Natural Cell Beekeeping - Page 2
Page 2 of 22 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 423
  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,530

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    varroa prefer to breed in drone cells
    they become particularly problematic when the bees cut back on raising drones in mid/late summer after the main swarm season is over
    then the mites invade the worker brood cause that's mostly all there is
    then you have a hive full of mites and workers that were parasitzed in the broodcell going into winter
    there's a LOT of info about this stuff posted here
    READ, READ, READ

    Dave
    Last edited by drobbins; 02-02-2010 at 06:04 PM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    It is no myth that foundationless cases the bees do draw more drone comb. Foundation less allows the bees to draw the comb however the hec they want to. I believe that bees do that because different things affect drones more than worker bees cells. I won't say varroa because they've only been around for what 25,30 years. But at any rate brrod issues target drone brood, and not so much worker bee brood. The more of the drone brood that parisites have to go at the less of them there are to target worker cells. So might count might bee higher but the worker bees are healthier. Normally varroa or other brood parisites would be reduced or affected by a brake in brood cycle with a swarm.

    I have only been doing this for a year,,,,but I have read enough...that I could talk for hours.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Dean writes:
    > The real problem with virtually all beekeeping studies is that they assume that management techniques are portable

    I don't think anybody that knows much about bees would assume management is "portable". However, scientists are trying to ferret out behaviors that are not location specific. I can't fault them for that; scientists discovered symbolic dance communication in hives, quorum sensing, polarized light navigation and whatnot.

    All of these are about the bees getting an intimate sense of their location, how to get around in it, what it has to offer in the way of resources. They even know where other colonies are, and the drones have picked out the best spots to congregate on the basis of what sorts of places the queens will be likely to find them.

    So for the colony it's all about location. Same for the beekeeper and his or her technique. My mentor told me (back in 1974) that even a know nothing beekeeper can do well in a good area, but even a great beekeeper will do poorly in a poor area. Which leads me to what I wanted to talk about in the first place, the effect of location.

    Now, we all want to know why some populations of bees seem to be mite resistant. There have been countless theories, conjectures, hypotheses up the wazoo. Some seem plausible and some seem like pleasant fantasies. Not wanting to be stuck behind the eight ball, I have studied them all to try to make some sense of it.

    My favorite theory is that nothing has anything to do with anything else, it seems to explains what we see nicely. Unfortunately, you wouldn't bet on such a scheme. It is quite clear that there are mite free, disease free colonies and management frequently has little to do with this fact.

    But as we quickly learn, simply leaving a hive alone can quickly lead to empty boxes. Were that not the case, we beekeepers would all own private jets, instead of all those folks who got those big bonuses from the government bank bailout. Let alone beekeeping is surely a thing of the past.

    I certainly know, because over the past few years I have been too busy to look after my hives much and I have tried to stock them with so-called feral bees, thinking that if these bees survived in the woods with no help, they could survive at my place with no help. Didn't work out.

    Now, the theories come. Some say the problem is the cells are the wrong size, that they have been artificially enlarged. I never bought this argument, never made sense to me, was not plausible. And work which I posted by Wilson (post #1) seems to show that European bees when allowed to build comb, do in fact build 5.4mm cells.

    Even if that were not the case, smaller worker cells might deter mites, because they are closer in size to the worker cells of Apis cerana, in which mites don't reproduce. But I figured smaller cells would make smaller bees and the mites would squeeze in their with them, which the work by Jennifer Berry seems to show.

    Finally, we could suppose that if it isn't the comb, then it could be the bees themselves. Given enough time, they could develop mite resistance through natural selection. Mike Allsopp appears to support this hypothesis and in fact I wrote to him about it. He disparages the whole idea of breeding better bees.

    He points to wild populations of scutellata developing mite resistance in seven years. However, those are scuts and most of us neither have not want them. I asked him if he thought it would work with European bees. That's the question, he said, and left it at that. So it's up to us to find out.

    Without going back over Tom Seeley's Arnot Forest experiment, I have concluded that the key to having mite resistant populations is isolation. That is the one thing good bees have in common, they're a bit out of the way; not in the mainstream of beekeeping territory.

    I have found that bringing healthy feral bees into my neighborhood is the kiss of death. They immediately pick up heavy mite loads and tank. Obviously, I needed to leave them where they were. In fact, this widow gave me her husband's bees and told me I could keep them where they were, way back in the woods. I probably should have, but it was hours from here and I want bees in my yard!

    But what makes the bees do well in isolation? I really don't think it has anything at all to do with breeding (or combs, or any of those other things). I think an isolated population of bees and mites strike some sort of balance.

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't buy the whole argument that a parasite doesn't kill its host. First off, mites are dumb bugs and all they know is that they reproduce in bee cells. So whatever happens is the result of natural selection.

    Nature has no problem putting bees and mites together and watching them all die. Obviously, the mites that survive will have some trick that makes them able to do it, same as bees that survive. Whatever trick they have stumbled upon that gives them the edge, that's what saves them.

    Honey bees have a very sophisticated system to prevent inbreeding. Even closed populations like the bees of Malta, or Sardinia, etc., do not seem to suffer inbreeding depression like you would expect. This is probably due to a very high recombination rate in the germ cells.

    This mechanism causes the offspring to differ from the parents in various ways, so that if there are lethal combinations, they won't take the race down the drain, but instead will be constantly diluted by chromosome crossing. So bees are very resistant to inbreeding but also very resistant to rapid adaptation.

    For real change to occur in bee populations I believe you need either a very smart breeding program or a large isolated population of ferals. I question whether such a population exists in the US with the exception of the Southwestern desert region.

    On the other hand, the mites do not have this mechanism *and* they breed in very closed populations. This could lead to either a decrease in vigor, or an adaptation that would prevent them from killing their host.

    Conversely, mites living in large bee yards which are situated near many other bee yards, would have much more opportunity to move from hive to hive via drifting. At the very least, this eliminates the need to avoid killing the host, because you can always drift into nearby colonies.

    But more than that, having families of mites (in different colonies) outcrossing would lead to more vigorous mites (hybrid vigor as opposed to inbreed depression). Moving colonies from locale to locale prevents local adaptation and encourages the spread of parasites and pathogens.

    Now if you are a migratory beekeeper, what good is all of this? You can't afford to sit in one place, got to keep moving. Sideliners can maybe find some lonely hollow in the hills of Chemung county to isolate their bee yards, but what are we going to do?

    I propose isolated year round bee yards as places to raise healthy bees. These could be nurseries in which to raise healthy bees to replace losses, or to sell to other beekeepers who suffer losses.

    In the past most of the bees sold have come from places that have the right climate to get bees to market early. In the future we will raise bees in places that have the right type of forage and the right amount of isolation to allow the bees to prosper, maybe become locally adapted, and perhaps to equilibrate with their parasite load.

    Because in the wild, there is no such thing as a parasite free organism. In fact, all organisms are host to a myriad of other smaller creatures. It only becomes a parasite when the host begins to suffer. If the organism is beneficial, both guest and host thrive.

    But bottom line here is that the health of bees probably requires ideal forage and a reasonable amount of isolation from the mainstream of beekeeping. I don't live in such a spot but I know where some of them are ; )

    Pete
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 02-02-2010 at 06:33 PM.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    12,001

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    and although you are (here on this forum) saying that you support Mike's conclusions (which are essentially that treatment for varroa should not be used), on bee-l this morning you posted:
    Dean -

    You need to keep the discussion here and not keep bringing in discussion from some place else.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,597

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    I can't speak to the facts of small cell and I see Peter offering more information for thought than stating conclusions. What I can speak about is Peter Borst who I have known for several years. He is (formerly) the only state bee inspector allowed in my yards without me and with my complete faith. Other experianced beekeepers who had good reason to not trust NYS inspections had the same opinion of Peter. I have continued to have contact with Peter and he has continued to be available to discuss many aspects of future beekeeping despite a busy schedule. He has my complete trust. Consistently he took his work to the highest professional level in my yards and having been a beekeeper for almost 2 decades when I met him, He taught me a great deal.

    If nothing else I'm convinced Peter has one agenda, the furtherence of successful beekeeping - period! To suggest he has an agenda and is misquoting information is a diservice to everyone.

    Keep up the good work Peter!

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Hey thanks, Joel.

    Sorry I missed you at the Finger Lakes Club Meeting. As you know, I was in Orlando, soaking up the bee talk. By the way, Joel's right. I do this for love, not money. In fact, it costs me!

    Pete

  8. #27
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    8,315

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    But bottom line here is that the health of bees probably requires ideal forage and a reasonable amount of isolation from the mainstream of beekeeping. I don't live in such a spot but I know where some of them are ; )

    Pete

    Could you be more specific on what you believe constitutes an isolated apiary?
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Hoo boy. I am pretty tired out from writing that piece. I suppose it easier to say what it is not. It's not just a couple of miles down the road from the other guys. I suppose you would have to experiment a bit. There are definitely people who have whole counties pretty much to themselves. But the influx of bees from the outside is very difficult to do anything about. I will ponder this.

    “from error to error, one discovers the truth”

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    8,315

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    I'll await that well-pondered answer, and I appreciate your contribution. Good stuff.

    FWIW, the reference to folks having whole counties to themselves illustrates an interesting aspect of trying to port things from one place to another or trying to relate to someone else's situation. My county alone is 5,500 square miles. That's the size of Connecticut, or three times the size of Rhode Island, or half the size of Massachusetts.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    There are very few commercial beekeepers in Ohio. Ron Householder is the only one I know of.

    The largest beekeeper in my county (or surrounding counties) that I know of has about 150 hives, and his hives are mainly stationary for honey production. (I think he may do a few hives pollinating orchards, 10 hives here and there.)

    I know of 3 feral colonies within walking distance from my house/home beeyard.

    Would you consider me to be isolated? I am isolated from migratory beekeepers, but I am not isolated from the feral colonies or the occasional hobbyist hive.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Digman View Post
    My county alone is 5,500 square miles.
    Yep, that's more than ten times the size of our county ...

    Pete

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Walker County, Texas
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by drobbins View Post
    varroa prefer to breed in drone cells

    Dave
    Drobbins,I ask you the question for a reason to see why you said what you said.Why would someone want all 4.9 comb in the hive with no or little drone ? No good reason. I find if bee keepers do nothing to weaken the hive,they stay strong and over come mites also. Go all natural and let the bees take care of themselves. Pest control weakens the bees.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,467

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    In an above post, Peter Borst stated that when he tried feral bees, they lost out to Varroa. From reading Michael Bush's posts, he has had great success with feral bees being mite resistant and believes that if all beekeepers would stop treating, the survivors would be Varroa tolerant. Both have the expertise and experience. And others of you with similar qualifications come down on one side or the other.

    I don't understand why there is not more agreement.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    Would you consider me to be isolated? I am isolated from migratory beekeepers, but I am not isolated from the feral colonies or the occasional hobbyist hive.
    Like I said, each will have to find out on his or her own. But from what you have described, sure sounds good

    Pete

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Footnote:

    I do not mean to dismiss the excellent work many individuals have done toward selectively breeding better bees. This is and always has been the goal of beekeepers, whether you use scientific methodology or just collect 'em.

    However, I think very close scrutiny must be directed to any claims of particular qualities *and* their potential heritability.

    Some may have good bees that do well in their area: but buyer beware. Get a good product, not a good claim.

    Pete

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,309

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    In an above post, Peter Borst stated that when he tried feral bees, they lost out to Varroa. From reading Michael Bush's posts, he has had great success with feral bees being mite resistant and believes that if all beekeepers would stop treating, the survivors would be Varroa tolerant. Both have the expertise and experience. And others of you with similar qualifications come down on one side or the other.

    I don't understand why there is not more agreement.
    It has been commented elsewhere that most of the feral bees were decimated by the arrival of mites - trachael and varroa destructor. Could it be that the resurgence of feral populations comes from managed colonies swarming? And those now feral bees have their usual traits.... so how many swarmed managed colonies were NOT resistant, and they are now feral. Did they pass on their non-resistant traits to their offspring and other swarms? Perhaps those are the ones that die out when exposed to larger mite populations? I don't know, I'm just speculating.

    And when the resistant colonies kept by beeks swarm, we now have resistant feral colonies?
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    to heaflaw:
    Read Mike Allsopp's thesis.

    Pete

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Here's a "for instance":

    How many here have tried to overwinter a nuc on occasion? (I expect some)

    How many have had a bad experience doing this? (I also expect some, including some excellent beekeepers)

    Does it follow that "overwintering nucs doesn't work"?

    Mike Palmer and Kirk Webster both rely on overwintered nucs as an important part of their operation (photos can be seen linked from our website:
    http://BeeUntoOthers.com/ ..see "dean's photos" and the "conference and after" gallery).

    Does the fact that many have failed at succeeding with overwintered nucs mean that Mike and Kirk are wrong? Lying? Mistaken?

    No, in this case, they have both adapted their management practices so that overwintered nucs are made up at the proper time, at the proper strength come winter, and have spent time and money devising specialized hive components and configurations to support the overwintering of nucs.

    My point?

    Just because an attempt to keep feral bees failed in one case (or in many cases...how many beekeepers have lost nucs over the winter?), it does not mean that keeping feral bees does not work.

    Ditto with "natural cell beekeeping", "small cell", and "not treating".


    deknow

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan Italian Bee View Post
    Tell me about mites,how and where do they breed,where do they live ? What are you saying ?
    wait a minute. You don't know?
    Mark Berninghausen

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Just because an attempt to keep feral bees failed in one case... Ditto with "natural cell beekeeping", "small cell", and "not treating".
    Sorry Dean, you got the wrong guy. I didn't say that nor did I imply that. Quite the opposite.

    In fact, I already presented the most likely hypothesis as: nothing is connected, everything is random. It very neatly explains CCD and all the rest of it.

    But you and I would never be satisfied with that. So I developed an alternate hypothesis that would fit the facts well enough to be plausible.

    And give me a break on being inconsistent, will you? The facts are not consistent, so why should the explanations be?

    Anyway, I try to completely rethink everything at least once a year. It's the new decade Dean, let's move on.

    Pete

Page 2 of 22 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •