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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    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.
    Sure, no argument. But that doesn't mean that high level detailed studies are needed to outline the simple approaches that will suit the vast majority of beekeepers. I can't think of a better way of putting this than: K.I.S.S!

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It's important to understand the science behind treatment-free beekeping.
    I think that we can all agree on that point.
    Kind of. The basic science behind treatment-free beekeeping is that described within foundation level biology, and used the world over in low-level, systematic propagation. Its about taking out vulnerabilities by bringing resistant bloodlines to the fore.

    And most of the time we needn't know anything at all about deeper mechanisms. Jacob describes it in the Old testament, the medieval 'put best to best' says it all. Darwin studied pigeon breeders - none of these people had a clue about genes. But they recognised the phenomenem of inherited traits.

    So; this is not complicated. And there is little need for anything more complicated. However, given that we have a number-one identified primary enemy -varroa - to which non-treatment beekeeping is 99% directed (non-treatment largely means no varroa treatments) it is often useful and definitely interesting to some to look more closely as well at the mechanisms by which bees become and maintain resistance to varroa. Again, 99% of that conversation is - not all beekeepers understand - basically a simple breeding issue. Breeding (selection) is necessary; treating (an openly mating species) amounts to the very opposite of sound breeding practice.

    So the main topic of interest is the way natural selection and deliberate breeding techniques allow treatment-free beekeeping in the face of the presence of varroa.

    And the main objective I feel is to explore and discuss these things in a way that is focussed and accessible to as many beekeepers as possible. I try to K.I.S.S.

    Best wishes,

    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 09-24-2012 at 06:55 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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