An interesting piece.
An interesting piece.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards
sounds like a good deal. wonder what it is?
The misconception that almost guarentees that domestic bees will continue to suffer from varroa is that medicating against the mite - in any way at all- is a good idea. Far from that, medicating simply ensures unadapted genes survive and reproduce, thus perptuating the problem. See http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/
Last edited by Bizzybee; 07-03-2009 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting
The problem is that by keeping alive bees that would otherwise die you are preventing any evolution at all. Nature culls the weak, and the survivors create the future generations.
Bees are developing resistance through natural selection just fine in the deep wild. Around beekeepers and their artificially supported unadapted strains however, the good is undone by drones carrying genes that no longer work in the current disease environment.
To "allow the bees to work on the problem until they evolve a solution" is therefore misconcieved; by allowing them to send their genes forward you are undermining evolution-in-action - the death of the weak and the survival of the fittest.
until they evolve a solution
My pockets are not that deep and for them to evolve takes a long time.
evolving can be convergent and divigent.
Some of my very best bees are the ones that have been treated with APIGUARD. Yes, I did a mite drop before and after treatment.
Please remember that the blood suckers carry about 20+ known viruses.
A friend has not treated in four years, this year one of his strongest hives has a mite issue. What I hear you saying is that there is no value in this hives genetics and they should be allowed to fail, as failure, if nothing is done, is very possible. If that is so, I disagree; they made it four years with no treatments!! They have stood up to the mites and won 4 out of 5 rounds. I say knock the mites back a bit with soft treatments (trapping would be one option) and see what happens. If they continue to fail then yes they must be doomed. If however they start to thrive again then they have at least part of the answer. How else are these positive traits going to be identified and passed on to combine with other positive traits? Would it not make more since to add a known resistant genetic (NWC,VSH,MH, other survivor queen) to an already partially resistant stock? Would this not aid in the creation of the next generation of resistant bees? This can only be done if the bees are alive.
I read an article in American Bee Journal about resistant stocks. The VSH line is said to have more than one trait that combines to produce the effect. This was not done all at once. It is done by selecting traits one at a time and adding them to the line.
Last edited by rkr; 07-06-2009 at 11:07 AM.
This is a common misconception. Natural selection can be very fast indeed. Left alone, the weak quickly perish, taking their genes with them. Those that can survive reproduce and send the characteristics needed to survive forward. Adaptation has occured in a single generation. In practice a number of generations are required to regain rude health - but wild bees are already flourishing in many districts. If you get in step with them your bees will never require medication again, and you will be able to reproduce and sell resistant stock.
Last edited by mike bispham; 07-07-2009 at 02:37 AM.
You assume quite a bit, good day Mike.