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  1. #81

    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Either way, letting colonies die when they could be saved makes no sense.
    Just need to requeen poor performers with daughter queens from the better performers.
    This is the tricky part. In practise there is, for a commercial beekeeper who has to earn money (that is: do other work), no time to check the mite levels so frequently, that the colonies could be saved. Mites move from hive to hive and collapses occur in just a few weeks. Super strong colonies just drop in two three weeks.

    What would be the threshold? 3%, 5% , 8%, 10% infestation or more? I could not tell other than sometimes they live all right with 8%. Sometimes they cannot cope 5%.

    Sometimes colonies lower their infestation by themselves( don´t ask how) and this is really important, maybe the most valuable characteristic, which the breeder will never wiittness with soft bond methods.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 04-02-2014 at 05:30 AM.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    I wish you luck, but the chances are you will have heavy losses within 12 months as there is unlikely to be anything special about the swarms and ferals you have collected. The vast majority of uk 'feral' colonies are recent swarms so could well be nothing more than escaped Carnica or Buckfast colonies as those are the most common types kept in GB.
    If I had a penny for every time I've been told that! What evidence base are you using to underpin this opinion?

    Seriously. What is your data source?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  3. #83
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Mike, how do you intend to propagate queens?
    Have you ever grafted? Grafting, or Cupkit if you are unfamiliar with grafting, is the way to go.
    Yes, I did my first grafting last year. I'm taking things up a stage this year - not so much to concentrate genes, but to get better control of the process and develop labour efficient working methods.

    My position is that it really is the selection that matters - identifying those with what it takes. Everything in my operation is geared to that end without compromise. That means I have to pay attention not just to getting queens, but to getting bees and brood to make up nucs without disturbing the selection process.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-02-2014 at 06:01 AM.
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  4. #84
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    One step forward two steps back.
    Not so much then.... maybe time to try a different tack?
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  5. #85
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    If I had a penny for every time I've been told that! What evidence base are you using to underpin this opinion?

    Seriously. What is your data source?

    Mike (UK)
    Estimating the Density of Honeybee Colonies across Their Natural Range to Fill the Gap in Pollinator Decline Censuses
    RODOLFO JAFFE et al. 2010

    In Europe honeybees sampled in nature reserves had genetic diversity and colony densities similar to those sampled in agricultural landscapes, which suggests that the former are not wild but may have come from managed hives.
    May be different in Kent of course but SE England has a large number of imports coming in every year so I would doubt that.
    There are parts of Scotland which are still varroa free where you will find ferals like in the good old days.

    Kate Thompson at Leeds University surveyed ferals and managed colonies in the UK with a view to determining if there were any native bee populations (Amm) left in the UK. I sent her samples from my apiary in 2010. From correspondence with her I know she had difficulty finding many long term feral colonies. As far as I know her work has not been published yet but there were a series of papers planned.

    Not so much then.... maybe time to try a different tack?
    My main interest in in conserving what is left of the native bee population in the UK and Ireland.
    Selecting for traits which help deal with varroa seems like a logical step to take at the same time.
    If the native Amm population gets hybridised it will be lost for ever as you cannot unmix the genetics.
    In this sense we have different agendas.

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    So what I'm using now is formic acid, administered as a 24 hour flash treatment via a fumeboard. Just done a good % of my hives with it over the last month with excellent results. Plus for that method is no chemical contaminants left in the hive, which is important in my opinion. Second method is oxalic vaporisation, quite a few issues around this so still in the experimental phase however I have just purchased a bulk vaporiser which carries enough OA to do around 25 hives in one shot. And the only other treatment I am currently using is Apivar strips. Reason for this is it is foolproof, ie, a no skills required treatment, and can be used for special cases where other methods for some reason are not appropriate. It can be used in any hive, any season, any weather. Downside, it is a synthetic. However it is non residual, ie, once the active ingredients are out of the strip they have a 1/2 life in the hive of only a few days before breaking down to pretty much harmless metabolites.
    This whole thread should probably never been started in the treatment free forum, but this post obviously doesn't belong.


    Don

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    "In Europe honeybees sampled in nature reserves had genetic diversity and colony densities similar to those sampled in agricultural landscapes, which suggests that the former are not wild but may have come from managed hives."
    There is nothing in that statement pertaining to the length of time within which such bees have been feral, nor anything about the degree of resistance which they might have attained.

    While their genetic origins are not in dispute, you made a clear implication: because they stem from Buckfast and Carnicas they will be treatment dependent. Your reference does not back this up.

    Lets return to your statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    "...the chances are you will have heavy losses within 12 months as there is unlikely to be anything special about the swarms and ferals you have collected. The vast majority of uk 'feral' colonies are recent swarms so could well be nothing more than escaped Carnica or Buckfast colonies as those are the most common types kept in GB."
    Your 'chances are' and 'likely' are nothing more than opinion. They have no basis in empirical evidence (at least, not yet).

    You're 'could well be' is similarly a statement of opinion.

    For a number of my swarms and cutouts I have good evidence that they are from well established colonies. And I know of a numbers of others (that I don't have in my possession) that are similarly long-lasting ferals.

    And some of these - swarms and cutouts - have thrived with me for 3 years now.

    Perhaps the important thing to understand and work with is: while there are many unknowns, ferals can represent a genuine opportunity to get bees with a great deal more resistance than 'domesticated' bees. That is highly desirable - it gives you an excellent starting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    May be different in Kent of course but SE England has a large number of imports coming in every year so I would doubt that.
    It has moderate numbers of managed bees, and a lot of migration work. And a lot of rough space where there are few managed bees but sufficient forage for ferals to live while natural selection works its magic. That might well turn out to be a very useful combination.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    There are parts of Scotland which are still varroa free where you will find ferals like in the good old days.
    So some ferals (despite being of foreign origin) can be resistant? Or do you think varroa hasn't reached them?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Kate Thompson at Leeds University surveyed ferals and managed colonies in the UK with a view to determining if there were any native bee populations (Amm) left in the UK. [...] From correspondence with her I know she had difficulty finding many long term feral colonies.
    I don't find that particularly surprising. She probably talked to plenty of beekeepers who told her there were none! She might get better at it as time goes by. It sounds to me like she isn't actually looking for that feature anyway. She should talk with Deborah Delaney.

    Mike (UK)
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  8. #88
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    This whole thread should probably never been started in the treatment free forum, but this post obviously doesn't belong.


    Don
    Respectfully you are incorrect.

    "Any post advocating the use of treatments, according to the forum definition of treatment will be considered off topic and shall be moved to another forum or deleted by a moderator, unless it is employed as part of a plan in becoming treatment free."
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ue-Forum-Rules
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Which is (excuse the shouting, but I'm getting fed up with repeating myself) EXACTLY WHAT I'M PROPOSING
    But it isn't EXACTLY what you are proposing. You're proposing treating the hive to be requeened first, then requeening. Which is certainly not "exactly"...

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Thank you Riodelobo. When I wrote that I was slightly uncomfortable & aware of D Semples point and that these things were pushing at the boundaries for this forum. However what I wrote was an honest answer to a valid question, and the whole thing was in context of the thread. I would not have wrote it otherwise, and suspect that is why it was not moderated nor the thread moved. It is in the context of MB's latest idea of using treatment as part of a program to move away from treatment.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    There is nothing in that statement pertaining to the length of time within which such bees have been feral, nor anything about the degree of resistance which they might have attained.
    There was no difference genetically between the managed colonies and the ferals sampled from the nature reserves. Draw your own conclusions if you like but if the genetics is the same there is likely no adaptation in terms of varroa tolerance.

    So some ferals (despite being of foreign origin) can be resistant? Or do you think varroa hasn't reached them?
    There are parts of Scotland which have never seen a mite, parts of the mainland and some of the islands such as Colonsay and Orkney.

    I don't find that particularly surprising. She probably talked to plenty of beekeepers who told her there were none!
    She was actively hunting for ferals all over the UK. It was a central part of her work.

    How many of your colonies are from cutouts and how many are swarms from long term feral colonies?
    I am not sure how you would know about longevity, other than people telling you there have been bees in such and such a place for ages.
    Once a cavity has old comb in it it becomes a magnet for scout bees and will be reoccupied very quickly.
    If you have been monitoring certain feral colonies long term yourself, fair enough, but I would take a lot of the tales of continuous occupation with a pinch of salt.
    I have several colonies descended from a queen in a swarm which emerged from a colony behind the fascia board of a friend's house. That was in June 2009 and the original colony died out the following winter and was reoccupied again the following summer. I told the guy to block up the access as he did not want bees in his roof but he didn't bother.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Your welcome, I am currently taking the Hard Bond approach, however I am only willing to take one more crash before I change approaches. If this is to happen, than I will be switching to soft bond. So in planning for the worst and hoping for the best your input is valuable to me.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    But it isn't EXACTLY what you are proposing. You're proposing treating the hive to be requeened first, then requeening. Which is certainly not "exactly"...
    That's nit picking!

    Mike (UK)
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  14. #94
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    There was no difference genetically between the managed colonies and the ferals sampled from the nature reserves. Draw your own conclusions if you like but if the genetics is the same...
    Gosh Jonathan. That's rather revealing of a chasm in your understanding. I'm not sure where to begin. Especially as I'm no expert. As I understand it things go roughly like this.

    In all sexually reproductive species every individual is a unique combination of genes. (The exception is a particular sort of identical twin - where both twins grow from the same fertilized egg).

    Further many features of the organism are controlled by alternative gene-sets (alleles). So within humans you can have blue-eye genes, brown-eye genes, green eye genes - according to the allele you inherit.

    Each individial is made up ('coded' if you like) from a 'blueprint' - the gene-set that is his (or her) unique combination of genes inherited from the parents. As well as that set he carries a second set which, well he simply carries. The first set are called the 'expressed' genes, the second the 'unexpressed' genes.

    When they mate each parent passes on new unique combinations of these two sets of genes.

    So each new individual is made up from a unique combination of four full gene sets. Some of their own genes will have been also used by the 'doner'. So you might have your father's blue eye allele. But you might not - and you might not have your mother's allelle either. You might instead have an eye colour allele that was carried by one of your parents, but not expressed by them. You might inherit an eye colour allele that hasn't been expressed for several generations - a 'throwback'.

    The possibility for variation within just one family is, you can see, huge. And this is just one family! Imagine the variation in a town, where for years immigrants have influenced the gene pool!

    But... all this variation is present in...the same species!

    As you can see the logical step you have made above is wildly misconceived.

    Within each population there is a diversity of genetic combinations, and of alleles. Every single individual is unique. Some are stronger, cleverer, have better eyesight than others, simply because they happened to get lucky with their parents and the genetic recombination process. (A large proportion of fertilized eggs never come to fruition - they simply weren't viable recombinations - the individuals we see alive have already passed a severe test of viability)

    Some allelles supply advantages over others at different times. So, for example, if you are a honey bee, when a new (or long lost) mite turns up, it is advantageous to have, expressed, that allelle which codes for a particular hygienic behaviour. And in fact there are several useful mite-management behaviours, and its useful to have a good few of them in your hive.

    So what happens in a natural population is that those individuals that don't have (and express) such behaviour suffer ill health. Some die, some don't make viable swarms. Those colonies on the other hand with a lovely combination of mite management behaviours do really well. They thrive and make lots of drones, and throw of lots of healthy swarms.

    And so the next generation inherits those genes, those allelles, that code for mite management behaviours in greater number that it inherits those alleles that don't.

    And this process is repeated in the next reproductive cycle, and the next, and the next..... always.

    Natural selection thus works with the genetic diversity present within a single species - or sub species, or local population. And in many cases with a single family. Think rabbits.

    All the bee races in country have the alleles needed to make them good mite managers. Its just that those alleles are at very low levels in the population, because they haven't been needed. Nature, in feral bees has been busily selecting, and that's how feral populations have developed resistance. Meanwhile humans have been busily preserving all the alleles that code for non-mite situations.

    While the details change a little from species to species, this is the trick of genetic recombination supplied by sexual reproduction. It works much, much better in many different ways than simply dividing (like bacteria). And that why it exists. Sexual recombination supplies massive diversity, upon which natural selection goes to work.

    This might sem like too much information, but... these are the basic mechanisms of life. A husbandryman - especially a putative breeder - should be familar if not with them, then a least with the cause-effect relation between selective parentage and health in offspring. Basic traditional husbandry in other words.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    there is likely no adaptation in terms of varroa tolerance.
    Sorry Jonathan, but you are not equipped either with an understanding of the mechanisms or reference to a data source. Furthermore it flies in the face of a multitude of reports - often expert - that speak of rising feral resisitance, success in breeding toward resistance, and the most basic tenets of evolutionary biology and traditional husbandry. All of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    How many of your colonies are from cutouts and how many are swarms from long term feral colonies?
    I am not sure how you would know about longevity, other than people telling you there have been bees in such and such a place for ages.
    I'm not an idiot Jonathan. Nor am I dishonest with myself. I know the difference between gold and dross, and interrogate carefully to distinguish them.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-03-2014 at 02:26 AM.
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  15. #95
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    So how many of your colonies are from Cut outs, how many are captured swarms from long term ferals, how many are captured swarms or splits from your own colonies and how many are captured swarms of unknown origin?

    You really ought to go and read the relevant parts of that paper.

    Conservation Biology Volume 24, No. 2, 2010
    Estimating the Density of Honeybee Colonies across Their Natural Range to Fill the Gap in Pollinator Decline Censuses
    RODOLFO JAFFE et al.
    Discussion, P590

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Mike I have also been following this and what you say in general terms is more or less correct. However Jonathan was speaking about a specific example and reported correctly. Nothing you said showed him wrong and I'm rather surprised at your indignant tone not to mention put downs such as referring to the "chasm" in his understanding, when there was none.

    Where you are confused is the difference between your rather wordy generalities, and the specifics Jonathan referred to.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    So how many of your colonies are from Cut outs, how many are captured swarms from long term ferals, how many are captured swarms or splits from your own colonies and how many are captured swarms of unknown origin?
    Without looking at my records...

    Roughly, and from memory: about 4 or 5 of my current colonies are from swarms or cutouts that were either quite well or very well attested as long living. That usually seems to mean they were in smallish cavities and were remembered as having swarmed once or twice every year. In some case people have watched them more closely, and attested continuous occupation (though with swarming). Two (I think) are now in their 3rd year.

    I've had colonies like that which haven't survived.

    They might have superceded - I don't watch them that closely. * I don't think many of my hives have swarmed, but could easily be wrong about that too.

    About 15 are 1 or 2 year olds made up from splits or grafts from those (well attested) queens. (I've felt strongly enough about their origins and performance to choose them as breeders)

    The rest are odd swarms and cut-outs that have lasted without treatment, most now 2 year olds (I didn't get many swarms or cutouts last year.)

    One is distinctly small and black - for what that's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    You really ought to go and read the relevant parts of that paper.
    Why? What will it tell me that is relevant (taking into account what I've just explained to you)?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  18. #98
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    You haven't actually explained anything Mike.
    You posted some beginner level stuff about mendelian genetics, random assortment and inheritance.
    The point that paper is making, if you would care to read it, is that in Europe there is no measurable difference between the genetics of the ferals in various nature reserves and the genetics of the general managed bee population in these areas.
    None of your comment about random assortment of genetic material is even relevant. The comparison is between the two populations.
    I think even non scientists understand about variation as most of us have noticed that not all humans look the same.

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    You haven't actually explained anything Mike.
    You posted some beginner level stuff about mendelian genetics, random assortment and inheritance.
    The point that paper is making, if you would care to read it, is that in Europe there is no measurable difference between the genetics of the ferals in various nature reserves and the genetics of the general managed bee population in these areas.
    My point - which perhaps I didn't make explicit - is that when you say 'genetics' you might be making a statement of a very general and broad nature ('same sub-species') or a very tight nature ('individual') or anything in between.

    And: you cannot apply statements made at one level to every other! That is (a minor kind of) category error.

    Just because two individuals belong to the same subspecies (and therefore 'genetically identical' in that clumsy sense), doesn't mean they are actually genetically identical! Far, far from it! They are unique, 1-off, never seen before/never seen again individuals! They are all different, and all have different qualities.

    Again: only identical twins are actually genetically identical!

    Therefore: your statement:

    "There was no difference genetically between the managed colonies and the ferals sampled from the nature reserves. Draw your own conclusions if you like but if the genetics is the same there is likely no adaptation in terms of varroa tolerance."

    Is nonsense! You are equating species type/sub-type with resistance qualities at the level of the individual. There is no such relation!

    Your further statement:

    "in Europe there is no measurable difference between the genetics of the ferals in various nature reserves and the genetics of the general managed bee population in these areas."

    ...makes the same, deep and fundamental error.

    You are equating sub-species with genetically derived traits at the individual level.

    Think about it Jonathan, and read my previous post again.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    I think even non scientists understand about variation as most of us have noticed that not all humans look the same.
    That's right! Its the same with bees! Some, within the same sub-type - within the same location, are more mite equipped that others, utterly independently of any racial consideration. They are so equipped because the local population has been conditioned by natural selection.

    Saying that that ferals are the same racial type as domesticted bees, and are therefore no better at mite management is therefore a nonsense!

    Its like saying all caucasians can run equally fast!

    Go back to the start Jonathan. Forget the notion that some bees are better at mite management on the grounds of race. All bee races have the same mite management alleles. In different proportions.

    When they are not needed they are lowered in populations (because they reduce competitiveness - they are energy wasting) By natural selection.

    When they are needed they are raised in populations. By natural selection.

    Russian bees are currently better mite managers than most... because... they've been recently exposed to the mite. The mite-managing alleles have been raised in Russian bees. By natural selection.

    Period.

    Bees are like sheep are like people are like lamas. They have a diversity of genes (and alleles) within every population, and those alleles that supply qualities best suited to the present environment are reproduced most often. That, processed at each reproductive cycle, confers optimum health on the population - it is at root a health-seeking mechanism.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  20. #100

    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    You haven't actually explained anything Mike.
    You posted some beginner level stuff about mendelian genetics, random assortment and inheritance.
    The point that paper is making, if you would care to read it, is that in Europe there is no measurable difference between the genetics of the ferals in various nature reserves and the genetics of the general managed bee population in these areas.
    None of your comment about random assortment of genetic material is even relevant. The comparison is between the two populations.
    I think even non scientists understand about variation as most of us have noticed that not all humans look the same.
    How did this paper measure difference in genome?

    It might be, that all bees have the genes what are needed for varroa resistance. These genes just need to be turned on (epigenetic factors). The fact that resitance has occured in so many places and diffrent beeraces, at least in some degree, points to this direction. In Gotland experiment Ingemar Fries even insisted that there should be a mixture of ordinary bees which are most commonly kept in Sweden. And resistance come out after some years. Resistance genes were turned on after some years. And this resistance in Gotland experiment bees has been scientificly prooved to be true.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

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