Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF - Page 5
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  1. #81

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    OT, do you remember Bartek, or Bees Of Poland? He tried every "resistant" queen he could have access to but saw no resistance.
    Now he bred from his one survivor and got some local colonies. He is up to 42 hives again.
    I`m glad he is still my friend after the experience on BS. I like to follow his process.
    I would also like to hear how he is doing!

    Only one survived?
    What was the one survivor?
    Where did he get those local colonies, and how many?

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  3. #82
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    SiWolKe I have been a commercial breeder. This thread is about commercial breeders. I sent thousands of bees to both Canada and other countries. I am perfectly placed to comment in this thread.

    My illustrations from the experiences of a highly regarded TF beekeeper who has very much been telling commercial beekeepers what to do without trying it himself, are to illustrate the pitfalls. His own bees all died, but he thinks the ones he has been critisizing, commercial beekeepers, should step in and put it all to rights, just as easy as that.

    Oh and the latest on Sol, he has once again claimed he has recovered from the crash and got up to around 30 hives. Same thing he has said every year for the last several years. He is now running a givealittle page to try to get money. Supposedly for research, but really to buy himself equipment and turn himself into a bigger beekeeper. To me, seems he doesn't need more equipment he needs to keep bees alive. Do that and they are productive, the bees themselves supply the money for increase.

    Anyhow here's the givealittle page, going a bit slow for a person with so many internet friends
    https://www.gofundme.com/smallcell
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 07-15-2017 at 09:57 PM.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #83

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    I would also like to hear how he is doing!

    Only one survived?
    What was the one survivor?
    Where did he get those local colonies, and how many?
    You can follow him here and contact him. I use a translator if I dont write mails.:
    http://pantruten.blogspot.de

    OT, thanks for the link! I did not know about this and will support this with a donation for sure! Love the idea!

  5. #84
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    He is now running a givealittle page to try to get money.Supposedly for research,
    Interesting, to say the least. From that page:

    2. The researchers often had trouble achieving small cell comb at all, sometimes having to resort to plastic comb, which totally destroys any credible comparison with wax comb.
    I thought he was making a case for small cell vs. large cell. Now it's also wax vs. plastic? I do notice he says "comb", not foundation. Who makes the SC comb and is it clear in the studies what brand of sc comb was used?

    Farther down, he states:

    For the users of small cell methods, this study could possibly provide scientific justification for what we have known for years, that hives on small cell foundation seem to suffer less
    Now he's using the term "foundation." The reason I question his use of "plastic comb" is I remember working with Ed and Dee 15 years ago trying to get someone to make sc plastic foundation. Dadant was the first to manufacture it. If plastic is taboo for sc, why did its founders endorse it?
    Last edited by Barry; 07-15-2017 at 06:39 AM.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Everybody knows the bees need some time to adapt to new surroundings.
    "Everybody" doesn't know that. "Locally adapted" is a buzz word among the TF marketing juggernaut. Adaptation, in a genetic sense, doesn't occur in one, or even ten, generations. Populations have huge inertial pressure to retain their species genetics, genetic drift occurs only under very specialized circumstances.

    It is a postulate of Fusion Power that the selective pressure of Varroa exceeds the conservatism of the population to change. However, population genetics are chaotic -- not every beneficial morph survives, and not every poorly adapted genotype perishes -- if the level of chaos in the system exceeds the selective advantage -- nothing happens.

    I maintain that bee colonies chaotically suffer mortality at a rate that exceeds the selection heritability. This conservatism is at the core of the bee breeding system for fitness reasons (and thus is fundamental to the organism).

    It appears that Solomon has abandoned the "Fusion Power" idea that an advantageous lineage needs to be "expanded" and has retreated to the simple and crude expedient of trapping the random swarm to refill his depleted apiary. Collecting random swarms generates random genotypes, and abandons any of the heritable benefits of careful selection.

    Entropy in genetics is much faster than selection. This is the conceptual omission that bedevils much TF theory. If a resistant bee requires the co-ordinated interaction of 20 alleles, and the random loss of one or two disables the capacity, then the bee's resistance submerges into the background on the first or second outbreeding. This is exactly the pattern seen in the empirical research ---- by II or careful selection from thousands of candidates one can develop a "resistant" trait --- but one loses the trait as soon as the bees breed out into a pool of 4 hives in someones backyard.
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 07-15-2017 at 08:55 AM.

  7. #86
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    yet Kefuss had maternal line stable stock. Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree with VHS

    As for SP I am not sure it was the bees failure to adapt to Denver as much as it was his failure to adapt his beekeeping to Colorado and he chewed threw his resources.
    I'm starting to feel like splits shouldn't go into full size hives, maybe I should keep them in nucs for the time being, but I'd have to be out there every week
    the last time I tried to split anything, I did 12 and only got 1 out of the deal
    My attempted splitting of my last remaining all-medium hive resulted in 7 queenless nucs
    pauper splits haven't been working either. Lesson learned. In Arkansas, you could do it, the temperature often stayed above 80 at night, so during late spring, there were never any problems with chilled brood. A tiny split could not only survive, but thrive immediately.
    Put a frame or 2 in fullsized equipment during a denver spring and things arn't going to turn out well , chances of them not dieing is slim, much less razing their own queen . I lost 2 good sized swarms this spring do to a late may snow storm, even tho I put feed on them it wasn't enuf and the starved and froze.

    Flip side
    If a stock is so inbread and weak to the point that a change of location wipes it out, what good is it? How is it any better than treated stock at that point?
    Last edited by msl; 07-15-2017 at 10:58 AM.

  8. #87

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I thought he was making a case for small cell vs. large cell. Now it's also wax vs. plastic? I do notice he says "comb", not foundation.
    IMO
    There is a difference and even a difference with plastic foundations versus wax small cell foundations.

    My experience , or ours, since I follow my friend in this ( four years, only worker brood cells) is that the claim, bees need to "learn" how to build sc on plastic comb, hatching bees are smaller, is not correct. Bees are not even smaller, they are small or bigger depending on how much protein they have in their bodies and this depends on the season and the flow situation.

    They do not "learn" this, its in the genes and depends on race and season and maybe climate zone.
    The carniolans regressed on plastic combs built 4.9- 5.2 in the center of worker brood nests on wax sc foundation.

    My AMM, the original south queen, build big cell, even given an empty frame in the center of worker brood nests. These queen`s ancestors are forced on sc foundations for 20 years, still they built big cell on natural comb.
    If this makes a difference in health I will see. Its just one part of the research I do.

    The carniolan big cell swarm I have built the same cell size, 4.9-5.2, as the bees regressed with plastic comb and kept on sc foundation. I have natural comb and foundation sc in and they are the same.

    The elgons are an exception. They built small cell as natural comb. They had been on small cell wax foundations, Ive got F1 and now F2, they both built sc.

    Its very difficult to do such research because of the environmental circumstances and the seasonal changes. So I need more time.

    Im personally convinced if Sol wants to proof that sc improves the health and that bees build small cell natural comb if you let them, he will fail.
    I believe small cell to be a part of it maybe but its not the golden nugget.

    And that will be the problem with the commercial beekeepers. If small cell makes bees resistant, they would be convinced to use small cell and go tf. But sc is not enough and beekeeping methods will not change.

    But I support such research because I find it very helpful to end the controversy.
    Last edited by 1102009; 07-15-2017 at 12:35 PM.

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    If a stock is so inbread and weak to the point that a change of location wipes it out, what good is it? How is it any better than treated stock at that point?
    All beekeeping is local. The reason we have geographically adapted races of bees today is because the bees adapt to the region they live in. I would still generally agree with you that any bee that is going to be hyped as mite resistant needs to be resistant in multiple climatic regions.

    JWC is back with the standard fare of pseudo-genetic jingoism. It must be galling that SquarePeg, myself, and plenty of others stand as direct counter examples of his raison d'tre. JWC, when I went treatment free in 2005, the bees in this area were clearly susceptible to mites. I caught swarms in 2004 that went down to mites in 2005. What changed? I got enough mite resistant genetics into my apiary to push swarms into the local area. I estimate 50 to 70 swarms deliberately let go feral in 2006 and 2008. Those feral swarms made a buffer between the susceptible bees and my mite resistant bees. Now I don't have to worry about mites. If I catch a feral swarm, they are always mite resistant. How do you explain Kefuss' results? His methods are counter to your postulate that micro sampling is required to make progress with breeding.

    Solomon Parker's reference to plastic combs is aimed at Seeley's attempt to compare survival of bees on small cell vs large cell by establishing comparison apiaries. Seeley had difficulty getting the bees to accept small cell wax foundation and eventually resorted to Mann Lake PF120's to do his study (Edit: as noted below, it was Honey Super Cell fully drawn frames, not PF120's). There was a lot of discussion here about the relevance of doing a comparison study under controlled conditions when the material at the base of the study was not identical. While I generally agree that bees on wax foundation do not behave the same as bees on plastic, I do not see reason to throw out the study. I ran small cell for 10 years side by side with large cell and found no difference in survival of my bees. There was a significant problem with bees re-working the 4.9 cells to larger sizes, especially into drone size. This also occurs with 5.4 cells, but not to the same degree. The effect of small cell on mite resistance is indirect by permitting the bees to out-breed the mites in early spring. The numbers I have are that 5.1 cells speed up spring expansion by 8 percent, 4.9 cells by 17 percent, and 1 1/4 inch frame spacing gives another 10% which combined gives 29 percent faster spring buildup. Since I am using 5.1 cells with 1 1/4 frames, I get 19% faster buildup. Do some due diligence, this will stand up to rigorous tests. What Seeley was missing was bees with genetic resistance to mites. Had he performed his study with mite resistant bees in an area that was saturated with mite resistant feral colonies, the results would have been equally disruptive.

    I maintain that bee colonies chaotically suffer mortality at a rate that exceeds the selection heritability. This conservatism is at the core of the bee breeding system for fitness reasons (and thus is fundamental to the organism).
    This is one of those erudite sayings that does not stand up to scrutiny. Selection pressure over time overrides reversion to mean. If mites continually kill off susceptible bees so that they do not reproduce, then a time will come when the only bees left are mite resistant. Data from South Africa shows that it works. SA did not go on a massive treat the bees program for mites. After three years, the susceptible bees were gone. Now their bees are all genetically resistant to mites. I am not saying this would work the same way in the U.S. Our bees are not the same as the bees in SA where Scutellata and Capensis dominate the genetics.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 07-15-2017 at 03:20 PM.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #89

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Seeley had difficulty getting the bees to accept small cell wax foundation and eventually resorted to Mann Lake PF120's to do his study.
    It was honey super cell, I believe. Not only plastic but the cells are actually molded drawn.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #90

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    The effect of small cell on mite resistance is indirect by permitting the bees to out-breed the mites in early spring. The numbers I have are that 5.1 cells speed up spring expansion by 8 percent, 4.9 cells by 17 percent, and 1 1/4 inch frame spacing gives another 10% which combined gives 29 percent faster spring buildup. Since I am using 5.1 cells with 1 1/4 frames, I get 19% faster buildup. Do some due diligence, this will stand up to rigorous tests.
    If Im reading this rightyou are stating that using smaller cell sizes to 4.9 or 5.1 and increases the number of brood reared? Youre saying that the lower cell sizes allow the queen to lay more eggs each day by as much as 17% and by reducing frame spacing she will be able to lay an additional 10%? For example a queen who is capable of laying 1500 eggs per day on conventional foundation would lay 1900 eggs on 4.9 with 1.25in frames? And you are saying that youve actually measured this?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  12. #91
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Other problem with Sol's "study" is he has already stated what he believes the results will be. And we know what happens when studies are run by people who already have a bias, they tend to get the reults they are wanting.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #92
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    The carniolan big cell swarm I have built the same cell size, 4.9-5.2, as the bees regressed with plastic comb and kept on sc foundation. I have natural comb and foundation sc in and they are the same.
    Hi Sybille -

    This may sound picky, but there is a big difference between comb and foundation. You say "plastic comb." Do you mean wax comb built on plastic foundation or actual plastic comb?
    Regards, Barry

  14. #93
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    If I’m reading this right…you are stating that using smaller cell sizes to 4.9 or 5.1 and increases the number of brood reared?
    The spring cluster can only cover so much brood whether in 5.4 cells or in 4.9 cells. Buildup is faster because the cluster can cover more cells of 4.9 for a given size cluster. This permits the queen to lay more eggs up to her max capacity. The result is a colony that hits peak population in 7 or 8 weeks vs 10 to 12 weeks on regular combs.

    Dadant understood this effect though I don't think he figured out why it exists. He set comb spacing at 1.5 inches because it reduces swarming. The reason it reduces swarming is because the cluster on 1.5 inch frames can't cover as much brood as the same cluster on frames with 1 3/8 or 1 1/4 spacing. Bees at 1.5 inch spacing build up slower and therefore are less likely to swarm because their peak population occurs after the main flow has started.

    Since I am using 1 1/4 spacing and 5.1 foundation, I have the opposite problem to deal with. Buildup starts about the 1st of February. By the end of March, my bees have hit peak population.... 3 weeks before the main flow. Therefore I have to take extra steps to control swarming, usually by pulling a 3 frame nuc from the strongest hives.

    Yes I have tested this and yes I have proven that it works. I did so by running colonies side by side on 1 1/4 frames and on 1 3/8 frames starting in 1977. I put a bunch of colonies on small cell in 2005 and compared small vs large cell in narrow frames and in regular Langstroth 1 3/8 frames for 10 years. The results are very clear and very obvious. With narrow frames and small cell, I have to pull nucs by the 25th of March to keep my bees out of the trees. With 1 3/8 frames and 5.4 cells, I can be lazy and wait until mid April to pull nucs.

    So yes, narrow frames and small cell speed up spring buildup but it also speeds up swarming which totally wipes out the benefits if swarm control is not practiced.


    I dug out this quote from Seeley's paper. You are correct that it was honey super cell.
    the other package in each pair was installed in a hive containing frames of small-cell comb built of plastic (Honey Super Cell, Westmorland, CA,USA). (Note: We used plastic combs to be certain that the colonies that received the small-cell treatment had only small cells in their combs.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 07-15-2017 at 03:19 PM.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  15. #94

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    The results are very clear and very obvious. With narrow frames and small cell, I have to pull nucs by the 25th of March to keep my bees out of the trees. With 1 3/8 frames and 5.4 cells, I can be lazy and wait until mid April to pull nucs.
    Its one thing to make generalized observations and express opinions such as this.
    Its entirely another to assign it specific numbers in an attempt to lend credibility to your opinon.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  16. #95
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    It has been claimed that running brood frames wider (9 per box) slows swarming considerably.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  17. #96

    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It has been claimed that running brood frames wider (9 per box) slows swarming considerably.
    And it may do so.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #97
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    In my experience, mite treatment free beekeeping is a very site specific condition. I tried it for 4 years. I lost over half my bees every winter.

    I started with the same genetic line that squarepeg has. I bought queens from Carpenter, I bought 2 queens last year from Fusion Powers line, and I bought 5 queens from Frost. All TF beekeepers. I've raised queens from at least one queen from every source I got them from. I can maintain TF status until I raise my own queens. When I raise them and open mate them here, maybe one out of 5 will survive without mite treatments.

    That's not anecdotal evidence, that's just the way it is. After dealing with AFB this spring which sucked, I have had a great bee year. My bees have been very productive as I'm sure most in the area have been. After getting down to 7 hives post AFB burn, I have built back to 24 hives now and I have been very deliberate in my splitting process. I have not pushed to split as I have in the past. My bees are doing well and I am minimally treating for mites. I have not treated for mites since this past winter, when I used OAV during a broodless period. I have hives that had counts in the 3-4 range 3 months ago that are still doing well. That's one plus of using the stock that others have been successfully treatment free with. My bees will handle a higher mite load than others or at least they handle more mites than I read about without crashing. They will still crash, but it takes a higher mite load to do it. I intend to do an OAV treatment this summer, if they take a brood break. I WILL treat before fall buildup and I am going to treat every hive before mid August. Unless something changes I will have to do a treatment with brood in the hives. Abundant brood. I am uncertain of what I will use.

    I think there is a better way to approach finding a commerically viable true TF bee than by letting bees die, or by bankrupting commercial beeks. I think finding bees that already survive with minimal treatments will be easier than finding bees that can survive in any locale with no treatments. Once bees are found that can survive in multiple locations with minimal treatments, then take those bees and find the ones that can survive in multiple locations with no treatments.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  19. #98
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Brad, IIRC, you have another beekeeper less than 2 miles away with a large apiary of treated bees. That is bound to have an effect.

    We are getting a brood break now. One of my colonies was hauling larvae out and dumping them this morning.

    Your way of splitting is more pragmatic. It is close to the method I am using except that my focus is on producing strong nucs for winter. I suggest not splitting any more for now. Bees will rob out any weak nucs until the fall flow starts.

    It’s one thing to make generalized observations and express opinions such as this. It’s entirely another to assign it specific numbers in an attempt to lend credibility to your opinon.
    It will stand up to scrutiny. Put it under a microscope and test to your heart's content. Look back at my post history. You will find when I started having to control swarming. I don't have to "lend credibility". The results speak for themselves.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  20. #99
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Yes, within a few miles. Treats prophylactically for mites and with antibiotics.

    I checked 12 nucs today and added a 2nd 5 frame box on top of each. These were splits started around a month ago. Right around the first of June.
    If they had more stores in the nucs I think all of them would be in swarm mode. They are packed with bees. I had replaced a frame in 3 of them last weekend. I put in a frame of foundation. Those were all completely drawn out and contained larvae, nectar and pollen. So here they are still drawing comb, have capped drone brood and have worker brood in various stages from one wall to the other. At least all those nucs did. I have not checked a large hive lately. We still have hundreds of acres around with white clover in bloom. There's one pasture about 1/2 mile up the road that has so much clover blooming the whole pasture looks white. All this rain has really made for a weird year here.

    I was very surprised to see those frames of drawn comb. I know I haven't been doing this for 5 years, but this is by far the latest in the year, by a good 4 weeks, that I have had comb being drawn without feeding.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  21. #100
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    Default Re: Randy Olivers call for breeders to go TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    After dealing with AFB this spring which sucked, I have had a great bee year. My bees have been very productive as I'm sure most in the area have been. After getting down to 7 hives post AFB burn, I have built back to 24 hives now and I have been very deliberate in my splitting process.
    Just that achievement is great evidence you are on the right track.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Yes, within a few miles. Treats prophylactically for mites and with antibiotics.
    With antibiotics? My understanding is prophylatic treatment with antibiotics is most often used by outfits contaminated by AFB. Could maybe explain what happened to you.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

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