randy oliver article in january '17 abj - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    This isn't what I said at all.
    No you didn't say that. Apologies.




    not any that I am aware of will survive long term without some sort of varroa intervention.
    Fair enough, we are all products of our experiences.

    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'.
    Commercial beekeepers should not be bearing the brunt of the blame for failure. In my opinion, the model for which beekeeping methods are applied in the agricultural industry has more to do with it.

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  3. #42

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Sometime in the late 1980s some **** fool beekeeper snuck a queen or so past customs from a place that had varroa and brought the parasite with them. Whoever that was...commercial or hobbyist....that is who I blame for the mess.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #43
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Sometime in the late 1980s some **** fool beekeeper snuck a queen or so past customs from a place that had varroa and brought the parasite with them. Whoever that was...commercial or hobbyist....that is who I blame for the mess.
    Lol. Can't argue with that.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Sometime in the late 1980s some **** fool beekeeper snuck a queen or so past customs from a place that had varroa and brought the parasite with them. Whoever that was...commercial or hobbyist....that is who I blame for the mess.
    I have cursed the same scenario many times, but it could have been a swarm on a ship or in a container on that ship.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burrup View Post
    I have cursed the same scenario many times, but it could have been a swarm on a ship or in a container on that ship.
    all because we want cheep stuff

  7. #46
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Don't forget the load of cut flowers from Europe somewhere where a veroa mite was found on a flower, how many have come in this way and not been seen. So it is not a question of how they got here but what we are doing now that they are here. Yes we all know that we should be breeding from those that have minimum mites but in 30 odd years we have not progressed very far. Those who claim that their bees survive treatment free do not know why they are surviving so that does not help at all. so until we can answer some of these mysteries we are still stuck up the creek without a paddle. It is no good telling stories about these bees survived for so long in some area without facts and figures and the data has to hold true to any area those bees are taken to. This is a world wide problem so a few hives possibly surviving in backwoods Alabama does not help unless we can ascertain why and document such a claim with scientific evidence.
    Johno

  8. #47
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    This is a world wide problem so a few hives possibly surviving in backwoods Alabama does not help unless we can ascertain why and document such a claim with scientific evidence.
    Johno
    When you use terms like "possibly" and "claim" it severely devalues your statement in my opinion. Why would one assume that someone is being less than honest about their experience? What do they have to gain? Your example is pretty regionally specific. Hopefully it wasn't intended in the manner it came across. I for one appreciate all of the information members hand me, regardless of their feelings on the matters of how to control varroa. Information can be gleaned often from the least likely of sources. Try to keep an open mind. You'll be amazed at what might be possible.

  9. #48
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    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.
    dan, i must admit that my exposure to the universe of beekeeping is pretty limited from what i see happening around here along with what i can glean from reading internet forums, so i may not have it all right. by nonjudgemental i meant to not impune the motives or skills of any beekeepers per se, but rather the nature of the business which drives the practices which of course is driven by economics, and economics is not a bad word as far as i'm concerned.

    the practices that i was thinking about when i wrote that have to do for example locating hives by the hundreds and thousands in holding yards where they are prepped for pollination. again nothing wrong with that or those that are doing that, but there's no way around the problem of horizontal transmission of diseases and pests which in turn promotes higher virulence.

    clyde, again i can only speak to what i have first hand knowledge of with respect to what beekeepers are doing in my neck of the woods. we have roughly 50 members in our county organization, and there is only one other member other than myself who is rearing queens.

    all of the rest of the beekeepers in the club are purchasing commercially produced packages and queens, all of which are produced by out of state 'puppy mills' and then shipped in here to get distributed by one or two retail suppliers.

    i could be wrong but my sense is that beekeepers who are actually selecting from the best of their stock and rearing their own queens represent the minority. am i wrong for assuming that most folks find it easier and cost effective to buy commercially produced bees?

    i believe this is where randy is coming from, and it appears what he is up against isn't so much that progress can't be made with respect to breeding more mite resistant bees as it is that for most beekeepers it's just a whole lot easier to kill the mites and not worry about it.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #49
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i could be wrong but my sense is that beekeepers who are actually selecting from the best of their stock and rearing their own queens represent the minority. am i wrong for assuming that most folks find it easier and cost effective to buy commercially produced bees?
    I dont have any data on this other than to say there are many, many different business models among commercial operations. For some the requeening/rebuilding phase is squeezed in between pollination or honey production gigs. For others the nucing phase of their operation might be done very early in the calendar year when there are only a few options for mated queens. For those who are just doing an almond pollination followed by a northern honey flow there is barely enough time for a queen rearing operation.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #50
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    When you use terms like "possibly" and "claim" it severely devalues your statement in my opinion. Why would one assume that someone is being less than honest about their experience? What do they have to gain? Your example is pretty regionally specific. Hopefully it wasn't intended in the manner it came across. I for one appreciate all of the information members hand me, regardless of their feelings on the matters of how to control varroa. Information can be gleaned often from the least likely of sources. Try to keep an open mind. You'll be amazed at what might be possible.
    Honey bee tales have been told for a long long time. Honey production, methods, the wonder queen bee, it goes on and on.
    Ask the old guys, they'll have quite a story to tell you.
    To be suspect in this arena is healthy not a handicap. This isn't a thing of the past either, it happens every day even now, maybe more so now than in the past.
    What do they have to gain? who knows. Could be as simple as ego or money.

    Johno makes a lot of sense, in my opinion.

  12. #51
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    understood jim and i appreciate your reply. in a perfect world every beekeeper would be a brother adam and have the motivation and opportunity to breed the perfect bee. in the real world and for a myriad of reasons including those you just shared that can't happen.

    the one other beekeeper in our club i mentioned who is rearing queens is also one of the handful who is having success with treatment free here, and he just so happens to be the 2017 president elect of our club. i've shied away from getting involved with the organization due to my squarepeg nature and such...

    but i've been talking with him about seeing how the membership would feel about doing something county wide with respect to moving everyone to resistant stock. we believe it's pretty doable here given that a number of us are already having success.

    it's not much, but perhaps a start.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #52
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    We, beekeepers, bee researchers, and scientists all have a bucket over our heads at this time in regards to varroa.
    No matter which way we turn our heads, all we can read is the same old writing on the inside of the bucket.
    Nothing good is going to happen until we pull our head's out and start thinking outside of the bucket (box).

    Please start a new thread the next time you hear of something new, exciting, and unexpected in regards to varroa control.
    Otherwise, we are all stuck in the same mud like we have been for years. Hashing and rehashing the same dribble about obsessions over incomplete mite count results and treatments.

    Sorry to sound like Debbie Downer, but that is my summation of our current situation.
    Just my opinion.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  14. #53
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Honey bee tales have been told for a long long time. Honey production, methods, the wonder queen bee, it goes on and on.
    Ask the old guys, they'll have quite a story to tell you.
    To be suspect in this arena is healthy not a handicap. This isn't a thing of the past either, it happens every day even now, maybe more so now than in the past.
    What do they have to gain? who knows. Could be as simple as ego or money.

    Johno makes a lot of sense, in my opinion.
    I agree that a certain amount of skepticism is healthy. Again, we are all products of our collective experiences. Seeing is believing and all that. Most of the successful TF guys I've talked to aren't claiming they have super bees that are 3 deeps brood under 8 supers. I can't do that with my bees. I can keep them treatment free, though, and I'm not trying to pull anyone's leg. I'm sure most folks wouldn't be happy with my bees in a commercial setting. They probably wouldn't do well for numerous reasons, namely honey production. I get some honey off of them on occasion, but nowhere near what someone looking to make a living from them would be happy with. Me, I love my bees. They compliment my style of beekeeping. That's the truth.

  15. #54
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    I agree that a certain amount of skepticism is healthy. Again, we are all products of our collective experiences. Seeing is believing and all that. Most of the successful TF guys I've talked to aren't claiming they have super bees that are 3 deeps brood under 8 supers. I can't do that with my bees. I can keep them treatment free, though, and I'm not trying to pull anyone's leg. I'm sure most folks wouldn't be happy with my bees in a commercial setting. They probably wouldn't do well for numerous reasons, namely honey production. I get some honey off of them on occasion, but nowhere near what someone looking to make a living from them would be happy with. Me, I love my bees. They compliment my style of beekeeping. That's the truth.
    what I am suggesting is learning from the experiences of others as well, no need to see it for yourself every time.
    in the end I guess it's each to their own.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Otherwise, we are all stuck in the same mud like we have been for years.
    almost 30 years to be exact harry. i've no idea what randy will be proposing to get us unstuck, but i think it's the exactly the sentiment you just expressed that has him thinking seriously about it.

    by the way, i appreciated your comments with respect to interpreting mite counts in light of how much capped brood is present. perhaps this is one of the reasons for why we see so much variability in terms of infestation rates and their impacts or lack thereof getting reported.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #56
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    what I am suggesting is learning from the experiences of others as well, no need to see it for yourself every time.
    in the end I guess it's each to their own.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Wow, the diversity of thoughts in this thread! I barely know where to start.

    I agree with Randy Oliver. We can breed varroa resistant bees and we can do it today. We don't have to wait for Harry V's pie in the sky it hasn't been invented yet solution. BWeaver did it. Any queen breeder dedicated enough can do it. Any beekeeper dedicated enough can do it.

    Beemandan, Harry is correct. Knowing the percentage of phoretic mites is not the same thing as knowing the colony mite load. When you measure the phoretic mite load, you only measured one bucket. The other bucket is the sealed brood in the hive.

    What about the pie in the sky solution? What if we could use genetic engineering to program varroa mites into extinction? There is a very good chance this could be done and high potential it will be feasible within the next 10 years. We very much should be investigating this possibility and others that are similar.

    Does it make sense to throw away all the breeding progress that has been made over the last 100 or more years? Absolutely NOT! We need the genetics to produce bees for pollination in February, bees to make honey after 9 weeks of spring buildup, and bees that don't make a honey crop until fall. All have a place in the genetics we need. There is no perfect bee, just a bee better adapted to local conditions.

    What can we as beekeepers do? Start by measuring the varroa load in your colonies prior to any treatment and flag any low count colonies for separation and evaluation. In just 3 generations we can start to see bees that need less treatment because they do a better job controlling varroa.

    What about those of us who already have highly resistant colonies? We need the opposite! Bring in production genetics and start breeding a more productive bee that incorporates varroa resistance. This is what I am doing by bringing in Buckfast queens from Ferguson.

    Can we get entire areas onto treatment free beekeeping as mentioned by SquarePeg? We certainly can do that, but only if the beekeepers involved have the commitment and are willing to make the changes required in their operations. North Alabama is an excellent candidate to do so given that we have a relatively large population of redneck hick stubborn beekeepers (good folks who don't listen to Harry) who are already treatment free. What we need most is more breeders producing queens that have proven mite resistance. We have a huge gap because there are maybe a dozen treatment free queen suppliers in the country. Yes, I know we can argue over the number, but, Bweaver, Carpenter, Comfort, VP, BrokeT and a few others are totally overwhelmed by the several hundred queen breeders still producing susceptible queens.


    Here are some steps I see to get from where we are to where we want to be:

    1. Devise reliable methods to determine mite load per colony.
    2. Set up specialized queen breeders whose sole purpose is to collect colonies with low loads and do further evaluation to prove if the resistance is genetic and repeatable.
    3. Establish queen mating locations where susceptible stock can be reliably mated to drones carrying resistance traits.
    4. Get more queen producers on the wagon to produce resistant stock and by that I mean ONLY resistant stock.
    5. Motivate beekeepers, it is time to stop talking and do something about the problem.... otherwise, we ARE the problem.
    6. Recognize that livelihoods are at stake. We need enough commercial beekeepers to make the transition to prove that varroa can be brought to bay without losing your house along with your pet donkey.
    7. Get "puppy mill" queen breeders to start breeding wolf puppies that chew mites.
    8. Recognize just how serious a problem horizontal transfer of mites is in the beekeeping world. The best mite resistance I have can still be overwhelmed if there is enough horizontal transfer. We have to get entire operations and entire regions to resistant genetics for this to work for all of us.
    9. Work with the Harry Vanderpool and Beemandan beekeepers and others who are convinced it can't be done. We have to be able to prove that resistance is not a pie in the sky. It is real and it works.

    Read my tagline.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  19. #58
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    I like your idea of thinking outside the bee hive box.
    Since beekeeping is local after all, it is hard to do it without
    forming an official Bee Source sub-club with elected officers, treasurer and all. Then we can involve everybody here to chip in to get the proven good resistant stocks to propagate our local apiary. Club members can also exchange bee materials and information as well as any support necessary to get their apiary set up. We can buy bee equipment in bulks too. This reminds me of the elementary baked sales to raise money for the Great America field trip at the end of the year for the whole school.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  20. #59
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    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    9. Work with the Harry Vanderpool and Beemandan beekeepers and others who are convinced it can't be done.
    Fusion Power, thank you for your kind words along the way and your extremely thoughtful posts.

    However, "It can't be done" is a phrase that has never, and will never leave my lips.
    I despise that phrase and have never uttered it here or elsewhere.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  21. #60

    Default Re: randy oliver article in january '17 abj

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i"I feel that the time has come to present the argument that we should finally get serious about dealing with varroa. For thirty years we’ve been managing The Varroa Problem with flyswatters and Band-Aids. We could make beekeeping so much easier if we, as an industry, worked together to shift the genetics of the North American bee population toward stocks that were able to manage varroa on their own."

    randy oliver, american bee journal, january 2017
    The European answer.
    https://aristabeeresearch.org/

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