randy oliver article in january '17 abj - Page 19
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  1. #361
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Back to my question. Do current bees resist or tolerate varroa any better than bees 30 years ago did?

    Is it all in the management? Pretty clearly the big traveling folks don't see any realistic way to get around using chemicals. This doesn't surprise me. If 95% of the cows in America were shipped to California every year, mixed together then shipped back across the 50 states, most of them would die of disease every year. They would also spread brucellosis and anthrax and tuberculosis and to every local cow they came close to. We would see lots of diseases that are merely minor problems explode into plagues.

    The big surprise isn't that so many bees die, but that any bees survive.

    Russian bees seem to survive perfectly well in their natural habitat, and in the US in anything similar to the natural habitat. Africanized bees survive perfectly well in the wild and resist varroa. If we packed 20,000 colonies of these bees onto trailers and shipped them to the almonds and back to Texas, and didn't treat them, would they survive? I doubt it.

    My personal view, and I don't claim to be any sort of expert, is that concentration of colonies with movement to and from CA are the big problems. I don't see any easy way to fix those problems.

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  3. #362
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    Back to my question.........
    My personal view, and I don't claim to be any sort of expert, is that concentration of colonies with movement to and from CA are the big problems. I don't see any easy way to fix those problems.
    That's what Randy Oliver does and has.
    Pollination (part of his business).
    Concentration (part of his business).
    Hence - I am all ears.

    Yes, I agree, AR1.
    Excessive concentration and long-distance migration are killing us.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #363
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Yes there certainly is not a local bee population! zero ferals..... Now that is what it is!
    Hardly a unique situation.
    I have no ferals.
    There are lots managed bees around me, however.
    Some of these are fully qualified local bees (just managed).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #364
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Bees do tolerate varroa better now, but varroa has become much more virilent. We could never allow the mite levels we did in the late 80s and 90s today. Mites have also become or have become recognized as viral vectors, I think have become since we can now longer expect a 100 mite per shake test to survive, if they would even survive to a level that they could get to that high a level.

    As far as treatment free vs treating, definition is needed. Are we talking treatment(aka chemical) free or management free, ie brood breaks, drone culling etc. because these are treatments. IMO, the best hygenic, ankle biting bees around will not survive the stress of an introduced high level mite load. Bad genetics, no, just more than should be expected of them. I may resist whatever cold/flu is going around just fine, but one night swapping spit with a woman who is still contagious, or even a milder exposure after a stressor like not enough sleep, a chemical exposure and I am now sick. Bees are no different. We expect that we can stress them by keeping them much closer than they would ever be in nature, throw nuerotoxins, aka pesticides, at them and they won't succomb to a parasite or pathogen is completely unrealistic. The miricle is that they do survive despite what gets thrown at them. But for how long. And are they our canary in a coal mine for what we do to ourselves. Of course they have infectious disaeses we cluster the things together in yards where pathogens can flourish. Under natural conditions the pathogen would die with the colony it killed. But under our care the pathogen can spread to 10s more colonies being spread by the new hosts eagerly robbing out the remaining resources.

  6. #365
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Could we accelarate the natural selection procees by not treating, sure. Who wants to be the first to accept 90% losses yearly? Who wants to live with many foods costing 10 x as much because of lack of pollinators? And endure those costs and losses year after year.

  7. #366
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    John M
    Could we accelarate the natural selection procees by not treating, sure. Who wants to be the first to accept 90% losses yearly? Who wants to live with many foods costing 10 x as much because of lack of pollinators? And endure those costs and losses year after year.
    I realize I am comparing apples to oranges but if the feral bees died by 90% but have now rebounded and have life spans as long now as they did before mites, it says something.

    If weever took his 90% loss the first year and then the years after, the loss went down than it might be disingenuous to say that 90 percent losses should be expected year after year.

    I do not blame and do not expect change from someone who is making a living from bees and is happy enough with the way things are now. If I was buying shoes for my kids through bees, I would treat if I found that to be working.

    I do see something different where I am and as a hobby beekeeper. It might change though. I do not provide brood breaks or cull drone brood. I have fed sugar before but so do most that treat. Going to try with out that this year, if I don't chicken out. I am pretty sure that my hives have mites. I do have my ten hives stacked on top of each other. I understand that randy is taking his bees to almonds and stressing them much more then my bees will see though my neighbors probably buy some of those almond bees and bring them to me.

    I hear you but also do not think randy is crazy in thinking it is possible to make a better bee that will work for him. The proof will be in the pudding and time will tell but I believe he knows the studies out there on the subject and how nature responds in its ebbs and flows.

    I am not convinced of it being impossible.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps
    I read a guy on bee L that does treat that lost 80% of his hives one year. It was not a normal year and did not happen before or after. I understand the cold analogy you made and expect that in nature no matter what you do. It happened sometimes before mites arrival also.
    zone 5b

  8. #367
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by John_M View Post
    Could we accelarate the natural selection procees by not treating, sure. Who wants to be the first to accept 90% losses yearly? Who wants to live with many foods costing 10 x as much because of lack of pollinators? And endure those costs and losses year after year.
    Losses:
    - heck, I have been doing it live and reporting on this exact forum; read my thread at all?
    - I will repeat the same this year; no problem

    Pollination:
    - I challenge this pollination hysteria a BS
    - need to let the natural bug fauna to recover and that will do (question is - is it even possible now? if possible, how quickly?)
    (first they carpet-kill all surrounding by pesticide; then haul in the honey bees to plug the hole artificially created)
    - all the while the food availability artificially inflated and food pricing artificially deflated (in the West, anyway);
    .......complaining of low honey prices, anyone?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #368
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Right, but that same carpet bombing with pesticides is another of those stressors that make them more suseptable. Monoculture farming, pesticide use hurt more than the bees. It destroys the whole food web in the soil and makes our food less nutritous and our plants more prone to pest and disease. And what does it do to us eating those foods. What does it say about us when we raise our food animals in conditions we wouldn't impose on prisoners of war. Just because you intend to eat the animal doesn't mean you should treat it inhumanely, to my mind it's all the more reason to give it a happy life. What price do we pay for cheap meat and cheap food.

  10. #369
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Oh, and I would never call Randy crazy. He's one of the most realistic forward thinking beekeepers I've heard.

  11. #370
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by John_M View Post
    Right, but that same carpet bombing with pesticides is another of those stressors that make them more suseptable. Monoculture farming, pesticide use hurt more than the bees. It destroys the whole food web in the soil and makes our food less nutritous and our plants more prone to pest and disease. And what does it do to us eating those foods. What does it say about us when we raise our food animals in conditions we wouldn't impose on prisoners of war. Just because you intend to eat the animal doesn't mean you should treat it inhumanely, to my mind it's all the more reason to give it a happy life. What price do we pay for cheap meat and cheap food.
    I don't argue.
    Cheap food must die.
    The food is NOT cheap.
    Food surrogate is cheap.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #371
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    that may or may not ever occur over the next few millennia.
    I propose you guys step away from the bees for a minute.

    Read about microbes for a change:

    Bacteria can be genetically identical but phenotypically different
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/bacte...lity-20190904/

    And here is the point some of us already proposed many times over - NOTHING need to change with the bees.
    Nothing.

    They can do the job as-is and now.
    No evolution is needed.
    That quoted to death evolution theory is to be reviewed, anyway.
    About time.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #372
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by John_M View Post
    Could we accelarate the natural selection procees by not treating, sure.
    There's very clearly a total misunderstanding of what Natural Selection entails. You can no more 'accelerate' Natural Selection than you can 'manage' it (as being claimed in another thread).
    Charles Darwin went to a great deal of trouble to distinguish between Human Selection and Natural Selection, with the first four chapters of 'Origin of Species' being devoted to comparing these - and yet people will keep referring to how Natural Selection can be influenced in various ways by human activity.

    It can't. We humans don't feature at all in Natural Selection - that's why it's called 'Natural'. Not only do the two types of Selection involve completely different timescales, they differ by Human Selection having a pre-determined objective prior to any selection taking place. It is precisely that objective which determines what form the selection will take.

    Not so with Natural Selection - when any changes which may occur only ever become apparent with hindsight. There is absolutely no way of knowing beforehand what changes may or may not occur. The European honeybee has not changed very much - if at all - during the last few million years - and so the prospect of it doing so now by the process of Natural Selection, in order to benefit homo sapiens, is not very likely.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #373
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I guess if you believe in learned behavior in addition to natural selection, pressure can make a difference in response. It has seemed to make a difference in some studies and the speed of adjustment of the bees to the mite.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  15. #374
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    There's very clearly a total misunderstanding of what Natural Selection entails. ......
    LJ
    Agreed.
    Like LJ said already, I personally never once muttered anything about "natural selection".
    It is impossible and not needed in this particular, extremely short-term context.

    Human selection driven by the consumer markets will do a fine job.
    All people need to do - buy the critical mass of particularly behaving pheno-types and create the sustainable market for them.
    Let the other pheno-types just drop off, NOT be to saving them "at all costs".
    This has been done before many, many times.
    Successfully.
    This is how the Italians replaced the Black bees in America - just like that - everyone bought them.
    It is being done now (as discussed above about Buckfast, etc).

    The article about microbes is a good hint - bees have the same mechanisms as the microbes, and much, much more (being more complex life-forms).
    Mechanisms are built-in.
    Available now, right this moment.
    They are just swept under the carpet and diluted.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #375
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I guess if you believe in learned behavior in addition to natural selection, pressure can make a difference in response. It has seemed to make a difference in some studies and the speed of adjustment of the bees to the mite.
    I think it's important to clarify - for the benefit of anyone who may not have read 'Origin of Species' - that Darwin is actually quite complimentary about Human Selection when it comes to relatively superficial (my choice of word, not Darwin's) changes, such as improving the performance of racing pigeons, increasing the milk yield of cows, altering the colour/ appearance of flowers, and so on ... but he is also aware of it's limitations.

    How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and consequently how poor will his products be, compared with those accumulated by nature during whole geological periods.
    And do bear in mind that Natural Selection - as a mechanism - is completely indifferent, and will be working just as much to the advantage of the mite, as to that of the honeybee. It is only we humans who have a preference for one to survive, and the other not.

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  17. #376
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    And do bear in mind that Natural Selection - as a mechanism - is completely indifferent, and will be working just as much to the advantage of the mite, as to that of the honeybee. It is only we humans who have a preference for one to survive, and the other not.
    LJ
    Well stated.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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