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Re: bees/wine-grape harvest

Diana Louis wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Oct 1996 SCHAFFCM@SNYBUFAA.CS.SNYBUF.EDU wrote:
> >
> > You all might be interested in a report on the condition of bees --
> >
> > a honey producer at my local Farmer's Market said that the word is
> > encouraging on the bees.  There is a pest strip that can be used in the
> > hives to kill the mites.  And the hives are recovering.  He said that
> > the officials want to keep much of the information a secret, but he doesn't
> > know why.  The Bumblebee population is also increasing.  So that's good
> > news for the new year.
> Actually the cloudy wet weather caused a lot of problems with
> nectar gathering with the bees. That's why the honey harvest is so
> small in some locations. There is also enthusiastic discussions
> about formic acid & menthol as well as the fluvalinate strips for
> dealing with mites. There are also bees from Buckfast Abbey in
> England which are resistant to acarine mites.
>> --
> Diana Louis <dlouis@dynamicro.on.ca>
> Zone 4/5 Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

I have some bees.  As I wrote Clarence and John, there are some
resistant strains such as Buckfast (I have some) to tracheal mites. 
There is also some "grooming" behavior of adults to Varroa Mites.  But
neither is a cure.  Menthol and Crisco grease patties are the only US
approved treatment for tracheal mites.  Varroa is killed by Apistan(R)
which is fluvalinate.  You have to put the strips (like Shell No Pest
Strip) in the brood areas of the hives in spring and fall; and remove at
other times to prevent resistant mites from developing.  Italy has
fluvalinate resistant mites now, and in time they will be here.  This
has all been around for a few years, so is no secret.  With the poor
weather last winter, and the fact untreated hives are killed; we have
had record losses of bees.  Formic acid is an alternative, but is toxic
and needs special care for treatment.  So all is not rosy with bees. 
This whole thing takes man (or woman) hours for treatment, and is
expensive.  Of course wild or feral bees aren't treated, and that is why
all the bees you will be seeing belong to a bee keeper.  In Iowa we have
50% less keepers than just years ago.  With the demand for "Crackling
Honey Oat Brand", the demand and supply of honey is  acting accordingly,
with honey selling about $.90/lb.  Keepers here are doing very well this
year, if they treated their bees right.
Thought you might like to know.
Sioux City---Home of Sioux Bee Honey, largest Honey Co-op in the world.
Bee keeper's Home Page  http://weber.u.washington.edu/%7Ejlks/bee.html
Best Wishes,
Mike Jones    (jonesmic@mail.stlukes.org)
Sioux City, Iowa http://www.siouxlan.com/
U.S.A.        USDA Zone 4b
     The Loess Hills
"Where IA, NE, & SD Meet"

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