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Varroa IPM Strategies


The Varroa Problem: Part 17c

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2018

Being Part of the Solution Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Defining Our Objectives Live and Let Die “Bond Method” “Natural” Beekeeping The Mutualistic Symbiosis Between the Bee and Humans Recreational Beekeeping “Treatment Free” Beekeepers Eliminating the Fitness Benefit to the Varroa/DWV Complex Gained By Killing its Host Hive Darwinian Beekeeping The Dream of a “Gentler” Mite […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 17b

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2018

The Evolution of Bees, Mites, and DWV Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS A Primer On The Drivers of Evolution Defining the Niche The Breeding Population The Honey Bee Population in the U.S. Reproduction and Dispersal Acknowledgements Notes and Citations My hope is to clarify exactly how various beekeeping practices affect the evolutionary pressure on the genomes […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 17a

First published in: American Bee Journal, July 2018

Treatment Free Beekeeping and Being Part of The Solution rather than part of The Problem Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Being Part of The Solution Rather Than Part of The Problem Assigning The Blame Let’s First Get Some Facts Straight Our Part in Creating the Monster Understanding Bee, Varroa, Virus & Beekeeping Coevolution It’s All About […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 16b

First published in: American Bee Journal, May 2018

Bee Drift and Mite Dispersal (continued) Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Bee Drift and Mite Dispersal (continued) So Why Do Colonies Allow Bees to Drift In? The Sheer Numbers Involved The Amount of Mite Drift Into Other Hives Collapse and Robbing What Happens to All the Mite-Infested Bees When a Colony Collapses? Swarms Coming Back to […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 16a

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2018

Bee Drift and Mite Dispersal Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com CONTENTS Bee Drift and Mite Dispersal Dispersal of Varroa Phoresy, Grooming, and Host Preference by the Mites The Shifting of Varroa’s Preferred Transport Our Unnaturally Close Placement of Hives in Apiaries Measured Rates of Hive-to-Hive Worker and Drone Drift The Diffusion of Mites Are Some Hives More […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 15

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2018

Modeling The Effect of Mite Treatments Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com Contents Early-Season Mite Management Mid-Season Mite Management Late-Summer Mite Management A Day-By-Day Model The Basics of Oxalic Vaporization The Optimal Interval for OA Vaporization Treatments Fall-Winter Mite Management Acknowledgements Notes and Citations We beekeepers are nearly blind as to varroa. Yes, we see the occasional mite […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 14

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2018

Virus Dynamics and Treatments Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com Contents The Problem With Waiting Too Late To Treat Virus Dynamics and Miticides The Question of Timing The Proportion of Mites That Are In the Brood Efficacy of Treatments The Problem With the Bombs Coming Next Acknowledgements Notes and Citations The Problem With Waiting Too Late to Treat […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 13

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2017

Using The Mite Model Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com It’s been nearly 25 years since I saw the first varroa mite in one of my hives, and it’s been a wild ride since then. Not only for our bees, but also for the business of beekeeping, in which we’ve been forced to adapt and evolve. As my […]

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The Varroa Problem: Part 12

First published in: American Bee Journal, November 2017

Building a Model Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com In my last article, I showed the basic math of varroa buildup during the period of broodrearing, and the subsequent decline of the mite population when no broodrearing was taking place. My simple graphs were illustrative of the concept, but in order to understand the details, I needed to […]

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Other resources on varroa management

There are a number of other resources for reliable information on varroa management, some of which I’ll include links for: The Honey Bee Health Coalition released this summary of mite management tools in 2015.  Free download at Tools for Varroa Management

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Managing Varoa: Part 1 – IPM Realities

First published in: American Bee Journal, March 2011

I welcome practical, tested tips, methods, and assessments from other beekeepers who are successfully keeping bees with varroa.  I found this article to be a good reality check on certain varroa IPM methods.  It was originally published in the March 2011 ABJ, and I asked the author if I could post it to this website.  […]

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IPM 3 Fighting Varroa 3: Strategy – Understanding Varroa Population Dynamics

Fighting Varroa: Continued Strategy © Randy Oliver 2006 What are the Population Dynamics of Varroa in a Honeybee Colony? Seasonal Factors Computer Models What Can We Do to Keep the Mite Population Under Control? Tactics Used by Mite-Tolerant Bees Acknowledgements Resources For Information Joe Beekeeper typically has a gnawing feeling in his gut that the […]

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IPM 2 Fighting Varroa 2: Choosing your Troops: Breeding Mite-Fighting Bees

Second in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa Originally published in ABJ, Jan. 2007 I got tired of getting my butt kicked by varroa. My first step in getting the upper hand on the mite was to forswear the coddling of wimpy bees with synthetic chemicals. This decision cost me dearly as colonies […]

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IPM 1 Fighting Varroa 1: The Silver Bullet, or Brass Knuckles?

© Randy Oliver 2006, 2009 The varroa mite is the toughest challenge ever faced by American beekeepers. Our reaction to it reminds me of the five stages of dealing with trauma (greatly paraphrased from Kubler-Ross 1997): Stage 1: Denial (this isn’t happening to me! There can’t be mites on my bees.) Stage 2: Anger (You […]

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