The Low Technology Institute is running a breeding program to establish varroa-tolerant colonies in a semi-isolated area. The essence of the process is to split hives aggressively to have as many reasonably strong colonies as possible going into winter and then heavily splitting those that survive. Without treatment, colonies with poor tolerance will succumb to mite infestation, while those with some defense mechanism (genetic, behavioral, or both) will survive and be split to make the new population. Over years, this can create a varroa-tolerant colony, as shown in European trials.
This field day will consist of a presentation of the project with time for discussion afterwards. We can visit a few of the colonies around the village. Light refreshments will be served. A recording of the presentation will be available online afterwards.
The event will take place in the Cooksville Community Center (one-room schoolhouse on the corner of State Road 59 and Church Street) in Cooksville, Wisconsin (25 min south of the Madison beltline highway) on Saturday, September 22, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The event is free, but if you could send us a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know you’re coming, we can be sure to have enough refreshments on hand.
This program is funded by a North-Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant.