Braula

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Slowmodem, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Rather than hijack a thread, I figured I'd just start a topic here. In the weather thread, Ef mentioned bee lice. It may just be me, but this is the first I remember hearing about it. It might be that the SHB and Varroa gets all the attention.

    Are these lice worldwide? Are they a problem? Does anyone have any experience with them? Care to share?

    Curious minds (well, me at least) want to know! :???:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I've read about them for 35 years. I have never seen them. I would think they are scarce and may be a thing of the past.
     

  3. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Last year I told one of my neighbors about having bees, and he asked me did I have a problem with bee lice. I told him I had never heard of bee lice. He said when he was a boy, that would have been about 50 years ago, that his dad kept bees and had problems with bee lice. At that time, I only had about one year of beekeeping so I just blew it off, as I had never heard of them.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Are these lice on the bees or the ones that tunnel through the cappings on capped honey?
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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  6. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Hot dang, something else to worry about.
     
  7. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Braula -------- No problem ?

    I first saw Braula years ago. It was during a club visit to a member's apiary. They were on a queen and the solution was to pop her into a Q cage and puff cigarette smoke into the cage. The Braula dropped off the Q and she was returned to the hive. At that time, I think Thornes sold packs of rough tobacco chippings to go in the smoker.

    When varroa was advancing in the UK, I used to check the after-winter hive floor debris (using the vegetable oil float test). Braula and varroa showed up in this debris. Once keepers started to use Bayvarol and Apistan to control varroa the braula vanished.

    Braula was not regarded as a great pest. The braula prefered to ride on the Q and that was usually where they were spotted. You can tell braula from varroa fairly easily. With varroa the legs are almost hidden by the carapace, with braula the legs are very obvious.

    :eek:ldtimer:
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I think that Barbarian hit the mark---once beekeepers started using assorted chemical treatments against Varroa, the Braula were pretty much done in. It's been many years since I last saw any of them. (That's why I still have unused cagarettes in my storage shed)
    Additional ways of distinguishing between Braula and Varroa are 1--by color, Braula are light brownish-grey as opposed to the dark brown coloration of the Varroa and 2--Braula are "zippy" in action, whereas Varroa are relatively slower and less prone to moving around (which is one reason why it is often difficult to spot Varroa).