Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
All depends on your local bee, I have nothing but feral stock and for me I want a bee that responds to the local flows and pollen production, not one who's brood production cycles by artificially stimulation. Where's the balance in that?
Me too. But I also want to tweak my bees to improve productivity. I agree, working on that without stimulation is the safest way to go - but while I work on it I don't think I'll be doing the ferals much harm by raising the proportion of self-sufficient drones around - tending to negate the harm done by nearby treaters. Perhaps that will compensate as bit. Or perhaps I'll come around to your way of thinking.

Just breeding toward productivity will raise productivity in ferals. So I'm already having an effect, that I can't see as being negative.

Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
Ferals die a lot and native populations swing dramatically year to year, can you stand > 50% losses?
Ferals round here are getting stronger, and I've always maintained that their biggest problem after (varroa) was treaters - and for those reasons yes, they've been dying lots. As I understand it lots of swarms -especially late swarms - fail to establish, but after that survival rates are (in the wild) pretty good.

But in a selectively bred apaiary a lot of bees die too - its just we limit it to queens, taking the nasty out of nature. That's part of the point of selective propagation - to work with the grain of nature, but to exclude the jungle and its painful ways. I can't - yet - see that doing that harms the local feral population.

Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
Your hearts in the right place Mike, wish you success.

That means a lot Don, thanks, and the same to you.