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  1. #281
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Dean:

    If you are unaware of how a significant varroa infestation can turn a covert viral infection into an overt one, then you simply haven't done your research.

    http://www.vetres.org/index.php?opti...vetres/2010027

    By the way, covert viral infection in Honeybee colonies is the norm, not the exception. For all intents and purposes, all colonies are infected.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Let me see if I understand you: you expect me to answer all of those questions about research topics that are not only ongoing, but still in their early stages? Major researchers still can't answer the types of questions that you are asking. That's disingenuous.

    Let's see if I understand some of the claims coming out of your side of this:
    You say that you're not treating so that you can select for (virus) resistant colonies, but then you turn around and infer that selection for (virus) resistant colonies can occur in treated colonies as well.

    Why did you stop treating to begin with?

    Dean, if you want to ignore the research that has shown why the no treatment/survivor protocol isn't effective, that's one issue.

    However, if you want to disuade yourself and others as to why selecting for retrotransposons in Honeybees is in total opposition to the nautural beekeeping movement's goals, and if you want to say that it's a 'false alarm', you really need to reexamine what is in the literature so far.
    Last edited by WLC; 05-13-2010 at 07:24 PM.

  2. #282
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    "WLC - thanks for the link to the article on viruses. Saved me a trip to the University. If you are so sure of this virus thing, why don't you buy a couple hundred hives of bees and prove us all wrong. This is not said in anger or trickery, but rather an encouragement to take leadership by action."

    Roland:

    That wouldn't be my first course of action. Right now, I'm waiting on the next crop of of summer, Honeybee research articles. Let's see what they're working on first.

    It's not a matter of proof. If you don't treat, you'll get more varroa, more overt viral infections, and as a result, you'll 'enrich' for virus resitant colonies (with integrated viral fragments that confer resistance via RNA interference/silencing). In short, you'll select for mutants. That's exactly how we do it in the lab. It's a standard protocol.

    If we put the 'stepping on toes' issue aside (it's a real issue both for beekeepers and scientists alike):

    I wouldn't rely on the RT-PCR or even PCR for detecting viral infections or integration. One method can give artifacts, and neither can answer the pressing questions that need to ba answered.

    As de Miranda stated in his paper, we are in need of new methods to test for these viruses and what they are doing to the Honeybee.

    I would use the viral primer sequences from the literature, a FISH methodology (fluorescent in situ hybridization), and I would also have to construct a library using the viral primers as probes. That's alot of hybridization and sequencing to do.

    While $40K wouldn't be enough for a full scale study, it might be enough to come up with some new methodologies and insights (I've already identified the protocols I would use and priced them as well).

    Nevertheless, let's see what get's published this summer. I hope that we aren't disappointed (one way or the other).
    Last edited by WLC; 05-13-2010 at 11:50 PM.

  3. #283
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Oh well. my money is where my mouth is. All of it.

    Roland

  4. #284
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Roland:

    If you mean that you are willing to send bee samples to a lab so that they can be tested for integrated viruses, then that would really be putting your $ where your mouth is.

  5. #285
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Dean, if you want to ignore the research that has shown why the no treatment/survivor protocol isn't effective, that's one issue.
    This research can be found where???

    I'm not too sure what 'the no-treatment/survivor protocol' is, but if it refers to the practice of avoiding raising bees unfitted to the disease environment by failing to select for the better-equipped bloodlines, it is pure nonsense.

    First selecting was dangerous - it would create 'frankenstein bees'; now it is futile....?

    All organisms HAVE to select/be selected in order to MAINTAIN health in the face of ever-evolving predatory organisms. That is a fact of nature, a principle of biology. Whether you feel this is best done by professional breeders, at local level, or both, is a matter of point of view, but there is absolutely no disagreement in the honeybee research community about the basic need to selct for resistance. It is now widely recognised that systematic treatments are not just ineffective in the long term, but positively harmful to the objective of raising resistant bees. Selection for resistance is currently the front line of research.

    Am I the only one who feels we are in the realms of delierate misinformation here? Scientific papers are being misrepresented, requests for clarification ignored, bald untruths broadcast in the guise of facts. All pressing in one direction; against the recovery of health by selective breeding. Cui bono?

    Mike
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  6. #286
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    So what other forms of selection are there? Ah, non-expert 'grassroots' breeders. People like those pesky South American Indiginous types who bred all those nice fat beans and potates.
    Mike
    I can't comment on the beans and potatoes but there is a section highlighting maize cultivation by the Aztecs in the Anthropology museum in Mexico city. The cobs grown by the Aztecs circa 1500 were only about 3 inches long which presumably was the end result of thousands of years of evolution plus the Aztec selection practices. The huge cobs we know today have been improved out of all recognition in the last 500 years and I would hazard a guess that a lot of that development has been by scientists and geneticists.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm tempted to ask Peter what he means by "genetic linkage"
    Genetic linkage is a technical term with a specific meaning and is not something invented by Peter which is in need of ironic quotation marks.

    There are a few definitions here and googling will bring up a lot of background information
    Last edited by jonathan; 05-14-2010 at 02:41 AM.

  7. #287
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    [QUOTE=WLC;537486
    It's not a matter of proof. If you don't treat, you'll get more varroa, more overt viral infections, and as a result, you'll 'enrich' for virus resitant colonies (with integrated viral fragments that confer resistance via RNA interference/silencing). In short, you'll select for mutants. [/quote]

    Describing such resulting animals as 'mutants' is unjustified. It seems (from the paper) that there is a natural mechanism by which fragments of viral dna are incorporated into (in this case) the honeybee dna, where they confer an advantage. This is probably the some measure of protection, even immunity from future attacks.

    This seems entirely beneficial, and raises the possibility (among others) that a vaccine might be a possibility.

    (Whether that is a good idea or not is something we might have a useful discussion about - but we'll have to scotch this woo-woo mutant bees nonsense first)

    The possibilities of vastly improved knowledge of these mechanisms, and the resulting potential clinical benefits, leading to the possibility of 'curing' CCD are what the authers are exited about. These are the 'far-reaching implications.

    WLC's alarmist 'reading' is pure BS - his own 'interpretation.' Together with the BS against selective breeding, it is part of a general thrust to promote the clinical 'remedies' that will be rendered unneccessary by better genetic management - i.e. widespread selective beekeeping.

    Mike
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  8. #288
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Genetic linkage is a technical term and is not something invented by Peter which is in need of ironic quotation marks.
    Thanks for pointing this out Jonathan. From Wiki:

    "Genetic linkage is a term which describes the tendency of certain loci or alleles to be inherited together. Genetic loci on the same chromosome are physically close to one another and tend to stay together during meiosis, and are thus genetically linked."

    We'd better try to understand what Peter was saying:

    "Actually, any selection process -- natural or otherwise -- is fraught with peril, due to genetic linkage, and various unseen and unforeseeable consequences. Evidence for this is abundant. "

    I've pointed out in my first response:

    a) that continuous selectious is a NECESSARY process. Since the predatory organisms continuously evolve to take better advantage, the prey must also do so to retain effective defences, and that that can only happen through a selection process that favours the better fitted genetic combinations - the 'stronger bloodlines'. That 'necessary' up there is absolutely forceful, compelling. It means 'If this doesn't happening sickening will inevitably result.' And the longer selection is denied, and the more effectvely it is denied, the faster and harder the sickening will set in.

    b) that this selection for the best-fitted occurs by natural selection in the wild, and through selective breeding, or selective husbandry in farming. It is this trick that has enabled humans to become settled agriculturalists, and to develop the domesticated species. No farmer unaware of the need to breed from the best only would last long. No society that forgot this method would persists as agriculturalists.

    Peter's statement then appears to be wobbly at least. A selection process might be a bit uncertain, but it is utterly necessary. To say it is 'fraught with peril' seems to imply that it is best left out. That couldn't be further from reality.

    Peter makes a statement, then gives his justification for it. He says:

    "Actually, any selection process -- natural or otherwise -- is fraught with peril..."

    Well, kind of. Not half of much peril as not selecting is fraught with however. I suspect (given what follows) that he is referring to the technical procedures that attempt to locate and embed specific single traits in a popluation. This is certainly often a tricky process - and, at least in part, for the reason he states - genetic linkage. It doesn't always pan out as planned. But 'fraught with peril' it is not. It might go wrong, not work as planned. But it isn't going to create any monsters. So this phrase is alarmist.

    What follows seems to build on this sense of alarm: "...various unseen and unforeseeable consequences."

    The 'unforeseen and unforseeable consequences' amount to "it might not fix the problem we hoped to fix" and "it might turn out we've been wasting our time and effort". That, however is about as deep as the 'peril' gets.

    As noted; all this applies in the main to the difficulties found in technical attempts to breed in particular traits. No such difficulties exist in the (NECESSARY) grassroots methods of selective beekeeping. Following the time-tested principles of 'putting best to best' is 'peril' free. It might not work was well as you'd like, but it will certainly work an awful lot better than putting 'worst to worst', 'worst to best' or generally not making any effort to maintain defences against ever-evolving predators by being selective about parentage.

    Peter's phrase 'any selection process' then takes a difficulty that exists only in one field, and applies it, inappropriately, to ALL fields of selection. That, I think, is what is really wrong with it. That 'any' is where it goes wrong. A truth has been bolted onto a subject to which it does not apply - or rather a difficulty found in a particular area has been claimed wrongly to be a universal difficulty. Peter has made the logical error of inferring from the particular to the general.

    This is a bit like the idea, found in intellegence circles, of a 'truth sandwich' - a falsehood embedded in between two truths. Very hard to spot. And here, I imagine, perfectly accidental.

    Mike
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  9. #289
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    The 'unforeseen and unforseeable consequences' amount to "it might not fix the problem we hoped to fix" and "it might turn out we've been wasting our time and effort". That, however is about as deep as the 'peril' gets.

    Mike
    That's not correct, I'm afraid. There can be quite unforseen consequences due to the hidden nature of recessive genes amongst other things

    When selecting for one trait, you can inadvertently select for another undesirable trait and enhance it if the alleles controlling the two traits lie in close proximity on the chromosome

    To give a very obvious example, selecting for a desirable trait such a honey production or hygienic behaviour may well also select for an unwanted trait such as aggression if the alleles controlling these traits happen to lie close together.

  10. #290
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Someone should have read through the paper with the link in post #281.

    You should stop asking for references if you aren't going to read them.

    It references findings showing that the survivor selection protocol not only has high loss rates, but poor productivity.

    It also go on to say that this type of selection method isn't consistent with the goals of apiculture.

  11. #291
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    When selecting for one trait, you can inadvertently select for another undesirable trait and enhance it if the alleles controlling the two traits lie in close proximity on the chromosome
    (And so on)
    Sure, but THESE ARE THE WORST THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN! So, we got the resistance we wanted, but the bees are stroppy! Eek what peril!

    A competent beekeeper will constantly tune the apiary through selection, seeking first strength and vigour (the foundation) and then productivity, ease of handling, quietness on the frames, low swarming rates. Sometimes the results will be great, sometimes not. Its an art, not a science.

    If there's no selection for heath and vigour the will be a choice: give up beekeeping or get on the treatment treadmill - a constant battle with no possible end. Selection can of course take the form of simply buying in well bred queens.

    None of this is likely to end in consistently high-producing long-lasting bees in an intense commercial setting. The pressures are simply too great for that to work. What commercials really want are little mechanical pollinators/nectar gathers/honey factories. Sadly they are life-forms, not reducable to robots - though that won't stop some trying to make them that.

    Mike
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  12. #292
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Someone should have read through the paper with the link in post #281.

    It references findings showing that the survivor selection protocol not only has high loss rates, but poor productivity.

    It also go on to say that this type of selection method isn't consistent with the goals of apiculture.
    Lets look at the pertinant features of this paper.

    First:
    7. Conclusion
    "The long-term decline of managed honey bee hives in the USA and European countries has become an issue of widespread interest and concern. Based on many research projects aimed at identifying all the putative factors afflicting honey bees, evidence is accumulating that one of the major causes - not to say, the major cause - is the association of viruses to these colony losses, which so far existed as covert infections in the honey bee population, with an invading parasite, V. destructor .

    This combination ‘V. destructor plus viruses’ has triggered the emergence of overt viral infections with significant and sometimes fatal symptoms on both the individual bee level and the colony level. Nowadays there is no doubt that the impact of various syndromes involving V. destructor and bee viruses is a global threat for apiculture. "

    Truth. It is acknowledged that varroa is the primary cause of the problems. A deeper understanding would recognise that failure to select is a still prior cause. Without varroa the viruses become a non-problem. In bees that can deal with varroa the viruses become a non-problem. Still, we're virologists here, that's not our concern...

    "Until now, the spontaneous or artificial selection of honey bee lines more tolerant to V. destructor infestation have produced poorly productive colonies."

    Not true. A falsehood. The work of Spivak and others has shown that both local strains and selected already conditioned strains (like Russians) can be bred and kept as both treatment free and highly productive.

    None of this well-documented research is considered in the arguments against selection. This is a fatal flaw. It is cherry picking the evidence to suit a desired outcome. Totally unscientific, devious and obviously intended to deceive.

    "However, no simple and economically acceptable treatment against virus infections are in view for replacing the heavy and not always efficient acaricide treatments which have already selected resistances in the target species. "

    True. Note the lie sandwiched between two truths.

    "Repeating previously observed scenarios, the dramatic increase in emerging virus diseases in the honey bee may still be worsened by the continuing development of international exchanges and the potential dissemination of still undiscovered viruses or other agents that may favor their active multiplication. "

    Sure. So advocate banning them. Ah wait; this is a veterinary journal! Hardly going to do that are we!

    Looking back now to the section against selection upon which the conclusions are based.

    "6.1. New developments to combat viral diseases in bees
    The demise of bee colonies has stimulated research into several directions, including the following: the development of effective methods to combat or control V. destructor, the selection of Apis mellifera strains more tolerant to V. destructor, and treatments against virus infections in honey bees. Considering the scope of this review, we will only briefly mention the main results of the first two approaches.

    It has been well established that the mite population had to be controlled to avoid colony collapse (reviewed by [66, 110]). In addition, since emerging and re-emerging viral diseases of honey bees are associated with mite
    infestation, an effective treatment against V. destructor is the best way to also combat these viral diseases. In the absence of the mite, the here reviewed viral diseases will have no or little impact on honey bee health. "

    My italics. Had the author actually read his own reference ([110] Rosenkranz P., Aumeier P., Ziegelmann B., Biology and control of Varroa destructor, J. Invertebr. Pathol. (2010) 103:S96-S119.) he'd understand that this review calls for equal weight to be given to treatements and selective breeding programs! Rosenkranz et al fully acknowledge the ultimate futility of treatments that can never cure, and the promise that selective breeding holds!

    "Classical methods to control mite infestation levels in honey bee colonies have been reviewed recently [110]. In this review a compilation of chemical, biotechnical, and biological treatments currently in use or part of recent research activities are presented and evaluated. "

    No mentions made of the fact that this approach is a cul-de-sac; all such treatments are addictive and represent a downward spiralling health path.

    Now the critical bit for our purposes:

    "Attempts to control mite infestation levels by breeding for mite tolerance or by selecting mite tolerant bees that developed “naturally” have been performed but are not satisfying so far. "

    The statement: "are not satisfying so far" is now 'justified':

    Fries et al. [68] monitored for six years 150 honey bee colonies infected with V. destructor without applying any acaricide treatment and letting them to swarm at will. As expected, winter mortality rate was very high: reaching up to 80% the third year, but decreased to 12 to 18% (of the remaining colonies) the last two years with 11 colonies only surviving the last year. In France, Le Conte et al. [86] followed for seven years a total of 82 honey bee (“resistant”) colonies without treatment in parallel with control treated colonies. Over the period analyzed, the mean winter mortality did not differ significantly between “resistant” (non-treated) and control (treated) colonies, however, the honey production was 41% significantly lower in the non-treated colonies. "

    A total of two studies, both 'hands off'. No attempt made to maintain productivity, no blending in of known resisant blood.

    "It remains unknown if these developments occurred following an increased tolerance in the host, a reduced virulence in the parasite or were due to a combination of these factors."

    Truth.

    "However, for the honey bee, this more tolerant status has been reached at a very high cost – not only in terms of colony mortality during the first years of the studies - but also in terms of honey production (much lower in surviving colonies). "

    Truth. But NO MENTION WHATEVER OF THE BREEDING PROGRAM! The statement above included breeding progromms, but there is absoluetly no mention of it in theveidence.

    What has been claimed here is that 'natural survivors' have low productivity (true, though further selection can restore productivity) AND THE FALSE IMPLICATION MADE THAT THERE ARE NO OTHER SELECTIVE ROUTES.

    Summing up:
    "From these studies, the selection of more tolerant honey bee lines is hardly compatible with apiculture aims. "

    No mention here is made to the work of Spivak, Ericson, that happening at Sussex University. etc - the huge effort to use deliberate selection proceedures to bring natural resistance to the fore while simultaniously maintaining desirable traits and local strains.

    No indication is given either of the likely outcome of treating for specific viruses - the evolution of resistant virus that will require yet more and stronger treatments.

    Now I hardly think this supplies a case against selective breeding! It is a careful attempt utterly dishonest attempt to discourage efforts in that direction, if favour of efforts to promote treatments of the resulting sickly stock! What would you expect in a veterinary journal?

    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 05-14-2010 at 05:20 AM.
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  13. #293
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Would someone kindly provide the Spivak, et al., peer reviewed, references that someone is referring too in their post.

    They should also support their counter assertions with the appropriate peer reviewed references as well.

    Can't do it? Then it's conjecture.

  14. #294
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Would someone kindly provide the Spivak, et al., peer reviewed, references that someone is referring too in their post.
    Of course someone will.

    For an introduction to Marla Spivak's extensive work with honeybees, see:

    A sustainable approach to controlling honeybee diseases and varroa mites by Marla Spivak, one of the leading US researchers, and a breeder of 'hygienic' bees.

    http://www.sare.org/publications/fac.../03AGI2005.pdf

    New Direction for the Minnesota Hygienic Line of Bees, Marla Spivak and Gary S. Reuter

    http://www.extension.umn.edu/honeybe..._12-08_ABJ.pdf

    "We are now returning to our original goal of having queen producers and interested beekeepers select for this trait from among their own, tried-and-true stocks of bees. It is very important for beekeepers to have many stocks of bees to maintain a healthy level of genetic diversity [...] Fortunately, the hygienic trait is found in all races and stocks of bees."

    The Hygiene Queen, Marla Spivak and Gary S. Reuter

    http://www.apiservices.com/articles/...iene_queen.htm

    "Any race or line of bees can be bred for hygienic behavior. We recommend that bee breeders select for hygienic behavior from among their best breeder colonies; i.e., from those that have proven to be productive, gentle, and that display all the characteristics desired by the breeder. A breeder can get a head start on selecting for hygienic behavior simply by rearing queens from colonies that do not have chalkbrood."

    "The effects of American foulbrood, chalkbrood and Varroa mites can be alleviated if queen producers select for hygienic behavior from their own lines of bees. Because a small percentage of the managed colonies today express hygienic behavior, it is important for many bee breeders to select for the behavior to maintain genetic variability within and among bee lines.

    Our experience has shown there are no apparent negative characteristics that accompany the trait. Years of research experience have shown it would greatly benefit the beekeeping industry if productive, hygienic lines were available commercially."

    Introductionary study for breeding Varroa resistant bees, Final report, 2004. by Tore Forsman, Per Ideström and Erik Österlund of the Swedish Beekeeping Association. An extensive survey of reports of successful breeding programs, with comments by leading expert researchers.

    http://www.lapalmamiel.com/a/study.pdf

    Dr. Spivak's views are formed from her extensive work with bees. Insights into the nature of this work, and details supporting the views above can be found in her extensive publishing record. here is a list of (some of) her publications from UMN 'Beelab' page at http://www.extension.umn.edu/honeybe...nents/pubs.htm

    Hygienic Behavior as a Mechanism of Resistance to Diseases and Mites:

    Swanson J, Torto B, Kells S, Mesce K, Tumlinson J, Spivak M. 2009. Volatile compounds from chalkbrood Ascosphaera apis infected larvae elict honey bee (Apis mellifera) hygienic behavior. J. Chem. Ecol. 35: 11088-1116

    Wilson-Rich N, Spivak M, Fefferman NH, Starks, PT. 2009 Genetic, individual, and group facilitation of disease resistance in insect societies. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 54: 405-23.

    Ibrahim, A., Reuter, GS, Spivak, M. 2007. Field trial of honey bee colonies bred for mechanisms of resistance against Varroa destructor. Apidologie 38: 67-76.

    Ibrahim, A., Spivak, M. 2006. The relationship between hygienic behavior and suppression of mite reproduction as honey bee mechanisms of resistance to Varroa destructor. Apidologie. 37: 31-40.

    Mondragon, L., Spivak, M., Vandame, R. 2005. A multifactorial study of the resistance of Africanized and hybrid honey bees Apis mellifera to the mite Varroa destructor over one year in Mexico. Apidologie. 36: 345-358.

    Flores, JM, Spivak, M., Guiterrez, I. 2005. Spores of Ascosphaera apis contained in wax foundation can pass on chalkbrood in honey bees. Veterinary Microbiology. 108: 141-144.

    Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 2005 A Sustainable Approach to Controlling Honey Bee Diseases and Varroa Mites. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Fact Sheet.

    Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 2001 Resistance to American foulbrood disease by honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, bred for hygienic behavior. Apidologie 32: 555-565.

    Spivak, M., Reuter, G. S. 2001. Varroa jacobsoni infestation in untreated honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies selected for hygienic behavior. J. Econ. Entomol 94(1): 326-331.

    Spivak, M., Gilliam, M. 1998. Hygienic behaviour of honey bees and its application for control of brood diseases and varroa mites. Part I: Hygienic behaviour and resistance to American foulbrood. Bee World 79:124-134. Part II: Studies on hygienic behaviour since the Rothenbuhler era. Bee World 79: 165-182.

    Spivak, M., Downey , D. 1998. Field assays for hygienic behavior in honey bees (Apidae: Hymenoptera). J. Econ. Entomol. 91(1): 64-70.

    Spivak, M., Reuter, G.S. 1998. Performance of hygienic honey bee colonies in a commercial apiary. Apidologie. 29: 291-302.

    Neuroethology of Honey Bee Hygienic Behavior

    Wilson-Rich N, Spivak M, Fefferman NH, Starks, PT. 2009 Genetic, individual, and group facilitation of disease resistance in insect societies. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 54: 405-23.

    Arathi, H.S., Ho, G., Spivak M. 2006. Inefficient task partitioning among nonhgienic honeybees, Apis mellifera l., and implications for disease transmission. Animal Behaviour 72: 431-438.

    Goode, K, Huber, Z, Mesce, KA, Spivak, M. 2005. The relationships of honey bee (Apis mellifera) behaviors in the context of octopamine neuromodulation: hygienic behavior is independent of sucrose responsiveness and foraging ontogeny. Hormones and Behavior. 49: 391-397.

    Gramacho, KP and Spivak M. 2003. Differences in olfactory sensitivity and behavioral responses among honey bees bred for hygienic behavior. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 54: 472-479.

    Spivak, M., Masterman, R., Ross, R., Mesce, KA. 2003. Hygienic behavior in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) and the modulatory role of octopamine. J. Neurobiol. 55: 341-354.

    Lapidge, K., Oldroyd, B., Spivak, M. 2002.Seven suggestive quantitative trait loci influence hygienic behavior of honey bees. Naturwissenschaften 89: 565-568.

    Masterman, R. Ross, R., Mesce, K., Spivak, M. 2001. Olfactory and behavioral response thresholds to odors of diseased brood differ between hygienic and non-hygienic honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) J. Comp Physiol. A 187: 441-452.

    Arathi, H.S., Spivak, M. 2001 Influence of colony genotypic composition on the performance of hygienic behavior in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L). Animal Behavior 62: 57-66.

    Arathi, H.S., Burns, I. , Spivak, M. 2000. Ethology of hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Behavioural repertoire of hygienic bees. Ethology 106: 1-15.

    Masterman, R., Smith, B. Spivak, M. 2000. M. Evaluation of brood odor discrimination abilities in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) using proboscis extension reflex conditioning. J. Insect Behav. 13(1): 87-101.

    Boecking, O., Spivak, M. 1999. Behavioral defenses of honey bees against Varroa jacobsoni Oud. Apidologie 30: 141-158.

    Spivak, M. 1996. Honey bee hygienic behavior and defense against Varroa jacobsoni. Apidologie 27: 245-260.

    Spivak, M., Gilliam, M. 1993. Facultative expression of hygienic behaviour of honey bees in relation to disease resistance. J. of Apicultural Res. 32(3/4): 147-157.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 05-14-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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  15. #295
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Before I forget; as well as offerering a totally dishonest view of the position in regard to deliberate selection against varroa, as far as I can see the paper WLC supplied to back up his claim that selection is dangerous because it breeds mutants etc. etc. MAKES NO SUCH ASSERTION.

    WLC has then supplied NO evidence for his claim in the literature. This belongs to him alone. And Peter, who has chipped in his agreement from time to time.

    Mike
    Last edited by Barry; 05-14-2010 at 08:01 PM. Reason: civility
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  16. #296
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Thanks for the Spivak links.

    First of all, not all Honeybee viruses will cause an overt viral infection under pressure from a higher varroa mite load. IAPV doesn't have this characteristic.

    "Honey bee pathology: current threats to honey bees
    and beekeeping."
    Elke Genersch, 2010.

    Secondly, nowhere does Spivak, et al. suggest that beekeepers use a no-treatment/survivor protocol to select for hygeinic bee traits.

    The standard recommendation for the selection of hygienic traits is by the 'frozen brood comb' protocol. You freeze a known number of brood cells and then count the number of frozen brood cells cleared over 24 and 48 hours. The percentage cleared is a standard indicator of the hygienic trait.

    Thirdly, if someone is going to 'refute' the findings of published, peer reviewed scientific papers, they will need to specifically refute the claims, and provide the relevant, peer reviewed references. Opinions don't count.

    Finally, if you don't believe that you are using a protocol (no treatment/survivor) that will result in the selection of mutants, including those resistant colonies containing integrated RNAi viral fragments, then you have only yourself to blame. Those high loss rates, and the resulting poorly productive colonies are an obvious indicator.

    There are better ways to select for resistant bees. You can use the 'frozen brood comb' method (without the massive losses, and resulting poorly productive colonies seen in the no-treatment/survivor protocol) to select for the hygienic trait.

    One method is scientifically valid, the other isn't.

    Thanks for making this so easy.

    PS-Spivak is an IPM advocate.
    Last edited by WLC; 05-14-2010 at 03:15 PM.

  17. #297
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    WKC replied:

    Roland:

    If you mean that you are willing to send bee samples to a lab so that they can be tested for integrated viruses, then that would really be putting your $ where your mouth is.

    I say:
    No. that would be me putting my money where your mouth is. I will gladly send samples to you(or a lab) on your dime, but my money is in short supply, and I feel it is better used else where, sorry.

    My initial point is that maybe you should buy a bunch of bees and have some fun with us.

    Roland

  18. #298
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    I am working on a TBH, natural comb, propolis induction, no-treatment, and captured swarm setup.

    So yes, I am putting my time and money into it.

    I am also working out the details of a protocol to test for and characterize these integrated viruses.

    It's going to cost out into the many thousands, just for the consumables.

    Do you understand why this type of thing is usually done by research institutions now?

    However, farmers can spend way more on a single piece of equipment than the cost of setting up for this kind of testing. Just to put it in perspective.
    Last edited by WLC; 05-14-2010 at 09:09 PM.

  19. #299
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Secondly, nowhere does Spivak, et al. suggest that beekeepers use a no-treatment/survivor protocol to select for hygeinic bee traits.
    First: can we be quite clear. In neither of the two papers you put forward is there any statement to the effect that grassroots selection risks a dangerous incorporation of 'mutants' into subsequent generations. Rather, the papers are both eager to deepen the understanding of the mechanisms by which bees gain immunity from virus, and interested in the idea that better understanding may lead toward a vaccine.

    Is that a fair summary?

    The idea that breeding from 'survivors' under a 'no-treatment' regime is likely to embed 'mutant genes' in future generations is yours, and yours alone. It has no support in the scientific literature.

    Is that correct?


    I think we are now in a position where getting clearer about just what you mean by your decriptive phrase 'no-treatment/survivor protocol' would be useful. I don't know if this is a phrase of your own making, or if it originates elsewhere. It appears now that you do not wish the phrase to include what I have described as 'professionally' bred' bees (a category that will include bees emerging from apiaries using Marla's methods).

    Could you please clarify exactly what is meant by this phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    ...if someone is going to 'refute' the findings of published, peer reviewed scientific papers, they will need to specifically refute the claims, and provide the relevant, peer reviewed references. Opinions don't count.
    I haven't tried to 'refute' the 'findings' of this paper. I've shown that the claim made for the non-existence of (apiary-desirable) resistance-selected bees is substantiated only in respect of wild/feral survivors, and not at all in the sense of specially bred bees. No references are needed to do this. A simple demonstration from the text, as supplied, is quite sufficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Finally, if you don't believe that you are using a protocol (no treatment/survivor) that will result in the selection of mutants, including those resistant colonies containing integrated RNAi viral fragments, then you have only yourself to blame. Those high loss rates, and the resulting poorly productive colonies are an obvious indicator.
    What high loss rates? What poorly productive colonies. Please substantiate. Don't forget the bees in the studies you instance were merely natural survivors - and may have been at a relatively early stage in their co-adaptation with varroa. They were not such bees subsequently bred toward desirable traits.

    Where in the literature is any indication that beekeer-desirable traits cannot be subsequently bred in?

    Don't forget that in all wild/feral bee populations there is a range of strenths and weakness. It is the beekeepers art to emphasise the desirable - strength, productivity and so on, and to aim to establish these traits as deeply as possible. With that said, many people are quite happy with straight mongrels, sharing genetic material with surrounding wild/feral bees, and simply re-queening the less desirable individuals from the better colonies. Perfect reliability is a 'demand' made by modern agriculture - and it seems is a demand too far.

    May I ask: where in the scientific literature is the alarmist term 'mutants' used to describe bees that have viral fragments incorported?

    As far as I can see from your literature such bees are examples of a natural mechanism by which animals gain a measure of immunity from viruses.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    There are better ways to select for resistant bees. [frozen brood etc.]

    One method is scientifically valid, the other isn't.
    I'm not sure what you mean by 'scientifically valid' here. Unless a study is under way no science is going on. Perhaps 'technologically valid' is better. A thought for another time perhaps.

    When we understand the precise meaning of your 'no-treatment/survivor protocol' perhaps we'll be able to understand just what you mean here.

    Don't forget though, Marla Spivak is recommending selecting from whatever bees are at hand - the local strains. Her aim is no-treatment wherever possible, in the knowledge that treatment followed by reproduction rapidly weakens the apiary. And she has strongly made the point that raising bees selectively is both a science AND an art.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    PS-Spivak is an IPM advocate.
    Fine. But don't forget; without a SPECIFICATION 'IPM' means very little. It can be extremely harmful to the future of the apiary (if reproduction follows treatments) or extremely beneficial (if that doesn't happen.).

    As for making it easy; if we all co-operated by responding clearly and earnestly to direct questions, and avoiding being evasive, we could do this the whole time. Its my job to make constructive conversation as straightfoward as possible by being as cooperative as possible. Thanks for engaging, and I hope you'll continue to do so.

    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 05-15-2010 at 04:44 AM.
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  20. #300
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Its my job to make constructive conversation as straightfoward as possible by being as cooperative as possible. Thanks for engaging, and I hope you'll continue to do so.

    Mike
    Is that why you referred to WLC as:

    offerering a totally dishonest view of the position in regard to deliberate selection against varroa
    That's what you call cooperative

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