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  1. #61
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    >It is easy to make such speculations. If you can demonstrate this somehow…please do so.

    You can't breed for fast race horses if you never let them race. You can't breed for bees that can survive mites if you never let them survive mites. You can't bree for mites that can live in harmony with the bees without treatments if you keep treating. It doesn't take much to figure that out.

    >>I've also been saying we need less virulent mites (as have many others) for years now.
    >Yes…and I’ve been saying for years that we need fewer mites. So that makes you and I speakers of the obvious. It hardly makes either of us visionaries.

    There is a marked difference between simply wanting less mites and breeding mites that are less virulent. If you keep treating you are selecting for mites that are able to reproduce fast enough to keep up with your treatments and mites that resist your treatments. But no, it does not make me a visionary. Many people have seen that we need a parasite that is in balance with its host.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #62
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaBees View Post
    Boddah,

    There is an abundant desert plant on the southwest called "Goberadora" -Creosote.

    Aurelio Paez
    DBA Michas Honey House
    thank you for sharing this information. keep up your hard and caring work.

  3. #63

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    There is a marked difference between simply wanting less mites and breeding mites that are less virulent.
    Just so I'm clear...are you claiming to have bred a less virulent mite? Or are you simply speculating?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #64
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    >are you claiming to have bred a less virulent mite? Or are you simply speculating?

    Speculating on what? That I have less virulent mites? I have no idea if I do. I have bought a few packages from time to time to populate early mating nucs so I'm sure I've brought in other mites.

    That we need to breed less virulent mites? We obviously do.

    That we CAN breed less virulent mites? I see no reason we can't if we stop treating and see no way we can as long as we treat.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #65

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    That we need to breed less virulent mites? We obviously do.
    So you ‘want’ a less virulent mite.

    When you said
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    There is a marked difference between simply wanting less mites and breeding mites that are less virulent.
    You see…I want fewer mites….and you want a less virulent mite. The difference isn't 'marked'.

    Tom Seeley hypothesized that there MIGHT be a less virulent mite. And based on the possibility suggested by such a respected entomologist, I daresay there are a number of labs currently testing for just such a thing. No pie in the sky…racehorse analogy speculation….just real research. And it MAY prove out.

    At the end of the day both you and I are merely speculating while folks in the world of research will determine if it is a reality.....

    You see you and I aren't the visionaries...Tom Seeley and his peers are.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #66
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    >You see…I want fewer mites….and you want a less virulent mite. The difference isn't 'marked'.

    One is an outcome. The other is a mechanism. One is wishing. The other is a process that takes place in nature if you allow it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #67

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    One is an outcome. The other is a mechanism. One is wishing. The other is a process that takes place in nature if you allow it.
    Actually not….both are outcomes. The difference is that one is your want…and the other mine. Mine you choose to give no credibility.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #68
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    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by boddah View Post
    Have there been any attempts at bee probiotics?
    Yes.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0033188

    http://m.ijs.sgmjournals.org/content...033-0.abstract

    There was a piece about the Swedes from Lund Univ. in the new ABJ.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  9. #69
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    Jul 2013
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    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    840

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    I tell myself, repeatedly, not to get involved in these threads..... but.

    The endlessly-repeated common meme in these posts is "Varroa will naturally become benign if left alone". I nick-name this "the peaceable kingdom" faith (the famous painting from 1820 of Hicks). It is based on a conviction that nature is in "perfect balance" and an Eden-like paradise can be achieved in the American wilderness. This belief has spawned an entire sub-culture of advocates.

    Host-parasite interaction and co-evolution is a rich and deep academic field. A paper by Troy Day and James Burn, A CONSIDERATION OF PATTERNS OF VIRULENCE ARISING
    FROM HOST-PARASITE CO-EVOLUTION (2002) is responsive:

    "We find that counterintuitive patterns of virulence are often expected to arise as
    a result of the interaction between co-evolved host and parasite strategies. In particular,
    despite the fact that the parasite imposes only a mortality cost on the host, co-evolution
    by the host results in a pattern whereby infected hosts always have the same probability
    of death from infection, but they vary in the extent to which their fecundity is reduced."

    In bees, this pattern is already observed: Varroa kills (via hyper-infection) honeybees irregardless, evolution has pushed honey-bee survivors into high-swarm-frequency life strategy.

    Honeybee/Varroa/Virus patterns are evolving systems. The dominant hypothesis in similar systems is called the "Red Queen" hypothesis. The model organism used is pond Daphnia. In short, the Red Queen idea is a rare, resistant genotype will arise.... and will reproduce with greater initial fitness. (this is step one in the "peaceable kingdom" theory of bees).

    As the rare, resistant genotype of the Red Queen line becomes dominant --- the parasite will shift genotype to match -- and the level of parasite induced death will return to the initial level. In summary, unbalanced resistance is only temporary and is dependent on rarity of the trait. A review of the Red Queen idea is http://www.evolution.unibas.ch/ebert..._Microbiol.pdf

    Varroa (and its attendant virus) has horizontal transmission. This means that the primary mode of infection is from one hive to a genetically unrelated nearby hive.

    In this thread, two ideas about Varroa are being mixed. Treating is supposed to be breeding "super-Varroa" with more virulence. This is based on the observation that the rapidly breeding varroa have overcome resistance to the specific miticides they have been exposed to. These are not "super-virulent" bugs, they are bugs that have absorbed the genetic and metabolic cost to resist a single compound. Resistance to Amitraz does not persist -- it is costly to the bug and is discarded unless constantly selected for.

    I maintain the "natural" advocates are the villians breeding the "super-Varroa". Small cell is advocated because it supposedly shortens the gestation time of the bee larvae by a day. Doesn't that argue that Varroa co-evolution will quickly produce a mite with a shorter generation time. Small-cell (in this thought experiment) is creating a monster race of Varroa with a 20% greater reproductive potential.
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 12-24-2013 at 10:40 AM.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    >Mine you choose to give no credibility.

    You are just wishing for less mites with no plan or path to get there in the long run. How is a wish "credible"? It's just a wish. There is no lack of credibility nor presence of it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #71
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Well typed chestnut... well typed...

    One might add that this "balance" that some think will happen is purely hypothetical and probably bull. First off the bees will probably not figure out how to survive with mites in our lifetimes. Are we ready to give up beekeeping until it happens??
    Second, it probably won't happen at all. History is full of cases where the parasite kills off all host. You can look at something simple like typhoid, man made like passsenger pigeons (in theory some would have remained wild and remote), or as simple as wolves on baniff island. many many many cases where extinction is the result.

  12. #72

    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    no plan or path to get there in the long run
    The sole basis and strategy for the MB plan:
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I see no reason we can't
    You have a plan to breed for a thing you don’t even know exists…a less virulent mite.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #73
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Thumbs Up Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Thank you for taking the discussion to the next level JW.....For a moment, I thought Elvis had entered the forum, but it was just the shock of raising the bar for the discussion that shook the thread.

    A lot to think about in your post JW. That 'perfect balance' you mention has managed to wipe out 99% of all the organisms that have ever lived in the history of the earth.

    I read about the 'Soft Bond Method' the other day, it seems a reasonable balance between theory, research and nitty-gritty practicality. What do you think about the Soft Bond Method JW?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  14. #74
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Good points JW, I've said the same thing but it's always glossed over. No matter the methods, resistance will be sought after. The other question I ask is, are the bees resistant to mites or the viruses that's important?

  15. #75
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Here is some more fuel for the Christmas yule log fire:

    From Randy Oliver (emphasis by Randy):
    The feral population of bees, left to their own, also largely perished. But we inadvertently hampered their efforts to evolve resistance to the mite by flooding drone congregation areas with mite-susceptible drones from our managed yards, and filling hollow trees with mite-infested swarms, which would then collapse in a year or two. Nonetheless, we’re seeing feral populations starting to survive.

    This brings up a good point:
    If you’re not part of the genetic solution of breeding mite-resistant bees, then you’re part of the problem. Every time you allow drones or swarms to issue from a colony that owes its survival to a miticide application, you’re hindering the natural process of evolution toward mite-resistant bees!

    Read the whole page here:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/choo...fighting-bees/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #76
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Message Received: Confine your drones if you treat. And don't let your treated bees swarm w/ their treated queen.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  17. #77
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    And what happens when I take 'your' resistant bees and they collapse in my location? Is that still considered breeding a resistant bee? Rhaldridge, that post you made in another thread, can you clarify exactly what you meant? The way you worded it plainly translated to, if you can't keep treatment free bees then you are a ppb.

    To blindly follow the idea that you cannot select for resistant bees by treating is fundamentally flawed. Not treating surely makes selection more straight forward, but isn't the only factor in the equation to breeding a resistant bee.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    What do you think about the Soft Bond Method
    This is selective breeding. Selective breeding in bees faces an enormous headwind due to bee society ---

    Honey bees have a nearly unique social and genetic system -- it is eusocial and polyandrous. Worldwide, honey bees are widespread, flexible, and fully interbreeding. My hypothesis is that eusocial polyandry is the result (and the maintenance) of a core evolutionary imperative of a species generalist strategy and resistance to sub-speciation.

    In common terms, honey bees are selected to resist drift to new and narrowed life histories. This is at odds with the nearly universal pattern of extreme specialization present in most other insects. The honeybee strategy is a co-evolutionary challenge to flowers. Flowers can evolve to a single pollinator --- and become evolutionarily fragile. The "generic" honeybee flower does not demand co-evolutionary changes and resists the inevitable extinction that accompanies specialization.

    The core evolutionary imperative works against the agency of selective breeding.

    In plants and insects, polyploid chromosomes are a marker for generalist (and mutable) life history. Polyploid chromosomes are the duplication of chromosomes (so instead of 2n pairs, plants maintain 4, 6, 8 ... pairs in each cell). Corn is an example -- polyploid was introduced with domestication and selection. Bees are diploid, but maintain a colony level polyploid equivalent -- a colony will have 20-30 different alleles for each trait (contributed by the fathers). The sex-incompatibility system (no viable backcrossing from a queen mother's own drones) ensures that alleles remain fully mixed and out-crossed.

    Polyandry means that no particular father is responsible for the fitness of the colony, and consequently no particular father is selected for. Heritability of traits is very low in bees because a particular allele from a particular father has a low probability of founding a subsequent generation).

    Eusociality (and the absence of genetic "castes" as in ants) means that survival fitness is conferred on the super-organism and not an individual. (e.g. A particular genetic caste of ants could confer significant survival advantage on a colony, but worker differentiation is by age, and not genotype, in bees).

    Randy Oliver has a very instructive annecdote about testing an instrumental inseminated Glenn Apiary VSH-Russian hybrid. He called it a super-queen and it sounds like he hit the jackpot. He grafted it into hundreds of future daughters. The daughters were not stars like the mother. And the super-queen genetics have been diluted fully in subsequent generations.

    Selective free-flight breeding at a backyard scale is not practical. It requires 1) isolation, 2) saturation, 3) deliberate out-crossing. The Russian Queen Breeders model grafts one selected queen, moves the queen hive to an isolated outyard populated by drone hives from a separate, independent population (drones hives are transported from other breeders in a regular circulation).

  19. #79
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Message Received: Confine your drones if you treat. And don't let your treated bees swarm w/ their treated queen.
    I didn't see any place where Randy Oliver advocated confining bees. And I didn't see Randy advocating NO treatment either. Indeed, Randy has multiple pages on how to do treatments properly.

    But clearly, at least Randy can recognize that in spite of treating, treating contributes to .....
    (well - read it for yourself in post #76)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  20. #80
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    Oct 2013
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    Duval County, FL USA
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    Default Re: The Scourge of Varroa?

    Curious if anyone has ever noticed this:
    I had a large (double deep/double medium) prosperous colony that the inspector said had a high mite load. There were always "crawlers" and bees showing DWV around the hive. This fall their attitude was bad enough to warrant me moving the hive about 1 mile up the road to a friends place with more room (he has three acres). I don't get by there to check on them but about every 3 to 5 weeks. Point is, there isn't a single bee to be found on the ground dead or alive and the hive (now just double deep) is still full of bees.

    Could the lack of attention/disruption be cause for the lack of mite symptoms? Possibly a reduction in mite load? I haven't done a sticky count at the new location, but at the end of Sept. I had about 200 at 48 hrs.

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