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  1. #101
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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 05:55 AM.
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  2. #102
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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.
    Unnecessary and 'avoid it and think it unnatural' are not the same thing. Don't put words in my mouth.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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  3. #103
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    There's no frozen brood [...] ... far out of the reach of the beekeepers here.
    I'd beg to differ here Solomon. Anyone can take brood samples and pop them in the freezer overnight, tuck them into brood nests and inspect the results 24 hours later. Not rocket science, and a clearer outcome than peering at floor debris. And its well demonstarted that, narrow that it is, VSH can make the difference, allowing commercial operations to become treatment free.

    I reckon pipe-freezer kits as used by plumbers could be used in the field.

    Yes, its a narrow test, but there's no reason why it shouldn't be a foundational move, to be followed by selection that brings a broader range of defences into play.

    Mike
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    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....These things are far out of the reach of the beekeepers here...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.
    I disagree. And I think critiques like this only serve to threaten the diversity of the conversation here.

    I think you're making way too many assumptions about all the people who read these forums, and the countless non-members who find themselves reading these threads while searching for answers themselves. They're not all "backyard beekeepers and hobbyists", and even if they were, there's nothing saying that some of them aren't students of genetics.

    The point is to share whatever information you've got, and let the readers take the bits they find useful. WLC's contributions add a dimension that enriches the discussion. If you don't find it useful, I can't see the value in taking the time to suggest that no one does.

    For myself, I find that input such as that from WLC will cause me to do some extra google searches in an effort to further understand some of the things he's talking about. It's 'reading up'. It gives me a sense of what a broader range of people are doing in the collective effort to understand bees. Even if the information is "half-baked", at least I get a sense of what people are working on at the moment. There's value enough in that.

    A lot of what you post here is not conclusive, but merely a sharing of what you're trying. And that's valuable.

    Adam

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Unnecessary and 'avoid it and think it unnatural' are not the same thing. Don't put words in my mouth.
    This question was not directed at your statement Solomon! It was directed to Mike who clarified his thinking. The only reason your statement showed up in the quote was because it was part of the conversation. No words being put into your mouth.

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Thank you for clearing that up Delta Bay. I'm sure you can see how I might be confused.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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  7. #107
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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 disagree. And I think critiques like this only serve to threaten the diversity of the conversation here.
    You are correct. Please excuse my tone, it was a little over the top.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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  8. #108
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    The bottom line for me is the idea that, even with our collective power of study, using science, technology and the ability to communicate and share ideas beyond anything in history, there is still a great deal that we don't know and understand about the honeybee.

    To me, that means that our attempts to remedy her pest problems through interference is inherently flawed by our inability to see or understand the full scope of the effects of our interference.


    Mike's reference to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) in this case is quite appropriate. The scope of the problem is beyond us, and the scope of the bees ability to cope is beyond us. Therefore, we should do everything we can to minimize our interference - if for no better reason than to avoid "muddying the waters" that we're trying to understand. We're effectively complicating an already complicated situation - while trying to come to grips with what is happening all at the same time.

    We feel the urge to "do something", and what we are doing is just as likely to be causing as many problems as it is fixing.

    To me - and I do understand that this is just my opinion - but to me, our lack of understanding demands that we keep our interference to a minimum, and let the bees respond to the pests as they will.

    The question then becomes, how to best facilitate the natural processes without causing further complications, and how do we monitor and record what we observe in a way that furthers our collective understanding of the bee?

    Adam

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Not to worry fellas. I have a very thick skin.

    The discovery by Maori et al., and the resulting launch of Beeologics, which was subsequently purchased by Monsanto, shows the caliber of the 'natural transgenesis' discovery. The 'all star caste' involved further illustrates how important the field is to beekeeping.

    "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."

    Sol, the point is that not only does transgenesis work to give bees immunity to pathogens (and possibly pests as well), but it also is in fact a principle mechanism by which treatment-free Honeybees acquire their 'molecular' immunity.

    I've improved on the targeting (R2), and we've got the tools (primers that won't dimer, no matter how hard we try).

    Natural transgenesis will be an invaluable methodology to both the professional beekeeper, and the amateur alike, because it points to a viable alternative to the 'Live and Let Die' approach to obtaining resistant bees.

    No, we won't be feeding jumping genes to bees (that's going too far). However, there's no rule against identifying and breeding from naturally transgenic/resistant stock.

    Re-read the conclusion to the paper to understand why what we're doing is important.

    WLC.

    PS: Here's a previous paper on the Gotland hives;

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.17/full

    Here's Barbara Locke's PhD Thesis Paper! :

    http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/9036/1/locke_b_120912.pdf

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by WLC; 09-24-2012 at 05:12 PM.

  10. #110
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    [...] the point is that not only does transgenesis work to give bees immunity to pathogens (and possibly pests as well), but it also is in fact a principle mechanism by which treatment-free Honeybees acquire their 'molecular' immunity.
    First, thanks for the link to Barabara Locks' doctoral thesis. Its marvellous, and perhaps worth a new dedicated thread?

    Second, I think we should bear in mind the need to focus at least some of the time on stuff everyone can understand and use. I can't understand many of the technical terms used in these papers, and I sure as anything can't make use of the techniques myself.

    Third, I am afraid of this new technology, in the same way I'm afraid of GM - it seems dangerous, in that an inadvertant occurance could turn out to be irreversable and damaging. Perhaps that's because I don't understand it, but that matters - don't forget GM food sources are still banned across Europe - we are not keen on stuff we don't understand, and rightly so.

    It seems to me that what the vast majority of people here are interested in is learning about things they can understand, bring to bear on their own beekeeping, and use to support the case for for non-treatment systems of management. And in most cases we want to keep things 'reasonably natural'.

    On that basis, I'd like to ask you: how does your work offer to help us lowly high-tech shy beekeepers in taking control of our problems through reasonably natural methods? We already have methods that work, and do so quite rapidly. What do you think you have to offer to us?

    I'd like to ask too; is it the case that your high tech methods are aimed at making things better for the industrial sector?

    I'd like to know too; are you, or others you work with, or for, trying to make money from this project? Are you trying to create an alternative to the income stream that pours off the vast migratory beekeeping sector in the form of treatment costs?

    Are you trying to do that AND help the bees at the same time?

    Where, in other words, are you coming from?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Natural transgenesis will be an invaluable methodology to both the professional beekeeper, and the amateur alike, because it points to a viable alternative to the 'Live and Let Die' approach to obtaining resistant bees.
    First: There are already sound alternatives to what you call the 'live and let die' method. (First, lets get straight: 'live and let die is a term coined by John Kefuss to characterise his early method of raising resistant bees. He no longer advocates it.)

    What we do is not 'live and let die', it is simple traditional livestock husbandry, as used by beekeepers for a long long time, simply adjusted to bring varroa into the system. And we can offer approaches that don't involve catastrophic loss - indeed even any loss.

    You are not offering a solution to a problem that doesn't already have one! So don't try to sell it that way.

    Second 'natural transgenesis' (whatever that is) will be natural as far as it occurs without man's hand. As soon as that isn't the case, it won't be natural any longer - it will be artificial transgenesis. I don't know that that is what you are doing but I'm alert to people who hide nasty things under cosy names. Scientists who don't appear to understand the difference between natural occurences and artificial acts strike me as deeply suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    No, we won't be feeding jumping genes to bees (that's going too far). However, there's no rule against identifying and breeding from naturally transgenic/resistant stock.
    You'll have to explain to me what 'naturally transgenic/resistant stock' means, and then outline the sort of breeding you envisage. In what way will 'naturally transgenic/resistant stock' be better than naturally resistant stock, or traditionally bred resistant stock?

    Note: just because something isn't illegal doesn't make it a good thing to do. By a long long chalk. It doesn't make it the best thing to do either. You'll have to do a lot more explaining to convince me what you plan to do is a good idea. And the rest of Europe, at least, will need similar reassurances.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Re-read the conclusion to the paper to understand why what we're doing is important.
    Why don't you lay it out for us? Explain what you are doing in language we can understand, refer to the paper, tell us what possible hazards there might be, and how you will monitor against them and stop and reverse any resultant damage should that occur.

    It might be a good plan to start a new thread for that - we're getting a bit off course now. How about coming up with a thread title designed to show that what you wish to do is explain the benefits of your work to the non-treatment forum, and ask whether your aims are compatible with theirs?

    Mike

    (BTW, its good to let people know your name - it helps build trust)

    WLC.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 09-25-2012 at 03:55 AM.
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  11. #111
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The discovery by Maori et al., and the resulting launch of Beeologics, which was subsequently purchased by Monsanto, shows the caliber of the 'natural transgenesis' discovery. The 'all star caste' involved further illustrates how important the field is to beekeeping.
    What that shows me is: there's big big money to be made here, and we don't care about anything else.

    It alerts me to expect blandishments about possible undesirable results, multi-million dollar propaganda programs, carefully designed to persuade the public of alleged benefits. It alerts me to the likelyhood of multimillion dollar lobbying of government, regulators. It alerts me to the probability of astroturfing.

    It alerts me to the likelyhood of an attempt to corner the global market in something nobody can live without.

    Important to beekeeping my foot!

    This will be about designing new systems of bee management that are amienable to manipulation in the interests of a the shareholders of an immensely rich and powerful company. (Responsibility to shareholders is the _legal duty_ of company managers!)

    It will be about taking a share of the large profits of the agriculural divisions of the pharmaceutical companies - and then increasing them.

    Mike
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 09-25-2012 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Language
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  12. #112
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Mike:

    The short version is this:

    If you want to make resistant bees, you split them while they're challenged by a pest or pathogen.

    That's what beekeepers need to know.

    The scientific literature supports this position:

    Maori's work supports the role of transposable elements (TEs) in Honeybee immunity; the Johnson paper (2009) points to this (albeit, suppressed because of the Beeologics/Monsanto link of the author(s)); a vast body of work on insects supports this; and yes, even some key work on hygienic traits supports this.

    It's a Phd in itself to lay this out, and I don't need another advanced degree.

    But, let me at least explain the link between TEs and the hygienic studies.

    When different groups have done linkage map studies for hygienic traits, they never map to the same locations on the Honeybee genome! That's a characteristic of TEs.

    Why do you need to split under selective pressure? Because TEs jump during reproduction in insects. They can then become immune via transgenesis/retrotransposition.

    All I'm doing is clueing beekeepers into a simple way to take advantage of the Honeybees own natural, molecular immune system. Besides, it how classical genetic mechanisms work as well.

    If that's too much work for the natural beekeeping crowd...

    ...I disagree. It's the very least that you can do.

    PS-there has been quite alot of activity behind the scenes to stop the release of the Beeologics/Monsanto technology. I assume it's over, but you never know.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    What's over? The behind the scenes activity or Beeologics? What are you seeing?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #114
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    (BTW, its good to let people know your name - it helps build trust)
    Mike, we have been thru that already. He is a College Professor and wants to maintain a certain level of anonimity. Which is his right of course.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #115
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    If you want to make resistant bees, you split them while they're challenged by a pest or pathogen.
    What you're describing is splitting a hive that's susceptible to a pest or pathogen. And I don't see the utility in it. I split from hives that don't have DWV problems, from hives that are gentle and make good honey. As I said before, what you're doing doesn't make sense for the common man and It's my position that it's a bad idea. They are all challenged, split from the ones who shrug it off. Let it happen naturally and pick from the winners. Picking the winners is the wrong way to go about it no matter what Maori et al. said.

    No, I'm not denigrating science or your research, I am a Master's student myself. But like my thesis, many theses are great ideas for a paper, but totally useless in real life.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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  16. #116
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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 short version is this:

    If you want to make resistant bees, you split them while they're challenged by a pest or pathogen.

    That's what beekeepers need to know.
    That is completely wrong! Utterly wrong! You make resistant bees by selecting the most resistant parents you can find.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The scientific literature supports this position:

    Maori's work supports the role of transposable elements (TEs) in Honeybee immunity; the Johnson paper (2009) points to this (albeit, suppressed because of the Beeologics/Monsanto link of the author(s)); a vast body of work on insects supports this; and yes, even some key work on hygienic traits supports this.
    You are talking about your own narrow methods. In animal and plant husbandry the most vigourous parents are selected and they alone supply the next generation. Routinely.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It's a Phd in itself to lay this out, and I don't need another advanced degree.
    Unless you wish to challenge my statements above, there would be little point. If you'd like me to elaborate on those statements, ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    But, let me at least explain the link between TEs and the hygienic studies.
    I don't think this explains much to me. And I don't think I need to know it - or would benefit much from knowing it. That's what I asked for - for you to tell me how your methods could help me. You start by by making statements that are the very opposite of true! I'm not going to pay much more attention till you clear that one up!

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    All I'm doing is clueing beekeepers into a simple way to take advantage of the Honeybees own natural, molecular immune system. Besides, it how classical genetic mechanisms work as well.
    It seems to me that what you are doing is denying the correct method of raising resistance and trying to substitute something that cannot work! Best to Best! Not worst to worst, not worst to best, or middle, Best to Best. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    If that's too much work for the natural beekeeping crowd...

    ...I disagree. It's the very least that you can do.
    What is too much is to be told such nonsense from someone who claims to be knowledgeable about these things. But its too complicated to explain...

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    PS-there has been quite alot of activity behind the scenes to stop the release of the Beeologics/Monsanto technology. I assume it's over, but you never know.
    Perhaps they just wanted the patents, who knows.

    Mike
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  17. #117
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Mike, we have been thru that already. He is a College Professor and wants to maintain a certain level of anonimity. Which is his right of course.
    That's ok, but given the levels of astroturfing around today it doesn't help with the all important need to build trust. I was just pointing that out. Lots of college professors talk openly about their work.
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    PM him and see what happens.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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

    On topic. It matters not who he is, it matters what he says.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    sqkcrk:

    No, I'm not a College Professor. I do have advanced degrees. Mark, if I were a professor with an institution, I wouldn't challenge the renegade transgenecists here. It would be a pitched battle with careers at stake. Otherwise, what I'm doing here would be unethical and misconduct.
    However, my contacts go 'sky high'.

    As for Beeologics, the only one remaining of their leadership is Hayes. The Nobel laureate, other scientists, and the Isrealis, are all gone. Their FDA, MUMS listing has yet to be approved, and they've moved from Miami as Beeologics LLC to Tortola a Beeologics Inc. (a P.O. box, no less).

    There has also been a furious backlash against Monsanto/Beeologics in the blogosphere.

    My read of the situation is that the party is over.

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