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  1. #121
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Yes

    Wouldn't it have been easier to come right out and say it clear and plain then try to have a hidden discussion within a cover discussion?

    So I have another question.
    Do people want to have serious discussion on this issue or not? I don't want to waste time throwing jabs back and forth.

    This topic has as much to do with bees as many topics I see in here.

  2. #122
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    Wouldn't it have been easier to come right out and say it clear and plain then try to have a hidden discussion within a cover discussion?
    I opened the thread with the following:

    In my opinion, one of the chief obstacles, and I see this here at BeeSource on almost a daily basis, is a deep distrust of scientific researchers. I don't really know why this should be so pervasive in the beekeeping community, as most of the truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from have been made by scientists.
    So I was very diplomatic about it, I said I don't know why. However, it could be as you say, that there is a basic unbridgeable gulf between scientific belief and religious belief. There have been a great number of scientists with deeply held spiritual and/or religious beliefs, so ultimately these two do not have to be at odds.

    All the same, it is far more common for people to become overly scientific or overly religious to the detriment of the other point of view. Personally, I think that it is quite easy to maintain both viewpoints. The problem starts when one faction tries to force its viewpoint on the other. And make no mistake about, both do this. In fact, there are any number of human viewpoints, and they do not have to be mutually exclusive at all.

    For example, one can be in favor of industrialization AND sensitive to the environment. Believe in modern medicine AND value faith and belief as means to regaining health. To want to incorporate technology into our lives AND live an aesthetically pleasing life at the same time.

    In my opinion, there is no reason why multiple points of view cannot be held by individual people. The problem is, some folks find this confusing. Many people seem to think that once a point of view is arrived upon, that it must promoted, so that as many people see it that way as possible. At the very least, the point of view has to be vigorously defended.

    Science without an appreciation of beauty and mystery is cold, hard, and sterile. Religion without a modern education and an understanding of the complexity of life, devolves into superstition. There is room in the world for science, progress, beauty, faith, mystery, and so on. And, there are some areas where they have to limit their influence.

    People need to be able to obtain as much information as possible in order to freely make decisions about what to believe or not believe. Make up your own mind, that's what it's for!

  3. #123
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Did I miss something?- how did this suddenly become scientific vs. religious? I'm a bit confused by this morphing...or is that what the thread was about from the beginning and I just didn't understand?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  4. #124
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Back to the science:

    The Western honeybee, Apis mellifera has the highest metazoan recombination rate reported so far. Proximate or ultimate causes for this elevated recombination rate have not yet been resolved. In a comparative study, we investigated meiotic recombination in the red dwarf honeybee Apis florea.

    Open-nesting A. florea is more exposed to parasites and pathogens and environmental fluctuations, which may both select for higher genetic diversity within colonies, and thus higher recombination rate.

    However, temperate races of A. mellifera constantly reuse their comb over many generations and display sophisticated hygienic behavior (Rothenbuhler 1964), which could be interpreted as evidence for higher pathogen pressure in this species. More quantitative research in these regards is clearly needed.

    Comparative Linkage Mapping Suggests a High Recombination Rate in All Honeybees
    EMILY R. MEZNAR et al. 2010. Journal of Heredity

  5. #125
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    New paper out:

    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.

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

    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.

    Emerging and re-emerging viruses of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)
    Elke Genersch and Michel Aubert. 2010. Vet. Res.

  6. #126
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Peter wrote:

    >Open-nesting A. florea is more exposed to parasites and pathogens and environmental fluctuations, which may both select for higher genetic diversity within colonies, and thus higher recombination rate.

    Original paper also had this statement,which makes breeding a resistant bee more hopeful.

    >In addition to a few comparisons of intervals across the genome, we particularly focused on chromosomes 3 and 12. Confirming marker synteny, we found that recombination rates in A. florea are as high as or higher than those in A. mellifera. Our results are limited to select genomic regions but suggest that A. florea also exhibits an exceptionally high genome-wide recombination rate. This trait may thus occur genus wide.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    >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.

    Which make monitoring virus levels more important than ever and with today's modern technology, I think [and am] monitoring the virus level of a typical hive in each yard makes great sense.

  8. #128
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Back to the topic of science and what is a scientific study:

    Theories can no more be adjudged ‘true’ or ‘false’ than languages can. But a theory, like a language, might prove more or less useful, and it is the useful ones that survive. We accept, deploy and believe useful theories.

    New data, and tests of new hypotheses, depend on observation and experiment. An experiment is a way of making precise observations, not of ‘unconstrained nature’ but of a situation deliberately constrained so that all relevant variables are known. The ability to design and conduct experiments is as essential for a scientist as a thorough and up-to-date understanding of relevant theories.

    A properly designed experiment must be reproducible. That is to say, it must give substantially the same results when it is repeated at a different time and place and by other (trained and competent) experimenters. It must also be valid: anyone trained in the appropriate field of science must agree that it does just what its designer claims it does. If new techniques or equipment are involved then the experimenter must show that these meet appropriate standards of reliability, independent of times, places and persons.

    The results of the experiment must be interpretable: they must be free of ‘interfering variables’ and of errors of extrapolation or interpolation. This can be ensured by running controls, in which all variables except the one under investigation are kept at the same values as in the experiment itself. It is also important to ensure that a newly-designed experiment is practicable, ethical and economic. Good experiment design is an art that requires practice.
    Paul S. Agutter • Denys N. Wheatley
    Thinking about Life: The History and Philosophy of Biology and Other Sciences

  9. #129
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    "In my opinion, one of the chief obstacles, and I see this here at BeeSource on almost a daily basis, is a deep distrust of scientific researchers. I don't really know why this should be so pervasive in the beekeeping community, as most of the truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from have been made by scientists. "

    The decision to close the Canadian border to US packages in 1986 was made by Canadian scientists, ..........it bought us a little time in dealing with varroa,it broke a few California bee shippers and shrunk growth in the Canadian honey production for a number of years.
    Today we have the same problems as our southern neighbors.The SHB find in Hawaii put a large shipment of queens into quarantine while the scientists examined the bees for SHB eggs.
    The less me and my business have to do with scientists, the better off I am $$$$$$$$$$$$
    Last edited by irwin harlton; 05-08-2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: spelllling

  10. #130
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    It's not the scientists that are making you broke, it's the army of pests and pathogens that are crammed together in those boxes.

    Seriously, you don't think it's O.K. to make things worse for everyone by allowing pests across borders, do you?

  11. #131
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    A lot of noise is made about treating colonies for mites and how this prevents natural resistance from coming about. That assumes that natural resistance must come about, which is a faulty assumption.
    It's not an assumption Peter, its well-attested:

    "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."

    The Hygiene Queen, Marla Spivak and Gary S. Reuter

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


    That treatments disrupt the attainment of resistence is a logical consequence of denial of selection. The theory:

    Each sexual coupling combines the parent's genes at random. This produces offspring that exhibit a range of responses to the environment. Some will thrive, others will fail.

    From this range nature 'selects' the stronger through a number of mechanisms, the two most important of which are:

    1) The weakest die and cannot reproduce

    2) Competition for mating favours the stronger

    As traits are passed on to the next generation, those of the stronger are always passed on in greater numbers than those of the weaker.

    In this way populations are constantly 'tuned' to their environment.

    This HAS to happen, for the following reason: the environment is changing all the time, and a range or predatory organisms is constantly adapting to better attack. If the prey does not continually refine its defences through natural selection the predators gain advantge. When the predator is question are what we call 'disease organisms, we call the result 'sickness' or 'ill health'.

    SO: to remain healthy populations MUST constantly adapt to the ever-changing disease environment.

    Now: IF you treat you allow the weaker traits to enter the next generation. You have stymied the basic mechanisms for health-maintenance - the creation of new generations predominantly from the strongest of the old.

    The result will be a greater incidence of whatever you treated against in the generation than would have been the case had you not treated.

    In most fields of husbandry mating is closely controlled, the best (healthiest) individuals selected to breed from. Here treatment is fine - as long as you ensure that those individuals used for breeding are those that required least (and preferably no) treatments. This is standard practice, mirroring, respecting, utilizing nature's own main and essential health-location mechanism.

    In beekeeping however... mating is not usually contolled in this manner. That means that treated individuals will pass their (weaker) traits to the next generation - with the consequences described above.

    In selective apiaries colonies may be saved by treating but must be re-queened from better stock to avoid passing on the weak traits through drones and supercedure or swarming.

    TREATING AND DOING NOTHING ELSE CONDEMNS THE APIARY TO A DOWNWARD HEALTH SPIRAL


    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    IF one is selecting for behaviors that benefit colonies, such as uncapping brood to check for mites, then one can develop better bees through breeding. Treating as necessary for mite control has no effect on this process.
    OK - for breeders who know what they are doing. For ordinary beekeepers wanting to have broad-spectrum healthy bloodlines, treating - unless requeening as described above is happening - will constantly defeat the selection process.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    So everyone should rally around hygienic bee lines, whether VSH, Russian, Minnesota Hygienic or whatnot. If you cannot afford to buy queens, and at 20 to 30 dollars a pop, many can't, learn to raise queens from a hygienic breeder.

    Clubs or associations can pool their resources and buy top notch breeders, and share cost. Then the progeny can be distributed either as frames of larvae or as finished queen cells. Almost every club has somebody who knows how to raise queen cells or is capable of learning.
    All good stuff - but don't subsequently waste this good genetic material by not selecting actively for general health and vitality, and against vulnerability to predatory organisms! As soon as you start propping (and not terminating the propped lines) the bloodstock will degrade rapidly.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    The real problem, of course, is viruses. These babies are invisible, evil scraps of rogue dna that slip in between the cracks and wreck the health and well being of the larger species, the ones we know and care about.

    Viruses are the oldest organised structures known. Not quite life-forms, they have been around constantly; and all lifeforms have evolved in their presence. Any lifeform that has been around for 30 million years or so, and developed throughout that time in the face of constant viral attacks, may be assumed to have suitable defence mechanisms.

    They change continuously, and can cause devastating popluation drops - but as far as I'm aware they are not generally associated with extinctions.

    The same principles apply to viruses as any other predator. The best defence for a species is genetic diversity. A proportion of individuals in a genetically diverse population will be naturally immune, and these will thrive at the expense of individuals less well equipped. The population will rebuild from the survivors - with the necessary defensive trait making the virus harmless.

    Selective reproduction, by nature or by human, is the essential defence. And again, treatments dramatically undermine the process - unless the proper steps are taken to negate that (with bees, immediate re-queening from resistant stock to terminate the bloodline)

    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 05-09-2010 at 01:39 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  12. #132
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    So I was very diplomatic about it, I said I don't know why. However, it could be as you say, that there is a basic unbridgeable gulf between scientific belief and religious belief.
    This is something I've thought about raising on a number of occasions, and I'm glad Peter has gone ahead and done it.

    From this side of the pond anyone can see why. A good many Americans have deeply held beliefs that clash with modern scientific understanding. Many Americans prefer to avoid any discussion of ideas involving evolution, and many more want to avoid giving offence by supporting such discussions.

    Since evolution is at the heart of the modern understanding of nature held uniformly throughout the life sciences, there is a basic opposition of belief.

    This clash, you may or may not realise, is almost non-existent in Europe. We are, broadly speaking, Christians, but have long ago reached an accommodation with Darwinism. It is, for us, an American peculiarity.

    For Beesource, which is overwhelmingly American (probably largely for this very reason) this is a real issue and a real problem.

    I personally think the best thing to do is put forward your own beliefs in a way that makes clear the grounds upon which you hold them. That way everything is in the open, there are no hidden agendas.

    I think too there is middle ground - we don't need to set our compasses according to the most extreme ends of the belief spectrum. I love empirical science, but I understand there are lots of questions I have that science cannot answer, and sometimes cannot address.

    I also think the assertions of science about the ORIGINS of species can be regarded for diplomatic purposes as a separate belief from that of adaptation. That is: we can talk about creatures changing to become stronger, without needing to talk about where they came from in the first place. After all, selective husbandry is mentioned in the bible.

    I agree this topic needs a thread of its own...

    Mike
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  13. #133
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    >as most of the truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from have been made by scientists.

    Seems to me that the truly important discoveries were made by a retired MD (C.C. Miller) a preacher (Rev. L.L. Langstroth), a blind Aristocrat with a facination for bees (Fracois Huber) and a few commercial beekeepers (such as G.M. Doolittle). I can't think of much important stuff they didn't cover...

    Name a few "truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from" that were made by what would today be considered scientists (PHDs doing research on bees). Things that actually help us day to day. I can't think of one.

    Grafting: Doolittle, beekeeper
    Basic biology and mating: Huber, Aristocrat
    Hive design: Langstroth, preacher
    Smoker design: Quinby, beekeeper
    Distribution of information: A.I. Root, beekeeper and bee supply person, C.P. Dadant, ditto
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #134
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Name a few "truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from" that were made by what would today be considered scientists (PHDs doing research on bees). Things that actually help us day to day. I can't think of one.
    Hygienic behavior in honey bees = WC Rothenbuhler

  15. #135
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Name a few "truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from" that were made by what would today be considered scientists (PHDs doing research on bees).
    This is a heavily loaded question. You are stating that "PHDs doing research on bees" are the only ones who "would today be considered scientists".

    I do not agree with this statement. For example, my friend Randy Oliver (scientificbeekeeping.com) is a scientist without a PhD. And he is on the forefront of independent research into honey bee health.

    But your question is facile. I could name hundreds of scientific advances that beekeepers take advantage of every single day, not the least of which is the internet.

  16. #136
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    It is now widely accepted that novel infectious disease can be a leading cause of serious population decline and even outright extinction in some invertebrate and vertebrate groups

    To date, the few well documented examples of complete extinction in which infectious diseases were demonstrably the main or leading factor mostly concern losses among amphibians

    Here we report results of our study of the collapse, allegedly due to introduced infectious disease, of two endemic murines, Rattus macleari and R. nativitatis, on the isolated landmass of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean almost exactly a century ago.

    Kelly B. Wyatt. 2008. Historical Mammal Extinction on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) Correlates with Introduced Infectious Disease

  17. #137
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    [QUOTE=Michael Bush;535226] Name a few "truly important discoveries that we beekeepers benefit from" that were made by what would today be considered scientists (PHDs doing research on bees). Things that actually help us day to day. I can't think of one.

    This statement is breathtaking. I would suggest that the whole life of Eva Crane refutes it.

    Born as Ethel Eva Widdowson in London she earned a Ph.D in 1941 in nuclear physics. She became a lecturer in Physics at Sheffield University.

    Her interest in bees began when she and her husband received a beehive as a wedding present; the giver had hoped that it would help supplement their wartime sugar ration.

    Crane wrote over 180 papers, articles, and books, many when she was in her 70s and 80s.

    A Book of Honey (1980) and The Archaeology of Beekeeping (1983) reflected her strong interests in nutrition and the ancient past of beekeeping.

    Her writing culminated in two mighty, encyclopaedic tomes, Bees and Beekeeping: science, practice and world resources (1990; at 614 pages) and The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting (1999; 682 pages).

    These distilled a lifetime's knowledge and experience and are regarded as seminal textbooks throughout the beekeeping world.

    She died at the age of 95 in Slough, England.

  18. #138
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Perhaps the greatest recent advance in apicultural research is associated with the important part played by chemical substances in regulating the social behavior of honey bees. Interest in this area was stimulated by Butler, who, in summarizing his own and other work, suggested that a queen honey bee secretes a chemical compound which is taken from her body by worker bees, is passed from bee to bee, and controls the development of ovaries in workers and production of queen cells in general.

    SOME RECENT ADVANCES IN APICULTURAL RESEARCH By G. F. TOWNSEND AND R. W. SHUEL
    Apiculture Department, Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    Annual Review of Entomology Vol. 7: 481-500 (Volume publication date January 1962)
    see:

    Butler, C. G. The significance of queen substance in swarming and supersedure in honey-bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. Proe. Roy. Entomol. Soc. (London), 35, 129- 32 (1960)

  19. #139
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    Now: IF you treat you allow the weaker traits to enter the next generation. You have stymied the basic mechanisms for health-maintenance - the creation of new generations predominantly from the strongest of the old.

    The result will be a greater incidence of whatever you treated against in the generation than would have been the case had you not treated.
    ...
    Selective reproduction, by nature or by human, is the essential defence. And again, treatments dramatically undermine the process - unless the proper steps are taken to negate that (with bees, immediate re-queening from resistant stock to terminate the bloodline)

    Mike
    Mike, are there people actually arguing against this?

  20. #140
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    Default Re: An ideal beekeepers' world



    SEVEN QUEENS!

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