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  1. #141
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    While you can't turn a cactus into a lily as far as I know.

    I wouldn't say that the above applies to modifying Honeybees.

    We're accustomed to thinking in terms of natural and artificial selection.

    However, biotechnology is also a possible method/process.

    I'm not actively advocating for it, but clearly, others are.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Tell that to my bees. Plenty of beekeepers are keeping bees successfully without recourse to treatments as a result of informed husbandry techniques.



    Why would I want to suggest an alternative? There isn't one. And selective breeding works just fine.
    You changed the subject from traditional breeding best to the best to make this argument. I am certain your bees are not a genetic exception. I am also certain you cannot possibly achieve anything remotely similar to traditional breeding methods with bees. One example. taking one male and breeding it to an entire herd of females. The male and the females all having been carefully selected for particular traits. none of which had to do with any sort of natural advantage.



    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I agree with most of that. But see my post a moment ago to bernhard. Breeding is built into animal husbandry. Without that it would collapse within a generation or two.
    We obviously have different ideas of what "Breeding" is. I do agree that the effects of breeding collapse quickly. In some cases breeding requires no additional generations at all. Look at the domestic pig when it escapes captivity. With that as an example of the effects on an animal from being kept at all. what could be the effects on the Honeybee that it is put in an artificial hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Yes, sick animals are treated but they are not subsequently favoured as breeders. That privalige goes only to those who need the least care.
    "Least care"??? For breeding stock? How much breeding have you actually ever done. How many breeding head of anything have you ever had the charge of? What do you understand about genetic expression and the care required to assure it is expressed at all. It is pretty difficult to accurately select an animal for breeding if everything you can see has been altered by lack of care and environmental conditions. In fact breeding stock receives the highest level of care. Both for genetic expression and general health of the animal.

    Although breeders are managed for maximum health which requires exceptional care and effort. Selection is not necessarily so. In the 70's one of the things my father did on our farm was bred Yorkshire Terriers. at that time breeding was about size. everyone wanted Yorkies that where 3 lbs or smaller. As it turned out this was devastating to the health of the breed. Now by AKC standards a Yorkie must be at least 7 lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Farming mimics the processes of natural selection. Instead of nature doing the selection (in various ways) the farmer does it. That's how it works. That's what husbandry is.
    I am not even sure what to say to this one.




    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    There are a range of mechanisms that bring the healthiest genes to the fore in any naturally selecting population. Male competitions for sexual favours for example ensures that more offspring come from stronger males than from weaker ones. You see? The lions/bulls/rams/giraffes fight - seriously fight - and the winner gets to be the dad. Think about it Daniel. What is happening there? What is the outcome? The fact that its happening in every generation, again and again?
    I will ask you the same thing. What is happening here? I am pretty sure I understand what you think is happening here. But it is not. Typically the idea is that the strongest bull wins. Not so, not even close. At best only the strongest from a very few contenders wins. none of which have any guarantee of being a good mate. If all that is available is poor mates then only the strongest poor mate wins. Now in many cases not even the strongest poor mate would win. That is because the strongest engages in the most battles and has very little chance of winning them all. often the best mate is killed or ran off before it is able to pass on it's genes. But for the sake of arguments I will concede that point and lets say the strongest male does win. what are the odds in the reality of nature than any of his offspring will survive to reproduce? I find it common that those that promote survival of the fittest assume that those that survive and successfully mate must be the most fit. I reality it is mating of those most suitable to successfully mating. Very often the strongest and fittest die proving they where strong and fit. just not strong and fit enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    That's just one mechanism of natural selection. Of course those prone to diseases tend to die - and tend to be weaker where they survive. Not many of them get to make contribute.
    Although disease may at times sort those that have greater resistance to it from those that don't. This also does not work the way that it is typically assumed. Individuals that are exposed to a disease get sick. This is hardly a signification portion of the population in the first place. unless you are talking about plague conditions. the survival rate of any popularity to such diseases has far more to do with how lethal the disease is rather than resistance to it. that is why they measure it by how lethal a disease is and not by how resistant the animal is to it. If an animal is resistant they do not get sick. you can't measure what did not happen. You could say that some percentage of a population did not suffer form a given disease. but how do you know if they where ever actually exposed to it? How do you know that they in fact had the disease and never displayed any symptoms? How do you know that those animals that did not get ill simply had an immune system capable of overcoming it and that system is the result of environmental conditions that allowed them to have a healthier immune system. This is simply the fact that not all environments are suitable to all species. Environmental stability has nothing to do with selection. Fish don't live out of water. that has nothing to do with natural or any other kind of selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Natural selection is a firm, fundamental reality. It isn't some sort of insanity. You just haven't thought it through.
    I never said Natural Selection does not exist. What is in question is what in fact it accomplishes. I see those here think it produces stronger faster healthier individuals. which is not even close to true. It produces a wide range of individuals from the strongest to the weakest and it maintains that range always. This comment may be difficult to apply. But think about it. take any animal you care to and lets say it's population has an average adult weight of 7 lbs. Now how many individuals within that population woudl weigh 7 lbs? Most people woudl say most of them would. Most would agree that half or more weigh 7 lbs or close to it. The truth is very few if any individuals woudl weigh 7 lbs . half would be over 7 lbs and half would be under it.

    Now stay with me. Let's say there is the random but rare 12 lb individual. This largest of individuals represent your strongest and fittest. Out of the entire population of the species how often is the largest going to accour? How prevalent are they. it is unlikely they will be able to mate with every suitable partner in an entire area. many less large individuals will also successfully mate. At best they will mate with a fraction of a precent of the available mates. Even if they do successfully mate at a higher rate. that gives there offspring no advantage at survival. In fact their offspring may very well be at a disadvantage. so advantage at mating does not carry over to advantage of survival of prodigy. One example of this recently shared on this site was the bear in yellowstone that learned to hunt elk. this allowed the adult female to thrive. but also insured none of her offspring survived. Traits for successful mating have nothing to do with successful rearing of young or the tendency for a given blood line to pass on to future generations.

    All traits even the most exceptional and what woudl be considered the fittest are lethal under any number of random environmental conditions. In truth fittest does not really exist in nature. fittest for what? An ever changing environment that leaves any trait vulnerable at some point or another. in a battle large is better. in conditions of starvation not so much. A strong animal that fights many battles then starves due to the energy expended. It in fact happens. study the mating habits of the bull Elk. Often the strongest larges best fighter, dies defending his herd from all comers. in many cases never managing to mate at all. Having fought off contender after contender only to eventually loosing out to a far less suitable individual. The strongest are all beat to death attempting to. So much for that fittest idea. Nature favors the main stream. that is why the exceptional in either case are rare. The exception do not in fact survive.

    It is the hum drum every day individual just getting by that is successful.
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  3. #143
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Wild/Feral (naturally selecting) bees will always adapt to their environments. Wherever predation is high aggressiveness is the population's response for example. Remove the predators and the aggressiveness will lower itself (as it is wasteful of energy)
    Not true.
    Apparently Mike didn't learn much from the extinct dinosaur situation that we went through with him a week ago or so.

    It should be apparent that extinct species DID NOT adapt to their environment. Even extinct INSECTS fail to adapt. And guess what - there are extinct insects.

    The quote below is from a page on extinct insects ...
    One extinct species of insect, the Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus), was once so numerous that in the 1800s it was described as the single largest barrier to westward expansion in the U.S., Dunn says.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...insects_2.html
    While folks a Beesource likely aren't weeping about an extinct locust species, it is clear evidence that Mike's assertion is wrong.

    Insects, including bees, do not always adapt to their environments.

    Graham
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  4. #144
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    I don't know who is still reading this thread. Anyway, greater minds than mine have studied this issue deeply, to wit:

    Breeding for disease resistance has become a major goal in selection programmes of the honeybee. Often these efforts comprise international consortia, the utilization of genetically broad and diverse stock as a basis for selection. Repeatedly, there have been reports of disease resistance stock and they are marketed at a global scale.

    In spite of the repeated successes of breeding, the breeding results are disappointingly unsustainable. Resistant stock comes as quickly as it disappears. This may not be surprising given the structure of the apicultural industry.

    The complex mating biology of the honeybee queen is a notoriously complex handicap to implement resistant stock at the large scale. In light of the ever increasing suite of pests, parasites and pathogens it is even highly questionable whether it is a desirable selection goal to spread resistant stock at a large scale.

    Regional selection programs, aiming to maintain diversity may be the only feasible way to develop a breeding strategy for disease resistance. Even than we should not expect to reach a sustainable disease resistant breeding line, it will require constant breeding efforts to keep ahead of colony losses due to pathogens of the honeybee.
    Is breeding for disease resistance a sustainable concept in honeybees?, Robin Moritz
    Institut für Biologie Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Hoher Weg 4 06099 Halle/Saale, Germany

    He highlights the fact that resistance must develop in a population, not a lineage. That conventional ideas about breeding do not apply to the honey bee due to the complexity of mating and genomics.

    People love to over simplify, because it makes their ideas easier to understand and to promote. Unfortunately, nobody has a handle on this problem, and those that claim they do may be deluded.

    By the way, thanks to those who have stayed with this conversation.
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 07-19-2014 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Brevity

  5. #145
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post

    By the way, thanks to those who have stayed with this conversation despite the ranting by the various know-nothings whose noise makes it difficult to talk & hear in the room.
    This is my first post on this thread, after reading this it will be my last.
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  6. #146
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    I find it common that those that promote survival of the fittest assume that those that survive and successfully mate must be the most fit. I reality it is mating of those most suitable to successfully mating.
    This is a very important point and it accounts for much of the variety we see. Again, people try to simplify things so that they can understand them. But you have only understood the simplified version. Evolution is a complex mix of many factors, including recombination of traits, sexual attractiveness, niche selection, etc. etc. It's not one thing.

    Even breeding is complex, though it selects for a small set of traits. With genetic linkages, when one selects for something desirable one is often inadvertently selecting for other things, some of which are harmful (as described previously with the small dogs). Very few breeding programs are not plagued by the affects of inadvertent selection.

    Natural selection produces a huge range of individuals, millions of species. If there were one best organism, it would predominate. Such is not the case. If anything, nature prefers all sorts of different organisms, each surviving in their own different way. As we mentioned earlier, there a lots of ways to survive, which include being smarter, prettier, faster, lucky, bad tasting, parasitic, or simply by hiding in a filthy hole that nobody else wants.

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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Comment removed, no longer valid
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 07-19-2014 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Comment removed, no longer valid

  8. #148
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Now, for something completely different:

    Less attention has been paid to host–parasite systems where both host and parasite are closely related, sharing similar life history traits. This is known as social parasitism or brood parasitism and is found in both birds and social insects. Host bumblebees and their social parasites, cuckoo bumblebees share the same, but timeshifted annual life cycle, and corresponding environmental conditions.

    Host bumblebee colonies are comprised of drones (males), workers and a single bumblebee queen who initiates nest foundation in early spring. During colony development, workers are produced exclusively and only at the end of the season are new sexuals (drones and queens) produced for the forthcoming season.

    Cuckoo bumblebee females invade host nests in spring, killing the host queen and leaving host workers to take care of the cuckoo female’s brood. In contrast to the host, cuckoo females produce only male and queen offspring, lacking a worker caste. This kind of parasitism is assigned to queen-intolerant inquilines. Within this asymmetric, inter-specific arms race, cuckoo bumblebees may be specialist or generalist, being a mono- or multiple-host social parasite, depending on the host species range.
    Erler, S., Lhomme, P., Rasmont, P., & Lattorff, H. M. G. (2014). Rapid evolution of antimicrobial peptide genes in an insect host–social parasite system. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 23, 129-137.

    See also

    http://www.coloss.org

  9. #149
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Interesting thread. I've wondered what the numbers would be as well. I think it all boils down to habitat, and not just foraging habitat either. For example, timber management plays a much larger role than people give it credit for when it comes to feral bees. In my area, there was virtually no timber at all 50 years ago with the exception of hilltops where it was too steep to graze livestock. Virtually, every hillside was used for pasture. Fast forward today, and what do we have?.....farmers have aged and retired. Their children have moved off to the city, and the pasture land is now timber ranging between 50-100 yrs old. The old timers here remember bees being kept in people's' yards, but hardly any in the woods. Now, even after the mites, we are seeing bees everywhere it seems. My phone rings off the wall about feral bees. I honestly think this is due to the older timber, which is now large enough to contain cavities with the proper size suitable for bee colonies.
    So what if a strong colony throws off 3-5 swarms a year. If there's no where for the swarms to go, they'll simply die due to lack of cavities. Provide a lot of cavities in an area with good forage, and you'll have plenty of feral bees.
    Obviously, this doesn't answer the question, but I think natural shelter and food are the biggest dependent factors when it comes to feral bees. Some areas have it and some areas don't.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  10. #150
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    People dive into ongoing conversations, read very little and launch into their scripted rants.
    That's it...... sounds like that guy Peter over on the Paramont thread in the commercial section.
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  11. #151
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    That's it...... sounds like that guy Peter over on the Paramont thread in the commercial section.
    At least his face has gone from to . Things are looking up!

    By the way, I already apologized for what I said there, but I will apologize again to you Keith. I have the utmost respect for you and all the commercial beekeepers who keep the bee industry alive. I am on the fence here, having been both a commercial operator, a researcher, and now a small holder. The concerns of these are similar but different. Anyway, opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, they are not very deep and they don't hold much water.

  12. #152
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    I have asked a few bee scientists here in Canada and the consensus has been that, thanks to disease, pests and pesticide effects, in our cold weather areas there are no true ferals left. One researcher felt that in the warmest weather areas of the country (BC's south coast, the Sarnia region of Ontario, and perhaps southern parts of the Maritimes) there may be some ferals, but many fewer than in years past, and likely not surviving as long as colonies used to.

    I had one lady call me (we live on the south BC coast near the USA/Canada border) hoping the bees in her deck were a feral colony. But when we monitored them closely, they died out each winter and the space was repopulated by a spring swarm from a nearby honey operation.

  13. #153
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    I just pulled a hive from a commercial building that was 8' in length and 5' wide. Been in the wall 9 yrs. There are feral hives out there

  14. #154
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    .. opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, they are not very deep and they don't hold much water.
    You speak for yourself. My beliefs on this topic are well researched and deeply held.

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  15. #155
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    [QUOTE=TalonRedding;1139935]Interesting thread. I've wondered what the numbers would be as well. I think it all boils down to habitat, and not just foraging habitat either. For example, timber management plays a much larger role than people give it credit for when it comes to feral bees.

    [...]

    the pasture land is now timber ranging between 50-100 yrs old. The old timers here remember bees being kept in people's' yards, but hardly any in the woods. Now, even after the mites, we are seeing bees everywhere it seems. My phone rings off the wall about feral bees. I honestly think this is due to the older timber, which is now large enough to contain cavities with the proper size suitable for bee colonies. [quote]

    I agree, nesting habitat is a huge factor. Where there are no cavities there can be no ferals; where there are multiple cavities (and sufficient forage) there can be high concentrations.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    So what if a strong colony throws off 3-5 swarms a year. If there's no where for the swarms to go, they'll simply die due to lack of cavities. Provide a lot of cavities in an area with good forage, and you'll have plenty of feral bees.
    Where cavities are normally small (middle aged woodland for example) bees will swarm a lot as they run out of space. This faster than normal turnover will speed natural selection, allowing mite tolerant behaviours to emerge sooner.

    All this is entirely predictable. Its laughable that so many self-regarding 'husbandrymen' here find it hard to understand the simple basics of evolutionary biology - or the idea that basics can be simple yet remain... basics.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    So what if a strong colony throws off 3-5 swarms a year. If there's no where for the swarms to go, they'll simply die due to lack of cavities. Provide a lot of cavities in an area with good forage, and you'll have plenty of feral bees.
    Now/where they have adapted to varroa there's nothing to stop a return to long-term numbers wherever conditions are good and humans tolerate their presence. Around larger treating apiaries they'll be crippled, but that's not everywhere.

    Mike (UK)
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    You changed the subject from traditional breeding best to the best to make this argument. I am certain your bees are not a genetic exception. I am also certain you cannot possibly achieve anything remotely similar to traditional breeding methods with bees. One example. taking one male and breeding it to an entire herd of females. The male and the females all having been carefully selected for particular traits. none of which had to do with any sort of natural advantage.
    Try a counterexample: I take the queen from the weakest colony in my apiary, a young and well fed queen simply not passing on varroa management behaviours to her colony. I raise 100 new queens from her, and mate them in a nearby heavily treating apiary, and then use them requeen my entire apiary.

    Given that I don't treat, is that a sensible thing to be doing? If not, why not?

    Mike (UK)
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    We obviously have different ideas of what "Breeding" is. I do agree that the effects of breeding collapse quickly. In some cases breeding requires no additional generations at all. Look at the domestic pig when it escapes captivity.
    Most individuals die, if some (the strongest, where 'strongest means 'best fitted to the environment) survive and reproduce successfully, from these alone new generations will be subject to continuous natural selection, improving fitness. Pretty soon you have something that looks rather like wild pigs again. Its a feral population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    With that as an example of the effects on an animal from being kept at all. what could be the effects on the Honeybee that it is put in an artificial hive?
    That it is put in a hive and that alone? Not much effect. If it had to find the hive you've been maintaining cavity-location capabilities, but as far as I know domesticated populations don't weaken in that respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    "Least care"??? For breeding stock?
    Of course breeding stock is very valuable, and you want to maintain it. But given the choice of two otherwise identical strong males, will you select the one with a disposition to fevers or the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It is pretty difficult to accurately select an animal for breeding if everything you can see has been altered by lack of care and environmental conditions.
    Never a truer word was spoken. Treating and mollycoddling masks innate strengths and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    In fact breeding stock receives the highest level of care. Both for genetic expression and general health of the animal.
    So you agree the benefits of selective parentage for mammals, but not with bees. Have I got that right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Although breeders are managed for maximum health [...]
    First step first: first they're selected for maximal - or near maximal - health. For vitality and productivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    ...which requires exceptional care and effort. Selection is not necessarily so.
    This doesn't make grammatical sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    In the 70's one of the things my father did on our farm was bred Yorkshire Terriers. at that time breeding was about size. everyone wanted Yorkies that where 3 lbs or smaller. As it turned out this was devastating to the health of the breed. Now by AKC standards a Yorkie must be at least 7 lbs.
    What is your point here Daniel?

    Mike (UK)
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    [Mike] "Farming mimics the processes of natural selection. Instead of nature doing the selection (in various ways) the farmer does it. That's how it works. That's what husbandry is."

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I am not even sure what to say to this one.
    Perhaps you should study the idea for a little while. This (again) might help you:

    "Breeding is by no means a human invention. Nature, which in millions of years
    has bought forth this immense diversity of wonderfully adapted creatures, is the
    greatest breeder. It is from her that the present day breeder learnt how it must
    be done, excessive production and then ruthless selection, permitting only the
    most suitable to survive and eliminating the inferior."
    Friedrich Ruttner,
    Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee, pg 45

    [Mike] "The lions/bulls/rams/giraffes fight - seriously fight - and the winner gets to be the dad. Think about it Daniel. What is happening there? What is the outcome? The fact that its happening in every generation, again and again? "

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I will ask you the same thing. What is happening here? I am pretty sure I understand what you think is happening here. But it is not. Typically the idea is that the strongest bull wins. Not so, not even close. At best only the strongest from a very few contenders wins. none of which have any guarantee of being a good mate. If all that is available is poor mates then only the strongest poor mate wins. Now in many cases not even the strongest poor mate would win. That is because the strongest engages in the most battles and has very little chance of winning them all.
    What usually happens is that the best fighter - who is also most often the largest - wins, and then defends, a harem. The other males get chased off.

    In most cases the strongest males get to father the next generation.

    This it textbook stuff Daniel. Get yourself a textbook - read it and think it through.

    There are of course complexities. But that underlying mechanism remains. In many species males are built to compete for for mating rights, and that mechanism confers an advantage over sub-populations that don't have it. Therefore it persists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    ... often the best mate is killed or ran off before it is able to pass on it's genes.
    Then it wasn't the best mate, ceteris patribus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    But for the sake of arguments I will concede that point and lets say the strongest male does win.
    Its not for the sake of argument. Its because the argument wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    what are the odds in the reality of nature than any of his offspring will survive to reproduce?
    Better, ceteris patribus, than the odds of the offspring of the less strong. Take it to the extreme to see the point more clearly: what are the odds of the offspring of the weakest survining to reproduce, compared to the offspring of the strongest.

    If you really believe there is no difference then why do you select and carefully maintain breeding stock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I find it common that those that promote survival of the fittest assume that those that survive and successfully mate must be the most fit. I reality it is mating of those most suitable to successfully mating.
    Its the same thing Daniel. 'Fitness' means 'best able to reproduce successfully'. 'Fitness is defined that way.

    You have to have the basic education in order to understand how the terms used function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Very often the strongest and fittest die proving they where strong and fit. just not strong and fit enough.
    They may have been the strongest, but they weren't the 'fittest'. 'Fittest' has a special meaning in evolutionary biology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Although disease may at times sort those that have greater resistance to it from those that don't.
    Not 'at times' - in wild populations regularly. Populations are constantly 'winnowed' for those genes best ably to ensure successful reproduction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    This also does not work the way that it is typically assumed. Individuals that are exposed to a disease get sick. This is hardly a signification portion of the population in the first place. unless you are talking about plague conditions. the survival rate of any popularity to such diseases has far more to do with how lethal the disease is rather than resistance to it.
    At times. But sub-lethal disease also weakens. It lowers the ability of an individual to thrive, and to compete with other individuals who have no symptoms. A drone with shingles is less likely, ceteris patribus, to mate with a queen than one of similar size and capabilities who isn't suffering the effects of shingles. (No I don't think bees suffer from shingles - I do know a beekeeper who does, and he's getting less honey this year as a direct result than his competitors!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    that is why they measure it by how lethal a disease is and not by how resistant the animal is to it.
    What matters in farming is how much effect it has (or may have in the future) on yields.

    Don't forget Daniel husbandry nowadays is deeply distorted by the availability of treatments. You can make the calculation: this bull has a disposition to x problem, which I'd really rather not pass down, but... the problem is easily fixed by a treatment, and that will likely remain so, he's in.

    You are are still selecting. You've just made an allowance. Sure, nature can't do that (actually it can - some beneficial relationships solve a disease propblem for one partner by rewarding the other).

    And that's the main, and undeniable, and important point. Traits, dispositions, including those relating to health and vitality and productivity (which are overlapping features) are heritable and inherited; and that's why natural selection does what it does, and why husbandry works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    If an animal is resistant they do not get sick. you can't measure what did not happen. You could say that some percentage of a population did not suffer form a given disease. but how do you know if they where ever actually exposed to it? How do you know that they in fact had the disease and never displayed any symptoms? How do you know that those animals that did not get ill simply had an immune system capable of overcoming it and that system is the result of environmental conditions that allowed them to have a healthier immune system.
    You make your best effort to calculate what is happening. You can alter the way you manage stock to help that process. Its sometimes hard, and sometimes impossible - but its very often very simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I never said Natural Selection does not exist. What is in question is what in fact it accomplishes.
    What it accomplishes is the creation of millions of diverse species over time, from a common ancestor. What it accomplishes is the best-possible routes to fitness on the basis that the less fit tend to lose out to the most fit. What it accomplishes is disease resistance through de-selection of the most vulnerable and promotion of the least vulnerable. Its beautiful stuff Daniel and you owe it to yourself to get a handle on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I see those here think it produces stronger faster healthier individuals. which is not even close to true.
    No, it is true. That's exactly what it does - where 'stronger' and 'faster' are traits that confer an advantage, and always!! where health is concerned because poor health never confers an advantage!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It produces a wide range of individuals from the strongest to the weakest and it maintains that range always.
    Yes it does. But it does so by ... selecting better and de-selecting worse.

    If you remove that mechanism - start de-selecting better and selecting worse - then things go downhill fast.

    Again: arms race. The predators are constantly evolving. If you stop matching evolution in the prey the advantage goes to the predators.

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

  19. #159
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    This comment may be difficult to apply. But think about it. take any animal you care to and lets say it's population has an average adult weight of 7 lbs. Now how many individuals within that population woudl weigh 7 lbs? Most people woudl say most of them would. Most would agree that half or more weigh 7 lbs or close to it. The truth is very few if any individuals woudl weigh 7 lbs . half would be over 7 lbs and half would be under it.

    Now stay with me. Let's say there is the random but rare 12 lb individual. This largest of individuals represent your strongest and fittest.
    No. He may be the strongest, but unless he wins the mating copetition and has successful offspring, he isn't the 'fittest'.

    There is a better point - that works in your favour: he may sire a population of large strong males that subsequently succumb to a particular disease. In which case it turns out that his weren't the fittest genes after all.

    In reality populations are sufficiently large and for genetic diversity to work in seeking the optimum ranges on average.

    Genetic narrowing (in breeding) can be a dangerous game.

    But its tempting. Try these overlarge bloodlines - they might well be profitable for a hwile - and if complications arise down the line, well, we'll be buying in fresh stock anyway... Farming is, yes, about trying to cheat, to better natural selection, to increase yields - and generally it succeeds wildly.

    But it only succeeds, on a sustainable basis where the husbandryman know's what he's doing, or has someone to bail him out when his choices go wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    One example of this recently shared on this site was the bear in yellowstone that learned to hunt elk. this allowed the adult female to thrive. but also insured none of her offspring survived. Traits for successful mating have nothing to do with successful rearing of young or the tendency for a given blood line to pass on to future generations.
    You've muddled your points here Daniel with the result that you're not making sense. I understand what you're getting at, but I'm not going to untangle it for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    All traits even the most exceptional and what woudl be considered the fittest are lethal under any number of random environmental conditions.
    Ceteris paribus Daniel 'all else being equal' 'on average'.

    When you got in a casino you know that on average, in the long run, the chances are very much that you'll lose. If it were any other way the csinos wouldn't make a profit - but they do, they make moke hand over first.

    You can't predict the outcome of any particular hand, or pull, or throw.

    But you can predict that you'll probably be poorer in the long run if you keep visiting casinos.

    Do you follow that? If you can, I can help you understand how a tendency in some individuals can be compounded by the effects of a small selective mechanism to produce predicatble results in the long run. If you can't then I don't think I can help.

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

  20. #160
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    Default Re: What Percent of Hives Are Feral vs Kept

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    In truth fittest does not really exist in nature. fittest for what? An ever changing environment that leaves any trait vulnerable at some point or another. in a battle large is better. in conditions of starvation not so much. A strong animal that fights many battles then starves due to the energy expended. It in fact happens. study the mating habits of the bull Elk. Often the strongest larges best fighter, dies defending his herd from all comers. in many cases never managing to mate at all. Having fought off contender after contender only to eventually loosing out to a far less suitable individual. The strongest are all beat to death attempting to. So much for that fittest idea. Nature favors the main stream. that is why the exceptional in either case are rare. The exception do not in fact survive.

    It is the hum drum every day individual just getting by that is successful.
    But we don't want bees that are just getting by, and we don't want bees that have natural wastage rates... and so we breed them

    And those of us who don't want to have to treat, with all the implications that has, recognise that feral populations can supply a helping hand - because with no help at all, among them are strong, independent thriving productive individuals who offer good breeding qualities.

    And we recognise that in order to make best use of those qualities we have to find them, capture their (desirable) genes and then maintain them through our own selective propagation systems.

    Can't you see how simple that is?

    If we do we stand a good chance of getting good bees that don't need treating.

    That's doing simple, basic genetic husbandry. Its what is done in every other field of husbandry.

    Is that so hard to comprehend?

    Thanks for engaging Daniel. Some folks here run away from arguments and respond with abuse. You're made of sterner stuff.

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

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