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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    In fact treating produces even stronger and fitter bees: bees have to survive varroa and treatments.
    You laugh, but this is one of my major problems with the treatment treadmill. The mites develop resistance to poison faster than the bees do. It's always going to be a losing battle. If no one comes up with the next new acaricide when it's needed, a lot of folks will be in trouble.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Mike I think part of the problem is you cannot see past your theory.

    What you keep repeating is in a nutshell, that if bees are treated for mites then that removes selective pressure so resistance cannot evolve. Sounds fine, in theory.

    But you are ignoring what is really happening. Hives that get treated still die for many reasons including mites, in the US at around 30% per annum. This is for a number of reasons, including.- Timing of mite treatment is wrong, mites are immune to treatment used, treatment applied wrongly, etc. When these situations occur and they do constantly, the mite susceptible hives are more likely to expire than the hives that by chance have some mite tolerance. So there, you have selective pressure.

    A commonly held hypothesis is selective pressure can be applied to a population by removing the least desirable 20%. In the US we have treated bees being weeded out based on survivability at a rate of 30%.

    Check the reality. The mite resistance of commercial US bees is higher than it was 20 years ago, and that can be verified in several ways.

    Your theories make "sense". However if what they predict is not what is happening on the ground, examine the theory, rather than try to argue against the reality. In fact I can even tell you where the loophole in your theory as presented thus far actually is. The theory is based on the idea that there is no selective pressure in commercial stocks whatsoever because mites are treated 100% successfully, each time, every time. But reality in the field, is different.

    There is actually some good to this. Evolution or selection towards resistance, will take much longer in a commercial treated scenario, than a bond scenario. However as the general resistance level rises in a population, commercial beekeepers can treat less and some of them, right here on this forum, are finding this now. With the hard bond method a lot of genetics are lost a lot of it good in some way. With a much slower process such as a commercial treated apiary, there is more time and many more generations for genetics to recombine and be retained in a population, with only a smaller portion of the population being weeded out annually than in a bond scenario, to me, this is a good thing.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 02-11-2014 at 01:55 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Oldtimer, what you posit in my experience does not work.

    Your position is that treated bees are gradually accumulating mite tolerant traits. You posit that it is because selection pressure enhances survival of treated bees IF they have mite tolerant genetics.

    I posit that treated bees are gradually accumulating mite tolerant traits, but it is because of bleed in from non-treated colonies, mostly feral, but also from beekeepers who are working with tolerant genetics. Further, I posit that treating bees in any way does not just slow down the process, it stops it in its tracks.

    There is a feedback mechanism in place where bees that die of Parasitic Mite Complex (PMC) accumulate a huge load of mites which causes the colony to collapse. Nearby colonies then rob out the collapsing colonies and in the process bring a huge load of mites back home. The robbing colonies then go through a very rapid mite buildup and subsequent collapse from disease pressure. The end result is that all colonies in this scenario die from PMC, even the colonies that have some mite tolerance. Zero selection pressure was applied on the population genetics. The only time this dynamic is broken is when bees are totally untreated and collapsing colonies are removed from the equation before they can impact the resistant colonies, if any are present in the population. I know this sounds unreasonable. I too wanted to think of mite tolerance like a sink faucet, you could turn it on a little, and then a little more, and then a lot. But it does not work that way. Either the faucet is all the way on or it is all the way off. The key to getting my bees tolerant to mites was to totally eliminate all susceptible bees from the population! It was an all or nothing proposition.

    First, develop mite tolerant bees. Then introgress those traits into a more desirable genetic background. We could have a huge conversation around this topic. I am at the point of having a core of mite tolerant bees, but there are some problems such as excessive swarming and overwintering with very small clusters. I will be working over the next few years on bringing some bees with good production and survival genetics in and crossing them with my mite tolerant bees.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Ha! I was expecting you to disagree FP, & I do value your opinion.

    There are reasons why I believe what I do though, primarily based on what's actually happening.

    To work through some of what you have said, you posted previously that you treated for a number of years and got nowhere in terms of resistance. But, of course you didn't. Probably down to good beekeeping. While you were treating you would have ensured that none of your hives died of mites, hence, no selection pressure. In addition, the numbers of hives you had were insufficient and the time frame of just a few years is not enough for the kind of gradual shift I am talking about.

    Next point, genetic "bleed in" from non treated colonies will certainly be occurring. But also consider that treated colonies outnumber non treated by many multiples, perhaps a thousand to one, or similar. So bleed in will happen, but influence will be small.

    As to the mites transferring from dying colonies to healthy ones via robbing, yes. However this does not negate the possibility of gradual improvement of bees, if it did, the bond method as practised by many would not work. As for some, it has, that renders that argument not fully valid, although I am sure it is partly valid.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    that treated colonies outnumber non treated by many multiples, perhaps a thousand to one
    There are a bit less than 4 million managed colonies in the U.S. today. The number of feral colonies numbers between 3 and 5 per square mile on average. U.S. wide, with 4 million square miles, feral colonies outnumber managed bees at least 3 to 1. I suspect the feral colony estimate is low for most areas on the east coast, but have to account for the desert and mountain areas where bees cannot live.

    Commercial queen breeders saturate their breeding areas with treated bees therefore the selection advantage in commercial queens is biased severely in favor of treatment dependent genetics.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    MB"The 'laws' of natural selection are universal."

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I don't think that is in any way scientific to say so.
    For crying out loud; this was outlined 200 years ago by Darwin, and its been examined and re-examined literally - yes literally - millions of times since then.

    I'm not going to try to argue against evolution deniers. Its absurd.

    Mike (MB)



    I would like to see some scientific work on the "universal laws" in action in beehives that show that treatments interfere with evolution/natural selection. If there aren't any studies, your statement is not a scientific fact but your own interpretation/derivation. From universal laws to a specific situation. Unless there is no data backing this statement, this is not more than a hypothesis and it should be marked as one.[/QUOTE]
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    You laugh, but this is one of my major problems with the treatment treadmill. The mites develop resistance to poison faster than the bees do. It's always going to be a losing battle. If no one comes up with the next new acaricide when it's needed, a lot of folks will be in trouble.
    So... mites evolve in response to the pressure supplied by miticides, but... bees don't evolve in response to the pressure supplied by mites. Wait a minute! Yes they do - they evolve despite that pressure being negated by mite treatments!

    Come on people, untangle it.

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

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    You laugh, but this is one of my major problems with the treatment treadmill. The mites develop resistance to poison faster than the bees do. It's always going to be a losing battle. If no one comes up with the next new acaricide when it's needed, a lot of folks will be in trouble.
    So... mites evolve in response to the pressure supplied by miticides, but... bees don't evolve in response to the pressure supplied by mites. Wait a minute! Yes they do - they evolve despite that pressure being negated by mite treatments!

    Come on people, untangle it.

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

  9. #89

    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm not going to try to argue against evolution deniers. Its absurd.
    I neither. The only thing that is absurd, is to make conclusions without data to back it up and call it scientific. No data, no results.


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Yes they do - they evolve despite that pressure being negated by mite treatments!
    Come on, Mike, untangle it. Do you really think the pressure is gone with those imperfect treatments? The pressure still exists, because the miticides do not erase all varroas. So you can do find hives that cope better. Those you put into the real test. This needs much less ressources of bees than does your method of letting them all die regularily. Not just treated hives interfere with survivors but collapsing hive do, too. So if one survivor lives in the midst of say 50 collapsing hives...don't you reckon that can be too much at a certain point?

    So you have to seperate the survivor anyway into an out apiary. Why wasting all the other bees? And: do you really want to bin all those genetics? Don't you think some of those genetics (and behaviour) just jump one or two generations? Those expressed genes would be lost with your method.

    There is a famous varroa resistance breeder in Europe, named Paul Jungels. He runs about 250 hives. His treatment free survivors he pools into a single apiary, only the best 8 hives, which he breeds from. We can all learn from those people, who do the real thing. Like John Kefuss and others.

    The live and let die method (Bond test) has been proven unsuccessful in most landscapes and most local conditions. So many beekeepers tried it over the past 30 years (in Germany). Almost all failed to keep colonies counts sustainable. It is not too difficult to produce survivors for a row of years, but regularily, every third or fourth year, there comes a harsh hit and all colonies are done. This is not a way to go.

    I also think, it has a lot to do with pesticides and the level of contamination of that particular landscape you keep bees in. Whatever works for you in your situation, could be completely wrong in another landscape. So be patient with us uneducated folks, that do not know much about Darwin...

    We may not have met Darwin personally, but we know something about bees and varroas.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    For crying out loud; this was outlined 200 years ago by Darwin, and its been examined and re-examined literally - yes literally - millions of times since then.
    [/QUOTE]


    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    So be patient with us uneducated folks, that do not know much about Darwin...

    We may not have met Darwin personally, but we know something about bees and varroas.
    Darwin must of been only around four or five years old when he outlined this.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Charles Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, was published in November 1859.


    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Everyone, put on your hip boots! The waters of opinion, philosophy, misunderstood science, and even Rader's practicality are beginning to rise!! Run for the hills! /s

    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    A commonly held hypothesis is selective pressure can be applied to a population by removing the least desirable 20%. In the US we have treated bees being weeded out based on survivability at a rate of 30%.
    I woudl like to see the sources for this claim. For it being a widely held hypothesis I have never heard of it. Technically selection out 1% is a selection pressure. it does not mean you are goign to gt anywhere with it. I am seeing some reason to question the interpretation of the source though. Selection pressure is typically expressed in a number of individuals selected. hence it being called "Selection" pressure and not "Rejection" pressure. My suspicion is that you may have read a 20% pressure as being only 20% are removed. when in fact a 20% pressure means 80% where removed 20% where chosen.

    Effective selection pressures have been demonstrated at a fraction of a percent. So you in effect are arguing a hypothetical with a hypothetical. I would be very interested in any breeding program that is producing results with a selection pressure of the 80% you suggest. I would even be interested in a program that produces results with 20% pressure.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    As a generalization, accept that 30% of all managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. die each year. Now stipulate that 15% of those colonies died of other natural causes such as winter failure, etc. This leaves 15% of the managed colonies killed by various mite related effects. Now try to determine the following ratio. How many of the killed colonies were mite susceptible? How many of the surviving colonies are mite tolerant? How many survive because they are treated?

    My position is that mite tolerance is a weak effect that only increases when selection pressure is maximum. This level of selection pressure is only present when all treatments cease. Please keep in mind that killing off most of the bees in the U.S. would not benefit anyone short term, but long term, we would all be better off to have bees that don't have to be treated for mites.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    I think we may have gotten down to the essence of the problem. How much selection pressure is necessary to move a population toward mite tolerance?

    Time for some research. Rader should put his Google-fu to work.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    When one believes "its my way or the highway", I don't think any links I might offer are going to change anything!



    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    That Rader, would be the truth.

    As to the removal of the bottom 20%, I'm not sticking to exactly 20% as a rigid doctrine. Of course I'll agree that a higher or lower number can also work. A look at the animals on the plains of Africa, since they are easy to observe, can confirm that. They have over time got faster, and also developed other skills.

    But a look at just about any living creature can also demonstrate the same if it is possible to go back in time far enough.

    However end of day that's just my personal belief, could be wrong, not a major if there's other opinions.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    How much selection pressure is necessary to move a population toward mite tolerance?
    If feral bees are developing mite tolerance, I've heard it estimated that 70% don't survive the year.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    When one believes "its my way or the highway", I don't think any links I might offer are going to change anything!
    True, but not everyone is that inflexible.

    I'd kind of like to know if it's reasonable to be optimistic about the future of beekeeping. But my own Google-fu is not entirely weak, so I'll look.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Can splits control mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    True, but not everyone is that inflexible.

    I'd kind of like to know if it's reasonable to be optimistic about the future of beekeeping. But my own Google-fu is not entirely weak, so I'll look.
    Of course it's reasonable to be optimistic, and not just beekeeping, but in everything. Mites are just a hurdle, and we will get through it. Just as mites have eliminated many bees, they have also eliminated many Beekeepers. In my opinion, a more savvy beekeeper has resulted. Between the savviness of today's beekeeper and the bees' will to survive, beekeeping will see another "hay day". Research research research...read read read....and don't be afraid to try your own ideas. That is how problems are solved. In the end, the strong shall live.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

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