We recently acquired the line of bees named Martha Carpenter Mite Maulers. Bill and Martha Carpenter developed this line of bees which are ccd/mite resistant Italian queens developed by the allogrooming survival method.
This line does not destroy brood by removing it as VHS bees tend to do. A mite resistant Queen lessens the need for chemical mite controls resulting in money saved and a healthier chemical free colony.
The Carpenters have not used a Varroa treatment since the spring of 2005, and we are going to continue this practice.
Selection tests for Breeder Queens
We are going to continue to use the practices that the Carpenters built their Queen business around. Allogrooming
A) Varro mauling - chewing the mites, which kills them.
B) selection of breeding stock involves monitoring for chewed mites on the bottom boards.
1) Test for Varroa Mite Grooming (allogrooming)
The way we check for mite kill is to use a bottom board, which we place a piece of freezer paper sprayed with cooking spray. We pull the pan after a few hours during the day(do not leave over night as the bees clean more at night). We then look through the droppings for mites and look at mites under a 30X glass. We look for ones that have been pinched or legs pulled off. we then count the number pinched vs not pinched. we only use queens for breeders that have a 75% or more pinched rate.
Our first test is we work all colonies in the apiary, during a honey flow with short sleeves, this ensures a gentle temperament is maintained. The aggressive hives are culled from the outfit. We select breeder queens from only gentle, workable, high producing colonies. We do not enjoy being stung.