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  1. #21
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    Smile Ccd

    the more i am around bees, the less i know about them. this quote fits me perfectly. you folks are making my head swim.HEY- maybe i've caught CCD!!! JUST KIDDING!! very interesting thread but i'm gonna quit saying i'm a beekeeper and just say i keep bees.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Simple. Take bees from colonies that have collapsed from CCD (of course, you have to catch them at the point when a few bees are still left), and introduce them to isolated colonies that have shown no signs of CCD.
    I believe they've done that. What I think they did was put seemingly healthy bees in equipment from CCD deadouts and in many cases the hives collapsed. I believe they also combined seemingly healthy hives with some of the "remnant" bees from CCD collapsed colonies and those combines, in most cases, died.

    I'm recalling this from memory from reading Jerry Bromenshenk's posts on Bee-L. I could be mistaken in the details.

    So it would appear that CCD is contagious. Perhaps, given that colonies that succumbed to CCD don't initially get robbed or attacked by wax moth and SHB, perhaps, there is something lingering in the equipment.

    <edit> Well I searched my mailbox and came up with a few quotes from Jerry Bromenshenk. It appears my memory wasn't too far off. Forgive me Jerry for quoting you out of context!

    It looks to be contagious, and the total absence of robbing, invasion by
    hive beetles, wax moth is peculiar.
    ..in several CCD cases that we've examined, when beekeepers combined or stacked good bees on CCD boxes/frames -- all of the bees collapsed. In a few cases, or if the boxes have been open to the air for several weeks, the bees appeared to be ok.
    Last edited by George Fergusson; 03-10-2007 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Added some quoted material
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #23
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    Almost all samples collected of dead and dying CCD hives have enormous levels of multiple deseases. With never seen high levels of EFB being one of them. The toxins produced from this concoction of multiple viral/bacterial vectors could be the reason that frames or bees introduced into a CCD hives continues to die off. This is far from suggesting that CCD is contagious from one hive to another. At this point, the noted lack of robbing suggests that CCD is not contagious, since bees do not rob out honey until after the frames and hives have been aired out and thus the toxin levels decreased. And thus far, after the frames have been aired out, no noted transfer of CCD has been mentioned, even after acknowledging that bees will in fact rob out a hive at a later time, perhaps when the danger level of toxins has passed.

    Since when is adding healthy bees to a deadly deseased hive, proof of contagiousness or not?

  4. #24
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    >>>Just try not to read into (my comments) too deeply.<<<
    Sheesh, Bjorn, I thought you wanted your comments taken seriously!

    I agree with most of your last post, maybe ( ) even all of it. While I think the jury's still out on CCD causes, I agree beekeeping science in this country is in a sorry state.
    Almost all the beekeepers I know, many 3rd generation, are doing things mostly the way their grandparents did, except on a larger scale and with forklifts, that includes us. Not for any particular reason but that it was the way it's always been done and it has worked so far. Lots has changed in agriculture in the past few decades but not much in beekeeping. Most changes in commercial beekeeping have been merely chemical bandaids trying to ward off problems for which no other realistic option is available. Maybe a classic 'treat the symptom, not the cause' mentality, but born of the age old syndrome of wanting a roof over one's head, to keep the lights on and to eat at least one meal a day.
    The problem, I think, has been that until recently, beekeeping wasn't considered important enough to fund much research when "it has worked so far". That can't be said any more, at least not with a straight face. It's interesting and telling that the almond board is more interested in funding research than many beekeepers. On the other hand, they can probably afford it easier than most beekeepers, with skyrocketing costs and skydiving honey prices. Nor can most commercial beekeepers afford to bet the farm on unproven pest controls, or do indepth studies into nutritional compositions. This is what the research facilities, the universities should be doing.

    You have obviously given this much thought. Where do we as an industry go now? How do we play catch up?
    Sheri

  5. #25

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    Maybe the whole CCD thing is just the AHB trait of absconding.

  6. #26
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    >Since when is adding healthy bees to a deadly deseased hive, proof of contagiousness or not?

    Contagious: Transmissible by direct or indirect contact; communicable: a contagious disease.

    Of course, you've been talking in terms of toxins. Contagiousness isn't really applicable to toxins- it's either poisonous or it isn't and the bees are either in contact with it and die, or they aren't and they live. On the other hand, if the problem is a disease or virus and healthy bees catch it when brought into close proximity then it's contagious, no?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #27
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    Not really sure Sheri.

    I do remember, was it last year, that the national honey board made the suggestion that if the U.S. bee industry does not get its act together, than the money they normally give to bee research would go directly towards efforts to open the border to allow bees from the south. They will spend the money that directly benefits them.

    Its really hard to make changes or redirect efforts until, unfortunately, a major crisis developes. This may be that crisis. I look forward to a time when researchers are not "grant whores" as they say. (I don't blame them, as they are dependant on this money to just continue every year.) A time when researchers are not debating how much a screen bottom helps or does not help, or does not help significantly, or some other definition.

    I guess listing some items (breeder group, focused research here or there, etc.) could be done for points of discussion, but I think that it goes deeper than mere lists of one thing or another. I think its a mindset change, a cultural change, and no money or list will change that.

    Unfortunately for us, we are a big country. One with many points and angles. I guess its easier for a smaller country to make strides where we just get bogged down in personal politics, positioning for power, dividing money too many ways for unnecassary research, and so on. I don't see many changes coming until either forced too, or a major crisis developes. One that may hurt alot of beekeepers. I don't relish in that fact, but will embrace any good that may come out it.

  8. #28
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    Default Bjorn you cannot equate the level of study of animals

    with that of insects. The study of entomology is way behind the study of animals. THe primary goal of entomologists until recently has simply been to classify and identify.

    On the other hand man has been breeding and studying animals for millenia.

    So it should come as no surprise that we know so little about insects.

    The exciting thing to me is that we have the bee genome now coded so this will lead us to start to understand things that are far different than those that govern animal behaviour.

    It is a lot easier to think like a chicken or a goat or a cow than like a bee. We can't even imagine what governs insect behaviour.

    To me the critical thing is that the bees have absconded. There are no dead bodies.

    So I believe something is or has interfered with their ability to communicate. Or there is something in the hive that has caused some / most of them to depart without the queen.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursebee View Post
    Maybe the whole CCD thing is just the AHB trait of absconding.
    Nursebee, interesting you should bring this up. D.Murrell posted on the biobeek'ing thread that the 1976 "disappearing disease" was blamed on AHB genes by researchers at that time.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...9&postcount=12
    Sheri

  10. #30
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    Yeah George, whatever. My hive ten miles from your with a bad case of AFB would not be contagious to your hive. But I guess if I came over and jammed a few frames inside yours, the meaning would change. I know the text book definition, but I was more along the lines of practical application.

    Lets look at it this way. If not for the fact that some researcher placed frames from one hive into another, no proof up to this point has been shown that CCD is contagious between hives.

    Guess cancer is classified contagious, since if you donate a lung or some other organ riddled with cancer to another person via a transplant, the second person would have cancer. But I know cancer is not contagious.

  11. #31
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    David, I dissagree totally. My examples of apples and cows illustrates this.

    How hard is it to have a nationally recognized breeders association to further breeding efforts such as the ontario group (for 15 years now). How hard is it to catalog the research on pollen as the Austalians did (20 years ago). These are just two areas that the U.S. bee industry is far behind other countries.

    I earlier pointed out some information 20 years old from australia concerning protein in relationship to a body mass. You would of thought nobody had ever came across this information before. In three club meetings and discussions with two researchers, nobody had a clue. Guess they were waiting for that bee genome data to enlighten them on these other issues.

    Your telling me that the science in growing apples is detailed down to weather conditions, temperature, point of blossom developement, and other factors, and yet you give a pass on the U.S. bee industry on lack of knowledge on nutrition, stress, and other important areas, because up till now the "bee genome" was not completed. I find that totally amazing, but explains the lack of expectations and perhaps the "culture" I mentioned earlier.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Yeah George, whatever.
    Well I understand what you're saying Bjorn, and I guess you understand me. I agree, there's a big difference between communicable, contagious, and highly contagious. Depending on modes of transmission, contagiousness can vary considerably.

    I happen to think you're take on CCD is about the most plausible explanation I've heard so far. That said, I'm still waiting for a consensus from the CCD working group- until then I'm going to keep an open mind.

    I'm also very interested in how CCD is playing out. It appears that a lot of the beekeepers who've experienced CCD in their operations have not been inclined to share that information publicly. Jerry Bromenshenk just posted this to Bee-L:

    New losses occur every day - one of the nation's large and most respected beekeepers lost most of his operation two weeks ago, another joined the ranks last Wednesday.
    The real scope of CCD in this country is unknown to most of us. That is unsettling.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  13. #33
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    >>>I do remember, was it last year, that the national honey board made the suggestion that if the U.S. bee industry does not get its act together, than the money they normally give to bee research would go directly towards efforts to open the border to allow bees from the south. They will spend the money that directly benefits them.<<<
    I must have missed this statement but it doesn't surprise me.
    Did they further define what would entail "getting 'our' act together?"
    I can imagine....
    The NHB is funded directly by enforced assessments from honey producers. How ironic if they took our "donations" and used them to open the borders further.
    But perhaps I am being too harsh. The NHB has done it's mandated job of promoting honey; China, Argentina and Vietnam are most grateful.
    Sheri

  14. #34
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    George,
    I made a passing comment to someone about the adee operation at the same time someone posted here on beesource that adee's claimed no losses. And this person basically said, "How did you know about addee's?, I didn't know that information was out yet." So obviously to me, there are some stories not being told.

  15. #35
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    Sheri, I think the qoute was made by a blue diamond rep, at a national honey board meeting. So maybe my first comment was off. The almond industry does give alot to bee research, etc.

  16. #36
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    I wanted to make two examples to clear my comments about apples, cows, bees, etc.

    I know if I approached any of my apple growers, and flashed a glossy "apple mag", and stated "Hey, do I have a deal for you. I'm selling fertilizer at half price!" The response might be something along the lines of, "OK, whats the ingredients and nutrient levels?" I could respond further stating "Hey, it does not matter, look at the price!"

    My point is, that an apple grower knows exactly what his trees need. They have soil analyzed, spray consultants, know the compounds in the fertilizers they need, and so on.

    Now contrast that to a beekeeper.

    "Hey, look at this glossy bee mag, I have bee substitute on sale cheap!"

    Beekeeper responds.."I'll take some!"

    Look at some of the bee mags. One advertises "Generic pollen", one advertises the percieved quality of a substitute with "pollen added" that has a lower nutritional value than the original formula prior to adding the pollen. Whats that say about the pollen? Most mags do not qoute or show nutrition value. But do we demand to see them, or do we just buy it? Do I think any of my apple growers buy their fertilizer based on price, and absent of any nutritional values printed for consideration prior to buying? No way! They now what they need, what the levels are, and whats it takes to have a good operation.

    I recently started a thread entitled "what is pollen?" It was focused on this very point. DeGroot detailed in 1953 the nutritional values needed for healthy bees. But yet, almost every beekeeper I have talked too knows nothing about it. They never even heard of isoleucine. I equate that to an apple grower not knowing what nitrogen is.

    I know some of the big growers use containers of pollen shipped in from overseas. Kind of hard to find out what the nutrition value is though when you ask. But you hear "Hey, but its real pollen!".

    Does any of this make sense? I see the apple grower making much more informed decisions and having the needed information obtained through research, far exceeding anything the average beekeeper has at their disposal. But I guess as long as those "glossy mags" with cheap prices sell, nothing will change......

    We as an industry must make the changes. We must demand better from suppliers. We must pull ourselves up with our own bootstraps. We must educate ourselves to at least the same level as an apple grower, if thats not asking too much.

  17. #37
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    >>>maybe my first comment was off.<<<
    Now you tell me, lol. Sure glad I toned down my response once I stopped seeing red.
    Sheri

  18. #38
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    I'm always good for something. What...I have no clue!

  19. #39
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    "Most changes in commercial beekeeping have been merely chemical bandaids trying to ward off problems ..."

    Sheri,
    Bravo! I agree with your statement.

    Boris
    Last edited by Boris; 03-12-2007 at 05:04 PM.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Your telling me that the science in growing apples is detailed down to weather conditions, temperature, point of blossom developement, and other factors, and yet you give a pass on the U.S. bee industry on lack of knowledge on nutrition, stress, and other important areas, because up till now the "bee genome" was not completed. I find that totally amazing, but explains the lack of expectations and perhaps the "culture" I mentioned earlier.
    Bjorn:
    First of all, you are the one who came up with the apples and cows, not me.
    Nor did I ever "give a pass" to the US Bee industry.

    Here is my point, with some quotes from the 1986 Encycl. Brittanica. (I am sure you can find different quotes but that is what I am using because 1. I have it at my fingertips, and 2. it proves my point about the state of entomology - at least in 1986.)

    First point: The study of entomology is in its infancy, compared to animal and plant husbandry.

    Proof: "The largest single class of animals, the Insecta, is composed of 700,000 known species; probably at least another 700,000 are not yet known to science."

    Second point: Most of the study of entomology is still involved with simply identification.
    Proof: "Much of modern entomology is still in the descriptive stage of taxonomy; and even in well-studied groups such as the butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) new species are continually being discovered. It is often exceedingly difficult to identify life stages other than the adult in insect groups that exhibit complete metamorphosis."

    Third point: Most of the study that we (mankind) have made of insects has been on how to kill them!
    Proof: "The biology of an important pest insect is usually much more fully known that that of its benign or obscure relatives. Governmental departments of agriculture and the chemical industry, through university and field stations, spend enormous sums of money on the biology of pest insects with the aim of determining the best means of control."

    OK, so there you have it.

    Just imagine if there were 700,000 known species of mammals, and all but 100 of them were perceived to be pests?

    Or 700,000 species of fruits and vegetables known, and 700,000 unknown? Do you think the same level of study would be going on as currently?

    Bjorn I do not disagree with your point that more resources ought to be devoted to the honey bee. But in our capitalistic society if research doesn't show promise to make money then it is unlikely to attract funding.

    And even though I am opposed to drugs and chemicals for bees, frankly the total market for a silver bullet solution to CCD wouldn't generate squat in terms of profits.

    I'm not making excuses, just trying to understand the history of how we got to where we are. "Before we can tell where we are going we first have to find out where we are and how we got here."
    Last edited by BerkeyDavid; 03-11-2007 at 07:41 AM. Reason: typos

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