Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/
Of course. In fact they issued a strongly worded rebuttal:not sure that folks at the UDSA, John Harbo, ... and others would agree
the authors state that we are “not close to any such sustainable solutions”. We disagree with this negative characterization of the status of honey bees with genetically based mite resistance.
We agree with Dietemann et al. (2012) that the effectiveness of IPM programmes (presumably including genetically resistant bees) for varroa control, depends on the dedication and proficiency of individual beekeepers. Our experience is that small-scale beekeepers are further ahead than large-scale beekeepers in acceptance of resistant bees.
Honey bee strains that are resistant to varroa are a valuable re- source that beekeepers are using successfully. Although these bees have not completely solved the problem, we are in fact moving toward the ideal of sustainable varroa control
Robert G Danka, Thomas E Rinderer, Marla Spivak and John Kefuss (2013) Journal of Apicultural Research 52(2): 69-71
Last edited by peterloringborst; 04-09-2014 at 11:41 AM. Reason: expanded
Tell me I'm wrong.
This is what Marla Spivak recommends as the way forward. Randy Oliver. Norman Carreck (who you cite) and his associate Prof Ratneiks the same.
And still you don't want to discuss it?
Last edited by mike bispham; 04-10-2014 at 01:34 AM.
OK, you are wrong!
WLC buys his queens from Beeweaver and has many times stated here that his is a treatment free apiary.
Post #39 is one of those instances ...
-- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman
Now that the dust has settled, I would like to point out that nobody has offered any evidence that bees can survive without mite treatments and that mite resistant populations can develop on their own -- other than "just so stories". The fact is, published evidence exists, and is easily obtainable. In fact, two years ago Barbara Locke published a PhD thesis on this very topic. It is a model of how to go about documenting mite resistance in unmanaged bees. She studied them, kept track of their progress over several years and compared them to conventional "control colonies." I am not saying such populations do not exist in the US and elsewhere. I am saying that nobody has seriously tracked them and produced a body of evidence, like Dr. Locke's thesis. She is still working on the project, hoping to develop a line of bees based on them. However, it still remains to be seen if these traits can be retained if the lineages are moved into other regions.
Host-Parasite Adaptations and Interactions Between Honey Bees, Varroa Mites and VirusesTwo unique sub-populations of European honey bees (on Gotland, Sweden and in
Avignon, France) have adapted to survive for extended periods (over ten years) without
the use of mite control treatments. This has been achieved through a natural selection
process with unmanaged mite infestation levels enforcing a strong selection pressure.
This thesis reveals that the adaptation acquired by these honey bee populations mainly
involve reducing the reproductive success of the parasite, that the different populations
may have evolved different strategies to do so, and that this mite-resistant trait is
genetically inherited. In addition, results of this thesis demonstrate that chemical mite
control treatments used by beekeepers to inhibit the mite population growth within a
colony can actually worsen bee health by temporarily increasing the bee’s susceptibility
to virus infection.
The results of this thesis highlight the impact that apicultural practices otherwise
have on host-parasite interactions and the development of disease in this system.
Possible solutions to the threat of Varroa are discussed such as the potential to breed
for mite-resistant honey bees, which may offer a sustainable long-term solution, and the
need for better general beekeeping techniques that reduce the use of chemical
treatments and inhibit the spread of disease.
Barbara Locke, Faculty Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Uppsala
Very interesting Peter, good to see this happening in Europe, and away from Africanised bees.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).
Here's my take on it: Treatment free works in some localities and for some beekeepers. It's partly the genetics of the bees and partly the genetics of the mites. When bees that can survive without treatments by whatever mechanism, are moved to other areas, they exchange genetics with bees that cannot survive without treatments therefore losing their ability to survive.
They also come into contact with more virulent mites. In the nontreatment world, the more virulent mites kill their hosts and die along with the host. So only the less virulent mites survive. When mites are treated a small percentage always lives including the most virulent ones which can then overcome the treatment free hives that were moved into that area.
I think that's taking the whole debate down to the most basic level.
I came to this thinking by reading Seeley' Arnot Forest, talking with Dave Tarpy and from reading of experiences here on Beesource.
It's probably easy to tell that though I respect science a great deal, I have no science background at all. So, I apologize if terminology is not the best.
Would love to hear comments from PLB, both Mike B's, Oldtimer and others.
Last edited by heaflaw; 04-12-2014 at 11:01 PM.
15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B
Like Tim Ives I would like to know how much evidence you need, how many queens? Scientific proof is the thing I need and miss. In Finland there are no possibilities for serious beekeeping resarch (no money), I have been looking some Institutes in Europe, but they study only pure races. Now I have one friend coming from NZ, working for MAF, maybe they get interested.
IMHO the obsession with documented papers showing 'this or that' misses the point that the real experts who know whats going on are mostly too busy with their noses in hives to publish much.
Perhaps this thread should have been titled "leading us up the garden path" rather than "barking up the wrong tree" given PLB's revelation that he was aware of the Gotland paper all along, still, thanks for the "nativists" term which brought me out from lurking
This is one of a number of published papers that, along with video reports, and hundreds of longstanding reports from beekeepers, make clear that what should be expected  is happening. European bees are adapting to varroa.
As expected, this is occuring in natural populations - that is: away from treating apiaries. 
Its fair to say the academic community has been slow in this respect. Its probably fair to say that researching natural adaptation is not where the money lies - and universities are not the impartial research bodies they used to be.
You seem to be looking for a one-off, final solution in a 'line' of bred bees. It isn't like that. Husbandry is a constant, everlasting experiment. Some things don't work, then start working; some things work then don't. But usually (given freedom from novel predators) things can go along smoothly IF you take care to propagate properly, to 'husband' the most promising genes down through the generations. You monitor, and take action according to what you find. Back to the start: repeat; keep repeating. And those actual genes do, actually do, come through to the next generation; and they do just what they did in the last.
You seem to be building your view of the broad position only from the published literature. That could be a mistake. If you made a meta-study of the literature you'd probably find that papers dealing with the minutiae of bee diseases, with the efficacy of the various treatments, of analysis of apiary field data and so on outnumber surveys of feral populations and close examinations of successful tf beekeepers by something like 200 to 1. (I know of none of the latter. Zero)
Its very easy to get the idea that that proportion somehow supplies an indication of the nature of the problem, and a direction toward solutions.
It might supply an indication of something else - something to do with the way applied science is done, about funding, about specialisation and career building perhaps... but it doesn't tell you much about what is happening off the radar, in forests, small towns and rough country, and in modest yards all over.
Resistance to varroa is building, and in places has already reached the stage where populations are shrugging it off. We won't get rid of mites, but they can be reduced to a minor nuisance.
Traditional vigour-seeking selective husbandry is a model that mirrors what is happening in nature, and works, just as well, and for the same reasons. Resistance traits are heritable: you can increase them in your population. You can't buck Nature. You can imitate her. Ask Barbara Locke. Marla Spivak. Debora Delaney. Seriously. Ask them.
 Solid, but basic, bio-evolutionary understanding predicts this.
Last edited by mike bispham; 04-13-2014 at 03:21 AM.
Can you see a Bayer funded university project doing that?
Can you see the 'stakeholders' going along with that?
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).
Right. Six years ago I wrote an article for the American Bee Journal called "Keeping bees without chemicals". I gave a talk on the subject that year to the Empire State Honey Producers Association.I don't think Peter was saying there was no evidence, I think he was saying none had been presented. Because he then went on to say it's easy to find and in fact quoted some. Or that's how I took his post anyway.
I no longer offer to give that talk for the simple reason that none of the techniques that I wrote about worked for me in my area. The bees always got mites, sickened and died.
For me to go out and preach treatment free knowing that it wouldn't work, would be hypocrisy. I only promote what I know will work. MAQs work. I am trying to test BeeWeaver stock but they died over winter.
The point with the above quote is that these folks have been claiming treatment free for decades, but they offer no numbers, no documentation. We don't know how often the hives collapse (for whatever reason). We don't know if they produce any honey. We don't know if they are simply delusional.
This is how science works: you produce the data, you explain it, you are subjected to the intense scrutiny of your peers, you are expected to prove it. If you can't prove your claim, you are history.
Whereas, in these online forums there are endless "just so" stories, hypotheses, comic relief, and wagonloads of fertilizer. People don't seem to realize the difference between talk and action. If you have something, show it or shut up.
If you read my www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.htm there is a start. I can give you every years honeycrops, some of them are on that paper. I can give you more numers, hives, infestation levels, nucs made, again some of them are on that paper.
All my used breeding stock is, and has been for long, in Internet.
Year 2013 is here http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...d_JL_2013.html
I can give you some statements from other breeders, one from Paul Jungels in Luxembourg (2000km away) is here ("this colony does not need any varroa treatment"):
I have one minor test results from MTT The Finnsih Agricultural Research center, they got 10 queens 2009.
You are wellcome to make sugar roll tests any time. I usually make them only from all possible breeders (2 years and older queens), to save time. Time is needed to do other work, because this is very expensive hobby.
Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 04-13-2014 at 06:25 AM. Reason: spelling in URL address
Back to the "hive mind" and self awareness, bee colonies are certainly aware of the other bee colonies within their range - given that this is true, and that the colonies in a given area form an interconnected population, would it be true that any experiments which first equalise colonies and relocate them have more built in background noise than the variables this model is trying to avoid?
I certainly dont think science and beekeeping are an easy mix at our current crude levels of understanding, and to dismiss the thoughts of others because they dont come with a list of references or letters after their name is to risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Give me the multi-millions thrown at the so called research each year. I'll show you how to make more bees exponentially and not piles of papers.
I am not dismissing anything. It has nothing to do with references or credentials. I am pointing out that after 20 years, none of the so-called treatment free folks can produced documentation of what they have done. I hate to say it but it appears to be simple laziness.o dismiss the thoughts of others because they dont come with a list of references or letters after their name is to risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Last edited by peterloringborst; 04-13-2014 at 06:52 AM.
[QUOTE=peterloringborst;1088098]The point with the above quote is that these folks have been claiming treatment free for decades, but they offer no numbers, no documentation. We don't know how often the hives collapse (for whatever reason). We don't know if they produce any honey. We don't know if they are simply delusional. [quote]
It would take a lot of work to assemble that data, and to keep it up to date. Oftentimes here people tell us about what they've achieved. But you have to do a lot of work just to put that together. And you wouldn't have much in the way of independent verification. You can always assume they are dishonest or delusional.
I think there would be a research problem as well. The researcher wouldn't know that people weren't cheating, or record keeping clumsily.
The best thing to do is talk with people who are claiming success and ask them what they did. At the same time make a study of basic bioevolutionary understanding and basic traditional husbandry methods. You'll find more and more links between these things, and a picture of what works and why will begin to emerge.
With that make a proper plan to resume your own experiments.
Its pretty clear that modern peer review is not the best way to approach the realities here. At least, not alone - certainly it can help.
'Science' is not only about peer reviewed publishing however. Plenty of small 's' science gets done in yards and offices and homes. You can work carefully and logically, and in a well informed manner, or by intuition and guesswork. The former is a lot more scientific than the latter.
Characterising often honest and generous testimony uniformly as 'endless "just so" stories, hypotheses, comic relief, and wagonloads of fertilizer' is insulting and inaccurate. Sure you have to sort the good from the bad. But you have to do that with peer-reviewed work too.