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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Good post LetMBee. The bond method works in accordance with evolutionary theory. So what cannot survive unaided dies. As per evolutionary theory there have been extinctions, and that's where the bond method can fail, as a method. As in my case, my losses were 100%. Which is quite in accordance with evolutionary theory and what has happened when two alien species encounter each other, historically, more species have become extinct than are currently alive. So it didn't advance my quest to produce a better bee at all. If a person gets some survivors though, he has a chance.

    Even Solomon, after some years of doing the bond method, got wiped down at one time to only two hives. He could just as easily lost everything, like me. It happens.

    Re the AFB thing, there is no evidence that bees are more resistant to it because infested hives have been burned. Those hives would have died anyway if they could not withstand the disease, as has been happening throughout the ages.
    The real thing that got AFB kicked off was the beginning of widespread transportation of bees and equipment last century. AFB then became an epidemic both in my country, and parts of the US. Strong government policy has now brought the disease to small proportions in both countries. Solomon if you think your bees are resistant to it try infecting all your hives with it. The likelihood is that more than 1/2 of them will become symptomatic.

    How do I know that? You would be amazed at the things I have seen, and the people I have met, during my work as an AFB inspector.

    So hey just kidding don't REALLY do that LOL.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 07-30-2013 at 05:30 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #102
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    May 2013
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    Watha, NC
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Dear Friends
    Green Chapel Farms has maintained an experimental hive for 3 years with no internal treatment for mites. We do use beetle traps filled with mineral oil. This spring, we added a second hive. Our answer to Varroa and other bee parasites has been Lavender and Mint plantings in front of the hive. A recent "Sugar Shake" reveled no presence of the Varroa mite. This is not to say that the hive is Varroa free, but the mite has been suppressed to the point that it is not visible or detectable through this testing method. The test was conducted by a Commercial Apiary not affiliated with our study.
    Our goal is self-sustaining hives. While we have not attained this goal yet, this hive is entered only 4 times a year, and is thriving. It has split twice this year, and was honey bound when the mite test was conducted 2 weeks ago.
    We are biologists and horticulturists, not professional beekeepers. This project was undertaken to test a theory about the antiseptic and insecticidal properties of certain plants.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Hey good to hear from you Eyeonyou, I remember chatting with you in your introductory thread some time back and have wondered since what became of you. So pleased it's working out.

    It was also an interesting thread, so here's a link to it
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...747#post932747
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #104
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    ... Our answer to Varroa and other bee parasites has been Lavender and Mint plantings in front of the hive....mite has been suppressed to the point that it is not visible or detectable through this testing method....This project was undertaken to test a theory about the antiseptic and insecticidal properties of certain plants.
    Interesting. How big are the plantings? I must admit, I doubt the connection between the plants and mites, as I have these plants near my hives, (as many people likely do). However, I do wonder about the effects of vast amounts of plants such as lavender, peppermint, and thyme.

    Do the french lavender apiaries have an absence of mites that could be attributed to the plants?

    I did think of this when Tim Ives was touting the effectiveness of triple deeps, but on his facebook page, showed pictures of fields of peppermint, and I wondered if it was having an effect...

    Adam

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ...The bond method works in accordance with evolutionary theory. So what cannot survive unaided dies. As per evolutionary theory there have been extinctions, and that's where the bond method can fail, as a method. As in my case, my losses were 100%...If a person gets some survivors though, he has a chance...
    True, and in this case, we already have honeybees who have gone through this process - with varroa - and come through it successfully, by all accounts again thriving as they did before the mite.

    We have isolated populations in France and Sweden, and then we have apis cerana who have evolved to a place that lives in balance with varroa. So in this case, we already have evidence that our bees can and will find that balance if allowed to do so.

    Adam

  6. #106
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Burning an AFB hive would be akin to the "Accelerated Bond Test" for AFB where the varroa version uses heavily infested frames to infect a hive.
    Not at all. "The Accelerated Bond test", at least as I understand it is let it live or die on its own. Then in the process the hive sits how long before it is cleaned of the pathogen that killed it. In that time who knows how many robbers have come in to allow the pathogen to spread. With the burn test, it ends with the hive, before it dies and has the opportunity to spread pathogens via robbers etc. That is the entire purpose of burning. Do you burn your bond test failures before they die? Don't think so.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-30-2013 at 09:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #107
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    True, and in this case, we already have honeybees who have gone through this process - with varroa - and come through it successfully, by all accounts again thriving as they did before the mite.

    We have isolated populations in France and Sweden, and then we have apis cerana who have evolved to a place that lives in balance with varroa. So in this case, we already have evidence that our bees can and will find that balance if allowed to do so.
    Quite right!

    Just remember though about cerana, since we are running with the theory of evolution, it's pretty likely they and varroa evolved in tandem.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #108
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    So that makes winter losses that much more important an indicator in the ability to deal with mites.
    How do you determine that mites were the cause of the winter losses if you are not monitoring them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post

    Hives are supposed to eventually die out just like everything else gets old and dies. I say we use this to our benefit and stop trying to manage contrary to nature. It is good to cycle out comb........Hives are not immortal and there's no reason to get worried about one dying.

    I completely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It is good for weak hives to die.
    Depends on why they are weak. Are they weak because the virgin mated poorly due to weather, etc, or because they got into some pesticide... or just plain bad luck in the brood cycle and dearth. To let them all die for unusual circumstance is not good. If you are not monitoring your hives for problems and then determining the reason they died, you may be losing resistant bees to poor circumstance rather than poor genetics or survival skills.

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Quite right!

    Just remember though about cerana, since we are running with the theory of evolution, it's pretty likely they and varroa evolved in tandem.
    The crux of the problem is that we don't really want evolution to be in control. As its solution may not favor our continued existence. We may end up with cape bees that produce no honey, or bees that are so defensive they cannot be managed. Evolution is a crap shoot for us as beekeepers and as humans, and most don't want to take the chance.

    All our treatments or non-treatments with selected genetics are our poor attempts to manage evolution in our favor. Our track record says we will fail.

  10. #110
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Oldtimer:

    I have heard different projected dates as to how long honey bees have been on earth. I have seen 50 - 80 - 100 million years. I dont know how long they have been here, but it is a lot longer than humans. Something tells me this is not the most horrible thing they have dealt with as a species in that vast amount of time. I am thinking that the feral bees around here are already dealing with varroa. I catch swarms consistently year to year in the same locations where there is no active beekeeping.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  11. #111
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Jbeshearse: if you look at how long humans have taken care of honeybees think about how long sugar has been cheaply available and treatments were even invented. There were times when beekeepers had terrible losses, but bees made it and they are still making honey. We are not the first beekeepers in history to be dealing with problems.

    My bees require the use of protective clothing on hive manipulations, but they aren't mean. One more reason to leave them to their work. I have more faith in honeybees than to think that this is the end for them. I guess we will find out, but I have my money on the bees.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  12. #112
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    May 2013
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    Watha, NC
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Dear beesource Friends
    Many changes have taken place since our initial introduction here.
    Our first research summary was published in the Solutions Journal. A copy of the summary can be read at LINK
    Our study in its entirety has not received a warm welcome from the Dept of Agriculture or any of the government agencies to whom it was submitted.

    Adam
    Spanish Lavender is planted directly in front of the hive entrance, so that the bees are forced to fly through it in order to enter the hive. Mints are planted to the left, Right and rear of the hive.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Quite right!

    Just remember though about cerana, since we are running with the theory of evolution, it's pretty likely they and varroa evolved in tandem.
    Quite right, to you too sir. But cerana's (japonica) specialized "tools" for dealing with pests like hornets (as mentioned in post #95) suggest an incredible ability on the part of the honeybee to adapt to overcome predators and parasites. Varroa Destructor will should be no different.

    But will she be as quick to get there with all the "help" people are throwing into the mix?

    Adam

  14. #114
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Addressing the hypothesis of evolution:

    It is the opinion of our research team that queen building (supersedure) may be undertaken by the colony in order to address genetic deficits, Given time and opportunity (a comfortable environment)

    I must say, our control group has taught us much about the survivability of different strains under difficult conditions. The control group is made up of 25 hives of different varieties. Buckfast, Italian and Russian. During the past 3 years of this trial, all varieties in the control group have suffered winter and early spring losses except for the Buckfast, with the Italians suffering the greatest losses.

    A Buckfast Colony from the control group were our genetic predecessors.

  15. #115
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    ...During the past 3 years of this trial, all varieties in the control group have suffered winter and early spring losses except for the Buckfast...
    Interesting.

    I brought in 5 Buckfast queens from Bill Ferguson last year, and two remain. So far, they are not stand-outs in any way. I realize, of course that it is a small sample, and the genetically diverse background of the Buckfast bee is desirable in principal, provided they are obtained from a quality breeder.

    From what I gather, the Buckfast is not the Buckfast Brother Adam created, but if one can trace the stock back to his apiary, at least there's a heritage.

    Adam

  16. #116
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Depends on why they are weak. Are they weak because the virgin mated poorly due to weather, etc, or because they got into some pesticide... or just plain bad luck in the brood cycle and dearth. To let them all die for unusual circumstance is not good. If you are not monitoring your hives for problems and then determining the reason they died, you may be losing resistant bees to poor circumstance rather than poor genetics or survival skills.
    I think its unlikely that the beekeeper is in a better position than nature to make that judgement. Keeping stock alive against nature, and then putting it to the breeding pool is asking for trouble, and runs counter to the essential process of population husbandry.

    If its ill, send it to market while it still has a value. Put only best to best. In an open mating population this is still more important. Interfering with nature's process by preserving weakness amounts to genetic poisoning of the local breeding pool.

    Staying alive and thriving is a complex business for bees, and they need to fine tune their own mechanisms. Interfering with their health prevents that happening, period.

    As a treament free beekeeper you have to focus on the health of the breeding pool, not the health of the individual. That's pet keeping.

    With that said, I agree that having some bees is to be in a better position than having no bees. I think the solution must always be to make many more bees, so that you can let the dice roll with a better change of ending the game with some bees. With that priority, perhaps a good question for a new thread might focus on rapid increase without creating false readings for selection. What do others think?

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

  17. #117
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    But will she be as quick to get there with all the "help" people are throwing into the mix?Adam
    Survival of mite infested (Varroa destructor) honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in a Nordic climate*, Ingemar Friesa, Anton Imdorfb, Peter Rosenkrantzc

    http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?...6/05/m6039.pdf

    "Our results allow us to conclude that the problems facing the apicultural industry with mite infestations is probably linked to the apicultural system, where beekeepers remove the selective pressure induced from the parasitism by removing mites through control efforts."

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

  18. #118
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    I read your research summary, an interesting read. I think I may know one reason why it was not "warmly received", which would be the recommendation that commercial beekeepers keep their hives 200 feet apart from each other. As the recipient would know this can not happen, there is no need in their mind, to investigate further.
    Having said that, I agree that having hives 200 feet apart would be a good thing from the bees point of view in several ways. Just, it cannot be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    The control group is made up of 25 hives of different varieties. Buckfast, Italian and Russian. During the past 3 years of this trial, all varieties in the control group have suffered winter and early spring losses except for the Buckfast, with the Italians suffering the greatest losses.
    Did any Italians survive the 3 years? And if so were they pure or hybrid, and if hybrid, do you know what with?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #119
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Having said that, I agree that having hives 200 feet apart would be a good thing from the bees point of view in several ways. Just, it cannot be done.
    Seeley made a similar observation regarding the feral colonies in the Arnott forest. He suggested that the bees hadn't really developed any real resistance, but that the mites had adapted to be not as virulent. He suggested that the longer distances between feral colonies helped with this.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  20. #120
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    Default Re: Treatment Free: It's a path, not a solution

    Zhive9:

    More adaptive bees..... Less virulent varroa... I will take either so long as it means live colonies in the spring. There is a cup half full argument for allowing weak hives to die in the winter. The mites in those hives die too. Therefore it is the end of the genetic line for those varroa. When an untreated hive swarms less virulent varroa most likely tag along. Sounds plausible to me.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

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