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BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]especially tough ‘survivor stock’ from unmanaged feral colonies which thrive without treatments for varroa mites. In observing my several swarmcaught colonies, all gathered ‘locally’, I have always wondered about their racial origins and hybridity. Colour and size variation is apparent, but sadly this is not a reliable determinant of actual genetic mix, and lacking DNA testing I had thought I […]

John Dew’s Views – the Best Bee

[…]will be the only practical solution. The defence mechanism against varroa as manifested in damaged mites has been found to varying degrees in all the native colonies so far sampled in the Whitby area of North Yorkshire. Since the year 2000 selection has been made for this character which has increased from an average of 25 – 30% to 45 […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]of average yield. Over-wintering – Assessment in spring compared to average. 1-5 scale. Varroa treatment – Record treatment given, if any. Assessment of breeding potential. The beekeeper will have to decide what the priorities are regarding the desirable qualities. A general rule may be to only breed from queens which have exceptional temperament or some may feel strongly about working […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Laesoe 2004

[…]hybrids, with some Buckfast breeders. On Laeso no varroa has been found to date, though tracheal mite exists. A tour of the island included a visit to a Dark Bee apiary with about a dozen trough hives of the type found right across the North European plain into Russia. Figs. 2 and 3 will give an idea of the extreme […]

What is Apis mellifera mellifera?

[…]noire” (French), “Die dunkle Biene” (German) and “Det mörka Nordiska Biet” (Swedish). Apis mellifera mellifera is distinguished from other subspecies of the honey bee by a) Morphological characters, including colour, size, wing venation, abdominal hair length; b) Genetic characters identifiable by DNA analysis; c) Behavioural characters, including colony size and development, longevity, pollen collection.     The indigenous range of […]

Colonsay a honey bee haven

[…]were wiped out in the early 20th century by the “Isle of Wight disease”, caused by a parasitic mite which spread throughout the country. A few isolated populations survived and formed the basis of apiaries set up by Abrahams in 1978. The biggest threat to bees kept in apiaries today is the deadly Varroa mite, which was first discovered in […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]the world, is that of protecting the Western honey bee against extermination by the varroa mite. The initial preferred treatments were products containing synthetic pyrethroids, but after a time there quickly appeared pyrethroid resistant varroa. Softer substances such as thymol were used, but these needed the support of IPM techniques and organic acids including oxalic and formic. The ultimate hope […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

The health and status of the feral honeybee population of the UK

[…]levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. In the absence of managing the Varroa mite, feral populations are subject to potentially lethal levels of DWV. Such a finding provides evidence to explain the large decline in the feral population, and the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. Chapter 3 investigates the ecology, racial […]
Read more » The health and status of the feral honeybee population of the UK

A warm welcome to the BIBBA Conference 2016

[…]prohibited the import of bees and bee products onto the island and kept the invasion of the Varroa mite at bay; local beekeepers on the island don’t have to use miticides as a result. Our indigenous bee, the Manx Dark Honey Bee is further protected by the work of the Manx Bee Improvement Group, recognised by the Vita Bee Initiative […]

The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

[…]colonies which occurred between 1906 and 1918; b) to have been caused by the acarine or tracheal mite; and c) to have exterminated the native British honey bee during that time, prompting the importation under the government’s restocking scheme of large numbers of bee colonies, mainly from the Netherlands and France. Many experienced beekeepers in the 1920s and later, for […]
Read more » The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

[…]o?ers a good genetic resource for selection towards Varroa resistance. There are some examples of mite resistance that have developed as a consequence of natural selection in wild and managed European populations. However, most colonies are in?uenced by selective breeding and are intensively managed, including the regular use of miticides. We describe all characters used in European breeding programs to […]
Read more » Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

[…]at this time are likely to be linked to the effects of varroa and this will vary according to your treatment policy. I also include ‘over-wintering’ and ‘brood-pattern’ in this assessment and these are particularly useful at this time of year. A colony which looks healthy and has come through the winter with plenty of good brood and is medium […]

I Want Bees

[…]noire” (French),“Die dunkle Biene” (German) and“Det mörka Nordiska Biet” (Swedish) Apis mellifera mellifera is distinguished from other subspecies of the honey bee by:a) Morphological characters, including colour, size, wing venation, abdominal hair length;b) Genetic characters identifiable by DNA analysis;c) Behavioural characters, including colony size and development, longevity, pollen collection. The natural range of A.m.m. coincides with the 15-20° zone. (Copyright […]

Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

[…]That’s nature telling me something. Queens that aren’t what I want usually get the “boot treatment” at the earliest opportunity. I have found that being tolerant of them isn’t a good idea. If it is towards the end of the season, I may keep them to head a colony going into winter, but if they make it, they are usually […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

Conserving black bees

[…]when this story began. Ferries sail from the mainland on only two days per week and are strictly limited to islanders. This small community must again turn to its own resources and away from mainland reliance. Surely the spread and worldwide impact of this virus will teach the world beekeeping community a valuable lesson. If not, the spread of the […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]there are no eggs. There are reasons why queens go off lay, two common ones are if thymol varroa treatment is being administered and if the colony has a non-prolific queen of the native/near native type, that often go off lay in a nectar dearth or in the autumn. If the former, they usually resume laying after a couple of […]

Recommended YouTube Videos

There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some are excellent, with factual and sound information featuring good, knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers. Unfortunately there are many of dubious accuracy, giving poor advice that may be inappropriate for our conditions. As there is no vetting procedure to display educational material online, what is the inexperienced beekeeper to believe? BIBBA strongly believes […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

[…]in the hives.  We only treated twice, once in April and again in September and both times, mite drop was negligible.  We did an alcohol wash in July and only found 5 varroa in a total of 20 hives.  Our ApiariesThe mating apiary is strategically placed, surrounded on 3 sided by woodland.  Meaning the main flight path for the bees […]