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  1. #421
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Put up a link to the notes.
    That's a bit abrupt Jonathan?

    I don't know of a link. They were sent to me in a private communication and are not in the public domain as far as I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    You can't infer much from those notes without having the context.
    These slides tell you lots, and you can infer lots more. But you must be careful not to over extend your inferences.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    20 colonies per apiary, 20 colonies altogether?
    There is no indication of multiple apiaries. There is indication of what beekeepers can do. Of course it will help to work together locally, and no doubt he'll be teaching that, as Marla Spivak does.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Found this collection showing his slide presentation.
    He used quite a few of these at the presentation I saw.
    Looks like the slide collection I have which came with the notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Among other things he is grafting from known hygienic queens, and using DNA work to eliminate the virgins without the trait.
    Yes. Much quicker than waiting for desirable traits to show. However, the long way does have the advantage of bringing up the whole range of desirable traits, in the sorts of proportions that work best at that time and place.

    I think Ratnieks approach is suited to treatment-dependent apiaries, which are in a hole that is hard to get out of. The basic traditional method might be better for those of us not needing to maintain continuous production, and with the patience to wait for real-world results. Ours will be well rounded, rather than narrowly equipped bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    He also mentions that beekeeper involvement is essential. I presume he means more than just one beekeeper as that would be rather stating the obvious.
    We'd also need to understand the context of that statement more widely. Essential for what? A long term solution? Probably that's what he means; and with that will be the understanding that what beekeepers are needed for is the continuous assay and selection needed to maintain resistance. I.e. traditional husbandry...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Does not sound very much like your approach.
    The commonality is: the solution to varroa is selective propagation. That is fundamental to both. Its fundamental to all husbandry. He's working on methods to help beekeepers out of a hole. I'm working on methods to improve my already resistant stock. But its all breeding. Its always essential.

    Mike (UK)
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  2. #422
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    That's a bit abrupt Jonathan?

    I don't know of a link. They were sent to me in a private communication and are not in the public domain as far as I know.
    Sorry, I thought they were on a site somewhere.
    May or not be an accurate account then.
    The stuff from the Sussex website is probably a better starting place.

  3. #423
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    The stuff from the Sussex website is probably a better starting place.
    Some extracts (from your link):

    'Hygienic Behaviour Training Workshop'

    'Goals: To extend knowledge to beekeepers and others.'

    The Sussex Plan for Honey
    Bee Health & Well Being

    Breeding Hygienic Honey Bees

    Frozen (Nitrogen) brood assays

    [Hygienic Behaviour]
    • Discovered c. 1930s in USA in connection to AFB research
    chewing out of contaminated comb to remove scales
    removal of cell cappings; removal of dead brood (“Brown” line)
    • Found in honey bees wherever it has been looked for
    • Always quite rare, c.10% colonies are hygienic
    • Heritable (meaning it can be bred for)
    • Environmental effects (nectar flow etc., affect performance)
    • Behavioural dominance (20% hygienic workers make colony hygienic)
    • Can prevent brood diseases (AFB, Chalkbrood)
    • Can slow down growth of Varroa population in a hygienic colony
    • Hygienic colonies yielded same or more honey as non-hygienic
    • Testing: with diseased brood; cyanide-killed brood; freeze-killed brood
    • Liquid nitrogen: can be used to freeze-kill brood in 5 mins in the apiary

    Intracolony Selection
    Behavioural Dominance
    Not all bees in a hygienic colony are hygienic

    [Method]
    1. Obtain hygienic colonies
    Find our which “patrilines” are hygienic
    observation hive: observe workers
    genetic markers (DNA microsatellites)

    2.Rear queens from hygienic colony
    DNA test on virgin queens
    Keep only queens of hygienic patrilines
    Allow to mate or inseminate

    ----------------------------------------

    This business of intracolony selection looks very interesting, but until dna testing is readily availlable and cheap I don't think it has any use for us. I think its the only thing that is actually new - the rest is a rehash of American work as far as I can see.

    The way I see it, it isn't a complete solution. But its a start, a selection component that can be used as part of a larger assay system, helpful where apiaries are treatment dependent (and wishing to raise resistance).

    Its also useful to breeders wanting to raise hygienic queens for sale.

    I think its worth noting that for any particular trait (like hygiene) we need to distinguish between different levels of trait-carrying.

    For a 'top-level breeder queen' ideally we'd want both copies of dna to hold the trait, and for all matings to be with trait-carrying drones. That would supply a 100% probability that all offspring would have it, and would therefore make similar 'top-level breeder queens' - assuming, again, all matings are sound.

    But those queens couldn't head colonies. They'd have far too many hygienic offspring. So the next step down would be a queen carrying two copies of the alelle in the queen, again, and open mating supplying a better balance of the hygienic trait.

    This queen would be capable of heading her own colony, and would offer a very reasonable probability of hygienic offspring colonies in even the worst of mating conditions. By she might be too hygenic in the best of mating conditions.

    The last step is a queen carrying a single copy of the required alelle mated by a range of drones, of whom a reasonable number also carry the hygienic allele. That would be the ideal scenario.

    Does this accord, even roughly, with commercial breeder's methods? Are any here?

    But this is only one desirable trait. We need a range of traits, attuned to the present environment, and the only way we are going to know which queens have them is through real-life tests. That is: which thrive, on an ongoing basis, on their internal resources?

    This brings me back to the idea that bee breeding is much more about real life right-now evolutionary factors than biology. You have to husband, skillfully, and in the case of the open mated bee you have to husband - to the degree you can - your own local population. That means when things are against you (treated colonies) pushing harder than when things are with you (absence of treated hives and thriving ferals).

    In the same way, and for those reasons, knowing how to husband genes down through the generations is a more fundamental skill than biological knowledge. Its essential, where biological knowledge isn't.

    These high tech breeding efforts can offer a new tool to help treatment dependent beekeepers over the bump of converting to treatment free. But they are all going to have to take up breeding as a permanant part of management themselves if they want locally self-sufficient bees. I'm sure a lot don't.

    The alternative, centrally bred resistant bees is a great improvement on the present situation, but the objection that it degrades local genetic diversity is a real concern. As a temporary measure it has a role, but in the long term what we need are local resistant bees. That means 'population husbandry'. Or 'husbandry' as it used to be called.

    Mike (UK)
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  4. #424
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Does this accord, even roughly, with commercial breeder's methods? Are any here?


    Do you mean someone like .... Oldtimer?




    Are you now asking for his evaluation of your scheme?


    Graham
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  5. #425
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    As a temporary measure it has a role, but in the long term what we need are local resistant bees.

    In order to better understand your comment, I viewed the link in your signature - the one where you detail the problem and how to fix it. This part has me wondering ...
    It can be seen that modern beekeeping practice is the sole cause of the crisis affecting both wild and domestic bees. The solution lies in the hands of beekeepers and their regulators. Not only should stocks that need to be medicated in order to stay alive not be used for breeding, they should not either be allowed to send their sickly genes into the wild, where they undermine the process of natural selection that would otherwise allow feral bees recover their health.

    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

    What mechanism should be employed to prevent drones from the 'medicated' colonies from flying to Drone Congregation Areas?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #426
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    If modern beekeeping is the sole cause, should we simply stop keeping bees in a modern way? Since apparently the cause of the problem has been identified. Isn't the solution just as simple? Stop keeping bees and the problem will sort itself out. Mike Bispham first.

    If husbandry is the problem, stop husbanding.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #427
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    It can be seen that modern beekeeping practice is the sole cause of the crisis affecting both wild and domestic bees.
    This is a perfect example of someone looking at a very complex problem and suggesting that there is a simple explanation. It can only be seen this way if one ignores 99.44% of the facts and focuses only on the content of one's own imagination. Write a fairy tale, you will have better luck at that.

  8. #428
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post

    In order to better understand your comment, I viewed the link in your signature - the one where you detail the problem and how to fix it. This part has me wondering ...

    What mechanism should be employed to prevent drones from the 'medicated' colonies from flying to Drone Congregation Areas?
    I won't comment on the rest, but using green drone frames as varroa traps can have an impact on how much mature drones a colony produces.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens / northern hygienic bees

  9. #429
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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 perfect example of someone looking at a very complex problem and suggesting that there is a simple explanation. It can only be seen this way if one ignores 99.44% of the facts and focuses only on the content of one's own imagination. Write a fairy tale, you will have better luck at that.
    While not offering a viable solution, there is no denying the statement you quoted is true to a point, though to call modern beekeeping practice the sole cause does miss the odd bit of change of land use, vectors for pathogen spread other than beekeeping and some other factors that change the environment.
    The solution has to be a bee that will survive whatever the current environment is, warts and all, including the practices of modern beekeepers and agronomists.

  10. #430
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    What mechanism should be employed to prevent drones from the 'medicated' colonies from flying to Drone Congregation Areas? [/COLOR]
    Any and all mechanisms would be helpful. Not treating would be a start. Minimising drone populations would be useful.

    If you want treatment dependent bees, promote treatment dependent drone populations. If you don't, work backwards from there.
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-27-2014 at 11:05 AM.
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  11. #431
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If modern beekeeping is the sole cause, should we simply stop keeping bees in a modern way?
    That would work, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Since apparently the cause of the problem has been identified. Isn't the solution just as simple? Stop keeping bees and the problem will sort itself out.
    Its never going to happen, so we'll have to think of other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Mike Bispham first.
    I don't treat. I don't maintain treatment-dependent bees. I'm not part of the problem of treatment-dependency.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If husbandry is the problem, stop husbanding.
    Poor, 'veterinary based' 'husbandry' is the probem. Learn to do husbandry properly offers the beginning of a solution.

    Have you really managed to miss that message altogether Mark?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-27-2014 at 11:12 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  12. #432
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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 perfect example of someone looking at a very complex problem and suggesting that there is a simple explanation.
    This is a perfect example of someone imagining the problem is complex. It isn't. Good husbandrymen can see that.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    It can only be seen this way if one ignores 99.44% of the facts....
    The trick is to separate the fundamentals from the subsequent. Yes, there are plenty of biological facts. But in our case the evolutionary/husbandry understanding is prior. And simple.

    Priority of cause is perhaps a bit unfamiliar. Lets have an example:

    Imagine a man and his wife driving. They go through a large puddle, and a couple of miles later the car stops and won't start. The man diagnoses an electrical fault and explains the details of ignition coils and high tension leads to his wife. She begins to offer a thought, but is cut short with further details of high tension electricity, and its application here, initiating combustion within the cylinders. Again she tries to say something, but the man again interrupts and begins to explain the 4-stroke cycle and the need for a power stroke, how energy is converted to motion through the crankshaft and transmitted to the wheels.

    He knows how cars work, and he knows she doesn't. Try it once more she says. As soon as the ignition is switched on she points wordlessly to the fuel guage, which of course registers empty.

    The knowledge that the car needs fuel to go, and that it has run out, was all that was needed all the time. No-one needed to know anything about ignition coils or high tension leads, or the combustion stroke, or any of the rest of it.

    But the man needed to protect his self-image as someone who knows how cars work, and could therefore diagnose the fault.

    That's about where we are here. The fundamental here - equivalent to 'cars need fuel to go' - is that to get bees that don't need treating, you must make them out of bees that don't need treating.

    Thats all. Its not complicated. Lots of people are doing it. There are many different approaches, but that is the fundamental.

    The negative is also true, and fundamental. If you make bees from bees that need treating, you will get more bees that need treating.

    I'm sorry if that means you been wasting lots of time poring over every last detail of the biological facts, keeping up with all the latest papers. I'm sorry that all that biological knowledge has turned out to be unwanted. But there it is.

    The fundamental in play here is that: if you don't husband your bees genes well you will need to keep treating them. That's what Prof Ratneiks, Marla Spivak and all the rest are telling us. That's fundamental husbandry, based firmly in empirical experience and bio-evolutionary understanding.

    If your 99.44% of the facts are irrelevant Peter, then they can safely be ignored.

    Evaluate, assay, propagate only from the best at whatever trait it is you want. You may not succeed, but if you don't try that route then you most certainly won't get anywhere.

    That can't be taken away, no matter how deep you go in biology. Because .. it is a fundamental. Fundamentals can't be undone.

    There is, you are right, a very real complexity overlying those facts. But nothing in that complexity undoes any of the above. It always remains true.

    That complexity is: how do we change beekeeping approaches, given that there appears to be a fiscal cost - and not inconsiderable risk - to trying to move toward treatment-free approaches? How do we overcome the competitive disadvantages that lie that way?

    That is a complex problem, and its one that the researchers are aware of, and their work is geared in good part to addressing that.

    Pretending the bio-evolutionary facts are other than they are doesn't help those very real problems.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 04-28-2014 at 03:32 AM.
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  13. #433
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post

    Do you mean someone like .... Oldtimer?


    Are you now asking for his evaluation of your scheme?
    I doubt he would want my evaluation, it would be real world experience, and would conflict with the theoretical dogma on his site, written 5 years ago before he had bees.

    The writings on this site have since been held up as the gold standard, ultimate unchanging truth, and even after keeping some real bees and reading stuff written by experienced beekeepers he has learned nothing further. I guess it's impossible for someone who knows everything, to be able to learn something new.

    It is this attitude that has caused such anachronisms as a man who has spent 5 years lecturing the rest of the world how to breed bees, to take 5 years to get to a point where he is going to attempt to raise some himself. 50 per month I've been told, my view, won't happen. I've lumped that in with the rest of the theory and pipe dreams, if I see it I'll believe it.

    The guy will not answer questions from me, they are too hard for him, see next post for example.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #434
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I can make a difference by keeping hives with vastly higher drone proportions than those held by most surrounding hives (though not any flourishing ferals), as most beekeepers work at keeping drone numbers down.

    And drones supply only 1/3rd of the genetic material. That gives me direct control over 2/3rds. That is ample for the level of influence I need.
    Mike your statement is wrong. (Again).

    I am not familiar with bees in Kent. But for other bees, the drones contribute more than 1/3rd of the genetic material, nucleic genetic material is 1/2 each for practical purposes, check it out.

    I have previously asked you to expand on your statement, but thus far, silence. You have been unable to explain.

    Care to give it a try?

    Just, of late you have been lecturing to us on genetics. If you could understand some of the absolute basics, it could lend more credence to the rest of your lectures. Here, you have one of the most simple of the genetic concepts, totally wrong. I am not inspired with confidence in much else you have to say on the subject.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-27-2014 at 04:02 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #435
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    > Not only should stocks that need to be medicated in order to stay alive not be used for breeding, they should not either be allowed to send their sickly genes into the wild ...

    In response to my question about somehow stopping drones from medicated hives going off to local DCAs, you responded ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Any and all mechanisms would be helpful. Not treating would be a start. Minimising drone populations would be useful.
    But Mike, you yourself have promoted treating bees! For instance, this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ting+treatment
    that you started is all about treating non-resistant bees in your apiary, although in that thread you would immediately requeen, allegedly so the replacement breeding queen is not contaminated by the treatment.


    However, the drones that the previous queen laid and the "UN-RESISTANT" colony raised have all been off visiting local DCAs and spreading their genes! That is, genes from your colonies that were NOT resistant (otherwise you wouldn't have treated them) are being spread around via local DCAs.

    So on your website you are railing against other beekeepers spreading around genes from medicated hives, and yet here at Beesource you are promoting the very action that you are complaining about.


    Maybe this all needs a little more planning on your part?

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 04-27-2014 at 04:02 PM.
    Graham
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  16. #436
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    But Mike, you yourself have promoted treating bees! For instance, this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ting+treatment
    that you started is all about treating non-resistant bees in your apiary, although in that thread you would immediately requeen, allegedly so the replacement breeding queen is not contaminated by the treatment.
    You've got that bit wrong Graham. I would consider treating a heavily infested hive to protect the incoming queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    However, the drones that the previous queen laid and the "UN-RESISTANT" colony raised have all been off visiting local DCAs and spreading their genes! That is, genes from your colonies that were NOT resistant (otherwise you wouldn't have treated them) are being spread around via local DCAs.
    That's right. That's a bad thing. I should consider capturing and destroying any such drones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    So on your website you are railing against other beekeepers spreading around genes from medicated hives, and yet here at Beesource you are promoting the very action that you are complaining about.
    No I'm not. As soon as I spot that hives are vulnerable to varroa I'm getting rid of them, not supporting them. I'm not quite sure what I could do to avoid that - let me know if you have any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Maybe this all needs a little more planning on your part?
    Always. Thanks for helping.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  17. #437
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    to call modern beekeeping practice the sole cause does miss the odd bit of change of land use, vectors for pathogen spread other than beekeeping and some other factors that change the environment.
    I submit that to call anything the sole cause of anything else misses the entire point which is that everything is interconnected. But beside that, the cry that the modern world is the cause of all our ailments and the only solution is to return to some idyllic state is not only false, but not even possible. So why hold up the impossible as a solution to anything?

    Continuing, there is no such thing as the "modern world". This is the world we have and the world we have made. The solution(s) to problems lie in the future, in a different direction from the past. There is no possibility of returning to any past worlds, to argue about that is pointless and a waste of time.

    The only way forward is to try to understand the entire complexity of the problem, and begin to work out practical solutions. Theories, if they are worth anything, must come from the assemblage of observable facts, not the other way round. To form a theory and then to try to shoehorn facts into it, is ignorant and deceitful.

    The fact is, none of us is keeping bees in isolation. This is a global world and quarantines don't work for long. Nobody even knows how Nosema ceranae got to be everywhere, it happened before we realized it and now it's a done deal. In fact, the name implies that Apis cerana was the primary host, which may not even be true.

    Viruses recombine, and the distinction between one and another is only evident through A) host specificity and B) molecular structure. Many viruses have been found to Not be host specific, so then we are left with B.

    This method resorts to identifying species and subspecies based on a few dozen base pairs in their DNA, which may or may not have any function at all, other than its use to use as a method of identification. For example, what is the function of fingerprints? And yet they are sufficiently unique to use for identity. But unique identity does not therefore confer function.

    But I digress. Essentially, if one has a theory, it should be based on actual observations, and then borne out by experimentation. This experimentation ideally would be done by someone else, in order to confirm the objectivity of the results.

    For example, the theory is that removing drone brood can curtail mite buildup, because mites preferentially colonize drone brood. This is based on observation. I participated in a long term study where we showed that in fact removing the drone brood reduced the build up of mites.

    However, when I attempted to replicate the results with my own bees, the hives ended up with fatal numbers of drones by September. It appears that the real problem is not mite buildup at all but the bees bringing in mites from other colonies. SO, reality trumps theory every time.
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 04-28-2014 at 07:05 AM. Reason: typo

  18. #438
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Just, of late you have been lecturing to us on genetics. If you could understand some of the absolute basics, it could lend more credence to the rest of your lectures.
    People have been saying this over and over. I suggest looking into the subject of the genetic basis of behavior. This is an exploding field with more questions than answers.

  19. #439
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    >I submit that to call anything the sole cause of anything else misses the entire point which is that everything is interconnected.

    Hear! Hear!
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #440
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I submit that to call anything the sole cause of anything else misses the entire point which is that everything is interconnected.

    Hear! Hear!
    So if your fuel guage shows empty, and your car won't go Michael, and you assume the position: 'its very likely my car won't go because it has no gas' you're doing something wrong?

    That's what you're saying.

    You are saying that in this situation a person should be thinking 'it might be the lack of gas, but maybe there's a little in the bottom of the talk, and the ignition system has broken'. And thinking simultaniously about dozens of other possibly cause of the no-go problem.

    That's what this position amounts to.

    I'm not denying there are other contributory factors. But breeding properly - husbanding the genes soundly - is a necessary step.

    I'm using that term 'necessary' in a specific way - a way that means -it has to be done or things will go wrong. It is necessary that a car has fuel in order for it to go. You can't get around that.

    It is equally necessary that bees possess a functional set of genes in order to function.

    And its true to say such genes can only come from other bees that possess them.

    Follow the logic. The world is a logical place.

    Yes, its also necessary that bees are free from poisoning, that they have adequate forage.

    But none of that takes away the necessity to make them from bees that are equipped to perform as you want them to perform.

    Mike (UK)
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