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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Those are some of the mechanics of the same trait. Think of it as advanced hygiene... with a direct intent to remove varroa from the colony.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    So has anyone selected for a shorter capped brood period?
    Other than AHB that is.

    Tim Stewart

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Not that I know of. Although you are correct in that it would limit the mites reproduction greatly, my philosophy is to make no attempt to alter the bees, but allow them to address the issues in their own way and on their own time. I addressed the mite loads in the beginning to allow them a chance to do so. You would be very surprised at how many colonies of resistant bees are in operations today.

    These colonies can withstand mites quite well... however, people need to understand that in buying packages and nucs, the bees have been stressed and are in a much weaker state... set this weakened colony up in an area with higher numbers of mites (such as a treatment free beeyard) than they would have even experienced before they were displaced from their original colony, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    The other big issue that I see forming is the trend of people wanting "treatment free" bees in their packages and nucs... this is dangerous to say the least. The bees in the package and nuc will all die off and be replaced by what the queen produces... get treatment free queens (meaning queens that are produced from colonies, both graft and drone, that survive and thrive without interaction by man), these queens will produce a surviving colony, but NOT if your package or nuc brings an excessive amount of mites along with it. Mites will not destroy a hive, High numbers of mites will... enough mites, will destroy ANY hive... so many poor newbees are shooting themselves in the foot by buying treatment free bees to go along with their treatment free queens... let's not forget that this is how varroa swept through our industry in the first place...

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Do small cell bees have a shorter development time than 'large cell' bees? Often the smaller an animal, the shorter its gestational period, but this might only apply to different species, not different breeds/strains of the same species.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    rrussell, Wouldn't a shorter brood cycle be a trait that would help suppress mite reproduction but wouldn't (hopefully) harm honey production? Perhaps it may be "changing the bee" but our current VSH bee is a terrible producer, and Russians are terrible swarmers.

    I find that nucs built up for winter have lower mite levels than full strength hives that aren't of pure VSH stock. Could be the other way with stock, but no large beekeeper will keep bees that produce 1/2 the honey crop. Overwintered splits from last year seem to have lowest mites and best production in my operation.

    Nobodies mentioned that honeybees have a much higher rate of crossing over than any other animal. This means that almost any combination of traits is possible, its just who will happen to end up with enough good different variations.

    Tim

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Stewart View Post
    I find that nucs built up for winter have lower mite levels than full strength hives that aren't of pure VSH stock. Could be the other way with stock, but no large beekeeper will keep bees that produce 1/2 the honey crop. Overwintered splits from last year seem to have lowest mites and best production in my operation.
    Tim, why do you think that is? Did you let the queenless new nucs raise their own queens from eggs in late summer, thus breaking the mite breeding cycle before winter? Or some other reason for the winter nucs to have low mite counts?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Omie: I think that one of the possible reasons is that the nuc is building population, while the full sized colony is either staying constant or even reduceing in size. Thus as the mites keep going up in population, if the colony stays constant in population their mite load increases.

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    So Monsanto would be hard pressed to patent bee genetics and expect the everyday beekeeper to pay a royalty. That would be paid by the bee breeder that signs a contract with the company. TED
    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Agreed. There is no way to patent a strain of bees, because you have no control over the consistency of the genetics..

    Guys, I wasn't discussing the logical aspect of patenting bee genetics. To anyone with an ounce of common sense, patenting life forms should seem absurd in the extreme. You guys have common sense, and that, I think, is why you're not following me here.

    Monsanto has already patented life forms. These life forms, also, are impossible to control genetically once they're out of the lab. Pollen or seed from a patented cultivar gets out, contaminates someone's organic crop. Not only does Monsanto take no responsibility for destroying an organic crop, they sue the organic farmer for growing their GM crop without a license.

    This, too, is absurd to anyone with common sense. But this country is not governed by common sense. It's governed by the Golden Rule -- he who has the gold, makes the rules.

    Half the executives at the FDA, USDA, EPA, and some of the Supreme Court, are former Monsanto employees. Why do you think they are allowed to patent any life form at all? And now that they have patented life forms, why on God's green earth would you think they'll stop short of bees? We're not talking about sane people here.

    This is something that won't bother the backyard hobbyist much, but you commercial guys had darn well better be anticipating it -- because the Supreme Court, I promise you, does not side with the farmer on this.

    Go to YouTube and search for the story of Percy Schmeiser. I'm betting neither of you is aware of it yet.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Apiator's correct. Monsanto sues the smaller farmer who is unfortunate enough to be anywhere near a patented GMO crop field to have pollen either blown by the wind or transferred by pollinators over to his crop. If that farmer grows his own seed, Monsanto sues him and proves that his crop contains genetics from their strain that is patented. Doesn't even have to be a pure patented strain. Guess who wins in court? The side with the big money. It's outrageous.
    I'm a patent illustrator. There's a huge number of bio-tech genetic patents going down for all kinds of things.
    Wouldn't Monsanto just love to patent various strains of bees though? Then they could control it all from either end, and get us both coming and going.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    I do not follow anything that Monsanto does, because I was taught that "no lesson is better than a bad lesson"... simply put, I refuse to listen to idiocy, as I feel that it may be contagious... I have heard of some of their actions, and was appalled, but I can promise you one thing... Ted and I are old fashioned southern agriculturalist... hell hath no fury like that of an old school southern farmer... we are well known for our hospitality AND our zero tolerance for bs... If Monsanto wanted to mess with MY bees, they would have the fight of their lives, and I am sure that I could easily rally many thousands to stand with me. ;-)

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    If Monsanto wanted to mess with MY bees, they would have the fight of their lives, and I am sure that I could easily rally many thousands to stand with me. ;-)
    I appreciate your spunk... and I wish more people they've come after would stand up and spit in their face. Someday it's gotta happen.

    Just two quick points to remember, though:

    1) They can easily spend $100,000 per day on lawyers. Can you, or any number of beekeepers?

    2) Monsanto has yet to lose a patent case. Their record is strong enough that most cases are settled out of court, resulting in large fines paid by the farmer, and the farmer stuck with a gag order to never reveal details of said settlement.

    I like the idea of thousands of people swarming a courthouse, screaming for Monsanto blood the next time they pick on a farmer, making it clear especially to the judge that they will not tolerate the destruction of farmers. It hasn't happened yet, and sadly, you'd be hard pressed to round up that many people who care. Someday, maybe....

    Eventually, I think, the only way out of this mess would be for the Supreme Court to overturn their original decision that allowed patents on life forms. I forget the case and year, but it was about a modified bacteria that ate spilled crude oil.

    Until then (haha) we're only going to see more of the same, taken to new extremes. Count on it.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Robert, Just let me know when and where the fight is and I will come a runnin" TED

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Yes I do have those resources, but no, I would not want to waste them on battling a herd of idiots. I think its fairly well known however that I personally would sell the roof over my head and the bed that I sleep in to fight for the bees in my hives... this is a third generation company and the legacy of three men that gave their all for the betterment of these bees and this industry... we have defeated the government twice already, to protect the genetics of the bees in the US... recently I was even forced to defeat my own brother to protect these lineages... I will not shy away from a fight and speak my mind, as I hold values very highly.

    We have nearly 4,000 customers, hundreds of which are multi million dollar operations, and I believe that they would quickly stand in that fight.

    It shouldn't come to that though because the science is just too convincing to the contrary... but as a start in the right direction, those who are concerned about this issue should simply refuse to support those that are trying to lay claim to the genetics in their bees... this would stop the rise of that policy. The longer it is left undisputed, the harder it will be to dispute when the need is there.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    Robert, Just let me know when and where the fight is and I will come a runnin" TED
    ditto
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    way back there, yes mark c, bees can grow faster than the mites... until the queen maxes out. That's why Kirk Webster gets more tan 30% of his hives through the winter. That's why I do too.

    Tim

  16. #96
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    Chippew County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    "It shouldn't come to that though because the science is just too convincing to the contrary... but as a start in the right direction, those who are concerned about this issue should simply refuse to support those that are trying to lay claim to the genetics in their bees... this would stop the rise of that policy. The longer it is left undisputed, the harder it will be to dispute when the need is there."

    Vote no by simply not spending your dollars on gm's. If the farmers would have simply not bought GM seeds they would have dropped the patents if thats what it took to sell the seed. It is of course not that simple for the farmers to make that choice but it is for us beekeepers (unless they build a miracle bee).

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    My biggest worry is if scientist genetically tamper with the honeybee, will it even be the same animal??? Will it even have the same behaviors????? Sure they might stick a gene from some other organism in the bee that will make it resistant to Varroa but who wants glow in the dark bees??? Would you even want to eat honey from such a creature? I said creature because what will it be, a honey bee??? From a pure genetics stand point--NO! I certainly do not want to own one of their bioengineered glow in the dark sheep. Some things in the world are better left alone to their own devices and honeybees are one of them. As many generations that a bee has in a year, breeding a better bee is the answer, the natural way. Not genetic splicing of genes. Bioengineers need to stay in their labs and engineer themselves and let bee breeders do their jobs. TK

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    I don't think that the Monsanto's of the world will be able to patent GM Honeybees anytime soon.

    I do agree that Honeybees shouldn't be genetically engineered for many reasons.

    However, as I've said before on this forum, there is evidence for the retrotransposition of virus fragments into the Honeybee genome (Maori et al., 2007). This is likely the result of the myriad of pests and pathogens that have been inflicted onto the Honeybee (and other native pollinators as well) via globalization. Surprisingly, these inserted virus fragments can also confer immunity to viruses.

    I've raised the alarm over this 'genetic contaminant/molecular parasite' before. It's not the kind of resistance that you want to select for in your stock.

    Honeybee breeders need to be aware of this new threat to the genetics of the Honeybee and act accordingly. Simply put, guard the genetics of your stock.

    So you see Ted, you need to be more concerned about 'jumping genes' rather than Monsanto.

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    As many generations that a bee has in a year, breeding a better bee is the answer, the natural way. Not genetic splicing of genes. Bioengineers need to stay in their labs and engineer themselves and let bee breeders do their jobs. TK

    Right.

    Now you know where all those crazy hippie leftie anti-GMO "foodie" treehugger people come from. (Truth is, that's just what farmers have been programmed to think about anyone who cares what's in their food.)

    I see no logical or moral difference between engineering bees, or things we already have seen like the mutant salmon, or splicing fish genes into tomatoes. Now, I hear, cows have been engineered that give human milk. If there isn't already a bee engineering program somewhere in a basement lab, I'd be very surprised.

    It's your war too, gentlemen. It's everyone's war. We all eat food. All the little organic guys know this stuff... but it has yet to trickle up to the "get big or get out" boys.

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    There is no doubt that the government has intentions to perverse every level of nature. The "us vs them" mentality is intended to split industries so that everyone points fingers at each other and never realizes that the one group that both sides have been supporting was the one that the entire industry should have been scrutinizing. The USDA has been planning on forcing primorsky genetics on all US bees by releasing thousands of swarms in strategic locations each season... but instead of an up-roar, they get more tax dollars... why? Because we are too busy arguing amongst ourselves about treating vs not treating. They shut down our borders and say that they are the only ones that can bring in new lines, yet when they do, they sell them to the highest bidder and lay claim to the genetics... have none of you ever wondered why a new pest or disease seems to pop up every time we get one under control... and this just happens to coincide with the request for more funding? Ted said it very well... this industries leaders are the experts, and should be able to oversee the students and inexperienced drs in these programs... they have nothing to lose.... WE DO.

    If it is truly a "war", then the uniforms need to be identified... commercial beekeepers care about their bees just like the small guy does, if their bees fail, their children do not eat... let's work together as an industry and make ONE voice that speaks twice as loudly.

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