bee microbial symbionts
on another thread, deknow posts:
"If one believes that the microbial symbionts that the bees rely on should remain as undamaged as possible (for long term practical reasons), why should one not buy honey that is produced with that as an outcome of the beekeepers practice? Certainly no one disputes the added value of produce that is cultivated in a way that preserves the soil."
dean, you have clearly invested much effort and are more well read on this subject than most.
have you developed a sense yet for what "as undamaged as possible" is?
can you describe what you mean by "long term practical reasons"?
are any investigators on track to provide us with the answers as to what the changes in microbial symbionts might mean for everyday practical application?
my first thought about the analogy between soil conserving measures and conserving bee microbial symbionts, was that messing up the soil is proven to have far reaching consequences, whereas it is only postulated that alterating the microbial symbionts in the bee hive may (potentially) affect the honey and the bee.
it's not hard to "believe" that it is better not to alter the microflora in the beehive. the question is how much weight to give the potential problems it may cause against the risks to the colony from diseases and pests.
in a perfect world, there would be no need for any intervention that might disrupt the natural order in the hive.
in a less than perfect world, and since we are all exploiting bees, and placing them in an unnatural situation, we might have to weigh this risk/benefit ratio.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf