Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied
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  1. #1

    Default Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Another study from the Nordic countries, besides Gotland research, that grooming or VSH plays play no role in varroa resistance when natural selection has been used. This study also ruled our brood volatiles as the explaining factor by putting only susceptible brood in the tested colonies.

    Beekeeper in Ostlandet Norway has been treatment free since 1997, 19 years. In the beginning big losses, but last 10 years losses below region average.

    Peter Neumann is propably the most respected bee researcher in Europe.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied


  4. #3

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    I find this study most interesting:

    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep27210

    Our counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can benefit the superorganism, which goes against the common assumption that ‘strong’ elements of a social entity are required to ensure group survival. We here show that ‘weak’ elements can contribute to the strength of a social ensemble. This provides empirical support to theories on the adaptive value of suicide or high death rate in social insects25,26, thereby constituting a social analogue of apoptosis, a mechanism preventing the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism27,28. Given the high number of individuals in a honey bee colony, some individuals can be (and are commonly) sacrificed without compromising the survival of the group29 and even promote colony survival by hindering further infestations30. Such altruistic suicide of immature individuals is a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Irrespective of the actual pathogen, the observed social apoptosis is most likely a fundamental defence mechanism of social insect colonies to combat diseases.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Problem with VSH is it is something that humans can identify, and even put a number on, such as 60%, 80%, or whatever. So breeding programs have gone down the track of attempting to improve VSH. Other traits, that may come more to the fore in natural breeding, are not identifyable or easily quantified, so are not used so much in human run breeding programs.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #5

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    I forgot the link!

    https://peerj.com/preprints/2976.pdf

    In conclusion, our data support that a reduced V. destructor mite reproductive success seems to
    be a key factor for natural colony survival. However, grooming and VSH are unlikely for this
    Norwegian case. Instead, yet unidentified behavioral traits of work bees seem sufficient to
    explain reduced mite reproductive success. Therefore, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive
    and should be a focus of future studies taking advantage of naturally selected survivors.
    This Norwegian honey bee population, taken together with previously reported independent
    cases (Locke 2016), clearly show that European honey bee subspecies can indeed develop traits
    to overcome extreme V. destructor infestations by means of natural selection. It is therefore high
    time we take advantage of these cases and gain a better understanding of natural host adaptations
    (Fries and Bommarco, 2007) for a practical application in apiculture and honey bee conservation
    worldwide.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    great info. many thanks juhani and sibylle. looking forward to giving this a thorough reading soon.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Thanks for the link. I was wondering about that but thought maybe it wasn't accessible or something.
    Perhaps they need to look at the brood death as described in the article SiWolke posted.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    In a sence it is no wonder something like this is found in Norway. From the web site of Norwegian Beekeepers Association:
    "Norway is perhaps the only country where Varroa destructor is battled exclusively by biotechnical methods and organic acids. The work of NB has been crucial to avoid the use of pesticides for varroa treatment. Parts of the country are still free of Varroa due to restrictions on movements of colonies from infested areas to uninfested areas."


    I wonder if there are anyone form Norway in BS. I´m curious to know who is this beekeeper in Norway? Why has nobody heard or written anything about his work before, has been TF since 1997!

    Hans-Otto Johnsens work is familiar to me, but he writes: "I saw the first Varroa mite in my operation in 1997. I tried different methods available, but soon came to use only what is contained in my description further down." I haven´t heard anything of him either for ages.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post

    I wonder if there are anyone form Norway in BS. I´m curious to know who is this beekeeper in Norway? Why has nobody heard or written anything about his work before, has been TF since 1997!

    Hans-Otto Johnsens work is familiar to me, but he writes: "I saw the first Varroa mite in my operation in 1997. I tried different methods available, but soon came to use only what is contained in my description further down." I haven´t heard anything of him either for ages.
    Erik posted this about him last year:

    Today Hans-Otto has research money from the Department of Agriculture in Norway.

    Resistant stock

    He developed his bees in quite isolated areas, but not totally isolated, so sometimes the bees were mated to carniolans, buckfasts and the native brown bee (Mellifera mellifera). He also worked together with Terje Reinertsen, another Norwegian beekeeper, very similar to him when it comes to beekeeping. They exchanged breeding material. Both of them have discovered that their bees teach other bees how to get rid of mites. It seems this ability to teach new bees is very important knowledge when developing a Varroa resistant stock.

    Today Hans-Otto hasn’t treated his bees for 15 years. The levels of mites are normally very low in his and Terje’s colonies and he never sees any wingless bees. In 2014 the bees of Terje were tested for Varroa levels by the Norwegian Beekeeping Association in preparation for planned research. (Birøkteren, vol 131, 2015(1), pages 13 and 24. The Bee Journal of the Norwegian Beekeepers Association.) The levels were so low it was difficult to calculate the reproduction rate.

    When Hans-Otto moves his bees to the heather in late summer, for producing heather honey, his bees quickly pick up quite some mites. The natural downfall of mites will then be higher until about a month before the frost will make the bees form winter cluster. Then the downfall is almost zero again.
    Seems like he uses elgon stock now. It could be him who is involved. I will ask Erik what happens in the north.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    It could be him who is involved.
    If Johnsen had been TF 2016 for 15 years, that brings us back to year 2001.

    In the study there is clearly said the beekeeper has not treated since 1997. It looks the study is not done with bees.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    The interesting tangle in this web is that he has some A.M.mellifera in his stock. That is the same basic source as my bees though it is possible the traits that are important for reduced mite loads come from other races.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  13. #12

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Erik posted this about him last year:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    The interesting tangle in this web ...
    Could you give a link to this (web)?
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 10-17-2017 at 12:49 PM.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    I sent the link to Erik and he wants to contact Hans-Otto and will give me the true story when he has spoken to him.
    His reaction was that there was something seriously wrong with that study.
    I will update.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    It is hard to isolate which hive has the ability to teach other
    bees their mite fighting traits. Finding them is like finding a needle in a
    big ocean. Need to find some variable in the hives with keen observation for that.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #15

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    I sent the link to Erik and he wants to contact Hans-Otto and will give me the true story when he has spoken to him.
    His reaction was that there was something seriously wrong with that study.
    I will update.
    Ok...interesting...we´ll wait for that.

    I wrote to my friend who has in Finland maybe the best contact network in beekeeping.
    He is doing some research.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 10-17-2017 at 10:29 PM.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Here are the facts:

    http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=1036

    Guess who the breeder is....
    Last edited by 1102009; 10-18-2017 at 01:00 PM. Reason: speech and meaning

  18. #17

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    So Erik is sure the beekeeper of the study is Hans-Otto Johnsen, although there is contradictory information (about the TF years)?

    I don´t understand this sentance in Eriks writing: "This has also not been a defensive campaign for its bees for many years."

    Does he mean that there has been some sort of campaign against his bees or not?
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 10-18-2017 at 08:17 PM.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    I asked Erik to clarify. Update is coming.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Erik is not at home right now but will correct the spelling and informations in his blog post the moment he is.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping in Norway scientifically studied

    Erik corrected the blog post.

    Juhani,
    He ( and I) is wondering why you do not try to contact Hans-Otto yourself if you want the informations.
    I wrote to my friend who has in Finland maybe the best contact network in beekeeping.
    I would like to know who he is to inform Erik. Why always talking behind backs? Is it still the small cells?

    I can´t believe you all in scandinavia are not co-workers having the same goal, treatment free bees.

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