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Breeding Resistant Bees


Selective Breeding for Mite Resistance: 1000 hives, 100 hours

First published in: American Bee Journal, March 2018

Contents Quick summary. 1 First assessment—early July. 1 Breeder disappointment. 2 Second through fourth assessments. 3 The final tally. 3 The Cost of the selective breeding program.. 4 what’s next. 4 Control of matings. 5 Analysis of the late-season Failure to Maintain low mite levels. 5 Could the spikes have come from mite reproduction?. 11 […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 11- The Math of the Mite

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2017

The Varroa Problem: Part 11 The Math of the Mite Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ October 2017      I’ve previously written about how the seasonal buildup and decline of the honey bee colony is a function of the birth and death rates of the workers [[1]].  Varroa follows a similar buildup and decline […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 10-Smokin’-Hot Mite Washin’

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2017 - this version updated

The Varroa Problem: Part 10 Smokin’-Hot Mite Washin’ Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ September 2017      If you had asked me even a month ago as to how many of your hives to sample for varroa, I’d have suggested using Katie Lee’s plan of 8 hives per apiary [[1]] (in truth, we’ve rarely […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 9- Knowing Thine Enemy

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2017

The Varroa Problem: Part 9 Knowing Thine Enemy First published in ABJ August 2017 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com      “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”– Sun Tzu.  We are all beekeepers; we are also all varroa keepers (some of us better at the latter […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 8

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2017

The Varroa Problem: Part 8 Regulatory Cascades, Varroa Tolerance, and a Moon Shot Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ June 2017      In writing this series, I skipped ahead over some details so that I could publish my suggestions for setting up a breeding program for mite resistance in time for this season’s queen […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 7- Walking the Walk

First published in: American Bee Journal, May 2017

The Varroa Problem: Part 7 Walking the Walk Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ May 2017      I’m not one to tell any beekeeper what they “should” be doing—it’s up to nature, the market, personal preference, and history to determine what works.  In my last two articles, I’ve discussed ways to go about breeding […]

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The Varroa Problem : Part 6B- Small-Scale Breeding

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2017

Contents Let’s work together. 1 For the hobbyist: Be part of the solution. 2 Work cooperatively. 3 Responsible beekeeping. 6 Mite bombs and drift of mites. 8 Wrap up. 9 Notes and citations. 9 The Varroa Problem Part 6b: Small-Scale Breeding First published in ABJ April 2017 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com   I’m fully aware that […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 6a-Bee Breeding for Dummies

First published in: American Bee Journal, March 2017

Contents It’s been thirty painful years. 2 Breeding is merely Human-directed evolution. 3 Bees are still pretty wild. 4 Natural and artificial selection. 4 Assessment methods. 5 The Bond method (you get what you wind up with) 5 the bond method, but without the Needless carnage. 8 Getting down to the nitty gritty. 9 Define […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 5- Striking a Deal with Varroa

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2017

Contents selective breeding. 1 There’s no free lunch. 2 The good news. 2 What needs to change. 2 Striking a Deal with Varroa. 3 Other mechanisms and traits. 4 Progress can be fast. 5 knowing your enemy. 6 The strategy for subduing varroa. 6 The bees’ tactics. 7 Using models. 9 wrap up. 11 aknowledgements. […]

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Beyond Taktic® -Beekeeper-Funded Research

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2017

Beyond Taktic® Beekeeper-funded Research Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ January 2017 The miticide Taktic has been the savior of the commercial bee industry since the early 2000s.  But it may be time to move on.  I’ve been experimenting with a promising potential replacement. Our Situation As I recently pointed out, there are signs […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 4- Resistant Bees- Pipe Dream or Plausible

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2017

The Varroa Problem: Part 4 Mite-Resistant Bees—Pipedream or Plausible? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ January 2017 I imagine that some readers may be thinking, “Randy lives in cannabis country with the rest of the fruits and nuts in California—what’s he been putting into his smoker?”  And I’m glad to hear that, since smart […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 3 – A Creation of Our Own Doing

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2016

The Varroa Problem: Part 3 A Creation of Our Own Doing Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com   First published in ABJ in Dec 2016 The Varroa Problem didn’t just happen—we created it, and we unintentionally perpetuate it. And we will continue to prolong the agony until we, as a community, finally say “Enough!” and start to work […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 2-The Coevolution of the Bee, Varroa and DWV

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2016

The Varroa Problem: Part 2 The Coevolution of the Bee, Varroa, and DWV Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Dec 2016 In order to solve The Varroa Problem, we need to understand the biology of how it was created, and what perpetuates it. A Time To Work Together I’m a strong proponent of […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 1

First published in: American Bee Journal, November 2016

The Varroa Problem: Part 1 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in November 2016 Legend has it that King Sisyphus was condemned to the maddening task of being forced each day to roll a huge boulder to the top of a hill, only to watch it roll back down again, and then to repeat […]

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