Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees? - Page 4
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  1. #61

    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    drop the TF brand, its tarnished, go with “Locally adapted Mite resistant stock”
    never thought of that! very very good idea msl.

    "locally more adapted and more mite tolerant or resistant stock"...could be a speaking topic in bee club and start a discussion.

    combined with IPM...very good! this is the future!

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Can't you see....I'm gathering mite resistant stocks for the last 2 years into my apiary. Planted for them four seasons--veggies, flowers, and trees.
    Control the mite population to allow the bees to grow first. Heading into the future is the I.I. process and finding new local beekeepers to form our own SRS group.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    The genetics of the feral bees in your area must be quite different than the genetics of your commercial bees.
    I'd put that the other way around, but it's the same point. The very local "ferals" ( within a few miles) almost certainly have some BF genetics after decades of drone promotion from my own hives. Beyond that, the ferals are likely little different from ferals everywhere. The cards are just stacked against them. Like running a donkey in the Kentucky Derby.

    The few swarms found issuing from my own hives tend to be fairly "good", but they are rare. No swarms from outside a 2-3 mile radius have ever been more than a disappointing "pet project". They got no special treatment, or mistreatment. On occasion they made a little crop. On occasion they survived the following winter. That's why they are no longer pursued. As said repeatedly, there is so little return on the time, effort & resources that it is better to focus on the bees that outproduce them, year after year.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    it is better to focus on the bees that outproduce them, year after year.
    This is the crux of the matter.

    1. Commercial beekeepers have genetics that meet their operational needs and don't want to give them up

    2. Hobbyist and sideliner beekeepers want to maintain production and won't compromise for lower production even though they gain mite resistance

    3. Beginners have very little knowledge of bees to start with and mostly wind up purchasing susceptible genetics

    4. There is a strong perception that all mite resistant bees have serious flaws that prevent use in commercial operations.

    5. For the beekeepers who want to develop mite resistance, there is a huge "not enough time in the day" barrier to doing the hard work involved in soft bond.

    6. Beekeepers like me using mite resistance instead of treatments have few choices for mite resistant queens.

    7. Which brings us back where we started, lots of beekeepers want mite resistant queens but nobody has time and chutzpa to breed them.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    I hope you are wrong on item 2. I personally care little about honey. The act of beekeeping and seeing colonies thrive is exciting enough for me.

    As for item 7, would it help to some extent if some of these busy keepers left a few small hives alone just to promote swarms and drones? That would take no additional time.

  7. #66

    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Dar has a very realistic view on this.

    Item 7, speaking of the old world, there are some who have the chuzpa. Juhani, Alois or Erik or others for sure.
    But the problem of location impact is still there.

    The beginners or the seasoned beekeepers who remember the time before treating and are retired are the open minded ones.

    The tf must become a trend like vegan. Here permaculture ( not necessarily vegan) is a trend just starting with the young generation. After a decade of exploitation in jobs and bad health because of processed food the "work-life balance" is an important topic and "back to nature and downshifting of consumption " a therapy agains stress factors.

    These people donīt want to treat any livestock, but they donīt know what will happen if not.
    To help them and be honest about our experience can open their eyes. The result is a selection of beekeepers who decide their path, hopefully many small beekeepers, mostly urban, mostly newbies, mostly enthusiasts and optimists, to start a new strategy.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    So, you can see my negative attitude about setting up a local, regional, or national breeding program. That doesn't mean I wouldn't try again, but not until a serious, knowledgable, experienced group of queen breeders showed some degree of commitment to the program.

    I'm in the same camp as Michael. I do the best I can, but I've found that I cannot rely upon others in my area to carry their weight. The effort seems to quickly converge to a single person carrying the entire project. I know this because I've done it. Over the past few years, I'm operating solo and doing the best I can to keep a strong line and provide as many queens and cells to my local area ..and work a full-time job. I've mentioned in the past that I would be willing to share stock with other (serious and documented) producers and specifically targeted Squarepeg and Fusion in that offer. SP replied that he's not at the point where he's distributing stock (or something similar - SP forgive my poor memory if I've misrepresented you). My point here is not to call out any one person, but to cast light on difficulty coordinating even local efforts, not to mention developing a larger community. Just so you all know, I'm definitely trying to propagate tolerant bees locally. So far this season I've sold over 80 queen cells from my strongest hives to my local community. I don't have the answer to this quest, but I also believe that casting dispersion on those who buy dependent bees or who treat is really not helpful. Honestly, when I read the opening post I was very hopeful that maybe ***something*** could be discussed to further the cause, but regretfully I see that its the same kind of chatter we find in many of the threads here.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Backyard beekeepers letting their hives die from mites are *not* in any shape or form selectively breeding.
    They are simply re-entering the feral background genetics.
    There is a lot of happy talk about "breeding survivor bees", but this is not what the science indicates what happens. Colony death has multiple causes, and the stochastic, random nature of these deaths overwhelms the survival advantage of a mite resistance strain. The longer the bees stay in a backyard, the more they come to resemble the standard bee.

    Selective breeding requires making consistent selections from hundreds of candidates based on an objective criteria. Backyard breeders basing a selection on what is alive come springtime among their handful of hives are deluding themselves pure and simple. Unfortunately, the internet echo chamber talks up their delusion as if it is cutting edge genetics.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    With the arrival of varroa, feral honey bee populations where I am declined but have now rebounded. This area is not alone. As noted (literally, as in, "footnoted") in "Museum samples reveal rapid evolution by wild honey bees exposed to a novel parasite," A. Mikheyev et al, https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8991 (2015), honey bees faced "massive die-offs" and "crashes coincident with the arrival of V. destructor, followed by periods of recovery" based on "immigration of more resistant bees" and "selection of relic bees". In other words, weak bees died and stronger bees moved in or expanded to take their spot in the buffet line.

    Where I am, selecting survivors for survival from those recovered populations is not too random to be effective. It's more like riding a wave than fighting the tide. Varroa aren't the only cause of colony loss here, but unless the beekeeper is over harvesting honey or monkeying around in the hives rolling queens on a regular basis, varroa is still, if not the sole cause, at least a substantial contributing factor in many hive losses.

    Where many colonies survive and a few die, one may occasionally lose a resistant queen to a non-varroa cause. But compare that to the number of resistant queens that would stochasticly be lost in a highly selective situation where only a few queens out of many are selected for breeding. Were it not for the "virulence" of varroa, I would be more concerned about random survival of weak bees than random collapse of strong ones. As it is though, this is still no country for weak bees when it comes to varroa. As stated in "Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees," by E. Youngsteadt et al., http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0142031, "Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management."
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 05-12-2017 at 11:01 PM.
    David Matlock

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    I was very hopeful that maybe ***something*** could be discussed to further the cause
    Part of the reason I started this thread was to glean out a few beekeepers serious enough to do the job. I have 9 on my list so far. Not all of them have posted in this thread.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Part of the reason I started this thread was to glean out a few beekeepers serious enough to do the job. I have 9 on my list so far. Not all of them have posted in this thread.
    When I first glanced through your post, my mind read it as "None of them have posted in this thread." I thought it was funny.
    David Matlock

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    I don't know if this is serious enough or not. Just doing this task to keep the mite fighting genes going here. And at the same time
    incorporating compatible bees to complement my bee selection. Starting from a small scale at first, if done right, can be expanded
    regionally, one area at a time with similar climate and bee environment. Seeing my strategy work has been an eye opener for me this
    year while designing more complex little bee experiment to learn more. By the way, tackling this mite issue cannot rely on just genetics alone. There are other factors that needed to be address first before you'll have a successful bee operation. They all complement each others so that the bees can live and thrive, locally. Three years into this topic and I'm still learning at the early stage of trying to beat the mite cycles.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Personally I'm just too curious not to explore mite and virus resistance. To not select one way or another, experimenting and trying to find out what success actually looks like would be just going through the motions. Here in BC there are some breeders who take varroa seriously, and some of them are interested in what I'm doing and my small successes. Hopefully long term I can add to the process. Meanwhile the task of understanding why some bees succeed and others don't is ongoing. The more we know, the less we know.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Part of the reason I started this thread was to glean out a few beekeepers serious enough to do the job. I have 9 on my list so far. Not all of them have posted in this thread.
    I would gladly join in but I'm a newbie and don't have any resources to speak of at this time.
    I'd hope to be in a position to join in in the future.

    That said, if there was anyone in my area (or not) that wanted to use my yard and bees as a test bed I'd be willing.

    I plan to re-queen my treated queens anyway.
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    didn't mean to kill the thread back in May but... my offer still stands. I'll gladly buy them from you.
    I have 60 or so drawn out frames. all medium.
    received 20 permacomb frames @ Christmas
    I have a NUC that I won and 1 package coming 3/31 (from www.vidaliabees.com GA) and they are definitely not TF.
    I've got a good bit of wooden-ware
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    I am looking to start a breading program here in central Florida. I produce and sell queens already, but got interested in the genetics side and jumped in with both feet got an II set up went to Purdue for their courses on II. besides varroa we have the wonderfully playful mean bees here..... so I would like to do what the prude guys and the HHBA guys like Dwight are doing down here, the problem I run into is talking genetics and going that that route there are not a lot interested in it, or they don't have time to try.

    would love to be able to swap genetics, breed, do the crosses to have a locally adapted tolerant stock to provide here. but as someone already said it is looking like it is going to be a one man show.......

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by sebashtionh View Post
    I am looking to start a breading program here in central Florida. I produce and sell queens already, but got interested in the genetics side and jumped in with both feet got an II set up went to Purdue for their courses on II. besides varroa we have the wonderfully playful mean bees here..... so I would like to do what the prude guys and the HHBA guys like Dwight are doing down here, the problem I run into is talking genetics and going that that route there are not a lot interested in it, or they don't have time to try.

    would love to be able to swap genetics, breed, do the crosses to have a locally adapted tolerant stock to provide here. but as someone already said it is looking like it is going to be a one man show.......
    I got into ii for the same reason, the genetics. I guess I'm lucky here, but I've found a lot of people interested in it. "filetypedf" on google will be your friend, lots of papers on the subject out there, some great, some oddly bad (eg "drones control the gentleness of the hive" bs).
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    But to take that stock and take it out of his management almost it insures it will fall apart. This has ben going on forever. A beekeeper has stock that has been propagated over many years, and is so good for that beekeeper in his area under his management. The beekeeper passes and the stock is gone. Or it is shipped far and wide but is lost through out-crossing with inferior stock. It has happened so often that the list is way long.

    Aye there is the rub! I have been toying with resistence and buy purportedly resistant stock and isolate them in a wheat desert that is marginal enough beekeeping territory that no commercial beekeeper has found it worth taking away from me.

    Reading Randy Oliver, I see that what I have been doing is absolutely the wrong way to isolate resistance. So I think this years infusion of Bill Carpenters mite biters will probably be my last introduction of new blood. It may be the last year anyone can get Bills stock without buying the operation! He is getting where we are all going and that is inability to ply this trade.

    I am less than a dozen years behind Bill, so as Mr Palmer so ably stated in my quote of him above, It appears any success I may have is headed to the genetic scrap heap. I am surrounded by commercial bees coming in by the tens of thousands of colonies. Starry eyed beginners buying Russians for their supposed wintering abilities and casting swarms that will indeed staple your socks to your legs. I do not bring swarms to my little desert bee hideout for that reason!

    I am just yammering, bottom line is we are doing this for our own edification and fulfillment. Mother nature casts dice by the billions each year and the numbers on ours are not likely to be the ones even counted. Those of you with a 'Holler' full of bee gums full of resistant bees that survived the varroa holocaust sit in the catsbird seat and may indeed count yourself as genius because your grand dad settled there in 1868. The bees that make the difference may indeed come out of your notch but it won't be because of you.

    But its fun trying.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Why haven't we put together groups of beekeepers to breed mite resistant bees?

    If I could add to Aunt Betty's Christmas list, I would ask for regionalized II programs. II programs could eliminate, for at least one generation, the open mating pitfall poised to rain failure on the backyard or sideline beekeeper.

    I envision regional entities manned by volunteers and trained by experts. The volunteers maintain a virgin queen pipeline and get preferred sperm from specialized sources, then do the II. These queens could be affordable and effective in infusing the feral gene pool to produce honey bees that can live with the mites.

    Regional II suppliers could take measured steps in the right direction, as it is now, we are each going in random directions with fits and starts, getting nowhere fast. JMO
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

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