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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Hi Crofter,

    I agree with all you say, except that part which seems to be saying 'carry on treating, because to do otherwise risks losing genetic diversity'.

    Its easy to label a proposed solution (or rather, an understanding of the mechanisms in play that can lead to solutions) 'simplistic'. But it seems to me to be a case of: give a dog a bad name and kill it'. In what way are the things here - the principles and the actions they indicate ' simplistic'? I think you make a charge with that term, and I think it requires justification.

    Marla Spivak, whose method I've indicated might be of interest to large commercial operations wishes to wean their bees off the meds, makes a specifical global point along these lines: It is best for this to occur at a local level, so that genetic diversity is maintained, rather than to have central breeding operations which could easily narrow diversity alarmingly.

    It isn't the case that nobody is thinking about this. And its a good point. But it isn't a reason to do nothing - to carry on with the meds.

    There is ample evidence showing that where bees are able to be free of treatments their natural defences are bought to the surface by natural selection, and the age-old problem of a new introduced parasite is taken care of. In what way can that be said to be simplistic, or meddling?

    I think 'backing off and letting nature take its course' is precisely what many of us are willing to do - on a local basis - and that the evidence we will provide will strengthen the diagnosis: the biggest health problem bees face is addiction to meds.

    Mike
    Backing off and letting nature take its course - on a local basis - I agree with. Local experiments with active control while protecting the whole of the gene bank till you see where the experiment is taking us, but dont burn any genetic bridges in the process. I guess that was Marla Spivaks advice. It is unfortunate that concurrent treatment by others can and likely will hamper the process. Sadly we are deeply into the same conundrum with human medicine.

    "There is ample evidence showing that where bees are able to be free of treatments their natural defences are bought to the surface by natural selection, and the age-old problem of a new introduced parasite is taken care of. In what way can that be said to be simplistic, or meddling?"

    Man is currently interfering with the natural evolutionary process in so many ways I dont think we can simply back away in any one area and claim that what results was the will of mama gaia. Letting mother nature retake control is a noble thought but I dont think we can muster the will to allow it. (in the big time frame however, nothing else prevails!) Once you have become part of the active process doing nothing becomes in essence an action.

    The problem I foresee here is that our European bees inclination may be to emulate the Asian bee to combat their introduced mite: they swarm typically 10 or more times a year and produce virtually no honey surplus. You can be sure that wont be allowed, so man is still going to be keeping his fingers on the levers. We seem to be locked into a spiral of increasing complexity and ever victim of unforseen consequences of each of our solutions. Like it or not man has become part of the evolutionary force. Lots to think about; it may not be such a simple solution.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    (Mike wrote) "There is ample evidence showing that where bees are able to be free of treatments their natural defences are bought to the surface by natural selection, and the age-old problem of a new introduced parasite is taken care of. In what way can that be said to be simplistic, or meddling?"

    Man is currently interfering with the natural evolutionary process in so many ways I dont think we can simply back away in any one area and claim that what results was the will of mama gaia.
    I don't know how to respond to this! Yes, we are interfering in many ways, and the result is lots of problems. The best way out is to back off! Stop interfering! Starting with what are obviously the most damaging things.

    As to your principle: a rock rolling down a hill will follow a natural course. Stopping it will stop that. Releasing it will allow it to proceed on a new natural course.

    Try following the logic:

    1, Premise) Selective reproduction for health is known - no debate - to be _necessary_ to health in any living population. (That is a 'forceful' necessary. The same as in this sentence: 'Oxygen is necessary to living'. There is no escape - you have it or suffer catastrosphic consequences.)

    2, Conclusion) Frustrating all forms of selective reproduction will necessarily lead to declining health

    If you think there is something wrong with that argument, let us know what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Letting mother nature retake control is a noble thought but I dont think we can muster the will to allow it.
    Some of us certainly can, do, are. That is in good part what non-treatment is about. The only discussion is of details - of which approach is best to which circumstances. Not many want to allow nature total control - that would be unnecessarily expensive. So we want to do what husbandrymen have done for thousands of years - emulate nature, work with her methods, but in ways that favour a better outcome than simply letting her rip. Nature selects: we must select.

    None of this is new:

    "Breeding is by no means a human invention. Nature, which in millions of years
    has bought forth this immense diversity of wonderfully adapted creatures, is the
    greatest breeder. It is from her that the present day breeder learnt how it must
    be done, excessive production and then ruthless selection, permitting only the
    most suitable to survive and eliminating the inferior." Friedrich Ruttner,
    Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee, 1962, pg 45"

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The problem I foresee here is that our European bees inclination may be to emulate the Asian bee to combat their introduced mite: they swarm typically 10 or more times a year and produce virtually no honey surplus.
    A) References please. Seriously. I've never heard any such thing. [Edit]

    B) There is extensive evidence available to demonstrate without doubt that no such thing happens in European honey bees.

    If you want to remain [Edit] blinded to the evidence and the reasoning that supports the case for non-treatment, that's up to you. But you'll have to work much harder to convince us that you're right. We've seen the evidence, and understand the mechanisms. Its all rather simple. Not simplistic, simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    You can be sure that wont be allowed
    I don't know who is going to stop me maintaining mite resistance in my bees for as long as I please. There are an increasing number of other people who feel just the same.

    Sure, its unlikely that we'll be able to force anyone to stop treating. But that doesn't matter a great deal - undertanding what works and what is infinitely preferable are sufficient. Getting away from addictive treatments and chemicals in our food, and preserving diversity are obviously a better outcome for a good and fast-growing proportion of beekeepers and their customers.
    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 09-23-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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  3. #83
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    ...I dont think we can muster the will to allow it.
    Why is doing nothing so dad gum difficult for so many people?


    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The problem I foresee here is that our European bees inclination may be to emulate the Asian bee to combat their introduced mite: they swarm typically 10 or more times a year and produce virtually no honey surplus.
    Where does this come from? This is pure speculation not based on any sort of evidence of which there is plenty. I've kept bees treatment-free for nine and a half years. I have only experienced a single swarm. This year I made 17 gallons of honey from five hives, four of which had been robbed of brood to make mating nucs.

    It seems to me that this idea comes from the idea that it takes brood breaks and swarming to combat mites. It does not. Brood breaks are not necessary. Splitting is not necessary. Doing ANYTHING about mites is NOT NECESSARY. I notice no major differences between mine and any other population of bees except they don't swarm very much which I credit to keeping very large hives year 'round.


    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    ...it may not be such a simple solution.
    No, it is a very simple simple solution. For some reason, it's very hard for people to do.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    One could add other perspectives, such as this paper, entitled Characterization of the Active Microbiotas Associated with Honey Bees Reveals Healthier and Broader Communities when Colonies are Genetically Diverse

    "Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium...Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline."


    Studies like this make me question the wider effects of our treatments, aimed at the destruction of varroa. What does the addition of say, thymol do to microbes in the bee's gut? What domino effect does that have on other aspects of bee health, such as their ability to deal with pathogens?

    This line of questioning is what leads me to be quickly overwhelmed with a sense that the number of variables, and the number of ways in which our interference could be causing more harm than good quickly spiral beyond our potential to keep track of them. The systems are simply to complex for most of us to fathom.

    In the face of that complexity, I feel the most reliable solution lies in letting the bees adaptive abilities take their course.

    Perhaps our collective focus, and our efforts should come to bear on just how best to "get out of the way." And that alone should become our attempt at "treatment".

    Adam

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    In the face of that complexity, I feel the most reliable solution lies in letting the bees adaptive abilities take their course.

    Perhaps our collective focus, and our efforts should come to bear on just how best to "get out of the way." And that alone should become our attempt at "treatment".Adam
    I think there's a lot to be said for that. But many of us are currently going through the process of raising mite-managers from whatever stock we can get. For me in the UK this means taking swarms and cut-outs, and then doing next to nothing while the winners and losers become apparent. As that happens I raise new colonies from what appear to be the best, and set out outstands to help with drones.

    This is more than just standing aside - its positive breeding. And I think that is necessary, for me, to my aim of owning productive treatment-free bees. No-one in the UK that I know of sells hygienic bees, and anyway I'd like to be working predominantly with locals and local feral blood.

    I think the same applies to most aspiring treatment-free beekeepers in the UK, and many elsewhere. While some don't mind taking the slow path of simply providing a home, and don't mind either the prospect of little or no honey for some years, our goals require more proactive approaches. And the same is true for larger commercial operations that are interested in moving toward treatment-free management - and we'd like to be able to help them too.

    For us, conversations about the details of different breeding approaches, of likely problems, of success stories and so on are invaluable. The same is true of the technical details concerning natures workings - like those contained in the subject paper. I hope we can continue to share our thoughts about all these things.

    Mike
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  6. #86
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    I suppose every journey starts with one step. Individual decisions can be made to test different approaches but the collective will has many pressures on it many of which are short term economic. Instant results and no economic hardship to the powers that be. If parties with big economic interests have input I worry that there is danger of bad long term decisions being made. Is loss of genetic diversity a real concern. What is the target adaptation. Is is preservation of pollination capability or is it economic production of honey. The Asian bee does swarm and produce little honey. I did not make that up. That is just an example of a possible adaptive arrival. So the direction of the adaptation will be subject, by various methods, still somewhat at the whim of mankind.

    As long as no unretrieveable genetic diversity is lost it is a harmless pursuit at worst and at best it has promise of being a much better solution. Adam's quote " the number of ways in which our interference could be causing more harm than good quickly spiral beyond our potential to keep track of them. The systems are simply too complex for most of us to fathom." is very pertinent. I suggest caution as it is very easy to slip into manipulating nature while purportledly staying out of its way. Ego has a way of fudging experiments if the seem in danger of not turning out as expected. The more emotional attachment that could be connected, the more need for scrutiny by cross disciplines.
    Go for it but not with rose colored glasses on.

    I'll leave it at that because I am not trying to put the idea down. Admittedly I am scynical about the wisdom of us mortals even when we have the best of intentions.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It seems to me that this idea comes from the idea that it takes brood breaks and swarming to combat mites. It does not. Brood breaks are not necessary. Splitting is not necessary. Doing ANYTHING about mites is NOT NECESSARY.
    More than that: such things have exactly the same effect as chemical treatments. They remove selective pressure, forestalling the necessary adaptive changes.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    I couldn't disagree more.

    From an artificial selection standpoint, you have to split while they're under selective pressure in order to have a better chance at getting resistant stock.

    From a productivity standpoint, you want to guarantee that you have more hives than you need when the season is over, especially if you aren't treating.

    The 'Bond Method', aka: 'Live and Let Die' is ill-advised and wasteful.

    For example: I took multiple splits from a hive w/ DWV symptoms, and I rehived the best looking nuc that resulted.

    I performed an artificial selection, under pressure (DWV), and still have the same number of hives as when I started. I could have ended up with many more hives, but this is the way I played it this time around.

    Splits are necessary as are broodless periods when going treatment free.

    Unless, of course, you don't want to WORK at artificial selection.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    I agree on that point WLC.

    I think you have to do a fair amount of splitting - but not for the sake of mite managment specifically.

    In my case, I imagine I'll have to split just to make enough bee resources to work with. If you try to do this with too few colonies, you're jut not going to get far. I am imagining that I would have to get set up to raise a larger number of smaller colonies to get enough different queens/lines going to be diverse enough, while also able to recover from mite/winter losses. I think I'd get geared up to maintain a large number of smaller colonies - similar perhaps to Mike Palmer's double nucs.

    So I would have to do some splitting - just not as a mite management tool. One might schedule splitting around normal swarming, and keep splitting to once per year, in order to minimize unnatural affects. I don't know. I just can't imagine tackling something like this without splitting to create resources.

    Adam

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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Brood breaks are one of many fundamental colony processes so I'm not sure why it would be something that you would want to avoid and think it unnatural. Wouldn't requeening with a mated queen seem closer to a treatment than a colony going through a brood break?

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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    For example: I took multiple splits from a hive w/ DWV symptoms, and I rehived the best looking nuc that resulted.
    Why would you split from such a hive?


    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Brood breaks are one of many fundamental colony processes so I'm not sure why it would be something that you would want to avoid and think it unnatural.
    Who said this?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Originally Posted by Solomon Parker
    It seems to me that this idea comes from the idea that it takes brood breaks and swarming to combat mites. It does not. Brood breaks are not necessary. Splitting is not necessary. Doing ANYTHING about mites is NOT NECESSARY.


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    More than that: such things have exactly the same effect as chemical treatments. They remove selective pressure, forestalling the necessary adaptive changes.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Why would I split from a hive showing DWV symptoms?

    So I can test for DWV resistant queens/bees.

    Here's the concept: Maori et al., found that IAPV fragments that had retransposed into the Honeybee's genome could make the bees IAPV resistant.

    I think that the same thing can work for another virus like DWV.

    We have a way to test for that.

    So, that's why we're trying it out.

    The whole point is that you need to select (using splits) while the bees are under pressure from a pathogen, like a virus. The virus fragment 'jumps' mainly in the germline (sperm and egg), and that's why you have to split.

    So, I'm using a method, based on some published work, that I can test for.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Brood breaks are one of many fundamental colony processes so I'm not sure why it would be something that you would want to avoid and think it unnatural.
    _Anything_ that results in bees being kept alive artificially, when they would otherwise have failed to thrive, or died, will interfere with the necessary selection process. The idea is to get rid of those strains!

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Wouldn't requeening with a mated queen seem closer to a treatment than a colony going through a brood break?
    It would you you want to think about it and use the words that way. But if you want to understand how to raise healthy bees my advice is don't!

    'Treatments' works well as a descriptive term standing for those acts that keep varroa from damaging those colonies with insufficient inbuilt resistance. The problem is that do so prevents the rise of resistance in the local breeding pool. Treatments are therefore 'addictive'. The more you treat, the more you need to treat.

    The principle of 'non-treatment' beekeeping is that inbuilt resistance is raised to the point where 'treatments' are not needed - or raised by simply going without treatments from the off - if your stock and your business can take it.

    Most non-treaters choose to make selective propagation - or 'breeding' part of that process. It might be as simple as splitting only from best hives, or it may involve raising multiple queens from one or a few hives and re-queening. This is selective breeding - not 'treating'.

    Using artficial brood breaks (or artificial swarms etc) as systematic remedies for varroa will result in new generations of bees that _depend_ on those things. They will have adapted to the beekeepers actions - which will be part of their environment. Crucially, they'll be no nearer mite-resistant!

    If you want mite-resistant bees the only way to get them is to propagate systematically from the most mite resistant colonies you have, and to keep doing so. 'Non-treatment' beekeeping is 'genetic husbandry' (or 'traditional husbandry', or just 'husbandry') The art of husbandry involves 'husbanding' (taking care of) the genes down through the generations. Breeding (selectively) is a necessary part of husbandry.

    (Doing this also allows helpful co-evolution with your mites (and viruses), resulting in milder strains of those lifeforms.)

    Using these key terms in these ways makes it easy to understand what is happening, and, from there, why some things are helpful and others less than helpful.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Why would I split from a hive showing DWV symptoms?

    So I can test for DWV resistant queens/bees.

    Here's the concept: Maori et al., found that IAPV fragments that had retransposed into the Honeybee's genome could make the bees IAPV resistant.

    I think that the same thing can work for another virus like DWV.

    We have a way to test for that.

    So, that's why we're trying it out.

    The whole point is that you need to select (using splits) while the bees are under pressure from a pathogen, like a virus. The virus fragment 'jumps' mainly in the germline (sperm and egg), and that's why you have to split.

    So, I'm using a method, based on some published work, that I can test for.
    It sounds wierd to me. Colonies showing DWV are normally that way because of a heavy mite load. The mites' piercing of the bees allows the virus in wholesale - and that is the primary cause of the symptom. Resistance to varroa is therefore automatically resistance to DWV.

    I'd avoid propagating from any colony showing DWV on that basis, and expect DWV to disappear from my apiary quite quickly - and it has.

    As an experiment I suppose what you're doing could be worthwhile. But its a million miles from anything you'd want to recommend to other beekeepers.

    Furthermore, the statement phrased as a general rule is misleading. The term 'pressure' in evolutionary biology is normally used in the context of a population - not individuals. A population under (selective) pressure will respond - due to natural selection. There is no general expectation that an individual under 'pressure' from a virus will do anything special - although your paper indicates something of interest.

    However, you are muddling a specialised and important keyterm with its common use. Keeping them well separated will be needed for clarity's sake.

    What you say in your initial post on the topic (#88) demonstrates the damage such confusion can do:

    "I couldn't disagree more.

    From an artificial selection standpoint, you have to split while they're under selective pressure in order to have a better chance at getting resistant stock."

    This is true of a _population_ but false for an _individual_ (as you have used it). Breeding that way will drive your apiary straight into the ground!

    Mike
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I think you have to do a fair amount of splitting - but not for the sake of mite managment specifically.

    In my case, I imagine I'll have to split just to make enough bee resources to work with. If you try to do this with too few colonies, you're jut not going to get far. I am imagining that I would have to get set up to raise a larger number of smaller colonies to get enough different queens/lines going to be diverse enough, while also able to recover from mite/winter losses. I think I'd get geared up to maintain a large number of smaller colonies - similar perhaps to Mike Palmer's double nucs.
    This is how nature works - overproduction followed by fierce selection. The technical term in evoltionary biology is 'overfecundity', and it is absolutely necessary. Many new individuals, even from good parents, are duffers, and many get eaten. Just to maintain a population requires far greater than replacement rates. The more there are above replacement rates, the more natural selection can get working. Again, from Ruttner:

    "Breeding is by no means a human invention. Nature, which in millions of years
    has bought forth this immense diversity of wonderfully adapted creatures, is the
    greatest breeder. It is from her that the present day breeder learnt how it must
    be done, excessive production and then ruthless selection, permitting only the
    most suitable to survive and eliminating the inferior." Friedrich Ruttner,
    Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee, 1962, pg 45"

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    So I would have to do some splitting - just not as a mite management tool. One might schedule splitting around normal swarming, and keep splitting to once per year, in order to minimize unnatural affects. I don't know. I just can't imagine tackling something like this without splitting to create resources.Adam
    Raising queens from the best and requeening the worst is the traditional method of achieving the same thing. The duffers perish - but the colony remains alive and in production. And the best genes are constantly and systematically bought to the top. Done methodically its easy to maintain high levels of health and productivity. I don't think many commercial honey farmers would consider anything else - though sadly most nowadays buy in queens, rather than breed up their own local stocks.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Mike:

    The full phrase is 'evolution by natural selection'.

    I'm looking for instant evolution by transgenesis in Honeybees.

    It's not the mites that kill the bees, it's the pathogens that they introduce, like viruses.

    Those mite resistant bees in France and Sweden probably harbor a population of attenuated mites. If you introduce them to another population of mites, it's likely that they won't be resistant anymore.

    As I've said before, if you want to produce resistant bees, first you'll need to have a disease present that you can detect. DWV is very easy to spot.

    Then you can select for resistant bees. I made splits to do this.

    Finally, you need to be able to test for resistance.

    I can examine the bee's DNA to look for a fragment of the DWV that has jumped.

    The same thing can work for Hygienic bees as well.

    You got mites, you make your crosses, you use the frozen brood test to see how hygienic the resulting bees are, (count mites for good measure).

    There are three parts to this: presence of the pest/pathogen, selection, testing.

    You may think this strange, but it's how it's done in the lab, and in agriculture.

    By the way, I did take before and after samples, and I can sequence viral RNA as well as bee/viral DNA.

    Did it work?

    Beats me, it's my student's project.

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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Mike:

    The full phrase is 'evolution by natural selection'.
    Of course. We're familiar enough with the topic to drop the mouthful most of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I'm looking for instant evolution by transgenesis in Honeybees.
    Good luck with that. In my opinion a student's project involving transgenesis probably doesn't offer the best basis for advice about straightfoward traditional animal husbandry. Personally, I try to keep things as simple as possible, because, on the whole, what I'm advocating is something that has been done by illiterate farmers for tens of thousands of years. There's no need to make it complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It's not the mites that kill the bees, it's the pathogens that they introduce, like viruses.
    To look at it another way, both are causal factors - the virus is just the straw that breaks the camels back. Many other bacterial, viral and fungal agents enter by the same means. Varroa is widely recognised to be the single greatest problem. Fix varroa and you can largely forget about the rest.

    Similarly, those beekeepers who prevent adaptation by treating are another cause. Take away any in the chain: treating beekeeper, varroa mites, viruses/fungal/bacterial agents - and the problem is fixed.

    Fiddling with fixes for an individual virus given this context is not perhaps the best way for beekeepers to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Those mite resistant bees in France and Sweden probably harbor a population of attenuated mites. If you introduce them to another population of mites, it's likely that they won't be resistant anymore.
    (I take it 'them' is bees?) I agree. For that reason it is best to keep importation and migration to a minimum - it doesn't help. But a population of multiply hygienic bees will have good defences against most mite strains. One of the mechanisms, the ability to react to many infant mites in a sealed cell, but not to react to just a few, actually selects for lower mite fecundity.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    As I've said before, if you want to produce resistant bees, first you'll need to have a disease present that you can detect. DWV is very easy to spot.
    I do the same - although any weakness will do, and, conversely, making strength and productivity the top positive selection criteral automatically selects against mites - and all other weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Then you can select for resistant bees.
    And/or you can use the frozen brood test, peer at floor litter looking for dismantled immature mites. There are a range of assay tools available.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Finally, you need to be able to test for resistance.
    The test is: thrives without help. No need for anything fancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    There are three parts to this: presence of the pest/pathogen, selection, testing.

    You may think this strange, but it's how it's done in the lab, and in agriculture.
    Its not strange at all, its a description of what husbandrymen have done from time immemorial. The 'presence' part manifests as weaknesses of any sort, the selection is systematic, methodical in husbandry; the 'testing' is the evaluation of the next generation, for effectiveness of parents as continuing breeding pairs and the selection of new parents for a new generation.

    For what you are doing there needs to be a pathogen present. For what we are doing that begins with mites and other obvious health issues, but soon comes to revolve around broad health and vitality. By identifying the strongest we automatically identify those with the best set of genes for the present environment - those able to thrive despite the continuous background presence of a whole host of potential pathogens. They, and only they, are the appropriate parents of the next generation. The 'presence' of (potential) pathogens is therefore continuous, but invisible.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    By the way, I did take before and after samples, and I can sequence viral RNA as well as bee/viral DNA. Did it work?

    Beats me, it's my student's project.
    Hmmm

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

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Mike:

    "A deeper understanding
    of how honey bee colonies naturally coevolve with parasites,
    and understanding the mechanisms and traits behind such
    coevolution, is necessary for establishing new optimal and
    long-term sustainable honey bee health management strategies
    in apiculture."

    Hey, that's the conclusion of the paper you cited.

    The student involved was the first to find a jumping gene at the target site, so it's only fair that the student takes it to the next level.

    I've already sent one student on to the best laboratory on the planet for studying the evolutionary biology of bees.

    Maybe there's room for one more?

    It's important to understand the science behind treatment-free beekeping.

    I think that we can all agree on that point.

    By the way, I do recall that there were other studies done on those same hives a while back.

    I'll see if I can find the references when I have the time.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    By the way, I did take before and after samples, and I can sequence viral RNA as well as bee/viral DNA.
    What you're talking about here is completely useless to virtually all beekeepers and especially and specifically the backyard beekeepers and hobbyists who frequent this forum looking for information and advice. Furthermore, one of the main points of this whole discussion is that the hygienic trait is not some master key to keep bees. Whatever traits the bees use, and many of them are unknown, we leave it up to the bees to figure it out. There's no frozen brood, no RNA or DNA sequencing. These things are far out of the reach of the beekeepers here.


    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Did it work? Beats me, it's my student's project.
    Then what's the point? Let's talk about things that work. When your student publishes his/her paper, then we can talk about it with the same scrutiny with which we're talking about this one. Until then it's champagne wishes and caviar dreams and it's an exercise in pointlessness.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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