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  1. #181
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    > I have heard there are small pockets of treatment free beekeepers everywhere, but this may be thanks to the fact that those around them are controlling mites.

    A very interesting conclusion. Exactly the opposite of mine. I'm trying to keep bees that can resist mites and that is complicated by the fact that those around me keep bringing in bees that have to be treated to survive...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #182
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    discrediting them by saying they wont survive if they are parachuted into different areas with different pressures kind of misses the point about how bees evolve/adapt to cope IMHO
    Have you followed this conversation from the beginning? The theory is that European bees could develop resistance to mites. African and Asian bees already have it. There are documented examples of bees being completely wiped out by varroa (Wenner, California) and bees able to control mites (De Jong, Brazil; Allsopp, Africa).

    There are also documented examples where feral bees when brought in proximity to commercial bees, perish from mites (Seeley; personal observation). There are no examples that I know of documented mite resistance that holds up long term that doesn't involve either isolation, African bees, or both.

    Plenty of people claim mite resistant bees but offer no proof other than "I still have bees." Most of these bees do not perform as advertised when moved into other locations, which makes the notion that they are resistant completely questionable.

    This is a serious matter. For the purposes of maintaining actual pure Apis mellifera mellifera, or Apis mellifera carnica, for example, you don't want a hybrid that has African bees in it. For commercial beekeepers, a hybrid is OK, they are not attempting to conserve European bees but just make a living. For people like me who want resistant bees that don't require treatment, it is a serious matter, as well.

  3. #183
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    A very interesting conclusion. Exactly the opposite of mine. I'm trying to keep bees that can resist mites and that is complicated by the fact that those around me keep bringing in bees that have to be treated to survive...
    Absolutely valid point. But I thought small cells prevents mite disease, regardless of the bee stock. Why would stock matter if small cell controls mites?

  4. #184
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    I have always said that stock matters. It matters for tracheal mite resistance. It matters for AFB resistance. It matters for chalkbrood resistance. It matters for EFB resistance. It matters for Nosema resistance. It matters for overwintering capability. And I'm sure it makes a difference in virus resistance which makes a difference in surviving Varroa. I just never saw genetics tip the scale so that there were any survivors from Varroa to breed from when they were on large cell.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #185
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    I just never saw genetics tip the scale so that there were any survivors from Varroa to breed from when they were on large cell.
    So, European bees can't evolve sufficient resistance left on their own? What if I let them build their own comb?

    Speaking of cell size

    average measurements of 10 linear cells
    of Africanized bees in the neotropics are
    4.8 and 4.9 cm (range = 4.6-5.0 cm;
    Barbosa da Silva and Newton, 1967;
    Cosenza and Batista, 1973; Rinderer ett
    al., 1986a). Colonies with ’intermediate’
    behavioral characteristics also tend to
    have intermediate cell sizes (between 4.9
    and 5.2 cm), although the correspondence
    is not consistent
    See
    Spivak (1989) Honey production by Africanized and European honey bees in Costa Rica

  6. #186
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Have you followed this conversation from the beginning? The theory is that European bees could develop resistance to mites. African and Asian bees already have it. There are documented examples of bees being completely wiped out by varroa (Wenner, California) and bees able to control mites (De Jong, Brazil; Allsopp, Africa).

    There are also documented examples where feral bees when brought in proximity to commercial bees, perish from mites (Seeley; personal observation). There are no examples that I know of documented mite resistance that holds up long term that doesn't involve either isolation, African bees, or both.

    Plenty of people claim mite resistant bees but offer no proof other than "I still have bees." Most of these bees do not perform as advertised when moved into other locations, which makes the notion that they are resistant completely questionable.

    This is a serious matter. For the purposes of maintaining actual pure Apis mellifera mellifera, or Apis mellifera carnica, for example, you don't want a hybrid that has African bees in it. For commercial beekeepers, a hybrid is OK, they are not attempting to conserve European bees but just make a living. For people like me who want resistant bees that don't require treatment, it is a serious matter, as well.
    There is never going to be a bomb proof bee, but there are already plenty of examples of AM bees which are "resistant" to the mites and virus' in their area, perhaps the missing ingredient in most situations is stability. Stability so the bees have a chance to adapt or die, and stability so the most aggressive mites also die without constantly being replaced by new strains. If there's any creature which should teach us to look at the whole picture its honey bees, by which I specifically mean European honey bees as I have no experience of Apis cerana or African bees, although our bees also came from Africa if you look back far enough according to some, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtm8...ature=youtu.be

  7. #187
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post

    This is a serious matter. For the purposes of maintaining actual pure Apis mellifera mellifera, or Apis mellifera carnica, for example, you don't want a hybrid that has African bees in it.
    If you are a breeder of A mellifera mellifera you don't even want Carnica or Ligustica in the stock!
    We have started a project collecting Amm samples in Ireland for future DNA testing and each sample is linked to a mite count taken from 300 bees from the brood nest of the same colony taken between 15 August and 15 September every year.

    http://nihbs.org/wp-content/uploads/...structions.pdf

    Is there much published data linking specific genes with specific behaviours such as biting, grooming, uncapping cells, or removing pupae?
    From what I have read from Marla Spivak or Harbo and Harris, most of these behaviours are polygenic.

    High-Resolution Linkage Analyses to Identify Genes That Influence Varroa Sensitive Hygiene Behavior in Honey Bees

    Jennifer M. Tsuruda, Jeffrey W. Harris, Lanie Bourgeois, Robert G. Danka, Greg J. Hunt

    Surely there is mileage in identifying these genes linked to VSH and other mite tolerant behaviour and making sure that any breeder queens used carry a reasonable number of them.
    Is this approach likely to run into difficulties due to the polyandry of the honeybee?
    Last edited by jonathan; 04-09-2014 at 01:33 AM.

  8. #188
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    There are also documented examples where feral bees when brought in proximity to commercial bees, perish from mites (Seeley; personal observation).
    Undoubtedly. But this example doesn't mean that happens everywhere, always.

    Problem: you are casting things in black and white terms, and are missing the reality: there are shades in between.

    It isn't the case that colonies are 'resistant' or 'not resistant'. The reality is that some are more and some less resistant than others, on a spectrum of resistance that goes all the way from one end to the other.

    That's important. Resistance rises incrementally; natural populations fail almost completely, splutter, gain a foothold, find strength, build on that strength, become strong, throw off the problem completely.

    In individual colonies the position is dependent on multiple factors: having the rights sorts of behaviours, in useful proportions, being relatively unexposed to apiary-raised mites, availability of forage, range of forage.

    The picture is complex. But that doesn't mean we can understand nothing about it. One of the critical things we can understand is that the right sorts of behaviours are provided by particular genes, and that having parents that have those genes is the only way to get them. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    There are no examples that I know of documented mite resistance that holds up long term that doesn't involve either isolation, African bees, or both.
    Perhaps you don't want to find it. Perhaps your definition of 'long term' is outside any present studies. I agree studies of ferals are in short supply - quite why that is is an interesting question.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Plenty of people claim mite resistant bees but offer no proof other than "I still have bees." Most of these bees do not perform as advertised when moved into other locations, which makes the notion that they are resistant completely questionable.
    Again with the black-and-white. I'm pretty sure I can find plenty of places to put any bee that's ever lived and it won't survive without help! Some places are just too toxic. That's an issue for the management systems, not for propagators of bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    This is a serious matter. For the purposes of maintaining actual pure Apis mellifera mellifera, or Apis mellifera carnica, for example, you don't want a hybrid that has African bees in it.
    How did we jump to that? What's the agenda now? Exterminating ferals because they might have a bit of African in them?

    [QUOTE=peterloringborst;1085587] For commercial beekeepers, a hybrid is OK, they are not attempting to conserve European bees but just make a living.[quote]

    Your bees are hybrids and you better get used to that because you won't change it. Have you seen Dr. Delaney's work on identification of US ferals?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    For people like me who want resistant bees that don't require treatment, it is a serious matter, as well.
    So now the discussion is about keeping African genes out? That's supposed to help with resistance raising? How exactly?

    If you want resistant bees, source a range that already have some resistance and husband them to maintain and improve it. Join the resistance raising movement. Look for patches of ferals, buy in a few bred resistant; mate in places that are likely to contain resistant drones, keep as far as you can away from treated bees. Learn the arts of traditional (population) husbandry. At least give it a good go before you tell us its all nonsense.

    Mike (UK)
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  9. #189
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    So, European bees can't evolve sufficient resistance left on their own? What if I let them build their own comb?
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I just never saw genetics tip the scale so that there were any survivors from Varroa to breed from when they were on large cell.
    My locally sourced part feral stocks do quite well enough on freecell for me to quadruple numbers in a year without even grafting. Some of them have been great goers.

    This is in a locality dense with fruit-pollinating agricultural bees, but bordering a fairly extensive roughish thinly populated countryside area without fruit. Ferals seem to me to be clustered - mostly in small towns and large villages. Lots of chimney bees. But perhaps they're just the ones that get reported, so I get to them.

    Mike (UK)
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  10. #190
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Surely there is mileage in identifying these genes linked to VSH and other mite tolerant behaviour and making sure that any breeder queens used carry a reasonable number of them.
    Jonathan,

    This is exactly what has been going on at Sussex University and elsewhere for the last few years. A good many gene loci coding for specific mite-management behaviours are known, and queens can be tested at the molecular level (if you are in the academic system).

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Is this approach likely to run into difficulties due to the polyandry of the honeybee?
    That and the vageries of open mating makes things harder Peter, sure. But you play the numbers game... you load the dice. Read Manley's Honey Farming to see how its done.

    I mentioned to Jonathan a difference between what he is doing and we are doing, and I've thought since that its a point worth expanding:

    Jonathan wants to raise a specific race of bee, and his method involves trying to 'fix' the genes in his breeding pool. And this is what academic and commercial breeders of varroa resistant bees try to do to. They want reliabilty, not probability. They want to be able to sell queens that are definately, not probably, carrying two copies of the necessary genes.

    But effective resistance doesn't require the full suit of mite-management behaviours in every sub-family, nor does it require that all sub-families have some at all. It just needs a sufficient level. And a combination that works.

    To have all sub-families exhibiting, for example, VSH would be too much. The colony would be unfit for that reason.

    So what we have to do is locate the sorts of arrangements, the proportions, that work well for us. Natural selection does just that. And we have to copy her methods to even match her. We want more than that, and so we go a little further, we do a sort of accelerated natural selection, to remove some of nature's waste from our systems.

    That's plain old fashioned population husbandry. Stock-keeping in the manner always used before centralised breeding became available.

    Wrapping that up: we're trying to achieve different things - and ours is much easier than for example Jonathan's. That makes it decidedly doable. And that's why we see so many reports of people successfully doing it!

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-09-2014 at 04:42 AM.
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  11. #191
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Marla Spivak and Eric Erickson in "Do measurements of worker cell size reliably distinguish Africanized from European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?" -- American Bee Journal v. April 1992, p. 252-255 says:

    "...a continuous range of behaviors and cell size measurements was noted between colonies considered "strongly European" and "strongly Africanized". "

    "Due to the high degree of variation within and among feral and managed populations of Africanized bees, it is emphasized that the most effective solution to the Africanized "problem", in areas where Africanized bees have established permanent populations, is to consistently select for the most gentle and productive colonies among the existing honey bee population"
    http://orton.catie.ac.cr/cgi-bin/wxi...ion=mfn=010125

    Identification and relative success of Africanized and European honey bees in Costa Rica. Spivak, M

    http://orton.catie.ac.cr/cgi-bin/wxi...ion=mfn=018195

    Do measurements of worker cell size reliably distinguish Africanized from European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?. Spivak, M; Erickson, E.H., Jr.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #192
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    There are no examples that I know of documented mite resistance that holds up long term that doesn't involve either isolation, African bees, or both.

    Mike Bispham: Perhaps you don't want to find it.
    This kind of comment is completely unproductive. I started this thread to explore this topic, so the suggestion that I don't want to find it is utterly ridiculous. My sole interest in joining internet discussions is to gather information that is unavailable elsewhere. You have picked apart my writing and taunted me, to what end I have no idea.

    I didn't come here to spew dogma or promote some sort of crackpot theory like a lot of folks do. I spend far more time combing the research than anyone I know. Having access to the world's scientific journals as I do, allows me to read everything published on these topics including PhD theses as they are published, etc.

    I know that varroa resistance develops in certain populations, and I know how it happens. What I am suggesting is that it is very rare in European honey bees, that is precisely why breeding programs have been developed to produce it rather than to find it. That's what breeding is all about, producing results rather than waiting for them.

    The problem is that human assisted stock development does NOT work the same way as natural selection. A naturally produced viable population will differ in significant ways than an artificially produced one. This is central to Mike Allsopp and Dave de Jong's statements. The problem is that they are both working with African bees, which may invalidate their hypothesis.

    Currently, there are several very small populations of varroa resistant European bees that have been observed by Barbara Locke of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. I wrote to her in 2012 and asked her if the traits could be exported from the populations (as opposed to being tethered to the location) and she said "they were working on that."

    If there is anybody in the wide world who has success with varroa resistant bees, let them step forward and show the results. And this doesn't mean story telling. It means 3-5 years of records showing how many colonies survived, how long they survived, what interventions took place, etc.

    How many times have you heard someone say "the bees have been living in that tree for 20 years, etc." ? This is an example of what I am not talking about. That tree may have bees now, and it may have had bees 20 years ago but that isn't the same colony, which lived for 20 years unassisted.

    By the way, if anyone has such mite resistant stock, I want to try it. But not on the basis of unsupported claims. Such experiments are very expensive. For example, I set up six colonies using mite resistant stock last year, and 5 died over winter. The sixth superseded the queen, so I have to start all over again. Each year of failure puts me one year behind the 5 year projected goal

    Mike Bispham, you still haven't told the group how many queens you have raised and what the results were. We are still waiting

  13. #193
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    "...a continuous range of behaviors and cell size measurements was noted between colonies considered "strongly European" and "strongly Africanized". "

    Michael Bush, you absolutely missed the entire point of that paper. African bees in Africa show consistent cell size. European bees in Europe show consistent cell size.

    What they were showing that African/European hybrids in the Americas do not and the cell size cannot be used to distinguish among hybrids. This is very old news, more than twenty years ago.

    In fact, new research shows that several sophisticated tests are unable to distinguish hybrids, so essentially what we have now in the US is a mixed population, with hybrids that cannot be identified as belonging to one race or another. Katherine Darger in her Master's Thesis says it better

    The lack of definitiveness in the three diagnostic tools leads us to the conclusion that
    sensitivity of genetic markers may not be the most useful factor in determining
    desirable stock for managing honey bees. Perhaps the best way to evaluate a hive is
    by phenotypic traits, such as aggressive tendencies, and other undesirable traits such
    as swarming and absconding, and not by genotypic traits. Containing a blend of
    markers denotes a level of Africanization but perhaps negative behavior should be the
    first line of diagnosis. Excessive stinging and swarming indicates a need for further
    tools to be used, but even without the negative diagnoses these traits should be
    discouraged.
    DETERMINING LOW LEVELS OF AFRICANIZATION
    IN UNMANAGED HONEY BEE COLONIES
    USING THREE DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES
    by Katherine Darger Spring 2013

  14. #194
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    This kind of comment is completely unproductive. I started this thread to explore this topic, so the suggestion that I don't want to find it is utterly ridiculous. My sole interest in joining internet discussions is to gather information that is unavailable elsewhere. You have picked apart my writing and taunted me, to what end I have no idea.
    Because that how to do constructive critical dialogue. Its how you sort out well thought-through material from poorly thought-through material. It how you move closer to a good understanding of what is real.

    You are very hot on science. Don't you undertand that the entire scientific enterprise is a vast machine built around constructive criticism? Lots of the time scientists spend all day trying systematically trying to prove some other scientists are wrong.

    Don't be offended by people wanting to argue with you. Respond to their arguments. Doing so will help both of you improve your understanding. I shouldn't have to tell you this. If you feel I've taunted you I'm sorry, and I'll try to avoid giving that impression in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    I didn't come here to spew dogma or promote some sort of crackpot theory like a lot of folks do.
    The insinuation is that I do. (You see, that sort of thing make me want to taunt you ...)

    Not all all. I point toward some simple realities, and apply them to the problem at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    I know that varroa resistance develops in certain populations, and I know how it happens. What I am suggesting is that it is very rare in European honey bees, that is precisely why breeding programs have been developed to produce it rather than to find it.
    And I've tried to help you refine that understanding. It isn't nearly as rare as you think. Look up - as I've suggested - Dr. Deborah Delaney. You could start here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mziimuh0iRc

    She's made a proper study of US feral populations. Speak with Joe Waggle. And listen to those here who tell you they are doing it. Ask them how. Interrogate them. Try not to carry on insinuating they're liars.

    I've pointed out that 'resistance' isn't an on-off thing, and that is is on the rise - and that there is plenty of evidence for that even if the lieterature is lagging.

    I've tried to help you understand that one of the key factors holding the development of resistance back is systematic treatments.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    That's what breeding is all about, producing results rather than waiting for them.
    Sure. And we can take from nature some of the progress she has made, and work with that. And if we do that widely enough, the problem will resolve itself.

    I'm trying to help you see that one solution may lie not in ever-closer studies of the minute causes of illnesses and the nature of resistance mechanisms, but in a better appreciation of a core mechanism that truly makes a difference. That is: maximising sound local propagation and minimising the corrosive effects on resistance of treating by the methods of traditional husbandry. Or the bond method, or the soft bond method, or any of the other variants that are all based on the same basic idea. Stop making new bees from bees that don't have the qualities you want, and start making them from bees that do.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

    I'm trying to show you that there is a way of conceiving the problem that doesn't require high tech, high science, centralised solutions, but lies instead in changing the way beekeepers do beekeeping such that the features that we want in bees are systematically placed there by appropriate propagation.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    The problem is that human assisted stock development does NOT work the same way as natural selection.
    ]

    It uses the same key mechanism - inherited traits. In both cases features are enhances and removed by altering the proportion of parents carrying them successfully having offsping that also carry them. Or don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    A naturally produced viable population will differ in significant ways than an artificially produced one.
    That depends entirely on the approach taken by the breeder - and so you can't generalise in that way. A breeder can do pretty much nothing and watch natural selection do its work (if he has scope - most do not). He can do a little tweak here and there and help natural selection along. He can do more, and make things happen quicker. He can do the wrong thing things and make things go wrong.

    You can't generalise. But you can say: some approaches to husbandry are helpful to the goal of raising resistance, and some are not. Some are deeply damaging. And you can explain why in each case.

    You can say: as and where there are resistant naturally selected populations, we can take advantage by using them in our breeding programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    If there is anybody in the wide world who has success with varroa resistant bees, let them step forward and show the results. And this doesn't mean story telling. It means 3-5 years of records showing how many colonies survived, how long they survived, what interventions took place, etc.
    I can only hope they'll step up. They are here.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    How many times have you heard someone say "the bees have been living in that tree for 20 years, etc." ? This is an example of what I am not talking about. That tree may have bees now, and it may have had bees 20 years ago but that isn't the same colony, which lived for 20 years unassisted.
    Of course. But you cannot go from that understanding to the position: there are no viable feral populations. That isn't sound reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    By the way, if anyone has such mite resistant stock, I want to try it. But not on the basis of unsupported claims. Such experiments are very expensive. For example, I set up six colonies using mite resistant stock last year, and 5 died over winter. The sixth superseded the queen, so I have to start all over again. Each year of failure puts me one year behind the 5 year projected goal
    Be patient and work harder at getting the right stock; then work hard at developing resistance by sound husbandry.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Mike Bispham, you still haven't told the group how many queens you have raised and what the results were. We are still waiting
    Then I'll keep you waiting no more. I raised about 40 last year by grafting. My first year doing it. About half of them found a home and mated successfully. About half of those have come through the winter fighting fit - so far.

    Of those that failed; in all cases it was my fault for raising them too late in the year, and doing too little to protect them from robbing.

    Mike (UK)
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Dear Mr. Bush

    For you to quote Marla Spivak in support of your conjecturing is utterly comical. She has come out strongly against the misguided notion that cell size controls varroa, has developed actual varroa resistant stock but is honest enough to acknowledge that it may need help with mite control measures to survive. She points out that so-called mite resistance in southern states is bound to be due to introgression of African genes. If you are going to quote her 1992 work on bees in Costa Rica, maybe you should look at her current work. Real scientists' body of work changes over time, becomes more informed.

    The standardization of performance testing is a necessary prerequisite for successful breeding. The results will indicate differences between individual colonies that can be utilized for improvement, but these data alone are insufficient. The environment varies greatly between and within apiaries and test stations, and the traits measured are strongly affected by these environmental effects. Only the hereditary disposition is significant in breeding, as only the hereditary disposition (genes) of the animals influence the quality of the offspring. The environmental conditions under which the colonies live unfortunately mask or influence their hereditary properties (breeding value). A breeding programme therefore requires a breeding value or selection index in order to choose which queens to reproduce, according to the aims of the breeding programme.
    Standard methods for rearing and selection of Apis mellifera queens
    Journal of Apicultural Research 52(1): (2013) © IBRA 2013

    There are ten authors on this paper, including Dr. Spivak, which speaks to the collaborative nature of today's scientific research. The solitary voice among many is seldom the definitive one (including mine, Barry). The voice that speaks collectively carries with it the force of consensus, which is the acid test. What works for many is more likely to work for one rather than the opposite: what works for one may not work anyone else.

    By the way, if anyone is still paying attention, I have presented both sides of this argument: Spivak et al fully support controlled breeding as the way to get better bees, whereas De Jong, et al fully support natural selection as the only way. Evolution, of course, sides with natural selection, and that may mean that the entire population of US bees may absorb African genes. This process is well under way, that cat is out of the bag.
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 04-09-2014 at 07:20 AM. Reason: expanded

  16. #196
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    "The standardization of performance testing is a necessary prerequisite for successful breeding. The results will indicate differences between individual colonies that can be utilized for improvement, but these data alone are insufficient. The environment varies greatly between and within apiaries and test stations, and the traits measured are strongly affected by these environmental effects. Only the hereditary disposition is significant in breeding, as only the hereditary disposition (genes) of the animals influence the quality of the offspring. The environmental conditions under which the colonies live unfortunately mask or influence their hereditary properties (breeding value). A breeding programme therefore requires a breeding value or selection index in order to choose which queens to reproduce, according to the aims of the breeding programme."
    Standard methods for rearing and selection of Apis mellifera queens
    Journal of Apicultural Research 52(1): (2013) © IBRA 2013
    'Nature vs Nurture'; The problem of 'Well bred or Well Fed.'

    As I outlined a couple of days ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Spivak et al fully support controlled breeding as the way to get better bees, whereas De Jong, et al fully support natural selection as the only way."
    I'm not sure you've characterized the situation well.

    Has Marla Spivak said anywhere 'don't use naturally derived resistant bees as part of your program'?

    Do De-Jong et al suggest that all bees should be kept and raised entirely in a natural state?

    Is it not the case that both approaches contribute toward the production of bees that are not dependent on medications, and that both parties are happy to acknowledge that?

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

  17. #197
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,288

    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    >For you to quote Marla Spivak in support of your conjecturing is utterly comical.

    My post was nothing more or less than a quote from Marla Spivak's research. Perhaps you could point out the "conjecture" in that post. Yes, I am aware of Marla's beliefs on the subject of cell size. I don't follow why it is "utterly comical" to quote a well respected researcher. Perhaps you could explain why you find it comical? I find it comical that you can have such obviously strong beliefs and yet say things like:

    "Belief is antithetical to scientific inquiry." - Peter Borst

    I find "What we need to discover is often effectively blocked by what we know already."--Paul Mace
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #198
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,461

    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I just never saw genetics tip the scale so that there were any survivors from Varroa to breed from when they were on large cell.
    At risk of entering this endless debate, I must comment. I'll simply say, knowing I'm not going to alter the path of this discussion, that I have seen genetics dramatically tip the scale on survival and productivity in my operation. Is this a sole influence? Who knows, but it appears to me to have been the biggest change made resulting in improvements.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  19. #199
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Beer's Settlement, NY USA
    Posts
    1,306

    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    My post was nothing more or less than a quote from Marla Spivak's research. Perhaps you could point out the "conjecture" in that post.
    Fair enough, the conjecture was implicit, not spelled out. What was your purpose on posting that data, then?

  20. #200
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Beer's Settlement, NY USA
    Posts
    1,306

    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    At risk of entering this endless debate
    If the debate appears endless it is because the problem is not yet solved.

    Although V. destructor is not the sole cause of colony losses
    experienced worldwide in recent years, a consensus emerges that it
    represents the key factor (Neumann and Carreck, 2010). Removing
    V. destructor from the complex equation of honey bee health would
    reduce the pressure on the honey bee’s extensive natural defence
    mechanisms (Evans and Spivak, 2010) against the many
    environmental health challenges. Using sustainable methods to
    control or even eradicate this parasite will re-establish wild and feral
    pollinator populations, ease the plight of beekeepers, promote
    economically important pollination-dependant agriculture and benefit
    natural ecosystems

    At present, selection of tolerant bees is performed blindly
    (using lineages showing naturally lower parasite infestation) or based
    on secondary mechanisms of tolerance such as hygienic behaviour
    (Büchler et al., 2010; Rinderer et al., 2010). Honey bee lines that
    have been selected for hygienic behaviour suffer from a general lack
    of acceptance in the beekeeping community (Carreck, 2011;
    Delaplane, 2011) and do not currently represent a sustainable
    solution.
    Journal of Apicultural Research 51(1): 125-132 (2012)

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