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Thread: Symbionts

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    >> Some beekeepers are adding probiotics to the feeding constituent of bees to improve their health.
    >I've heard that, too. It seems like a good idea -- perhaps, but wonder: What specific organisms? And how is it known that this is beneficial?

    I've wondered the same. It seems to me the only way to be reasonbly sure you are innoculating with good stuff is to take frames of pollen, bees, and brood from a really successful hive and put it in the hive that is struggling. That way IF the microorganisms are involved, it should be the right ones.

    >After all, without any evidence, the practice could as easily be harmful, or useless.

    Exactly.

    >I submit that if using antibiotics is a bad idea (I'm not saying it is) the same would apply to so called probiotics.

    Agreed.

    > We have no clear idea on what the gut flora of bees is supposed to look like

    Exactly.

    > but it appears not to be seriously affected by TM.

    I would agree that froma survival point of view the requisite (maybe not the optimum) bacteria seem to have built up resistance over the last several decades of TM use. That doesn't mean it isn't having an affect but it at least wasn't causing a collapse.

    >Now tylosin may be another matter.

    Interesting that widespread tylosin use seems to coincide with the timing of colony collapses...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >> Some beekeepers are adding probiotics to the feeding constituent of bees to improve their health.

    Interesting that widespread tylosin use seems to coincide with the timing of colony collapses...
    I would like to see proof of the correlation of tylosin and CCD.
    Tylosin timing and CCD.
    What's the timing? one month, two months or more.
    I do not think that CCD is going to be tied in with a single factor like Tylosin.
    Ernie
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    I am merely offering "Post Hoc Ergo Proctor Hoc" as a basis for a theory, not as proof of anything. I'm saying that Tylosin became widespread in the beekeeping world about the same time as CCD did. That is reason to be suspicious. That is not the basis for accepting it as a cause and effect fact. It is, the primary error in logic to do so. It is NOT an error, however to use "Post Hoc" as reason to suspect a cause and effect relationship.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Tylosin became widespread in the beekeeping world about the same time as CCD did.
    I would like to see evidence that "Tylosin became widespread" in 2006. Tylosin was only approved for TM resistant foulbrood. Working as a state inspector, I can tell you that TM resistant foulbrood is NOT widespread. And I don't believe tylosin use is "widespread" at all. But you could pick any number of events that occurred in 2005 or 2006 and draw conclusions.

    On the other hand, I know of only a few people that really started using Tylosin in a big way. A couple of key points: 1) the started using it well before the official approval, getting it from vet suppliers. 2) they successfully cleared up serious AFB outbreaks in their outfits with it. 3) the bees looked as good or better than averages during the 3 years I inspected them.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Margulis (1998) has claimed that symbiosis will be shown to be critical for the origins of variation and in the formation of new species. While the evidence presented here cannot go that far, we have tried to document several evolutionary ramifications of widespread symbiotic associations.

    The webs of life are predicated on symbioses between plants and their rhizobacterial, endophytic and mycorrhizal symbionts. As developmental biologists begin appreciating how important symbionts are for animal development, evolutionary developmental biologists may find that some of the most important principles of evolution are in the interactions of insects and their Wolbachia, termites and their protists, and vertebrates whose guts teem with a consortium of microbes.
    Symbiosis as a source of selectable epigenetic variation: taking the heat for the big guy
    Scott F. Gilbert, Emily McDonald, Nicole Boyle, Nicholas Buttino, Lin Gyi, Mark Mai, Neelakantan Prakash and James Robinson
    Downloaded from rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org on February 25, 2010

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    For anyone interested in genetics, epigenetics, and symbiosis, this is going to be a breakthrough, if the first month is any indication!

    Environmental insults, such as pollution, cause human (and non-human) diseases that may carry-over for a number of generations. For instance, early paternal smoking was associated with greater BMI [body mass index] at nine years of age in sons. Such carry-over effects may be uncovered by careful search for transgenerational effects. The ability to detect and quantify a preliminary rough measure of transgenerational, environmentally induced diseases could become part of epidemiological studies.

    The model presented here provides an initial estimate of epigenetic transmissibility which can be the basis for further molecular studies. We are well aware that a complete analysis of the developmental, and possibly evolutionary, effects of epigenetic inheritance has to include both transmissibility and expressivity, and that QTL methodology is indispensable. However, a preliminary ability to empirically detect and quantify a rough measure of transgenerational epigenetic effects can give epidemiologically important information and assist in narrowing and directing the search domain for molecular epigenetic sequencing.
    Epigenetic contribution to covariance between relatives
    Omri Tal, Eva Kisdi and Eva Jablonka
    Genetics: Published Articles Ahead of Print, published on January 25, 2010

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Tylosin was only approved for TM resistant foulbrood. Working as a state inspector, I can tell you that TM resistant foulbrood is NOT widespread.
    mmm, everywhere i go (and talk to beekeepers) people are talking about tylosin as an alternative to TM. The perception seems to be that it's "stronger" or "better" than TM. (i wasn't thrilled last year when i ordered some foundation and it was shipped in a tylan box). yes, i'm aware that it is _supposed_ to be for TM resistant foulbrood, but it would be interesting to see how much is sold via the bee supply houses.
    1) they started using it well before the official approval, getting it from vet suppliers.
    below you say you inspected these bees....i understand that as an inspector it's important to have the trust of beekeepers, but being aware of illegal antibiotic use in hives that are presumably producing honey for market?
    2) they successfully cleared up serious AFB outbreaks in their outfits with it.
    were these cases of TM resistant foulbrood?
    3) the bees looked as good or better than averages during the 3 years I inspected them.
    it's well known that short term, all kinds of animals "look better" with antibiotic use...it's the long term (and food contamination) i'd be more concerned about.

    now, how is it exactly that we are going to keep tylosin resistant foulbrood from developing? read randy oliver's article that speaks of the persestance active tylosin in the hive, and how commercial beekeepers are using it propholactially, in syrup, and are banking on the fact that it stays active in the hive for a long time.
    http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/...ask=view&id=86
    OTC has the desirable characteristic of degrading fairly rapidly in moist environments (as in a bee hive). Therefore, it fit the bill of allowing refuges of susceptible bacteria (and beneficial competing bacteria) to survive.

    Tylosin, on the other hand has a very long life in the hive—on the order of several months or years (Kochansky 2004). That is why it is currently such an effective antibiotic against AFB—it just keeps killing and killing the bacteria. This persistence was noted in the process of its registration for bee hive use, so the label specifically prohibits its use as a prophylactic measure, or its application in sugar syrup.

    Of course, many commercial beekeepers now routinely (and illegally, at least in my state) feed tylosin in sugar syrup as a prophylactic measure against AFB! It is a “box movers’” dream—no need to inspect for foulbrood, nor loss of AFB-tainted equipment—just treat ‘em all with tylosin. I strongly question this practice! We do not know the long-term effects of a persistent antibiotic upon symbiotic honey bee gut flora or those in the bee bread. Of even more concern is the imprudence of such practice—tylosin is an incredibly effective tool for the control of AFB. The routine use of it will predictably soon render it ineffective as tylosin-resistant bacteria evolve. Those misusing the product will ruin it for the rest of us! This is not a matter of “laughing with the sinners or crying with the saints”—it is rather a shortsighted folly.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    you say you inspected these bees....i understand that as an inspector it's important to have the trust of beekeepers, but being aware of illegal antibiotic use in hives that are presumably producing honey for market?
    Your point? The bee inspectors of NYS have no jurisdiction to intervene except in cases of AFB or AHB. As you said, there has to be trust.

    were these cases of TM resistant foulbrood?
    No
    now, how is it exactly that we are going to keep tylosin resistant foulbrood from developing? read randy oliver's article that speaks of the persestance (sic) active tylosin in the hive
    You seem to think I am advocating antibiotic use. Nowhere in my writing have I ever advocated the use of any drug or poison. My chief aim has been to get away from such use.

    On the other hand, I understand the need for producers to make a living, to protect their investment, etc. I talked to one dairy guy who told me without antibiotics he wouldn't have any cows left.

    Organic farming enthusiasts seem to think that if everyone followed their lead, pests and diseases would be a thing of the past. This is hot air. We need to transition to a low chemical input future, but not cold turkey.

    IMHO, the only reason why organic farming works (and why some people get away without vaccinations) is because the rest of us are using "best standard practices".

    And please don't start a flame war on this one. It's my opinion, I can back it up with facts, and not statements like

    everywhere i go (and talk to beekeepers) people are talking about tylosin as an alternative to TM
    I have no data on tylosin use, but there is ample evidence that TM resistant foulbrood is NOT widespread. People that are using tylosin for reasons other than controlling TM resistant bacteria, are foolish and they are in fact setting the stage for tylosin resistance, of course.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    dean quotes Randy Oliver:

    We do not know the long-term effects of a persistent antibiotic upon symbiotic honey bee gut flora or those in the bee bread.
    Perhaps to you guys this is some sort of proof, or wake up call, about antibiotics. To me, it simply says "we don't know". It is plausible there is an effect. It is also plausible and highly likely that beneficial bacteria are not affected by antibiotics.

    I have run bees with and without and see no appreciable difference (except the temporary boost you spoke of).

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Your point? The bee inspectors of NYS have no jurisdiction to intervene except in cases of AFB or AHB.
    that's different than how things work here. i've been out with our inspector who left warnings 2 years in a row to a beekeeper who had 3 years of apistan strips in the hive (he had the bees for his blueberries, didn't extract honey). i was told that if the situation wasn't rectified that the state apiarist would intervene.
    You seem to think I am advocating antibiotic use.
    1. that wasn't my point, my point was that tylosin use is not restricted to TM resistant AFB, it is not used only on active infections, and is fed in syrup.

    2. unless you've changed your mind, you DO advocate antibiotic use...even for "chemical free beekeeping":
    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...es&z=4&P=24669
    I am slated to do a talk next month on the subject of keeping bees
    without chemicals
    , to the NY association....

    This being said, I would recommend using terramycin in the spring and
    fall because foulbrood is widespread and easy to prevent.
    The presence
    of small amounts of terramycin in the brood nest poses no real risk to
    you or your bees. (You will not get resistant bacteria this way,
    because in order for resistance to develop there has to be a viable
    infection. The terramycin *prevents* the spores from developing
    ).
    I talked to one dairy guy who told me without antibiotics he wouldn't have any cows left.
    i met a junkie who said he would die without heroine. i met an unemployed single parent on welfare who said he could not exist without cigarettes, cable tv, a large screen tv, an SUV and a cell phone.

    i don't doubt that a system that is setup to rely on antibiotics requires antibiotics. i do doubt that it is the only way to run a dairy. the fact that there are productive cows that don't get routine antibiotic treatment is proof.

    Organic farming enthusiasts seem to think that if everyone followed their lead, pests and diseases would be a thing of the past. This is hot air. We need to transition to a low chemical input future, but not cold turkey.
    ...and we do that by introducing new antibiotics when we've used up the old one? if tylosin was only being used as approved, we would be better off. it isn't being used as approved, and we will quickly use it up as well...all the while contaminating our food supply with more persistent antibiotics.

    IMHO, the only reason why organic farming works (and why some people get away without vaccinations) is because the rest of us are using "best standard practices".
    i've often discussed dee's approach to foulbrood...do you think that her low incidence is due to her neighbors using antibiotics? i think it's pretty clear that it is due to the fact that she DOESN'T use antibiotics.

    I have no data on tylosin use, but there is ample evidence that TM resistant foulbrood is NOT widespread....
    but you just reported that the "early adopters" of tylosin that you know about were using to treat for non-resistant foulbrood.

    deknow

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    dean writes:

    i've often discussed dee's approach to foulbrood...do you think that her low incidence is due to her neighbors using antibiotics? i think it's pretty clear that it is due to the fact that she DOESN'T use antibiotics.
    You know, this where I usually throw my hands up and say why bother. Low incidence is due to NOT using antibiotics? You mean, if she used them, she would have a higher incidence?

    Give me a break. Do you think I don't know anything?! Foulbrood can be completely wiped out without using drugs. Everybody knows how.

    And when you quote what I said two years ago, are you saying I am not allowed to change my mind? You left out this part:

    You can go 100% natural organic, but you will have to be ready to
    watch your bees dies off. This is easy enough to do! -- helps to rid
    us of susceptible bees, and perhaps they won't die in which case you
    will no doubt have good bees worth having.
    You see Deano, I try to present all sides of the story. You and your pals are so convinced you are right, you just leave the rest out. And I would rather you didn't alter my writing with BOLD FACE TYPE. It is UGLY and unnecessary.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Perhaps to you guys this is some sort of proof, or wake up call, about antibiotics. To me, it simply says "we don't know". It is plausible there is an effect. It is also plausible and highly likely that beneficial bacteria are not affected by antibiotics. have run bees with and without and see no appreciable difference (except the temporary boost you spoke of).
    There is simply no way to discuss these concepts intelligently when people generalize, extrapolate unconservatively, speculate and provide references out of context.

    To try to do so is to go mad. Thus the "ignore" option is there and works fine until someone rises to the bait and quotes or addresses the red herrings or straw men.

    I have no data on tylosin use, but there is ample evidence that TM resistant foulbrood is NOT widespread. People that are using tylosin for reasons other than controlling TM resistant bacteria, are foolish and they are in fact setting the stage for tylosin resistance, of course.
    Tylosin apparently is far more effective in controlling any AFB than oxytet ever was and some use it somewhat routinely, not that I recommend it.

    Oxytet was always a borderline control for AFB, and never approached sulfathiazole and now Tylosin for effectiveness.

    Wikipedia says, "Tylosin is a macrolide-class antibiotic used in veterinary medicine. It has a broad spectrum of activity against gram positive organisms and a limited range of gram negative organisms.[1] It is found naturally as a fermentation product of Streptomyces fradiae.[2]
    Tylosin is used in veterinary medicine to treat bacterial infections in a wide range of species and has a high margin of safety.[3] It has also been used as a growth promotant in some species, and as a treatment for colitis in companion animals.[2]"

    There are problems beyond the obvious with Tylosin, though. Not only is Tylosin slow to break down, but the metabolites are powerful in their own right and even longer-lasting.

    At any rate, as everyone knows, or should know, antibiotics vary in their specificity. They are largely modeled on the natural products of microorganisms themselves which are employed in the never-ending chemical warfare ongoing between the various tiny organisms competing for every conceivable niche.

    These compounds may either be toxic, neutral, or even beneficial to any given organism. They are also ubiquitous, although not in the quantities and concentrations that man is able to deliver.

    Most of us try to understand the specific nature of each compound and organism and the interactions. Others, though, class things as "natural" and "unnatural". They are hard-pressed to explain the exact difference in the scientific terms, however, since ther is seldom any such distinction.

    Not only do many of these questions evade simplistic explanations, but additionally complicating the issues are the fact that there are unique instances and exceptions which may be apparent only occasionally and under specific conditions.
    Last edited by Allen Dick; 02-26-2010 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Two minor typos

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Sulfa
    Sodium sulfathiazole
    Do you remember why it's not regerstered for foulbrood?
    Ernie
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  14. #54
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    Exclamation Re: Symbionts

    Sulfa - Sodium sulfathiazole - Do you remember why it's not regerstered for foulbrood?


    Several reasons.

    1.) At the time it was used, one ppm was considered a high concentration, and sulfa was frequently found in honey in concentrations that high. In fact, truckloads of honey were dumped as the standards were tightened as science improved detection and new importance was placed on reducing antibiotivc levels in food. Today, those concentrations are unthinkable. Parts per billion are coming under scrutiny.

    2.) Sulfa is very very slow to break down

    3.) Some people are very sensitive to it and have bad reactions.

    4.) Antibiotics generally are being held back for use in human disease situations.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Dick View Post
    4.) Antibiotics generally are being held back for use in human disease situations.
    This is a very important point. Eurythromycin would probably be an effective livestock drug, and it controls foulbrood diseases (AFB and EFB), but it is not used on livestock to protect its use in human diseases.

    Testers and regulators have paid special attention to avoiding widespread use of whole classes of antibiotics that work on human disease. Terramycin (oxytetracycline) is obviously one that is used for both, but tylosin isn't.

    Again, it must be made very clear that antibiotics are not bad, that they do not wipe out ALL bacteria and germs, that bacteria produce anti-biotic substances themselves to combat other bacteria and microorganisms.

    To me it is about what works, and what doesn't. Obviously, if the cure is worse than the disease, we have a problem. Again, I am not advocating anything except open mindedness, scientific study, and common sense.

    When I see any of these violated, I cringe.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Response to several reasons"
    Right
    That's why I posted the idea.s why we lost the legal use of sulfa.
    tylosin may go the same route as sulfa.
    And. do you remember the news about the China honey source and it's high contamination.
    Ernie
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  17. #57
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    Response to several reasons"
    Right
    That's why I posted the idea.s why we lost the legal use of sulfa.
    tylosin may go the same route as sulfa.
    And. do you remember the news about the China honey source and it's high contamination.
    Ernie
    No, this is quite a different story. As I have pointed out, Tylosin was chosen because it is not used for people. Sulfathiazole is a very old fashioned antibiotic and has serious side effects in people. Same with chloramphenicol, which why that drug is illegal in the US and not permitted in honey.

    However, regulations are much more slack in some countries and much stricter in others. Many countries use the whole gamut of antibiotics, and there appears to be no impact on humans (of drugs in honey). The EU has a zero tolerance, however.

    The US takes a more pragmatic approach, by allowing antibiotics in livestock. I certainly agree with consumer's demand for pure food and the avoidance of drugs and pesticides is a worthy goal. However, I condemn superstition and scare tactics in place science.

    JMHO

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Symbionts

    Symbionts: good, bad, and ugly

    Wolbachia represents the most prevalent endosymbiotic bacterial group, associated with over 60% of insect species. In infected insects, Wolbachia symbionts are localized in diverse cells and tissues and usually affect host fitness negatively, often manipulating host reproduction to enhance their own transmission.
    Spiroplasma melliferum is a helical wall-less bacterium, with a genome of approximately 1460 kbp. The organism was originally isolated from the honey-bee (Apis mellifera) in which it causes May disease. Previous in vitro studies have hypothesised the use of S. melliferum as a laboratory model for neurodegenerative disorders due to the ability of the organism to persist in mouse brain for up to nine months, and to cause vacuolar lesions resembling those seen in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

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