correct, that's SOP with bees, you have to maintain the stock, think breed standards in other live stock. If you let up on selection pressure you lose ground, and with bees genetic recombination and mating habits it can happen fast. This is said to be what happen to John Kefuss' stock when his son took over the honey operation, let up on the selective breeding, wham mites wiped him out and he(the son) had to turn to treatments to attempt to rebuild..I am thinking that continuing deselection of the lesser desireable traits would always have to be maintained, as well as the positive selection, even after a satisfactory target was attained
I was waiting for some to to grab this low hanging fruit...Would inbreeding depression start to occur in this scenario without bringing in external genetics?
if they have the isolation they think they have and take the loses they think they will it would certainly seem to be a problem..
getting all hives from a single source and expecting to come into spring with 16 or less hives doesn't seem like a wide enough genetic base.
50 queens is often given as the minimum needed for a closed population, Honestly I haven dug muck in to it as I am unlikely to have drone control over the mating of production queens in the near future.
everything is possibly with bees... probability is a different matter...could a stable population of desirable bees come to exist by then just letting said bees, bee bees
we haven't seen it happen yet.... not in Gotland, not in Avignon, not in Le Mans, not in the Arnot Forest
the flip side is we have repeatably seen human directed selective breeding create commercially viably mite resistant stocks...
US commercial bees are much more deverce then feral bees, or the native subspecies the were originally derived from do to all the moving, mixing and crossing.I wonder if the limited genetic diversity found in commercially available bees has what it takes
the US is a closed system with no (ok very little) new genetics in, in this system the "bottom" 40% are removed yearly, are we making breeding progress? are the losses getting less every year?Even just removing the bottom 10% repeatedly would move the needle over time in a closed system.
At this distribution survival is chance, flip a coin. There performance is statistical the same, small sample size you will have outliers do to resulistion issues that smoothout with larger numbers.Theoretically the lower half of the average survivors died while the better half survived.
What it takes to shift/maintain a trait in bees is well known and well documented. Just because mites have shown up doesn't change the rules