Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
read for your self as I am taking a different spin on their data 😉

To be included in the study, all feral colonies needed to survive at least one winter in wild, unmanaged conditions. We checked each reported colony in early spring to corroborate activity and record overwintering survival (Figure 1). We paired each feral colony with one managed colony located within a seven-mile radius to control for site variation between colonies located in geographic areas with different landscapes and climates. A total of eight pairs of feral and managed colonies (n = 16 colonies) in 2017
Total survival of colonies over the 2017–2018 winter was 63% for both feral and managed colonies. For the 2018–2019 winter, survival was 47% and 38% for feral and managed colonies, respectively. Of the five feral colonies that survived the 2017–2018 winter, two also survived the 2018–2019 winter.
So spring 2017 they took 8 overwintered feral colonies and tracked them..
17/18 winter 37.5 % loses and they had 5
18/19, 2nd winter the 5 became 2, 60% loses

Spring 2018 they located 12 more overwintered feral colonies, those took 53% loses winter of 18/19

Added all together that's 49.44% loses on an overwintered feral hive round up to an even 50% iit works out well ... 8 becomes 4 in there 2nd winter and 2 in the 3rd..

Now if only 25 % of the swarms that find a home make their 1st winter (seeley) that means to be a wild stable pop they need to average 4 swarming events (including after swarms and swams that swarm ) that find a home per overwintered hive to keep the population stable...

It seems what ever "magic" (besides swarming 2x a year and the prime swarm often throwing a swarm of its own and living a cavity that restricts brood rearing) is lost quickly in the outcross and the hive dies...
when the same group took feral based survivor stock and did a trial (COMB project COMB) there results were similar..63% loses and massive swarming in the second year
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
So what is your spin MSL

In nature if I look at deer, each doe has a fawn , some have 2 so a near double, however in the same fields there is close to the same number of deer each year. So deer try to double just to maintain.
if bees cast a swarm each year and it survived the colony numbers would double, in 20 years they would be bees in every tree.
To me the math looks fine, An attempt to double and then actual, some what maintain.

We AG minded humans think like "every calf or lamb or foal " needs to survive. In nature it just cannot work that way or we would be over run with critters.

I would think the outcrosses are attempts at getting better, if a fail then a dead out if success then a swarm the next year.
There must be places where there is not an outcross, IE stable genetics, then we would be habitat bound, only so much nectar to make the winter. More south,, less issue, more north,, longer winter bigger issue.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
MSL:

Thank you for posting this study- I did my level best to summarize it below. A few things stood out to me:

1. The small initial sample size and test/control pairing structure makes it difficult in my mind to draw any sweeping conclusions from the results given that it appears there were no (or maybe one?) pairs left at the end of the two year study.

2. The generally poor overwintering in Year 2 for both groups makes me wonder what the management practices of the control looked like. I caveat this by acknowledging that it appears the primary focus of the study was on immune response markers and not overwintering per se.

3. The term 'feral' for the purposes of the study is never explicitly defined other than noting that, '... all feral colonies needed to survive at least one winter in wild, unmanaged conditions.' While I take no exception with this definition, I can see how local adaptation might likely impact local disease response as opposed to a swarm escaped from a managed apiary within the last 12 months.

Sample Size and Pairing Structure

A total of eight pairs of feral and managed colonies (n = 16 colonies) in 2017 and 17 pairs (n = 34) in 2018 were included in the laboratory analyses. In the case where a managed colony was not able to be sampled a second time due to death or other reasons, the feral colony was paired with a different managed colony in the same location (between 2017 and 2018, n = 3; between spring and fall 2018, n = 1). This resulted in 20 unique feral colonies and 24 unique managed colonies being sampled over the course of this study.

Due to the death of either a managed or feral colony in a pair, only two pairs of colonies were sampled in both 2017 and 2018.


Colony Survival

Feral and managed colonies also had similar probabilities of survival, despite higher DWV titers in feral than managed colonies.

Total survival of colonies over the 2017–2018 winter was 63% for both feral and managed colonies. For the 2018–2019 winter, survival was 47% and 38% for feral and managed colonies, respectively. Of the five feral colonies that survived the 2017–2018 winter, two also survived the 2018–2019 winter. Two managed colonies were sampled in both years, and one of these also survived the 2018–2019 winter.


Experiment Objectives and Results

Here, we investigate the role of pathogen infections and immune gene expression in the survival of feral and managed honey bees to answer the following questions:

(1) are feral colonies reservoirs of pathogens with increased levels of pathogens compared to managed colonies?;


A. While we did not investigate the transmission efficiencies of pathogens from feral to managed honey bees, our results provide support for the ability of feral colonies to serve as reservoirs of DWV.

(2) do increased pathogen levels lead to higher expression of immune genes in feral colonies than in managed colonies?;

A. We also found evidence of higher immune gene expression in feral colonies, even at timepoints when DWV levels were similar between managed and feral colonies. Further analysis of all colonies revealed that levels of DWV infection were positively correlated with the expression of hymenoptaecin in the spring and N. ceranae levels were correlated with defensin-1 and pgrp-s2 in the fall. The strength of correlations was low suggesting additional factors such as genetic background and environmental conditions play an important role in immune phenotypes.

(3) is immune gene expression correlated with survival of honey bee colonies?

A. Last, we found significant associations between the expression of two immune genes (hymenoptaecin and vago) and survival in both feral and managed colonies. These genes have been previously identified as differentially expressed in virus-infected honey bees, but this is the first report of expression being correlated with reduced host mortality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
We AG minded humans think like "every calf or lamb or foal " needs to survive. In nature it just cannot work that way or we would be over run with critters.
Exactly, we trade relance on animal husbandry for survival for improved “productive” traits we desire.

What the math means is each 1 that over wintered colony becomes 3, then a winter loss of 66% (50% loss of established, 75% loss on swarms that found a home) back to 1 if we are assuming stable pop

What’s interesting is when you add in the slush for swarms that don’t find a home(nesting sites seem to be the carrying capacity limitation) say a spit ball 50%, that fits well with skep records

1757 : One old hive: the first swarm 7 June, the second swarm 20 June; swarm out of the first swarm 8 July, second swarm from the first 22 July.
https://www.evacranetrust.org/uploads/document/9cb7fced9e5db46beb810b8cc3f9f1797e2c5995.pdf

This fits better with the math and beekeeper experience better then Seeleys 19% loss estimation on established colonies, but its also happening in the areas people keep bees, so seeleys results may be the result of lack of pop density, witch is what tarpy say

and when we look at the COMB project in the same area we see 63% TF losses and BIP 5 year average for TF in the area is 61.6
So not bad given the added mite pressure of large cavities and swarm prevention

What I am point out is the very low wild survival rates (80% die in the 1st year. And 50% of what over winters dies the next) creates high selection pressure but that pressure just maintains the high losses, not improves on them…

out of 100 swarms 20 see spring, 10 see a 2nd spring, 5 see a 3rd spring, so only 5% or of those queens has what it takes to be a breeder and have the “survival” trait strong enough for a f-2 to survive .. Yes there are many other things besides mites, including dumb luck, but that’s natural selection for you.. this is why splitting what lives fails to induce change

The other thing worth noting is of the 20 that make spring, only 5 or so of those queens will see a 2nd year (the overwintered queens swarm and then have a 75% loss rate) so nature is NOT selecting for queen longevity


2. The generally poor overwintering in Year 2 for both groups makes me wonder what the management practices of the control looked like.
agreed, likely back yard beekeepers in proximity to the feral colony if you look at the data sheet some of the managed hives were only a few feet from the feral ones
The term 'feral' for the purposes of the study is never explicitly defined other than noting that, '... all feral colonies needed to survive at least one winter in wild, unmanaged conditions.' While I take no exception with this definition, I can see how local adaptation might likely impact local disease response as opposed to a swarm escaped from a managed apiary within the last 12 months.
While I was running numbers based on a sustaining pop, there is the rub, were these truly genetically feral hives from a self-sustaining population, or just escaped swarms that didn’t die in their 1st year do to better immunity(preselected).. these weren’t bees in the woods, they were bees in in peoples building

it would be interesting to see how many colonies they had found, but died overwinter and couldn’t be used for the study..

It would also be interesting to test the COMB TF survivors vs the managed bees of the project as they all had sister queens to see if the survivors has a higher imuinty % vs the base population that was treated,
 
  • Like
Reactions: Litsinger

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
It would also be interesting to test the COMB TF survivors vs the managed bees of the project as they all had sister queens to see if the survivors has a higher imuinty % vs the base population that was treated,
That would be interesting- you know better than most- are they still actively evaluating the COMB colonies on a monthly basis? It appears that the latest updates are from 2019?


It is also interesting to compare the overwintering success of the 'feral' colonies with that of the 'CF' colonies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
no clue, Robyn hit the speaking tour a bit in 2019 and then they have gotten fairly closed mouthed for the last year + witch is odd given all the buzz they were creating for the project with constant updates

I know they have started new project with purdue that is kinda the reverse of comb... testing different genetics head to head with the same management to look at performance differences, it should be Interesting to see just how good, or bad these stocks are... I had high hopes for Russtian/VSH/MBB/Feral showdown, but it looks like a local bee test.... I just hope there are some good commercial controls in the mix given they are the ones paying $$ for resticant breeders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
I know they have started new project with purdue that is kinda the reverse of comb... testing different genetics head to head with the same management to look at performance differences, it should be Interesting to see just how good, or bad these stocks are...
Thanks for posting the video, MSL. I appreciate the update.

The one mite wash example they showed certainly does not engender confidence regarding a standardization in management strategy nor treatment threshold.

Thank you again for the video link.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,531 Posts
Not to dis on the video, but I bet the beekeeper was embarrassed. "Yeah, I treated twice already", and yet 15 mites on a 300 bee sample is pretty bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Finaly found it


California commercial Vs Georgia Commercial Vs Purdue MMB Vs TF bees of feral bace
It looks like perhaps they are using NW Carnys form CA.. so at least there it that....but really, no russians?
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
Finaly found it


California commercial Vs Georgia Commercial Vs Purdue MMB Vs TF bees of feral bace
It looks like perhaps they are using NW Carnys form CA.. so at least there it that....but really, no russians?
Hmmm
"distributed across Indiana and Pennsylvania "

So the test is which commercial bee when moved to "somewhere else" other than where it "acclimated to" will do the best in 2 years.

And they got the grant, I need to start writing for grants, if this qualifies.

What is a commercial California bee any way One from somewhere else brought in for Almonds, then split given a puppy mill queen and sold as a "Nuc" or "Package"

Well since Purdue is in Indiana, and Indiana is one of the test places, My bet is on the MMB from Purdue in Indiana, as it is the most adapted to where it will be sent. Proving what exact ally? local bees are best?

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Interesting that after all the Russian bee hype, it isn't Russians all the time everywhere. It's almost as if...the Russians aren't really much better than any other bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
it is the most adapted to where it will be sent. Proving what exact ally? local bees are best?
well you have the local "feral survivor" stock as well
but remember this isn't a mite resistance test, and isn't a survival test (thow both points do matter) its gole is to
Assess the health and profitability of four honey bee stocks within the Midwest and Northeast
Its were the rubber meets the road for profit based beekeeping...
IE Maybe the georgia Italians come out on top(not enuff selection for honey production in the MMB and ferals)... sure they need 2 extra mite treatment at $10 each and you need to put $20 in sugar in to them so they don't starve... but they make $60 more in honey and you get an extra 1/2-1 nuc out of them come spring offsetting there slightly higher winter loss rate.. Do to being TF its quite possible the MBB may have had some productivity die out of its gene pool

Local II TF bees vs local natural selection TF bees, vs foreign commercial work horses. It should be interesting to see just how far apart (or close) the stocks are in performance

Side bar they are doing a 48 hour sticky board before each monthly mite wash this will give us thousands of paired samples, works of others (Randy O, ect) have show stickies to be very inconscient (I liken them to tea leaves) but this will be a very large sample size so it should be insteringing to see if it supports past works

What is a commercial California bee any way
In this case New World Carniolans from Strachan Apiaries, arguably not typical for Ca, but popular in the area being tested.

Interesting that after all the Russian bee hype, it isn't Russians all the time everywhere
my guess is that many locals who would be using russians are using the purdue MBB, lessing there populatirly inthe area
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,526 Posts
the Russians aren't really much better than any other bees.
Don't forget that maintaining of the traits is hard if even possible.
The Russian Bee Association is (hopefully!!) doing it - but who is to check?

The Russians are nothing more than mutts that have been thrown together with the mites (accidentally!!!). some 70 years ago.
Well, is this a profile of a Russian bee OR just some random US mutt we have all over?
(I just extracted this sample 2 days ago)

61777

61778
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
In her WAS talk last night melanie kirby was saying that the piromsky are not a distinct subspecies but a rotating bag of hybrids of hybrids

an I think that's the rub, do to the way the US moves things around its going to be a mixed bag of hybrids on many fronts.. and once you start looking at the workers its a game of whos your daddy

Its been show that drone wings work for this, and as drones don't have a father it might be useful as a way to figure out "what" the queen is without compounding the issue with who she mated with..
added advantage is once you have a type on the queen, that will tell you what is flying in your DCAs!!

Have you gotten permission to distribute some copies of the english version yet?
BTW, you have don't a good bit of work on this, time to give it a tread of its own so it becomes searchable and not lost in your main thread. 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,526 Posts
Have you gotten permission to distribute some copies of the english version yet?
BTW, you have don't a good bit of work on this, time to give it a tread of its own so it becomes searchable and not lost in your main thread. 😉
Why - sure:

I know, I should just start a dedicated thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,526 Posts
time to give it a tread of its own so it becomes searchable and not lost in your main thread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Finaly found it
Great find, MSL. I took the opportunity to follow-up with Dr. Harpur regarding the study and some of the objections noted above.

To be fair, I believe the intent of the study is for it to be a 'double blind' effort so the fact that the grant application outlines the proposed lines for testing, it may compromise this aspect of the study if the contents become widely known and distributed.

That said, I am always impressed that Dr. Harpur is willing to answer questions, and he has always been very helpful and responsive.

A few excerpts from his feedback to me:

'This is a fully-factorial study. We have local stocks and commercials in IN and PA. If local stocks are better in their locations (i.e. PA does better in PA and worse in IN), we'll see that. That's one of the points of the study. What you're suggesting is that if we had mite biters in the study and if those mite biters are adapted to Indiana, then they might do better than imported queens in Indiana. That statement predicts that MBB's would actually perform worse outside of Indiana relative to local queens and/or other imported stocks. A fully-factorial study allows us to test these predictions and not stack decks.'

'We're looking at the effects in the hands of an average beekeeper and the inputs that a beekeeper needs to make to use a specific stock. That is, how profitable is a stock? This is not a treatment-free study. If a beekeeper has to treat one stock more frequently to knock mites down then that's an important thing to consider when making stock decisions. There are management practices occurring and every beekeeper involved is recording them. Of note, if a colony hits threshold, it gets treated.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
A few excerpts from his feedback to me:
And a postscript:

'...do keep in mind those are pre-review documents (the grant is a little longer than a page). We receive feedback from the funding reviewers, from our committee of stakeholders involved in the grant, and we incorporate it. We also heard back from breeders about exactly how many they could supply us in the timeline we provided. Together, this led to stock updates. Some of the listed ones might be included.'

'I didn't say we don't have Russians. I can neither confirm nor deny that we do.'


Hmmm....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hmmm... indeed

will provide 20 colonies (5 from each stock) to at least 5 beekeepers in each state (for a total of at least 10 beekeepers).
Not reading "too much" in to it but the photo on the Lopez-Uribe LabFB page show 5 groups of 5 sequentially numbered queens in 10 shipping boxes 😉


No photo description available.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top