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  1. #341
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    There has been severe pressure on bees for what, 30 years now? A heck of a lot of bee lineages are dead. Shouldn't there have been a considerable shift towards bees that can tolerate varroa, across the board?
    Well expressed.

    Bear in mind also that Randy isn't creating anything 'new' - he's effectively identifying characteristics which already exist within his existing stocks in a 'dilute' form (that is, within a handful of colonies per thousand) and concentrating those characteristic so that they then become dominant - in all, or nearly all of his stocks.

    But - it's already been suggested that total dominance of such characteristics within a colony isn't absolutely necessary - and providing that a modest percentage of bees are Varroa-intolerant, Hygenic, whatever - then they will be able to deal with the mite problem on behalf of those bees which can't.

    But if this is indeed the case, why haven't we seen some evidence of this activity having already begun to spread away from those areas where it is said that TF bees are located ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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  3. #342
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Greg hits the nail on the head, its all about consumerism. The problem is many that treat don't care, and many of those that are TF have been told they have to do it them self.
    So the market for resistant stocks is much smaller then it could (should in my book) be.

    Beekeeping would be very different if every one trying to be TF bought resistant stocks from those who all ready produce it, it would be very different if northern beekeepers weren't demanding packages before the last snow/a mounth before swarm season... maby that's NOT the time to start a hive.
    to change things people need to vote with there $$. That means supporting those who raise resistant stocks.
    The above is effectively a sales-pitch for a product - the effectiveness and reliability of which still has to be confirmed. I know full-well that VOA works (and incidentally - I do care), but I've yet to be convinced that TF is anything other that either the pipe-dream of self-deluded individuals or - in the case of a handful of well-regarded beekeepers - a localised phenomenon.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #343

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    As I’ve pointed out in the past, what Randy Oliver is doing isn’t anything new. In the decades since the arrival of varroa, professional entomologists and geneticists have been conducting bee selection programs….using the same techniques. They have brought much more tolerant/resistant bees than we originally had. New World Carniolans, Minnesota Hygienics, VSH and Purdue Ankle biters are just a few named breeds. Many more are unnamed. Sadly we are at a plateau.
    This is not a simple parasite/host relationship. Varroa coevolved with the European honey bee’s cousin the Asian honey bee. Because of this bee family’s similar life cycle varroa hit our bees as an especially destructive parasite. There is no indication that Apis mellifera was ever exposed to varroa before the nineteenth century. Because of the sophisticated life cycle relationships between our bees and varroa, no single genetic mutation is going to create resistance.
    In spite of all of the armchair geneticists and entomologists who are convinced that the holy grail of beekeeping resides in their backyard bees, genuine resistance or tolerance (as exists in Apis ceranae) will require multiple, coincidental mutations that may or may not ever occur over the next few millennia.
    Just my opinion.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  5. #344
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    .........will require multiple, coincidental mutations that may or may not ever occur over the next few millennia.
    Just my opinion.
    As it has been said more often now - NOT few millennia.
    Rather few decades.
    In fact, those few decades are just about to be over.
    Think for a few minutes - we are actually set for the break over.
    The year 2020 few months away, last I checked - we are talking 50-60 years of this Varroa saga in the Western world.
    Many places moved on long ago and resumed normal programming - IF they chose to do so.

    It is really the people who are problem at the moment, not the bees.

    This is up to the masses to decide IF they are done treating (ineffective for the most back-yarders, as it is) and just ask for the resistant, low-maintenance stock.
    The resistant stocks are available - everyone should just ask for them.
    Feral stocks are also available - just ask for them right on this board, if really care.
    As long you do your annual swarming/splitting routine (just a common sense, normal, sledge-hammer-type management) - you are done.
    If you over-centralize your bees - well, again, you are just creating a generic, ticking-bomb problem (not parasite specific) - artificial, general problem.

    Bees should be a low-maintenance item, just like your car, fridge, washer and dryer.
    Heck, unlike cats and dogs, bees are already predisposed to be a low-maintenance thing - they feed themselves and go outside to poop themselves.
    Enough is enough.

    My older car is 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan (the beekeeping dump on wheels).
    This is how the bees should be too - once-per-year oil change and tire rotation - maintenance done.
    Still unsure if I need to change the original spark-plugs ($$$$ on this V6) - I could as well run this thing into the ground as is and just replace the entire van, when done with it.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-03-2019 at 08:27 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #345
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    In spite of all of the armchair geneticists and entomologists who are convinced that the holy grail of beekeeping resides in their backyard bees, genuine resistance or tolerance (as exists in Apis ceranae) will require multiple, coincidental mutations that may or may not ever occur over the next few millennia.
    Just my opinion.
    That's also the opinion of Charles Darwin:
    That natural selection will always act with extreme slowness, I fully admit.
    I do believe that natural selection will always act very slowly, often only at long intervals of time, and generally on only a very few of the inhabitants of the same region at the same time. I further believe, that this very slow, intermittent action of natural selection accords perfectly well with what geology tells us of the rate and manner at which the inhabitants of this world have changed.
    From: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 1859
    What Greg is referring to is Human Selection - a different thing entirely. What can be done in the short term can equally be undone in the same timescale. Permanent change will take millennia.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #346
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    That's also the opinion of Charles Darwin:


    What Greg is referring to is Human Selection - a different thing entirely. What can be done in the short term can equally be undone in the same timescale. Permanent change will take millennia.
    LJ
    Agree, LJ.

    The consumer mood swing quickly and wildly and cyclically (just look at the annual fashion shows - crazy manipulation of the masses by the so-called designers - plain cheats, IMO).

    But the cyclical moods of the human consumer are, pretty much, an axiom.
    It never fails - save for few minor adjustments/facelifts - so the recycled ideas/things are not so obvious.

    To compare, inertia in the beek world is massive - both bad and good - it slows things down by a factor of X (compared to the clothing business).
    But once the Titanic is moving - try stopping it.
    Still, the same principles apply.

    What it means - 50-60 years of frantic efforts to find the final and effective mite treatment (as simple as the morning oatmeal) could well flip to the 50-60 years of hands-off, low-maintenance beekeeping. The 50-60 year time-span is huge and may result in wild outcomes (not likely for us to see first hand, but who knows...).
    I am pretty darn sure, everyone will finally see what is possible.

    Anyway, I would not dwell on the millennia thing - that is topic for geologists, evolutionary biologists, and their ilk.
    Really, irrelevant in our context.
    Things happen pretty quickly here when pressure is applied - not as quickly as annual virus mutations, but pretty darn close.

    PS:
    Do you still change oil every 3000 miles/3 months?
    Well - don't (check the latest tune from the oil companies - it quietly changed too).
    I have not been doing this 3000 mile practice for the last 10 years - not needed.
    What is really needed - high-end fully synthetic oil and high-end oil filter - once-per-year maintenance is sufficient - "quality stock" vs. "cheap stock".
    Last edited by GregV; 09-03-2019 at 10:20 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #347
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    Smile Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    [QUOTE=GregV;

    My older car is 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan (the beekeeping dump on wheels).
    This is how the bees should be too - once-per-year oil change and tire rotation - maintenance done.
    Still unsure if I need to change the original spark-plugs ($$$$ on this V6) - I could as well run this thing into the ground as is and just replace the entire van, when done with it.[/QUOTE]

    I suggest that you replace the spark plugs. I expect you will appreciate the difference. Shouldn't be more than $35, if you shop around.

  9. #348
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    I suggest that you replace the spark plugs. I expect you will appreciate the difference. Shouldn't be more than $35, if you shop around.
    The part is peanuts.
    I don't care for the part cost.
    It is the labor cost what matters - 1K to replace the plugs - that hurts a little.... and does it even make sense to do?
    On my older I4's I was doing the labor myself.
    Well, not on cross-V6 - I will not do this, a bit too advanced getting to those back plugs.

    Agreed - the performance is not there anymore. I know full well.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #349

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    As I said….the things that Randy Oliver has been doing aren’t anything new. This selection process has been going on for decades already. I have yet to see any sort of true breakthrough.
    By the way….talking about consumerism. Danny Weaver has been claiming to be running a treatment free multi thousand hive operation for over a decade. He sells queens. Why hasn’t everybody jumped on the BWeaver bandwagon?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #350
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    .....He sells queens. Why hasn’t everybody jumped on the BWeaver bandwagon?
    They should.
    But they also need to get used to NOT be working the bees in the flops then - only normal IMO.
    That pop-culture "Italian bee idea" is bad (working the bees bear naked and brag about it) - very good bees do not get traction because of it.

    The idea of working the bees with your bellybutton open does not mix with the BWeaver queens too well, if I understand this.
    I got a line originating from BWeaver and some feral blood mixed in - my favorite line - will be going into the 3rd winter with no chems.

    Well, I already hear of the Russian's feisty-ness in the local chatter.
    Lots of Russian hybrids got sold in my area this spring.
    People sound happy enough.
    But comments of the feisty bees arose also.
    About time to get some good bees going (feisty, but manageable) - will only make people better beekeepers.
    These bees force their owners to pay some attention to their own behavior and respect the bee.

    BTW, now days there is so much good protective gear available, 100 years ago one could NOT even dream about.
    Clearly back then they were very fond of the "Italian bee idea".
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #351
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I see quick genetic shifts, even if possible, as being potentially a dangerous thing to a species. Probably why we dont see it happening except in microbes. If man could so easily engender changes why not do it to the mite (it is the problem) and not risk messing up the bees program!

    The types of bee that Beemandan mentions, New World Carniolans, Minnesota Hygienics, VSH and Purdue Ankle biters are probably an easier group to work with in regards to living with varroa. Many of the tendencies make life more difficult for the mites well being. That said they are not the most suitable to filling the needs of the migratory pollinators who employ perhaps 90% of America's bees.

    I picked up some Chilean nucs to help me recover from EFB. They are productive and reasonably easy to work with but I sure am not in favor of the way they are continuing to lay frame after frame of brood going into my winter. They would be ideal mite breeders though! They are easy to get as early as you want in spring unlike our local stock and will breed whenever there is food in front of them. Here in the north I did not have drones flying in good numbers till near middle of June.

    When Italian genetics so suits the pollination business you can see how they call the tune. I think the Darwinian beekeeping promoters are merely humming in the background.

    You can wring your hands about a situation but when the economics of it push hard in one direction that is where it will go. Honey bees really are not endangered species despite the media hype.
    Frank

  13. #352
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    ......

    I picked up some Chilean nucs to help me recover from EFB. They are productive and reasonably easy to work with but I sure am not in favor of the way they are continuing to lay frame after frame of brood going into my winter....

    .
    It is beginning of spring in Chile right now.
    Of course they should be laying frame after a frame.
    They should if they are just off the plane - they still think they are in Chile.


    If anything, migration from Chile to Canada will mess up the bees pretty good.
    Shipping cross-US is nothing, to compare.
    Same hemisphere - peanuts.
    I can only wonder what pathogens could have hitchhiked on those Chilean nucs from down under.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #353
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    The above is effectively a sales-pitch for a product - the effectiveness and reliability of which still has to be confirmed. I know full-well that VOA works (and incidentally - I do care), but I've yet to be convinced that TF is anything other that either the pipe-dream of self-deluded individuals
    The USDA VSH has a fairly good track record as a resistant stock, Treatment free it is not, but may be a good starting point( as it has been for others), there are some fokes claiming the traits dulte slower and with more regularity then say Russians.
    No were did I say there is any off the shelf TF stock available!
    the point was the common US TF message of "catch local "feral" swarms(usually commercial stocks from other beekeepers) and see what happens, split every thing that lives" has a low probability of a successful out come for many reasons.
    Supporting those who are truly running a resistance breeding program has a better (short and long term) probability of success. In short I feel that message is cutting off their nose to spite their face

    why haven't we seen some evidence of this activity having already begun to spread away from those areas where it is said that TF bees are located
    Who says it hasn't and how would we know if it spread? Maby that's what randy is working with (lol) . With out heavy pressure giving it a survival advantage (beekeeper section) its almost surely negative impact on other important traits and quickly drops in to the back ground
    Why aren't bees naturally hygienic enough to resist AFB?
    When there is no AFB around to give that behavior a survival advantage, it quickly drops into the back ground as it has "costs" just like any other trait and those colonlys not paying those costs can survive better.

  15. #354
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    It is beginning of spring in Chile right now.
    Of course they should be laying frame after a frame.
    They should if they are just off the plane - they still think they are in Chile.


    If anything, migration from Chile to Canada will mess up the bees pretty good.
    Shipping cross-US is nothing, to compare.
    Same hemisphere - peanuts.
    I can only wonder what pathogens could have hitchhiked on those Chilean nucs from down under.
    Well they certainly were not carrying any mite load! Hey maybe they are the holy grail!
    I expect they had to pass a fairly stiff inspection to get Canadian approval to import. Haven't researched anything to that effect but my reaction is to trust them further than the alternatives from California! I think the Hawaian shipments were greatly reduced this year too.
    I just am not used to seeing that heavy brooding in the fall compared to my usual bees that are quite heavy to Carni habits.
    Frank

  16. #355
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I don't know if this relates directly to this thread, but in 2010 a guy named Ron Hoskins of Swindon, Wiltshire (UK) announced to the world that he's bred a Varroa-Hygenic bee. This 'good news story' was duly lapped-up by the media (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-11089792) - but very little has been heard of his 'super-bees' since that time. Certainly I've not heard of the beekeeping community 'beating a path to his door' which is what's supposed to happen when anyone develops an improved mousetrap.

    That was nine years ago, and so I 'did a Google' to find his website: http://www.swindonhoneybeeconservation.org.uk/for-sale/

    Now if we remove the rose-tinted spectacles and look at the site critically, we read: "We do not sell F1 queens unless they have been proved ‘Varroa-tolerant’."
    At first sight this looks like a most responsible attitude to adopt - but it also indicates that these bees are not breeding true with regard to their behaviour - otherwise there would be no need to undergo post-breeding selection. So - should I choose to purchase one of Hoskins' queens, it is clear that I would also then need to carefully check the behaviour of colonies headed by each of her daughters.

    Hoskins also writes: "We ask the new keepers of our F1 Queens to refrain from the use of Chemicals ..." - but what happens to those colonies headed by daughters of this 'Super-Bee" which do NOT proceed to exhibit Varroa-tolerant behaviour AND are not being treated by chemicals as Hoskins suggests ?

    Am I tempted to try such bees ? No. Would you ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  17. #356

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Am I tempted to try such bees ? No. Would you ?

    TF bee material is so scares that you have to take all in, if there is evidence about their resistance. Is there, in Hoskins case?

  18. #357
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ...
    Am I tempted to try such bees ? No. Would you ?
    LJ
    I would be - no problem (if not for being a cheap-skate).
    But eventually, I want and need to bring in 2-3 outside queens of desired qualities again (certainly, not from UK).
    Hopefully, on the cheap.
    If have to - will pay the full retail price.
    M. Bush is one good source for me that I am mulling about (due to the near location).
    Certainly, it works for me.

    Really, IF you are handling bees, don't you know this?
    Don't you know that each and every queen outputs a unique combination of the traits?
    I mean - each and every.
    What is so new in this old concept?

    This is exactly what I want.

    (I am being rhetorical, LJ, NOT personal - to be sure).

    With bees one can not fix anything in place.
    Impossible and waste of time.
    It is the opposite - you have to play the percentages game and keep tossing the dice over and over.
    The more the better.
    The higher the numbers of trials, the higher the probabilities of getting needed results within the given constraints.


    BTW, Yahtzee is one of my favorite games.
    It is stupid simple.
    And yet one day I had 5 or 6 (?) 600 point games in a row (those who know will appreciate this; this means I had several repetitive Yahtzees in the same game; then it repetead in the next game; and again - very very very unlikely).
    My wife kept loosing with 400 points - that kind of stuff just does not happen - yet it did.
    Weird things.
    My wife and I keep talking about that strange day (been more than 15 years ago; was stormy too, May or April).
    Should have bought a lottery ticket that day (stupidly did not).
    Last edited by GregV; 09-04-2019 at 08:44 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #358
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Well they certainly were not carrying any mite load! Hey maybe they are the holy grail! ........
    But seriously, this is probably the most radically opposite case of "keeping the bees locally".
    It is what it is.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #359
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    But seriously, this is probably the most radically opposite case of "keeping the bees locally".

    if i recall correctly crofter is located so far north that there isn't really a 'local' population present.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  21. #360
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    But seriously, this is probably the most radically opposite case of "keeping the bees locally".
    It is what it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    if i recall correctly crofter is located so far north that there isn't really a 'local' population present.
    Yes there certainly is not a local bee population! zero ferals. Until EFB I had virtually no winter losses with bees originating from Tibor Szabo queens. His father was a pioneer in varroa research in Canada back in the 80's: Governor Generals award for contributions to the industry.

    From 13 hives in two seasons I arrived at 1 colony, plus one that was queenless. Bought 2 of the Chilean Nucs because that was all that was available. Back up to 6 colonies and am working now to eliminate the Chilean genetics that dont quite suit my pace and situation.

    I would not slag the Chileans in the least but I have the feeling that their breeding habits would make them a bit harder to winter and I suspect a bit too early getting going in the spring for my climate.

    I think much of this thread suggests that polination driven commercialization contributes to the dominance of a bee whose habits make varroa management more difficult.

    They serve the present purpose but are not, in my mind the most likely source of stock to start developing a low maintenance bee.

    Now that is what it is!
    Frank

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