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  1. #1
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    Default Breeding the good mite

    Jumping off from David LaFerney's how long does it take thread; A standard technigue to go treatment free would requeen failing hives with the daughters of hives that are succeeding. If you accept that part of successful TF requires an adapted mite as well as an adapted bee several possiblities open up. Rather than spreading just the queens genes then the mites genes should be spread as well. Should drone frames be taken from successful TF hives and used to innoculate failing hives? I will not comment on methods of removing the resident mites. Even if you go Bond, shouldn't the dying hive be doing the least contamination with viralent mites as possible?

    If you can't find a local TF queen, is a TF drone frame available?

    Buy a TF nuc? Do you consider the hitchhiking mites may be as valuable as the queen?

    Anyone have feedback on their efforts to breed a good mite?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  2. #2
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Jumping off from David LaFerney's how long does it take thread; A standard technigue to go treatment free would requeen failing hives with the daughters of hives that are succeeding. If you accept that part of successful TF requires an adapted mite as well as an adapted bee several possiblities open up. Rather than spreading just the queens genes then the mites genes should be spread as well.
    I agree the mites should be considered as partners of a co-evolving pair. But I don't think its our business to help out - to do so will just breed bees that need us to help out. The bees must manage their own mites, and in my own understanding that's just what happens in uncapping behaviour. Bees leave less fecund females and their young alone - presumably because they can't detect them - while uncapping and killing more fecund females and their offspring. This is effectively breeding less fecund mites - mites that are unable to build large populations rapidly.

    Other behaviours and perhaps specialised chemical/hormonal defences also mess with the ability of mites to reproduce.

    We must remember - this is an ongoing 'arms race'. Anything we do to 'help' will simply make the bees more dependent on our help. That's the opposite of what is wanted.

    Countryman's Rule #1: Never help a wild animal. Honeybees, because they mate openly, come under that rule. To help the individual is to sabatage the population.

    The best thing to do is increase the rapidity of turnover in the host population, giving more chances of effective genetic responses to come out; and to mimic the natural selection process to promote the best ones. Leave the rest to the bees. Meddling will be counterproductive.

    (A possible noteworthy exception: John Kefus' approach of loading up hives with the worst mites he could find, to rapidly sort the strong mite-managers from the rest.)

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    2,539

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    My mite breeding efforts seem to be going great!
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Jackson, MO
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    508

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Anyone have a good recipe for ticks? We need more of them too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I agree the mites should be considered as partners of a co-evolving pair. But I don't think its our business to help out - to do so will just breed bees that need us to help out. The bees must manage their own mites, and in my own understanding that's just what happens in uncapping behaviour. Bees leave less fecund females and their young alone - presumably because they can't detect them - while uncapping and killing more fecund females and their offspring. This is effectively breeding less fecund mites - mites that are unable to build large populations rapidly.

    Other behaviours and perhaps specialised chemical/hormonal defences also mess with the ability of mites to reproduce.

    We must remember - this is an ongoing 'arms race'. Anything we do to 'help' will simply make the bees more dependent on our help. That's the opposite of what is wanted.

    Countryman's Rule #1: Never help a wild animal. Honeybees, because they mate openly, come under that rule. To help the individual is to sabatage the population.

    The best thing to do is increase the rapidity of turnover in the host population, giving more chances of effective genetic responses to come out; and to mimic the natural selection process to promote the best ones. Leave the rest to the bees. Meddling will be counterproductive.

    (A possible noteworthy exception: John Kefus' approach of loading up hives with the worst mites he could find, to rapidly sort the strong mite-managers from the rest.)

    Mike (UK)
    I agree. Mating new queens with heavily infested dronehives is one of the secrets. Beekeepers should not help bees in any ways. Speeding up evolution is acceptable.

    Mites reproduction is relying in inbreeding (mating in the cell with own sons). There is much less evolution going on than with bees. Breeding mites is not efficient.

  6. #6
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Mating new queens with heavily infested dronehives is one of the secrets.
    I'm not sure I understand what you intend here Juhani - could you perhaps elaborate a bit?

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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you intend here Juhani - could you perhaps elaborate a bit?

    Mike (UK)
    Drones are haploid (only one set of chromosomes) and thatīs why all weaker genes show immediately as poor performance. The strongest flyers are the best in generall fitness too. If queens are inseminated, this selection never takes place. When, however, one runs a mating yard and takes there heavily infested dronehives, natures selection takes place. Those drones, which attract mites most, never even hatch. Those drones, which are weakened by mites donīt fly fast enough to catch the queen. The beekeeper get lots of troubles with dronelayers in the years to come, but that can be helped by increasing the number of dronehives in the mating yard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    The generation time of mites is 5 days between single females and males with thousands of selections in each generation in every hive.

    The generation time of bees is 6 months to 3 years with a "randomization" scheme due to multiple fathers yielding a F1 that may bear little relation to the "selected" character of the hive.

    In a co-evolution scenario, all the inertia belongs to the mite due to the generation time advantage. The assumption is that "Bond" selection will breed a hypo-virulent mite driven by bee colony survival.

    A mites primary mode of dispersal is the robbing of collapsed hives. This dispersal mechanism means that mites that successfully kill off hives are the founders of successor lineages. This impact counterweights and exceeds the drivers of the hypo-virulent trend in the current environment.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Oops, I posted in the wrong thread.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    The generation time of mites is 5 days between single females and males with thousands of selections in each generation in every hive.
    When the female mite produces its male mates, the same genes go round and round, there is not much to select. The only evolution happens by mutations, most of them are harmful.

    I remember reading a study of the low genetic variation of mites.
    maybe this: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/11/602
    or this: http://www.apidologie.org/articles/a...206/m0206.html

    In practice, my Bond testing has resulted in a situation where I have up to 5% infestation but no visible symtoms of viruses. In the beginning of my project, wingless bees were a serious problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    782

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    A beekeepers interference in the balance of an imported domesticated insect, with an imported parasite, in an artificial house, in an unnatural concentration, is bad. I keep forgetting that.

    Bees have different traits, all mites are the same. Got it.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    A beekeepers interference in the balance of an imported domesticated insect, with an imported parasite, in an artificial house, in an unnatural concentration, is bad.

    Virtually all of the beekeepers [forefathers] were imported also!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    A beekeepers interference in the balance of an imported domesticated insect, with an imported parasite, in an artificial house, in an unnatural concentration, is bad. I keep forgetting that.
    Just bear in mind: populations adapt. In whatever ways you help, they will come to rely on you for that help. I don't know how many times that needs saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Bees have different traits, all mites are the same. Got it.
    Where did you get that from?

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Drones are haploid (only one set of chromosomes) and thatīs why all weaker genes show immediately as poor performance. The strongest flyers are the best in generall fitness too. If queens are inseminated, this selection never takes place.
    I'm still not making sense of this. As I understand it: all drones from the same hive carry the same genes. Some will be stronger than others (as a result of better feeding, better temperature control) but actually it doesn't matter all that much which of them does the mating - they'll pass on an identical gene package, though a larger one may pass on a larger package I guess.

    I can't see mites choosing individual drone cells to inhabit (some being more attractive than others). There's little difference between them, and in any case, there would be no differential outcome - there's no selection mechanism for genetic outcome here. There would, in theory, be an outcome for the mites - better drone cell selection would give better reproductive outcomes... is that what your driving at? Is there any documented evidence of a mechanism of this sort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    When, however, one runs a mating yard and takes there heavily infested dronehives, natures selection takes place. Those drones, which attract mites most, never even hatch. Those drones, which are weakened by mites donīt fly fast enough to catch the queen.
    I can't think of any circumstances in which I'd want to do that. I don't want any mite-vulnerable bloodlines in my apiary at all, and I'm certainly not going to start importing them - at least not with this rationale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    The beekeeper get lots of troubles with dronelayers in the years to come, but that can be helped by increasing the number of dronehives in the mating yard
    I think you should think this all through again, and next time you post make clear that this is your own speculation. I think its nonsense from beginning to end. But feel free to try to convince me otherwise. You might be onto something, and it doesn't hurt to explore ideas.

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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Just bear in mind: populations adapt. In whatever ways you help, they will come to rely on you for that help. I don't know how many times that needs saying.
    Mike (UK)
    Not sure if "rely on you" is exactly what happens. Now a population may rely on your influence to maintain a certain characteristic as dominant. Allow your influence to disappear for a generation (or a breeding cycle for a time or three) and you can see that influence go directly out the door. Adaptation does not generally happen that quickly even in fruit flies.

    Sometimes species can adapt quickly to outside influences and sometimes it is a long haul for that to occur. But if you want specific traits quickly line breeding is the way to go part way there. Or at least a closed breeding program (you know the drone source as well as queen) or have a island with no feral bees. I would be willing to bet that the Russians bees took a long time to develop the mite resistant characteristics they have. But I would also bet that if you treated Russians with chemicals to "help" control mites they would not lose those traits quickly.

    And while all drones from a queen may (or may not, I have not a clue) the same genetic package, I was just reading here this weekend that up to 60% or so of the drones in a hive can be from other hives. So there is another source of transferring in a different mite genome. While genetic diversity for mites might be low, the influence of one minor gene alteration can be major. Sickle cell is a prime example. Promotes short term adult survival in central Africa.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post

    And while all drones from a queen may (or may not, I have not a clue) the same genetic package,
    Absolutely Not. Queens (like any reproducing organism) produce haploid cells by meiosis. In Meiosis chromosomes pairs and their resident genes are thoroughly mixed, so on average each haploid (unfertilized) egg has 1/2 the grandmothers gene and 1/2 the grandfather's gene. The cells are first divided into 2 diploid daughter cells with crossed over (mixed chromosones). The daughter cells divide into 2 haploid cells (total of four from one queen cell). Each of the 4 haploid cells are different, they must be because their genetic source only had one copy of the blended chromosones that created the haploids.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm still not making sense of this. As I understand it: all drones from the same hive carry the same genes. Some will be stronger than others (as a result of better feeding, better temperature control) but actually it doesn't matter all that much which of them does the mating - they'll pass on an identical gene package, though a larger one may pass on a larger package I guess.

    I can't see mites choosing individual drone cells to inhabit (some being more attractive than others). There's little difference between them, and in any case, there would be no differential outcome - there's no selection mechanism for genetic outcome here. There would, in theory, be an outcome for the mites - better drone cell selection would give better reproductive outcomes... is that what your driving at? Is there any documented evidence of a mechanism of this sort?



    I can't think of any circumstances in which I'd want to do that. I don't want any mite-vulnerable bloodlines in my apiary at all, and I'm certainly not going to start importing them - at least not with this rationale.



    I think you should think this all through again, and next time you post make clear that this is your own speculation. I think its nonsense from beginning to end. But feel free to try to convince me otherwise. You might be onto something, and it doesn't hurt to explore ideas.

    Mike (UK)
    To start with, all drones are not equal. One single drone has sperm cells, which all are the same, but one hive has lots of genetically different drones.
    Learn the basics first, Mike.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Absolutely Not. Queens (like any reproducing organism) produce haploid cells by meiosis. In Meiosis chromosomes pairs and their resident genes are thoroughly mixed, so on average each haploid (unfertilized) egg has 1/2 the grandmothers gene and 1/2 the grandfather's gene. The cells are first divided into 2 diploid daughter cells with crossed over (mixed chromosones). The daughter cells divide into 2 haploid cells (total of four from one queen cell). Each of the 4 haploid cells are different, they must be because their genetic source only had one copy of the blended chromosones that created the haploids.
    Can you give us a source for that position JW?

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Can you give us a source for that position JW?

    Mike
    Start with Wikipedia.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Breeding the good mite

    > I think its nonsense from beginning to end.



    Seems the nonsense might not be where you think it is ...

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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