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424re: BIOLOGICAL BEEKEEPING

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  • tomas mozer
    Dec 24, 2000
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      excerpted from the bee-list for information/discussion purposes, see the
      entire posting at
      http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0012d&L=bee-l
      &F=&S=&P=1547

      Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2000
      From: Barry Donovan <DonovanB@...>
      Subject: Pseudoscorpions

      ...Briefly, and as several people have posted, there are reported to be two
      species of pseudoscorpions living among bees in South African hives. Adults
      are about 6 mm long. Pseudos (for short) are said to prey upon pollen mites,
      the bee fly, and insect larvae such as those of wax moths, and also almost
      certainly larvae of the hive beetles (2 species). Bees are thought not to be
      preyed upon.
      I was unable to find any recent research or researchers working on pseudos
      and honey bees anywhere. However I did find a paper which reported that a
      pseudo of a different species that lives among bees in the Belgian Congo did
      appear to kill a bee when the two were confined together in a container.
      This suggests that great caution needs to be exercised before pseudos are
      imported into hives of European honey bees. We need to determine whether in
      fact pseudos will eat Varroa, and whether or not they eat bee eggs and/or
      larvae.
      Intriguingly, in 1922 an item in Bee World suggested that perhaps acarine
      mites erupted because Chelifer cancroides no longer had breeding sites in
      modern clean sawn-timber hives, whereas skeps had numerous nooks and
      crannies that sheltered pseudo nests. If this is true, then perhaps
      restoration of breeding sites for pseudos within our hives may lessen many
      of the problems being experienced with mites and insects?
      At least one species of pseudos lives in colonies of the eastern honey bee,
      so perhaps it predates Varroa, and if so, this may contribute to the lack of
      a Varroa problem in Apis cerana?...

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