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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    With all respect, i don´t have time.

    And yes my comment applies very much to your proposal.
    Juhani,

    If you don't read my posts, not only do you not have any grounds for making that (and your following remarks), I think its rather irresponsible to remark on them. It just makes life harder for those of us trying clarify the best ways of getting reliably and properly treatment free.

    And you are absolutely wrong. On both scores.

    My method is strongly geared to making rapid increase (your numbers game) while minimising any clouding of the evaluation of resistance qualities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    You are making your effective population size smaller, my first point. It is a very serious drawback because breeding is a numbers game.
    How on earth do you get to that from anything I've said? On another thread I've just been exploring the best ways to make increase rapidly, laying out why that is desirable, and looking at some of the pitfalls.

    Please, if you can't make the time to read my posts, don't comment on my procedures. It just adds to the confusion that others love to generate.

    I'd much rather you did find time, and engaged properly. I'd suggest you start with the first post of the thread: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...05#post1079005

    Then maybe look at at least a sprinkling of my subsequent posts.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-29-2014 at 09:22 AM.
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  2. #42
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ... the collapsing occurs during the time of year when requeening is perhaps possible but not practical.
    Not much you can do about that other than have arranged plenty of spare the previous summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    if your goal is preserving the unfit stock to use with new queens you will need a better metric than collapse.
    I've never suffered 'collapse'. Out of 27 I have one that didn't build well last year (and is still faltering), and one that isn't building well this year. If they stay that way for another few months I'll look into the reasons why, and think about what I might do. If they worsen I might do something sooner.

    I'm reluctant to do anything else as one of my best producers last year - dvw, slow to get started - turned out to be a plodder but a really good getter.

    This year I'll be putting my energies into preparing to make strong increase from those I think most promising, and building up drone numbers from the same. Most of the invesment will be in making hives, nucs and special gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    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.
    I agree. My main criteria is sustained production given zero help. If they're doing as well as any others in the same circustances they're candidates. The longer they do it the more weight I give them.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    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.
    I agree. For mating as well as for swarms.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    fusion power has presented some of the better metrics one can use if breeding for bees that maintain low mite counts is the goal.
    Yes, I like that idea of identical testing in a mite heavy environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    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.
    Yes, that'll do it. I want to get organised however with dedicated stock-raising colonies, that will contribute bees, brood, comb and strong drone numbers. Same with queen raising.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    last year was my first to graft queens and those daughter colonies are not disappointing me in the least.
    Same here.

    Mike (UK)
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I post while waiting for the coffee to cool in the morning. After that I am engaged in the real world of work
    Clearly you're not being paid enough for damping down expectations of success in treatment free beekeeping. Performance related?
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  4. #44
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    OT: I won't be opening your posts for 3 weeks. I make that 17th April.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I've heard that before LOL.
    17th April must have come round pretty quick LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    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.
    Mike I don't misunderstand you at all. In fact I note that as you are gaining experience, you are moving away from armchair theory and more towards my own views, and I approve. Although you still have a way to go. And always replying to everybody even your supporters in an attacking type manner does not really help get your message out.

    Re your definition of soft bond though, I suspect you have it badly wrong. Treating as you claim "all hives lightly", to reduce mites but not kill them all, not only will not separate the good from the bad for evaluation purposes, it is also a dangerous practise as it is likely to kill off the susceptible mites but allow the hardier to survive.

    And before you get reactionary and accuse me of deliberately misunderstanding or whatever, I realise you are not planning to do this yourself. But putting the suggestion out there and maybe influencing others to do it is not the greatest idea Mike.

    What you will be doing as I understand, is treating hives to save bees as needed, hopefully with a view to requeening them, but not necessarily treating all hives. Which is the normal interpretation of soft bond.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Mike, I would be very happy to see you succeed. Just to know that you were able to develop mite tolerant bees and successfully keep them would be an extremely happy occasion.

    With that said, what Juhani has done is 3 or 4 steps ahead of where you are. You could benefit from his hard work by getting 2 or 3 queens from him and seeing how they perform under your conditions. I would not under any conditions recommend supplanting your working stock, there are too many important genes in your bees. But if you can tilt the table in your direction just a bit, it will go a long way to increasing your likelihood of success.

    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?
    That figure comes from a time in the early 1990's when we were first dealing with varroa mites here in the U.S. and a report was made from Florida of finding exactly 1 survivor colony out of 10,000 in a large beekeeping operation. It was a Carniolan queen if that helps. Susceptible to me means dead bees. I have never seen a colony live for very long at the tipping point. Either they control the varroa or the varroa decimate the colony.

    To address your posit of cleaning bees of varroa and then giving them a new queen. In my opinion, Juhani is correct. You are tilting the balance away from finding mite tolerant bees and reducing the number of colonies that are actually being tested the hard way for mites. This is why I made the statement earlier about requeening being the only thing I would do if a colony were collapsing from mites. Unfortunately, as Squarepeg pointed out, this is likely to occur very late in the fall or very early in the spring when requeening is difficult or impossible given that you have to rear new queens. My experience is that it is best to let the susceptible colonies die and split the survivors.

    Here is what I know works. Find some tolerance. Set up an isolated population and breed from the tolerant queens. If you do the hard work of checking mite loads in colonies and identifying the colonies that are least affected, and raise queens from those least affected colonies, in time you will produce mite tolerant bees. It will not be fast. You won't succeed in 5 years. You might succeed in 10 years. Meantime, consider bringing in some known tolerant genetics. They are available and would jump start your program.

    We saw the first varroa in 1990. By 1993, they had spread U.S. wide. I lost all but one colony in the winter of 1993/1994, i.e. about 25 Buckfast colonies died. The lone survivor was a feral swarm I had caught the previous year that showed very high levels of Apis Mellifera Mellifera traits. They had no real mite tolerance, but survived probably because of the brood break from swarming. I split that colony into 3 in late March and managed to make a small crop of honey. Those bees were treated for mites in the fall and I treated every fall until 2004. There were NO feral bees to be found from 1994 to 2000. I checked diligently for feral colonies and did not find any anywhere. By 2003, I was seeing a few feral swarms. I caught a few in 2004, one of which turned out to show distinctive mite tolerance along with a host of unwelcome traits such as excessive stinging. I inspected all of my colonies thoroughly in the fall and found that colony had almost no varroa in the drone brood. This translates to a small bounce back by feral bees after 10 years of exposure to devastating levels of varroa.

    I tilted the balance in my favor by purchasing 10 queens from Dann Purvis. While I am confident I could have gone forward with the limited stock I had, there would have been problems with inbreeding. By using the Purvis queens as a drone source and the mite tolerant swarm queen as a source of eggs, I was able to raise queens that were highly mite tolerant and had very little inbreeding. There is no rocket science in this. I simply stopped treating. From the winter of 2004/2005, I have not in any way treated my bees. They either live or they die. I split the survivors. For the last 3 years, I made up losses by catching swarms, many from my own bees, others from feral colonies derived from my bees. My average winter losses have been about 2 or 3 colonies per year out of 10 to 20 colonies. This is in the range of losses pre-varroa.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    what Juhani has done is 3 or 4 steps ahead of where you are. You could benefit from his hard work by getting 2 or 3 queens from him and seeing how they perform under your conditions. I would not under any conditions recommend supplanting your working stock, there are too many important genes in your bees. But if you can tilt the table in your direction just a bit, it will go a long way to increasing your likelihood of success.
    Without wishing to put Juhani down in the least, at present I'd want to know a lot more about his methods before I did that. I think I may have a good set of mothers, and they're all local (within a roughly 15 mile radius) All my second generation hives come from what I thought were my best, and they're not disappointing me yet. When I've seen through this summer I'll know more about whether to bring in more.

    [I wrote of Juhani's figures:]
    "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?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    That figure comes from a time in the early 1990's when we were first dealing with varroa mites here in the U.S. and a report was made from Florida of finding exactly 1 survivor colony out of 10,000 in a large beekeeping operation.
    That sounds very like a lot of dying hives pulling down those around them in a cascade. Its also - massively - the most extreme figure I've ever come across. Its scaremongering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Susceptible to me means dead bees. I have never seen a colony live for very long at the tipping point. Either they control the varroa or the varroa decimate the colony.
    I've yet to see it. I've yet to see a colony die from an out of control varroa infection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    To address your posit of cleaning bees of varroa and then giving them a new queen. In my opinion, Juhani is correct. You are tilting the balance away from finding mite tolerant bees and reducing the number of colonies that are actually being tested the hard way for mites.
    You haven't got it either.

    I'm:

    A) treating nothing

    B) manipulating nothing

    C) organising rapid expansion, taking care that doesn't give mother/doner hives an advantage over mites

    ALL colonies are being tested 'the hard way for resistance - and its lack.

    I'm considering:

    D) if any show clear signs of failing, requeening rather than letting them splutter on.

    At that stage - cleaning the bess.

    None of this has ANY EFFECT AT ALL on the numbers under test

    None of this REDUCES AT ALL the severity of the test which ALL colonies are continuously under.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    This is why I made the statement earlier about requeening being the only thing I would do if a colony were collapsing from mites.
    Which is (excuse the shouting, but I'm getting fed up with repeating myself) EXACTLY WHAT I'M PROPOSING

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Unfortunately, as Squarepeg pointed out, this is likely to occur very late in the fall or very early in the spring when requeening is difficult or impossible given that you have to rear new queens. My experience is that it is best to let the susceptible colonies die and split the survivors.
    The trouble with that plan is that splitting, it is understood (and I'm planning to look closely at this here soon) tends to supply an artificial aid. YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SUPPLYING ARTIFICIAL AIDS. That (to use your words) REDUCES THE NUMBER OF COLONIES THAT ARE ACTUALLY BEING TESTED THE HARD WAY FOR MITES!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Here is what I know works. Find some tolerance. Set up an isolated population and breed from the tolerant queens.
    Done it, doing it.

    [QUOTE=Fusion_power;1080301]If you do the hard work of checking mite loads in colonies and identifying the colonies that are least affected...

    My metric is overall productivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    ...and raise queens from those least affected colonies, in time you will produce mite tolerant bees.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    It will not be fast. You won't succeed in 5 years. You might succeed in 10 years.
    You can't put a figure on like that. For this reason: you don't know my starting point. If I'm right then I'm working with feral bees that have had 20 years to locate a relationship with mites. You didn't stop treating till 2004 - my bees are 10 years ahead of yours! (Perhaps - the point I'm making is: neither you or I know how resistant my bees are.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Meantime, consider bringing in some known tolerant genetics. They are available and would jump start your program.
    My suspician is that my bees are as tolerant as Juhani's, perhaps more so, and better suited to my locality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    [...] This translates to a small bounce back by feral bees after 10 years of exposure to devastating levels of varroa.
    ... among beekeepers systematically treating...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I tilted the balance in my favor by purchasing 10 queens from Dann Purvis. While I am confident I could have gone forward with the limited stock I had, there would have been problems with inbreeding.
    I have no such problems. I'm picking up feral colonies from a 15 mile radius in a setting that has had bees imported from all over the place for 500 years.

    [QUOTE=Fusion_power;1080301] [...]There is no rocket science in this. I simply stopped treating.

    Yes. And in 4 years I've never treated. I've made new colonies from my best. This year I'll beef up my chosen drone colonies - and let all good 'uns have unlimited brood space on starter strips. They can raise as many drones as they're capable of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    They either live or they die.
    ... that includes requeening...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I split the survivors.
    Watch it. Its my fear that you can split poor bees till kingdom come and be under the impression that you have resistant bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    For the last 3 years, I made up losses by catching swarms, many from my own bees, others from feral colonies derived from my bees. My average winter losses have been about 2 or 3 colonies per year out of 10 to 20 colonies. This is in the range of losses pre-varroa.
    My losses last winter were effectively zero once I'd taken out my own errors and experiments gone wrong. Out of 33 going in I have 27 now. All but 4 are showing promise. Those 4 are still with us and building - and I've had slow builders that have turned out well before. I've seen only a fraction of the DWV I've had in previous years so far.

    This summer I'll find out a lot more about my genetics. And build, from the known completely-treatment-free-honey-making-thrivers toward 100 colonies.
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  7. #47
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    17th April must have come round pretty quick
    That was on another thread as I've already explained to you. You're 1 step away from the same here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Mike I don't misunderstand you at all.
    You can say that again.

    OR

    Alternative account: 'Mike I'm deliberately pretending I can't understand you' (with the implication 'you're not making sense)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    In fact I note that as you are gaining experience, you are moving away from armchair theory and more towards my own views
    I haven't changed a single iota. Go to my website (link below) and read what I wrote 5 years ago. (I know _you're_ not going to do that - its an invitation to anyone here being suckered into thinking I have changed my views - please do check yourself before taking that as read)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    And always replying to everybody even your supporters in an attacking type manner does not really help get your message out.
    Anyne who remarks on my views in a way that ignores what it is I've just carefully said deserves to be put right sharpish. Fair thinking people understand that. In fact fair minded people are grateful for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Re your definition of soft bond though, I suspect you have it badly wrong. Treating as you claim "all hives lightly", to reduce mites but not kill them all, not only will not separate the good from the bad for evaluation purposes, it is also a dangerous practise as it is likely to kill off the susceptible mites but allow the hardier to survive.
    I'm not defending it. I don't do it, and I haven't 'defined it'. I described it as I understood it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    And before you get reactionary and accuse me of deliberately misunderstanding or whatever, I realise you are not planning to do this yourself. But putting the suggestion out there and maybe influencing others to do it is not the greatest idea Mike.
    Why don't you start a thread 'soft bond' and we'll take it apart? (Like that's going to happen - OT do something constructive tpward resistance raising!!!)

    Maybe I'll do it. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    What you will be doing as I understand, is treating hives to save bees as needed, hopefully with a view to requeening them, but not necessarily treating all hives.
    Which just goes to show you are utterly impermeable to even the most careful explanation. Repeated several times.

    I wish I could put that down to stupidity. Unfortunately you also show yourself at times to be capable of good understanding and powers of reasoning.

    So the question: 'why is OT being so dumb?' cannot be resolved by the explanation: 'he is dumb'

    That's why I persistantly put forward the alternative hypothesis: 'he's being dumb deliberately to try to sow confusion.'

    That leads to the question: why would he want to do that? That I can't answer. So I'm left with: 'all I know is he's deliberately sowing confusion.'

    And then there's the third hypothesis: OT isn't a 'someone' at all. He's a compound, several different people all working together toward the same end - to undermine discussion of resistance raising. That has the further benefit of supplying an explanation for the strange switches we see between posts - from smooth, rational, clever to the reactionary, 'I'm just an 'ol guy bin raisin' bees 50 years' personality.

    It also fits with the odd reluctance to discuss any feature of your own beekeeping. There is no 'you'.

    I'm staying with that one for now. You're an enigma OT. A highly predictable enigma, but an enigma nonetheless.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-30-2014 at 05:19 AM.
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  8. #48
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Thanks for the analysis Mike.

    Smooth, rational, clever, - Blush, you are too kind!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Thanks for the analysis Mike.

    Smooth, rational, clever, - Blush, you are too kind!
    You're that alright.

    Also, deceitful, dishonest, with malignant motives... don't forget that stuff too.
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  10. #50
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Would you two please get a room already?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    You're 1 step away from the same here.
    Oh dear, no, no. Please - . Not that!!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Would you two please get a room already?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    The idea is not workable. What would I do if I dropped the soap?
    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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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm considering:
    D) if any show clear signs of failing, requeening rather than letting them splutter on.
    At that stage - cleaning the bess.
    None of this has ANY EFFECT AT ALL on the numbers under test
    None of this REDUCES AT ALL the severity of the test which ALL colonies are continuously under.


    How can you be sure that there is no impact?


    While you are planning to requeen after treating, your new [untreated] queen will be fed royal jelly produced by treated nurse bees!

    How can you say that royal jelly produced by treated nurse bees has no impact on your new queen?


    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Oldtimer is now on the naughty step here too. I won't be opening his posts on this thread till 17th April.
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  16. #56
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    How can you be sure that there is no impact?

    While you are planning to requeen after treating, your new [untreated] queen will be fed royal jelly produced by treated nurse bees!

    How can you say that royal jelly produced by treated nurse bees has no impact on your new queen?
    Graham, you made a constructive criticism without being insulting (emoticons aside)! Well done!

    But, are mature queens still fed royal jelly?

    Even if not, would residues of treatments threaten the queens health by other means?

    More than the risk of viruses and weakness due to mites?

    All good questions, and on topic to boot!
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    But, are mature queens still fed royal jelly?
    Queens are exclusively fed royal jelly all their lives, AFAIK.


    See Randy Oliver's comments on royal jelly on this page:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/




    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Would you two please get a room already?
    I guess they need their own emoticon!

    Regards, Barry

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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Queens are exclusively fed royal jelly all their lives, AFAIK:

    See Randy Oliver's comments on royal jelly on this page:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/
    That's what he says.

    Is being fed royal jelly by (possibly tainted) nurse bees a real issue?

    Personally I'm finding this hard to quantify, and my gut feeling is that any such damage would be rather marginal. And likely less than damage from high mite levels.

    So, thus far I think that if you decide to re-use mite-failing colonies to make nucs, or just re-queen them, a dose of something to kill adult mites, and maybe removal of drone brood might be a good plan. (The latter would be a definite good thing anyway)

    Or a treatment might be of marginal benefit. And, as someone said, its a good way to get an early reading on the new queen's resistance capabilities. Straight into the fire. At risk of messing her up a bit before she's got even got started.

    Either way it won't adversely affect the breeding program, because the one important thing - termination of the failing bloodline - is happening.

    It might be worth considering leaving the hive to fail on its own to supply a dose of varroa to nearby hives, to help sort the men from the boys, as it were, but if you're thinking about that it makes more sense to distribute the varroa fairly/according to population. Then you probably need to find a way to stop them fighting and making uneven results.

    You might want to use the infected brood to test a set of colonies.

    Otherwise; kill the queen, kill the mites, start off a few nice fresh nucs.

    That's what I think so far.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 03-30-2014 at 09:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Treating within a resistance raising system

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    [COLOR=#333333]

    How can you be sure that there is no impact?
    I think it's obvious that there would be an impact. If you treat and then requeen a colony, how can you fairly evaluate the performance of that colony? That colony is starting from a basis of fewer mites than the untreated colonies in your yard. Furthermore, how can you be sure you are not assessing the resistance of that queen to miticides rather than to mites? After all, treatment leaves residues in the wax. Treatment affects the internal flora of bees and hive; your treated colony with a new queen may have deficits that are not apparent.

    The only rational conclusion is that treatment makes it much more difficult to evaluate the effects of genetics on colony survival, because treatment greatly complicates the analysis of your results.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

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