randy oliver article in january '17 abj - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I guess Harry has hit the nail square on the head, We are running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We have no idea what we are trying to achieve. Varoa resistant queens are in the eye of the beholder, or should I say in the words of the seller. In the first place are varoa killing our bees last time I looked it was viruses doing the killing so somehow our bees need to be immunized against the viruses responsible, that I think needs to be the thrust of the research dollars. Until that time comes I have to keep my bees alive any which way I can, and that would still mean varoa counts and treatment where required. If by some obscure chance I find a colony consistently without mites you will all hear me screaming Eureka, but don't hold your breath.
    Johno

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I think there is a clear direction to go but beekeepers aren't willing go there. They have created system instability, the factors that have created it (mostly interregional bee movement, remember that is how varroa got here) are well known but nobody is willing to address it. With bees mixing from all over, the adaptive environment is too dynamic and one would expect failure. Treatment only delays the inevitable failure. That is what instable systems do.

    The beekeeping industry is like the coach potato patient that doesn't exercise, eats junk food washed down with pop, has erratic sleep habits, then expects the medical community to prop up an unhealthy lifestyle. It isn't going to work in the long run. Expect a shortened life span.

    There is opportunity for the bee keeping community to create a more stable adaptive environment at the edges, become more regionally self sufficient in bees, and regulate and eventually eliminate migratory movement. The farming community, the types and sequence of crops will also have to be modified. This would create a more diverse landscape, a good thing in my opinion and would improve bee health.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    If by some obscure chance I find a colony consistently without mites you will all hear me screaming Eureka, but don't hold your breath.
    there's a decent chance that if you look you will find some colonies that do much better than others with respect to controlling mites.

    if those colonies happen to also be productive and have acceptable temperament, and after screaming eureka, why not make as many queens from them as you have time to make and drop a drone frame or two in those hives?

    i believe from what i have seen in previous comments by randy, that this will be the thrust of how he would like to see more of us getting involved. i doubt it will mean abandoning treatments to start with, but rather moving the ball forward with respect to mite resistance.

    in the same way that beekeeper selection for productivity and gentleness has been successful in the past, it's looking like it the same can be accomplished for mite resistance. fortunately there are enough examples that demonstrate productivity and gentleness don't have to be sacrificed for mite resistance.

    there is strength in numbers, and compared to just a lab or two plus a commercial breeder here and there, if many more of us could get busy looking for the best of our best and propagate from them it's reasonable that doing so would bode better for our futures.

    i don't mean this in a judgemental way but our current practices are somewhat responsible for the state of affairs we find ourselves in with respect to varroa. i don't see anything wrong with randy or anyone else asking us to roll up our sleeves, step away from the easier path which may not be sustainable anyway, and do what we can as individuals to improve the quality of our stock.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    I guess Harry has hit the nail square on the head, We are running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We have no idea what we are trying to achieve. Varoa resistant queens are in the eye of the beholder, or should I say in the words of the seller. In the first place are varoa killing our bees last time I looked it was viruses doing the killing so somehow our bees need to be immunized against the viruses responsible, that I think needs to be the thrust of the research dollars. Until that time comes I have to keep my bees alive any which way I can, and that would still mean varoa counts and treatment where required. If by some obscure chance I find a colony consistently without mites you will all hear me screaming Eureka, but don't hold your breath.
    Johno
    This is an excellent summation. I happen to think that the solution will ultimately be at least in large part genetic. Back yard TF bee keepers will contribute absolutely nothing at all to this ultimate solution, nor will commercial queen breeders. The solution will come out of labs doing DNA sequencing stuff, not breeding operations. The genetic solution may well not even be the genetics of honey bees. There are lots of reasonable options. This solution is likely at least 25 years off, if not more, as the cost of doing sequencing stuff needs to drop far enough that a very minor industry like bee keeping can afford to do the needed work.

    It is easy enough to keep honey bees treatment free today. All you need to do is make up your mind you can live without enough bees in the box to get pollination jobs or make a honey harvest. I tried that and was not impressed. My hive winter deaths were only about 30% the years I was doing the TF stuff. That is easy to live with. But, I sure do prefer under 10% winter hive deaths and hives six boxes tall stuffed with bees right up to the lid.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Stimulating conversation. In these days these two ways advance independently.

    One route seeks to make bees more resilient. The other route seeks to find ways to modify the genetics of varroas to turn the war in favor of the bees.

    My view is that it is better to have both ways and not just one because none of them have so far proven anything of importance on a global scale.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    squarepeg speaks as if no one is working with their bees to select those that may have some promise in handling mites and related problems. This is not the case. Many beekeepers are selecting from their best bees, big shops and small ones alike.
    It does not appear that these efforts will result in a mite resistant bee any time soon and looks to be a very different challenge than selecting for gentleness or productivity.

  8. #27

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i don't mean this in a judgemental way but our current practices are somewhat responsible for the state of affairs we find ourselves in with respect to varroa.
    I'm less certain of this. The presumption is that there are existing genetics that will somehow overcome varroa. I haven't seen evidence of this. There are those, such as yourself, who have had success but those successes haven't been exportable to the larger population of beekeepers. We don't actually know the reasons for you success.
    The professional beekeeping community and entomologists have been searching for the right mix for decades and have yet to find it.
    I think that we've selected the best group of traits from the existing pool...and this is as good as our bees are going to be with regard to varroa.

    At the end of the day....it is only our opinions. Neither of us...or actually none of us have 'the facts'. But....it will be interesting to see what Randy Oliver's opinion might be.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #28
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    The presumption is that there are existing genetics that will somehow overcome varroa.
    The genetic aspect of the equation has been proven in isolated/semi-isolated environments. The question involves whether we can find genetics that can stand up to an industry that is trying to keep bees in ways that doesn't allow for these types of adaptive measures to take hold. Lharder touched on a lot of the problems with the idea that genetics alone can overcome what ails the industry. I don't think there is a bee that can fix that. Though it's been said many times that the backyard beek (meaning non-commercial) can not select for and propagate a line of mite resistant bees, it sure seems they are having greater success at it. My guess, and my own (albeit limited) experience, tells me there are a lot more mite resistant bees removed from the industry than part of it. All beekeeping is local. My guess? Most "resistance" is local. I don't think most folks (myself included) are lying about having resistant bees, I think most (myself included) are probably unaware of exactly how closely related these mite/bee/viral/environment issues are tied in with our success, and how when removed from these areas to less stable environments, these bees often don't live up to expectation.
    Season 5. TF.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I'm less certain of this. The presumption is that there are existing genetics that will somehow overcome varroa. I haven't seen evidence of this. There are those, such as yourself, who have had success but those successes haven't been exportable to the larger population of beekeepers. .
    The genticits are out there, plenty of keepers and ferals say its out there no if they come in a package we want at the moment is the question.. lower yealds, slower build up, agresiveness.... there is likly a traide off We have been selection for lot of traites, some may not be the best for the bees.. maby calm bees fight mites worce, maby bees they bring in huge crops spend more time foraging and less grooming
    As an example aside form being "hot" and not so cold tolerant, AHB deal with mites just fine, pull more pollen to suply there faster brood up and can be split 3x more a year and are more productive..... but that hot bit....lol

    That being said I don't see ANY sort of industrial agriculture going TF... be it bees, chickens or cows... it realy easy to keep a 1/2 dozen chickens in the yard TF.... a 30k bird commercial chicken house is a far different situation

  11. #30
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    News of this research came to me from a gardening friend...she often sends me nice fresh bee news! That said, while it is gob-smacking that Varroa feed on vitellogenin/bee fat, we are still back to the challenge of killing a bug on a bug. How to make the vitellogenin toxic without also killing the bee will be a delicate dance. I am hoping the masses of brainpower brought to bear on this new finding will turn up a key to ridding ourselves of Varroa.

    Meanwhile, this really points up the fact that even light loads of Varroa have profound impacts on bees.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    Meanwhile, this really points up the fact that even light loads of Varroa have profound impacts on bees.
    With all due respect, I'd say this really points up the fact even light loads of Varroa have profound impacts on some bees. Going into winter with 10 hives and 2 nucs, all with light loads (heavy by some accounts) of varroa, and I guarantee you I'll have to be watching them closely for swarm cells come March. I don't know what profound means, but to me it isn't having a profound impact on my bees.
    Season 5. TF.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    The best example of how totally lost we are is our methods of assessing mite loads in a hive.
    We go to a hive, scoop up an estimated amount of bees, remove the mites and declare a proportional amount for the hive.

    What? Did we all flunk 7th grade math?!!

    We are using AN INCOMPLETE EQUATION!
    Mite load assessment requires AT LEAST a two part equation.

    If I ask you, "How long is a string?" you cannot give an accurate answer because I have asked you to solve an incomplete equation.

    The alcohol, or powdered sugar test is PART of the equation, the hive population and square inches of brood in the hive are the other half.

    Every year about 20,000 hives go to the desert here in Oregon to pollinate hybrid seed crops and every year I hear the same words from the beekeepers bringing the bees back home, "The mite populations really spiked!!!"
    Every year they say that.
    But the mite populations in their hives DID NOT spike. In fact, their mite loads are on the decrease when they say that.
    Why? Because the hives are almost completely broodless when coming out of the desert.
    The beekeepers know that, but there they are with the pint jar and the bottle of alcohol looking at only one half of the equation.
    Is it any surprise to anyone that a large population in a hive that has gone broodless will have a higher phoretic load??

    We need to wake up!
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  14. #33

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    The genticits are out there, plenty of keepers and ferals say its out there
    I believe that those keepers believe it....yet to my knowledge hasn't been successfully translated into the general population. Nor do those keepers know what makes those bees survive when others fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    The genetic aspect of the equation has been proven in isolated/semi-isolated environments..... I think most (myself included) are probably unaware of exactly how closely related these mite/bee/viral/environment issues are tied in with our success, and how when removed from these areas to less stable environments, these bees often don't live up to expectation.
    This is the issue, in my opinion. Nordak says that it has been 'proven'. And then goes on to state that he doesn't understand the relationship between his 'success' and all of the various outside influences are tied to his success.

    My point....most 'successful' treatment free beekeepers that I've read reporting here and other places don't have any objective scientific understanding for their success. To claim that the genetic aspect has been proven by anecdote, yet watching those bees fail in another environment hardly qualifies as proof.

    Once again...our opinions differ. In my opinion, it is essential that we understand what qualifies as proof and seek to understand the difference between proof and opinion.

    We can go around and around. You won't change my opinion without some objective science...and I won't change yours. My main point is that not everyone agrees on the 'facts'.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  15. #34

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    What? Did we all flunk 7th grade math?!!

    The alcohol, or powdered sugar test is PART of the equation, the hive population and square inches of brood in the hive are the other half.
    I disagree with this. An alcohol wash, properly done, will determine the percentage of nurse bees carrying varroa. The higher the percentage the more serious the infestation....regardless of the population of the hive or square inches of brood.

    Now...a mite drop test onto a sticky sheet is another matter. If there are 30 mites dropped in 48 hours and.....the population of the hive is 1000 then the infestation is 50 times higher than if the population was 50,000 for the same drop. With a mite drop test you must have some additional data beyond the number dropped.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  16. #35
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    This is the issue, in my opinion. Nordak says that it has been 'proven'....
    To claim that the genetic aspect has been proven by anecdote.
    I'm not going to bother you with studies. You've seen them before. If that isn't proof, I can't make you see something you don't want to. By self admission, my own experience regarding resistance is anecdotal. Something is happening to keep mite levels from absolutely booming in the hives. This much is clear to me. How it is happening, what factors are involved...even the most brilliant of minds involved in the discussion so far haven't sorted it. I think perhaps they are getting closer.

    My post probably more closely resembles your thoughts on the matter than you'd care to admit. We are in agreement that I don't believe there is a resistant bee for the commercial industry that will magically change things.

  17. #36

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    My post probably more closely resembles your thoughts on the matter than you'd care to admit. We are in agreement that I don't believe there is a resistant bee for the commercial industry that will magically change things.
    I'm not sure why you would choose to word it this way.
    There is a thought process among some that varroa resistance will appear much like tracheal mite resistance did. In that case...resistant stock became the norm in short order. There, evidently was some genetic resistance to tracheal mites already in the gene pool. After decades of research and selection no such resistance has appeared for varroa. Which causes me to doubt if such resistance exists in the present gene pool.
    And none of the treatment free 'studies' I've read indicated that those bees could be placed into the general beekeeping world and demonstrate the same success.
    Not looking for an argument, I am only saying that I don't think our present methods of beekeeping are 'responsible for this state of affairs'.
    And as I've said.....this is just my opinion. It's ok if we don't agree. In fact, it is normal.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #37
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I'm not sure why you would choose to word it this way.
    There is a thought process among some that varroa resistance will appear much like tracheal mite resistance did. In that case...resistant stock became the norm in short order. There, evidently was some genetic resistance to tracheal mites already in the gene pool. After decades of research and selection no such resistance has appeared for varroa. Which causes me to doubt if such resistance exists in the present gene pool.
    And none of the treatment free 'studies' I've read indicated that those bees could be placed into the general beekeeping world and demonstrate the same success.
    Not looking for an argument, I am only saying that I don't think our present methods of beekeeping are 'responsible for this state of affairs'.
    And as I've said.....this is just my opinion. It's ok if we don't agree. In fact, it is normal.
    Reistance has kind of become a "catch-all" term meaning toward varroa and related viruses. Then there is tolerance, another gray term. VSH, Mite biting. Those are physical resistant traits. Both well documented. I don't want an argument either, but I don't understand how you can deny the fact some bees have shown, by scientific documentation, resistant level traits.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I disagree with this. An alcohol wash, properly done, will determine the percentage of nurse bees carrying varroa. The higher the percentage the more serious the infestation....regardless of the population of the hive or square inches of brood.
    Dan, if you tested a hive of 40,000 bees that had gone broodless and then tested a hive of 40,000 bees with wall to wall brood, and lets say the mite numbers were exactly the same in both hives, you believe the test would render the same numbers for both hives? Is that your position?
    In one hive over 80% of the mites are in the brood and you will get a proportion of bees to the 20% phoretic load.
    In the broodless hive 100% of the mites are in the phoretic stage and will be counted.
    You don't see any measurement error between the two hives if the other factors are ignored?
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  20. #39

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    You don't see any measurement error between the two hives if the other factors are ignored?
    You were referring to commercial, migratory beekeepers...right? If they know enough to take a proper wash but don't have enough sense to evaluate the hives...it is a total misapplication of the data.
    If they go into the brood nest looking for nurse bees and don't find any brood....how can they get any nurse bees?
    This, in my opinion has nothing to do with math.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  21. #40

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    I don't understand how you can deny the fact some bees have shown, by scientific documentation, resistant level traits.
    This isn't what I said at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    The professional beekeeping community and entomologists have been searching for the right mix for decades and have yet to find it.
    I think that we've selected the best group of traits from the existing pool...and this is as good as our bees are going to be with regard to varroa.
    In essence, what I said is that from decades of research and selection professionals have identified the traits you listed...and probably others but...I think this is as far as we are going with bee selection.

    And...to my experience and in my opinion...each of these has probably reduced infestation levels to a degree...but none...not any that I am aware of will survive long term without some sort of varroa intervention.

    At the risk of repeating myself....in my opinion none of this points to our present methods of beekeeping being 'responsible for this state of affairs'.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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