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Access to Varroa mites for research


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Have they started genetic modification and cloning bees

Yes I have seen some papers but usually using honey bees as a model. There are two basic problems; 1. You have to understand the thing you are engineering and we don't and 2. GM is expensive and bees are hardly likely to pay back the cost of research.

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How may mites are you after? How do you want to try to collect them. We tried oxalic acid vaporisation last autumn but sugar shakes revealed the need to more drastic measures and we used Bayvarol rather late so they only came out in July so we haven't done a spring treatment yet. Varroa levels seem pretty low. We have bee gyms in and are keeping a close eye on things. Once it is a bit warmer we will do some sugar shakes. Anyway we are in Auckland.

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How may mites are you after? How do you want to try to collect them. We tried oxalic acid vaporisation last autumn but sugar shakes revealed the need to more drastic measures and we used Bayvarol rather late so they only came out in July so we haven't done a spring treatment yet. Varroa levels seem pretty low. We have bee gyms in and are keeping a close eye on things. Once it is a bit warmer we will do some sugar shakes. Anyway we are in Auckland.

Thanks @Nzsuze Just saw your comment. Thanks to Gavin I have now bees where I'll be able to get mites.

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That's right! I have a board under the hive which is there constantly and I've never seen any mites on it. Today I did top sugar dusting with 125 g of icing sugar on top bars and between the bars. I then brushed the sugar from the top bars into the gaps. Looked after 10 minutes and didn't see any mites. Looked after 1 hour and didn't see any mites. I've also done the sugar shake method on two other hives from two other beekeepers. No mites either. I'm sure at some point mites will appear but I was hoping to start collecting them now. Any suggestions?

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I'm sure at some point mites will appear but I was hoping to start collecting them now. Any suggestions?

I'm sorry to hear @Gavin Smith turns out to be rubbish at farming mites, I would have thought he'd of checked first. ;) Anyway, if I were you I'd stop the sugar shake nonsense and take a sample of 300 bees in a jar and apply a proper chemical. It may not provide the specimens you need, but it will tell if you have mites and it's just your sugar-shakes that are rubbish. You wouldn't be the first.

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Have some frozen drone comb intact do u want some or all.

Thanks @Matthew Brajkovich. I actually need the mites when they are still alive. Next time when you are about to take a drone frame out, if you are able to let me know I can come and get the mites by pulling drone pupae out one by one.

 

@Dave Black yes, I could try an ether roll or alcohol wash. From a practical point of view I need the mites alive, that's why it will have to be either using sugar or by putting a drone frame.

 

Today I did sugar shake and sugar dusting on three hives from @Nzsuze . By natural fall there were 3-4 mites after 24 hours falling through mesh board. I thought I should be able to get mites from there. First we did a sugar shake from one hive and only got 1 mite. Then we did sugar dusting on 3 hives and only got 1 other live mite (2 other mites were dead already). So at least got 2 mites! 98 more to go to have enough for my first experiment.

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From a practical point of view I need the mites alive,

Yes I know, we talked about that in September. To prove your shake method is not faulty I suggest to shake, then alcohol wash the balance to find the ones you missed. That way you can build up confidence in your technique.

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You might be interested in this, was on the Waikato beekeepers club facebook.

 

Beer Benefits

Scientists believe that a key ingredient in beer may be able to help improve dwindling bee numbers.

 

It is believed that the varroa mite contributes to the phenomenon known as "Colony Collapse Disorder".

 

Scientists have been trying the use of drops of hop beta acids (HBA) (Humulus lupulus L.) on honeycomb containing bees affected by varroa mite.

 

They found that bees were strong enough to survive the presence of these acids whereas the verroa mite were not. The verroa mite parasites showed 100% mortality.

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Thanks @Matthew Brajkovich. I actually need the mites when they are still alive. Next time when you are about to take a drone frame out, if you are able to let me know I can come and get the mites by pulling drone pupae out one by one.

 

@Dave Black yes, I could try an ether roll or alcohol wash. From a practical point of view I need the mites alive, that's why it will have to be either using sugar or by putting a drone frame.

 

Today I did sugar shake and sugar dusting on three hives from @Nzsuze . By natural fall there were 3-4 mites after 24 hours falling through mesh board. I thought I should be able to get mites from there. First we did a sugar shake from one hive and only got 1 mite. Then we did sugar dusting on 3 hives and only got 1 other live mite (2 other mites were dead already). So at least got 2 mites! 98 more to go to have enough for my first experiment.

Just took some out feed to chickens late today, some not eaten. Pm me or FB me. Had a look myself no mites that I can see.

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