I suppose I could put mediums together and deeps together next year. Then go with mediums from now on.
The deeps can be used for the attic spaces for overwintering all the mediums as I do away with deeps.
And for bait hives maybe. They come in handy for so many things. They make good places to sit, and something to stand on, and something to lay beeboxes onto when working hives.
If there is any adaptation by the mites it will simply be that some have the ability to reproduce in small cell and some don't and the ones that succeed will pass on that trait. Evolution, if it takes place at all, is so slow that it has never been observed.
My guess is that it's simple mechanics that prevents the Varroa from being able to reproduce effectively in small cell. I don't expect an adaptation to that.
But I do agree more than one method is always good.
I am not sure by what you call Evolution as in:
"Evolution, if it takes place at all, is so slow that it has never been observed."
But, if we define it somewhat simplistically, as the accumulation of changes that allows a species to survive in new environments (whether it leads to the creation of a new species oo not), then I would claim that Evolution is seen all the time, including in the bugs that we deal with. What would you call the development of resistance to Apistan by Varroa jacobsoni?
Apistan resistance, and any other resistance such as TM resistant AFB etc, is a simple shift in the genetic distribution of the population. There were, from the begining, mites that would survive Apistan. There always were. The difference is that the only ones that survived were the ones with this ability. Since the ability was genetically already there, you can't say they evolved the ability. But the only ones that lived to reproduce were the ones that already had that ability. This they pass on to their decendants and they only have the opportunity to mate with mites that also have this resistance, because all the other mites had to survive too.
The bubonic plague wiped out most of Europe. The rodents of this continent still carry the bacteria but we have had no outbreaks of it since the black plauge in Europe (Except in Chine in the 1920's). Why? Did we "evolve" the ability to survive the plague? No. All the people WITHOUT the ability died. The survivors did not evolve this ability, they all ALREADY HAD THE ABILITY, otherwise they wouldn't have lived to pass this on to their decendants. We now have a LESS diverse genetic pool. This is not a new genetic ability or different genetic makeup, just a shift in the number of the population that have the ability to survive a certain situation, chemical, or bacteria.
Evolution is when some NEW genetic trait develops that was not there before.
>>Since the ability was genetically already there, you can't say they evolved the ability.
The species has evolved by nature of genetic selection. Its the slight differences in the species make up which allow the species to survive when populations are pressured by a certain factor, in this case V mites treated with Apitsan. These traits would not be expressed if it wern't for that pressure. Do you not beleive the mites are evolving to live in an environment with fluvalinate? The bees are going through the same pressure right now with Vmites.
I call this evolution
Evolution is an ongoing process and is a term which can only be applied to an entire species, not individuals within a species. In fact, if you believe in evolutionary theory, you really shouldn't say that a species has "evolved" since species are always "evolving". There is no end point, except for extinction. Evolution is also not necessarily a linear progression upwards. Natural selection is the process by which species continually evolve as described earlier by Micheal Bush. The mechanism which drives natural selection are random genetic mutations amongst individuals in a species which give that individual a survival advantage in one way or another over other individuals. The reason evolution is not necessarily a linear upward progression is because not all beneficial genetic mutations remain beneficial over time. A species can "evolve" itself into extinction by becoming so specialized to its environment it can't survive when that environment suddenly changes.
However, since Darwin's original theories appeared, they have been modified somewhat to include not just physical changes but behavioural adaptations in a species as well. This is called "Cultural Selection" and is based on learned behaviour.
I can't agree with you completely on this. There is no way you can be certain that "there were, from the begining, mites that would survive Apistan". Since mites were not treated with apistan before they were (pretty circular, I know), either they had the traits before or they acquired them after. How could you tell?
There is a simple experiment that could be carried out with bacteria (and I have done it in a microbiology course; bacteria reproduce so fast, that's why this is possible): take a wild type form of bacteria that is sensitive to an antibiotic. You will try to grow them in the presence of the antibiotic and they will ALL die. Now irradiate those bacteria with UV light and you will induce some mutations. If you try this with enough numbers of bacteria, sooner or later a resistant strain will appear. The trait was not there before. You forced the genetic material to change and fortuitously one lucky change allows the bacteria to thrive in the antibiotic.
Unless we know for sure that Varroa was somewhat resistant to Apistan from day 1 Apistan appeared in the market, we can simply not say they were resistant then. Mutations happen all the time (and UV light simply speeds the process up; that's why we get cancer if exposed too much) and one chance mutation can give the Varroa that edge. One female is enough to get a big ball rolling towards total ineffectiveness of Apistan treatment unless we use additional methods to kill that one runaway female.
I am not claiming that new species are appearing, but given the right environmental pressures, one could emerge from such changes.
Your example of bubonic plague can be explained differently too: those who survive did so in part because, either they had better higine (that's why new outbrakes go unnoticed or simply don't go far these days), they got infected with lower doses and their immune system had a better chance to get a good start in the fight, or they were malnourished people whose immune system was weak. Once the immune system is primed and survives, a second infection is easier to fight. I don't think there is anything genetic in this case.