Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains
Michael, I've stripped the nuance from your quote, because the opening sentence is what new beekeepers invariably hear. (including some of the most vociferous types on this thread).
Originally Posted by Michael Bush
I maintain asking backyard beekeepers to sustain the massive, predictable losses that their implementation of this idea invariably results in is wasteful and counterproductive.
I maintain that rationalized and directed selection has been the system with which early modern agriculture has adopted to novel parasites. Directed selection requires 1) indentification of desirable traits, 2) amplification of these traits, 3) and backcrosses to mix with other selected traits.
For bees (like most other out-crossing species), isolation and saturation are essential to creating local races.
There is enormous inertia in species, they revert to type in unbounded outcrossing populations. Moving the whole genome en bloc and en mass is enormously difficult and wasteful. We can also anticipate (viz. AHB) that local racial adaptation fixes very undesirable traits.
If small beekeepers want to participate in genetic selection, they should confederate as part of a larger program. Not all apiaries are situated to benefit from wildings-type out-crossing. The prescription to "not treat to get to not treating" is inappropriate for these apiaries.