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  1. #1
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    Default Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failures?

    http://www.abfnet.org/associations/1...iver_PBQBS.mp3

    Some paraphrases and excerpts.

    Epigenetics more important than genetics. It's how the genes are expressed. Queens and workers wildly different, but genetically identical.

    What your grandparents experienced affects your expression of genes.

    If a parent colony is exposed to a parasite, the next generation is better prepared for it.

    You get different bees every years, much faster than breeding for bees. Have to get away from line-breeding.

    Can reconstitute genome from previous generation from just a handful of survivors, dependent on how fast the population re-expands.

    The hive is a team effort, a colony has a lot of parents.

    The feral population maintains its genetic integrity no matter the domestic population around it.

    It's easy to breed bees in a few generations resistant to a parasite. The question is the cost.

    Resistance will go away if constant pressure is not maintained.

    Treating selects for the bees with the weakest immune system because the parasites are suppressed.

    Don't have to breed for anything, just stop supporting the ones that aren't resistant.

    Quotes another guy: 'Nothing should go into a beehive except for queens.'

    Many traits responsible for overall resistance.

    Varroa didn't become a problem until the first mite started laying eggs in worker brood. It read the change in pheromones from the workers that they only normally read from the drones.

    Need to change definitive host back to being drone brood.

    Pupae left without capping dehydrates the mites, possibly to stop varroa males from reproducing.

    Bees are specifically adapted genetically for their location and altitude. We want different bees for migratory and stationary operations.

    Breed for a population that's adapted so all the parts work together. Focus on a population. Use dozens of breeders rather than one.

    Starting with the right stock saves you years of work. Introduce new stocks in drone mothers rather than as breeder queens.




    Thoughts and comparisons:
    Michael Bush talks about how a better fed queen can be better than a better bred queen. Demonstrates effect of epigenetics.

    You can't 'help the bees.' People keeping bees to 'help the bees that are dying' are at the very best doing absolutely nothing and having no effect whatsoever.

    My bees show the trait of shutting down brooding when appropriate, eliminating breeding potential for the mites for a time. Not a good trait for migratory pollination, but I'm not doing migratory pollination.

    Explains why I lost so many hives when I moved and once there were a few supersedures, they began to thrive again. It is far too short a time to have made any large genetic change, but epigenetics can be expressed in the very next generation.

    Newbee failure rate could be explained by a number of factors, one of which is that generally, the hive they get is far from local, putting it in an immediate disadvantage. Buy local, buy treatment-free, or you take a very big risk of simply wasting your time and money and emotional investiture as the case may be.

    His bees have to make money, so he can't just let them die. A good application for the commercial realm. Hobbyists and commercial are different entities and should be treated as such.

    Neither he or I care why or how the bees are doing the job, just as long as they do the job. That's why I don't test for VSH or anything else. I could probably do myself some good testing for mites, but I figure if a hive can do well with a massive mite load, so much the better. It's the result I want. The intermediate steps are far less important.

    Reinforces what I've been saying about how backyard and hobbyist beekeepers should not be emulating commercial beekeepers. Commercial beekeepers obviously don't emulate hobbyists. Mr. Oliver is saying that they should even use different queens, bred for different purposes. I'd say a migratory beekeeper should use queens bred from migratory stock, but I don't know of many migratory queen breeders, usually the breeding operation stays put. Russell does carry a line of queens sourced from migratory operations.


    Listen to the audio and share your conclusions. Let's not argue over each other's conclusions, just share your own please.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    http://www.abfnet.org/associations/1...iver_PBQBS.mp3

    Some paraphrases and excerpts.

    Epigenetics more important than genetics. It's how the genes are expressed. Queens and workers wildly different, but genetically identical.

    What your grandparents experienced affects your expression of genes.

    If a parent colony is exposed to a parasite, the next generation is better prepared for it.

    I'll preface my post with the following:

    I haven't read much of Randy Oliver's Epigenetic application to bee genetics.
    I haven't read much on Epigenetics in general.


    Solomon Parker's parapharasing of Randy's article strikes me as a perfect example of Evolution, Lamarckian style.

    "Lamarckism (or Lamarckian inheritance) is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring (also known as heritability of acquired characteristics or soft inheritance). It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories." (from the wiki article below)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism


    Is this now becoming an acceptable theory? It was consistently debunked for most of the 20th Century.

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com
    Last edited by adamf; 02-27-2012 at 09:37 AM. Reason: always spelling

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    I haven't read much of Randy Oliver's Epigenetic application to bee genetics.
    I haven't read much on Epigenetics in general.
    Perhaps you should. Commenting on the material without actually reading (or in this case listening to) the material is a very poor way of blundering about. As the great deknow once said (something to the effect of) staring at the link for a moment is not nearly as effective for discussing the material as actually reading the material.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Perhaps you should. Commenting on the material without actually reading (or in this case listening to) the material is a very poor way of blundering about. As the great deknow once said (something to the effect of) staring at the link for a moment is not nearly as effective for discussing the material as actually reading the material.
    My reply to your Randy Oliver quote addresses a specific aspect of Epigenetics that you stated. I was replying to that. Is that "blundering about"?
    I don't feel that is so. You paraphrased a theory. I commented on your take. If you had posted on Epigenetics, then I'd be out of line, as you say I am.

    Do you know about the basic theories of inheritance and historical evolutionary biology? Some people don't. I wanted to make sure to point out the similarity between your paraphrasing Randy Oliver and Lamarckism.

    I mentioned my unfamiliarity with Randy Oliver's Epigenetic application to bee genetics to be honest.

    You or anyone else needn't "stare" at the link I posted: the information is interesting and appropriate. That's why I posted it. I have no motive other then to provide information. I'm not refuting Randy Oliver, Epigenetic's or your praphrase.

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com
    Last edited by adamf; 02-27-2012 at 09:55 AM. Reason: more edits

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    The subject is conclusions drawn from Mr. Oliver's presentation. Please stay on topic.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Epigenetics is a wonderful thing if you keep the toxic substances out of the equation. What you put into the hive today can very well have negative effects for many generations down the road.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Epigenetics is a wonderful thing if you keep the toxic substances out of the equation. What you put into the hive today can very well have negative effects for many generations down the road.
    Delta, I agree. I tried to type up a basis for why, and chickened out. Someone's just going to "yell" at me anyway.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, guess I will teach permaculture in drought. The bees are still alive.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Before folks jump into Lamarkism and epigenetics, I think we should be clear on something. Epigenetics does change the expression of genes in the genome, but it does so not across the organism, but in a cell or cell line. Only if the cell is gametic will the change be heritable. That is, if I have an epigenetic mutation or alteration in my brain I will not pass it on to my offspring. If the mutation is in my gonads, then I have the potential to pass it on.

    TL;DR - your genome is in every cell of your body and mutations can only be inherited if they are in gonad tissue. This is true of bees too.

    EDIT: Grammar

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Epigenetics is a wonderful thing if you keep the toxic substances out of the equation. What you put into the hive today can very well have negative effects for many generations down the road.
    In this case, I think you mean cultural or environmental inheritance and not epigenetics. Bees, if left in the same environment as their predecessors inherit that environment. If the environment is contaminated with toxins, then they too are inherited. Epigenetic effects in this case, are unlikely.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Pupae left without capping dehydrates the mites, possibly to stop varroa males from reproducing.
    I'm impressed you were able to get all this from the audio. He talks so fast I could barely keep up.

    I was struck when he made the comment above. He wasn't real clear how this happened in his hives, but uncapped pupae in the purple eye stage as well as chewed pupae immediately showed up in my hives when I stopped all treatments and started doing shakedowns. Until then, I had never seen this before. That was 10 years ago. I sense from his talk that he has just recently started seeing this. Wonder if there has been any management change that corresponds to this.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    I have a question from the tape! He said to remove the Drones from the weaker hive but usually I thought there would be drones before you could determine which hive was weaker. Is there something I'm missing here? what is the best way to remove Drones?
    Last edited by oklabizznessman; 02-27-2012 at 03:41 PM. Reason: more questions

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Drone comb and you remove the pupae or a "drone trap" at the hive entrance catching them as the come/go.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    That's part of the point of having an isolated mating yard. You can to some extent "bring in" the drones that you want. Keep you poor colonies away, or pull out drone brood etc. You won't get all of them, but you can certainly limit their influence.

    I'm passingly familiar with epigenetics. The inheritance thereof, less so. I would agree that only characteristics (esp. mutations) that occur in the gonads can be passed on. This is why many of our apple varieties are only grown from cuttings because the beneficial mutations do not necessarily occur in the seeds since plants are modular organisms (one limb can be genetically different from another because of a mutation that occurs after it has started growing). However with epigenetics we are looking at an upregulation of a particular gene that is already there. It does not necessarily have to be from just one particular cell line. It is possible that the gene is upregulated (I think a common method is methylation adding on a group to the gene or its primer etc) throughout the entire organism, including the gonads. If the gene is turned off it can still have this upregulation, which could be inherited without actually being expressed in the gonadal cell. You could for instance upregulate a gene that produces an antimicrobial compound thoughout the body. In the immune cells this would have the effect of making them more effective against say nosema. In the cells of the rest of the body it would have no effect because that gene is turned off.

    That would explain the inheritance of some of those traits, because most of the epigenetics that we're looking at probably have no function in the gonads, where they must occur in order to have any effect on the next generation.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'd say a migratory beekeeper should use queens bred from migratory stock.
    I'd say a migratory beekeeper would be a better judge of this than someone with 6 stationary hives blundering about.

    Too many conclusions have been leapt to.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. C View Post
    That would explain the inheritance of some of those traits, because most of the epigenetics that we're looking at probably have no function in the gonads, where they must occur in order to have any effect on the next generation.
    This isn't necessarily true. I will use your methylation example. If a gene is methylated it will increase expression, but only in the methylated cell. A single cell. If methylation occurred during ebryogenesis, then maybe you can have organism-wide expression. Otherwise, you're only causing the change in one cell. If the cell divides, you get two cells. Methylation of an immune cell or line is not inherited. Now, if the organism in question is methylated at gene B across every cell line, this can turn on expression of the gene in only specific cells--such as your immune cell--and still be inherited.

    The big point here is that mutations can only be inherited if present in the gonad.

    I don't know what you mean when you say "the inheritance we observe". Could you elaborate, as I am kind of curious?
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 02-27-2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Excessive Quoting

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    He concluded that selection for queen breeding should be based on honey production, comb pattern and varroa/virus resistance.

    I'm not sure why he even mentioned epigenetics if he is advocating for traditional selective breeding.

    He gave the IAPV/RNAi find by Maori et al. short shrift when it should have been the focus of his epigenetics discussion.

    Honeybees don't have immune cells, they have a molecular immune system based on retrotransposition and RNAi.

    Also, the epigenetic insertions that provide for resistance are edited out within a few generations in the reproductive tissues by a system known as PIWI. So, it doesn't last long without selective pressure.

    He also gave Instrumental Insemination the short shrift because it is the most likely method by which queen breeders can select for drones bearing sperm with favorable insertions.

    While he did mention that the whole colony can act to provide for immunity, so the queen just represents a fraction of the source of the resistance trait, he could have also inferred that RNAi based resistance could be transferred between colonies rather easily. By, transferring combs between colonies for example.

    I don't think that he captured the real message behind epigenetic regulation for queen breeders, or for treatment free beekeeping.

    But, he was rushed.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    My apologies, my bee anatomy is not up to snuff, I was oversimplifying by saying immune cell, I was simply trying to point out that not every cell is necessarily involved in the immune response.

    Methylation is not a change in the gene itself, it's added afterwards, the base sequence remains the same. I guess my point is that it does not have to happen to just one cell. It clearly is happening in gametes as well (at least part of the time) because the change has been shown to be heritable. I was making an assumption that it may be organism wide if that was the case, simply not expressed in a gene that is turned off. The weeding out process sounds fascinating. I guess I have some more things to add to my reading list.

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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    He gave the IAPV/RNAi find by Maori et al. short shrift when it should have been the focus of his epigenetics discussion.
    ...
    Also, the epigenetic insertions that provide for resistance are edited out within a few generations in the reproductive tissues by a system known as PIWI. So, it doesn't last long without selective pressure.
    ...
    I don't think that he captured the real message behind epigenetic regulation for queen breeders, or for treatment free beekeeping.
    WLC, please elaborate.

    Thanks. ....Don
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 02-27-2012 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Excessive Quoting

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Is this now becoming an acceptable theory? It was consistently debunked for most of the 20th Century.
    It is. Because of new technology and research in cellular biology - and statistical meta-research. It is no longer crackpot country. The difference is that now the mechanism is understood (kinda).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Randy Oliver, Queen Breeding, explanation for Treatment-Free Successes and Failur

    Quote Originally Posted by really_so_sorry View Post
    In this case, I think you mean cultural or environmental inheritance and not epigenetics. Bees, if left in the same environment as their predecessors inherit that environment. If the environment is contaminated with toxins, then they too are inherited. Epigenetic effects in this case, are unlikely.
    I know very little on this science other than what I've read that endocrine disruptors have recently been shown to promote an epigenetic transgenerational phenotype involving a number of disease states.

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