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  1. #321
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    LJ
    A question about something which continues to puzzle me: why have mites been singled out as a special case for the 'Treatment-Free' approach ? Just curious to know why the same laissez-faire and/or survivor strategies are not being extended to the Foul Brood diseases and the Small Hive Beetle problem.
    Why try and make this case? Allowing the bees to adjust to other things has been done. Tracheal mite and chalk brood are done with queen changes as well as EFB and strong hives and full sun help with hive beetle. Many have handled these types of problems with out treating with chemicals and I see the point you are trying to make but varroa is not the only thing bees are being allowed to handle by some.

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #322
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    A question about something which continues to puzzle me: why have mites been singled out as a special case for the 'Treatment-Free' approach ?......LJ
    But maybe not LJ.

    Some smart people pretend to understand something (to only find out sooner or later they were partially or totally wrong; over and over and over again.... we even talking of some fundamental physics here, not just some mite).

    I say - toss all of that speculation out the window.
    For all practical purposes, use the black-box approach and call it done.
    Academics can continue digging - that's their paycheck.

    The only definitive way forward is to keep those that survive; let everyone else die off (for any old reason).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #323

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    A question about something which continues to puzzle me: why have mites been singled out as a special case for the 'Treatment-Free' approach ? Just curious to know why the same laissez-faire and/or survivor strategies are not being extended to the Foul Brood diseases and the Small Hive Beetle problem.
    LJ
    A very good question.

    The SHB we have not, so I donīt know what I would do.
    A trap seems to me ok, itīs not chemical. Restrict the hive , so defense is good.

    We are not permitted to use antobiotics so there is only the possibility to kill the brood and desinfect the boxes in case of AFB. EFB means feeding and propagating the hive, but no antibiotics ( if you go by law).
    Itīs only done with an outbreak, though in the restriction area all colonies are controlled by sending a sample to the laboratory. But spores are everywhere and healthy looking hives are only watched and obliged not to leave the area and be migrated.
    Itīs not chemical too and so you maybe can call it tf. This tf IPM is done by tf and t beekeepers and in case of AFB you are obliged by law to save only the bees if possible.

  5. #324
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    The SHB we have not, so I donīt know what I would do.
    A trap seems to me ok, itīs not chemical. Restrict the hive , so defense is good.
    Luckily we don't have SHB either - nasty little beasts. So for yourself TF equates to chemical-free ? That then raises the old chestnut of "what does TF mean, exactly ?" - an issue I've tried to raise before, but it's not an issue that people seem to want to engage with. Personally, I think it's important - but apparently others don't.

    The reason I chose to mention the Foul Broods and SHB is that, like Varroa, they're all highly 'contagious' in the sense of spreading like wildfire, thus creating widespread economic losses.

    In Britain, although in theory one can treat EFB with veterinary-prescribed antibiotics, in practice either of the Foul Broods is invariably dealt with by killing and torching the affected colony following notification to the authorities (a legal requirement which I personally agree with), so genetic survival for these diseases will never occur.

    With regard to the speed of colony-kill - the irony here is that the faster the fatal effects of a disease (or those of a parasite/pest) the better - in that with a much shorter time-frame being involved, any survivor stock will be identified relatively quickly. One of the problems with Varroa, it seems to me, is that a colony can harbour the parasite for several seasons before finally succumbing - thus creating a false indicator of Varroa-tolerance whilst continuing to spread the problem to other hives. If there was a more immediate colony-kill, then the spread of the parasite would be more quickly arrested, as the parasite would tend to die alongside it's unfortunate host.

    It's a problem.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #325

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post

    With regard to the speed of colony-kill - the irony here is that the faster the fatal effects of a disease (or those of a parasite/pest) the better - in that with a much shorter time-frame being involved, any survivor stock will be identified relatively quickly. One of the problems with Varroa, it seems to me, is that a colony can harbour the parasite for several seasons before finally succumbing - thus creating a false indicator of Varroa-tolerance whilst continuing to spread the problem to other hives. If there was a more immediate colony-kill, then the spread of the parasite would be more quickly arrested, as the parasite would tend to die alongside it's unfortunate host.
    I agree
    and have been taking the same principle against AFB as varroa, no treatments, just shaking of bees to new frames. However this shaking is done only after major part of the capped brood present has hatched, even if there is bad smell and serious infection visible. And sometimes even after a longer time period. I donīt remember ever seeing other hives in near by getting infected.


    Just today spoke to Kari Pirhonen (the one who makes his own insemination gear). Kari insists that his nucleus hives (6 nucs in one Langstroth box) got cured from a bad AFB problem after he put daughters of my queens to these nucs.

  7. #326
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I've been not treating for anything for most of 44 years. That greatly predates Varroa mites and Tracheal mites. I've been not treating for Nosema and AFB etc. etc. etc. Why would you assume that being treatment free is only about Varroa?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #327
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    .. the irony here is that the faster the fatal effects of a disease (or those of a parasite/pest) the better...LJ
    Exactly.
    All it takes - one season of not-treating for the majority of the keepers.
    That quick. Try and see how quick your turn over will be.

    I immediately started in that direction.
    Most of the bees dropped off like flies.
    Good riddance.

    Got more bees than I can handle again at the moment.
    We'll see how the weeding out will work this season.

    Treating what turns a quick death and quick weeding out into multi-year agony with unclear results.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #328
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    centurys of TF (becuse of no choice) "natural selection" didn't help with foulbrood.
    ""By 1650 nearly all farms in New England are reported to have had a colony or two of bees. However, the number of bees managed by these colonists rapidly declined after 1670, presumably because of AFB. Substantive documentation of AFB’s presence in the new world, however, did not occur until more than a century later, by the late 1800s and early 1900s. Then, AFB and EFB were a ‘veritable scourge’ in many parts of the country resulting in the passage of many state bee laws and implementation of state apiary inspection programs. " vanEngelsdorp Et al 2010.

    LJ the TF focus on mites is likely do to the fact that pre varroa it was reasonable for the person with a few hives to buy some package bees, be TF ,and have a good amount of success, now not so such
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  10. #329
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I've been not treating for anything for most of 44 years. That greatly predates Varroa mites and Tracheal mites. I've been not treating for Nosema and AFB etc. etc. etc. Why would you assume that being treatment free is only about Varroa?
    I take heart in this and appreciate people like you who have been more than willing to share their personal learning curve.
    Thank you

  11. #330
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    > "natural selection" didn't help with foulbrood.

    Resistance to foulbrood is all about genetics. Why would you assume that natural selection doesn't select for hygienic behavior? Bees did not become extinct with no treatments, they thrived and spread. Then by selecting for perfect brood patterns we bred against hygienic behavior, and by selecting against propolis we bred against the bees' natural defenses.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #331
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    centurys of TF (becuse of no choice) "natural selection" didn't help with foulbrood...
    And yet centuries later, in 1950s and 60s, my Dad still kept bees someplace in Eastern Europe.
    Then they ALL died (I recall talks of Nosema or the like).
    Then he caught a swarm and started all over again.
    Then Dad passed and the some bees swarmed away, some died, and the rest my Mom sold.

    Our family moved on, and yet someone kept the bees and still keep bees.

    So, there were always bees in our village, and villages nearby, and villages farther away (regardless of few dead hives here and there).
    Now that is strange granted the foul-brood wiped out the bees many times over and should be nothing left anywhere forever and ever.

    PS: one issue (in the US at least) is that people want immediate gratification, a good story to hear (be it a fake story - unimportant), and immediate fix for everything;
    they want a magic pill that provides an immediate cure for any decease (be it mites or cancer);
    Well - things do not work that way.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-13-2018 at 09:05 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #332

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Even in skep times the beekeepers migrated and exploited all honey.
    Could be this makes a difference in defense against foulbrood disease IMO propagating it.

    While harvesting, they killed the brood and the bees started new after being combined to strong colonies.
    Could be this held the foulbrood at bay IMO.

    Strange is that among all those I work with and who are tf they never had a case of foulbrood. Not EFB, not AFB, despite being near restriction areas ( I was 5km distance myself), despite mite crashs.
    We have in common that we donīt migrate, we donīt move combs between apiaries, we donīt feed if possible, we harvest only surplus , we never harvest or take propolis, we try not to disturb broodnests.

    Over the border in switzerland some km distance they have a big problem. They migrate much more, density of colonies is higher, they treated often with medicaments which are still permitted, yes advised.
    Not anymore, only illegally. They try to change the susceptability to foulbrood. Foulbrood there is a much bigger problem than mites, the magazines say.

  14. #333
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    MB while it sounds good...
    Yes they didn't go extinct, much like mites foulbrood is a threat to beekeepers not bees as a species, it was wiping out apairys long before movable frames and the selection you suggest weakend the bees

    Now that is strange granted the foul-brood wiped out the bees many times over and should be nothing left anywhere forever and ever.
    Then by TF let them die theory, only resistant bees should be left, but that's not what happened.
    Hygienic behavior is said to be combination of two recessive genes one to uncap, one to remove (some newer research that says maybe 7 genes). Both parents need to carry both traits it to work, or the queen carry bolth and mates with drones of each.
    An outbreak comes and goes, only hygienic bees are left.. Thats great!...
    hold on... its only great for a bit
    why?
    Drones are not clones of the queen, they are a random 1/2 of her genetics (16 out of 32 chromosomes)and different from each other.
    So for the drone to pass the trait on it needs the right 2, out of the 4 out the 32 chromosomes that have the 2 genes needed (the queen has 2 sets of each ) I will let you run the odds, long story short, a lot of non hygienic drones coming out of hygienic survivor hives, and the non hygienic population once again fills the area... not to mention the colonys that for what ever reason just didn't catch the foulbrood filling the air with drones

    same old story with bees, let up on heavey selection pressure and the traits drift fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    The queen's eggs, if unfertilized, produce drones. The queens eggs are produced by meiosis- the division of the normally doubled chromosome pairs into separate single strands. The queen has, in turn, inherited one of the chromosomes from *her* mother, and one from the mate of her mother. The drone, then, is mostly a copy of his grandfather *or* one-half the alleles of his grandmother.

    A important complication is recombination. Recombination occurs in the intial (Prophase I) of meiosis. Recombination is the exchange of whole segments of chromosomes from one of a pair to its corresponding element. Recombination occurs when the chromosomes (normally unorganized and loose) pair up in Prophase, and strictly align. Enzymes snip the chromosomes and exchange segments to the other arm. The snip points are termed chiasma, and in later phases the chromosomes tangle at these points and can actually be observed with a light microscope.

    Bees have the highest rate of recombination observed. The recombination rate is 100x the rate observed in humans.

    A fundamental paper speculates that this high rate is due to the very small effective population for bees in mating. The queen can only fly so far, and hives are thinly spread over the landscape. Hence inbreeding (in the natural state) is always a risk, and a high recombination rate mitigates that effect by scrambling the genes to each and every unique drone.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  15. #334
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Yet the Arnot bees quickly adapted to mites. Another theory skewered by fact.

  16. #335
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Another theory skewered by fact.
    not at all
    80% of the Arnot queens are culled by nature a year..

    in a stable wild population what is the yearly loss rate?
    50% if the hives issue only one swarm one swarm a year, if they throw 2 swarms its 66%
    unlike AFB outbreaks that come and go, mites provide constant selective pressure. and say VHS, is a additive trait not ressive, the more you have the more its expressed, breed a queen that has none of it with a drone that has it, its expresed, not left lying dormant like hygienic

    look at Kefuss Et al 2015 "After 2002, no more selection for hygienic behavior was made until 2008 when a significant reduction in hygienic behavior at 48 h was observed "
    with out strong selection pressure the traite fades quickly

    now take tracheal mite resistance...that trait is dominant, so it quickly came to prevalence and stayed
    current work is showing the gotland population's mite resistance is dominant, so there is hope|. The question is do bees on this side of the pond have the right tool kit...
    the German darks that used to be the domanat ferals didn't... and they didn't have it for EFB either..
    there was a drop in foulbrood cases when the more efb resistant Itailans were imported... but it maybe that it was then lost to breeding/outcrossing as MB suggests....
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  17. #336
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Parameters such as hygienic behaviour gets tuned by selection. It didn't go away in Keufus' case, but got tuned to a lower level as it isn't needed to that degree.

    The big picture is that Arnot bees underwent a queen line bottle neck with the arrival of mites, then recovered quickly to how they were before, more or less. They did move genetically to deal with a new problem.

    In our situations, we can select for more extreme cases of mite resistance or hygienic behavior. But we push it outside of where it would be tuned to in nature and will drift back to a more optimal range if left to its own devices. That range could vary depending. These extremes may be important where we make the adaptive environment more unstable through continual new introduction of pathogen variants.

    We don't actually know long term brood disease dynamics in relatively isolated feral populations. Are they stable or are there episodic events on ongoing basis? Besides mites (tracheal and varroa), I haven't heard that much besides statements that the bees in the Arnot are in good brood health generally. But that I think was a snapshot observation.
    Last edited by lharder; 09-15-2018 at 08:33 AM.

  18. #337
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    your spot on every trait has a cost, if its not an advantage, its a disadvantage. Once the outbreak burns out and no longer provides pressure the traits drift back
    looking at " relatively isolated feral populations" is useless, we don't keep bees that way, haven't for thousands of years.
    the points I was trying to make was
    #1 all those thousands of years going TF hasn't removed foulbrood as a big problem for beekeepers, the recessive trait makes it a bugger.
    #2 In those first few hundred years the bees in North America didn't have the "tool kit"" in there genes to adapt, the later imported Italian stock did, much like they had resistance when Tracheal mites hit buckfast and AMM didn't. But the AMM were the domait feral here till recently ... there tool kit worked well in nature, till "something" took them out
    #3 do to recombination traits drift fast with out strong selection pressure.. So a few years down the road you a get a bunch nonrestiacnt stock that dies off when a new foulbrood epidemic hits. Don't get me wrong, this is a problem of our own making, keeping stocks in high dencenticys, but its silly to think nature is going to fix it now

    be it the hand of the beekeeper grafting highly select stock and re queening, or the hand of nature culling 50-75% of the queens, it takes strong pressure to matain a trait.
    in nature 80% (or 75% depending on whose number you use) of swarms die before there 1st spring... only the most fit make it to reproduce.
    loosing 80% of our splits on a yearly basics would be devastating, so we give them crutches and care for them, this removes selective pressure.
    To put pressure back on, We need to cellbuild, re queen, and drone cull so that only the most fit reproduce..
    bees are like apples, they cast wide genetic net and see what works (every seed in an apple tree is different, even in the same apple) and then nature prunes back what dosen't. Great for survival in nature and it alows it to adapt to changes very quickly, but not so good if you want to plant an orchard.
    Nature will not reliably give us an apple tree we want, and has not reliably given us a bee hive we want. In both cases we may select something special nature has given us and propagate it and work with it.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  19. #338
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    [QUOTE=mdohertyjr;Before Thanksgiving all 11 hives crashed and died...

    We now treat.[/QUOTE]

    No shame in taking a chance... Sometimes, folks have to learn for themselves. But if you have been a member of this site for long enough, it is all to predicatable. You see the exact same thing year after year. The new beekeeper who tells us all how they aren't going to treat because medication is bad. And the exact same beekeeper in February asking why their colonies have died. I normally never, ever, comment here. But I truly appreciate your willingness to share your unfortunate experience. All I can say is, "Welcome to the club"...
    7 years; 3 colonies.

  20. #339
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    msl
    in nature 80% (or 75% depending on whose number you use) of swarms die before there 1st spring... only the most fit make it to reproduce.
    I don't see this as a fair representation of managed hives. It would be more fair to take the original hives that the swarm came from as a more representative example of a managed hive. Some of the Arnet Forrest hives survived 7 years unmanaged.

    I will tell you come spring how I am doing. Going into winter 3 with ten untreated hives. I am expecting most to make it but will know for sure come spring.

    It is hard to put the right picture on things using other things, cause nothing is ever done exactly the same. 75 percent of swarms leaving a hive and dying is not reflective of making a split and the bees only living if they swarm is not reflective of honey producers that don't let their bees swarm. 75 percent of forrest bees also died before mites. If I have a bad year, this should be it, as 7 of my hives did not get the brood break that a swarm would have provided. The forrest bees live better if they had swarmed.

    What the arnet forrest does show is that there is some adjustment made by bees left to their own defenses. It shows that it is possible for adjustment but not how much adjustment may be possible. They have evolved to an equilibrium for their environment and it may be that 75 percent death rate is needed to keep equilibrium. That does not mean that that is all the adjustment that is possible. Knock on wood, I have not lost 75 percent but I may not be making as much honey as might be possible either. Come spring, I may have no bees but the past does not make me think that now. I will tell come spring.

    Examples to make a point are just examples that show potential cause only doing every thing exactly the same over and over shows proof and we do not keep bees like the bees are kept in the forrest. Even small changes in forage changes things.

    I read one time that rabbits have more babies when they are under high predatory conditions. I only bring this up to point out that a 75 percent die off of swarms may be part of natures plan to keep everything in check. Just like wolfs are territorial and only have so many in a pack and kill interluders.

    I think the bees in the forrest rebounding back to their origional numbers and their life span being the same as before mites shows adjustment to mites. Who knows what is possible for managed bees? So far so good.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  21. #340
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I only bring this up to point out that a 75 percent die off of swarms may be part of natures plan to keep everything in check.
    GWW your hitting the nail on the head.

    as you note selection pressure keeps everything in check, when human intervention happens genetics that would have died are past on... ie the vast magorty of caught swarms live and don't share the fate of there wild brethern, now they are spreading thier sub par drones. This weakens the stock over all.

    the swarm is not the baby, its the parent, the old hive changes over 50% of its genetics, mating only with survivor stock. The high death rate of wild swarms is what culls the genetics to the strong, witch in turn is what gives established colony's there longevity, they are started by the top 20%

    glad to see your back around again!
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

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