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  1. #1
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    Default Treating within a resistance raising system

    It seems to me that while treating as a systematic method of mite management can only result in perpetual treatment dependence, there is no good reason why treatments cannot be used carefully within a proper resistance-raising breeding program.

    In established treatment-dependent apiaries this might be part of a 'soft bond' approach. But there are dangers. Here in the UK current official advice is to 'treat only those that need it'. All else being equal that will simply have the result of perpetuating treatment-dependence, as without culling the weak genes will re-enter the breeding pool.

    Things are different in dedicated resistance raising apiaries, where a good proportion of stocks are already resistant to a good degree. As long a treating doesn't interfere with evaluation of resistance, there is no reason why less resistant stocks shouldn't be de-queened, the hives 'cleaned' of mites to raise vigour and avoid damaging the new queen/s, and requeened and/or used to make new colonies.

    As far as I can see the only objection to this is that it might be useful to have more varroa about to make clearer the varying levels of resistance. But there are problems with this. The mites will tend to enter other hives unevenly, and this might load evaluations in several ways - both good and bad. For example, those with strong doorkeeping will tend not to suffer - and strong doorkeeping is surely a good thing. (Those nearby might be expected to suffer more badly - but then we might attribute a failure to that when it was actually something else)

    In all I think this sort of thing introduces complexities that will tend to obscure what it is we want clear. And for that reason there isn't a good argument for maintaining high varroa levels. Hives failing due to lack of resistance to varroa should be 'cleaned' and used to aid more throws of the (loaded) dice.

    What do others think?

    Mike (UK)
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Mike,
    Do you get ABJ? Randy Oliver in the March 2014 issue addressed this ....
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    If this is in "dedicated resistance raising apiaries, where a good proportion of stocks are already resistant to a good degree", personally I don't see the need for treatment as most of the hives will survive anyway.

    However it is a good approach if few bees have much resistance, so that major or total losses can be avoided, but only the best are bred from.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If this is in "dedicated resistance raising apiaries, where a good proportion of stocks are already resistant to a good degree", personally I don't see the need for treatment as most of the hives will survive anyway.
    You don't know in th early stages how many will survive, and how many will thrive. So its good to try to maximise increase quickly to build on what you have, to guard against losses, and create a block against treatment-dependent drones downgrading your next generation.

    So, given that you are unsure at that stage about either the degree of resistance or the qualities of local drones, moving fast to head off any trouble is a good plan.

    In any case, why waste bees? What would you do in this situation - pour petrol on them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    However it is a good approach if few bees have much resistance, so that major or total losses can be avoided, but only the best are bred from.
    As longs as you can still identify them successfully. (Many argue that mites counts are ineffective and other assay methods too narrow and/or difficult)

    The great thing about not treating or manipulating is that you expose the very thing you need to know most - which have best resistance and general vigour. Getting to a position where you can do that is the best possible opening strategy.

    Whatever you do you still need to attend to the drone side.

    BTW I'm not letting you off that 3 week ban. It applies (I've decided) to that thread only. But you can earn another one here just as easily.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Mike,
    Do you get ABJ? Randy Oliver in the March 2014 issue addressed this ....
    Seen Part One on why most tf attempts fail ('domesticated' bees - excellent distinction). I haven't laid hold of a copy of Part Two about small scale queen raising. Any chance of a summary?

    Mike (UK)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I haven't laid hold of a copy of Part Two about small scale queen raising. Any chance of a summary? Mike (UK)
    It's just simplified grafting....
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    It's just simplified grafting....
    Does he talk about where to get the bees to populate mating hives and nucs?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Does he talk about where to get the bees to populate mating hives and nucs? Mike (UK)
    He shows a method of using your own population to produce Q cells (just 10 or so in a single box), again very simplified.
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    (From another thread http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...81#post1078481)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    "If I'd said _anything_ of that sort do you think Rader wouldn't have dredged it up by now?"
    Glad to see you're on the case now Graham!

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...93#post1079193
    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    It isn't difficult to understand your past comments on treatments. For instance, post #163 of this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...lic#post503072

    I invite everyone to read the entire post, but here is one of your paragraphs from that post ...

    You said, "Treatments is always the core of the problem." And now you are advocating treating, and yet you claim that is not a change of your position!
    And on...

    The keyterms 'treatment' and 'treating' are used in two distinct ways, and we have to use context to read them properly.

    'Treating' (T1) in the usual sense used here means more or less systematic use of substances in a manner aiming to do nothing more than reduce mite levels, so that bees can carry on. Modern orthodox beekeeping.

    That's the context of the TF forum. We're trying here to raise bees that can cope on their own - without 'treating' where 'treating' means no less than: 'systematic use of treatments to control mites'.

    T1 is in effect shorthand for: 'treating-and-raising-more-treatment-dependent-bees'.

    Again, from the bottom of the post of mine you cite, and every other one I've ever made here:

    "Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness"

    Now... of course the terms 'treatments' and 'treating' also refer to the substances used, and to individual one-off uses within a resistance raising program. (T2)

    So: when we're using the terms we have to be aware of the context - that provides information as to what is intended by the term.

    Failure to do that leads to mistakes of the sort we have here. As soon as I say 'treat' you jump to the conclusion that I mean treat everything, systematically.

    Every time I've spoken about 'treating' and 'treatments' in the past, I've been speaking in the context of systematic use of the sort that cripples the bee's ability to raise resistance. (T1) Take a look at the thesis at the link provided at the bottom of my post and you'll see that I speak about 'Denial of Natural Selection' being the root cause of our problems. That is what systematic treatments achieve. That's why people refer to the practice of systematic treating as 'addictive'. The more you treat (systematically) the more you have to treat.

    All this is true only in the context where treatments (systematic or otherwise) are not followed by requeening from (hopefully) better stock. Again, what's at the bottom of all my posts?

    That context is perfectly clear in each of the quotes you have provided.

    In that context that 'systematically' very quickly becomes unneccessary and is dropped. 'Treating' becomes shorthand for 'keeping bees in a modern orthodox manner as far as varroa is concerned'

    Now: it isn't systematic, addictive, resistance-sapping treatment+reproduction that I'm talking about here (T1).

    Its one-off treatments aiming to clear bees of mites so that they can be re-used with a new (and hopefully better) queen without risk of her being damaged by them. (T2)

    If you're still confused, read that again.

    Its one-off bee-cleaning treatment within a systematic selective propagation operation, the main of aim which is to raise bees that don't need treating.

    Get it? Systematic, addictive apiary-wide treatments (T1) OR one-off bee-cleaning treatments (T2).

    These are entirely different things. Their effect ongoing is utterly different.

    Since you ask; my own bees... are doing just fine, thanks for asking. They're all building, some faster than others. But then they went into winter in different states so that doesn't tell me anything. I'm anticipating some being better than others, and I'll probably be considering requeening the weaker. If they are failing because they have heavy mite populations, I'll consider my options. If I have plenty of bees and am on target for this year's increase goals, I won't need to think about re-using them - though I will think about whether I want them sitting there dying - and I may decide that it will be in the overall interests of my project to have exactly that. But if there are lots of such colonies, I'll want to re-use them. And then I'll consider cleaning them.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-28-2014 at 06:15 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    > Get it?

    I sure do!

    When faced with awkward [conflicting] past quotes, just redefine the terms ....





    Was it T1 or T2 that was going to be used in your new forum?
    When were you planning on explaining these subtleties to Barry?


    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Ah well. You can't say I didn't try. You can lead a horse to water, as they say, but sometimes you know from the start it'll only use the water to hose you down.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    If you want to discuss soft bond, simply state from the beginning that you are talking soft bond. It will avoid misunderstandings.

    It is my opinion that requeening with mite tolerant queens is the only treatment needed in most circumstances.

    When the level of mite tolerance in a bee population is vanishingly small, you will have to "vanish" a lot of colonies to whittle down to that 1 in 1000 that has a small level of resistance. You need a dozen or so of these resistant colonies to set up a breeding population. Then you can raise a few hundred queens to requeen colonies that are susceptible. Of course, by then, most of your susceptible colonies will have been killed by varroa so you can just make splits from the resistant colonies to rebuild the population. This entire paradigm is why it is so easy to talk about using a soft bond approach to beekeeping.

    Keep thinking about what might work, but settle down on something that is more or less certain to work. Live and let die works.

    I'm surprised you have not tried to obtain some mite tolerant queens. There are at least a few places in the EU that sell them. John Kefuss is expensive, but if you really want mite tolerance, he has it. So just for grins, where have you looked to find mite tolerant queens?
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    If you want to discuss soft bond, simply state from the beginning that you are talking soft bond. It will avoid misunderstandings.
    I don't especially want to talk soft bond. What I do isn't soft bond. Soft bond is systematically treating lightly to expose resistance, culling the less resistant and requeening with the stronger.

    I make no treatments, other than (and this is a plan only thus far) to CLEAN BEES FOR RE-USE.

    Come on, this isn't hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    It is my opinion that requeening with mite tolerant queens is the only treatment needed in most circumstances.
    That's what I've planned to do. However I think its possible young queens will be weakened by mites and thus be susceptable to supercedure and/or weak performance. And that will cloud the evaluation. I think cleaning the bees makes sense. Good evaluation make a lot of difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    When the level of mite tolerance in a bee population is vanishingly small, you will have to "vanish" a lot of colonies to whittle down to that 1 in 1000 that has a small level of resistance.
    When I achieve a reasonable level of resistance I'll be more than happy. I'm not looking to achieve anything else. In an open mated scenario what you describe is impossible anyway - unless you have an island.

    I'm pretty sure I already have a reasonable level of resistance. I'll find out more this summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    You need a dozen or so of these resistant colonies to set up a breeding population. Then you can raise a few hundred queens to requeen colonies that are susceptible.
    No you don't. I'll be quite happy when a good proportion of new colonies - maybe 95% - don't suffer mite blooms, and maybe only 10% suffer significantly from medium level infections. That's a perfectly good level of performance to be getting on with.

    I'm trying to do population husbandry, not aiming to breed to fix traits in a population. I don't think you can do that with varroa management traits - too many resistant patrilines are undesirable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    This entire paradigm is why it is so easy to talk about using a soft bond approach to beekeeping.
    Am I misunderstanding 'soft bond'? To me it means carrying on treating a treatment-dependent population though lightly enough to expose the differences in resistance. Then requeening - best to worst.

    That's nothing like what I'm doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Keep thinking about what might work, but settle down on something that is more or less certain to work. Live and let die works.
    That's what I do. Not treating is the best way to discover the resistant bees. The rest die - but of course we only need to have the queen die. The workers can be used to make new nucs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I'm surprised you have not tried to obtain some mite tolerant queens. There are at least a few places in the EU that sell them. John Kefuss is expensive, but if you really want mite tolerance, he has it. So just for grins, where have you looked to find mite tolerant queens?
    In my feral population. That's all. So far very good. If I find I'm struggling I'll look further.

    Mike (UK)
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    If you want to discuss soft bond, simply state from the beginning that you are talking soft bond. It will avoid misunderstandings.
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I don't especially want to talk soft bond. What I do isn't soft bond. Soft bond is systematically treating lightly to expose resistance, culling the less resistant and requeening with the stronger.


    Am I misunderstanding 'soft bond'? To me it means carrying on treating a treatment-dependent population though lightly enough to expose the differences in resistance. Then requeening - best to worst.


    That's what I do. Not treating is the best way to discover the resistant bees. The rest die - but of course we only need to have the queen die. The workers can be used to make new nucs.
    If you don't intend to let the failing colonies just die, but treat to save the bees, then sounds as near to soft Bond method as you can get, treating and making up nucs with (hopefully) more resistant queens or treating and just introducing more resistant queens...always culling the worst queens, but saving the bees....and so on

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Mike I think you are defining soft bond too exactly. What you will be doing is soft bond.

    It's pretty simple, hard bond is no treatment, if they die let them. Soft bond is using treatment if need be, but not necessarily on all colonies, why treat colonies if they don't need it? I never thought treating all colonies "lightly" would be soft bond although guess it could be. But treating every colony "lightly", in my view would probably kill more mites in some colonies than others and make it harder to identify the more resistant ones.

    In fact what I've found, working with a population of very non mite resistant bees, is that there can be many reasons why one hive has more or less mites than another, it can be as simple as the position of the hive in the apiary. However, as I don't do proper VSH testing and doubt you will either, going by which hives have the least mites is rather simplistic, but will probably move things in the right direction.

    As an aside, and in response to Fusion Power, I did not know that Brits were allowed to import resistant queens from other countries? Probably a gap in my knowledge. If this is the case, why do not more of them do it? Any Brits care to comment?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by beekuk View Post
    If you don't intend to let the failing colonies just die, but treat to save the bees...
    Save the bees - not the queens. In soft bond some of those queens that needed treatment are used as breeders - on the basis that were better than others. #

    Soft bond is called 'soft' specifially because it isn't 'live and let die' - it preserves treatment-dependent queens and uses them as breeders. What is seeks to do is raise resitance incrementally.

    In my system no queens needing treatment are used as breeders. They thrive or perish - by my hand or Nature's hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by beekuk View Post
    then sounds as near to soft Bond method as you can get, treating and making up nucs with (hopefully) more resistant queens or treating and just introducing more resistant queens...always culling the worst queens, but saving the bees....and so on
    Its not all that different I agree. But there is one crucial difference. I'm not preserving, for a moment, any bees that can't make it on their own. I'm not keeping treatment-dependent bees alive, where they can send drones communicating their inadequate genes into the future. Nothing, in breeding terms gets a moment's grace. They make it alone or they die.

    That's not soft bond - soft bond is systematically treating lightly, to preserve all colonies while trying to discover which are more resistant.

    My way is pretty much hard bond. The only real difference is that because I'm not starting with utterly treatment-dependent apiary bees I'm not getting the heavy casualties they would get, and which characterises 'hard' bond.

    If and where the queen is to perish it is daft to waste the working colony. So you requeen. Yes that part is part of soft bond. Is it not also part of hard bond? It if you want it to be certainly. There's no drawback, no slowing of the breeding process.

    Mike (UK)
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    That's not soft bond - soft bond is systematically treating lightly, to preserve all colonies while trying to discover which are more resistant.

    Its pretty much hard bond. Mike (UK)
    Incorrect. Hard bond is not treating. Full stop. If they die let them. Ask Mike Bush, Solomon Parker, etc...

    In the past, I have raised the idea on the Treatment Free forum, of breeding from survivors but treating other bees just to preserve them with a view to requeening, and had the idea roundly rejected by hard bond proponents.

    Solomon Parker lost a lot more hives than he wanted to this season, but I did not see any mention of him attempting to save them by treating. He accepts his losses as part of being a hard bond beekeeper.

    Treating within the population is soft bond. The method you propose is viable, and in fact makes sense, long as you are not using treatments that permanently damage the hive in some way. But it is not hard bond.

    As previously stated, if genuinely resistant bees are identified, why continue treating them just to be "soft bond"? Who would do such a thing?

    Also, if a claimed 95% of bees are resistant, why treat at all? If I had 95% resistant bees I would certainly not be treating and would happily take the 5% loss.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 03-28-2014 at 01:39 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    99.99 percent were susceptible in the early years. It is only in the last 15 years that some resistance has shown up. A lot of that can be traced to imports of the Primorski bees.

    I'd be interested in a response from Beekuk about importing resistant queens to the UK. Can it be done?
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    I new to this...take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Can't you varroa test your hives...by free fall, alcohol washes and brood checks and breed from the Queens of hives that have least build up?

    Those that treat get varroa back in their hives...it isn't like you treat and they are gone. It is like grass...during the growing season you cut it and grows back up to be cut again.

    So whether you treat or not you should be able to determine which hives are your most varroa resistant, or better natural varroa managers, by recording which hives have the slowest recurrence of detectable varroa mites.

    Thus is it not so much a matter of whether one treats or not but whether one monitors or not.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Agree WBVC. There has to be more than one method to work towards more resistant bees.

    The discussion over the last few posts has simply been about the names put on those methods.
    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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