I have not been active on my blogs for some time now. The reason is not me having less interest for the bees but rather me having less interests to converse with people about bees. Why is that you might ask?
Well, I just got tired of talking to many on the net and here in Scandinavia, primarily in Sweden and Denmark and in most cases getting either very negative response or even being laughed at when talking about my treatment free natural beekeeping in Top Bar Hives. Laughed at because I focus on letting my bees express their biology which results in very little surplus honey and getting negative response when saying that I dont treat my hives with anything.. Most beekeepers here still believe in the myth that untreated hives will spread Varroa into the surrounding area and re-infest their treated hives causing them issues. This is not the case as this new study shows http://www.nature.com/ismej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ismej2015186a.html
QUOTE from the ABSTRACT;
"Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite’s association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant ‘type B’ has become established in these colonies and that the lethal ‘type A’ DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future."
So we can conclude that Varroa with Type A virus will kill its host the Honeybee colony if not treated and hence will also die with the colony resulting in that Varroa not being able to spread its Type A virus next year. Treatments can never kill 100% of the mites so those who do survive will spread into the next season, maybe with an even stronger Type A virus.
Those colonies which are infested with Varroa with the Type B virus will survive the winter and so will the Varroa and the non-lethal Type B virus. Varroa with Type B virus will spread into new hives the next season and "vaccinate" other bee colonies with this Type B virus which keeps the Type A virus at bay. Natures way of vaccination :) smart this Nature, no? ;)
Once again Nature shows how limited and tiny we humans are, always trying to find that "silver bullet" to sort all our problems. Natural biodiversity is the key to most of our issues and our ignorant and greedy mind is the only phenomena we need to treat to fix these issues. Comnpassion, love and awareness seems to fix such minds.