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  1. #281
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I've never heard of a 'famous diploid lethal drone'. What is that? What does your sentence mean?.... What relevance does this have to - well, the conversation?

    You're dressing up the language to make simple things sound technical. Its as if you're trying to blind us with science?

    Yes, again we know that.... what relevance does it have to your argument that selective propagation and drone (partial) control will never succeed in raising resistance?
    Mike,

    You are characterizing my argument unfairly. I have always argued that directed selection is prudent and profitable. Directed selection requires quantification of traits, saturation and isolation. Directed selection is a long-term, large-scale and professional endeavor.

    What I have argued against is the almost magical belief that starting a microscopic apiary in an unbounded, out-crossing population and simply adopting a live-and-let die management style will result a new lineage of perfected bees. Modern breeding doesn't work effectively in that milieu, especially for bees that have evolved multiple behaviors to ensure genotype conservation across millions of years.

    To respond to your specific complaint:

    Eggs that are homozygous at the "csd" gene develop into diploid drones, these are detected and killed by nurse bees (in most cases). (That's blind science-speak -- eggs that have identical "sex-determiner" alleles on the egg-gamete and the sperm will when fertilized express lethally). Sex determination in bees has nothing to do with the mammalian XY chromosome system.

    This means a high proportion of brood developing from a queen that has mated with a nest-mate drone will be lethal (and is the source of the observed condition called "shot-brood". Bee colonies cannot be inbred -- these will die out. Inbreeding includes daughter colonies (which will converge to lower variance) as well as the foundress colony. The csd gene has 16-20 polymorphisms that are cross-compatible. The queen lineage contributes two possible alleles of these 20, and the drone mated with the queen contributes one. If the drone csd allele exactly matches one of the two queen alleles -- 50% of the produced eggs will die. In the virgin queen mates with her brother scenario --- alleles will match (in some proportion) and eggs will die. Locally in-bred populations are at risk for a toxic spiral of less-and-less fecund matings.

    What this means, of course, is that out-crossed colonies have much higher fitness. Bees, in nature, will constantly reconverge on the normative genotype. This is why they form a single interbreeding species, and not a thousand local, incompatible taxa. I've explained before the plant-insect co-evolutionary logic for this conservatism. Its a bit of a trap for the bees, but once engaged difficult to shift the overarching direction.

    The US Russian Queen breeder program was designed with bee genetics in mind. Colonies were assigned to one of three groups. The groups were physically rotated. A queen grafting source (measured for improved expression) was physically moved to a deliberately isolated out-yard surrounded by drone hives moved from a distant location. Remember my preconditions: Quantification, Saturation and Isolation.

    The Russian queen program appears to have fallen apart as the scientists withdrew funding/support. I have no idea if commercial interest, personality conflict, or genotype unsuitability was the driving factor in the programs change of character.

  2. #282
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I gota say, this has been one of the best threads I have seen... very good information and discussions!

  3. #283
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    >I do understand in your area you seem to have something else working well for you. How may of your hives are going 2-3 years without brood breaks or requeening??

    I have not requeened any hives at all for at least five years. Typically I only requeen the ones I see failing. I do some splits occasionally, but not for brood breaks and only because they would swarm otherwise and I'd like to build my numbers back up from when I was out of the country. I did buy a few packages a couple of years ago intending to requeen, but was busy traveling and speaking and did not get any requeened. The hives were marked so I could requeen them, so I know which hives they were. None of them survived the winter. The local ferals stock did fine.

    >If gut fauna were the answers then I would suspect feral hives to long outlive packages brought in. Not what I am seeing.

    But that is exactly what I am seeing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #284
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Those Packages should have quickly had the same Flora in their guts as your local bees. a slight amount of drifting, coupled with nectar processing/food distibution of honeybees should have quickly spread those microbes around??


    If I am not mistaken you sell some queens, are your customers getting the same results?

  5. #285
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Mike, most of the feral hives here are young hives. swarming seems to keep them going. This year is probably going to be the lowest in a long time for ferals. a really bad year for honey last year, and a sever winter will make wild losses very high. Still looking for that link for the "restiant" producers....
    Is that report on the state of ferals supposition or evidence based Charlie? There may be a flip side to those high winter losses - the survivors will tend to be the better ones...

    I'd start with 'resistant' then move them toward production while maintaining resistance. That'll need new bees, a remote apiary and a strong well planned effort.

    I'd also be making a parallel effort to raise resistance incrementally in the existing apiary. But I don't know much about going about that route.

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

  6. #286
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I work with the major electrical companies here. this fall I did 7 cutouts for them as they were trimming. (the call when they hit one) none had enough stores. and my average here was so low I couldn't have wintered anything without additional feeds. The largest one I did was around the size of 3 deeps and less than 50 lbs honey collected. that was around sept 15. they were they only ones that "may have made it" they others were effectively zero stores.

  7. #287
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    >Those Packages should have quickly had the same Flora in their guts as your local bees. a slight amount of drifting, coupled with nectar processing/food distibution of honeybees should have quickly spread those microbes around??

    I'm just reporting what I observed. I do not know what the mechanisms involved are for sure. Yes, you would think they would spread, but sometimes other microbes have filled the niche and they don't take back over so easily.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #288
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Mike,

    You are characterizing my argument unfairly. I have always argued that directed selection is prudent and profitable. Directed selection requires quantification of traits, saturation and isolation. Directed selection is a long-term, large-scale and professional endeavor.

    What I have argued against is the almost magical belief that starting a microscopic apiary in an unbounded, out-crossing population and simply adopting a live-and-let die management style will result a new lineage of perfected bees.
    Now you are characterizing my position unfairly. I'm not advocating 'live and let die' whatever that is: I'm advocating identification of the most resistant and productive and making systematic increase from those. At the same time making greater increase than needed for replacement purposes to cover losses, requeening weakest fraction from strongest, and promoting best drones on a wide scale. All using stock that is likely well locally adapted and having a good measure of resistance; as isolated as possible from treated apairies, and as near as as possible to thriving ferals.

    That amounts to a package designed to promote resistance and productivity that is actually rather strong. It should be easily enough to press resistance and productivity upwards. It mirrors the routine low tech low-level breeding undertaken by all commercial beekeepers until recently.

    Failure to take such steps will, except where resistant ferals are well established, always result in treatment or failure. And that's what we're trying to get away from.

    That's not a 'magical belief'; its a well founded rationale, and is being successfully employed by an increasing number of beekeepers.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Modern breeding doesn't work effectively in that milieu, especially for bees that have evolved multiple behaviors to ensure genotype conservation across millions of years.
    You are arguing from a belief based on your own interpretaion of specialised aspects of cutting-edge understanding of bee biology. I see no reason at all to think you have things right.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    [...] Bee colonies cannot be inbred -- these will die out. Inbreeding includes daughter colonies (which will converge to lower variance) as well as the foundress colony. The csd gene has 16-20 polymorphisms that are cross-compatible. The queen lineage contributes two possible alleles of these 20, and the drone mated with the queen contributes one. If the drone csd allele exactly matches one of the two queen alleles -- 50% of the produced eggs will die. In the virgin queen mates with her brother scenario --- alleles will match (in some proportion) and eggs will die. Locally in-bred populations are at risk for a toxic spiral of less-and-less fecund matings.

    What this means, of course, is that out-crossed colonies have much higher fitness. Bees, in nature, will constantly reconverge on the normative genotype.
    Well, that is starting to make some sort of sense, but the 'normative genotype' under pressure from i.e. a parasite will be that which deals with the parasite effectively.

    Outcrossing will be with more bees possessing the local (parasite-managing) alleles. And the opportunity for non-parasite-managing alleles to reproduce will be increasingly reduced toward zero.

    So where's the beef?

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

  9. #289
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I work with the major electrical companies here. this fall I did 7 cutouts for them as they were trimming. (the call when they hit one) none had enough stores. and my average here was so low I couldn't have wintered anything without additional feeds. The largest one I did was around the size of 3 deeps and less than 50 lbs honey collected. that was around sept 15. they were they only ones that "may have made it" they others were effectively zero stores.
    It might be worth bearing Seeley's figures in mind. From memory, his studies, pre-varroa, showed that only something like 20% of swarms make it through their first winter. That is, to see lots of failing ferals in the late months is the norm. Its just a part of Nature's great winnowing process, ensuring only the best get to make the new generations, cycle after cycle after cycle.

    Its the early swarms that have the best chance. (Seeley again). Its likely (in my view) that these larger colonies drain most of the weaker through 'robbing'.

    And, as you say, it was a poor year there. The upshot is, only the best will make it. I see that as a potential opportunity...

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

  10. #290
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    it appears that you and i have a different point of view, and both of them are 'arbitrary', are they not?
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Mine isn't. Its founded on a science-based deeply considered understanding of the mechanisms by which modern beekeeping perpetuates its primary problem.
    perhaps it could be more correctly stated that we are arbitrary in what science and information we choose to accept upon which our points of view are founded.

    the myriad of understandings of these mechanisms seen all the way from entry level beekeepers to seasoned career scientists is undeniable. your posts seem to bream with confidence that your understanding is the correct one, but that may by a misinterpretation on my part.

    i always lend a keen ear when i hear an expert start with, 'there's a lot we don't know, but here's what we are thinking at this point in our understanding.....'.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #291
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Bees, in nature, will constantly reconverge on the normative genotype.
    This statement is moderately incorrect as shown by the existence of numerous mutually incompatible wild species such as Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata, and Apis Florea.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_%28genus%29

    Where it falls apart is when bees are subject to external selection pressure. When honeybees are carried into a northern climate, they rapidly adapt to overwintering in a cold environment. Any that don't adapt die. The same is happening with honeybees exposed to mites. The only glitch is that beekeepers who treat for mites are slowing down the process.

    It helps to also keep this in perspective. We had American Chestnut trees here in the Eastern U.S. until about 100 years ago. They were wiped out by chestnut blight. If there had been any significant tolerance to chestnut blight in the species, you would have expected the population to rebound. Unfortunately, minimal tolerance of any kind has been found. Crossbreeding with chestnut trees from Asia that carry blight resistance genes will eventually get the species into recovery. This illustrates two important requirements in bee breeding. The first is that resistance mechanisms must be present in the population in order for selection to occur. The second is that resistance mechanisms can sometimes be brought in from a related species or even from a related population of the same species. We have access to resistance mechanisms in honeybees. Lets put them to use.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  12. #292
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    perhaps it could be more correctly stated that we are arbitrary in what science and information we choose to accept upon which our points of view are founded.
    No. There's nothing arbitrary about accepting the fundamentals of scientific understanding! They're not optional! They are fundamental! Reject them and you reject science and the scientific process itself. Is that where you stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    the myriad of understandings of these mechanisms seen all the way from entry level beekeepers to seasoned career scientists is undeniable. your posts seem to bream with confidence that your understanding is the correct one, but that may by a misinterpretation on my part.
    Charles Darwin is celebrated as having made one of the most breathtaking advances in our understanding of life in history. 200 years on no-one had taken even a jot of his central theory away (though a great deal has been added). It has been tested in literally millions of experiments.

    You can't opt in or out of the understanding provided by natural selection for the fittest strains without opting out of any faith in science itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i always lend a keen ear when i hear an expert start with, 'there's a lot we don't know, but here's what we are thinking at this point in our understanding.....'.
    I can only do this by analogy. You car breaks down. Its towed to a garage. You ask the mechanic what is wrong. He says 'I don't know what is wrong with your car.'

    But that doesn't mean there he knows nothing about your car. He can say, unequivically: 'if there is no fuel, then it won't start' (and that might account for the problem) You won't be able to argue with that. It isn't optional. Its a fact. There are thousands of other things he can say, on the same basis, with certainty about your car. About every car. Still, he won't know what is wrong with yours until makes some tests.

    Try to get clear: some things are certain, and others not. That Natural selection for the fittest strains constantly attunes all living populations to their environments is in the former catagory.

    You can use that fact, and it the many well-understood matters that surround it, to build an understanding of the factual arrangements that play out in all living things. That's one of the things Ruttner - a trained scientist - is explaining when he speaks of Nature being our teacher.

    These things are not matters of preference. They are simple fundamental scientific facts. Perhaps the fact is: you haven't understood the difference between a scientific hypothesis and a scientific fact?

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

  13. #293
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Those Packages should have quickly had the same Flora in their guts as your local bees. a slight amount of drifting, coupled with nectar processing/food distibution of honeybees should have quickly spread those microbes around??


    If I am not mistaken you sell some queens, are your customers getting the same results?
    I can't argue for the bees, but in our own bodies we need to detox the bad before the good has significant benefit. If our gut is coated with GMO, highly processed flour, hydroginated oils, sugars including HFCS and white, then we can eat great food and we won't get the nutrition from it. This is what I have found in my family.

  14. #294
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Mike Bispham,
    My local Bee Club recently sent round a link to the beekeeping part of your house-remodeling website. The club officers included a gushing note about your expert recommendations for reorganizing bee keeping along scientific lines.

    Hope you are beaming with pride that you are having a world-wide impact. You have a very receptive audience in California where (by survey) some 90% of the recent-cohort of "natural" beekeepers believe that everything is being done exactly wrong.

    I'm a little skeptical that some early-phase hobbyist should be directing world-wide beekeeping strategy, but the internet is a wonderous thing.

  15. #295
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    >If I am not mistaken you sell some queens, are your customers getting the same results?

    I haven't sold any lately, I've been out of the country for several years and then traveling and speaking and now I'm back home working full time and speaking on weekends. Hopefully I'll get back to queen rearing this spring. Even one speaking engagement throws a wrench into the queen rearing rhythm. But when I was selling queens people were reporting good survival. But I think a lot of them were doing what I'm doing (small cell etc.) which may contribute just as much to their survival.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #296
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    No. There's nothing arbitrary about accepting the fundamentals of scientific understanding! They're not optional! They are fundamental! Reject them and you reject science and the scientific process itself. Is that where you stand?

    ....

    I can only do this by analogy. You car breaks down .....
    Since you are now back to talking about cars and science, lets discuss your understanding of some basic principles. Remember the car on a hill analogy that you used earlier ?
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    It comes down to a universal law: the law of conservation of Energy. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so unless you have an energy source, you can't move an object. A hill is a source of energy.
    This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of Conservation of Energy. It is NOT the hill that has the energy, it is the car. The car on the hill has potential energy, and once the car is down lower on the hill, that reduced potential energy has been converted to heat via friction. Note that no changes have been made to "potential energy" of the hill, so the energy change did not come from the hill, it came from the car.

    In summation .....
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    These things are not matters of preference. They are simple fundamental scientific facts.




    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-06-2014 at 11:48 AM.
    Graham
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  17. #297
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    No. There's nothing arbitrary about accepting the fundamentals of scientific understanding! They're not optional! They are fundamental! Reject them and you reject science and the scientific process itself. Is that where you stand?
    Mike (UK)
    A bit arrogant. Believing that current science has ever reached a point of finality is not supported by the record. Believing that an individuals efforts to control nature and predict the results by either treating or not treating is also not supported by the record. Nature has a way of moving the finish line.

    When methods are freely and consistantly replicated by others I will begin to believe all the factors are understood. Until then, have a little piece of doubt in oneself, the other guy might not be 100% wrong. I've never met anyone who was.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #298
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Perhaps the fact is: you haven't understood the difference between a scientific hypothesis and a scientific fact?
    well, having authorship on a few papers in peer reviewed journals and successfully defending a thesis may or may not have instilled in me an adequate understanding of that difference mike however,

    my view is that the facts are in flux. strictly applying principles of nature to an less than natural situation is tenuous. you present your point of view regarding bee husbandry as proven and settled when it is everything but that, as more than one contributor on this thread with the background to do so has illustrated with regard to your ideas on breeding. jmho.

    at any rate, i'll wager that the average reader is tiring of you and i demonstrating the disconnect we have on this, so with that i'll give you the last word while wishing you all the best with your program.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 01-06-2014 at 01:44 PM. Reason: grammer
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #299
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I have very much enjoyed the discussion of the various thought process.... For themost part its been very civil and educational... up until a this thread I had only one view of the breeding perspectives.

  20. #300
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Barry (and Mike) i'll give you that comb in the pic does appear like the recapped cells are more pronounced, and of course, we have all seen similar to that in our own hives.

    But if you are going to be looking for recapped cells by looking for that, you are going to miss the great majority of them which appear no different to all the other cells. You have to open the cells and check for evidence a mite was there to really know, this is done under a low power microscope.
    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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