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  1. #61
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    In case anyone was wondering, here is the article from NPR he referred to: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/...ers-are-making

    Thanks for posting, lharder. It's good we have people like Mr. Weaver who are dedicated to keeping bees healthy. His statement regarding having one of the most genetically diverse breeding program is one I can believe given the various reports on the BWeaver line. From everything I've gathered, you never know what you are going to get behavioral wise. Undoubtedly though, they have good resistance traits.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    In case anyone was wondering, here is the article from NPR he referred to: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/...ers-are-making
    This article advocates systematic treating. It has nothing to do with TF beekeeping...?

    Mike (UK)
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  4. #63
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    This article advocates systematic treating. It has nothing to do with TF beekeeping...?

    Mike (UK)
    If you watched the video, Danny Weaver makes reference to the article in a sort of astonished way. That's why I posted it, in reference to the video, and understand his astonishment. NPR seems an unlikely medium for an article such as this.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    If you watched the video, Danny Weaver makes reference to the article in a sort of astonished way. That's why I posted it, in reference to the video, and understand his astonishment. NPR seems an unlikely medium for an article such as this.
    I kind of get it now! Don't really understand the context...?
    M
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  6. #65
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    To do what he did in the 90s, when things were much more bleak, took courage. He also understood the basic process of population adaptation much better than most bee experts who have training in agriculture, but not in ecology and evolution. The question was, was 1000 colonies enough to work with at that time? Luckily for him, it was, barely.

  7. #66
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Just got a little tidbit of mite count data. Heather tabled it nicely for me with May's data. Hopefully some of formatting is maintained when I post here. Short summary, some hives went up, some went down, 3 vs 1 in May had 0 mites detected. Doesn't look like exponential growth in mite numbers. That kind of model doesn't work with these bees. They seem to be doing something.

    hive date #mites % date #mites %
    1147 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.63 7/25/2016 5 2.21
    1148 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.52 7/25/2016 1 0.53
    1149 Leroy 5/9/2016 2 1.26 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1150 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.58 7/25/2016 6 2.45
    1151 Leroy 5/9/2016 0 0.00 7/25/2016 9 3.42
    1152 Leroy 5/9/2016 2 0.62 7/25/2016 13 6.10
    1153 Leroy 5/9/2016 12 4.89 7/25/2016 6 2.14
    1154 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.35 7/25/2016 4 2.07
    1155 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.42 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1156 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.70 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1157 Leroy 5/9/2016 4 1.89 7/25/2016 3 1.19
    1158 Leroy 5/9/2016 3 1.23 7/25/2016 2 0.77

  8. #67
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Excellent results! I was looking at the similarities in our mite counts/percentages as my test was run the same date, 7/25. I don't have the data set you do, but it's an interesting comparison none the less:

    Data runs hive, count, %

    BW1C 19:300 6.3

    FH2C 2:300 .67

    FH3C 4:300 1.3

  9. #68
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I'm really quite surprised at how low some of the counts were. These are simply 1st yr daughters of Saskatraz queens.

    How did you do your mite counts?

  10. #69
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Sugar roll. I brought bees inside for testing in the AC to offset humidity issues. I included any residual sugar left over from the shake after releasing the bees and added any mites to the total counts. Probably not nearly as accurate, but noteworthy in terms of the similarities. These were all first year daughters in 3rd year established hives. The lowest two were of purely feral sources, while the highest was a 3rd generation BWeaver from open mated genetics. The highest was one I was initially worried about as having symptoms of PMS, but as you know, has seemingly turned the corner and doing well.
    Season 5. TF.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    So the Beeweaver is a little higher than the ferals. Be interesting if with more sampling, if that trend continued with the generations.

    I think I will continue to do some mite counts next year as I have somewhat of a baseline. When I sell queens or discuss TF with local beekeepers, I can bring actual local data into the discussion.

  12. #71
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    The BWeaver line has been interesting in how it has expressed itself through the daughters I've had from my original. The mother queen's offspring had vigor that I'd never witnessed before. The bees could almost be described as hyperactive. Things such as following my hive tool when brought over the hive, pronounced head butting, biting..they just moved with more speed and energy. Extremely fast build up. I liked them, but unfortunately all of this vigor expressed itself in the extreme this year in excessive swarming. Part of that was my doing by not managing correctly. Many of the defensive traits have simmered down in successive daughters, but it seems some of the resistance traits, by measurement, are not there. Disease tolerance, on the other hand, is impressive, as I have not seen the virus troubles expressed from these higher mite loads. My feeling is that some of the resistance mechanism of BWeaver bees has a lot to do with swarming. This has been an argument made toward feral survivor colonies, that their sheer existence relies on outbreeding mites. In my own experience, the bees I have here seem to brood around explosive mite population. Slow build up, shut down in dearth, resume brooding in Fall. More of a minimalist approach comparatively speaking to the outbreeding mites scenario. I can see advantages in a natural setting to both scenarios, and my guess is it has to do with resource and population pressures why certain bees express differing behaviors in different environments.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Seems there is always a bit of chaos in the system with new genetics. The combinations get a bit messed up as new genetics get incorporated into the local system. More experimentation, more failure, until things settle down. But this isn't a bad thing, unless too much is done at once. The question is how do we know if the new genetic material wasn't present in the first place, and if not, is it maintained at the population level? It is here where I would like to bring some high tech into the situation and do some genetic testing. If I know the status of the receiver and donor populations, then I can make a rational decision about bringing in some queens from somewhere and adding genetic diversity.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Beeweaver queens show poor combining ability with my bees. This is likely because of the huge difference in genetics.

    If you want to get some genetic diversity, Carpenters queens are a good option. I'm not sure how you would get them into Canada unless you can get a veterinary permit.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  15. #74
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I am far from a geneticist, or even pretend to know much about honey bee breeding in how it relates to fine tuning gene expression, but from what little I've gathered on the behavior of the bees I have from the BWeaver lineage, I don't think it's one I will continue to propogate. I'm basically using the offspring to fill voids where I need to strengthen my colonies by utilizing comb, brood and stores. I think BWeaver has great standalone queens, but I haven't been impressed with the combinations shown with my bees either. I have an Anarchy Apiaries queen obtained this year, and look forward to what the daughters from this queen do. They are very productive bees, but appear to have some frugality as well. I can't speak for resistance yet as it"s too soon. They seem more like my bees behaviorally.

  16. #75
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I have just come back from our local beekeeper meeting where the lead researcher (Leonard Foster) of the massive survey my bees are part of came to do a talk.

    So just a few points and tidbits before I forget. Doesn't take long.

    Some of the resistance markers they are looking for are the proteins associated with resistance, rather than the DNA sequences themselves. For one thing, the ratio of genes to proteins is relatively low. So there may be for instance 10000 proteins associated with 1000 genes. Some of those proteins are polygenomic which I take to mean, more than one gene is associated with the production of some proteins. Also many genes associated with resistance are polygenomic, which means markers at the genetic level may not be as useful as those at the protein level.

    At any rate this information opens up the tool kit considerably of what is possible.

    An interesting tidbit I got is that they have developed a varroa resistance test in some research centers in Manitoba. They grow some colonies without resistance and build up mites levels, they then combine with other bees of known mite levels to create a hive of known mite levels. These bees are given a queen with interesting known genetics, and placed on fresh comb. They are overwintered to see if they survive. They have some bees with the same survival and honey production without treatment, as "treated, normally managed" bees. An exciting result.

    That's all the head retained for now.

    Oh another interesting tidbit. He had some video of a royal jelly production unit that he visited in China. They had cell bars containing about 66 cells. The grafter was able to graft cells at about 1 or 2 seconds per cell. She had over 90% acceptance. Blindingly fast.

  17. #76

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    Just got a little tidbit of mite count data. Heather tabled it nicely for me with May's data. Hopefully some of formatting is maintained when I post here. Short summary, some hives went up, some went down, 3 vs 1 in May had 0 mites detected. Doesn't look like exponential growth in mite numbers. That kind of model doesn't work with these bees. They seem to be doing something.

    hive date #mites % date #mites %
    1147 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.63 7/25/2016 5 2.21
    1148 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.52 7/25/2016 1 0.53
    1149 Leroy 5/9/2016 2 1.26 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1150 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.58 7/25/2016 6 2.45
    1151 Leroy 5/9/2016 0 0.00 7/25/2016 9 3.42
    1152 Leroy 5/9/2016 2 0.62 7/25/2016 13 6.10
    1153 Leroy 5/9/2016 12 4.89 7/25/2016 6 2.14
    1154 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.35 7/25/2016 4 2.07
    1155 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.42 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1156 Leroy 5/9/2016 1 0.70 7/25/2016 0 0.00
    1157 Leroy 5/9/2016 4 1.89 7/25/2016 3 1.19
    1158 Leroy 5/9/2016 3 1.23 7/25/2016 2 0.77
    Very interesting stuff! Were all hives having normal brood rearing between 5/9/2016 and 7/25/2016 that is 2,5 months?

  18. #77
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I have just come back from our local beekeeper meeting where the lead researcher (Leonard Foster) of the massive survey my bees are part of came to do a talk.

    So just a few points and tidbits before I forget. Doesn't take long.

    Some of the resistance markers they are looking for are the proteins associated with resistance, rather than the DNA sequences themselves. For one thing, the ratio of genes to proteins is relatively low. So there may be for instance 10000 proteins associated with 1000 genes. Some of those proteins are polygenomic which I take to mean, more than one gene is associated with the production of some proteins. Also many genes associated with resistance are polygenomic, which means markers at the genetic level may not be as useful as those at the protein level.

    At any rate this information opens up the tool kit considerably of what is possible.

    An interesting tidbit I got is that they have developed a varroa resistance test in some research centers in Manitoba. They grow some colonies without resistance and build up mites levels, they then combine with other bees of known mite levels to create a hive of known mite levels. These bees are given a queen with interesting known genetics, and placed on fresh comb. They are overwintered to see if they survive. They have some bees with the same survival and honey production without treatment, as "treated, normally managed" bees. An exciting result.

    That's all the head retained for now.

    Oh another interesting tidbit. He had some video of a royal jelly production unit that he visited in China. They had cell bars containing about 66 cells. The grafter was able to graft cells at about 1 or 2 seconds per cell. She had over 90% acceptance. Blindingly fast.
    Fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing. Wow.

  19. #78
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Very interesting stuff! Were all hives having normal brood rearing between 5/9/2016 and 7/25/2016 that is 2,5 months?
    There have been at least 4 supercedures between the first and second mite counts. I should ask which colonies they were found in. There has always been some brood in all the hives. There has been a nectar flow for the entirety of period. Subtle questions about whether the bees altered brood production is something I didn't observe but wasn't looking for it either. I have prodded the field team about cooler temperatures and they will be taking the last sample before winter soon.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    A couple more tidbits.

    They are also going to be looking for some scutellata markers in Canadian bees. That will be interesting. I am very curious about how much infiltration of that type has made it into the genome of Europeans.

    Also they have done some trials using hygienic behaviour, where they have selected basing on actually doing the test vs selecting based on protein markers they have associated with hygienic behaviour. Field testing the premise that they can use protein markers for selection. They had very nice results. They have also noted that honey production hasn't suffered when they selected for this one trait.

  21. #80

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    There have been at least 4 supercedures between the first and second mite counts.
    Supercedure can reduce mite count 90% in my experience. Donīt ask where they go, maybe to other hives.

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