Mites attack organisms. Mites don't attack cells. So when you view an individual bee as an organism, the mite is a tick. But when you view a bee as a part of a larger whole, a part of a superorganism, the mite isn't acting as a tick, it's acting more like cancer. While the mite may be a parasite of the individual bee, it's not a parasite of the overall superorganism.
The theory of the "super organism" states that a bee colony works like an organism greater than itself. The bee, while it's own organism, acts more like a single cell of the larger colony. The mite attacks the individual bee, or the individual cell of the colony. Through the introduction of viruses and pathogens, the mite weakens the cell of the colony, to the point that it is mutated and not performing it's normal functions, poisoning the other cells of the colony.
I stand by my statement, regardless of your inability to comprehend my point.
I'll rephrase it, everything evolves over time to adapt to the ever changing environment, if it doesn't adapt it goes extinct, this includes viruses, organisms, mammals, fish, reptiles, birds and what ever else is on this earth. Of course it doesn't happen over night, but it does happen over time.
I'm not a scientist so I can't get technical nor do I know the exact terms for things either, all I can do is touch on things in layman terms.
Guys that make a living with bees can't afford to lose over half their colonies to let nature take its course which is why they HAVE to treat for various things for bees, and this I fully understand, but hobbyists like myself might be able to experiment and afford to lose bees to perhaps get better genetics against certain parasites and such.
Coyote Creek Bees
But we are completely off topic and poor Mark is never going to get an answer to his question. As for me, I will continue doing what I have always done because it works and leave Randy Oliver to his name calling. I'm never apt to help people out who look upon me with disdain. And I'm not interested in treating or doing mite counts. That's my stand.
First Darwinism, in it's pure definition, does not apply. Darwinism is mainly the theory of natural selection as presented in his book "The Origins of Species"
In addition since the writing of the book Darwinism has completely been disprove. At the time of the writing there was not a fossil record adequate to support or argue the theory. Since then that fossil record has been established and it alone disproves the theory. In addition such discoveries as Genetic drift have been made that further disprove the theory.
In the context of the many misuses of the word Darwinism such as that it is a direct and beneficial mutation. This has never actually been a claim of Darwinism.
If in fact a Honey Bee can be threatened by the introduction of just one simple mite. How can it believed that they could survive a physical mutation radical enough to cause enough behavioral change to deal with that mite. It requires belief in only the positive while ignoring any negative consequences. The idea that allowing bees to be subjected to mites results in only a positive outcome is limited thinking. what if the bees answer to the mite is to stop colonizing? Or colonize on a much smaller scale such as a wasp? Of the literally millions of possible shifts the bee could make. what causes others to readily assume the shift will be a good one?
As was mention before. parasites are not an issue that immunity can deal with. Genetic mutation could if it was something that actually existed.
I see people claim that they use treatment free methods and report lower mites. It is this alone that causes my greatest doubts. It is like you won the lottery multiple times in a row to be able to make some change and see exactly the results you desired just like that. How exactly did you know just what to manipulate in order to control the outcome in such a way. I am sure horse breeders that invest millions in their breeding would be very interested in that sort of progress.
Of course if you ask just exactly the nature of this progress the answer is said to be complicated. If it is asked if the progress of such hives have been compared side by side to treated hives it is said that such proof is not needed. If those that question the results enter the conversation they are told to be quiet and learn or stay out of the room.
As far as I can tell the only way treatment free really works is through a network of either agree or shut up.
Exactly how do you see increased ventilation is less suitable to the mite? Is it less suitable to the mite? Is it also less suitable to the bee? Have you done any studies that show mite is less productive at 70 degrees than they are at 90 degrees? Have any studies been done to show what the effect of increased ventilation are on the interior of the hive?
How do you know that the lower mite load in your hive is due to non treatment methods? I see the same claims of lower mites problems from beekeepers that do treat as well.
Nature has boom and bust cycles. Could have the past serious problems with the mite have been a boon period? Could we right now be in the midst of a bust period. Could it bee that the bees will learn to deal with the mite regardless of treatment or not?
I don't agree that treating bees causes a weak bee. It creates a mite load that will not be lethal giving the bees increased time to adapt to dealing with them on their own. My bees will be better trained in effect.
On the idea of a super organism. It is obviously recognized that some organisms are beneficial. what about the organism that is both beneficial even critical yet destructive at the same time. Could the mite be one of those organisms? Like the wolf serves to keep the weak culled from the herd. Does the mite at below a certain threshold serve to weed the weak individuals from the hive? Should the goal be to keep mites below a certain threshold rather than irradicated.
And again. I see the main argument for treatment free to be a management by natural selection when the management does not resemble anything close to natural selection. I see a huge effort to split the hairs of what is treatment and what is not. in that context. putting bees in a hive is treatment.
I see the methods more as another way to impact the population of the mite other than the use of chemicals. It is still just as artificial and manipulation. I also believe it also carries a negative impact to the bees as well. That impact may be only in the production for example but it is still an impact. Bees that work harder and are shorter lived for example. lower colony populations possibly. But I don't think you can impact one organism and not impact the others. Because of this I consider the effect on the super organism a wash. You can harm it with chemicals or you can harm it with treatment free measures. But to assume you impact only the mite is not reasonable.
Significant Minority vs Insignificant Majority, 20% of causes produce 80% of the effects.
There is very little in life that is truly all or nothing. Some package bees are not going to survive with even a modest step towards treatment free. I see no sense in saying live free or die. I am now seeing some bees that act like I can continue to avoid treatment and even go totally free. One a package line, another a bought treatment free queen. That queen went onto a very mite loaded split. That donor hive I gave my first hard treatment; wood bleach.
Some hives I feed, some I do not. A mite encrusted hive I will treat. The hive next to it I will not if it is doing what it should, doing fine on it's own. A dead hive will not evolve, it will not supply bodies or offspring that might be capable of TF.
The biggest barrier to successful treatment free, in my case at least, was my ignorance. But that was the hinderance to treated bees as well.
Cancer does not attack a super organism, it simply exists within a single organism and its existence threatens the health of its host. It is a genetic aberration in a normally ordered biological system of one individual.
The mite does not attack the superorganism, it has precious little to do with any of the 8000 other species of organisms in the hive. It attacks only the hive minded insect colony.
The mite doesn't poison other "cells" of the colony. It damages individuals in a colony.
It is not, in point of fact, like a cancer. It is a tick. It bites the outside of an animal and draws out juices with which it maintains its health and provides itself nutrition to reproduce.
I heard it said on the radio just a day ago that Cancer cells are cells growing in the wrong place, the wrong kind of cell growing where it shouldn't. Or something like that. Sounds like a weed to me.
But I probably have that wrong.
"Beekeeping. It's a journey, not a destination." Mark Berninghausen
Actually, you are close enough Mark. Cancer is most simply unregulated cell growth. Certain cells get their DNA corrupted and grow uncontrollably without the normal constraints of regulated cell death. By definition, any group of cells that grow uncontrollably are growing in the wrong place.
You had me at hello. Nice novel though, although I didn't read to much of it after you stated that nothing evolves.
As for mites being compared to wolves in the sense that they only prey on the weak and old, that's funny right there. Wolves are now over populated and in order to survive they can't spend their time looking for weak animals, they now resort to strong animals as well. So if mites get over populated they too have to survive there for they prey on the strong as well.
If there was a miracle cure for mites that would wipe them out without effecting the colony at all, I would probably use it. I am just a cheap skate and figure if I lose a colony to mites I will just catch another swarm in the spring.
Besides, doesn't the world end next month anyhow? LOL
Coyote Creek Bees