A large and ever growing body of work is being conducted
by the North York Moors Honey bee Conservation Group, Co-ordinated by
Mite Damaging Behaviour in Apis Mellifera Bee races
The work started in 1997 and consists of selecting and
cross breeding strains of AMM bees that show high levels of damage
being inflicted on the mites that infest them. The bees concerned are
constantly challenged by mites which are allowed to build up to just
below the catastrophic level, but are kept at this sub lethel level by
thymol or lactic acid treatment.
The assessment of the "damage coefficient" is made by
microscopically examining all of the mites that fall from the bees
and recording the number of damaged mites seen in relation to the
total number of dead mites per colony.
So far this work is producing promising results that are
improving, year by year, and I will publish the results to date on
this page when I have gained the permission of the group.
Written... 10 December 2001
Revised... 11 December 2001