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  1. #161
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Default Re: something to think about

    In Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, he has a study on how to determine if a patient is having a heart attack. It turns out there are really only a few things that matter and that the more information doctors gathered in making their decision, the more likely they would make a bad one. He gives many examples of the same concept, that too much information causes us to make worse decisions. What we need to make good decisions is big picture, not all the details. I think the more you measure all those small things the more tempted you will be to limit the gene pool much more than you should, and you will put too much emphasis on things that simply don't matter at all.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: something to think about

    Sorry Michael, looks like I lack JRG13's eloquence in speak - that is what I was getting at as well. The idea that you should try to manipulate as little as possible, resist the temptation to "overengineer" your bees. I enjoyed your thought provoking presentation immensely.

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: something to think about

    Again I can agree with the principal, but still have to disagree on completely dismissing a useful tool. There's also such a thing as too little knowledge I'm afraid. How do those doctors know which signs to look for now... because they measured everything to find the ones that make the most difference.

    It's a bit of an acedemic debate for me, I do not yet have enough hives that I can really do much in the way of any selection. But the reason we have some lines of bees around is precisely because someone did this type of selection. If you think your bees need a boost in mite resistance you can go buy some VSH bees to mix in with the lot precisely because someone measured a trait to breed for it. Now you can argue that some of these bees are less productive etc, but a lot of people have had great luck then crossing them into their current stock. I could keep trying to breed from the population I have and I can keep watching them die or I can pull in some genetics that will help out.

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: something to think about

    my selection process up to this point has been to do a cut down split on my most robust hives prior to swarm season.

    this year, i will look to the most robust hives to graft eggs from, but i will also factor mite counts into the decision, and i'll avoid having all of my stock originating from one or two colonies.

    the weaker colonies will be deselected by busting them up into mating nucs.

    great discussion here, many thanks to all for posting.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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