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mookiesurfs7 karma

Your article and recommendation of nucs as support colonies has been an amazing success for us. The question: How do you combine bees from different colonies? How often is there conflict? The newspaper method did not work for us; everybee was content to stay on their own side. I've begun to just smoke them and combine them. Is that ok? I have not seen any ill effects.

PS: I dare say the 5 frame nuc stack may be a better fit for bee temperament than the 10 frame deep.

mookiesurfs6 karma

Do you feel that wild or feral Apis Mellifera may be surviving by having developed effective strategies to deal with Varroa? I've read Dr. Seeley's "The Lives of Bees", and while I would love to believe his hypothesis of perpetually healthy feral colonies, I had a lot of questions that went unanswered by the book. What do you think?

mookiesurfs4 karma

So, I don't want to clog up your AMA, but hopefully some of these questions help others also. My last one for now concerns the two competing models of CCD, or at least the two commonly written about for lay persons like myself. One is the very catchy "Varroa bomb" model that has an infected hive infecting all the other hives around it. The second model has the colony gradually declining as infected bees self-sacrifice and remove themselves from the colony and perish outside. These two popular models of what happens to a Varroa infected colony seem mutually exclusive. Which model do you favor, or what are your thoughts on how Varroa loaded colonies decline?

mookiesurfs4 karma

We missed Bee College this year at UF, but prior to having to cancel we had five questions prepared. Should I ask them all at once or in individual comments? Some of them are easy, but have implications, like: "Do queens get varroa?".

mookiesurfs4 karma

Dr. Ellis, when setting up a bait hive for swarms, do you install frames with foundation or leave it empty?