adagna, after reading the USA Today article on the losses suffered in WI last winter,
i agree with your outlook on this.
my expertise is with plants and it works very similar…you want to save seed from the strongest plant grown in the harshest conditions, continuing to build strength and resilience in the genetics through adaptation to the immediate environment, especially the stressors. (on a side note, this is why everyone should save their own seed and keep planting that seed year after year.)
this is why i question the wisdom of importing bees from other locales, it seems like not only does it take awhile for the bees to adapt to their new environment but also the mites and the viruses they carry are genetically slightly different, which go then to infect the local populations. if you know anything about ticks and lyme disease, it works in this fashion – there is a wide array of coinfections (babesia, etc.), the particular matrix of which may very well be geographically dependent, yet constantly morphing due to bird migration, etc.
based on these discussions, now i understand better that is not necessarily the goal to eradicate the virus and the vectors, but to manage it in a way to give the bees an opportunity to develop an immunity over successive generations. my concern is exactly what you said, i don’t want to goof around on a hive where the bees were susceptible to DWV and risk spreading those genes.
i checked on the hive this morning. it’s thriving, not aggressive, mostly adults, very little capped brood, and 1 queen cell in development, so there is definitely a break in the brood cycle. there are still nurse bees and i have not observed any with DWV lately. i did a sugar shake test and got a count of 6 mites in little short of 1/2 cup. a sample has already been sent to the state lab. have decided to deal with the seller once i get the results.
gonna roll the dice and am going to try either Hopguard/oxalic as per below suggestion to get them over the hump and then introduce some open brood until the new queen starts laying. my goal is not honey but to raise a genetically resilient colony of bees.
thanks again for everyone’s input. this has been a blessing in disguise as i’ve been forced to really understand the varroa issue from the jump, rather than being blissfully ignorant and risk contributing to the problem.