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  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    I hear the "bond" method touted around but it is SO overly simplistic. All the "Method" is natural selection with no modifying factors --sure you can breed bees from ones that lived from last year ad infinitum, but that doesn't get to the matter at hand which is why they survived-maybe they had more food stores, maybe the queen was a young queen and there was a break in laying to slow down the mites, maybe the winter wasn't so bad etc. Left to nature alone evolution of any measurable sort takes many thousands of years
    This is a misapprehension. Evolution works on every time scale. Specific to this issue, it works continuously in each generation through sexual recombination, allowing the 'best fitted' genes in every generation to make the bulk of the next.

    By that method natural selection constantly updates, and retunes each population to its environment.

    That basic understanding that sits at the foundation of all animal (and plant) husbandry (breeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Unless someone can take such techniques and have a clear MOP method of procedure you really do not know if the stock is really mite risistant or not.
    The colony is more likely to have higher resistance the longer it has been there - so reliable witnesses are helpful. If no information is available it can be regarded as likely better resistant than any bought package or treating apiary swarm, on this basis: package bees and apiary swarms - especially commercial apairy swarms are likely to be as low in resistance as it is possible to get.

    That's the outcome of systematic treating.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    That combined with dealing with only small numbers of hives does not take into account other abnomalities/ reasons for survival including those outlined above.
    It doesn't matter what the reason for survival is - if you have 'survivor' bees you have first class stock for beginning a breeding program. They wouldn't be surviving if they weren't mite resistant to a valuable degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    I would be interested to read about anyone doing larger scale studies out there
    You could begin by following up the links from the links page on my website, url below.

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

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
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    231

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Thanks for the response but I beg to differ Mike

    I regards to my "misapprehension" regarding evolutionary animal husbandry I would have to say that the methods outlined by most people who favor the treatment free approach come nowhere close to the level of analysis and detailed record keeping done by say horse breeders for instance. You would need to work to find definitive traits that you were looking for say mite resistance--through "TESTING" rather than assuming that they, because they have existed for several years are defacto mite resistant.

    In addition, breeding for specific traits is very common in many animals, look at homing pigeons for instance, but these are being bred to be a certain physical way, rather than to modify their behaviour against a certain recently introduced foe (changing grooming behavior for instance. )

    A colony that has been around for at least 3 years in my book may have some mite resistance as you say but it is silly to assume anything in this business, which is what I was getting at in my initial post. For example "surviving" 3 years with mild winters and small clusters that have small honey reserves is more of a fluke rather than wonderful mite resistant bees, and even if they were resistant as defined by actual data collection, would these be the bees that, in the long run would make a all around good bee--I should think not
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
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    1,355

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    .. the methods outlined by most people who favor the treatment free approach come nowhere close to the level of analysis and detailed record keeping done by say horse breeders for instance.
    Depends which horse breeder you're talking about, and what they want from the offspring.

    If you're breeding zillion dollar racehorses I dare say you make every test in the book. If you're breeding everyday workhorses you'll use your eyes, your judgement, your notebooks.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    You would need to work to find definitive traits that you were looking for say mite resistance--through "TESTING" rather than assuming that they, because they have existed for several years are defacto mite resistant.
    Its not an assumption, just simple logic. How would a colony that thrives for three years among other bees carrying varroa not be mite resistant?

    At the very least it would have better chance of being significantly resistant than any hive that didn't survive and thrive (under non-treatment). That puts it high in the ratings as a breeder.

    If you are in the game of raising resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    In addition, breeding for specific traits is very common in many animals, look at homing pigeons for instance, but these are being bred to be a certain physical way, rather than to modify their behaviour against a certain recently introduced foe (changing grooming behavior for instance. )
    Its precisely the same process: identify those with the desired trait (ability to thrive in an environment containing varroa): breed them.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    A colony that has been around for at least 3 years in my book may have some mite resistance as you say but it is silly to assume anything in this business, which is what I was getting at in my initial post. For example "surviving" 3 years with mild winters and small clusters that have small honey reserves is more of a fluke rather than wonderful mite resistant bees...
    Any colony that thrives for 3 years in a mite infested environment has a significant measure of mite resistance, and is better breeding material than any bees that need treatment - if treatment free beeking is what you're after.

    Here in the TF section that is a given.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    ... and even if they were resistant as defined by actual data collection ...
    The thriving for 3 years is the data collection....

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    ... would these be the bees that, in the long run would make a all around good bee--I should think not
    Again, if treatment free is what you are after, absolutely. Keep bringing in and breeding survivors and/or bred resistant bees; keep selecting those that thrive best unaided - the best producers is a perfectly good measure. (But take care to compare like with like)

    Its very simple. Lots of people are doing it. People have done it for thousands of years. It is how we got our domesticated species. No fancy tests needed. Quite a few hives _are_ needed - unless you have a healthy feral environment.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 09-05-2013 at 01:02 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,021

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    sure you can breed bees from ones that lived from last year ad infinitum,
    Yes, exactly.


    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    I would be interested to read about anyone doing larger scale studies out there
    I would be very interested if someone actually did such a study. However, they all seem to be mired in treatments and mite drops and never actually asking someone who does it how they do it. We don't even need large scale. I'd take any scale.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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