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  1. #41
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    The current problem can be divided into two levels: 1) The immune systems of many bee colonies are weakened; 2) A virus, a disease or another unknown problem is affecting colonies with weakened systems.

    I think that our discussion about the second level of the current massive dying is not productive. Sooner or later, bee scientists will find the problem. Not all scientists are reading bee forum posts and that means that we cannot influence their jobs. But, we really can help them as practicing beekeepers by looking at the first level of the current problem.

    There are many studies that show differences in the immune systems of wild animals (and birds) and domesticated animals (and birds), because wild animals feed on natural food. Also, there are many studies that show that children who are breast-fed have stronger immune systems and are healthier than children who were fed with formula milk.

    Everyone can easily repeat my experiment. In the fall, feed two colonies with syrup and another two colonies with honey and pollen. Scientists from universities can use a wider sample (perhaps 10 colonies to be fed with sugar syrup, 10 colonies with corn syrup and 10 colonies to be fed with honey and pollen). In the spring, during the first colony inspection, compare the number of dead bees in each of the observed colonies. You will see that colonies that were fed with honey and pollen will have at least 15-20% less dead bees than the colonies that were fed with syrup.

    This information may be very useful to the bee scientists, and therefore, will be a practical way in which we, as forum members, can assist these scientists in a real, significant way.


    Boris
    Last edited by Boris; 03-11-2007 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #42
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    David,
    Why are we bogged down comparing one field to another? I used the bees/cows/apples as am example, and further clarified my point with a followup post.

    I don't care how many species have been discovered or not in this discussion. Why is that even a point for discussion?

    Forget apples, forget how long somethings been discovered or not , and lets just talk bees then....

    Answer this. Someone, anyone, explain the data, the scientific formula, the "first substitute engineered to be as close to pollen as possible", in regards to "Bee-Feed". What standard are we talking about? DeGroot standardized bee nutrition standards almost 50 years ago. I have seen no other standard (unless you call some marketing fluff "as close to pollen as possible" a standard) that goes against what DeGroot published in 1953. And yet, the latest breakthrough in bee feed, does not come close to the minimum standards called for. But does anyone question this prior to buying this stuff by the pallet? Does the average beekeeper, let alone a profession commercial operator, even have the knowledge or understanding of whats in their feed program?

    I equated a beekeeper not knowing standards for feed along the lines of an apple grower not knowing what nitrogen is. I'll not get into apples again, but use this as a comparision. It seems even basic discussion on industry ignorance gets bogged down for reasons of bee genome timing, or comparing our industry to others as to how long something has been researched. As if 53 years was not long enough for the bee industry to embrace standards set by DeGroot in 1953!

    Pick up the latest copy of Bee Culture. Yet another debate, or at least opposing views on the effectiveness on SBB. One say "not significant", one says it helps. I have commented on research money in the past, as that spent by Cornell, in "researching" SBB. Very dissappointing that money is spent on such items. If money and tight budgets were not an issue, then compare all day long. But with a small industry and limited money at hand, I feel we are getting very little "bang" for the buck.

    Yet, areas such as pollen identification, nutrition, queen programs such as the Ontario groups efforts, and many other much needed research goes unanswered every year. I have commented on t-mites for years. When was the last study ever completed on any efforts in regards to t-mites. (The ontario group all but has t-mites eliminated) In the U.S., we don't even know the impact of t-mites within the industry. And I feel its bigger than most think!

    We got here by being fragmented, with no true voice, with beekeepers all expecting someone else to do the job, the research undefunded, and many other reasons. But when something is 53 years old, and the average beekeeper is ignorant of something as basic as bee nutritiion, whats going to change? Good questions you ask, but I don't have the answers.

  3. #43
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    > in regards to "Bee-Feed". What standard are we talking about?
    > DeGroot standardized bee nutrition standards almost 50 years ago.

    Exactly, and neither Dadant or Mann Lake have bothered to put as
    much of a dime of their own money into R&D on high-margin products.
    The DeGroot work is exactly what they base their products upon.

    The "new" USDA liquid bee diet ("Megabee") is based upon current
    (and ongoing) work.

    > Does the average beekeeper, let alone a profession commercial operator,
    > even have the knowledge or understanding of whats in their feed
    > program?

    Pollen varies from plant to plant, so it is a moving target depending
    upon plant mix, month of year and so on.

    > As if 53 years was not long enough for the bee industry to embrace
    > standards set by DeGroot in 1953!

    I'm not sure that anyone would claim that DeGroot was correct,
    as his analysis was limited by the tools he had back in the 1950s.

    > Pick up the latest copy of Bee Culture. Yet another debate, or at least
    > opposing views on the effectiveness on SBB.

    That's NOT what was said - what was said was that Cornell still finds
    SBBs to be less useful in their (Northern) area than studies have found
    in more Southern locations.

    > I have commented on t-mites for years. When was the last study ever
    > completed on any efforts in regards to t-mites. (The ontario group all
    > but has t-mites eliminated) In the U.S., we don't even know the impact
    > of t-mites within the industry.

    I don't know where you've been, but t-mite resistant stock has been
    around for a while available from most breeders, and if beekeepers are
    still paying good money for queens that are anything less, that's their
    own fault. It is easy enough to check for T-mites, and easier still to
    ask before one buys queens. (Of course, those raising their own queens,
    or using mongrel stock that they want to imagine as "survivors" of
    something or other have a tougher road ahead, as they have no clue
    how to breed for a specific trait.)

  4. #44
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    Jim, I agree as a whole on your comments.

    My rant was from an industry standpoint as a whole. Yes, DeGroot's standard may be "off" as we have the ability to further his work today with better advancements. So this brings us to today...whats been the changes to his standard for the last 53 years? I see no other standard, and my point was, even if there was, whats one more standard when the last one has been ignored for the most part for 53 years? So the isoleucine level may be off by some fraction as qouted by DeGroot, that does not change the fact that most beekeepers, including commercial guys, know very little about something as basic as this, and published for 53 years. Can you imagine an apple grower saying "Whats nitrogen?". But a beekeeper will say "Huh?" when basic questions of nutrition are asked.

    As for T-mites, I know there are some good breeders out there. I see little in the way of marketing or advertising in print, for all to see, from queen producers. Yeah, I suppose its one thing to say they are doing this, doing that, or make claims when its a one-on-one conversation with some beekeeper on the phone. But where's the claims in writing? Where's the advertisements, putting their product on the line?

    My t-mite comment had to do with concentrated efforts by the ontario breeders grouop to completely eliminate t-mites from the breeding pool. I think they see beyond the individual breeder, and see things as whats best for the industry as a whole. We have no such efforts. This was one such example how the U.S. bee industry lacks effort in real programs towards making the industry better.

    I never did say exactly what one person was saying or not saying in regards to SBB. I said they have opposing views, one suggesting they help and one saying they do not contribute "significantly" to control. Then they throw the little "at least in my area" stuff. My point again was along the lines that this is where discussions are today, where research efforts are placed, and where as I feel, we get little bang for the buck. Of course this conversations just illustrates how bogged down we get over semantics. Its a wonder anything ever gets done.

    What exactly does "Screen bottom boards do not contribute to significant Varroa control, at least in the North" even mean? Whats significant? Do they help some? Help alot, but less than some definition of "significant"? What are we talking about 5%, 15%, 30% reduction? How sad that this is the level of quality research and data we recieve.

    I personally don't care if SBB only contribute less than some level of "significant", say something like 10%. I'll take that 10% anyday, regardless of some researcher using vague terms and data to suggest that they would only be usefull if some level of "significant" was achieved. Sorry if I expect more than this from the industry.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-11-2007 at 11:39 AM.

  5. #45
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    Bjornbee,

    I agree!

    First time in a long time I actually enjoyed reading a rant.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #46
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    >>feed two colonies with syrup and another two colonies with honey and pollen

    What your point?

    Are you drawing a line between syrup, and CCD?

    What syrup are you actually speaking of?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #47
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    With regard to nutrition, most domesticated animals in the U.S. have there nutrition requirements defined and revised every 15 years or so by the national research council (NRC). Honeybees are generally not considered economically important enough to have this done. Lets face it, 1/2 of all the colonies in the world could die and most governments wouldn't even bat an eye. We have so much money going to Iraq, there aren't even grants available for human nutrition research. Right now I think that most CCD research money is coming from state budgets, not the feds.

  8. #48
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    Ian,

    My point is that autumn and spring Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup feeding (instead of honey) weakens the immune systems of bees.

    Boris

  9. #49
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    Default HFC & sugar as feed

    Please explain to us as to how these two products weaken the bee's immune system???????

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSUCHAN View Post
    Please explain to us as to how these two products weaken the bee's immune system???????
    I'd like to see this too. Where was the study done to prove this? Was it performed in multiple locations of the country? Since honey and pollen have different properties in different locations of the country (actually from different nectar sources also) wouldn't it be necessary to compare results from varying honey and pollen. If you only did this comparison in one area with limited pollen and nectar sources how could you be sure that the results would hold up for all areas of the country?

    Finman has stated for years that he extracts all honey from his bee hives brood boxes in the late summer and then feeds his hives enough sugar syrup to sustain them through his long winters. He claims that allowing the bees to survive through the winter with their own honey is unnecessary and a waste of good honey.
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  11. #51
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    Default Sugar & HFC

    Very good Carbide!!!!!!
    Try to winter bees on a fall flow of aster or sunflower honey & see what happens. This is exactly what I want to see!!!!!
    WHO DID THIS STUDy THAT LED TO THIS IMFORMATION???
    The last thing we need as beekeepers is a bunch of rumors & B/S started. It helps no one!!!
    If you can not print the facts leave your fingers off the key board!!!

  12. #52
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    "If you only did this comparison in one area with limited pollen and nectar sources how could you be sure that the results would hold up for all areas of the country?"

    Carbide,
    I completely agree with your statement. My experiments with bees are limited: there is only one fund - my pocket. Therefore, I had written previously that:"Scientists from universities (!!!) can use a wider sample (perhaps 10 colonies to be fed with sugar syrup, 10 colonies with corn syrup and 10 colonies to be fed with honey and pollen). In the spring, during the first colony inspection, compare the number of dead bees in each of the observed colonies. You will see that colonies that were fed with honey and pollen will have at least 15-20% less dead bees than the colonies that were fed with syrup."

    And of course, as you pointed out, we would have to obtain results of my experiments from different locations.

    I think that I have to create a new webpage with a full explanation of my personal bee studies.

    Boris
    Last edited by Boris; 03-13-2007 at 08:11 AM.

  13. #53
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    > I think that I have to create a new webpage with a full
    > explanation of my personal bee studies.

    This thread was started with the claim that feeding choices
    somehow had something to do with CCD.

    This claim is not just completely without merit, it is an "FAQ" item
    in the MAAREC document set. (Quoting)

    "What has been eliminated as a potential cause of CCD?

    ....Feeding: The practice of feeding was common to most of the
    beekeepers interviewed and surveyed who experienced CCD. Some
    feed HFCS, others sucrose however, some did not feed. Most
    beekeepers interviewed did not feed protein but some used pre-made
    protein supplement."

    As far as feeding choices somehow having an impact on the
    immune system of bees, its going to take quite a bit of
    evidence to support this extraordinary claim, given that the
    studies done to date have either:

    a) Shown no difference between HFCS and sugar syrup

    b) Given sugar syrup a slight advantage

    ...but regardless, have consistently shown either to be tangibly
    superior to honey for overwintering.

  14. #54
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    Thanks for the link Jim, good info there.
    Sheri

  15. #55
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    >>fed with honey and pollen will have at least 15-20% less dead bees than the colonies that were fed with syrup."
    >>My point is that autumn and spring Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup feeding (instead of honey) weakens the immune systems of bees

    Boris,

    Your drawing a conclusion that feeding HFCS weakens the immune system of bees, from a small hive wintering studdy between surip and honey.
    Wintering bees is more complex than just the feed that is provided for the hives.
    Can you provide us with the studdy that has lead you to your conclusions?

    There is a difference in sugars fed to hives. HFCS most commonly used here in Western Canada. Sucrose(white sugar), probably the next most common feed. There has been a studdy compairing HFCS and Sucrose, HFCS showing a slight 10% greater bee mortality.
    But in an actual wintering situation, I would argue that 10% gets lost very quickly. Wintering bees is much more complex than simply giving them a certain kind of feed.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #56
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    Boris, I agree with Ian. I suggest your study wasn't large enough to prove anything. Even with 30 colonies fed exactly the same there would be differences in mortality rates over winter.
    Sheri

  17. #57
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    Jim,

    1. Did you read this info carefully?
    - "According to Pennsylvania State University entomologist Diane Cox-Foster, another possibility is that neonicotinoids are another factor impairing bee immunity". More details are here:
    http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1087
    - "The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera" :http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1626644
    2. Do you use any chemicals? If so, what kind, what quantity, and with what purpose?
    3. Do you use any kind of syrup for autumn and spring feeding?

    Boris

  18. #58
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    Ian and Sherri,

    Of course it is clear that other factors impact wintering bees. However, during this experiment, I maintained bees in identical conditions in order to observe only the effect of feeding.

  19. #59
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    Default Hfc

    More than likely the question as to what you feed as far a sugar or HFC in the fall is to pin point as to what type of HFC plant your fall feed came from. There are wet mill, dry mill & several others processes used to produce HFC & alcohol I am told.
    This will become a very important part of this puzzle I am sure if bee feed is a suspect in CCD.

  20. #60
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    "Wet mill" and "dry mill" are different processes to produce ethanol, as I understand it, but almost all -- if not all -- HFCS is produced through an enzymatic reaction.

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