Mite Maulers- Bees that protect themselves from parasites March 21 2018
Mite Mauler, Mite Biters, Purdue Leg-chewers, Ankle biters are all bees that exhibit chewing behavior. This Mite Biting Behavior [MBB] is when bees chew the legs off of the Varroa mite parasite, and the mite then bleeds to death and dies. Similar to monkeys pulling tick off of each other and eating them. This is a behavioral trait that is genetically passed on by selective breeding. Pretty much all these names are interchangeable, they are all the same except for color, brood size, and some other minor differences.
Certified stock is from bees proven, tested/assayed to actually chew mites. We call these BONAFIDE BITERS! As part of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Coop [HHBBC] we make our daughters directly from Certified Artificially Inseminated queens at Purdue University. We also look at daughter lines of these Purdue AI queens, and measure the amount of MBB, and can re-certify them Bonafide Biter breeder daughter queens. These breeder queens are used to produce production queens which are mated in yards with MBB drones that mate w/ them. Production queens are in the nucs we sell, and we also sell a limited number of Bonafide Biter Breeder queens, which are about twice the price because of the extra work we do with a microscope looking at chewed legs on the dead varroa mites.
Unless, you are buying from someone in HHBBC you can not be sure you are getting a Bonafide Biter!