This was Erik Osterlund’s talk on the Saturday morning of the National Honey Show. I think this was the first lecture I attended there where there were some empty seats. Maybe people are bored with varroa.
He told us varroa is the biggest problem in beekeeping today. He pointed out that although the cause of CCD is unknown, if there was no varroa there would be no CCD, which he suggests is a cocktail of pathogens and viruses. John Kefuss, the American in France who initiated the Bond method of beekeeping (Live and Let Die) fears that varroa will become an endangered species as our bees learn to follow the example of Apis cerana in uncapping 84% of worker brood with varroa.
In Sweden they use Apistan and organic acids against varroa. Thymol, in the form of Apiguard, isn’t much used although it has been approved. It’s the viruses transmitted by varroa that kill the bees. Neonicotiniods and nosema are 1,000 times worse together than alone. Apistan is effective but leaves residues. It is recommended to alternate different kinds of treatment, one of which is drone brood culling and making nuclei.
Epigenetics is the new science concerning how genes in the DNA are switched on and off.
His Elgon Bee is a cross between Buckfast and Monticola, from East Africa.
In the short term one should use different miticides in different years while generally decreasing the use of chemicals and using management techniques. In the long term, one should breed resistant bees, and, as a start do something towards going treatment-free.
That’s all I can remember/decipher.