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Varroa and DWV - it could happen to You!


To that I would add destruction of varied forage


I have a couple of things to add.
Evolution can take millions of years, yes, but it isn’t always the case. We (Humans), in our infinite wisdom, decided that to increase our honey yield we needed bigger bees, so we made them bigger. Now we know we were wrong, again, so how many generations does it take to revert back to their optimum size? Not even a decade.

@Jingles, it’s my understanding Portugese millipedes were actually deliberately brought here to assist in the orchards in the hills, not sure of the exact reasons, it’s all been swept under the rug… I remember the plagues in the '90’s, emptying the pool skimmer box every two days after rain, taping up the windows, the horror. Look at them now. The predators have adapted and are controlling them.

Scientists are currently working on modifying a bees genes to combat varroa and no doubt will escape captivity and cause more issues. Oh yeah we’re great at playing God then sticking our head to n the sand. Aren’t they breeding sterile fruit fly and releasing them as a control measure? Why not work the varroa instead of the bee?

Just ask our recently outed state government what people power can do. Although there were other issues for them to get shown the door, one of the main ones was the highway extension through bushland swamp and its environmental impact. Personally, for the record, I was all for the highway to ease congestion. Looking out, down on the flatlands, seeing the ever increasing tracts of trees getting replaced with bitumen, bricks and tiles cause me more pain.

And on the Eco subject, I have recently added Japan to my moral no go destination after watching a documentary headed by the fella who trained Flipper and after watching them killing dolphins (Over 26000 in a season, cos they eat all the fish.), selling it as whale meat and governmentally justifying it made me sick. At the time of filming, the government were putting the mercury laden flesh into children’s school lunches. Sad.

And that, is my rant over.


Yes one of the big Pharma…Monsanto? Can’t remember, they are messing about with RNAi

Others are working on GM varroa

Researchers from the government’s National Bee Unit and Aberdeen University have worked out how to “silence” natural functions in the mites’ genes.

Alan Bowman, from the University of Aberdeen, said: "Introducing harmless genetic material encourages the mites’ own immune response to prevent their genes from expressing natural functions. This could make them self-destruct.
"This approach targets the mites without harming the bees or, indeed, any other animal."
Giles Budge, from National Bee Unit, part of the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), agreed. "This cutting-edge treatment poses no threat to the bees.
“With appropriate support from industry and a rigorous approval process, chemical-free medicines could be available in five to 10 years.”

Lots being done…The Monsanto work needs a weather eye open, though

Equally lots being done researching into bee viruses


Unfortunately I think there are no predators for portugueses millipedes in Australia, and I the release of nematodes by government and land owners is what is getting them under control (which is a great thing). Whenever I think of Australias policies on biological control which we love so much I always think of the song - there was an old woman who swallowed a fly… :slight_smile:

I agree that we can most certainly give evolution a help in hand and selectively breed either resistant bees or inocuous varoa to displace the pathogenic variety, it should have vast amounts of funding going into it. I did read recently that they had bees a non- stinging bee for pollination (not sure if it was varoa resistant or not).


Redbacks eat the millipedes and I’m sure other insects do, one of our chooks doesn’t mind them either! I didn’t know about the nematodes but that’s good to know. Any references? Wondering about distribution.


Unfortunately our red backs and chooks are more choosey :(.

When we moved to Brigadoon, we had plague proportions of millipedes and I released some nematodes. Amazingly, 2 years down the track we really do have drastically reduced numbers. I am going to repeat this this year to see if we can really suppress them more.

As far as I know, local government here have done nothing, but I think the SA government were pretty successful at reducing numbers with a widespread release of nematodes:


Obviously, the locals of SA will be able to tell us a lot more regarding the truths of all this :slight_smile:


@Michael_Bush and many others advise allowing bees to build their own comb without foundation, because the brood cycle of varroa destructor happens to match up nicely with bee brood cycles that were lengthened slightly due to the Ag industry’s promotion of large cell foundation Skeggley is talking about. Letting bees revert back to building their natural cell size will help disrupt varroa breeding.


Here’s more


Great study, Dee. Guess our time bomb’s gone off.


The older i get the more horrid the world seems.
It’s very depressing


I noticed my bees had DWV this year, so decided to treat them with Oxalic Acid Vaporised them on Monday, Thursday and again coming Monday.

I did not see a single bee with DWV today and the bees seemed stronger since Last week.

I am glad I noticed this straight away and dealt with it, otherwise I would have lost my hive.


I hear you Dee. I think that’s why I get so much pleasure out of watching bees do their orderly tasks.


Do you think that it is any coincidence that the more we treat the more variables we see? Humans are killing themselves with antibiotics, we get more strains because we don’t use medications correctly. They are Gods bees, let him take care of them and man needs to get out of his way. Bee keepers are killing the bees with medication in the name of greed. Man complains about drug companies and cures costing too much, they are not going to wipe out things like cancer because there is too much to be made in cures. Just wanting people to Think. Blessings


I disagree with the comment as far as bees are concerned. I treat my bees when they need it not prophylactically. Do you keep bees? Try not treating and see if your colonies last more than three years. If they do then wonderful.


Going into 4th year no treating, no sugar.

Hives doing extremely well. Don’t know if its the Lime base or the red cedar boxes or combination but my hives are thriving and Honey is great. All natural as far as hives and home goes don’t know what they get into when they travel though. I can’t believe that they sell honey marked organic, bees travel miles. Blessings


Wonderful. …
Where do you live?


Southeastern Indiana


Yes, that is wonderful. How many hives do you have Mark?

I’ll be very interested to hear how you continue to do with them over time. Hope they continue to do well & keep us posted!


I have three flow hives and an expieremental duplex which is 10 frame double deeps.


“The leading cause of problems is solutions”----- Severeids law

I believe it is man trying to save the bees that are killing them. Man does all kinds of things to save things but in the end it is killing them and us.

God did not put the Honey Bee in Langstroph Hives, Flow Hives or put Bee Trees on lime, but so far this is the best way for man to collect honey without putting the Honey Bee on the endangered list as old time methods would often kill the hive.

"You have done an amazing job with the bees; I tell everybody how talented you are."

I thank you for your praise but it was not anything I did, it was everything I did not do. It was me moving over and letting God take care of “His” bees.

No sugar, No pollen patties, No treatments.

I first came to my conclusion while laid up with a double hernia watching Michael Bush, “Four simple steps to healthier bees” www.bushfarms.comhttp://www.bushfarms.com

You can lead a man to knowledge but you can’t make him think

The Christian Beekeeper: Jesus is the Boss, you just be his hands and feet.

Man thinks he has to get too involved. I think it’s the beekeeper unknowingly killing the bees… Killing them with what they perceive as kindness.

Turns out its human greediness… (Big business saying this is what you need to do as they sell all the magic potions to kill the problem but it is also killing bees, the hive needs some of the things you are getting rid of) Quick fix, in the end, nothing would have been the better answer.

Bees take care of themselves…
Actually God takes care of His bees but man thinks he can do better.

They say you have to give them sugar water and pollen patties, I did this all summer and both my hives died that winter. But then again now that I think about it…… It could’ve been the pollen patties…

Pollen patties have been found to be more beneficial for the Beetles. Actually the patties are beneficial for bees if used at the right time. When there’s natural pollen available the bees collect it while collecting nectar leaving the patties to the Beetles. I never use them, also I leave a medium super of honey for them to live on both winter and summer, there’s no need to feed sugar.

I have no proof other than the amount of bees in my hives but when you feed sugar adult bees cannot make bee bread which is used to feed maturing young. It may not be the sugar, it could be the chlorine that is in city water that is used to make the feed or the fertilizer chemicals farmers use that leach into wells and ground water, this might explain all cancers…

Why provide emergency feed to keep them alive if they can’t grow their replacements, they aren’t designed to live long, at least not in summer when they work themselves to death. They can live all winter when about their only job is to keep the queen alive and warm.

The reason my “Flow” Hives look different from stock is I took them to a custom woodworker and had windows added to front and left. This added to the cost but due to my impairments it has been well worth it.

As far as inspecting hive goes… I’d move too if someone came into my house uninvited every couple weeks moving things around looking for bugs or to see if my queen met their expectations. Even if they put everything back where they found it I’d still look for a new home.

The bees know better than I do what they need, let them decide. With my lack of motor skills resulting from my TBI which has also resulted in double and other vision difficulties. I kill a lot of bees and one of those bees just might be the queen and there’s only one of them.

I do inspect but my inspections consist of looking under a lid or opening a window. I do not go in unless I have too.

The supplier sent off samples of dead bees to be tested- confirmed to be mites that killed both.

Since the frames were all built up with comb from previous bees I put them in freezer for a few months till I needed them again. Freezing kills Mites, Beetle larva and harmful bacteria… At least I hope harmful… They’re finding some bacteria are beneficial.

I took the Nuc that Gary Reeves gave me and one of my boxes with pre-built comb out of the freezer and started a new hive. I chose another location for my hive that was at the edge of my mule field that was surrounded with electric fence and with mules liking sweet things; I wrapped both the cover and landing board that I had attached insulators to with electric fence line. In talking Garry said he had heard that if you put your hives on lime it would help with the mites because when mite larva falls on lime they will not be able to continue to pupate thus stopping the life cycle so they wouldn’t take over, a few are ok, you just don’t want too many. I had a few scoops of gravel with lime left from the previous concrete pour so I put it under my hives.

This time I only fed one gallon of sugar water and two pollen patties since they already had comb., I have found you don’t even need to do that and I wouldn’t recommend either, I can show you proof.

That Fall I harvested 6-7 pounds of honey which I probably should have left but the brood boxes had honey in them that they could use to live on that winter. Just in case I put a candy board on the hive that winter but below that I put an inner cover with a large plastic lid filled with crushed comb and went to Garry’s and bought a pound of honey to put on the comb. I didn’t tell Garry what I was going to do with the honey; I was afraid he would just roll his eyes at me and say I should just eat the honey. That spring the bees had hardly touched the candy, honey was gone, and comb was dry but left nearly all the candy.

Now I put all my hives on a Lime base to help in keeping mites and hive Beetles and other pests in check. I have screened bottom boards so any eggs or mites will fall onto the ground and cannot finish their life cycle in lime as they would in dirt and are cleaned up each night by toads along with the dead bees that is except in winter when the toads are hibernating.

Bees are too expensive and time consuming to experiment with so…
The next year God blessed me with a double hernia where I couldn’t do anything… They did great. I thought they’d die but to my surprise they did exceptionally well. At first I thought God was punishing me but it turns out he had something to show me. They didn’t provide me with a lot of honey (27.5 lbs) but it didn’t have a sugary taste. 27.5 lbs sounds like allot till you realize that’s only 1/3 of a 5 gallon bucket. Honey is very heavy. This is the hive I used for a three way split for new “Flow Hives” a month after it had already swarmed no less.

They say I need at least three years testing to prove my theory, that man is too involved. That’s three years the bees may not have. (Now been 3 goin on4)(doing great)

People have discovered that there’s money to be made. They make insecticides to kill off an insect or a germicide to kill off bacteria that they say is doing the most harm. Turns out that insect/bacteria was beneficial to the bee but it’s too late you’ve done killed it. Even one year is too long; there can be too much damage in three years…

It’s too late for a lot of established hives but it’s not too late for the new ones you’re starting.

From day one let God handle it, they’re his bees. He knows what they need, you’re just guessing.

The Christian Beekeeper: Jesus is the Boss, you just be his hands and feet.