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Breeding Resistant Bees


The Varroa Problem: Part 10

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

Smokin’-Hot Mite Washin’ Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com      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 sampled even that many). And I would have definitely said that […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 9

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2017

Knowing Thine Enemy 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 than the former). Varroa is the enemy of both bees and beekeepers. […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 8

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2017

Regulatory Cascades, Varroa Tolerance, and a Moon Shot Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 rearing. I now return to pick up some of the pieces. Do […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 7

First published in: American Bee Journal, May 2017

Walking The Walk Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 for mite resistance. Now it’s time for me to walk the walk. […]

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The Varroa Problem – Part 6B

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2017

Small-Scale Breeding Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Let’s Work Together For The Hobbyist: Be Part of the Solution Work Cooperatively Responsible Beekeeping Mite Bombs and Drift of Mites Wrap Up Notes and Citations I’m fully aware that the vast majority of beekeepers fall into the recreational or sideline categories. Encouragingly, it is those non-professional beekeepers that […]

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The Varroa Problem – Part 6a

First published in: American Bee Journal, March 2017

Bee Breeding For Dummies Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS It’s Been Thirty Painful Years Breeding is Merely Human-Directed Evolution Bees Are Still Pretty Wild Natural and Artificial Selection Assessment Methods The Bond Method (You Get What You Wind Up With) The Bond Method, But Without The Needless Carnage Getting Down To The Nitty Gritty Define The […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 5

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2017

Striking a Deal With Varroa Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Selective Breeding There’s No Free Lunch The Good News What Needs To Change Striking a Deal With Varroa Other Mechanisms and Traits Progress Can Be Fast Knowing Your Enemy The Strategy For Subduing Varroa The Bees’ Tactics Using Models Wrap Up Acknowledgements Notes and Citations Look, […]

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Beyond Taktic®

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2017

Beekeeper-Funded Research Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 that mites in areas of the U.S. are […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 4

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2017

Mite-Resistant Bees – Pipedream or Plausible? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 minds exhibit a healthy degree of skepticism for any […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 3

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2016

A Creation of Our Own Doing Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 together to solve it. Routes Of Transmission In order for a parasite species […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 2

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2016

The Coevolution of the Bee, Varroa, and DWV Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 using regionally-adapted bee stock, bred for resistance to the varroa/virus complex. My […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 1

First published in: American Bee Journal, November 2016

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 this for eternity. Sisyphus was being punished for having the hubris to […]

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