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  1. #121
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    I think that it safe to say that both Mike and Sol are advocating the same type of natural selection carried out in the original Gotland and Avignon studies. No intervention by man.

    I'm taking a different point of view for treatment-free beekeeping.

    Use the Honeybee's own strengths to produce resistant bees.

    What I find to be perplexing, is this: people summon the power of 'Evolution by Natural Selection', however, they reject the mechanism for evolution provided by 'nature'.

    Honeybees are naturally transgenic. Please get over it, and put it to good use.

  2. #122
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    sqkcrk: No, I'm not a College Professor.
    Well then, I guess I misunderstood a number of your Postings. Which, if anyone knows me from my Posts, is not a surprise. Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #123
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I think that it safe to say that both Mike and Sol are advocating the same type of natural selection carried out in the original Gotland and Avignon studies. No intervention by man.
    No intervention to affect the pest.


    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Use the Honeybee's own strengths to produce resistant bees.
    That's not a different point of view. It's the same point of view. The path is different. We suggest breeding from bees that show natural abilities. You suggest breeding from bees unable to deal with disease.


    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    What I find to be perplexing, is this: people summon the power of 'Evolution by Natural Selection', however, they reject the mechanism for evolution provided by 'nature'.
    That's not what you're talking about. Nature does not generally breed from the stock which is doing a poor job of resisting disease.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #124
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    "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....
    Okay, so to bring that "back to earth", then in practice, are you suggesting that one can reach resistant strains just by splitting and continuing to split any honeybee colony which is infected by mites"?

    Could you suggest a practical approach to utilizing the information you're sharing in an average apiary? I'm happy to test more than one approach, I just need a sense of how to start.

    Adam

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    If you really want to say that you have resistant bees, you need to have a pathogen that is clearly present (like DWV). You can start splitting (or making new queens) at that point. Then, by examining the resulting colonies, you can confirm if you have resistant colonies. They could become resistant by classical or non-classical genetic mechanisms.

    I contend that it's the viruses that are killing coolnies, rather than the mites. So, using a method aimed at a virus, like DWV, that seeks to use a mechanism predicted in the literature, is practical. DWV remains a major threat, even without the presence of mites.

    My main criticism of the 'Bond' method is that it's poor experimental design. It's "Not even Wrong." .

    Usually, challenging hives with viruses is impractical for the average beekeeper. So, applying the 'Bond' method, and then using a pathogen challenge, is unrealistic and not that useful.

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Actually if you split challenged hives to make more bee hives you have effectivally treated the hive to a brood break and reduced the challenge. To use natural micro-selection you would let the challenge hive reach homeostasis with it's pest/pathogen and live for a period of time without succuming say over a couple years then you would use those base genes mixed with the most productive hives drones and start many new hives culling those that don't live up to your standards and continuing the process over and over eventually you would end up with the best combination of genes that you had available to you to begin with... nothing magic you didn't get a new breed or even end up with new genes you just changed ratio of genes expressed and maybe removed some weak genes from the play ground or ended up with new gene combinations. HERE is the rub. You keep a queen for 2-3 years to see if she is good and use her in production varraol and shb have how many generations a year where natural selection is taking place as well and then lets add in the life cycle of viruses that are transmitted via these vectors, again the life cycle of a virus in a queens life is what at least 1000x so with a limited gene pool you are going to out select these challenges? Back to the original posts science paper the bees are 10 years old? laugh okay so we take the queen out of this picture cause we are actually talking about several queens over that period of time... I would venture that it's not a couple groups of bees that are suppressing those mite populations but some mite populations that are of poor genetic stock and are retarded in reproduction keeping them from overwhelming the hives. This is intreasting in that perhaps its due to some dominate genes that can be spread around. those mites should be studied in my oppinion more so then the bees which are open mating with the control they are using in the study which means poor study design.

    my 2 cents

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    challenging hives with viruses is impractical for the average beekeeper.
    No it isn't. It happens naturally. There are nine hives in my home apiary. One of them usually has DWV at some point during the year. They are all under pressure from pestilence because they are exposed that one and they are not treated. But that's not the one I breed from! That one is unfit!


    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    So, applying the 'Bond' method, and then using a pathogen challenge, is unrealistic and not that useful.
    It's the most useful because it produces real world results under real world conditions. For the average beekeeper, the real world is what is needed. The 'Bond Method' is not an experiment, it needs no 'experimental design'. It is a method which produces real world results and there are many beekeepers whose results prove it works. It's nature's system and it works exceedingly well at handling disease and weakness in the species.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #128
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    So far, I'm not seeing much especially news-worthy here.

    Is just splitting your struggling stock or not the extent of it? I think that's pretty much where most of us are stuck.

    Some people might have access to good, proven VSH stock, and that's great. Others might have access to a strong population of feral survivors. And in those cases, I guess you'd stick to propagating those.

    But a lot of us just have the mutts of our region. And in my case, getting bees from outside my region is difficult. So the only option I really have is splitting the stock I have in an effort to create the largest number of chances for survival that I can make. My bees all have mites and likely dwv to some extent. So I winter, see what I've got in the spring, swarm trap (because spring swarms have likely survived at least one winter here), do cut-outs (hoping to get genetic influence of bees who have survived), then split as much as I can to get more queens going.

    A few colonies are allowed to get big, and those produce a lot of drones.

    If I've got enough bees to work with, I graft some queens from what appear to be doing best, and so on. I don't split to manage mites, but to create resources. I don't treat or manage in any other way specifically to deal with mites.

    Isn't that pretty much the long and short of it? How does WLC's idea differ from Mike and Sol?

    Adam
    Last edited by Adam Foster Collins; 09-25-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  9. #129
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by danmcm View Post
    I would venture that it's not a couple groups of bees that are suppressing those mite populations but some mite populations that are of poor genetic stock and are retarded in reproduction keeping them from overwhelming the hives.
    This is my feeling also. It's the isolation of the mite population that allows for only inbreeding. With the way the bee industry is we just move bees around so much which allows easy horizontal transfer of mites to unrelated colonies of mites.

    Seeley (p. 20) states, “There are strong indications that a balanced host-parasite relationship, in which both bees and mites survive, has evolved in isolated populations living under feral or feral-like conditions in several locations.” This of course assumes that very little drift is occurring between hives that would lead to the other type of transmission—horizontal. On this mode of transmission Seeley (p. 19) says, ”Virulence theory suggests that horizontal transmission, defined as infectious transfer among unrelated hosts, promotes the evolution of virulent parasites by favoring those that strongly (and thus harmfully) reproduce in current hosts before moving on to new hosts"

    http://holybeepress.com/wp-content/u...ATLEYFINAL.pdf

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    GENETIC BOTTLENECKING.

    I think that we can pretty much agree that when you produce isolated populations, like those in Gotland and Avignon, you're going to bottleneck the genetics of the bees, pests, and pathogens alike

    However, if you stirve to preserve whatever genetics you already have (I'm assuming that the hives you're going to split from were at least satisfactory at one point), then not only can you avoid the bottleneck, which is a bad place for most beekeepers to be, but you can also add new genetics to your hives by classical methods (good drones mate with some of your virgin queens), and you can potentially add DENOVO genetic sequences as a result of transgenesis (genes jump from the pathogen into your bee genome, providing for molecular immunity).

    I don't expect to convince anyone as to the value of splitting into hives under stress to produce resistance.

    However, no one can deny that the 'Bond' method will result in a bottleneck.

    Why throw away good genetics when you can breed your way out of trouble?

    Are a few mating nucs such a heavy burden?

  11. #131
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    ...
    Use the Honeybee's own strengths to produce resistant bees....Honeybees are naturally transgenic. Please get over it, and put it to good use.
    WLC,

    Where can I find more information about the honeybee's transgenic nature? Is this something widely recognized, something newly recognized? Or a working theory?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    However, no one can deny that the 'Bond' method will result in a bottleneck.
    I can deny that. It's what the Gotland and Avignon populations show that. They have different traits that allow them to survive. They may be somewhat narrowed in their diversity within the area they are in, but they're not in the same bottleneck. Furthermore, there is no evidence to show that the 'Bond' method leads to bottlenecking. There is no evidence to show that 'resistant genes' cause the gene pool to become shallow whatsoever because it's not one trait, it's not one gene, and it doesn't happen by human intervention.

    The only bottlenecking I have ever heard of as it pertains to beekeeping is when a beekeeper continuously breeds queens from his own bees until his whole population is essentially inbred and he loses production and has to bring in some new blood. This will never happen in nature as any natural queen will have no more than a few dozen living queen-daughters.

    Breeding for the VSH trait eventually leads to queens and hives that literally can't survive without the addition of fresh brood. That's bottlenecking, and it's 100% artificial.

    A population with thousands of interbreeding individuals is not bottlenecked. And there is no evidence that allowing weak bees to die leads to a bottleneck. Artificial breeding for specific traits does.


    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Why throw away good genetics when you can breed your way out of trouble?
    They are not good genetics, that's why they are allowed to die, and dying proves it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #133
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2006.11.038

    It's no longer freely available, so you'll need institutional access to read the whole paper.

    Here's the abstract:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17275871

    "Here we add to recent reports indicating that individual variance occurs due to the integration of non-retroviral (potyviral) RNAs into the host genome via RNA recombination followed by retrotransposition. We report that in bees (Apis mellifera), approximately 30% of all tested populations carry a segment of a dicistrovirus in their genome and have thus become virus-resistant."

    I hope this helps to clarify what I've been going on, and on, about.

  14. #134
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Sol:

    Treatment-free beekeepers have reported massive hive losses, even into the 90% range, in order to produce their 'resistant' hives.

    That represents a huge loss of diversity any way you slice it.

    It's a bottleneck.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Bill: (That's what I'm going to call you because you have the same initials as William Lane Craig.)

    What one beekeeper owns the whole of a breed of bee? No beekeeper that I know of (with the exception of a few freshman beekeepers lurking around here with less than a handful of hives) owns bees from only one source. Every beekeeper I've ever heard of with more than a couple hives for more than a year or so has bees from all over the place, both local swarms and queens shipped in from elsewhere.

    Even at the height of my losses some years back, I still had one hive descended from California, and Oregon and one descended from Georgia. Now I have bees from California and Oregon, Michigan, New Mexico, Georgia, and swarms from feral tree hives here in Arkansas. Where is the bottleneck?

    That argument only works with single populations, not the whole species. Isolated populations adapt and evolve faster than widely spread populations. Isolated populations develop their own traits which are different traits than other populations. But there's no bottleneck. They're open mated and bees are moved around this country with frightening regularity. There's no bottleneck.

    There's no evidence that something has been lost. We still have good honey producers, gentle bees, black bees, yellow bees, cordovan colored, good robbers, good comb builders, disease resistant, frugal, and any other trait you could want. If they're so darn good at recombination, what's the problem?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #136
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Sol:

    Are we still talking about evolution by natural selection and treatment-free beekeeping?

    Or, are you saying that you simply buy new bees when your treatment-free hives go under?

    I'm not sure why you're so resistant to splitting for resistance.

  17. #137
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Bill:

    I'm all for splitting for resistance. I'm against telling small timers to split diseased hives. That's like a eugenics program whose stock is people with herpes and color blindness. No bueno.

    My treatment-free hives don't 'go under' in any significant proportion anymore. I used to add resistant bees from various places, but I don't need to anymore because mine are doing just fine. The jabs about buying bees to replace your dead ones are over. You're behind the times. Treatment-free bees are thriving and making honey now, and in greater numbers every year. I sold nucs for the last two years, full of beautifully drawn 4.9mm cells. I haven't received word that a single one has died yet. And I did it by breeding from hives that don't have DWV.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #138
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Sol:

    So how do you know that your bees are in fact disease resistant?

    Faith perhaps?

    WLC.

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    If they don't die does it matter?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #140
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    Default Re: Coevolution of Honey Bees and Varroa Mites: A New Paper

    Because they used to die a lot, now they don't.

    Do you have another suggestion?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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