Surviver Stock: the new bee race - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ...i think many (if not most) that use the term "survivor stock" are specifically talking about survivors that did so without the use of treatments.
    Yeah, of course. But it's not just about treatment vs non-treatment. I was just trying to make a point that selection has been going on forever. Whether it's for mite resistance, or drought tolerance, or early bloom. Or weight gain, or beauty, or...there's a reason why the cattle in Florida don't look like the cattle in Vermont.

    If the bee you have survives varroa with no treatments, but doesn't make surplus honey,
    what do you have anyway?

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  3. #22
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    Michael P, why would one propagate survivor stock that does not make surplus honey?

    Kieck, what about host/parasite equilibrium? Varroa is still relatively new to Apis mellifera, however on with its original host(A. cerana) original both species have had a long time to adapt to each other and seem to coexist just fine in a balance.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Michael P, why would one propagate survivor stock that does not make surplus honey?
    Because the breeder is looking at only one trait. For instance...the VSH bee. The first to be release weren't very good. They were so VSH that the queens were superceded quickly. You had to add emerging brood to the colony.

    And the supposedly mite tolerant stock that is offered by one breeder. In my area, they break down with severe chalk. They buildup just so far, and sit there the rest of the summer. So, yes they are, to some degree mite tolerant, but they couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. This stock is being advertised as mite tolerant. Selected and propogated. Worthless bees...in my area.

    The breeder has to look at the whole ball of wax, and not just one trait.

  5. #24
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    I guess it's all in how you deliver the punch line MP. Could be that they don't live long enough to have mites. But they would still be mite resistant huh?

    Seems pretty simple to me, I haven't used any kind of treatments in quite a long time now. I select queens to make new stock from that build quick and have the highest production. If they aren't surviving, they wouldn't be doing the latter very well, would they?

    I think sometimes there's just a little to much micro-management.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  6. #25
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    michael palmer writes:
    The breeder has to look at the whole ball of wax, and not just one trait.

    tecumseh:
    in one of od frank's old bee magazines I read a similar though by your neighbor mr mraz (how do you say that name properly?) but in regards to the defensve/aggressive nature of bees. he spoke of a man who reared such a docile bunch of bees that the 'queen breeder'??? who developed them would take them to bee convention and kick and toss the hive about without any reaction from the bees what so ever. the limitation (at least according to charles mraz) was that the same bees would also not raise a honey crop and without constant feeding and attention would very quickly die.

    mother nature does have a way of weeding out extremes.

  7. #26
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    Just how it looks tec. We have Charles (Chuck) Mraz working here in my office. Not the same of course! M-raz
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    in one of od frank's old bee magazines I read a similar though by your neighbor mr mraz (how do you say that name properly?) but in regards to the defensve/aggressive nature of bees. he spoke of a man who reared such a docile bunch of bees that the 'queen breeder'??? who developed them would take them to bee convention and kick and toss the hive about without any reaction from the bees what so ever. the limitation (at least according to charles mraz) was that the same bees would also not raise a honey crop and without constant feeding and attention would very quickly die.

    mother nature does have a way of weeding out extremes.
    Mraz...pronounce it like you read it...razzle dazzle...Mraz

    I was fortunate to have known Charlie. I remembet the story he told about those yellow bees. So yellow that you could see through their skin...so said He.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    We have Charles (Chuck) Mraz working here in my office.
    Huh. Not a common name. Now I know of 3. Charlie who started Champlain Valley Apiaries in the 30s, his grandson Chaz Mraz, who now runs the operation, and Chuck in GA.

    Think about this...

    Charlie worked for a beekeeper in Vermont who worked for a beekeeper who kept bees during the Civil War. Some of the original apiaries are still in operation today. They still propogate their bees and queens in the same way as from the beginning...walk away splits.

  10. #29
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    MP, I agree that single trait selection is risky, and I will go a step further and say that it is often impossible because frequently many traits are linked. For an example look at what happened in fox mills when they originally selected for docility only to make them easier to farm. Within relatively few generations the foxes soon acquired splotchy coat patterns, floppy ears, wagging tails, and domestic dog like barks. So yes there can sometimes be be a risk in single trait selection.

    Be careful what you wish for you just may get it, and then some.

    I feel this is one of the reasons genetic diversity is very important. The VSH trait you mentioned is actually a group of traits that can be selected for in any line of bees as opposed to being a specific breed. I think this may be part of the reason for Dr Spivac's new approach with hygienic behavior; instead of developing a strain (Minnesota Hyg) she and her collaborators are now looking for and developing hyg behavior in many different lines of bees.

    It is likely that many different traits and genes govern most complex behaviors. There is also many means to and end. Look at all they ways different ways a hive could have mite tolerance: VSH, group grooming (as in A cerana), shorter pupation cycle (as in AHB), inhibited might fecundity through biochemical mechanisms, and there may be others. There also may be interesting combinations of these traits that give very productive manageable bees.

    As the old saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat, and in the end its all the same to the cat.
    Last edited by JBJ; 01-16-2009 at 09:34 AM. Reason: omission
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    If the bee you have survives varroa with no treatments, but doesn't make surplus honey,
    what do you have anyway?
    imho, at the very least, you have a sustainable population of bees to work with (assuming that one is also not feeding). seems to me that building up production in a sustainable population is easier than building a sustainable population from good honey producers. i can elaborate on this, but it gets a bit twisty...too late tonight, gotta go to bed.

    deknow

  12. #31
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    still don't think I've got it???

    is it someting approximating mars? we have several chec communities about and their names all leave me scratching my head.

  13. #32
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    michael palmer writes:
    Charlie worked for a beekeeper in Vermont who worked for a beekeeper who kept bees during the Civil War.

    tecumseh:
    here we call 'that' historical event 'the war or northern aggression'.

  14. #33
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    Default selection

    "If your parents did not have children, chances are you will not either"


    I recall a study a few years back where the researchers collected queens from 25 different breeders. Their hives were deliberately infected with Nosema (I believe but I could be wrong - could have been tracheal mites). The colonies that showed highest levels of infection were put into a 'low resistence group' and those with the lowest levels of infection were put into a 'high resistence group'. The first generation the differences were not that great but after 3 or 4 generations of crossing within their own resistance group the resistance difference between the two groups went from ~30% to over 60% meaning the high resistant group was 60% more resistant than the low resistant group.

    Selective breeding just accelerates the process over wild stock. I also find a lot of wild stock is my neighbors (or mine) spring swarms. Finding a multi-year hive in a tree is a find - especially if they are not 'hot'.
    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  15. #34
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    Default Are we getting any closer?

    Bluegrass made some good points, but I don't think the term "surviver stock" IS being limited to captured ferals who've survived on their own.

    I think BizzyBee expresses what a lot of beekeepers are doing who use the term. And since this has been a consistent method for generations (of beekeepers), why a new catchy term? (I propose... Marketing.)

    Wfarler mentions who rewarding it is to find a multi-year wild hive. I agree. I suspect it is rarer than most realize or admit. As I mentioned earlier, a colony can be viewed as a "super organism", the soul of which would be the queen. Once the queen is replaced (supercedure, swarm, die, removed by keeper) the hive takes on a whole new ratio of genes and, thus, becomes a new "super organism". Imagine that I, with my good looks, great personality, intelligence and charm, get infected by some alien virus that rewrites my DNA completely. I wouldn't be me. I'd be someone else. (I've always said I have enough time trying to be myself than to try to be like everyone else.) So how would you KNOW that you had a multi-year colony without a marked queen?

    So, when did "Surviver Stock" enter the vernacular? (Perhaps some beekeeper liked the show Surviver Man?) And what does it (the term) mean for the future of beekeeping?
    WayaCoyote

  16. #35
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    We have been using the term in our ads for may years, never seen Survivor Man, and you are right there is marketing involved. Why would I not want to advertise that we are producing our daughter queens from lineages that have survived and thrived with mites and without acaracide in a commercial environment? We also used marked queens, sometimes clipped and marked.

    At the very least it is good to buy queens that are not, as Jennifer Barry puts in her recent article on "Pesticides, Bees, and Wax"; "sick little skinny queens [referring to affects of acaricide residues on developing queens] mating with inept drones [referring to the affects of acaricides on drones] which will be superseded by bees born on unhealthy chemically laced wax..." [brackets mine].

    The queens we select as breeders have been given the opportunity survive without a beekeeper intervening with acaricide and have done so while maintaining other economically valuable traits. Will all their daughters be just like there mother? Not yet, but over time through continuous selection pressure more and more are; we have been working at it 10 years. Isolated mating yards and II can help here.

    I can could count on one hand the operations that I know of that have been promoting and marketing some sort of mite tolerant or survivor stock for many years (in no particular order): Kirk Webster, Old Sol, Weaver, Olympic Wilderness, and Purvis. In the last several years there have been many more beginning to do the same. In my opinion these are operations that have withheld treatments to make it possible to identify hardier more tolerant stocks. I don't want to speak for any of them, I am just sharing my opinion. It would be nice to have some of these other producers chime in here. On a side note Kirk Webster's queens have been doing well for us here in Oregon.
    Last edited by JBJ; 01-18-2009 at 12:10 PM. Reason: clarification
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  17. #36
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    Sounds to me like we are not breeding a mite or disease tolerant stock but human tolerant stock. That is really what we are after isn't it bees that can survive under human manipulation or stress which makes bees more vulnerable. I took a hive out of an old house that had been there for over 20 years clearly survival stock but after 3 supers of honey they were gone. Dead. I really don't have an opinion either way but just giving a different perspective.

  18. #37
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    can you breed fron non survivor stock?
    Pretty funny

  19. #38
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    good point little55

  20. #39
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    It seems to me that the term survival has very little meaning without knowing what exactly they survived against. I would love to see an experiment where all these (from multiple suppliers) survivor colonies could be placed in one yard and challenged with known doses of pests. All colonies would need to be normalized. A minimum of three of each colony (per pest) would be needed for data analysis.

  21. #40
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    This would be great. It could also help our industry make faster advances in stock selection. The viral component could be a bit of a challenge, however we are getting closer in the technology for that recently also.

    I think Zia Queens bees may have gotten some funding for a similar type of project. I know we have sent them queens and several other breeders so I know some comparisons have been made. Many are still working with our stock years later. I feel stock selection is done best as a collaborative project and exchange genetic material with operations with similar goals regularly.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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