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  1. #141
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    good info adam, thanks.

    the two operations i know of that are treatment free and sustaining well are my own (four years) and my bee supplier (16 years).

    we are both in locations that are heavily wooded (over 2/3rds of the landscape) and we think there are plenty of feral colonies surviving in the area (which are contributing to the dca's).

    i have been assuming that in addition to having favorable weather and abundant forage, the genetic contribution from the unmanaged survivors is helping to make being treatment free here possible.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Adam: one thing I am doing to foster this is NOT taking any drastic matter to stop my out yards from swarming. I catch 15-20 swarms per year, so I don't sweat giving up a couple to see if feral populations can get going. If they get established I hope to be able to catch their swarms down the road.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    One criticism I would make of Dr. Delaplane's talk was that he didn't mention what sort of treatment regimen he used on his breeding experiments, or if he did I didn't catch it.

    One aspect of this subject that always strikes me as a little strange is that those who treat their bees seem reluctant to admit that the treatments themselves have negative effects on hive health. They will say that if they had not treated, then varroa and viruses carried by mites would have killed the hive, so the damage done by treatment is inconsequential in the big picture. The problem with that analysis is that something is killing treated hives at what seem at best uneconomic rates. I can't help but wonder if treatment is contributing to hive loss in ways not easily categorized.

    For example, a lot of beeks who treat will attribute the loss of some hives to queen failure. Non-treaters, it appears from my research, have queens that live a significantly longer time than treated queens do. How much does treatment contribute to queens with higher mortality?

    We all accept that pesticides can have sub-lethal effects. Why is it so hard to accept that treatments (some of which are in fact pesticides) may also have negative sub-lethal effects? Many folks treat with several different things for mites, for bacterial diseases, for Nosema. We know very little about the synergistic effects of this brew of chemicals. And we know even less about the cumulative effects of outside chemicals, of excessive feeding, etc.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that even with the best breeding, treatment regimens may overwhelm the bee's natural mechanisms for surviving and adapting to new challenges.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Ray: Excellent points all. There is already evidence that Amitraz can cause some issues with queens and we know for a fact that hives treated with Coumaphous cant raise cells. I wouldnt be surprised to find out fluvalinate has some issues as well, these are pesticides designed to kill insects, albeit insects smaller than honeybees. Spring treatments (while making increase) in particular have to be looked as a potential reason for under performing or early failing queens.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    (R.H. Aldridge:"...Anyway, the main takeaway from the talk is that breeding bees is nothing like breeding cows or chickens. The unique breeding strategy of hymenoptera species makes it a lot more complicated.")

    (AFC) At least in the ones that are genetically predisposed to mate with multiple males. That's the crux of it - the seeming opposition between how we tend to get what we want (traditional selection - narrowing) and the bee's version of that (selecting through a wider selection).

    The bee still selects, but she does so over the broadest range possible. So how do we foster that? If we just provide her with lots of males from a few sources, she may mate plenty of times, but she's not getting the depth of genetic material.

    Is that something we want to foster? More depth? And if so, how?

    Adam
    That's easy. By keeping large hives of our own bees in and around our apiaries, and by increasing their drone numbers artificially if needs be. By trying to minimise input from treated hives (the real problem) by having our breeding yards remote from large numbers of them. There's nothing complicated about it.

    That particular premise falls flat on its face.

    Selective bee propagation (population husbandry) is, yes, done at arms length rather than precisely as with sheep and cows. You have to work with odds, and boost the odds in your favour. But that's every bit as effective - if you can achieve it.

    And it works with exactly the same principle at its heart: the healthiest bees are made from the best of the present generation.

    Don't let people bamboozle you with complexity. The principle of inherited traits and qualities is a simplicity that underlies all the complexity. Natural selection for the fittest strains, and its human equivalent, make a critical difference. No amount of talk about complexity alters that fact.

    Mike (UK)
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  6. #146
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    (Sure, as it's something I think is really key to going forward on successful breeding, and I'd like to hear more thoughts on it.)

    Dr. Delaplane's key points are:

    • For all the time and effort that has been put into bee breeding, how much success have we achieved? How much genetic "progress" has been made for the amount of selection we've done over the last century? He argues - not that much.
    I don't know how true that is for professional bee breeders, but for many beekeepers who are no longer treating, that's just plain wrong. Perhaps professional breeders are aiming at a goal that cannot exist. A colony that can take massive abuse of the kind expected of migratory and intensive beekeeping, and thrive just isn't possible. The same goes for geographic universality.

    Bees that can survive sensible low intensity management without treatment seem to be becoming more commonplace, as more people are learning the arts of population husbandry - which is 'breeding' of a kind -
    - and the ferals are adapting to varroa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    • Bee breeding is centered on polyandry, or the drive for the female to mate with many males.

    • He and a team have done experiments, and although it is early in their project, they are finding that there is a direct relationship between the overall performance of a colony and the number of males the queen was mated with.

    • He points out that the polyandry (more genetic input) and selection (less genetic input) are seemingly at odds. And wonders who the two might be better reconciled for more effective breeding. He wonders if the trading of drones might be something that should receive more focus than it currently does.
    This is a abstract argument that appears to be attached to the realities, but actually, isn't. A mating process that limited sperm doners (AI) might well do that - but, yet that would be, like the whole business of AI itself, a poor idea.

    Dr. Delaplane seems unaware of the traditional practices of bee farmers, where male side genetic input has just as much emphasis as female side. And where straightforward (if a little arm's length on the male side) selective propagation techniques have been used to maintain health and productivity for a long time.

    But yes to more attention to drones...

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    To my own thinking, the fact that bees mate multiple times, and take multiple mating flights to do so is proof of it's importance to their survival. Mating is so perilous, that if polyandry weren't so important, multiple matings would have long since disappeared, as there are always going to be more living queens who have mated fewer times, than there are living queens that have mated many times.

    Yet somehow, those who mate more times continue to be more successful.
    Bees are a genetically local species. They don't migrate, or get blown great distances. Their breeding pool, in the natural state, is limited to those within a few mile radius. And they have evolved to best manage that context. Polyandry may be a strategy that helps overcome the over-inbreeding that occurs in geographically limited populations. It undoubtedly it confers a range of other benefits to this unique species. (The fact that the species has evolved to best locate and store energy within a small area might lead us to pay more attention to localism in beekeeping. Bee populations have evolved the capacity to attune themselves to the local forage and climate.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    So I wonder - as we stop our treatments and turn to husbandry, how can we accommodate polyandry into our plans in a meaningful way?
    I think the remarks above have already made clear my views about that. Use locally adapted bees, help with (and certainly don't interfere with) the essential selection processes, making increase from best colonies and allowing or encouraging large drone populations in sound hives. Encourage feral activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Would it mean raising stocks with a fairly wide genetic background and a focus on creating strong drone populations - or drone colonies specifically - to provide the breadth of high-quality males to mate with?
    No to the first - unless there are no locally adapted bees, and you need to fish for strains that will work in your area. Perhaps adding in some likely helpful new genes from time to time would be a good thing. Yes to the second.

    On drone populations: I've raised a few ideas on this topic before, but never really got to the bottom of things. Drones are obviously massively important, and the drone side needs the same sort of attention as the queen side. This is what I've thought about:

    First, in nature larger colonies, I understand, tend to raise a disproportionately large number of drones. This could easily be seen as a natural mechanism that helps the strongest get the best representation in the next generation. It is therefore something we interfere with at our peril. Controlling, or just discouraging drone numbers in our best hives may well undercut the health of the next generation.

    Second (getting further out there now): a failing queen will often lay large numbers of drone eggs. Again its possible to see this as an evolved process that serves the same sort of purpose. The larger colonies will be able to support vast numbers of drones from a 'failing' queen - maximising the transmission of her genes.

    Third (now off the scale). Laying workers.... again supply male transmitters of the colony's genes. Again the larger and best stocked hives will be able to sustain the greater number of gene transmitters.

    The point of this speculation is: to the extent that any of this is true, it means that any interference we do in that limits the natural course of things in terms of drone production in largest number from largest hives, and in whatever circumstances, is undercutting what might be a highly influential evolved health-seeking mechanism.

    Perhaps we need to view drone laying queens and laying workers not in terms of something gone wrong, but as something going right?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  7. #147
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Mike, you should really take the time to watch the video.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Dr. Delaplane seems unaware of the traditional practices of bee farmers, where male side genetic input has just as much emphasis as female side.
    That's an assumption about the Dr, and frankly a bit of a stretch.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    a failing queen will often lay large numbers of drone eggs. Again its possible to see this as an evolved process that serves the same sort of purpose. The larger colonies will be able to support vast numbers of drones from a 'failing' queen - maximising the transmission of her genes.
    No. Doesn't work that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Laying workers.... again supply male transmitters of the colony's genes. Again the larger and best stocked hives will be able to sustain the greater number of gene transmitters.
    Again, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Perhaps we need to view drone laying queens and laying workers not in terms of something gone wrong, but as something going right?
    Again, no.

    Interesting theories Mike but perhaps you are overthinking the issues. What you describe is not the reality.

    Your ideas are not how I have found it works in practise. Drones raised in worker cells do not get much / anything done in the quest to mate if up against normal drones. Unfortunately I cannot show you what I've learned by experience, and if I told you it's likely you would reject it anyway. But I can suggest you look at it logically although this may be less compelling. Hives with laying workers, in the wild, are doomed. So breeding hives with a tendency to go that way is at odds with producing hives that survive.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 08-03-2013 at 02:23 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #149
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Mike, you should really take the time to watch the video.
    Yes. It could be my weak interpretation, but I feel like Dr. Delaplane has way too deep a resumé to dismiss what he's saying too quickly. Then again, I may be too ready to listen deeply to those with way more experience than I - leading to lots of indecision and rethinking of methods. Keith Delaplane has more experience, more formal education in the field of entomology, and access to a much broader range of beekeepers and geography than I do. I can't help but approach things he and people like him say with an open mind. I start by assuming they know something I don't, and then try to "catch up" with further consideration and research.

    I think he makes some very interesting points, and ones worth serious consideration. But again, it could be just me.

    Adam

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    The most interesting part of the talk, to me, was his description of the experiment where they inseminated queens with, I think, the semen of 15 drones, 30 drones, and 60 drones. The results were pretty astonishing. Makes one think that the whole business of bee breeding is almost incomprehensibly complicated.

    (For folks who haven't watched the video, the colonies headed by the 30 drone and 60 drone queens were significantly healthier, and maybe smarter-- the pink syrup portion of the experiment.)

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    For folks who haven't watched the video
    Sometimes, RAldridge, your droll humour is quite funny LOL.

    Also the part you refer to about the benefits to the colony from larger numbers of drones mated with was very interesting and something I had not really considered in the past, I only thought it mattered that she had "enough".

    I found the video a bit slow moving and after a while considered turning it off, but in the end it was a worthwhile watch and along with RAldridge, without naming anyone, would recommend it to any "folks who haven't watched the video". LOL
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #152
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    No. Doesn't work that way.

    Again, no.

    Again, no.
    That doesn't tell us anything about 'why not'. Just saying 'no' is very easy' But it just presents an opinion. It has no force in knowledge terms.

    Substantiating it is more useful, constructive and admirable. But it takes work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Interesting theories Mike but perhaps you are overthinking the issues. What you describe is not the reality.

    Your ideas are not how I have found it works in practise. Drones raised in worker cells do not get much / anything done in the quest to mate if up against normal drones.
    You could well be right, but my question to you is: how do you know that? What evidence can you offer? Do you analyse the drone's entrails on the return of the queen?

    Or is it an assuption, an opinion, posing as knowledge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Unfortunately I cannot show you what I've learned by experience, and if I told you it's likely you would reject it anyway.
    You could try telling me how you manage to tell that worker-laid drones don't get to impregnate queens. You may well be right. But saying 'in my experience they don't' doesn't offer a convincing case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    But I can suggest you look at it logically although this may be less compelling.
    Hives with laying workers, in the wild, are doomed. So breeding hives with a tendency to go that way is at odds with producing hives that survive.
    That demonstrates a light grasp of population breeding dynamics.

    I know it seems wierd, but you have to think, first, of the genes as the objects that strive for survival and reproduction - continuously. The gene is the 'unit of reproduction'.

    The bodies that contain them can be regarded as simply equipment to that end. If a gene survives for 20 million years it has been successful for that time in contributing to the raising of bodies that have reproduced. Period. This will have occured through countless bodies, and often through many species.

    Second, a species, population, or strain, that has the most effective mechanisms for translating the genes of the healthiest parents into a high proportion of the next generation will be favoured over other strains. For the simple reason: the oncoming population will be stronger, healthier.

    This has led to several key mechanisms that aid the selection of the fittest individuals in each generation. An example would be the almost universal phenomena of physical competitive mating. Those strains among a population that engage most determinedly in competitive mating will, all else being equal, be healthier than those that don't - because they'll be fathered, continuously, by the strongest male present.

    Note that it doesn't matter if the strongest male is old and grizzled, has cancer and just three months to live. If he's the strongest, he wins the ladies; that's the game. And that, in deep terms, is because his genes 'want' to move into the next generation, as often as possible. Genes don't give up. They don't program bodies to give up. (Or rather, any that do are soon swept away by those that don't.)

    The drones produced by a failing queen carry her genes - I'm led to believe exactly. If she is an outstanding queen, she will have a large well-stocked hive capable of bringing all to maturity, and spreading her excellent genes around like confetti. If she is mediocre, her 'body' (the colony) will only be able to raise a few of her final drones. The feature of life-end drone raising will therefore give her strain an advantage over any strain that, say, systematically slaughters the drones of failing queens. And so the feature has evolved and taken hold.

    Its there because it serves an evolutionary purpose well - to help populations take their genetic material in larger measure from the healthiest of the previous generation. Just like competitive mating.

    That's my theory, logically (re-)presented, and, I hope you can see, your logical argument successfully refuted.

    I understand it's a bit counter-intuitive, and it certainly runs against well established thinking about the desirability of failing queens. But think just how much - and for how long - beekeeping has been focussed on individual hives, rather than the breeding population. When you are thinking about individual hives, and about such matters as productivity, drones are the last thing you want - and almost every effort is made to reduce them. It is part of my argument toward the benefits of shifting the focus to the breeding pool that we re-examine this long-assumed good - and all the lore and assumptions that have developed with it.

    We have to think 'breeding pool' always, and how we're are going to stock it with the best material. I think, thus far, we might be able to relax a bit about failing queen hives - if and only if - they've been outstanding; in the understanding that we are allowing one of nature's important mechanisms to play out.

    I could be wrong about this. But I'm curious.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 08-04-2013 at 05:52 AM.
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  13. #153
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Yes. It could be my weak interpretation, but I feel like Dr. Delaplane has way too deep a resumé to dismiss what he's saying too quickly. Then again, I may be too ready to listen deeply to those with way more experience than I - leading to lots of indecision and rethinking of methods. Keith Delaplane has more experience, more formal education in the field of entomology, and access to a much broader range of beekeepers and geography than I do. I can't help but approach things he and people like him say with an open mind. I start by assuming they know something I don't, and then try to "catch up" with further consideration and research.
    I'm probably equally guilty of assuming he's on the academic bee funding bandwagon, the 'Beekeeper Support Industry' (BSI) - and being suspicious about where the funding is coming from, and how its shaping the research.

    I'm deeply cynical about this. My thinking isn't helped by reading, this morning, a devastating critique of the effects of the chemical industry - now one of the most powerful and influential industries on the planet - on other fields - Will Self in The Guardian writing about psychiatry:

    "".... treads a familiar path in his critique of the influence of the multinational pharmaceutical companies on the structure and practice of psychiatry. If you aren't familiar with the fact that almost all drug trials are funded by those who stand to profit from their success then … well, you jolly well should be. You should also be familiar with the extent to which university research departments and learned journals are funded by those who stand to profit – literally – from their presumed objectivity. The money generated by the SSRIs in particular is vast, easily enough to warp the dynamics and the ethics of an entire profession..."
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2...rug-medication

    The same criticisms can be made of academic work in the BSI. That's not to say all academic work (does anyone else here remember when 'academic' meant 'studiously impartial'?) is tainted by the need for university funding geared to political and corporate objectives - but that enough probably is to take the position that some sort of taint ought to be presumed, and unpicked as part of the reading of the paper (or lecture).

    You're all right though, I ought to watch it all before forming any judgements.

    Mike (UK)
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  14. #154
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    The most interesting part of the talk, to me, was his description of the experiment where they inseminated queens with, I think, the semen of 15 drones, 30 drones, and 60 drones. The results were pretty astonishing. [...]

    (For folks who haven't watched the video, the colonies headed by the 30 drone and 60 drone queens were significantly healthier, and maybe smarter-- the pink syrup portion of the experiment.)
    Very interesting, thanks. I wonder how we might take advantage of that understanding?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Mike I will not answer everything you raised, point by point. Too boring.

    But in general terms, in the latter part of your post you explained your rational for thinking drone laying queens and workers are a good thing in the general scheme. I have already considered the theory you presented years ago and discarded it. I was also thinking about this theory at the same time I wrote my previous post that you claim to have refuted. Your theory is not something nobody has thought about before. And your theory certainly does not disprove my previous post. It's another theory that's all, and a rather bad one. There's a difference.

    You ask why I just said no without explanation? And you suggested I am lazy. That was funny, cos you are right. I am too lazy to offer explanation when I know you will not accept it. But just cos I'm a nice guy, I'll give it a shot.

    But first, you demand proof. But, when you made your original assertion in post #146, you didn't offer any proof. So, why do you demand higher standards from others, than yourself?

    I have not dissected all returning drones after a queen mating to examine their entrails, you are correct. But by saying that you may have outsmarted yourself not me, because mated drones do not return to the hive. Surprised an expert such as yourself did not know that LOL. I still find you light on facts.

    However the reasons I have for believing that drones raised in worker cells do not compete successfully with normal drones, is from what I have read, and from personal experience. According to the reading I have done, drones raised in worker cells are viable, and capable of mating. But dissections have found they contain very little and sometimes no sperm. The belief of authors I have read is they are little or no use if you want queens mated. my own experience in this matter is not conclusive, but is certainly consistent with what I have read. Sometimes in winter a queen will go drone layer, and sometimes in a strong hive (our winters are mild), a hive can get filled with literally thousands of worker sized drones. On two occasions when this happened, as an experiment, I have made bees raise queen cells to see if they will mate. But despite the presence of a hive nearby with thousands of these drones, and the drones flying busily on warm days, none of these queens ever mated.
    OK so it's only 2 experiments so not conclusive. But it is consistent with what I've read.

    I have no references to my reading material so call me a liar again if you wish. It's stuff I read over the years probably not even on the net. I do recall Mike Bush discussing it at least once but cannot give you the reference for that either.

    So you may go ahead and attempt to disprove everything that I said, but it won't bother me, I don't care. I am happy to discuss stuff with the willing, but have no interest in trying to convert anyone who refuses to accept anything I say. What you accept or don't accept is entirely over to you, and is not my problem. Refute away.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 08-04-2013 at 06:47 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I was also thinking about this theory at the same time I wrote my previous post that you claim to have refuted. Your theory is not something nobody has thought about before.
    A major part of bringing it up is to try to discover whether anyone has considered it before. Especially in a scientific fashoin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    And your theory certainly does not disprove my previous post.
    It does undermine your rationale for dismissing it.

    I'm not looking to proove anything by the way. I'm trying discover what the evidence is for certain beliefs, in order to be able to base my reasoning on that evidence. And I haven't asked you for proof. I've asked for evidence that supports your opinion. Evidence that might - and might not - convert that opinion to some sort of firmer knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    You ask why I just said no without explanation? And you suggested I am lazy.
    I'm not sure I did. I did try to point out that giving good reasons is a lot harder than just throwing assertions and opinions about. But infinitely more constructive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    But first, you demand proof.
    Evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    But, when you made your original assertion in post #146, you didn't offer any proof. So, why do you demand higher standards from others, than yourself?
    I didn't make any ungrounded claims, and was clear that what I suggested was speculative. And I gave a detailed rationale.

    If you want to _show_ that the rationale is flawed, either through poor reasoning, flawed premises, or counter-examples, or any other (valid) way, go ahead. You haven't done that yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I have not dissected all returning drones after a queen mating to examine their entrails, you are correct. But by saying that you may have outsmarted yourself not me, because mated drones do not return to the hive. Surprised an expert such as yourself did not know that LOL.
    What I said was:

    "You could well be right, but my question to you is: how do you know that? What evidence can you offer? Do you analyse the drone's entrails on the return of the queen?"

    Rather shot yourself in the foot there didn't you .

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    However the reasons I have for believing that drones raised in worker cells do not compete successfully with normal drones, is from what I have read, and from personal experience. According to the reading I have done, drones raised in worker cells are viable, and capable of mating. But dissections have found they contain very little and sometimes no sperm.
    That is very interesting, thank you. Is there any chance you might direct me to the reading?

    Note, that doesn't impact on my speculations about failing queens...

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The belief of authors I have read is they are little or no use if you want queens mated. my own experience in this matter is not conclusive, but is certainly consistent with what I have read. Sometimes in winter a queen will go drone layer, and sometimes in a strong hive (our winters are mild), a hive can get filled with literally thousands of worker sized drones. On two occasions when this happened, as an experiment, I have made bees raise queen cells to see if they will mate. But despite the presence of a hive nearby with thousands of these drones, and the drones flying busily on warm days, none of these queens ever mated. OK so it's only 2 experiments so not conclusive. But it is consistent with what I've read.
    Again, interesting, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I have no references to my reading material so call me a liar again if you wish. It's stuff I read over the years probably not even on the net. I do recall Mike Bush discussing it at least once but cannot give you the reference for that either.
    Asking somebody for the reasons for their beliefs doesn't amount to calling them a liar.

    So, if we accept your position, the laying-worker thesis is in doubt. That still leaves the (stronger) failing queen thesis in play, doesn't it?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Well there you go. As I said would happen, you have not accepted anything I said. Which is why to you, I'm lazy. I'll waste some time on a likely pointless execise, but not endless amounts of time. Especially when getting something across to you matters not.

    This though is an aspersion on my character

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Asking somebody for the reasons for their beliefs doesn't amount to calling them a liar.
    Of course it doesn't I was obviously not referring to that. I was referring to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Solomon says there are plenty of reasons for naysayers to talk up failures. And when people get cagy about their stories, that does, inevitably, create the suspician that all is not what it seems to be.
    That statement does certainly raise the finger of suspicion that I have been dishonest. But even more transparent is that altyhough (not quoted, you brought it up and made the implications, you also tried to make it seem it wasn't you making accusations, it was Solomon. What a hoot!

    For the record, I was not being "cagey with my stories". I just didn't feel like spending endless time writing a report for you, in view of the arrogant, superior, and disparaging manner you asked for it, and when frankly, it has already become obvious that anything you had to say on it would be more of the same. IE, your pet theories, as I have previously explained. We are different personalities, you like theories, I like facts. As I already know all your theories, and you have nothing else, I cannot gain anything from you in this way and I won't be taking the time to write you a report. Don't like that? Not my problem.

    What is particularly weird with this, is that your dishonesty claims, if anyone wants to look up the thread, were because I had discussed the failure of 100% of my treatment free hives. As if you considered this could not possibly be true.
    But then a few posts ago you discussed your own prospects of success and said that you are not totally certain you will succeed. Having said that, it is hypocritical when I say I did not succeed, to accuse me of not being honest. One standard for you, one for me.

    The rest of your post, tempting to comment but no, you carry on believing it.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 08-04-2013 at 09:17 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    I've come across the the theory that a laying worker hive is a last-ditch attempt to pass along its genes, in that the drones produced from laying workers pass along their patrilineal genetics. This to me presents no contradictions with evolutionary strategy, in that most often a hive goes queenless not because of any genetic weakness, but because a bird ate the queen on her mating flight. A big strong laying worker hive would produce many more drones than a weak sick hive, so the better genes would tend to dominate.

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    That's what Mike has just been trying to say for the last few posts, did you read them?

    This is the problem with having a theory and working things out by logic (ones own of course), but being light on facts.

    While it is a tidy little theory that a doomed drone only hive is trying top pass on it's genetics, the reality is that a hive with failed queen and drones in worker cells is actually an aberration brought about through a failure of some kind. IE, the queen was not able to mate properly, or she died prematurely without the bees having a chance to supersede.

    As I've pointed out, all the evidence is that worker sized drones contribute virtually zero to the mating pool. So a hive will contribute the most, by running normally, and contributing a good number of drones throughout the season. Not just a quick spurt of stunted ones while the hive has it's death throws.

    In addition, drone laying workers in EHB are almost invariably brought about by some mistake, or series of mistakes, made by the beekeeper. They rarely occur in the wild when the bees are left to their own devices. They are an aberration, not a breeding strategy. And prior to mites, drone laying queens where a rarity. When I started beekeeping there were no mites and we used no chemicals in the hives. Drone laying queens were such a rarity that my first season in an outfit with 4,000 hives I didn't see one. The next year we had one or two can't remember. Now drone laying queens are so common that even in my small outfit I get several per year. I believe it is brought about by our assault on the bees and their environment with chemicals, it is not natural, nor a breeding strategy, it is an aberration.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #160
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Reading all these theories people are putting together, without backing them on facts, is kind of like science fiction, and I believe there are some members here with good potential as designers of a science fiction scenario for a story.

    In science fiction, entire planets are created with life forms etc all tailored to the planet environment and relationships with each other based on adaptively. I enjoy these type of films, Avatar was a great example. A neatly designed planet ecosystem all fitting together and working within the theories of evolution. Such a place could exist. But that does not mean it does exist. In the pages of theories presented here, all logical of course, there is a lack of facts, in other words, while logical, much is conjecture.

    Such as, this drone theory. Neat theory, but, not the reality.

    Do you guys really want to construct a theoretical world around you partly true partly false? When postulating theories at least take the time to see if it is also the reality. There are pages of theory here without one supporting fact.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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