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  1. #141
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Correct, and I don't see the need to inform everyone else who you (not you) have on your block list. Let's move along. Oldtimer's right on the money.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    I believe that is correct sp

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Blocking him is just excluding opinions that vary from one's own personal dogma.
    Sol wouldn't be the first to criticize me after 'failing' at TF. Half the TF forum shunned me like a leopard. They don't like listening to info they don't like to hear. And an apiary failing after going TF for 7 years will do it.

    But I don't think Sol is blocking me because he disagrees with what I say. He's blocking me because he thinks I'm insulting him. I'm fine with that decision. I don't lose out. I just find it funny that he can criticize everyone, but when someone points out his shortcomings, it's viewed as insults, and we just can't stand for that.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    yes specialkayme, that is correct. barry confirmed it, probably while you were typing.

    sorry to hear about your previous bad experiences on the tfb forum.

    i've heard about others having some too, before my time here.

    we are all people, and people are funny, and

    'almost as interesting as bees.........'

    wadda ya'll say that all of us do our best to check our egos in at the door, and see if we can't generate some more good discussions like this on the tfb forum.

    it's too important of a topic to all beekeepers for us not to try.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Threads quickly get tiresome when people get off-topic, and on personal attacks. So let's not do that. Specialk, is a tf apiary that fails after seven years really a failure of treatment free?

    New thread for that I guess...

    Adam

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Daniel,
    Please clarify what you see as mistakes. It seems like back in the mid1980s we had a choice, treat or don't treat. Steve Taber remarked that if we did not treat that in 30 years the bees and the mites would work things out. Not much of a choice for those who owned any sizeable number of beehives and not a good option for those dependent on honeybee provided pollination.

    So please tell me where you see thge mistakes.
    Sorry Mark, This conversation is moving fast and I have not been back to the computer in nearly 24 hours. I am not ignoring you.
    To keep it simple. the 80's and other "Bad" periods are the symptoms of the mistakes. It is a bit like getting the flu and then saying. but I stayed in bed, drank lots of fluids etc. etc. etc. When others are talking about how to not get the flu in the first place. Theoretical at best. the flue will happen regardless of weather you stay away from sick people. just not as frequently.

    I will say that conversations just like this one. and that someone like you that admittedly says it is not that much of a concern to you. is a good sign. you are still willing to take your time to listen and contribute. It will be very few individuals that are willing to look at the bee under the microscope. it is the majority that want to look at them from a lawn chair. And this is very true. One challenge this fact presents is how do you effectively take the information from the microscope to the lawn chair. part of that responsibility lies with the person setting in the chair. They have to be at least willing to hear that their is a better way. This gets diluted when to many promises that do not bear fruit begin to happen. Sooner or later everyone starts saying. Yeah Yeah Yeah, Shut up and keep bees. Now the guy looking in the microscope has an elevated burden of proof to meet.

    Anyway my comments are trailing off in to to many side issue.

    Suffice it to say it is a complicated multi faceted issue. and this conversation that is actually going very well is just taking a close look at one of them.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #147
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    is a tf apiary that fails after seven years really a failure of treatment free?
    That's how I viewed it. How would you view it?

    Something failed. It might be the genetics of the hives, it might be the location (or the individual apiary), or it might be the treatment practices. Since I used the bond method, I selected the genetics of the hives through a "treatment free" practice. So to me, the first and last are interchangeable in this regard. As far as the location goes, I was stretched out over 3 different locations, all within about an hour and a half of each other. I used these locations over the course of the previous 5 years (admittedly not all 7). I only saw high losses of colonies in years 2 and 3. Year 5 I lost approx 50%. Year 7 I lost 100%.

    That tells me it's not the location. It also tells me it wasn't "chance." I can understand losing 100% of my hives in year 7 if I only had 3 hives. Losing 100% of your hives when you are operating in the 20's is more than a coincidence.

    If you ask me, the treatment free practices, in addition to the gene selection, created weaker bees than would have existed if I had treated periodically (with moderation) throughout the 7 years. The bees that resulted were able to fight off varroa (to some degree) but were completely unable to defend themselves against just about any other type of invader (nosema, SHB, and to some degree wax moths).

    I've been told the failure of my apiary was not the bees fault, it was my fault. I was told that I wasn't doing tf correctly, in that I didn't use small cell comb (I used foundationless), I didn't rotate the combs out fast enough (I was on a 5 year rotation), I should have used 8 frame hives (I use 10), I should have used deep brood chambers (I used all mediums), I should have used more upper entrances, more screened bottom boards, less screened bottom boards, I should have purchased tf nucs, or purchased tf packages, or I should have shaken all the bees out of the hives for the first few years to get them to regress their cell size . . . the list goes on. It's easy for others to point the finger at me, and tell me I did something wrong, the bees didn't. Whether that's accurate, who knows.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Solomon, somewhere in the last two pages or so said that a bond beekeeper should make their own queens. this is not entirely true.

    It is more of a matter of take a wide selection of genes and then select out for the traits you want. try to make those traits prevalent. but then you are going to then go outside and dump in a new selection of genes and do it again. But you want to select carefully those outside genes.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #149
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Solomon, somewhere in the last two pages or so said that a bond beekeeper should make their own queens.
    I said it. I see no utility in letting bees die if one is not going to reap the rewards of weeding out the weak. They should and generally speaking, they do. Not all of them perhaps, but that is not what I'm saying.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    But, more to the point, you can't tell me I'm wrong, just like I can't tell you I'm right. Which makes further discussion of the topic futile.




    Yes to the first, no to the second. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
    Unless you are referring to the discussion about who is right or wrong. I think you may be missing some very important purposes of discussion. one being the simple congregating of thoughts. opinions. observations and ideas of others. Right now today cancer treatment is on what many call hyper advancement mode. and they woudl pretty much agree this is caused by one thing and one thing alone. the ability and actually doing the sharing of information.

    So if conversation can be key in curing cancer. can it possibly be key in developing treatment free beekeeping? One other key point though. is the conversation about being right. or finding answers that work? I for one don't think right exists. there is only better and worse wrong.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins
    is a tf apiary that fails after seven years really a failure of treatment free?


    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    That's how I viewed it. How would you view it?
    How about a treatment apiary that fails after a bunch of years? The name Hackenberg comes to mind. Total, to near total die-offs happen. Yet there are plenty of other beekeepers in the same boat, be it TF or treatment, that continue to keep bees successfully (how ever they define success). Something did fail for you. That's what you will need to figure out.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #152
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    For sure all beekeepers have had their low points. I don't think it's out of line to suggest that any total loss of ones bees has to be considered a failure since at that point you are either quitting or repopulating from someone else's bees that you may know little if anything about. I doubt that many get into bees under the notion that they will most likely lose all their bees in a few years but that's ok. I, for one, haven't bought any bees to repopulate hives since pre varroa as odd as that might sound and even then it wasn't that we lost all our bees, only that we had too many empty boxes to fill in just one year.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #153
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Something did fail for you. That's what you will need to figure out.
    Good point Barry.

    But, it's often difficult to find a culprit when there are no survivors.

    I probably should have taken samples of workers and wax and sent it to get tested. The cost of getting them tested prevented me from doing it on the first few hives that were lost. The sheer confusion prevented me from testing them on the vast majority in the middle. And the complete dismay and sorrow prevented me from taking any actions on the last two.

    Live and learn though. I caught 4 swarms this year (three of which absconded later, during the dearth), and purchased 7 hives from a beekeeper who was moving to Canada. So all is well for now.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I think what I picked up this weekend was that when you select you narrow. When you choose certain traits you may lose others thereby bottlenecking. Does that make sense? I'm not sure.
    Mark this is what I picked up as well.

    I am not sure my comments below directly address the thread(well they do in a round about way at least), but I had to toss this in as I attended the meeting as well with Michael Bush speaking. In the segment on how to select I really found a lot of what he had to comment on interesting. Particularly some comments that be made about bees being gamblers. I will paraphrase so hopefully I capture it (might be covered on his site but I hadn't read this anywhere yet).

    All bees are gamblers. Some build up brood early (A), some in the middle (B) and some late (C). Based upon how the year rolls out A, B or C may have the advantage in production, etc. However just because one year a hive is busting loose with bees doesn't mean it is your best hive, rather it could mean it simply gambled and won. If the year had extremely odd weather, out of sink flows, etc. stock taken from this hive could prove a poor producer the following year when weather resume its more familiar cycle. i.e. a hive that builds up super early might out produce in a season with an early spring, then the following year starve due to too much brood and no nectar flows yet. Micheal's suggestion was perhaps we should be looking to avoid selection from the outlier hives, good or bad. Instead choose from the pretty good hives so we are able to hedge a bet against the next big bee crisis with broader diversity in the yard. Reading Specialkay's scenario makes me wonder if selection could have been part of the issue (not enough diversity for the other ailments to be survived).

    There was a stark contrast between MB's talk and that of the Russian bee association. Which was very much about selection of the traits "we" deem important. It did come off to me like we could manipulate stock to do what we want if we keep the blood line pure. Working in such a vacuum concerns me. Especially when i listened on and found how working with Russian bees, (according to the speaker -Steven Coy?-) requires working in a vacuum of sorts to preserve the Russian bee genetics. Once the interbreeding occurs (Italian stock or feral, etc.) your advantages are virtually nonexistent and not notable with Russian bees. This to me was a huge warning flag. Not only is it very impracticable for many to attempt this, it really made me think we are setting ourselves up for the same pitfalls with Russians via narrowing as we already experienced with Italians.

    All that said I am not sure that the bond method would select too narrowly, so long as the keeper makes the right selection choices and avoids a full on outlier approach.

    If I misrepresented anything there I apologize in advance.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    SpecialK,

    With the added details of your experience over the 7 years, I can see that it was rough, or some version of a failure for the duration. In that case, the total loss at year 7 would indeed seem like a failure of your attempt at treatment free.

    It's all so darned FRUSTRATING, isn't it? There are just so many conflicting reports and opinions.

    This is why I've come to believe that you just have to try everything for yourself until you find what works for you and your bees in your part of the world. All a forum like this does is give you a sense of options, and adds (or subtracts) a level of confidence in what you're trying at a given moment.

    What a pain!

    Adam

  16. #156
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    And I wonder...

    Does regular, systematic requeening have the potential to reduce the gene pool just as much as the bond method?

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    And I wonder...

    Does regular, systematic requeening have the potential to reduce the gene pool just as much as the bond method?
    I see it as an opportunity to do quite the opposite. You may choose as many and as diverse a mixure of breeder queens as you want.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Sure, it can be, but couldn't it be the opposite?

    If you're practicing annual requeening from a major queen producer, isn't every queen you squish along the way a potential loss of more diverse genetic code? Let's say some of those queens are swarms you caught. You're getting rid of their variation in favor of the range of genetics maintained by your queen producer.

    I guess my point is, if the bond method is criticized for reducing the gene pool, couldn't it follow that any willful or systematic elimination of queens could do the same thing? The difference is that the Bond method lets nature do the killing.

    I'm not suggesting that requeening is a bad thing, but asking if certain approaches to methodical requeening coud be eliminating genetic diversity to the same degree (or more) than the bond method of selection. With periodic requeening, the only factor in the decision is the queen's age - not a genetic trait at all.

    Adam

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Adam: I can only speak for what we do and what I would expect other prudent queen producers to do. It is really easy to bring in whatever genetics you feel would improve your operation. We most definitely choose breeders for their different traits.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #160
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Sure enough. I guess I'm kind of thinking 'out loud' and realizing that pretty much any form of selection has the potential to reduce the gene pool. No matter why it happens, when bees die, there is the potential for some genetic material to be lost.

    Bottom line for me is that I just don't see how the Bond method of selection is special in that regard, so I don't see how it stands up as a criticism. I started the thread when I read a quote from Marla Spivak criticizing the bond method for it's potential to narrow the gene pool.

    But I don't see how it does so any more than any other form of selection.

    Adam

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