treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread - Page 25
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  1. #481
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I agree with Oldtimer. We also have found that it takes a OAV treatment every 3-4 days for 3 weeks to make the mite populations drop down where they need to be. Very laborious on hundreds of colonies or more.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

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  3. #482
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I also agree - that if you are starting from a position where there are 400+ mites in the colony to begin with, then it is like pushing a boulder uphill to get the mite levels down. But what if you only had 10-20 mites in the colony in January? Try it out....

    As for the 2 occasions where I have seen deadouts, examined them for mite frass, and had alcohol wash info on them from the fall, here are some numbers.
    Deadout 2016: 2/300 in Sept, saw them go robbing on a fly day Nov 1, dead by Jan, incredible numbers of mites in the hive. One was on the queen. Minimal (2%) of cells in brood comb had mite frass.
    Deadout 2018: 9/300 in Sept, 60+/300 in Dec. Again minimal mite frass - it was hard to find.

    More info about mite frass (never just take some poster's word for it):
    https://articles.extension.org/pages...uctive-biology
    https://www.beeculture.com/a-closer-...-reproduction/
    https://beeinformed.org/2018/07/24/2...180402_143955/
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/tag/...in-california/ - scroll down a lot here
    http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/...arroa_mite.htm lots of words, if you like that kind of thing.

    I played with the randy oliver mite model - available here: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/randys-varroa-model/
    THis is an elaborate calculator where you can set a starting point for number of mites in the hive, set the kind of region and how mite resistant the bees are, and see how the number of mites changes over the year. And of course what you would see with an alcohol wash (or your mite drop).

    With this Excel model (you have to download it and make friends with it; worth paying for a class in Excel to do so), it is clear that even if the colony had 9/300 in Sept, there is no way to get past 30 or so by Dec. Well, I had to change the "hive died" setting to see that, but it's worth playing with!

    Anyways, I would ask all with deadouts this winter to do 2 things: 1) alcohol wash on the dead bees. It's not the same as a mite count when they are alive, because the mites preferentially stay on live bees, and they probably don't distribute evenly once most of the bees are dead. And 2) look for mite frass on the combs that are in the center of the hive, where the bees were hanging out. Count a 7x7 grid, count how many with mite frass, multiply by 2: that's the percent of brood infected with mites from the round that generated the winter bees.

    Those 2 postmortem skills have resulted in this past year having 0% mortality over winter, and currently mite levels with alcohol wash are at 0/300. I have 6 full strength hives, with substantial capped brood, that has had time to emerge (and get re-laid in, and then capped...).

    So. Clean slate approach. If you get a broodless period, try it!

  4. #483
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    try it!
    Up your dosing schedule drastically. Try that!
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #484
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Agree also that in theory anyway, non treatment should favor less viralent diseases, and treatment plus management favour more viralent.
    For what it is worth, my 'day job' is working in the design/construction of commercial and institutional facilities. As part of this, I try to stay abreast of the construction-related trends emerging in various industries.

    On thing germane to this discussion is that hospital infectious control is beginning to really consider how, "Antibiotic resistance can develop when bacteria undergo genetic changes promoted by the environment." https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsl...stant_superbug

    As such, some of the tenants the healthcare community is beginning to recognize:

    "Bacterial genetics. To survive and reproduce, microbes must adapt to their environment. When that includes an antibiotic, a bacterium is more likely to survive if it undergoes a genetic mutation that helps it resist the drug. (Such a mutation is said to be "selected for.") Some mutations make enzymes that deactivate the antibiotic; others eliminate the site where the antibiotic would normally enter the cell; still others cause the bacteria to pump out the antibiotic before it can do any harm. These genes are passed on as the bacteria multiply, quickly establishing an entire population that is resistant to that drug.

    Medical practices. By killing some bacteria, antibiotics can promote the growth of other, drug-resistant ones, that is, the ones that have developed genetic mutations. The process speeds up if doctors prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily — for example, giving them to patients who have viral illnesses such as colds and the flu, for which they are ineffective. And critically ill hospital patients often receive multiple antibiotics; this increases the survival odds of the most resistant bacteria, which may then be transferred among patients in close quarters.

    Agricultural practices. More than half of the antibiotics produced in the United States are used in agriculture. Some are mixed into animal feed to prevent the spread of disease and promote growth. This can cause resistant strains of bacteria to develop and be passed to people who eat undercooked meat or raw eggs. Antibiotics sprayed on fruit trees may lead to selection of resistant bacteria. Residues left on unwashed fruits may eradicate some of the good bacteria in our intestinal tracts and select for more virulent strains."


    This idea of beneficial colonization seems to be becoming more embraced in both the medical and agricultural/horticultural industries:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4402713/

    I recall reading the following article where the author relates:

    "This is why more than one microbiologist concerned about these super-infections has mused (only partly tongue in cheek) that the best thing to happen in major hospitals might be to dump truckloads of germ-laden dirt into the corridors, rather than keep on applying more and more chemicals in a never-ending ‘arms race’ against the bacteria. In other words, stop using the antibiotics (which of course is hardly feasible), and all this ‘evolution’ will reverse itself, as the bacterial populations shift back again to favour the more hardy, less resistant varieties."

    https://creation.com/superbugs-not-super-after-all

  6. #485
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    The "fixed idea" that diseases will naturally evolve to "less virulent" forms is a fundamental error.

    Dr. Stephen Martin has shown, in the case of DWV transmitted by Varroa, the **exact opposite*** is true. In horizontally transmitted diseases, the inertia in the system is to evolve to **more virulent** forms.

    Human Cholera is a horizontally transmitted disease, par excellence, and research paper on the outbreak in Haiti demonstrate that the most virulent form was evolutionarily selected on that island.

    I work, professionally, on rare plant evolution and extinction. The idea that "nature returns to balance" is called the "peaceable kingdom" fallacy after the famous 18th century depictions of a supposed return to the Garden of Eden.

    The sooner this treatment-free crowd dissuades itself of the notion that "everything returns to the Garden", the sooner it will be able to get on with successful beekeeping.

  7. #486
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Hi JWChesnut, your comment "The sooner this treatment-free crowd dissuades itself of the notion that "everything returns to the Garden", the sooner it will be able to get on with successful beekeeping."

    If your belief it to "treat" as the treatment free crowd has it wrong, How do you dismiss the fact that as different treatments are being used for Varroa the bug is getting immune to them and getting stronger? Since you reference the Human disease, here we are talking about the treatment resistant STREP/STAFF type situation. Also the ample evidence in northern Europe where treatment is not used has shown great strides in getting bees past Varroa.

    And my other mental delimea is for 100,000 + years the bees were not treated and they survived, Now as we are "treating" them we have issues.
    Is it your opinion if Humans were to be "wiped out" Say by Cholera, the bees and the anamials we are now treating would die out? I can understand your stance, I respectfully do Disagree. IMO what we have created is a "strain" of bees needing drugs to stay alive, Hopefully in the "Garden" there are strains not messed with yet by Humans.

    As well do the upper great Lakes region have a Peaceable Kingdom? It was scraped into Ohio 2 times by Glaciers so Nature will reclaim areas if allowed
    GG

  8. #487
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    ....
    I work, professionally, on rare plant evolution and extinction.
    .
    Then I am curious - what is fundamental difference between successful species that colonized the entire planet along with the human species (e.g. Norway rats, English sparrows, European starlings, Honey bees, Canada Thistle, etc) and not so successful species (not successful - due to the species's own properties, NOT the direct human impact)?

    No difference at all?

    Sounds like you just equated them ALL and state "there is no difference".

    Meanwhile, the "successful" species continue to spread (no matter how much resources are spent into eradicating them).
    At the same time, the fragile "unsuccessful" species will be trampled in and fade away (no matter how much resources will be spent to save and prop them up).
    There are few exceptions (few sexy mammals and few others are saved, just for the now) - otherwise, we are loosing XXXX distinct species annually.

    Just one hint of many - how about generalists vs. specialists?

    Lucky for the Honey bee - it is on the "successful" species list.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-24-2019 at 10:38 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #488
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    One important characteristic of the genus Apis to remember is that it is a microscopic branch of the order Hymenoptera. True social insects are exceptionally rare, and have no evolutionary history of diversification. In evolutionary terms, "social insects gathering nectar" is a dead-end, a box the bees will never climb out of. An experiment that never produced a vast array of forms.

    This is the sine-qua-non of honeybees, the genus Apis haven't diversified because their success **requires** them not to. They are generalists, and if they began evolving into different forms, their ability to "encourage" flowers to remain "general" would be lost. They would become just another specialist pollinator (a la Orchid bees) that is entirely dependent on the uncertain fate of single plant species.

    Treatment free ideology is rooted in the idea that humans can force bees to "evolve" in a single season. This is utter madness.

  10. #489
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    One important characteristic of the genus Apis to remember is that it is a microscopic branch of the order Hymenoptera. True social insects are exceptionally rare, and have no evolutionary history of diversification. In evolutionary terms, "social insects gathering nectar" is a dead-end, a box the bees will never climb out of. An experiment that never produced a vast array of forms.

    This is the sine-qua-non of honeybees, the genus Apis haven't diversified because their success **requires** them not to. They are generalists, and if they began evolving into different forms, their ability to "encourage" flowers to remain "general" would be lost. They would become just another specialist pollinator (a la Orchid bees) that is entirely dependent on the uncertain fate of single plant species.

    Treatment free ideology is rooted in the idea that humans can force bees to "evolve" in a single season. This is utter madness.

    Microscopic - in terms of formal genera definition (a tool invented by the humans trying to approximately describe what is going on - as if things are static in place and time).
    Very large - in terms of numbers of distinct specimens spread across large and distinct territories.
    This is a significant point.
    Large number of specimens spread across various eco-systems always diverging into new distinct populations and sub-species and new species and on

    No one is here saying - a single season evolution.
    No one is even saying - evolution.
    What?
    Who said this?
    Back to this E-word again.

    The big E is not even required.
    There is plenty of generic survival mechanisms built-in into the current Honey bees species as we speak.
    Just use what is present - here and now - takes some short-term weeding out in some places (by removal of artificial propping) - in other places, the weeding part has been done already and over with.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #490
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    I don't permit myself to engage in endless online debates. So I will end it here.
    Selection of traits **is** evolutionary change. The important perspective to notice, is bees are loathe to form new species. This is a marked contrast to other successful lineages. Practically, this means the selection of lineages submerge themselves back into the general population of bees rapidly. Change doesn't come quickly to honeybees, and the reason is intrinsic to the habit of the bee.

  12. #491
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Treatment free ideology is rooted in the idea that humans can force bees to "evolve" in a single season. This is utter madness.
    Change occurs incrementally with honeybees. It is not in a single season, but in less than 30 generations. Your statements ignore that honeybees are under extremely strong selective pressure from diseases and pests. Strong selective pressure will cause one of two things to happen. Either the genetics will change or the honeybee will go extinct. Since my bees are very much alive and very much untreated for varroa for the last 14 years, I submit that the genetics must have changed. Couch this from knowing that I lost every colony I had in 1993 when varroa first hit.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  13. #492
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    .......Since my bees are very much alive and very much untreated for varroa for the last 14 years, I submit that the genetics must have changed. Couch this from knowing that I lost every colony I had in 1993 when varroa first hit.
    FP, apparently your case does not exist.
    Not to some people.

    I don't know.
    It does exist to me.

    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #493
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    I have been beekeeping for about 12 years. In that time no one has demonstrated a reliable/replicable line of Varroa-proof bees. They have not come to market, and anyone I know who runs treatment free actually practices a host of management techniques that I would call treatments (brood breaks, the IPM strategies, frequent splitting to reduce mite load per colony, boosting small colonies with purchased bees). My TF aquaintances call this success in spite of high annual losses and poor honey harvests.

    Our area is bee-dense and hosts mobile pollination bees in spring. Running treatment free here results in dead colonies within two years...yes, some limp through their first year but crash in their second. Maybe those who are isolated and not constantly reinfested via drift bees and/or robbing can, once they get their mite population eradicated, run treatment free. But in our locale, with lots of bees around, with our limited honey flows and cold winters, no way.

    There is a lot of misinformed, self serving warping of genetic theory out there amongst the proponents of letting bees die from Varroasis. They gloss over the fact that bees thrived for centuries, even in the New World where they were introduced in pilgrim days, perfectly fit until we accidentally infested them with Varroa.

    There is nothing wrong or weak in the bee genome. But it is not designed to deal with Varroa. Mercifully some great tech is now coming online that can deal with the Varroa (rather than the bee genome)...gene silencing and gene editing will, I think, ultimately be the answer. Ditto for small hive beetle.

    Until then, vigilance and treatments with the relatively non toxic organic acids. Treatment allows my bees to stay healthy, which locally means reliable honey harvests, and increase. In a decent year I can double my apiary. In anything like a good year I can triple. And get a good honey harvest.

  15. #494

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    https://naturebees.wordpress.com/201...je-reinertsen/

    Scientificlly proven varroa resistant bees, arisen with free mating.

  16. #495
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    There is nothing wrong or weak in the bee genome. But it is not designed to deal with Varroa.

    i share the view with others that the bees have likely encountered similar threats over the millennia and very likely encoded in the genome are the defenses necessary to deal with varroa. that we see documented populations co-existing with varroa supports that view.

    the evolution of the viruses is another matter, and the evolution of beekeeping practices is yet another. randy oliver makes the case very well that our practices are contributing as much or more to the problem than anything in nature.

    selection for traits on the broad scale is geared toward fecundity and production, which favors the varroa/virus complex. this along with very high hive densities makes it almost impossible to let adaption for resistance play out in the managed bee population.

    not really very different in practice than with chickens, pigs, and cows which also need to be treated against pests and diseases when crowded in together for production's sake.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #496
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    EFB is classically considered a disease that manifests itself in weak and compromised hives, and often resolves spontaneously when hive nutrition improves and the underlying cause of the weakness is controlled.

    When an apiary succumbs to EFB, my first assumption is the colonies have been weakened and compromised by the typical Varroa associated insults.

    Folk that are vociferous that they have 'magic bees' often lose whole apiaries, like Solomon Parker did in the fall of 2018. All those years of "resistance breeding" are down the tubes.

  18. #497
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    i share the view with others that the bees have likely encountered similar threats over the millennia and very likely encoded in the genome are the defenses necessary to deal with varroa.
    The problem is we/they are hijacking behaviors for outher pests.. VSH comes from hygienic behavior witch targets baticra and grooming likely comes from the bee louse.
    3 of Dr. Keith Delaplane's lectures from the July Texas Beekeepers Association meeting can be found here
    https://vimeo.com/344216049
    He covers a lot of good stuff about why its been so hard and why progress has bee so slow compared to other trait's and pests.. Ie our bees (in the past) had contact with SHB, had contact with tracheal mites etc. and why its so easy to select for temperament and honey production vs other traits.....

    and there is a lot of good general info on the realitys of selection and breeding, in plane language. I highly sujest it for anyone who is serious about shifting traits in their stock

  19. #498
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I am trying to be TF (treatment free). I am using treatments so that I can place an early order for TF queens, and have hives to put them in next year. TF bees are hard to buy. Swarms are rare. They should be considered for breeding.
    Assuming that we cannot get affordable, sustainable bees from a similar hardiness zone, us beginners should treat. This gives us time and resources to obtain and breed local TF. Treatments should be few and thorough. Once TF, I will still have a mite threshold. If met, I'm willing to selectively treat that year.

    Preventing the sudden fall disappearance: I'm treating hives with high mites and DWV bees right before they make winter bees. I will treat during the winter broodless time.

    Queens should be bred from low mite untreated hives. Excluders can contain bad drones so they don't mate. Beekeeping is difficult. Making queens is easy. Obtain and breed good bees before going treatment free.

    Threads:
    OAV treating: I use a $9 immersion heater.
    going TF
    David Smolinski USDA hardiness zone 6b

  20. #499
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i share the view with others that the bees have likely encountered similar threats over the millennia and very likely encoded in the genome are the defenses necessary to deal with varroa......
    +1

    As I stated my view - bees are a successful generalist species.
    One attribute of good generalist species - they develop generic ways to deal with generic parasites/infections (not creating very special ways to handle every special parasite/infection).
    While the generic methods may be less efficient in short term and the situation may even appear as a disaster - in the long term the generic methods work very well despite short-term set backs.
    Very basic swarming/absconding is a very generic and yet effective tool as one example of these (the proverbial sledge hammer that gets the job done, despite of not doing gracefully maybe).

    Sky is not falling.
    The real issue is - human consumerism and desire for immediate satisfaction with the least possible effort (I want the magic fix right here and right now - now give it to me!).
    Whatever....
    Last edited by GregV; 07-27-2019 at 12:15 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #500
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    When an apiary succumbs to EFB, my first assumption is the colonies have been weakened and compromised by the typical Varroa associated insults.
    see:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...97#post1744397
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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