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  1. #441
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Good luck on developing resistant stock.

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to the naysayers. They're YOUR bees.

    In the final analysis, you're on your own anyway.
    Thanks. Don't worry, they don't make the tiniest dent on my plans!

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

  2. #442
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Good luck to you on your quest.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    In this case I agree with WLC - you're on your own.
    Not at all! I have the whole of science and thousands of years of animal husbandry to draw on. Not to mention advice and support from many current tf keepers.

    Good luck with yours too.

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

  3. #443
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Mike:

    Mine are 'store bought' resistant bees. I'm a credit card TF beekeeper.

    I probably missed it, but what kind of stock did you start out with?

    Also, I wonder if those Black Bees from the Scottish islands are available to U.K. beekeepers?

  4. #444
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    They don't have varroa on those "Scottish Islands"

    Mike knows who to talk to to get those bees but I doubt he will.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #445
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    At last word, Scotland was still part of the UK!
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  6. #446
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    It was Scotland that recently established a Black Bee reserve on one of its islands.

    The bees wear 'kilts' instead of bands.

  7. #447
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
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    335

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It was Scotland that recently established a Black Bee reserve on one of its islands.
    Two.

  8. #448
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...peout.22338330

    Britain's first honeybee reserve is to be set up on the Hebridean islands of Colonsay and Oronsay.

  9. #449
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Just so you know WLC, Beekuk runs it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #450
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Mike:

    I probably missed it, but what kind of stock did you start out with?
    Swarms and cut outs, perhaps 1/3 reasonably well attested 'survivors', less than 1/3 definately apiary bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Also, I wonder if those Black Bees from the Scottish islands are available to U.K. beekeepers?
    If they're resistant I'd be interested in a queen or two - though the climate is quite a bit different.

    I'm quite keen to see what I can achieve with my locals alone though. I think they might have the makings.

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

  11. #451
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm quite keen to see what I can achieve with my locals alone though. I think they might have the makings. Mike (UK)
    Oh, I must have misunderstood. I thought you already had it all accomplished. You mean all your postings are nothing but theory?

  12. #452
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Oh, I must have misunderstood. I thought you already had it all accomplished. You mean all your postings are nothing but theory?
    Yep, you misunderstood Michael. Mostly theory. Good theory though. And 4 years of good progress.

    Have you finished accomplishing all you want to accomplish with your bees yet?

    Not like you to be so snippy to someone trying to achieve the same goals?

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

  13. #453
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    What I had thought you got your first bees 3 years ago which was a swarm that arrived in a tree and you "watched it",

    Following year started collecting swarms & cutouts, lost most through winter and started next season with 6. By collecting more swarms and cut outs built this to 40 hives, currnet number 29 to 31, winter not over.

    Beekuk could help you get some of those Scottish black ones, you would have to be nice to him.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 01-12-2014 at 08:02 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #454
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
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    393

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Trouble with the Colonsay bees is they have never been exposed to varroa so developing varroa tolerant stock from that source is likely to be starting from a low base.
    I know Andrew the sole beekeeper on Colonsay, and I know his bees are great bees, but I doubt they are likely to be the best starting point for varroa tolerant stock when introduced to an area which has mites.
    Some work has already started in Ireland looking for varroa tolerance in AMM stock. This is based on accurately sampling mite levels and will involve looking for genetic markers associated with the more varroa tolerant stock at some point. Collecting swarms and cut outs, leaving them untreated, and watching them collapse over time is unlikely to bear fruit with regard to finding resistant stock. If you start with about 1000 and are prepared for 95% losses you might make some progress over time. If you read forums such as biobees, it is in the main just a long list of well meaning beekeepers with 2 or 3 colonies who don't treat yet somehow expect their bees to survive. They are not starting with any special resistant stock. The majority lose their bees to mites by the end of year 2 yet seem to be in denial about this and often blame the loss on pesticides or some other non mite related cause.

  15. #455
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post

    Collecting swarms and cut outs, leaving them untreated, and watching them collapse over time is unlikely to bear fruit with regard to finding resistant stock.
    Jonathan,

    Your opening sentence here make the assumption that they will collapse. That isn't the experience of many beekeepers, or scientific studies. There are, in Europe and the US, feral 'survivors' who are now not just 'survivors' but 'thrivers'. This is not merely anecdotal, but scientifically evidenced.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    If you start with about 1000 and are prepared for 95% losses you might make some progress over time.
    Guesswork of a highly exaggerated nature. Most bees have by now gained limited resistance, even in systematically treated apiaries. (I agree with you, the isolated and unexposed Black Bees will fall over like pins.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    If you read forums such as biobees, it is in the main just a long list of well meaning beekeepers with 2 or 3 colonies who don't treat yet somehow expect their bees to survive. They are not starting with any special resistant stock. The majority lose their bees to mites by the end of year 2 yet seem to be in denial about this and often blame the loss on pesticides or some other non mite related cause.
    Sure. That's because there isn't nearly enough discussion of genetics on biobees. The assumption has been made that pesticides are the sole problem. The view is that all bees have to be kept alive by all possible means, thus preserving 'diversity', until the problem has been fixed. A lovely aim, but a recipe for disaster.

    Over at the Warre beeeeping group its a similar story, though they have their own pet theories, concerning magic hive dimensions or the special waft that escapes when you open hives or somesuch.

    The general level of awareness of the facts of population husbandry in beekeeping is utterly abysmal. That is a real part of the problem. Its not just on the wacky sites - the orthodox sites are as bad. There are now hundreds of books aimed at new beekeepers, and (I'm guessing) probably a handful talk firmly about the absolute need to breed toward health. Here on Beesource, and elsewhere, the denial of even the possibility of small scale breeding toward resistance has been raised to an artform.

    Bees that aren't adapted to varroa will perish without treatment/manipulation. Adaptation is an intergenerational process requiring the elimination of the worst adapted. Period Period Period.

    Follow the rules of husbandry (properly) and there is a very good chance of success in most places. Likely local 'survivor' starting stock is a far better bet than any other bee available in the UK. But that's just the start. Then you have to get to work - and for that you want a reasonable number of hives, and the further you are from large scale treaters the better. Those are sole the relevant factors governing success or failure (assuming a reasonable level of competence).

    Whether we succeed at true tf or not only time will tell - though some already have that time under their belts.

    But for sure: if you don't adopt proper selective husbandry methods you won't - unless you are blessed with adapted ferals. It isn't possible. The Laws of the Universe prohibit it.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-13-2014 at 03:12 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  16. #456
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Yep, you misunderstood Michael. Mostly theory.
    Not like you to be so snippy to someone trying to achieve the same goals? Mike (UK)
    No Mike, not being snippy. Just surprised, that's all.

  17. #457
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,056

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Michael Palmer, after you understand the laws of husbandry you will not be surprised. So go back over these posts and you will finally understand.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #458
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
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    393

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Guesswork of a highly exaggerated nature.
    Not guesswork at all. Losses of that magnitude were reported initially by people like Kefuss and Weaver.
    The problem is that a lot of small scale beekeepers who start out with the intention going treatment free imagine that from 20 colonies, 10 will survive and these will be used as the basis for propagating more colonies.
    In actual fact you are likely to be left with a lot less than 10, maybe none at all in a worst case scenario.

    Kefuss now advocates 'soft bond' method as opposed to cold turkey and he has also started to use DNA analysis to further identify the genetic basis of resistance traits. That information can be used in the selection of breeding material.
    Mites are counted and monitored and this information is also used in the selection process.

    I would back a science based approach like this as the way forward.

  19. #459
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Not guesswork at all. Losses of that magnitude were reported initially by people like Kefuss and Weaver.
    Jonathan,

    Exactly 'initially'. When varroa first hit there was almost no resistance at all. That isn't always the case anymore, and in the case of many feral populations very sound levels of resistance are present. Documented.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    The problem is that a lot of small scale beekeepers who start out with the intention going treatment free imagine that from 20 colonies, 10 will survive and these will be used as the basis for propagating more colonies. In actual fact you are likely to be left with a lot less than 10, maybe none at all in a worst case scenario.
    If you find sound initial genetics, and work hard from the get-go to make increase from the best, you need never fall under the 20 mark. Without any treating or jiggery-pokery.

    The problem is those beekeepers don't understand the need to do this - nor how to carefully assay for resistance. The best way to do that is: don't treat. They don't understand the _need_ to breed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Kefuss now advocates 'soft bond' method as opposed to cold turkey
    I'm not sure he ever 'advocated' anyone do anything else. That was _his_ method - along with seeking out resistant genes, making rapid increase etc. He offered it as a possibility for those who wanted to try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    ... and he has also started to use DNA analysis to further identify the genetic basis of resistance traits. That information can be used in the selection of breeding material.
    That's going on at Sussex too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Mites are counted and monitored and this information is also used in the selection process.
    I think a lot of the more sorted folks are also using frozen brood tests. Prof Ratneiks at Sussex lays out the basis on a slide/pdf:

    https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gat...ut.pdf&site=60
    ( I have a larger, 116 page version of this)

    I think a large part of the dna analyis is geared to identifying the distinct patrilines that carry the genes, allowing a far more precise selection process

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    I would back a science based approach like this as the way forward.
    Fine by me. But I think my way is just as much 'science-based'. Just because a new technology (like DNA analysis) comes along, it doesn't mean you need that to do science. Working according to established bio-evolutionary theory, documenting to gather your own data, monitoring and analysing, systematically arranging real-time experiments... all these things are part of a scientific approach. Breeding has been 'scientific' for 2 or 3 hundred years.

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

  20. #460
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Working according to established bio-evolutionary theory, documenting to gather your own data, monitoring and analysing, systematically arranging real-time experiments... all these things are part of a scientific approach. Breeding has been 'scientific' for 2 or 3 hundred years.
    Huh.

    A few days ago you said it was 'tens of thousands of years'.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I advocate traditional husbandry - as practiced for tens of thousands of years, the foundation of agriculture. As used, amost alone, to keep stock fit and productive right up to the post-war era.
    I wonder what prompted the revision ....
    Last edited by Barry; 01-14-2014 at 06:34 AM.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

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