Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Yikes. I may have derailed this very interesting thread into a TF vs Treat argument. NOT my intention. I was all set to chime in again, then I remembered threads that went haywire over just this issue. Sorry folks. Appreciate the answers and will hold my thoughts for a TF thread.

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  3. #82
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Don't sweat it AR1, the whole point of this thread is to generate discussion. Western Wilson, let me be clear on one thing, I'm not trying to 'find' resistance here. I'm building a population of bees which I will begin doing some actual breeding with to see if I can actually drive improvements with the Varroa issue in our area. I'm also doing a little networking with a local commercial Beesource member as well to see how well some of the lines I'm looking at perform in that aspect (i.e. almond pollination) in the F1's or first generation daughter queens from some of the breeders. We're not expecting anything to be bullet proof yet, but if we can see improvement in survivability or better sustained populations come January due to lessening the impact of varroa via improved genetics and how they interact/combine with our current stocks, I would dare call it making progress.

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    . Western Wilson, let me be clear on one thing, I'm not trying to 'find' resistance here. I'm building a population of bees which I will begin doing some actual breeding with to see if I can actually drive improvements with the Varroa issue in our area.
    Fair enough. The only caveat being whether running TF is causing an impact on any nearby beekeepers. The year two TF survivor yards entered my area, mite counts went through the roof.

    It will be interesting as well to follow Randy Oliver's project this year, to identify and breed from colonies that display Varroa resistance. I certainly hope it can be done, and done such that we do not end up with bees that look like bees but act like wasps (non productive and ornery).

    We'd all like Varroa proof bees, I just wonder if the bee genome has that in it.

  5. #84
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    I certainly hope it can be done, and done such that we do not end up with bees that look like bees but act like wasps (non productive and ornery).

    We'd all like Varroa proof bees, I just wonder if the bee genome has that in it.
    Unlink the genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutellata. Easy enough, right? In temperate zones, natural selection should favor the unlinkage because of the survival costs associated with unneeded defensive traits such as surplus guard bees who could otherwise be foraging. And artificial breeding should likewise favor the unlinkage because beekeepers don't like defensiveness but do like varroa resistance and varroa tolerance. Can the traits be unlinked? Probably. Look at Puerto Rico, maybe.
    David. The way you want to keep bees is most likely at least as good as any way that I could suggest. Probably better.

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    western.....
    Fair enough. The only caveat being whether running TF is causing an impact on any nearby beekeepers. The year two TF survivor yards entered my area, mite counts went through the roof.

    It will be interesting as well to follow Randy Oliver's project this year, to identify and breed from colonies that display Varroa resistance. I certainly hope it can be done, and done such that we do not end up with bees that look like bees but act like wasps (non productive and ornery).

    We'd all like Varroa proof bees, I just wonder if the bee genome has that in it.
    If the two year TF survivor yards make it through year 3 and 4 maby it will be in the genome. Most swarms probly have the same effect in your aria as far as mites go.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #86
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Unlink the genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutellata. Easy enough, right? In temperate zones, natural selection should favor the unlinkage because of the survival costs associated with unneeded defensive traits such as surplus guard bees who could otherwise be foraging. And artificial breeding should likewise favor the unlinkage because beekeepers don't like defensiveness but do like varroa resistance and varroa tolerance. Can the traits be unlinked? Probably. Look at Puerto Rico, maybe.
    I will leave that to the experts! I am not going to take on survivor beeyards, and troll through the deadouts looking for the one Miracle Queen. And the logistics of replicating her to stock all the beeyards...that's also a tall and demanding order.

    I do not mean to sound cynical, and I will be happy to buy Varroa-proof bees if and when they are not only discovered but made widely available. But I am the person who answers the emergency calls around here from new beekeepers who don't get why their hives keep dying year after year. Nobody tells them that going treatment free is not an entry level endeavour. Suggesting they do this is like asking them to mount a successful manned mission to Mars, in an easy-to-copy format, in six months, all from their back yard.

    So, not trying to offend, but finding the Varroa proof bee is proving to be a lot more challenging than was originally thought. I think our answer will be found in studying and manipulating mites, not bees.

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Western, I agree with a lot of your points on how to get from A to B w/o sacrificing a large part of the operation. Sadly, I do suffer a fair amount of losses due to treating late and doing some preliminary evaluations and sometimes just not having enough time to feed as much as needed. To be clear, there's nothing treatment free about what's going on with my bees, except I really limit myself to a fall treatment, which is looking like it needs to be more of a summer treatment these days. That being said, there are some 'gems' out there that seem to do well and I believe I'm seeing a shift towards slightly more tolerant than baseline susceptibility.

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I'm also doing a little networking with a local commercial Beesource member as well to see how well some of the lines I'm looking at perform in that aspect (i.e. almond pollination) in the F1's or first generation daughter queens from some of the breeders.
    Sounds like a great project JRG13. Please update in time, good or bad.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  10. #89
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post

    If the two year TF survivor yards make it through year 3 and 4 maby it will be in the genome. Most swarms probly have the same effect in your aria as far as mites go.
    Cheers
    gww
    Both yards died out within 18 months. I was sorry for their bees, but relieved for mine. Alas almost every year, somebody pops up in the area who is new to beekeeping and thinks survivor yards are the way to go. I don't think they are evil, but they are ignorant of the impact they have on others.

  11. #90
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    western
    I don't think they are evil, but they are ignorant of the impact they have on others.
    I am one of them newbees but might not be in 18 months.

    So far so good. The guy I bought from also does not treat and lives about 1.5 miles from me. I do believe you on your mentoring of poeple and what you are seeing. I don't buy the impact on others around as being that big and definatly those guys with 3 through ten back yard hives, compared to the big guys that might treat and be by them.

    Every single thing that I read seems to show that all hives have some mites and it is how much brood they are making in the hive that is causing overload. When you treat, you knock that overload down but don't get rid of mites.

    I am new but am trying to understand better. Right now I think the finger pointing except in exceptional situations just does not add up with everything I think I know now. I do think that even if I decide to start treating, that the guy that is 1.5 miles away from me will not affect me more then the swarms I am catching in my traps and also the ones that I know are there but don't pick my traps.

    I do see you answering questions on here from guys like me and believe most of your advice seems very well grounded and so my post is more on where my understanding is at this point in time on this one thing and not a question at all on your knowlage of bee keeping.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #91
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    It is possible, maybe probable, that the bee genome is not flexible enough to withstand Varroa pressure.
    “The populations reviewed here demonstrate that mite resistance is possible for A. mellifera honeybees around the world (Figure 1) and that there are multiple genetic adaptive routes to achieving a sustainable mite resistance (Table I)." Locke, B. Apidologie (2016) 47: 467. doi:10.1007/s13592-015-0412-8, http://link.springer.com/article/10....592-015-0412-8
    David. The way you want to keep bees is most likely at least as good as any way that I could suggest. Probably better.

  13. #92
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    JRG13,
    Great read. Maybe I missed it, how are the Old Sol bees doing? Did there survivor Queen survive?

    Purchased a Caucasian Nuc from them this spring and curious how yours are faring.

    Keep up the good work!!

  14. #93
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    delete please

  15. #94
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    JRG,

    Not wanting to throw a wrench into this entire concept of TF bees...but...

    As you know, every late summer/early fall we have experienced what I think can be called heavy to massive mite load. And for us, we tried OA vaporization, had some good to mediocre results.

    Without treatment, I am certain every hive would have quickly died out.

    Fast forward to this year. Our bee yard grew from 5 to nearly 50 this year, with much of the increase coming from what is probably swarms originating from commercial beekeepers colonies. Then we made lots of nucs that got to mate with the local drones. Results: Most hives have nearly no mites at all. In some hives, I cannot find any mites on the bees or on the sticky bottom board. Quite a difference from the last 3 years when, at times, we would find over 300 mites per day on the SSB.

    Is it possible in our case that a change in the strain of bees had a lot to do with the reduced mite load. Am I correct in thinking this way? Hives are still building up, and, although they let up a little on egg laying, still growing.

    Are we capitalizing on other beeks hard work to raise queens that truly do have mite resistant qualities, or is this simply a stroke of luck?

    Mite load is so radically changed, trying to figure this one out!

    Yo, help us out here!

  16. #95
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    I'll try to revive this thread at some point, might just have to jump to this year as a recap. Scottsbee, I think out of the 5 or six queens I ordered, one made it, but it was a tough time to intro queens. Wasn't a caucasian though. Overwintered into 2016, found a mother/virgin daughter combination early spring, split off the mother. Neither one built up much but both overwintered into 2017. The mother queen was superceded this year but failed to requeen, the daughter was ok, but nothing great but I kind of thought they were doing ok and didn't mess with them too much. I should've looked more closely, hive was very uniform in appearance, I should've made some daughters off her as I'm betting they would've been quite uniform for a good comparison, but they tried superceding her multiple times, I just let it happen but I dunno, I would find hatched cells but she must've been good at killing virgins or something. A few weeks ago there was some nice cells, and I found her just kind of trying to fly and run around the frames, she fell off at some point and I could not find her so that was the end of that, and there's a decent new queen laying pretty good now, but I did have to treat them to overwinter, the mites built up on them pretty fast.

    Soar, this year seems odd, I'm not seeing heavy mite loads yet, but don't let em fool you....

  17. #96
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    I don't get it. If your not doing counts or taking notes and treating how are you exactly suppose achieve resistance? What kind of breeding program do you have? Granted, I understand that treating is to protect your investment. That is fine, all colonies don't have to die. But what I really don't understand is why are you not doing washes? Why are you buying "breeders" from all over the country? Your going about what your trying to achieve ass backwards.
    Breeding for resistance is very straight forward. Take whatever bees (they don't have to be breeders) you have with the lowest counts and breed from survivors of those every year. Start grafting. Making walk away splits and waiting for them to draw cells from a hosh posh of bees from all over the country isn't the way to find resistance. Get your ducks in a row or quit pretending. It will save you money, time, and stress in the long run.

  18. #97
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeHopper View Post
    I don't get it. If your not doing counts or taking notes and treating how are you exactly suppose achieve resistance? What kind of breeding program do you have? Granted, I understand that treating is to protect your investment. That is fine, all colonies don't have to die. But what I really don't understand is why are you not doing washes? Why are you buying "breeders" from all over the country? Your going about what your trying to achieve ass backwards.
    Breeding for resistance is very straight forward. Take whatever bees (they don't have to be breeders) you have with the lowest counts and breed from survivors of those every year. Start grafting. Making walk away splits and waiting for them to draw cells from a hosh posh of bees from all over the country isn't the way to find resistance. Get your ducks in a row or quit pretending. It will save you money, time, and stress in the long run.
    It's so straight forward everyone should have resistant bees then... Honestly, I'm not at the point to really take data, I'm just building up so I can actually run efficient tests w/o losing my butt and taking meaningful data. I could perform washes but I haven't really run many hives as 'production' hives. Right now, they all donate splits throughout the season or started off as a nuc or may even be maintained as a nuc to donate a frame of brood here and there. I'm not running some backyard breeding operation trying to extract a few gallons of honey. I'm looking at bees that do well in more of a commercial setting for almond pollination and then maintaining strong build up under our not so ideal conditions at times. Also, I pick up details just by looking at the colonies during inspection, I don't need an alcohol wash to tell me something I already know at this point.

    When I'm ready to take data I will set up production colonies with known lineage/combinations to compare with each other and they will be tracked over the course of 2-3 seasons at least. Year one will be just building up to about two deeps, treated, then overwintered into almond pollination. Cluster size and behavior traits will be looked at during pollination. After almonds they'll go into honey production and boxes will be added as needed. This is when mite data will be taken as well, exceptional colonies will be noted and remain untreated. Poor colonies will be treated and removed from the breeding pool. The next round of candidates will be getting ready to test in the following year alongside the rest.

    Collecting germplasm is just my hobby part of the whole experience, it's what I enjoy. Also, what breeding program doesn't look at and evaluate a wide range of germplasm, I'd be stupid not too. Also, there's some niche markets available around here, and having an array of backgrounds will help fill them. I can offer Cordovan queens, Italian queens, carniolan queens. Will bring in a Caucasian breeder next year. I was able to bring in some Zia queens this year, may have some solid mite resistance already, but time will tell now won't it. On the flipside, I try to support BS members as much as I can on buying queens from them and passing along any good words I have for them. It's how I give back to the Beesource Community and I get to test some new bees out to boot.

  19. #98
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I pick up details just by looking at the colonies during inspection, I don't need an alcohol wash to tell me something I already know at this point.
    I agree, and good luck.

  20. #99
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    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
    Is it possible in our case that a change in the strain of bees had a lot to do with the reduced mite load. Am I correct in thinking this way?
    My guess would be the change in management, swarms and splits have a large impact on mite loads
    the concept of OTS is based on this and people are perfectly able to keep normal nonresistant bees alive with out chemicals.
    Here is a model of the effect
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #100

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Also, I pick up details just by looking at the colonies during inspection, I don't need an alcohol wash to tell me something I already know at this point.

    When I'm ready to take data I will set up production colonies with known lineage/combinations to compare with each other and they will be tracked over the course of 2-3 seasons at least. Year one will be just building up to about two deeps, treated, then overwintered into almond pollination. Cluster size and behavior traits will be looked at during pollination. After almonds they'll go into honey production and boxes will be added as needed. This is when mite data will be taken as well, exceptional colonies will be noted and remain untreated. Poor colonies will be treated and removed from the breeding pool. The next round of candidates will be getting ready to test in the following year alongside the rest.


    Itīs a matter of time and patience.

    Fast forward to this year. Our bee yard grew from 5 to nearly 50 this year, with much of the increase coming from what is probably swarms originating from commercial beekeepers colonies. Then we made lots of nucs that got to mate with the local drones. Results: Most hives have nearly no mites at all. In some hives, I cannot find any mites on the bees or on the sticky bottom board. Quite a difference from the last 3 years when, at times, we would find over 300 mites per day on the SSB.
    Same here. This situation means nothing though. Wait one more season until you have established production colonies or stronger nucs.

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