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May 30, 2018

This is a very hot topic among beekeepers, and has sparked countless debates.  So why not write a few thoughts about it? A short scan of beekeeping sites on Facebook will yield several arguments on this topic. "You're reproducing bees that have no resistance to mites!" an advocate of treatment free practice says. "You're producing mite bombs!" an advocate of treating for mites retorts. So who is right?  Could it possibly be both? After pondering the issue for some time and hearing some great talks on the subject, I have concluded that it is simply a battle between short term solutions and long term solutions. It is as is any beekeeping topic, rife with variables to complicate the issue. 

      Natural selection is a very powerful selection mechanism that has functioned for as long as life has been on this blue planet. This is the primary reason people choose not to treat their bees, as well as not liking the thought of adding chemicals to their hives. Tom Glenn...

May 23, 2018

    What do people mean when they use the term resistant stock?  The term resistant can address several behavioral or genetic traits that allow a colony to continue functioning and survive if not given relief from pests or diseases through chemical treatments. The most effective traits I have seen are VSH (varroa sensitive hygiene), and some form of viral resistance, that I'm not sure how exactly it functions. VSH is a set of traits that allow bees to detect reproductive mites in capped brood, and uncap and remove infested pupae. This breaks the mites reproductive life cycle without chemical intervention. It is reported that the bees will leave non-reproductive mites alone, and only address the ones that are raising young. This discovery was formerly called SMR or (supressed mite reproduction) due to a mysterious suppression of mite reproduction. The term was changed to VSH after it was discovered this was a variant of the known hygiene response in bees. VSH bees are extremely hygienic...

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