Re: An ideal beekeepers' world
Peter doesn't actually argue against it - he generally doesn't respond, and often has me on his ignore list - or so he says. But he does regularly make statements that contradict it, or partly contradict it. There are several key positions he holds that clash with these core principles of biology, and/or flat statements by well-established experts.
Originally Posted by arthur
These positions, which he won't discuss, relate to:
- The effect of medicating apiaries on nearby bees - both wild/feral and natural-selective beekeepers. He won't acknowledge that this effect offers a solution to the problem he himself has identified - that selective operations appear to be place-dependent.
- The ability of all (except very small and genetically narrow populations) to adapt to varroa through bringing suitable traits to the fore (contrary to the positions of Erickson, Spivak)
- The effect of treatments on future generations
The combinations of these last two positions especially allow him to see mysteries where there are none (why does it work here not there; and to hold the view that many populations cannot gain resistance.)
As well as these there is a highly technical objection to grassroots selective activity - an alarmist view about viral dna taking root in bee dna, grassroots breeders thus raising the population of some kind of genetic monsters without realising it.
These positions add up to a position that argues, (without foundation) against grassroots selective beekeeping, on the wholly spurious grounds that a) it doesn't work (at least reliably, and no-one has a clue why), b) it can't work for technical reasons, c) it is dangerous.
Peter is however supportive of professional breeding.
In this post (#131) I'm showing what it is that makes his statements wrong by outlining the known mechanisms, in the hope that he will see the logic, the causal relations, and incorporate a better understanding into his thinking as a result.
I wouldn't mind any of this if it were not for the fact that Peter is very busy in the forums, and is accepted by many as an authority in the scientific sense. It seems thus that while he does a great deal of good, he also muddies the waters a good deal, and, critically, puts people off selecting for health for reasons that are not sustainable.
Last edited by mike bispham; 05-09-2010 at 02:08 PM.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet