Hello Australian beekeepers.
My name is Jan Peterek, I live in Frydek-Mistek city in the Czech Republic and studied biomedical engineering at Brno University of Technology.
I got information that Varroa was detected in Australia. We will see whether current eradication will be successful to keep Australia still without Varroa. If not and Varroa will be unstoppable, I have for you my recommendation right now…
I am a scientific beekeeper and I am talking about Darwinian beekeeping from 2015. Every year I have several presentations/lectures in the Czech Republic about this. I have published two books: The first one is: Search and breeding of naturally resistant bees published in 2018. Name of the second one is: DWV-B, the main cause of colony losses in the heart of Europe published in 2021. Both are purely only my publications. posledniprocento.cz (translate: last percentage) is my web-site, but now only in Czech language. In the future I will translate my publications and web-site to English.
You are living in Australia, so I am sure that you have some knowledge about rabbit invasion in Australia. There were some attempts to eradicate it, for example by myxomatosis virus in the 1950’s or calici-virus in the 1990’s. But there was still and only natural selection. Strong rabbits survived and they made a new strong population and viruses have become weaker. This is pure evolution biology.
Using the treatment of bee colonies is absolutely wrong. This is like a loan. In the early years you can see that bee colonies are alive and everything looks good. But treatment (by especially „hard synthetic chemistry“) „creates“ more aggressive variants/mutants of Deformed Wing Virus, because this is the opposite way. Weak colonies survive and produce weaker population and Varroa is under high selection pressure, so Varroa produce stronger population.
Selection/evolutionary pressure of pure Varroa is around 90% around the world.
But with DWV-A is around 97% and with DWV-B is around 99%. This is my knowledge and expectation. Of course, there are other influences as well.
So, there are two ways:
1) Treatment = first 20 years will be +/- ok, but after this the situation becomes worse and worse and worse and there will be no way to go back or it will be very difficult. (For example, in the Czech Republic the health situation is in summary bad. There is a huge difference between today and 10 years ago, because beekeepers are using a lot of „hard synthetic chemistry“ (amitraz, tau-fluvalinate, flumethrin) and for example in 2019 there were terrible colony losses. I am a leader of a bigger and bigger group of beekeepers, which is going step by step to natural selection, so the health situation could be better in the near future, because we are looking for and reproducing the strongest bee colonies)
2) Darwinian beekeeping = the first few years are very difficult, because natural selection is in progress… but after this time the situation stabilizes. No more worries. Please look at this picture. Here you can see my model based on evolutionary biology.
If Varroa will be unstoppable, it will be very important to do a laboratory test, which genotype of DWV is in Australia. With this information it is possible to do a rough estimation of selection pressure.
Of course, there could be some special method for searching resistant colonies in Australia. For example, in Australia there could be some areas, where will be only and pure Darwinian beekeeping. In a few years natural selection could be reproduction of resistant colonies and then transporting colonies/queens up to the whole country.
I highly and strongly recommend using Darwinian beekeeping and I am ready to cooperate with all Australian beekeepers.
This recommendation/message is free for sharing. Please share it as much as possible. Thank you.
All the best, Jan Peterek, Czech Republic, 6.7.2022