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Well, lucky us so far, the last continent stronghold of no varroa- I have been following American beekeping for a few years and admire your resourcefulness and tenacity greatly and am terrified of the impact here. A couple of weeks ago varroa was detected at a port sentinel detection hive, and all hives in the 50km radius were burned, but one commercial beekeeper had it in his, looked like it had been there a little while, and had unknowingly sent out nucs far across the state a month or two earlier. so it is a waiting game, hope, just do your best now. This occured in the state of NSW, which is immediately adjacent to and on top of the small southern state of Victoria ( where I live). They are going to go ahead with the almond pollination in northern Victoria in 2 months. If you want to breed a superbug, that's how you do it, get hives from allover the country and put them in high density for a few weeks. I think the almond pollination is a terrible idea for varroa potential this year and only allow hives from other states.

If varroa has indeed gained a sneaky foothold, the state of Western Australia would be spared for now. WA has very unique flora has very strict quarantine and nothing crosses the desert, it would have to arrive independently by sea. The other place untouched would be our southern island of Tasmania. I'm going off to rock in a corner in terror and anticipation now.
 

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Well, lucky us so far, the last continent stronghold of no varroa- I have been following American beekeping for a few years and admire your resourcefulness and tenacity greatly and am terrified of the impact here. A couple of weeks ago varroa was detected at a port sentinel detection hive, and all hives in the 50km radius were burned, but one commercial beekeeper had it in his, looked like it had been there a little while, and had unknowingly sent out nucs far across the state a month or two earlier. so it is a waiting game, hope, just do your best now. This occured in the state of NSW, which is immediately adjacent to and on top of the small southern state of Victoria ( where I live). They are going to go ahead with the almond pollination in northern Victoria in 2 months. If you want to breed a superbug, that's how you do it, get hives from allover the country and put them in high density for a few weeks. I think the almond pollination is a terrible idea for varroa potential this year and only allow hives from other states.

If varroa has indeed gained a sneaky foothold, the state of Western Australia would be spared for now. WA has very unique flora has very strict quarantine and nothing crosses the desert, it would have to arrive independently by sea. The other place untouched would be our southern island of Tasmania. I'm going off to rock in a corner in terror and anticipation now.
I totally agree - the almond pollination is a disaster for disease spread in the US. I don't send my bees. They just have to make do tree pollens and wildflowers in spring and cap off on the mesquite flow. My bees have some resistance. My queen for one hive came in on a giant swarm, the other is VSH (varroa sensitive hygenic). Both hives produce a lot of propolis, and I just OAV to treat a couple of times a year when broodless. But no beekeepers near me
 

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I totally agree - the almond pollination is a disaster for disease spread in the US. I don't send my bees. They just have to make do tree pollens and wildflowers in spring and cap off on the mesquite flow. My bees have some resistance. My queen for one hive came in on a giant swarm, the other is VSH (varroa sensitive hygenic). Both hives produce a lot of propolis, and I just OAV to treat a couple of times a year when broodless. But no beekeepers near me
that's great.You think propolis is active in some measure against varroa &/ associated virus? There is much research supporting effectiveness against fungal and bacterial disease. I carve up the sides of my hives and have stapled hessian on as well. no other beekeepers near you is a great blessing when it cones to disease transference. I was very impressed by reading TD Seeleys book 'The lives of Bees' where wild bees had learned to live with it- I guess you're seeing a similar thing with yours. Same reason I don't feed my bees- i want them to adapt to local conditions.
 

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I think my healthiest hives have always been the heavy propolizers. There have always been varroa, for me, I started in 2011. Varroa carry several viruses, K wing and Deformed Wing Virus being the most obvious. I have had a bad enough mite year to see bees walking on the ground with weird wings, back when I did removals and picked up swarms and brought a lot of strange bees home. I quit doing that at the end of 2018 after a fall and my bees have been healthier ever since.
 

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That's great to hear your bees are doing better for your more conservative management approach. And very interesting to hear about propolis too, thank you. Above when I said I had stapled hessian to side of hive, i retract the idea that this is a good idea. I love it as a hive mat, they do propolise it , but on the walls where they walk I think their feet get caught in it. (just preparing hives for coming spring and noticed ). Back to scratching up with hive tool/ anglegrinder.

What's your take on africanised bees? / aggressive bees? on varroa resistance and keep - ability & c?
 

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All Texas wild bees probably contain some african genetic material. Not too big a problem, heavy propolization is the best, and it is not an African trait, I don't think, I have had it in purchased nuds too.

The real aggressive hives varroa resistance tools are don't store honey, build up huge swarm and move on along a couple of times a year. They leave the mites behind. I've picked up a couple of really really hot swarms. One got a bucket of soapy water, I could not requeen it and it was HUGE. They built no comb after I brought them home, home just I guess the queen laid in the couple of frames of comb I gave them, and they gulped sugar syrup and grew in numbers but were not constructive. It was not safe to open the bee yard gate. Eventually soapy water after I made a valiant effort to requeen or do anything constructive with them
 
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