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Thread: Is CCD Dead?

  1. #1
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    Default Is CCD Dead?

    I recently attended a beekeeping conference where Dr Pettis stated that N.ceranae has been found in US bee samples as far back as 1985 and recently read in the November ABJ that the Israelis have developed what amounts to a vaccination (Remebee) for IAPV, a virus frequently associated with CCD. The same technology is potentially applicable for other bee viruses.

    This makes me wonder out loud...perhaps if we can cure viral infections in our bees and N. ceranae is really nothing that new, perhaps we have seen or will soon see the end of CCD? With viruses, mites and Nosema fully in check, maybe the "sub lethal" negative impacts of neo-nics and other pesticides will be better tolerated by our bees if proper nutrition is provided?

    Who's ready to bet the farm?
    Last edited by JBJ; 10-25-2008 at 04:43 PM.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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    your farm...maybe.

    my farm... definitely not.

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    Default there is no PUBLISHED Scientific evidence

    that points to CCD being a widespread, random pathogen or transferable disorder.

    CCD surveys from spring of 2008 indicated it was primarily the same bunch of migratory beekeepers who had CCD two years in a row.

    common sense suggests "operator" error or practices unique to those beekeepers.

    the whole CCD story was and is vastly overblown. the so called CCD map that was lit up with most states having CCD is very misleading. All it would take is 2 or 3 beekeepers filling out a survey and self diagnosing CCD and boom-o the map indicated CCD in the state. furthermore many migratory beekeepers indicated their home state address even though their collapses occurred in CA or the south after honey season.

    I challenge anyone to provide a link either to a government or university researcher outside the USA that went on the record stating they had verified and documented CCD cases in their country.

    But yet the media and sites like this propagate the idea that CCD is everywhere and killing bees left and right all over the world.

    what we do have though is plenty of factual evidence ( from Maryann Frazier) that most brood comb in commercial operations is heavily contaminated with couamphous or fluvalinate. add to this data, research like

    L. M Burley "The Effects of Miticides on Reproductive Physiology of Honey Bee Queens and Drones Aug 2007 Virginia Tech

    and there is no mystery, just beekeeper denial and sensationalism. I think many large outfits who went to Congress to testify were hoping for some kind of big hand out. seems like Washington and USDA saw through the smoke screen.

    its utterly shameful that the AFB board is full of brood comb contaminators who happily "lead" the commercial beekeeping industry along Chemical Lane operating under 2 decades old Section 18 Emergency Labels for these poisons. They seek to distort their own complicity in killing off their own bees by offering up the Bayer Kool Aid to tree huggers, the media and other contaminators. The Bayer story and CCD is a dead end. Countless studies and years now have passed and we have nothing except the fact that most brood comb is unfit for healthy and reproductive honeybee colonies. Need we look any further?

    CCD was mostly hype to cover up a vast misuse and abuse of miticides, ands no one wants to accept the facts offered up in the M Frazier research. We have the answers to more healthy bees but its not the silver bullet the commercial industry wants to accept.

    I expect the legal and illegal self contamination of hives will continue, as will the heavy losses that come from the unnatural high concentrations of colonies found in CA holding yards. This feedlotting of colonies prior to almonds is ruining the industry. We foolishly are spending research dollars to research why bees are sick when kept on self contaminated comb and kept in very high concentrations.

    Remember in the wild, honeybee colonies were found roughly 1/2 mile apart. Not 10,000-50,000 colonies per couple thousand acres.

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    [QUOTE=Bud Dingler;363848]as will the heavy losses that come from the unnatural high concentrations of colonies found in CA holding yards. This feedlotting of colonies prior to almonds is ruining the industry. QUOTE]


    Really,

    how does feed lot beekeeping ruining anything?

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    Default Keith

    Lay down and put your head directly in front of the duals. That way the lights will go out quickly.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    Lay down and put your head directly in front of the duals. That way the lights will go out quickly.
    That that problem, with CCD the lights were never on.

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    Bud, while I would not argue that there is beekeeper contamination of comb there is also comb contamination from pollen brought in from pollinated crops. There are also responsible successful beekeepers who have had higher than usual losses. I don't think it is fair to suggest that CCD is not real or solely beekeeper caused. Both Nosema and viruses could be characterized as " widespread, random pathogen(s) or transferable disorder(s)." I suspect CCD will turn out to be a syndrome that will include mites, Nosema, viruses, nutrition, and plenty of "sub lethal" pesticide residues; essentially too many straws on the camels back.

    I thought the information I originally posted about was very exciting. Think about it, we may be on the verge of the equivalent of a flu vaccine or a polio cure for bees. We have never had much we could do for viruses in the past. Bees do have pathogenic virus and there is plenty of data to support that fact. That coupled with the new information about N. cerana present in the US since 1985 should be encouraging.

    Don't get me wrong, I do firmly believe our best and first line of defense for most bee diseases and pathogens should be genetics, not chemistry. Mite tolerance and Nosema resistance have been documented (see Steve Shepard's and Randy Oliver's articles in the November BC). The trick will be to establish these desirable genetics without losing too many bees and beekeepers. The US managed bee population peaked in 1948 and the numbers of beekeepers and hives have steadily declined since. Maybe we should call this trend ACD (apiculture collapse disorder).
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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    jbj writes:
    Bees do have pathogenic virus and there is plenty of data to support that fact.

    and then..

    Maybe we should call this trend ACD (apiculture collapse disorder).

    tecumseh:
    curious how quickly the folks in Washington jumped on the financial meltdown but when CCD was talk of the town you would have though that 'the decider' folk had decades to make a decision. are sample still setting in the usda lab unprocessed (as they were several month back) with no processing date in site due to no funding of the lab???? seems to me some folks think BASIC RESEARCH is a non essential.

    I do suspect john that you are seeing the appropriate trend in agriculture.... quite literally we are drowning in our own toxins and waste products. no one of any authority dare say a thing, since doing so might cause some greed head to lose a billion dollars... and we can't have that, now can we? and believe me (been there, done that)... get in the way of the big boy's money are you are quickly going to be toast brother.

    by casual review (of some old literature) I suspect that the viral aspect of ccd has been around for quite some time (likely first witnessed as far back as the turn of the prior century or approximately 1900). add to this that virus are just as likely to mutate and alter it's form as is the varroa and even in the short run it sounds like another over priced chemical solution that will quickly become a tread mill. in this process you add another feather to an all ready overburded mule and what do you thing will happen?

    for myself....I have always (from the first report of ccd) thought some common bee keeping practice that would be a link in the ccd chain. almost from the very first report of ccd... the older product commonly used for afb (terramycin) was suggested over a newer product (tylan). later it was suggested that terramycin somehow masked another problem (nosema). this latter disease also seemed to be a quite prevalent clue in the search for the real ccd.

    in the end... given the chemical soup many hives are sitting in, is it any wonder that problems are not more frequent? blaming other beekeepers may make some here feel like superior beekeepers in the very short term. I quess they can continue to feel this way (over some time horizong) until the wind shifts in their direction and they then become 'just another victim'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Dingler View Post
    L. M Burley "The Effects of Miticides on Reproductive Physiology of Honey Bee Queens and Drones Aug 2007 Virginia Tech
    looks interesting, thanks.
    Link,
    http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/ava...d/lmburley.pdf

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    Default

    I have a bigger almond grower/new beekeeper friend, as he bought an outfit out 2 years ago, that reported he had CCD. For sure, I know that it was a mite problem. I agree with the fellow from Michigan, some of this reporting of CCD in all these states is a little off. But don't tell my friend Brett Adee that after their big losses last year. But I did never hear him come out and say he had CCD, just a new strain of the Kashmir bee virus. But he didn't stand up and call all the media he could get a hold of either, (which I would have not done too, embarrasment and bad image for your growers) he took care of things quietly. I guess there is two different ways of doing things. The Hackenberg way has gotten some great publicity out there for us and $$$, but I guess there are plus and minuses both ways.

  11. #11
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    Might want to check this link out about your friend Adee Farms;

    http://www.beesource.com/news/article/adeefined.htm

    PCM

  12. #12
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    Default Ccd

    On three different occasions, three different years, I have spent weeks helping beekeepers sort through thousands of dead colonies, consolidating what was left so that they could be rented out for pollination. I have myself at times lost inordinate percentages of my own colonies. In each case, the source of losses was pretty easy to identify. Varroa, left unchecked, will peak in autumn and devastate the bees needed for overwintering. When supers are left on through August, pulled late, then extracting, suddenly it's mid September. Too late. Ineffective treatments applied without monitoring, assumed to be working, suddenly it's too late. Neglect due to procrastination, lack of time or labor force, it's too late. With all the info and experience available, it still happens surprisingly often. This past Saturday I went out with a bee neighbor ( 1500 colonies ) to look at his bees...They're down to three frames or less, crawling, stick wings, KNOWING is not the same as DOING.

    I am not going to dispute that it is more and more difficult to maintain counts or that insecticides damage bees or even that CCD may exist but strictly speaking from my own experience, beekeeping is much like farming in that it consists mainly of doing the RIGHT THING at the RIGHT TIME.

    PPB is real ( *iss poor beekeeping )

    LTPB is real ( Less than perfect beekeeping )

    With these high pollination fees, CIS is real ( Colony inspection syndrome )

    Again, I'm not disputing anyone elses experiences opinions or knowledge, just describing what I have seen.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Bud, while I would not argue that there is beekeeper contamination of comb there is also comb contamination from pollen brought in from pollinated crops.
    yet...even in TRAPPED POLLEN (that has never seen the inside of a hive), it is the fluvalinate and coumaphos that are at the highest levels (probably being contaminated by the honey/nectar that the bees take from the hive with which to stick the pollen grains together). so, although there are doubtless pesticides coming in from the field, it would be hard to even begin to estimate their impact without first eliminating the beekeeper applied chemicals....and it's important to note that the data thus far shows that the beekeeper applied stuff is in much higher concentrations and distribution than anything applied to crops, lawns, etc.

    the above should also make one wonder, "does this mean that fluvalinate and coumaphos are in honey?"...the answer is that the nhb thought it appropriate to fund for the testing of comb, foundation, trappped pollen, stored pollen (beebread), adult bees, brood...but not honey. these are the same folks who classified the "bee movie" as an educational film, and spent (if i remember correctly) 1 million beekeeper dollars to co-promote the film. the answer to the above question is "probably" based on what we know. shame on the nhb for what they have done here.

    I thought the information I originally posted about was very exciting. Think about it, we may be on the verge of the equivalent of a flu vaccine or a polio cure for bees. We have never had much we could do for viruses in the past. Bees do have pathogenic virus and there is plenty of data to support that fact.
    yes it is true that there are pathogenic viruses.....some of them are present in almost all honey bee colonies. as we do our research into the role of microbes in the hive, a few things have become clear.

    1. aside from a very few researchers (martha gilliam being one), almost no one has really looked at microbes as being anything but pathonogenic. we now know (in humans and in bees) that there are many microbes that are tightly integrated into the proper functioning of the hive. this includes yeasts, bacteria, fungi, molds, etc. imho, it would be too big of an assuption to make that viruses are only pathonogenic, and never beneficial. many of the microbes mentioned above have both beneficial and pathongenic properties...many of them keep others in check. this is too complex a system to willy nilly eliminate components on the assumption that they serve no useful (or important) purpose in the hive.

    2. the preliminary data from dee lusby's "ccd hives" sampled last year (samples taken by dr. loper, and given to dr. bromenshenk) were (according to dr. bromenshenk) "remarkably free of viruses". this of course may be evidence against my point above wrt viruses perhaps being necessary...but it also may be evidence that in an untreated system, that viruses are less present than they are in treated operations. ...that the high incidence of viruses that we do see are a result of long term treatments...and that adding more and more to this chemical soup is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.

    That coupled with the new information about N. cerana present in the US since 1985 should be encouraging.
    let's be specific...this data came from frozen samples from maine in 1985...and 30% of the bees in those samples had nosema c. present. i find this encouraging in that it is clearly not "new" here, and any widespread collapse due to nosema c. is not simply due to the presence of nosema c., but due to other factors.

    Don't get me wrong, I do firmly believe our best and first line of defense for most bee diseases and pathogens should be genetics, not chemistry. Mite tolerance and Nosema resistance have been documented (see Steve Shepard's and Randy Oliver's articles in the November BC). The trick will be to establish these desirable genetics without losing too many bees and beekeepers.
    can anyone cite a successful breeding program for any organism that doesn't/hasn't culled from the broader population heavily? i don't think what you propose above is feasable...we can't both breed for desirable genetics _and_ not cull the susceptable. yes, there are things one can do with requeening...but see randy quinn's talk from the 2008 organic beekeeping confernece (available on our website for free...and it's not a very long talk). the selection of breeding stock, and the act of requeening (with mated queens especially) shrink the available gene pool faster than one can imagine. this is the opposite of what we should be doing.

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    We could debate ad nauseam about what CCD is and where to point the fingers, but in my humble opinion we need even more attention and focus on apiculture. The downward trend line since 1948 in the numbers of managed hives and beekeepers has to plateau at some point or our food systems could be in real trouble.

    Comb residues and operational costs could dramatically be decreased with a genetic basis of mite tolerance and Nosema resistance. Also, with a potential remedy for viruses (probably less of a problem with Varroa tolerance) on the way, we may be on the verge of a new era in beekeeping as long as we appropriately act on what we do know, otherwise the Great Cull (ACD) continues.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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    Deknow, you raise some interesting points...I did not see the second page when I wrote my last post. Clearly we can not make the transition to more sustainable beekeeping without culling the most susceptible bees and beekeepers. Could it be possible to make these transitions and maintain a respectable pollination population? Lets hope so.

    As to your point about probiotics; there have been several interesting discussions about this on beesource. I have long advocated that we need to look at the intestinal flora of thriving untreated hives to compare with collapsing treated hives.

    My point about Nosema being around since 1985 was just meant to be informative and to suggest that we may have some pockets of bees that already tolerate this fungus well.

    Hey KJ, on a side note, if the wheels fall off the beekeeping bus, does it mean that you will not be so level headed (provided the bus is on flat ground of course)?
    Last edited by JBJ; 10-27-2008 at 10:47 AM.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Hey KJ, on a side note, if the wheels fall off the beekeeping bus, does it mean that you will not be so level headed (provided the bus is on flat ground of course)?
    Hey John,

    If all the wheels fall off the beekeeping bus.... It's because they never did much "PM" program.

    Hey the bees look at this time GOOD, BUT, this week the cool weather comes & have my FORMIC ready to go & last pollen patty with NOZEVIT added just in case we get a flat tire.

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    PCM, that link is to some really old news that shows you must not be aware of what really is going on. All commericial beekeepers I know, oh lets say 250,000 hives worth are using and have been for a long time "other" mite treatments like Adee's were fined for. I know what your going to say, go to survivor stock and let 3/4 of your hives die....oh yeah, that would also have a huge direct impact on the food supply and those growers are just going to find all the hives they need from the small sideliners and hobbyists that don't move there hives more than 50 miles a year. (where is an icon that is using a different finger)

    CCD as a term is fine, it's bringing awareness and muched needed money to research. I just don't think what everyone says CCD is the real thing. I agree with whoever said PPB (piss poor beekeeping) is real. But I also have seen good beekeepers lose hives for doing the wrong things at the wrong times. There are so many variables: overwinting up north or down south, or potato cellars, pollen paddies when and whose, fumagillen drench or in the syrup, whose queens you have and if they have things in order, your summers honey flow, pesticides near your bees, your truck driver stopping in the middle of the day for a lunch, how you pull your honey, which mite treatments you used and timing, I could keep going on and on, but timing in this business is a "big" deal.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Could it be possible to make these transitions and maintain a respectable pollination population? Lets hope so.
    well, beekeeping is really only one broken component of a broken system. the monoculture farming that is largely employed in this country both requires insect pollination, and absolutely cannot support it. eventually, this will have to change imho...but i offer no solutions or easy ways out.

    As to your point about probiotics; there have been several interesting discussions about this on beesource. I have long advocated that we need to look at the intestinal flora of thriving untreated hives to compare with collapsing treated hives.
    stay tuned....there actually has been a good deal of work done in this area. currently, my wife, ramona, is working on a talk about the microbial environment in the beehive for the nebraska state beekeeping conference. the writings of martha gilliam are like drugs...the complexity, relationships, and vastness of what she describes and studies reminds me of the "powers of 10" film, and one can see the equivalent of the vastness of the universe inside every cell of honeycomb if one looks closely enough.

    i don't really like to think of them as "probiotics"...that word implies that there is something beneficial that needs to be added to the system. just as i know that my compost pile has the nutrients i need to grow tomatoes without testing it, or inoculating it with specific microbes....a healthy bee hive without beekeeper applied treatments (synthetic or organic) will have the microbial life that a healthy beehive needs. it's interesting to study these things, the complexity of interactions between 8000 or more microbes coupled with how they interact with the bees makes "beneficial manipulation" nearly impossible.

    My point about Nosema being around since 1985 was just meant to be informative and to suggest that we may have some pockets of bees that already tolerate this fungus well.
    as dee lusby has shared on the organic list, she has a set of yards where 200 of 300 hives crashed last year. i've referenced these yards in an earlier post. very initial test results showed nosema c....and these yards are now back up to numbers, is planning a fall split, ...and she just pulled 27 deeps from one yard of these 7 (not the first or last harvest from this yard this year). in any case, someone apparently agrees with your suggestion above, as in 17 hives in these yards, someone has removed the center of the broodnest (5 frames from the center of the 3rd or 4th deep down). if anyone has a 20 or 30 year head start on a resistant breeding program, it's dee....and whomever took these frames

    it's also worth noting that the microbial culture within a hive is likely heritable...and that it's particular makeup is fragile (especially if treatments are used), and this may be as important as genetics, imho.

    deknow

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    Default Nozevit

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Hey John,

    If all the wheels fall off the beekeeping bus.... It's because they never did much "PM" program.

    Hey the bees look at this time GOOD, BUT, this week the cool weather comes & have my FORMIC ready to go & last pollen patty with NOZEVIT added just in case we get a flat tire.
    Kieth, Does the Nozevit work different than Honey B Healthy?

    What options are avaulable for delivery of Nozevit to the hive, you mention pollen sub, can it be used with syrup?

    Who are the suppliers of Nozevits

    Thanks, Larry Pender

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    I have heard Nozevit contains tannins extracted from the bark of some tree and that it can bee fed in the usual feeding formats. Tannins are known for antimicrobial properties.

    Who wants try to some Remebeeplus for viral inhibition in honeybees? Supposedly, this is a feeding supplement based on natural ingredients that help inhibit viral reproduction. Preliminary tests in Fla and Pa sound promising.
    Last edited by JBJ; 10-28-2008 at 12:49 AM.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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