Varroa Resistance Traits – theory and practice
December 16, 2022
Faculty of Agrobiotehnical Sciences, University of J.J. Strossmayer in
– Marin Kovacic performed an online training on SMR and recapping behaviour of bees.
Marin started with a very in depth introduction on the different variables that affect the tolerance as well as the resistance of the bee colony to the Varroa mite infestation.
He added that in the last eight to ten years there is a very promising study on the recapping behavior.
Then Marin continued explaining about the process of SMR. The brood cells must be opened in the stage of proper eyes development. One must look for cells that are infested with mites. Marin explained about the mother mite, the four daughters and the male one. He explained in depth on how to distinguish this family in the videos. (Marin and Carolina made several videos where Marin explained the process in detail.) Marin said that one of the biggest challenges is to distinguish the difference between stage 1and 2, and this will be shown with the help of the sheet that he provided. Also it is difficult to distinguish the male from the female (the protonimph of Varroa). He explained the differences in morphology in order to identify them.
When opening the cells, the recapping behavior can be very easily seen.
Marin said that we need to open at least four to six brood cells in order to see the development stages, and we must look for the older stages as much as possible, as it is easier to distinguish differences between the reproduction success. We also need nice tweezers; the tip needs to be really sharp. And we need two tally counters; one to mark low many cells we opened and the other to count the total number of recapped cells that we found. Then we need a sheet that Marin provided to write down the data gathered.
The practical training will be performed in Croatia-Osijek, most probably at the end of September 2023. The brood frames will be collected in early summer 2023.