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  1. #401
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    The forum doesn't need to change based on a different view. Nothing that's being defined in here is wrong. It's just different.
    If anyone thinks that brood breaks (alone) are a sustainable system contributing to the aim of allowing resistance to develop, they're wrong. It isn't a question of belief, but of fact.

    That's what I want clear.

    I have to say, I thought that was a common aim here. Its useful to find I was wrong.

    Mike
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 03:33 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  2. #402
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I forget what this logical fallacy is called, but the gist is that you are presenting two conditions as if they were the only possible outcomes. This is not the case.
    Ray,

    The fallacy of the excluded middle.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Do you do anything to prevent swarming?
    I work hard to ensure there is always storage space, and leave spare hives and bait boxes around. That seems to overcome most swarming drawbacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    The way I look at it, swarming (and the resulting brood break) is a natural behavior that is inconvenient for the beekeeper, if uncontrolled.
    I can understand that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I see nothing unnatural about redirecting this behavior...
    Just to be clear: anything you do is unnatural. By definition. Nature is what happens when you do nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    ... into a situation that accomplishes exactly what the bees want (a new colony and a brood break) at a time when that new colony can be secured conveniently by the beekeeper, and at a time when the effect of the brood break will be most advantageous to the colony.
    See my last post but two. There is a huge difference between the effect on this colony and the effect on the local breeding pool - into the future. (That you can make such a huge difference shows just how unnatural that act is.)

    This really does come down to the question: am I in the business of raising resistance in my local population (including my apiary) or not? (If there's a middle way there its about the time taken, I can't see any other)

    If the answer is yes; then you must always act to encourage that, and never act to destroy it. And that, I'm afraid, is what treating, and effective manipulations do.

    If the answer is no then you have to live with the knowledge that you are killing off the feral bees nearby. And you will have to continue with brood breaks forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Furthermore, I find it difficult to imagine a scenario in which bees will evolve to swarm whenever it's necessary for a brood break.
    You are misunderstanding. Some feral bees have adapted to varroa by shutting down for a month or so in the summer. They have engineered a brood break without swarming. This is an effective aid to mite management, which will be being used in conjunction with other behaviours. That's all to the good - these bees can return to the good life in the wild, as seen pre-varroa.

    So you see Ray, what you write next is born of a misconception of the picture. Natural breaks are enabling bees to thrive (alone) without having to swarm too often.

    We want to, if not encourage, at least not undermine this - and all other mite-management behaviours.

    The problem is, some of our acts completely undermine the process of adaptation. We should be doing our best to support it, doing our best not to undermine it.

    So its important to know which category our acts are in.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 03:09 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  3. #403
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    Is that not an act?
    As recently (immediately above) outlined, I'm trying to make plain which acts encourage adaptation to varroa, and which acts undermine the process.

    I want our categories of useful and non-useful acts to coincide with that aim.

    Adaptation is a natural process. We need to know which acts aid that process, which hinder it, and how much.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    How can one practice animal husbandry while not intervening by acting. Again, is artificially selecting particular traits not an act?
    See post #366
    Yes. As I said, forget the 'purist' nonsense. I act, again and again. Yes, that is entirely unnatural.

    But my acts are (pace Ruttner) based on a good understanding of how nature works viz. Natural Selection for the Fittest Strains.

    I work hard to ensure that the effect of my acts is to aid, and not hinder, the natural development that is happening around me, the adaptation to varroa. I don't want to act in ways that hinder it, and especially don't want to act in ways that are destructive of it.

    That is the foundation for me. I'm sorry, I'd wrongly assumed that everyone knew this - and everyone shared that aim. I thought that we were trying to fix the same problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    I hope I am asking these questions in the context of the statements you have made, considering the citations I have provided here.
    Apart from thinking I advocate no acting, you're doing fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    Another point that has not been touched on here is that the pest of discussion was brought here by humans (unnatural emigration)out of an area where bees are already resistant......naturally resistant at that. One could argue that in order to fight the unnatural emigration of a pest, one would then have to take unnatural measures to do so. Wait a minute......this is what you have been doing all along by ARTIFICIALLY selecting for traits! It's not complicated, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
    Exactly! Its simple as abc. Whatever made you think I was ashamed of it?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 03:10 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  4. #404
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Beekeeping doesn't have to be like that. With healthy bees you can lay back in your reclining armchair and rest your back while the bees do the work. You collect honey at the end of the year. Its an art.

    Mike (UK)
    LOL that's funny. Words that could only be spoken by someone who never has earned his living from his bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #405
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    LOL that's funny. Words that could only be spoken by someone who never has earned his living from his bees.
    I asked for that!

    I spent all day yesterday making more ekes, cutting up fondant and putting it, and the same this morning.

    You can see what I was getting at though.

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

  6. #406
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I asked for that!

    I spent all day yesterday making more ekes, cutting up fondant and putting it, and the same this morning.

    You can see what I was getting at though.

    Mike
    Fondant? By feeding bees, how are you not encouraging the selection of bees that need feeding?
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  7. #407
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Fondant? By feeding bees, how are you not encouraging the selection of bees that need feeding?
    I'm expanding a small apiary as fast as I can Ray - most of those I have are last year's, many are small nucs, a few tiny clusters - mostly due to being made late, and likely being robbed through the autumn. Most had to make their own comb from starter strip.

    I didn't get enough syrup in them to see them through what has been a stores-sappingly mild/record wet (damp) winter. They're light. I want them next year to make more colonies - not necessarily as parents, though in some cases they may make fine parents - but the more bees I have the more I can make - from the best of course.

    In most cases its likely there's nothing wrong with them, they were just made too late to build to an overwintering state.

    They'll be judged when data is available later, and some will be requeened.

    What would you do in my position?

    What drawbacks to my aims do you think are incurred by what I'm doing?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 10:49 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  8. #408
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I guess that means practical reality trumps philosophy!
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  9. #409
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    I guess that means practical reality trumps philosophy!
    Not in the least. Not in the slightest bit.

    Maybe you haven't read my response to Ray yet.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  10. #410
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    You mean the one (post #407) that you edited 13 minutes after it was posted? Edited after my comment in #408 posted?


    Of course I read it!




    UPDATE:
    The timestamps on the posts (and edits) above tell the true story.

    For those wondering what the fuss is all about, post #407 originally included a comment to the effect that Mike fed fondant because of time constraints. Nothing wrong with that from my perspective, but apparently he later decided he didn't like the way that sounded.

    The ability to edit posts is a valuable tool, and I use it myself, as you can see in this [edited] post. But those who read the original version still saw what was originally posted, and are entitled to respond to the original post. Thats just the way it is.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-10-2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason: add update
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  11. #411
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    You mean the one (post #407) that you edited 13 minutes after it was posted? Edited after my comment in #408 posted?
    During, actually. I haven't edited it since opening yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Of course I read it!
    Yet you still fail to comprehend that keeping all (likely perfectly good) colonies alive in order to have lots of bees from which to raise (selected) new colonies doesn't in the least compromise the aim of developing resistance?

    Why doesn't that surprise me?

    Mike (UK)

    PS: wait a minute, I do know why it is! Its because you have a half-baked idea of what my 'philosophy' is.

    You're not alone Graham. All I can suggest is you read through my recent replies on this thread carefully. Try to find those parts that really set down the foundations - they're clearly flagged. I've made some of the more important points several times lately, during this discussion about artificial brood break. Build up the picture.

    If you're not absolutely certain you have a good understanding of natural selection for the fittest strains, now would be a good time to do some homework. I don't mean 'yeah yeah, I've heard of it' - I mean: 'Yes, I get it, its wonderful, beautiful!'

    Be straight on what 'natural' means. Its all those things that happen without human touch. Anything else comes under 'artifice' - 'artificial', 'art'!

    You need to be straight on these things to follow the reasoning though my 'philosophy' as you call it. If you're not, it will seem bonkers I'm sure.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 11:32 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  12. #412
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    In most cases its likely there's nothing wrong with them, they were just made too late to build to an overwintering state.

    What would you do in my position?

    What drawbacks to my aims do you think are incurred by what I'm doing?

    Mike (UK)

    interesting, and in way demonstrating a point that i was making to you earlier in the thread mike.

    i also had a few of my late splits end up short on stores and with small clusters. what spare combs of honey i had on hand i donated to them, (part of my tf approach includes an all natural diet), but some went on to fail.

    my rationale for winnowing them was that they were given every opportunity to establish as their cohorts, (most of which are in great shape), but failed to do so for whatever reason. perhaps they weren't productive enough (less hording of stores), or perhaps they weren't defensive enough (robbing), or perhaps they weren't dealing with the mites as effectively, or perhaps they had less natural resistance to pathogens, or perhaps it was a combination of the above.

    my approach to husbandry is to cull all colonies that don't stand up to their cohorts. i want bees that get the job done, no excuses.

    i tend to agree with ray that if one is going to tout all natural and minimal intervention, then one shouldn't prop up any colony that is failing to get the job done when the others around it are. why not select for any and all survival traits in addition to varroa resistance?

    now if all or most of your splits were weak secondary to beekeeper error, (split too late), or bad weather, (lack of a fall flow), then it might make sense to salvage your work, and no one could fault you for that.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #413
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    > If you're not, it will seem bonkers I'm sure.

    No argument from me.





    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  14. #414
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Y
    The ability to edit posts is a valuable tool, and I use it myself, as you can see in this [edited] post. But those who read the original version still saw what was originally posted, and are entitled to respond to the original post. Thats just the way it is.
    I do it as a save feature in long winded posts. Or I use outlook first then cut and paste. But, I edit after reading becasue of spelling or syntax or cold feet about the position I took when I was enthusiastically posting.

  15. #415
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Yet you still fail to comprehend that keeping all (likely perfectly good) colonies alive in order to have lots of bees from which to raise (selected) new colonies doesn't in the least compromise the aim of developing resistance?

    Why doesn't that surprise me?

    Mike (UK)

    PS: wait a minute, I do know why it is! Its because you have a half-baked idea of what my 'philosophy' is.
    This is where, as an ex commercial beekeeper I sometimes feel misunderstood. It is also where certain practical beekeeping issues diverge, or, maybe they converge.

    A philosophy has been presented of do not feed, the bees must adapt to local flow patterns. Do not interfere. Never help a wild animal. Etc Etc.. All fine in theory.

    But the practical reality Mike has found, is that he can further his aims faster, by feeding. Ie, keeping alive hives that would not otherwise have made it due to beekeeper practises. However, exactly the same logic could be applied to using a brood break. Or if this philosophy was taken to extreme, even chemical treating a hive that wound up in trouble due to beekeeper practises, could be justified.

    So Radar's statement was correct, even in a small operation like Mikes, he has already made a decision that in this instance at least, practical reality trumps philosophy, he'll feed. Nothing wrong with that, it is after all, practical reality. But upscale the operation, and need for financial sustainability, and see where this goes.

    A commercial beekeeper is staring in the face stark practical reality day to day. His bees are no different to other farm animals, they are manipulated by the beekeeper to perform certain tasks and meet certain goals and if they don't he is out of business. These goals, tasks, and location where the bees are, could be different every season.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #416
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I
    What would you do in my position?

    What drawbacks to my aims do you think are incurred by what I'm doing?

    Mike (UK)
    Probably the same thing, though I think syrup is not good for bee health, so I have not fed, other than a few days when installing a nuc. It should be obvious that sugar syrup is not the diet on which bees evolved.

    What is wrong is that you say brood breaks to get bees over the hump are wrong, but feeding to get them over the hump is okay. This is an inconsistent position, it seems to me. You've said that bees that do not live without beekeeper intervention are better dead, I believe. You seem to be making an exception for yourself here.

    If you do not feed and the bees die, then perhaps you should have split the hives during a time when it was more favorable for the new colonies to build up. For the most past, that's what wild bees would do-- they swarm when the parent hive has enough surplus. Furthermore, you have criticized the brood breaks attendant upon making increase as some sort of artificial manipulation that does not put selective pressure on the bees to survive on their own.

    You are using exactly the same rationale for feeding bees as the rationale used by those who do other things to ensure their bees' survival-- necessity.

    You say, "Most likely there is nothing wrong with them..." but you cannot know that. You don't really know if, by feeding, you are propping up inferior stock. If you are true to the ideals you have proclaimed here, you should not be making increase when survival is iffy. By doing so, you risk contaminating your gene pool with stock that does not measure up, because you are not in a position to evaluate the stock under fair conditions.

    An inability to make adequate stores for your climate is just as fatal a weakness as a lack of resistance to pests and disease.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  17. #417
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I too tried to post and it wouldn't print, so again I will just offer this tid bit....have you tried HopGuard treatment? It is made from the hops plant, and so far so good the times I have used it. There are several threads to read up on it the pro and cons. It is chemical free from what I have read. Good luck!

  18. #418
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    The European Honey Bee has been adopted by other nations, but it is not natural to those diverse environments. It stands to reason that some form of husbandry is necessary in order to manage a sustainable apiary. The beekeeper can choose the chemical route, manipulations (eg brood breaks), or invest time in trying to develop a resistant stock.
    It seems to me that the first method best suits the commercial beekeeper because of the economies of scale; The second method suits the hobbyist/sideliner for whom time is less of a concern; The last method hmmm Well I don't know. I can't deny the appeal of it, but the costs seem prohibitive and the outcome uncertain.
    The first two methods can be replicated, because they don't rely on everyone else doing the same. By that I mean if I rely on chemicals I won't affect the guy who relies on brood breaks and vice-versa. However, if i rely on selection and breeding a unique strain of bees that can withstand varroa my efforts will be affected by the pool of bees who are not mine.

  19. #419
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Wonder how many colonies and years it would take to breed really resistant bees. I talked to Kent Williams in KY... I believe he took a 50%+ lose on his commercial operation for 4-6 years before he started to get some resistance/survivors...

    I'm not sure what he does these days, it's been 3-4 years since I talked to him about it.. It would definitely hurt my feelings to be losing hundreds of hives every year with no discernible reason.

    I get pissed at my 10 or so losses from operator error... LOL!
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  20. #420
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    ~ Snark deleted on second thought ~
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 01-10-2014 at 04:12 PM.

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