"Queens and workers are genetically identical" That doesn't sound right. Could you elaborate?
Yes, again we know that. what relevance does it have to your argument that selective propagation and drone (partial) control will never succeed in raising resistance?
Like all treatments is preserves all those that would in nature perish, thus ridding the population of its least adapted individuals and their dysfunctional genes. Just as effective in setting back the resistance clock to zero.
Chemical free it might be. A solution to the problem lack of natural resistance it ain't. 'Treatment free'? Not in my book.
From here, my first assumption would be that the ferals you have been getting haven't made much, if any, progress toward resistance - likely they are simply first or second year escapees. Can you try harder to locate some thriving resistant ferals?
Sure, I know not all beekeepers follow this! I wouldn't need to be here making these arguments again and again if they did!
You have the sort of 'variable expression of the privilege to do so' given to fishermen without regulation. Pretty soon there are no fish and no fishermen, and humanity and unborn generations have lost something precious that wasn't fishermen's to take.
Originally Posted by Saltybee
The idea that man is only providing a box for the all natural bee is like believing man can raise the all natural maize by throwing corn into a field.
In an open mating organism, the more you keep sickly individuals alive to mate, the more sickness there will be in the next generation.
That is just simply inarguable. Like day follows night.
Husbandrymen should be mindful of this, particularly when suffering from a seemingly intractable sickness.
They can be aided in their understanding by consideration of Nature's ways. For your contemplation, some words from one of the most famous bee breeders of all time (My emphasies):
""Breeding is, in the first place, simply the increase in the number of queens."
"Yet breeding is not merely a question of reproduction. Above all, breeding implies improvement in the bee's performance capability "
"Queen breeding ranks as the most important activity in the efficient management of an apiary: by it, the apiarist [...] advances from being a Beekeeper to a being a Beebreeder."
"Breeding is by no means a human invention. Nature, which in millions of years
has bought forth this immense diversity of wonderfully adapted creatures, is the
greatest breeder. It is from her that the present day breeder learnt how it must
be done, excessive production and then ruthless selection, permitting only the
most suitable to survive and eliminating the inferior."
Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee, pg 45
These principles are extremes of the methods undertaken by ordinary, competent, beekeepers - those Ruttner speaks of in the third extract above, which I've highlighted.
If you are genuinely interested in tf beekeeping, you'll need to become very familiar with these things. And if and when you are, you'll understand that protecting your bees from passing diseases simply - and dramatically - increases the liklihood that future generations will suffer from them. You've interfered with the population's primary health mechanism; and you - and others - pay the price.
Life is tough. But the way to get through isn't to wrap your hives in cotton wool. Its to equip your stock to meet the challenges.
This is another approach towards natural selection.
We explored practical steps to implement a sustainable treatment against Varroa destructor which is adapted to common beekeeping situations, and applies conventional control but nevertheless exerts selection pressure towards increased mite tolerance in honey bees. This approach approximates conditions of natural selection in host-parasite systems, and is supported by evidence that the impact of V. destructor decreases when bee populations are overexploited by the parasites.
As I recall, you look for different-coloured wax cappings, and perhaps a slightly raised cap. It might be that the bees re-use the same lid, so what you are looking for is a ring of newer wax.
Best I can offer right now - if anyone else has info I'd be very grateful.
Mike my question was rhetorical. In fact you cannot recognise recapped cells just by looking at the cap.
>I think your wrong. Yes some antibiotics can wipe out good bacteria FOR A FEW DAYS.. not forever.
This is one sentence from from deknow's summary on the study on his web site:
"In summary, this work shows rather definitively that gut microbiotia is heritable (and very old), and that a line damaged by antibiotics does not return (at least in 25+ years) to its original population."
Mike, most of the feral hives here are young hives. swarming seems to keep them going. This year is probably going to be the lowest in a long time for ferals. a really bad year for honey last year, and a sever winter will make wild losses very high.
Still looking for that link for the "restiant" producers....
One can clearly see that the bees are opening cells and recapping.
From the same hive.
Changes in Infestation, Cell Cap Condition, and Reproductive Status of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Brood Exposed to Honey Bees with Varroa Sensitive Hygiene
Jeffrey W. Harris,1 Robert G. Danka and José D. Villa
USDA-ARS, Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, 1157 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
1 Corresponding author, e-mail: email@example.com.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) bred for Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) selectively remove pupae infested with Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) from capped brood that is inserted into the nest. After 1 wk, remaining brood cells tend to have been uncapped and recapped, and remaining mites are mostly infertile. A primary goal of this experiment was to compare the reproductive status of mites that remained in recapped and normally capped cells after a 1-wk exposure to VSH and control colonies. Differences in distribution of fertile mites in normally capped brood cells between VSH bees and control bees may suggest that the stimulus for hygiene is related to reproduction by mites. Identification of stimuli triggering VSH behavior could be used to develop new bioassays for selective breeding of this important resistance mechanism. Combs of capped brood that were exposed to control bees had 10 times more pupae with fertile mites in normally capped brood as did VSH bees (6.7 and 0.7%, respectively). They also had 3 times more pupae with infertile mites in normally capped brood than did VSH bees (1.4 and 0.5%, respectively). Thus, VSH bees targeted fertile mites by a 3:1 ratio by either removing or uncapping and recapping their host pupae. Biased removal of mite-infested pupae with fertile mites suggested that stimuli triggering VSH behavior were enhanced by the presence of mite offspring within the brood cell. This bias for fertile mites is not seen during experiments of short 3-h duration. The differing results are discussed relative to a behavioral threshold model for hygienic behavior in honey bees in which different experimental protocols may reflect activities of honey bees having different sensitivities to pupae infested by fertile mites. In addition, mortality of mite offspring was significantly higher in recapped cells than in normally capped cells and contributed to decreased reproduction by the mites.
With regard to the question as to whether VSH bees will recap bald brood, I
asked one of the researchers who are investigating the phenomenon
intimately--Dr. Jeffrey Harris at the Baton Rouge Lab. His reply:
Yes. We have seen all pupal stages into lightly tanned body get recapped by
VSH bees. Purple-eyed pupae with white bodies are commonly recapped.
Grass Valley, CA
Posting same time as Barry.
>then we are all doomed to bees with terrible IBS
That was not on my list of concerns. But since we know that gut bacteria protects bees from AFB, EFB, Nosema and chalkbrood, the bacteria is a concern...
You may have a point that beneficial flora in the bee gut is a good thing. But what does it mean? with bees being so social, and drifters common, I would expect that any hive even if treated would soon have replenished the beneficial bacteria's.
Secondly were it such a huge issue, we could and would see dramatic results. As pointed out NZ bees (and other places) would be extremely healthy, and bees treated with things to eliminate EFB would be dieing off in record numbers.
This is not what we are seeing. not even close. In fact no trends seem to be popping out, specifically ones that show old hives outliving all others. or swarms from older hives solving all the problems. were that the case a few drifters with nectar could and would quickly replace the missing flora in our domestic hives.
If gut fauna were the answers then I would suspect feral hives to long outlive packages brought in. Not what I am seeing. Data shows its a time factor. how many mite cycles.... a hot potato if you will. constant splitting and brood breaks seem to relieve the symptoms...
I do understand in your area you seem to have something else working well for you. How may of your hives are going 2-3 years without brood breaks or requeening??