QUOTE=WLC;852532] How do treatment-free beekeepers demonstrate disease resistance?
It's a fair question.[/QUOTE]
Its a question that signals to me insufficient understanding of husbandry to warrent offering advice!
Husbandrymen monitor their lifestock constantly for signs of disease, and select and propagate accordingly. When symptoms of disease appear resistance is lower, when they disappear it can be assumed to be higher. However: as I've said (and someone has confirmed with references) varroa is the main target - as the vector of diseases. There are a number of ways of evaluating for the various recognised types of varroa resistance, and again, monitoring or assaying one way or another supplies clear indications of the type and degree of resistance.
Or you can simply go with size and productivity. Without treatments only those that build, fetch and store the best are those with the sorts of qualities - including suitable resistance - that you want.
Hives that thrive best are standing demonstrations of broad resistance to those diseases present in the environment. Of course a new disease might come along and knock them down - in which case they will only be thriving because such diseases are absent. The only way to demonstrate resistance to a specific disease would be deliberate exposure.
Last edited by mike bispham; 09-26-2012 at 07:52 AM.
I've already read through the paper from the Honeybee Genome Consortium.
I've also read Gillespie's paper on rDNA, and more.
Unfortunately, key players involved in Honeybee Genome project also involved themselves with Beeologics' attempt to feed jumping genes to Honeybees.
For example, Gene Robinson, who was on Beeologics' advisory board, went on to work for Monsanto. He was also a key player in sequencing the Honeybee Genome.
There were other scientists (and beekeepers) who entangled themselves in a web of 'conflict of interest' as well. I've also identified examples of the delberate suppression of important findings/information/technology.
My own conclusion is that the entire Honeybee Genome needs to be re-sequenced independently, and they need to pay special attention to transposable elements.
You can't serve two masters, Science and Monsanto, at the same time.
All that being said, I did use Gillespie's results to target the R2 site in Honeybees.
PS-you split into a challenge to raise new queens.
What sort of equipment did you use to do that?Originally Posted by WLC
"Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
Brain: WLC's (slightly used).
Literature research: Google Scholar.
Primers: (my design) from IDT.
Thermal cycler: Biorad.
Gel electrophoresis: Biorad.
Sequence editing: Muscle/Jailview.
You don't need to go 'molecular' to take advantage of what Honeybees do naturally.
What infuriates me is that those who made the initial discoveries could have informed beekeepers about how they could take advantage of it rather than 'clamming up' and trying to market it.
I think that you may be curious about beekeepers doing something similar themselves.
As a proponent of 'democratic science', I'd say it's possible.
Beekeepers have always been 'self sufficient' anyhow.
What infuriates me is someone who is a proponent of "democratic science" being so cryptic and oddly evasive. I've respectfully asked a number of questions about how exactly a beekeeper can utilize the supposed benefits that you are referring to. I've sent pm's. But so far, all we have are breadcrumbs that leave us basically where we already are - we breed from the best of the stock we have. The only difference is that you seem to be suggesting that to make splits of stock which is under pressure is a good thing. To me that's pretty much unavoidable.
Beyond that - no details. 9 pages of scratching, a bunch of web searching to supplement your 'tidbits', as you seem bent on making what information you do share as difficult to understand as possible, and in the end I've got "you split into a challenge to raise a new queen".
Do you know anything about beekeeping? If you do, then maybe you could talk in beekeeping terms. Then maybe you wouldn't feel like you're speaking a language that no one can hope to understand - and you can quit speaking that language and speak in the one we're all familiar with. But maybe you don't speak that language. I have never heard anyone talk about "splitting into" anything. I can split and introduce a queen; I can split and let the bees raise a queen.
As I've said repeatedly. I am happy to have you at the table here, and I'm just about as open and interested as anyone. But I'm beginning to feel toyed with, and that's annoying.
Share or don't share. But don't go on suggesting you've got information of pivotal importance but refuse to break it down in such a way as to make it truly useful to the people your speaking to.
That's just weird.
Beekeepers normally split from their best and healthiest hives.
That's basic selective breeding.
Once beekeepers understand that there's another mechanism at play that can allow them to 'instantly evolve' their own resistance genes from their own 'sick' bees, it creates a new paradigm.
More importantly, 'transgenesis resistance' is validated proof that treatment free beekeeping can produce resistant stock.
Hygienic behavior is the only other solid evidence for treatment-free resistance that I'm aware of.
I'm not convinved that the swedes were able to show anything beyond attenuated pests/pathogens in bottlenecked bees.
PS-watch the personal stuff folks.
"Beekeepers normally split from their best and healthiest hives. That's basic selective breeding."
'Don't do that, split from 'pressured' hives instead.' ('Pressured' here means 'sick')
So you're asking us to abandon the deeply empirically tested and deeply theoretically supported method we know, and ... just make splits from anything instead. And somehow, magically, our bees will gain resistance.
Have I got that right?
It seems we must also understand; the mechanism by which that happens is too complicated to explain.
Will you do us all a favour and just supply straight and fulsome answers to these exact and straightforward questions?
If you can do that perhaps you'll gain respect for your theories. Without that you almost certainly won't, and people will continue to express exasperation one way or another. Participate in a discussion properly and people won't be short. Otherwise you're in the way, and people will let you know how they feel about that.
"I'm not convinved that the swedes were able to show anything beyond attenuated pests/pathogens in bottlenecked bees."
I've learned in several years of this discussion that some folks won't be convinced that mite resistant bees are a possibility no matter what evidence is put in front of them. And they won't tire either of telling everyone about it. I'd hoped the non-treatment forum would allow us to discuss these things without the constant interruptions and distractions of nay-sayers. Maybe we could have a special nay-sayers forum?
JB is fine.
You have elaborated needlessly for the most part. I have a well-founded understanding of fundamental evolutionary principal and animal husbandry. I can respond point by point to your post, but that will get tedious quickly. Your points are well taken and spot on. They work well in the lab, or petri dish or in completely controlled populations. Our bees are none of the above. Your bees and my bees will mate with feral and transient populations that we have no husbandry control over whatsoever. You can propogate horses that are virus resistant within your own stable and insure that you do not breed from non-resistant stock. You do not have to allow your non-resistant horses to die, you just don't breed from them. Eventually your horses will be in demand (assuming you have not breed out other disirable traits) because of the resistance. But that is a confined and isolated population. Bees are none of the above.
We agree on much but disagree on a few important points. Really only disagree on only one important and basic point. That revolves around your words of “prevent “, “never” and “stop”. Once again you read “hinder” as prevent and I read it as impede. Once again you ignore the time part. I’ll also quote from the article (I usually don’t for copyright issues) From the article:
“The coevolutionary process required for establishing a coexisting relationship between this parasite and its new host is lacking, both in time and in selective pressures because the selective disadvantage of being virulent is removed by apicultural practices aiming to control this damaging new mite pest.”
It appears that you disagree with the time element as much as I disagree with the “selective pressure is removed” aspect. Selective pressure is impeded, not removed and there is a difference, removal dictates 100% success of treatments which is not the case.
You also are ignoring the real world application as it applies to the bee population. Husbandry works very well indeed when you control all breeding. It works well in a domesticated stock as you can select and choose what is allowed to reproduce. That is just not the case in populations with wild/feral subpopulations that cross breed with your selections. It is even more difficult when there are large mobile populations of managed livestock that are allowed to free range and mate with your selections. Also history has shown husbandry is capable of making the wrong selections and breeding out a characteristic that was later determined to be important and desirable.
It is quite a large presumption to state that human interaction in a non-domesticated species will stop that species’ evolution. It just won’t happen. Evolution will march right on with or without human muddling. And it will likely march to a tune of it’s choosing not ours.
Your stance, if accurate will doom any of your results to fail as soon as exposed to the “treated” populations. By your stance, the superior genetics you are breeding to, will fail. So where does that superiority go and what does it achieve? How does that flow into fundamental evolution?
Sorry, but you are wrong. Superior genetics will win out, treatments or not. When an inferior genetic line is allowed to reproduce it produces inferior genetics. AGREED? When an inferior line is allowed to cross breed with superior genetics, the superior genetics have a better chance at survival with or without treatments/intervention. The only caveat is when the superior genetics are purposefully killed or prevented from reproduction and that is not the case in this instance.
But everything above aside, I am going to ask a series of questions, I will provide my answers and you (or anyone else) can provide your/their answers, and then maybe a more focused conversation can follow. I am sure you will get a feel of where I am headed from the questions.
What is the currently accepted average time from introduction of mites to colony collapse if untreated and nonresistant?
JB: 3 years
Are treatments 100% effective at removal of varroa?
Do 100% of the treated non-resistant hives survive?
Which has the better chance of survival, a treated resistant colony or a treated nonresistant colony?
JB: Resistant colony.
Which has the better chance of survival, a non-treated resistant colony or a non-treated nonresistant colony?
JB: Resistant colony.
Which has the better chance of reproduction whether treatments are present or not, Superior or inferior genetics?
JB: Superior genetics.
Are there less tracheal mite treatments applied in US apiaries today than 5 years ago?
JB: yes, tracheal mite treatments are almost never applied.
Are there less Varroa treatments applied in US apiaries today than 5 years ago?
JB:yes; less people treat and treat less often than 5 years ago.
Are feral populations rebounding at all?
JB: Yes, the feral populations are slowly returning.
It's not a new mechanism for producing resistance in treatment-free beekeeping.
Your bees have been doing this all along. However, they've done this, on their own, very slowly.
If you want to speed things up, make sure that there's a pest/pathogen present (the source of the resistance 'gene').
Then you can make new queens [so that non-LTR, retrotransposon (the 'resistance gene')bearing RNPs (the package), can translocate from nurse cells to oocytes (the germ-line mechanism)].
Finally, after a few months, you can select from your resulting/surviving nucs for resistance.
Entomologists have studied this field for decades.
It's only a mystery to those who use terms like 'evolution' and 'natural selection' as if they understood their meaning.
Mike: The only solution to people who won't cooperate is to stop feeding them. He's not providing you with what you ask, so cut him loose.
JB: I mostly agree with your answers except the last one. In my experience, feral bees have been at normal population for a number of years now. I know of a number of feral hives in my area (as well as where I used to live in Oregon) and I regularly catch feral swarms as well as ones which seem to come from kept hives. If the feral population rebounds as quickly as I've seen the kept population, the ferals have been fine for a decade.
As far as how varroa is treated, I believe you, but I don't have the numbers. I would like to see them. I hope its true.
"Mike: The only solution to people who won't cooperate is to stop feeding them. He's not providing you with what you ask, so cut him loose.'
I answered his question. [Edit]
You never did explain how you know that your treatment-free bees are disease resistant.
Perhaps you're the ones doing the trolling and refusing to answer questions?
Last edited by Solomon Parker; 09-26-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Civility
A little due diligence is in order.
How about getting the apiarist/bee inspector to come by and give an unbiased assessment?
A treatment-free beekeeper might cringe at the thought of an experienced, no-nonsense, inspector rating their hives.
But, frankly, it's like going to the doctor's. We all have to do it sometime.
Due diligence? What do you mean?
I would be uneasy about an Apiary Inspector rating my hives, that's my job.
"Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
This is turning ugly and I'm not responding to it. Get back on topic. Address the paper, otherwise start a new thread if you want to talk about something else.
I think that I'm addressing the conclusion of the paper rather directly.
We need to address how resistance evolves.
I am very interested in how resistance evolves. So I'll ask more questions in an effort to understand.
" Then you can make new queens [so that non-LTR, retrotransposon (the 'resistance gene')bearing RNPs (the package), can translocate from nurse cells to oocytes (the germ-line mechanism)]."
So I have to raise my own queens from the struggling stock. Is the word "nurse" in this sentence referring to nurse bees? If so, how does the resistance gene translocate from the nurse cells?
I want to run a treatment free operation, and am presently forulating my approach to next season. I am very much interested in whatever the group might offer to help me figure our my plan for the coming season.