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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    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?.
    Yes you can

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    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..
    True, but basially all colonies have mites, resistant or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    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..
    Not exactly. Mite levels is only one factor. How the bees deal with the mite load is another (or the viruses that the carry). My understanding is that some colonies will do well with a higher mite load than others will with a lower one. So selecting only on the mite level is to narrow of a selective quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Thus is it not so much a matter of whether one treats or not but whether one monitors or not.
    Monitoring is good data to have, but not the whole picture. Resistance is more complex than a single factor.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    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?
    Well, you can, but then I wonder if that's the correct metric. Maybe what you really want is a colony that can remain vigorous despite a high mite load.

    I have to admit that this is the idea that led me to start testing for mites, even though I don't plan to treat. If I have a hive with a high mite load that survives and is productive, I don't want to lose those genetics.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    If you want to do the job right, colonies have to be set up specifically to test for mite resistance. The best way to do this is to combine a boat load of queenless highly susceptible bees that are loaded with mites into one large container, then weigh out equal amounts of bees and set them up as a colony with a new putatively mite tolerant queen. Any colonies that reduce or keep stable the mite count are considered tolerant. Any that increase mite count are susceptible. Call this what you want, it is the ultimate test of mite tolerance. You know how many bees the colony started with. You know how many mites the colony started with. You know the queen the colony started with. If they control mites, they are resistant.

    Ray, if you have a high mite load in a colony, it will eventually die unless something intervenes to artificially lower the load. There is no such thing as a mite tolerant colony that has a high mite load.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Ray, if you have a high mite load in a colony, it will eventually die unless something intervenes to artificially lower the load. There is no such thing as a mite tolerant colony that has a high mite load.
    At what level is a mite load terminal?
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Well, you can, but then I wonder if that's the correct metric. Maybe what you really want is a colony that can remain vigorous despite a high mite load.

    I have to admit that this is the idea that led me to start testing for mites, even though I don't plan to treat. If I have a hive with a high mite load that survives and is productive, I don't want to lose those genetics.
    So we are looking for two factors:

    Resistance to maintaining mites within the colony

    and

    Ability to thrive in the presence of mites and viruses passed on by mites

    The best would be to have both
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    At what level is a mite load terminal?
    That is an interesting question. In my country when varroa first arrived, guidelines were published as to what level of mites would mean the hive should be treated. This has been revised downwards over time, as mite vectored viruses have become more endemic, and worsened. IE, at first, bees could tolerate more mites because there were less viruses.

    For me, I don't count mites, my evaluation is based purely on the performance of the hive, the state of the brood and any virus symptoms in adults. That is the important measure.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    If you want to do the job right, colonies have to be set up specifically to test for mite resistance. The best way to do this is to combine a boat load of queenless highly susceptible bees that are loaded with mites into one large container, then weigh out equal amounts of bees and set them up as a colony with a new putatively mite tolerant queen. Any colonies that reduce or keep stable the mite count are considered tolerant. Any that increase mite count are susceptible. Call this what you want, it is the ultimate test of mite tolerance. You know how many bees the colony started with. You know how many mites the colony started with. You know the queen the colony started with. If they control mites, they are resistant.

    Ray, if you have a high mite load in a colony, it will eventually die unless something intervenes to artificially lower the load. There is no such thing as a mite tolerant colony that has a high mite load.
    It would seem one should be looking at mite tolerance and mite resistance (or the ability to get rid of them).
    Last edited by WBVC; 03-28-2014 at 05:25 PM.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    There is no such thing as a mite tolerant colony that has a high mite load.
    Sounds funny but I wonder about that. Dee says that some times bees don't tackle a problem till it reaches a critical mass and they are motivated to take care of it.

    I've found several years running now that I have hives that test in the 5 - 8% range in early July, but I seldom find any hives that test with over 3 % infestation in September. May be a local condition.

    Appreciate your input Darrell


    Don

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I'd be interested in a response from Beekuk about importing resistant queens to the UK. Can it be done?
    Yes it can be done, it is done, from any country in the EU, and some countries outside the EU as well.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Yes but can you get resistant ones?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Yes, there is even a member on here that sells them, Juhani Lunden.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Hmm.. Would be nice if I could just order up a few.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #33

    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    Sounds funny but I wonder about that. Dee says that some times bees don't tackle a problem till it reaches a critical mass and they are motivated to take care of it.

    I've found several years running now that I have hives that test in the 5 - 8% range in early July, but I seldom find any hives that test with over 3 % infestation in September. May be a local condition.

    Appreciate your input Darrell


    Don
    Very interesting Don, I have measured similar incidences. I count mites with the powder sugar method in mid May (because I have to decide, which 2 or 3 year old queens to use in queen rearing) and then again in August. Often there are less mites in autumn than in spring. Sometimes the infestation is the same, but very often in the breeder hives it is down to half or more. And I have taken account possible nucs made in summer.

    To Mikes original question, whether we can or cannot treat, while having a breeding program for resistance, I would say yes we can, but it has at least two downsides. First is that the so called efective size of the population gets smaller: The group of hives, which is treated, forms a group of their own after that. This group cannot be evaluated with the rest of the hives. If we do it again the next summer, we treat one fraction of hives in both these new groups (treated and not treated) we get four groups. So the size of the populatio, which can be evaluated together, gets smaller.

    The other down side is that if we think of the situation after we have finished this breeding effors. We have Varroa resistant bees in our hands. How can we distripute them in the surrounding world, if they cannot withstand reasonably big mite loads? We cannot.

    The possible third down side is that the factors behind resistance might be epigenetic. This is: there is some factor from the environment that makes the genes "turn on". This factor might be the mite load. As Don pointed out, something happens in these resistant colonies, which causes them to be able to get rid of mites.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    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.
    Where does that 99.99 figure come from? Did you just make it up? What does 'susceptible' mean? It will affect them to a degree? It will kill them?

    Is there any evidence - with proper figures - about the extent of influence of Primorski bees?

    I think resistance began to rise from the start in the 'survivor' feral populations. Its what happens in naturally selected populations. Dr Debora Delany sees it as an entirely natural phenomena as far as I know. Joe Waggle called it right - I don't know when that was.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-29-2014 at 04:52 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Incorrect. Hard bond is not treating. Full stop. If they die let them.
    I agree with 'Hard Bond' let them die. The queens (and drones) - the only components that matter in population husbandry. Better still, kill them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    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.

    Ask Mike Bush, Solomon Parker, etc...
    Maybe you were unfairly treated.

    The only reason I can think of for allowing the colony (as opposed to the queen) to actually perish is to create an environment in which a lot of bees carrying varroa are entering adjacent hives, thus sorting the men from the boys there. The notion has merit - its halfway to 'accelerated bond'.

    Its tempting to me. But its a decision I'll make as I go along. I'm not going to be dragooned by others notions of what should and shouldn't be done. I going to do population husbandry as I see fit. It will be similar to 'hard bond'. It won't be like 'soft bond'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    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.
    I wouldn't 'save them by treating' either. I might requeen them. That is, save the worker bees. I wouldn't try to save the queen unless - like you - I had no other choice. I do have other choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Treating within the population is soft bond.
    If you regard the breeding population (which is all that matters) as the queens and drones alone (as you must) it matters not at all what happens to the rest. Unless, as above, you want lots of varroa loaded bees flying about.

    Treating within the BREEDING POPULATION is, yes soft bond. But that isn't what I'm considering. I'm onsidering treating queenless bee to clean them of varroa prior to introducing a new queen.

    How many time do I have to say that? Can you truly not undertand the difference?

    Are you deliberately misunderstanding to try to create confusion? Why would you want to do that?

    Soft bond is a method useful to beekeepers like yourself, who would lose most of your bees if you just stopped helping them cope with mite.

    I don't help my population cope with mites. Period.

    If you truly cannot appreciate the difference, work at it. Your apparent failure to appreciate this indicates a glaring hole in your understanding of population husbandry. Understanding it will supply you with an insight that could make a whole lot of difference to your own project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    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.
    I never said it was. Its mike bispham doing traditional husbandry as he sees fit. That's all its ever been.

    [QUOTE=Oldtimer;1079609]As previously stated, if genuinely resistant bees are identified, why continue treating them just to be "soft bond"? Who would do such a thing?[quote]

    Who is proposing to do that? Again, are you deliberately pretending to misunderstanding me to cause confusion, or just really not understanding?

    Try to get away from ideas like 'genuinely resistant.' Resistance isn't (for us) a binary option: 'On or Off'. We all have a degree of resistance, and we're working at raising it.

    What we try to identify are the best - as we see fit as husbandrymen. That for me is a combination of resistance and productivity, with a nod toward good handling qualities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    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.
    Again, are you deliberately misunderstanding to try to create confusion?

    There is treating in the normal sense - like you do - and there is cleaning bees for re-use, which is what I'm considering. Did you miss the post where I explained that carefully? Here it is:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...64#post1079364
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-29-2014 at 04:59 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    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?
    I've been breeding from the best for 3 years now. I've haven't made any attempt to learn what it is that makes them better. I think that's a sound policy. But I might change my mind.

    .. 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....

    It they are thriving and productive they are managing varroa. That's all I need to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Thus is it not so much a matter of whether one treats or not but whether one monitors or not.
    If you treat you are keeping alive colonies that will spread their (inadequate) genes into the next generation. You are perpetuating the problem. Its best avoided. In my apiary its avoided entirely. I don't treat at all. What I do is work in way designed to show me clearly which are the better mite-managers - and from those I'll make the next generations. It takes a bit of patience and careful thinking through of what might have an effect that will supply false readings.

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

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post

    To Mikes original question, whether we can or cannot treat, while having a breeding program for resistance, I would say...
    Juhani, respectfully: do you not read my posts?

    I've carefully laid our how I'm considering CLEANING queenless colonies of mites (having killed the queen) prior to requeening.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...64#post1079364

    THAT IS ALL.

    None of your commentary applies to that proposal.

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

  18. #38

    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Juhani, respectfully: do you not read my posts?
    None of your commentary applies to that proposal.


    Mike (UK)
    With all respect, i don´t have time.

    And yes my comment applies very much to your proposal. You are making your effective population size smaller, my first point. It is a very serious drawback because breeding is a numbers game.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i have not had to deal with collapse from varroasis. if it shows up, i would consider removing such a hive to a safe location, busting it down to a single box, reducing the entrance, installing a robber screen, killing the queen, using a soft treatment to rid of the mites, requeen from resistant stock, and try again.
    since making this post i have had a few colonies 'crash' or more accurately not overwinter successfully and i suspect varroa was a part of the reason.

    this is one of those times when 'practical reality trumps philosophy' because the collapsing occurs during the time of year when requeening is perhaps possible but not practical.

    if your goal is preserving the unfit stock to use with new queens you will need a better metric than collapse.

    i have considered monitoring mite counts and trying to come up with a threshold, but my current thinking is that resistance has as much to do with natural immunity to viruses as anything. this is why i believe an all natural diet (avoiding syrup) is a common denominator among most successful tf operations. not disturbing the microflora in the hive also makes sense for this reason (promoting natural immunity).

    starting with feral survivors or as in my case bees that are derived from feral survivors and locating apiaries in areas where feral survivors are present is another one of those common denominators.

    fusion power has presented some of the better metrics one can use if breeding for bees that maintain low mite counts is the goal.

    my current approach is pretty much choosing queen mothers from my most long-lived and productive colonies while splitting up the dinks for use as mating nucs. last year was my first to graft queens and those daughter colonies are not disappointing me in the least.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    A post may take 15 minutes to compose. More if a series of references is included.

    To read them takes a not inconsequential period of time, and much more if included references are downloaded and reviewed.

    I post while waiting for the coffee to cool in the morning. After that I am engaged in the real world of work (much of which is much more enjoyable than the cramped world of electronic pixels).

    In contrast, Mike is posting long screeds with highlighted fonts and underlines obsessively -- where does he find time for his soapbox contributions -- how can he treat his bee fairly when his time is taken up with fulminating against his perceived inferiors? How does he hold his other jobs and interests together?
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 03-29-2014 at 08:14 AM.

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