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  1. #41
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    However; thinking of yourself as uniquely privleged in some great scheme of being, and that you are thus equipped to act in a priviledged way, or that you have special knowledge, or dispensation to so, is another unique quality of humankind. History shows all too clearly it often conveniently smothers more mundane motivations. Which often leads to great harm.
    IMO our ability to perceive and interpret natural systems IS a privilege. Our intuitive nature is a gift, if we only could use it for the promotion of all living systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I can see what you mean, but would you like to define a 'viable landscape'? Do you mean 'farmable'?...Ah, 'productive'. In your philosophy perhaps 'capable of producing crops competitively without recourse to artificial fertilizer'?...Yes of course. Land can be managed to promote natural habitat.
    I do not believe that 'productive', 'farmable' and 'conservation' are mutually exclusive. I believe that every landscape must be viewed as uniquely capable of it's own potential. A viable landscape is one supporting maximum diverse flora and fauna, not only humans. Incidentally I feel we benefit from bio-diverse systems which do not necessarily include ourselves, as they contribute to the overall natural abundance(such as the case with feral hives). I also believe that modern farming practices and machinery have pushed the boundary on what should ethically be considered 'crop-producing' land.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    And the fact is that keeping unfit individuals alive and breeding from them tend to lead fast to more unfit individuals. More loosely, its a crime against nature and husbandry.
    In fact, my original post I am asking to define the parameters of a prediction about the viability of the hive with symptomatic DWV. Not actually for help on 'saving' it. Although I have taken measures to preserve the hive in it's original state, this is only after considering what management techniques of mine may have inhibited a natural process within the hives.

    Maybe re installing the original queen could be considered 'keeping unfit individuals' but I think that's an overly lofty goal for a yard that is only in it's 3rd year. However, I am strongly considering installing one of her daughter nucs to keep the original queen under a closer eye.

    Also in my previous post I was just trying to suss out if you were one of those abolitionist vegan types... I guess not It seems to me we are debating over a very fine point, which I think is OK. It causes both sides to refine their argument carefully...
    Last edited by Hazel-Rah; 09-14-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    IMO our ability to perceive and interpret natural systems IS a privilege. Our intuitive nature is a gift, if we only could use it for the promotion of all living systems.
    Hazel,

    I appreciate intuition, but I don't trust it like I trust science-based reasoning. And I'm aware that its easy to call believing the convenient 'intuition'. If only... humans hadn't evolved such fantastic mechanisms with which to indulge their selfish behaviour...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    I do not believe that 'productive', 'farmable' and 'conservation' are mutually exclusive. I believe that every landscape must be viewed as uniquely capable of it's own potential.
    You must have seen from my reply that I'm often in agreement with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    A viable landscape is one supporting maximum diverse flora and fauna, not only humans.
    Is that your personal definition of 'viable landscape'? It sounds rather vague to me. Isn't 'sustainable' a better term, where what we want to be sustained can be stated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    Incidentally I feel we benefit from bio-diverse systems which do not necessarily include ourselves, as they contribute to the overall natural abundance(such as the case with feral hives).
    Nothing unusual there. Straightforward natural conservation thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    I also believe that modern farming practices and machinery have pushed the boundary on what should ethically be considered 'crop-producing' land.
    A conversation about terms would be a pre-requisite of further discussion. Don't get me started on modern systems of farming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    In fact, my original post I am asking to define the parameters of a prediction about the viability of the hive with symptomatic DWV. Not actually for help on 'saving' it. Although I have taken measures to preserve the hive in it's original state, this is only after considering what management techniques of mine may have inhibited a natural process within the hives.
    I was responding to, I think JW's advice to save it for genetic reasons. Your rationale is, as I've pointed out, built on certain assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    Maybe re installing the original queen could be considered 'keeping unfit individuals' but I think that's an overly lofty goal for a yard that is only in it's 3rd year. However, I am strongly considering installing one of her daughter nucs to keep the original queen under a closer eye.
    Why not give her proper test conditions next year? And try to do the same with all your hives? If you don't do that you'll never know which are more and less resistant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    It seems to me we are debating over a very fine point, which I think is OK. It causes both sides to refine their argument carefully...
    If the point is the importance of selection toward resistance against varroa, then it isn't 'fine', its the single most important factor in tf beekeeping.

    I'm glad we both appreciate the merits of constructive argument... Part of what's driving me to ask you to rely on more than 'intuition' is several years of experience of 'arguing' with beekeepers who just can't or don't want to see the case for systematic resistance raising, and perform miracles of 'reasoning' to find escapes in the simple logic of proper husbandry.

    Tell me about your system for raising resistance.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 09-15-2013 at 06:18 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  3. #43
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Here's my two cents.

    If you're seeing DWV crawlers in front of your hives in any significant number, then they just don't make the resistance cut no matter how low the mite count, or how hygienic they test out to be.

    I think that hybrid vigor is the way to go.

    The current thinking with weak hives is to re-queen/split them. If you are in an area with a significant resistant feral population, then that's the most likely source of resistance genetics for your hives.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    OK - I haven't abandoned this thread or forum. There isn't however, anything groundbreaking to report on the hive in question. I eventually requeened with a lady I produced this summer out of a mating nuc and moved the older 'tainted' queen to a nuc. As of a month ago (the last time there was flight weather - and I have been gone), without inspection it seemed as though both hives were active and queen-right. As for my 'resistance selection' criteria, I can only say that aside from being (relatively-depending on who you ask) treatment-free, I also want to bear out some of the observations I'm making. Manipulating hive behavior to learn more about what makes them tick and what are influential factors in vigor, maybe this seems counter-intuitive. As a more-or-less novice of 5 years, I still like to manipulate to learn... what DOES happen when you have symptomatic DWV and you requeen? What happens to the old queen? Will she survive the winter? Not? Will she quickly become symptomatic again? etc, etc... I'm sure the argument could be made that non-intervention can be equally or more so enlightening...

  5. #45
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    As for my 'resistance selection' criteria, I can only say that aside from being (relatively-depending on who you ask) treatment-free...
    Hazel,

    There is plenty of scope for confusion and more in that 'relatively'. In my view t/f beekeeping is beekeeping without any treatments or manipulations that would skew or undermine the development of genetically derived mite tolerance and general health and vigour. Just a 'tiny bit of' xyz can easily fix an immediate problem, at the cost utterly sabotaging the long term aim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    ... I also want to bear out some of the observations I'm making. Manipulating hive behavior to learn more about what makes them tick and what are influential factors in vigor, maybe this seems counter-intuitive. As a more-or-less novice of 5 years, I still like to manipulate to learn... what DOES happen when you have symptomatic DWV and you requeen? What happens to the old queen? Will she survive the winter? Not? Will she quickly become symptomatic again? etc, etc... I'm sure the argument could be made that non-intervention can be equally or more so enlightening...
    Experimenting is great, but the more scientifically it is done the more enlightening the results. That means things like just altering one factor at a time, replicating experiments to see if what happened once happens reliably, and putting a great deal of thought into how your experiements might be misleading you. Often in complex systems (like bee colonies/their interacting life forms) it is simply impossible to get a satisfactory experimental result - one that can tell you something pretty much for sure. You might think you've learned something - but that isn't necessarily the case.

    You _can be sure_ that the healthiest, most vigourous and productive bees around are, in a t/f system, the ones that will have the greatest likelihood of giving you more vigourous and productive bees.

    Anything you can do to keep the less healthy/vigourous/productive out of the breeding pool is therefore a good move. I'm not sure you can do anything more than that.

    My focus next year will be to work toward more or less standardised hives - that is, hives in which any performance differences can be thought to be effectively only due to the genetic dispositions of their occupants. So I'll be able to compare same age/same history colonies. That's setting the stage for a more strongly scientific approach to evaluation for selection purposes.

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

  6. #46
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    I have seen this in many idealistic circles of people, who focus increasingly on feel good theory and argue with each other in ever tightening circles of I'm right theoretical minutia.

    I'd say, go work for a commercial beekeeper for a year. Reality will open whole new horizons for you.

    You, does not mean all of you. Just the argumentative ones bound in fuzzy woolly correctness.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #47
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Well jeez, it's hard to say how that comment is directed but of course I feel compelled to take to defensive... Personally, I have no interest in working for a 'commercial' beekeeping outfit. I've worked for beekeepers and I've worked in commercial agriculture, and commercial ag is commercial ag. Doesn't matter if we're talking about combining soybeans or breeding heifers or pollinating almonds. Ultimately, market drives practices - period.

    Of course none of this has to do with the viability of a 3 year old queen with symptomatic DWV crawlers. Oldtimer, I realize that TF may not be practical in your geographic locale but for others it is. And it is important that those people continue with their non-commercial ideals. In my experience, it's the farmers who have values and priorities that diverge from commercial market driven practices that actually make progress in supporting biological functions of their livestock and soil.

    Of course if what you were really trying to say, is that - I shouldn't be nit-picked over my choice to requeen one hive then... YAY!!

  8. #48
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Yes that was one of the things I was trying to say, I did feel you had been nit picked.

    But as to my stance on TF, I support it. That I suggest people experience a commercial environment is merely to get people away from theories that are not based on reality, towards theories that are based on reality. TF, and commercial, are no longer totally incompatable, there are TF beekeepers making a living out of it, and commercial beekeepers using less treatment.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #49
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    " TF, and commercial, are no longer totally incompatable, there are TF beekeepers making a living out of it, and commercial beekeepers using less treatment."

    Who are you, and what have you done with Oldtimer, you imposter?

  10. #50
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    not everybody is either/or. ot is both/and.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #51
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Ha Ha, nice one Squarepeg, and even WLC has quite a wit (sometimes well hidden)
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    He's 'both/and' alright.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Sorry OT, I stand aside from my attitude... I guess I usually feel the same way about people who have strong opinions about how to 'farm' because they hand-garden their back yard.

  14. #54
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    OK, so the next thing I'm thinking is... Where does queen breeding fit into this manipulation scheme? For example, this very hive that I re-queened was with a daughter I raised earlier this summer. Based on the fact that it was a thriving, productive hive without treatments and just happened to be my oldest stock. If I were to maintain this yard for several more years, maybe it would turn out hat some other line is more productive and hardy, but this is what I'm working with now.

    So isn't the very act of selecting a queen for breeding, an act of manipulation that alters the 'natural' genetic flow? After all, those qualities of vitality and productivity are subjective and unique to their locations and role. I kinda reject the idea that my intuitive, albeit not scientific, choices about genetics in my yard are inherently detrimental to the progress of resistance. While I might not always make the MOST progressive choice or manipulation, as long as what I am striving for is identifying hardiness variables, then I am on my way.

  15. #55

    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    I agree, 100%, its good to hear/read a real professional.

    (I have worked for Alan Murray in New Zealand. He had three times more hives than the biggest beekeeper in Finland in that time, 1986. It was a turning point and a real eye opener for me.)

  16. #56

    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I have seen this in many idealistic circles of people, who focus increasingly on feel good theory and argue with each other in ever tightening circles of I'm right theoretical minutia.

    I'd say, go work for a commercial beekeeper for a year. Reality will open whole new horizons for you.

    You, does not mean all of you. Just the argumentative ones bound in fuzzy woolly correctness.
    I agree, 100%, its good to hear/read a real professional.

    (I have worked for Alan Murray in New Zealand. He had three times more hives than the biggest beekeeper in Finland in that time, 1986. It was a turning point and a real eye opener for me.)

  17. #57
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    OK, so the next thing I'm thinking is... Where does queen breeding fit into this manipulation scheme? For example, this very hive that I re-queened was with a daughter I raised earlier this summer. Based on the fact that it was a thriving, productive hive without treatments and just happened to be my oldest stock. If I were to maintain this yard for several more years, maybe it would turn out hat some other line is more productive and hardy, but this is what I'm working with now.

    So isn't the very act of selecting a queen for breeding, an act of manipulation that alters the 'natural' genetic flow?
    Yes. 'Natural' means 'what happens without interference or input from humans. Period.

    In a tf environment its a positive choice for mite resistance, as well as broad suitability for both the locality and your objectives as a beekeeper.

    'Natural' has a specific narrow technical and scientific meaning. Its also so widely abused that that intention is often lost. Its well worth thinking through what natural entails, why what you are doing is un-natural, how and why that might be damaging, how to make it less damaging.. and so on. What you want is stock that can thrive without you. So don't do anything that tends to make them dependent on you.

    A classic example of this sort of muddled thinking 'I'll treat with natural substances, so that'll be ok' To the extent they work they are as damaging to the future genetic health of a population as the worst sythnetic chemical imaginable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    After all, those qualities of vitality and productivity are subjective...
    No they're not. That's precisely the point. They are objective measures, and as such the best possibly indicators to follow. Get this straight Hazel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    ... and unique to their locations and role.
    Yes, although much is tranferable to other locations and roles. And 'so what?' anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    I kinda reject the idea that my intuitive, albeit not scientific, choices about genetics in my yard are inherently detrimental to the progress of resistance.
    Anyone with a belief in their own ability to make decisions based on intincts will feel the same way. I do. At the same time I know that objective measures, strict reasoning, deliberate setting out of measurable experimental processes is in most cases is a far stronger guide to what might happen. That's why the scientists are winning all the arguments.

    I'll consider my intuitions, and balance them against what I can discover through observation and reasoning. There's a role for instinct - but its not often that will be the final arbitor. It facilitates creativity - in scientic thinking as much as anywhere - is critical to the process. Then you have to go for empirical testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    While I might not always make the MOST progressive choice or manipulation, as long as what I am striving for is identifying hardiness variables, then I am on my way.
    Only in as much as you achieve it. Good intentions alone are insufficient. Unless you really can intuit outcomes. If you can, go into the futures market and use the vast proceeds to make the world a better place

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

  18. #58
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    Default Re: DWV, Mites and Hygienic Behavior

    How's all this working for you Mike? How are the bees?
    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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