We lost 12 hives here in one non-treated winter. We maintain a very large
herb garden that the bees have access to.
I am very interested in any/all information/ideas about solutions to the
mite problem, including resistant strains of bees.
Claymont Farms, WV
>On May 27 you wrote:
>> Anyway instead of feeding, drenching and dosing bees with highly
>> commendably natural products, which incidentally continue the same
>> treat the symptoms mentality, why not surround the beehives with plant
>> producing those compounds so that the bees can harvest them
>> themselves? To simple and cheap I suppose.
>>In New Zealand we have many very healthy wild colonies. The stress of
>> feeding with syrup and excessive harvesting does make commercial hives
>> susceptible to a wide range of diseases, but that is also true of
>> sheep, cattle, poultry, pigs etc.. etc..
>Just to show you how unorthodox your viewpoint is, consider this paragraph
>from the April issue of APIS, the Florida Extension Service Bee Newsletter
>by M.T. Sanford:
>> It is clear that a new kind of honey bee management is
>>emerging from the parasitizing effects of the Varroa bee mite.
>>Two kinds of beekeepers can now be identified; those with
>>experience "before Varroa," and those who began apiculture "after
>>Varroa." Persons in the latter category cannot appreciate the
>>relative laissez-faire beekeeping possible in the past. This
>>state of affairs is also being reflected in the bees themselves.
>>No longer able to exist in large numbers in the wild, these
>>insects are being pushed toward a greater reliance on humans that
>>can only be called "domestication.
>However, I think that your idea of planting some of the plants whose
>botanical preparations have been found effective in the vicinity of hives is
>a good idea. I also subscirbe to the the notion that general ecosistema
>degradation (inadvertant or deliberate--remember I live in a "low-intensity
>conflict" zone) is behind many of our pest and disease problems. Or as
>Fukuoka taught us, must of the problems of agriculture have their root in
>agricultural practices themselves. Regards, Ron.