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Other Research – Information – Page 4

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Bee Health – Other Research Information – Page 4 – A selection of PDF Documents with information relating to various areas of Bee Health.

PDB, Napthalene & The Storage of Comb

For many years beekeepers used Paradichlorbenzene E680 (PDB) for the protection of stored comb against the ravages of Greater and Lesser Wax Moth. Many older textbooks suggest this preventative method and it is still recommended on some web sites elsewhere in the world. In the past PDB and Napthalene E6631 were found in mothballs. Both of these chemicals have been used for the storage of insect specimens as a preventative against ‘Museum beetle’ but because of health dangers there is now a move away from such use. Current scientific opinion is that its use is potentially injurious to health and as a result it is now acceptable to store beeswax comb using either chemical.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_20_PDB_&_Napthalene_FV

Queen Trapping

Queen trapping for varroa control is a technique developed by Dr. Maul in Germany some 25 years ago. It is claimed to give an efficacy of 95%. Though some skill is needed it is a useful bio-technical method to remove varroa mites early in the season and has the advantage that no chemicals are used when supers are on the hive. It is an important tool in an integrated approach to varroa management.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_17_Queen_Trapping_FV

Using Drone Brood as a Varroa Control

Current scientific data indicates that the removal of drone brood, when performed correctly can slow mite population growth, in a bee colony, by about 50%. Though its use alone will not prevent a bee colony being overwhelmed, it is an important tool within an integrated approach to varroa control. With the advent of varroa resistant to pyrethroid treatments, such as Bayvarol® and Apistan®, the removal of sacrificial drone brood can enable other less effective controls to reduce infestation to a safe level.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_14_Drone_Brood_Removal_FV

‘Celle’ Rotation

This sheet describes a method of varroa control from Germany that incorporates a complete change of brood comb. The system has been developed using organic acids however suggested alternative control is included. It is claimed to be effective provided that local background varroa levels are low. The main benefits, apart from varroa control, are the exchange of all old brood combs for new therefore reducing overall pathogen load in the colony, swarm control and maintaining or increasing honey yield. It is suitable for use with small brood boxes rather than large.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_13_Celle_Rotation_FV

Estimating Varroa Mite Populations

Varroa infestations are often missed by beekeepers until the infestation is severe. It is therefore important to regularly monitor for the pest and to be able to assess when the infestation is likely to have an impact on the colony. The key to successful varroa control is knowing how many mites are present in a colony and when to take appropriate action. This sheet explains three methods commonly used to calculate varroa populations. Two give a moderately accurate assessment, and the third is a quick guide. You must remember that the ‘quick guide’ is not an accurate assessment.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_12_Estimating_Varroa_Populations_FV

Open Mesh Floors

The use of open mesh floors has been advocated by many beekeepers for years. The reasons given are legion but one is to help control varroa mite levels within a honeybee colony. Researchers advise us that about 20% of varroa mites hatching from brood with their host bees will fall off within three days of emergence. Though many of these mites may be the least viable, indications are that it is a cross section of the mite population that fall. Older mites also have a tendency to fall off bees. With the use of open mesh floors most of these will fall out of the hive and be unable to return.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_11_Open_Mesh_Floors_FV

Control of Small Hive Beetle

If Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida (SHB) arrives in the United Kingdom and eradication is not possible beekeepers will have to put in place measures to control infestations. There is no simple way to control this bee pest and an integrated pest management system will have to be used. To control infestations it is necessary to disrupt or prevent the life cycle of the beetle. This sheet gives an outline of measures that may be used.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_10_SHB_Control_FV

Fumigating Comb

Why should I fumigate comb? Fumigating comb with acetic acid is often advocated as a way of controlling certain diseases such as Nosema spp. It has some benefits but they must be weighed carefully.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_9_Fumigating_Comb_FV_December_2010(1)

‘Beltsville’ Test

This sheet describes a simple test (a variation of the USDA Beltsville method) to check if varroa mites are resistant to Apistan®. NB. Apistan® resistant mites will almost invariably be cross-resistant to Bayvarol®

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_8_Beltsville_Test_FV

Pyrethroid Resistance

Pyrethroids are chemicals that have a low toxicity to mammals and birds but a high toxicity to insects. They require very low doses to kill their target species and are very fast acting. Pyrethroids also have lipophilic properties which mean that the chemical compounds are able to dissolve in fats and oils and as a result, accumulate and persist in bees wax. They work by inhibiting the nervous system of the target which can result in paralysis. The effectiveness of Pyrethroids to Varroa destructor has declined in the past decade due to it having developed resistance to the acaricides. This Fact Sheet discusses how to determine whether you have pyrethroid resistant mites and what to do should you discover you have them.

Read more here: Fact_Sheet_7_Pyrethroid_Resistance_FV