kill varroa.

- ps love a temperature of 15-25 C

- ps don't survive formic acid treatment

- they test if ps would survive oxalic acid treatment

- ps of course only kill phoretic mites and therefore can only be used as a supplement to other treatment until a low number of mites has been achieved and

- the number of ps is high enough to counter the mites

- a 'normal' hive is not a good breeding ground for ps (that's where he shows the piece of timber with the grooves and the holes in the hive wall)

- for the experimental hive in the video they think they need about 150 ps to keep varroa low

 

They think that ps should be researched better by official organisations. Anything happening here in NZ in that regard?

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21 minutes ago, Ricky Schamall said:

They think that ps should be researched better by official organisations. Anything happening here in NZ in that regard?

Not that I've heard of.

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I don't know of anything being done at the moment with pseudo-scorpions but there has been a fair bit of past research in New Zealand.

I see the odd one when I am working hives. It seems to be one of those ideas that could have worked but didn't .

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1 hour ago, Ricky Schamall said:

They think that ps should be researched better by official organisations. Anything happening here in NZ in that regard?

 

[JM] Yes, Plant and Food in Lincoln have been successful in obtaining substantial funds to investigate a different way of housing chelifers/pseudo-scorpions in the hive, such that they can be maintained at an effective level in the hive.

From the Endeavour fund details:

 

We will develop self-sustaining predator-prey ecosystem within honey bee hives to provide long-term control of varroa mites and their associated viruses. Virus-vectoring varroa mites are a threat to apiculture world-wide. Reducing varroa infestation levels results in healthier bees by reducing the viral load of the honey bee colony. Current chemical controls lack long-term viability because varroa develop resistance to the treatments and may leave undesirable residues in honey. Our smart idea is to develop sustainable biocontrol of varroa by creating an artificial ecosystem inside hives that facilitates population suppression of varroa by the generalist predator, Chelifer cancroides. We’ve shown that when correctly positioned and protected, chelifer adults actively feed on varroa without harming bees, but disappear from the hive when food runs out. Our novel ecosystem approach includes booklice which feed on bee detritus and sustain the chelifers when varroa densities are low. We will model the biological requirements of each member of the ecosystem (bees, chelifers, booklice, varroa, and viruses), and develop specially-designed modular structures for fitting into standard hives to provide habitat for the chelifers and booklice. We will optimise internal hive designs to maximise chelifer efficacy and reduce viral load on bees, thus creating a new ecological balance beneficial to the bees. The systems will be validated under real-world field conditions in commercial beekeeping operations. Success of the chelifer system will allow for chemical control of varroa to be replaced with a sustainable control option in hives worldwide. The insights gained in using the artificial ecosystem approach will have application elsewhere for addressing other pest problems that have proved impossible to overcome at present.

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That's excellent news !!!!

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Posted (edited)

The recurrant use of the term "we will" shows the author has either already done the work and knows the outcome, or is a first year uni student just out of school without real world experience yet.

 

Or, do they have to talk in such optimistic terms to have any show of getting funds.

 

As one who kept bees before varroa, there were not any more observable pseudoscorpions in beehives before we started using miticides, than there are now. Where it is claimed pseudoscorpions live in beehives and eat varroa, the truth is more that they inhabit different parts of the beehive. Super small pseudoscorpions may live on bees, but get big enough to eat a varroa, and the bees will evict them.

 

Much as I would like this to work.

Edited by Alastair
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You need to keep all your rotten boxes so the scorpions have somewhere to live/hide in the hive.

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Posted (edited)

That's the theory. 

 

Question is, how many varroa mites venture into those rotten crevises where the pseudoscorpions are hiding, and how many varroa mites live out their lives in the brood nest, protected by the bees, and far away from the pseudoscorpions hiding in the cracks.

Edited by Alastair
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Okay. I'm going to be a bit harsher here. Feral hives living in rotten old trees still die from varroa. Pseudo-scorpions were a nice idea that was looked at quite closely and found to have no real relevance in varoa control. It's another one of those small cell size, foodgrade mineral oil, nasturtiums planted out the front of the hive, top bar hive, AMM, screen bottom boards et cetera ideas that might have worked but didn't and never will. There is little enough money for research without throwing it away.

If you want  something useful to spend research money on then how about looking at getting parasites from Australia to deal with the passion vine hopper. It's costing beekeepers millions of dollars each year and the kiwifruit industry over $30 million a year, plus it is implicated in the spreading of cabbage tree die back as well as debilitating other native plants. It may be that there are no suitable parasites and it may be that even if there are they won't work but it has got to be worth a try.

Pseudo-scorpions have already had their chance.

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21 minutes ago, john berry said:

Feral hives living in rotten old trees still die from varroa.

Maybe booklice don't live in trees.

22 minutes ago, john berry said:

the passion vine hopper. It's costing beekeepers millions of dollars each year 

How ? Cost of testing wouldn't run into millions, so what else ?  

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I would be surprised if testing didn't run into millions but the major cost is honey that just can't be used. It's not talked about much but there is a lot of honey out there which is too high to blend and is valueless and if it's your prime manuka it doesn't take much to make $1 million.With the current surplus of honey it has become even more of a problem as packers can pick and choose and they are either not buying or very heavily discounting  anything with even moderate levels.  There is always the risk as well of some well-meaning born-again top bar hive enthusiast killing themselves and their friends which also has a cost albeit hard to quantify.

As for using feral hives as an example, it was my way of pointing out that pseudo scorpions have never saved a hive from varroa under any circumstances and from the available evidence never will. I will be delighted if I turn out to be wrong on this one but so far all the science I have seen says it's a no-go.

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Before the time of Varroa, pseudoscorpions should have been living in hives as no one used chemicals than to get rid of varroa.

So if there were pseudoscorpions in the hives how could Varro develop at all? As Varroa sitting on bees or in cells and very seldom sit in a Petri dish.

  

 

 

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A reason why Chellifera haven't been effective in controlling varroa is that they DONT naturally inhabit hives. That's one of the problems.

Chellifera probably (almost certainly)  will never be any use on a commercial level. But they possibly offer endless hours of entertainment for the hobbyist. If Lincoln can come up with a system.

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3 hours ago, yesbut said:

A reason why Chellifera haven't been effective in controlling varroa is that they DONT naturally inhabit hives. That's one of the problems.

Chellifera probably (almost certainly)  will never be any use on a commercial level. But they possibly offer endless hours of entertainment for the hobbyist. If Lincoln can come up with a system.

then all the hobbyist can get together and fund the research

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Chelifers are generalist predators, much like common ladybirds. Yes they sometimes eat Varroa destructor, sometimes Psocoptera (booklice) and sometimes other things that stay still long enough!  They require diversity, which is distinctly lacking inside a beehive.

 

The most effect biocontrol agents are host specific. I agree totally with @john berry that our research funds should be targeting specific parasitic species. A parasite that attacks Scolypopa would be great. Better yet something that eats the damn Tutu Shrubs.

 

That said, it pays to remember that no biocontrol agent will totally eliminate their host,  as that would be self defeating. 

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6 hours ago, yesbut said:

A reason why Chellifera haven't been effective in controlling varroa is that they DONT naturally inhabit hives. That's one of the problems.

Chellifera probably (almost certainly)  will never be any use on a commercial level. But they possibly offer endless hours of entertainment for the hobbyist. If Lincoln can come up with a system.

Chelifera did live in beehives and was known under the synonym Bienenfreund (bee friend) that's how that guy figgered out Bienenfreund was mentioned in old beekeeping books as an insect which lives together in symbiosis with bees and eats mites, at that time pollen mites. 

 

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If I spoke German I suppose I'd know that. And you're too late Dennis as above Lincoln already have been given a pile of money apparently

2 hours ago, milkandhoney said:

Better yet something that eats the damn Tutu Shrubs.

Tutu is a valuable coloniser of slip faces, riverbanks, roadside cuttings etc

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Milk and Honey, nothing wrong with the tutu bush, just the blood sucking aussies on it.

went to a cairns beek meeting today, and one of the beeks up on the tablelands has started to put a few drops of T Tree oil in his mix of Honey B Healthy tonic that gets mixed into the bees sugar syrup, hes says it seems to have stop the Rainbow Bee Eater bird from eating his bees, they used to sit in a tree and then hammer his hives, but this season as they are in the area now, they seem to only be there for a short time and then ###### off, hes thinking that the t Tree oil is maybe making the bees taste different, perhaps more sour? 

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Unfortunately Bees are not my only livestock. I also farm sheep, cattle and goats. Tutu has killed an awful lot of livestock in this country over the years. 

 

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10 hours ago, milkandhoney said:

Unfortunately Bees are not my only livestock. I also farm sheep, cattle and goats. Tutu has killed an awful lot of livestock in this country over the years. 

 

Will goats eat tutu.

We have a lot of wild goats in our area and tutu along the creeks where the goats travel . I have never heard of goats being found dead .

I have heard that the lead female oks what the herd can eat so they may have learned not to eat it .

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On 7/06/2019 at 8:10 PM, john berry said:

Okay. I'm going to be a bit harsher here. Feral hives living in rotten old trees still die from varroa. Pseudo-scorpions were a nice idea that was looked at quite closely and found to have no real relevance in varoa control. It's another one of those small cell size, foodgrade mineral oil, nasturtiums planted out the front of the hive, top bar hive, AMM, screen bottom boards et cetera ideas that might have worked but didn't and never will. There is little enough money for research without throwing it away.

 

 

Industry has little say in what is funded now. As there is no co-funding available from industry, then researchers need to apply for their own funding and can make their own claims in a research proposal. That said, the issues raised with chelifers above are exactly what Plant and Food believe they can overcome.

 

On 8/06/2019 at 1:38 PM, milkandhoney said:

Chelifers are generalist predators, much like common ladybirds. Yes they sometimes eat Varroa destructor, sometimes Psocoptera (booklice) and sometimes other things that stay still long enough!  They require diversity, which is distinctly lacking inside a beehive.

 

The most effect biocontrol agents are host specific. I agree totally with @john berry that our research funds should be targeting specific parasitic species. A parasite that attacks Scolypopa would be great. Better yet something that eats the damn Tutu Shrubs.

 

 

There is a plan for this group to see what might be coordinated with Zespri, as Scolypopa also costs the kiwifruit industry as well.

But @milkandhoney - they are not *our* research funds (ie industry's) [JM]

 

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Posted (edited)

There are good reasons to believe such a program could  be successful with kiwifruit. But in a beehive, unlikely.

Edited by Alastair
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