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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

There is an analogy from nature used to convey the notion that letting things play out in a competitive environment is often a good way to go. It speaks, in various ways, of throwing a handful of seeds into the soil and seeing what comes up.

What comes up will be viable seed that is suited to the conditions. That's a good start.

A closely related analogy speaks of the next stage: "let them all grow and see which ones win out."

The story is real, not an analogy, when applied to gardening, horticulture, forestry. And it plays with some of the fundamentals of nature, of living things, and they way they arose, were shaped, and how the maintain and regain health.

One of the primary principles of nature is that of over overproduction followed by ruthless competitive selection. Living things make far more offspring - and far more of the ingredients for offspring - than are needed simply to maintain a population in the absence of predation and limitations of nutrients. Think of mammalian sperm. One ejaculation throws millions and millions of sperm into a race to fertilise an egg. All else being equal, the single winner will have as much strength and vigour as any other. It will be among the very best. that is nature's way of locating the strongest.

If you interfere with that mechanism, on a generation by generation basis, you risk the health of the population under your management. And there is not just one such competitive health-seeking mechanism: mating is the same, and living and prospering unaided another.

The 'song' is Natural Selection for the Fittest Strains, and husbandry has to set up conditions that allow it to be sung.

To the extant that happens the charges can prosper. To the extent that it doesn't the population will sicken.

To be a husbandryman you have to know the words and hear the music. You have to set the bandstand, then stand back and watch it play.

Mike (UK)
Understood and I agree.

BTW Mike who is in line to "take over" when you no longer can? Do you have a succession plan? I am working on mine , just curious.
GG
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Thanks Mike, sounds like you took and are taking, a thorough approach.

In the close packed ones, did you feel there were some hives that would have been exposed but did not get the disease?
 

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Discussion Starter #283
Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Understood and I agree.

BTW Mike who is in line to "take over" when you no longer can? Do you have a succession plan? I am working on mine , just curious.
GG
Not looking that far (I hope!) ahead! :) If I can make an asset that will help my retirement/save my kids the grim task of looking after me I'll be more than happy!

Mike (UK)
 

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Discussion Starter #284
Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Thanks Mike, sounds like you took and are taking, a thorough approach.

In the close packed ones, did you feel there were some hives that would have been exposed but did not get the disease?
Absolutely! :)

Difficult to know quite what to do with them: they are probably infected, and therefore 'carriers'. Taking (clean) genetic material from them - if there is any such thing - might be a way to get both clean and resistant lines. At the moment my main strategy is to make increase from those thriving in the centre of the storm, and keep them there to see what happens, while maintaining the higher levels of care I outlined above elsewhere.

Mike (UK)
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

One could let the bees do it, which is what I feel Mike is doing. Or have a breeding program, which Many other do.

So not just the split from the best, you also want to prune the worst.
Gray Goose:

Excellent reply- I had to go back an read it several times to make sure I absorbed everything.

I do not know enough to really weigh-in either way but it seems to me that the fundamental question might be how much control does the beekeeper have in their specific polyandrous, open-mated environment?

Maybe I am missing the mark, but it seems that one's propagation approach (at least as regards genetics) is largely driven upon how confident one feels:

1. About the background genetic make-up (i.e. the cumulative sum of the feral and managed stocks).

2. That they can control the genetic output.

On the basis of these two factors alone, I can see how many divergent approaches to propagation could emerge (as I believe you are alluding to).

Thank you again for your helpful input- I am taking seriously your advice to read the old writings... it just takes awhile!

Have a great day.

Russ
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

I'm now marking supers to apiaries, cycling out old comb, especially brood comb, not baiting with old comb, minimising drifting, combining weakening nucs...
just sensible things to try to minimise the problem in the future.
understood mike, and thanks for the reply.

just so all you good folks don't get lost i'll be moving these last posts to mike's thread.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Gray goose
We in the US cannot think this way as Honey bees are not native to the US, they were brought here and escaped, so there is no old natural stock here, So IMO this also affects my opinion, and the fact that there was local stock in Europe can affect Mikes.
This ideal always kind of throws me. I understand that our genetics may not be as wide as other places due to relying on only what was brought here. I would point out that in america, the plants are not native either. From the moment that ships landed on the shore, plants were being transferred along with bees. So the bees may not be native to the environment but the environment has sure been changed more to relate to the bees then it was originally.

I do recall Michael palmer, in an interview, pointing out that the plants in his area have responded to the density of bees in his area with it changing to being more bee friendly due to plant reaction to lots of bees.

How long before it is native?
Just a talking point from an admitted uneducated person. I don't claim I "know" anything.
Cheers
gww

ps to AR1 I read a comment that randy oliver made on beel about your experience as far as mite bombs are concerned. In his comment he mentioned the effect of mite bombs on normal hives compared to mite bombs affecting a long time treatment free beekeeper. He basically said that a big influx of mites in the treatment free beekeepers hives just seemed to disappear with out bad effect on those bees. So I can see how both effects (yours and mine) could be experienced.
 

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I'm not constantly splitting. About half my replacements are swarms, the rest are nucs raised by the simms method from middling hives.



I use all natural comb in brood boxes and the first lift. The point is if I 'safehouse' the queen in, say, a single broodbox, she won't have either the space nor the resources to raise the sort of drone numbers I want from her. Unless I force her to raise more drone - and I don't know how likely that is.

I'm loath to meddle with nature like this... I think maybe a snap batch of plenty of daughters is the best thing, and hope that they and she (through her drones) make a good contribution to the future.

Mike UK
Hi Mike the thread is dated and this may not work for this year.

For the queen I pull out to make increase, I will place her over a "weak hive" double excluder and newspaper combine.
In a couple weeks it all is 1 hive:
1) you can pinch the old weak hive queen.
2) reverse queens give the one you like the brood nest and put the one you do not like in a NUC
3) walk away split, set the top box with queen you like on the bottom board, add comb, and all the supers , take the old queen away.

All of the above serve to put the queen you want back into a brood nest from a queen you do not want. then you can have more drones, more brood etc.
Basically make a 2 queen set up then tear it down in the fashion to meet your needs.

I often put the queen i do not want in a NUC and add back a cell from the ones i just created to get a "forced" supercedure, so the nest goes to the Mother, the NUC gets a F1 cell, you have culled the bottom hive, gave the nest to the drone making queen and requeened the NUC with an F1.
It involves some play time with the bees but often when going in to check for cells I see a nice big one, some would scratch it to prevent swarming, I simply place it into a hive that is a laggard.
Also gets the pulled queen back up in population faster.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter #290
Also gets the pulled queen back up in population faster.
GG
Hi Grey Goose, yeah, I kinda know all this stuff, but for the reasons I've just outlined I don't go in for it.

This year has been about swarms flying into baits left around my apiaries BIG TIME. One apiary started the year with 2 hives (I'd taken the rest to pollination, these were too weak to go)

By late June I had about 25 and were adding second nuc brood boxes. By mid June I was splitting lots of them two or three ways. I now have about 40. Of course their parentage and disease qualities are unknown, and so I'll be keeping an eye out for EFB. Those that get through the winter will be built up to make make nucs using queen cells from best production hives - 30 miles away. They'll be mated there too, and so this year's crop of swarms at this apiary will come to be headed by queens from my line.

That's opportunistic beekeeping I guess, but I get to where I want to be in the end.

Cheers,

Mike (UK)
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Gray goose


This ideal always kind of throws me. I understand that our genetics may not be as wide as other places due to relying on only what was brought here. I would point out that in america, the plants are not native either. From the moment that ships landed on the shore, plants were being transferred along with bees. So the bees may not be native to the environment but the environment has sure been changed more to relate to the bees then it was originally.

I do recall Michael palmer, in an interview, pointing out that the plants in his area have responded to the density of bees in his area with it changing to being more bee friendly due to plant reaction to lots of bees.

How long before it is native?
Just a talking point from an admitted uneducated person. I don't claim I "know" anything.
Cheers
gww

ps to AR1 I read a comment that randy oliver made on beel about your experience as far as mite bombs are concerned. In his comment he mentioned the effect of mite bombs on normal hives compared to mite bombs affecting a long time treatment free beekeeper. He basically said that a big influx of mites in the treatment free beekeepers hives just seemed to disappear with out bad effect on those bees. So I can see how both effects (yours and mine) could be experienced.
gww,
My point is the gene pool in Europe is 100,000 years old. The gene pool in the US is 200 years old (from transplanted Euro genes) In areas where the bees do well they have "adapted" However we have breeders making 10000 queens a year and shipping them all over, so the gene pool in the US has pockets of "over representation" So in Europe the bees were there and we captured some and cultivated them, One could surmise that initially we did not affect the native gene pool much, not until carting bees from other areas came to popularity. In the US the opposite is true the feral are escaped bees from the ones we brought here. Initially the fearals would have been impacted buy the managed bees. think the first 3 swarms to hit the woods in the US would have mated back to the parent Apairy. and in Europe the first 3 swarms captured and placed in logs would have mated back to the fearals. So in Europe we slowly pulled away from the local stock, in the US we created and to this day still add to it every year, the fearal stock. As to the plants sure if the plant has gain from the bees and the bees "promote" it the the bees and the bee plants are sustaining each other. Slowley over time the bees we manage are more and more affecting the "local" fearal type , where they originally existed. Where we transplanted them they are the sum total of all the escapees, here in the US a true melting pot.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Gray goose


This ideal always kind of throws me. I understand that our genetics may not be as wide as other places due to relying on only what was brought here. I would point out that in america, the plants are not native either. From the moment that ships landed on the shore, plants were being transferred along with bees. So the bees may not be native to the environment but the environment has sure been changed more to relate to the bees then it was originally.

I do recall Michael palmer, in an interview, pointing out that the plants in his area have responded to the density of bees in his area with it changing to being more bee friendly due to plant reaction to lots of bees.

How long before it is native?
Just a talking point from an admitted uneducated person. I don't claim I "know" anything.
Cheers
gww

ps to AR1 I read a comment that randy oliver made on beel about your experience as far as mite bombs are concerned. In his comment he mentioned the effect of mite bombs on normal hives compared to mite bombs affecting a long time treatment free beekeeper. He basically said that a big influx of mites in the treatment free beekeepers hives just seemed to disappear with out bad effect on those bees. So I can see how both effects (yours and mine) could be experienced.
gww,
My point is the gene pool in Europe is 100,000 years old. The gene pool in the US is 200 years old (from transplanted Euro genes) In areas where the bees do well they have "adapted" However we have breeders making 10000 queens a year and shipping them all over, so the gene pool in the US has pockets of "over representation" So in Europe the bees were there and we captured some and cultivated them, One could surmise that initially we did not affect the native gene pool much, not until carting bees from other areas came to popularity. In the US the opposite is true the feral are escaped bees from the ones we brought here. Initially the fearals would have been impacted buy the managed bees. think the first 3 swarms to hit the woods in the US would have mated back to the parent Apairy. and in Europe the first 3 swarms captured and placed in logs would have mated back to the fearals. So in Europe we slowly pulled away from the local stock, in the US we created and to this day still add to it every year, the fearal stock. As to the plants sure if the plant has gain from the bees and the bees "promote" it the the bees and the bee plants are sustaining each other. Slowley over time the bees we manage are more and more affecting the "local" fearal type , where they originally existed. Where we transplanted them they are the sum total of all the escapees, here in the US a true melting pot.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

gray goose
The melting pot part is why I like the ideal of throwing in a swarm every so often into the background area. Depending on purpose of adding would depend on how many new bees to add at one time.

Even though queen breeders make lots of queens, one study I read did show that managed bees had more genetic alleles then feral. Who knows how close imports and mixing of many types of bees has narrowed the difference from the thousand years bees?

That same study seemed to show that bees under pressure of mites with a smaller number of alleles did better then bees not under pressure with more alleles and bees with even more alleles and also under pressure did best.

This subject on bees and the ideal that nature breeds to average always leads me to the question of things like the long beaked birds, at some point in time there had to only be one long beaked bird? If long beaks was some kind of advantage, even breading to average might not stamp out a long beak and so it becomes a matter of time and what or how many was started with.

This is not questioning your post, but more just thinking on it and not knowing the for sure answer myself of true cause and effect. My old man used to tell me that at some point in time you had to make some kind of decision on a path to take, right or wrong, and adjust from there as you went along.

I like your communication style and have never noticed you being overly arbitrary or judgmental. Thanks for the conversation.
Cheers
gww

PS I must say that mikes statement "That's opportunistic beekeeping I guess, but I get to where I want to be in the end." Is the most important statement in my mind when it comes to keeping bees. Everyone keeps them for a reason of their own.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

point is the gene pool in Europe is 100,000 years old. The gene pool in the US is 200 years old (from transplanted Euro genes) In areas where the bees do well they have "adapted" However we have breeders making 10000 queens a year and shipping them all over, so the gene pool in the US has pockets of "over representation"
the US commercial gene pool is more deverce then the native populations in Europe, the opsict of what one would expect.
"We found that managed honey bees actually have higher levels of genetic diversity compared with their progenitors in East and West Europe, providingan unusual example whereby human management increases genetic diversity" Harper Et Al 2012 https://www.researchgate.net/public...genetic_diversity_of_honey_bees_via_admixture
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

the US commercial gene pool is more deverce then the native populations in Europe, the opsict of what one would expect.
"We found that managed honey bees actually have higher levels of genetic diversity compared with their progenitors in East and West Europe, providingan unusual example whereby human management increases genetic diversity" Harper Et Al 2012 https://www.researchgate.net/public...genetic_diversity_of_honey_bees_via_admixture
Just like people.
Here you go - the melting pot.
NOT shallow pool at all.
The other way around, in fact.
:)
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Hmmm so the US brought them in from more sources than in Europe, well mabe in Europe you go to the neighbor for a split, here you went to the Sears catalog Bigger mix may or may not help we will need to hang on for a few years and see.
GG
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Hmmm so the US brought them in from more sources than in Europe, well mabe in Europe you go to the neighbor for a split, here you went to the Sears catalog Bigger mix may or may not help we will need to hang on for a few years and see.
GG
Put it this way - when I was a kid in my remote European village and Gypsies came along (very rarely) - they were a curiosity (dark looking people, you know, unlike the local village people - very northern European).
Sometimes in summer, temporary workers from Armenia would come for 2-3 months - also a curiosity (and few dark looking children mysteriously were born in the village too).

Living in the US for long time now, I would care less about Gypsy-looking or Armenian-looking people.
My good colleague a cube over is rather Jewish looking.
Melting pot and diversity from across the globe - this is the USA.

Same for the bees.
Pretty obvious to me.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

I like your communication style and have never noticed you being overly arbitrary or judgmental.
GWW:

And I think the same could be said for you- I appreciate your helpful attitude and approach.
 

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Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

Russ
I don't know if I deserve that but thank you.
gww
 

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Discussion Starter #300
Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

... it's always prudent to bear this in mind when dealing with complex issues, especially those involving 'cause and effect'. :)
LJ
The complexity and invisibility of natural selection - particularly with honey bees - makes it hard for many to approach. But its there. If you getting working for you it can bring the results you want. Nothing else will, and if you ignore it, or misunderstand or misapply it you will crash.

Mike UK
 
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