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Can anyone point to research done on queens raised from treatment free bees and their effectiveness in requeening treated hives? Perhaps also the effectiveness of those same queens sold in packages/nucs with bees from the parent colonies?

I've always been under the assumption that a colony has a joint immune system, and is more than just genetics. I'm skeptical to believe that ordering fancy queens from treatment free suppliers would instantly give me a treatment free hive - not having the rest of the bees to spread the immunity from disease/virus'.
 

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I'm skeptical to believe that ordering fancy queens from treatment free suppliers would instantly give me a treatment free hive
Of course not - no need to even be skeptical; it is pretty much a "no".

The queen bee herself is meaningless until she produces a critical mass of her own offspring and the population of the hive completely turns over.

But even after you have the complete population turnover finished - having a treatment-free hive is very much a question to be found out in your particular circumstance.
A multivariable function of the queen's actual genetics, how she mated, what was the status of the queen in-taking colony, what is the status of your surroundings, etc.
Been discussed already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of course not - no need to even be skeptical; it is pretty much a "no".

The queen bee herself is meaningless until she produces a critical mass of her own offspring and the population of the hive completely turns over.

But even after you have complete turnover to complete - having a treatment-free hive is very much a question to be found out in your particular circumstance.
A multivariable function of the queen herself, how she mated, what was the status of the queen in-taking colony, what is the status of your surroundings, etc.
Been discussed already.
Naturally. However, once her offspring take over the colony would you then have a colony capable of being treatment free? This is what I'm skeptical of.

I don't think a single queen is enough to inoculate an entire hive - but am open to research showing evidence one way or another.
 

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I don't think a single queen is enough to inoculate an entire hive
Once you have 100% off-spring taken over the hive - consider it is "inoculated".
The real issue is - how effective is the inoculation (is it 90% effective in your setting? or is it 30% effective?).

Pretty soon some of us will be COVID inoculated.
That will be an obvious fact.
But the effectivness of the shot for the individual person is where it really counts.

..........colony capable of being treatment free? ............
The same very colony maybe able to stay treatment free on Washington Island, WI - so probably "yes".
But move it to Dane Co. WI and watch how it will be hammered - so mostly likely "no".
So this questions is mostly meaningless without the specific context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Once you have 100% off-spring taken over the hive - consider it is "inoculated".
The real issue is - how effective is the inoculation (is it 90% effective in your setting? or is it 30% effective?).
Exactly. We know a queen can "vaccinate" her offspring but the vaccination doesn't come from the queen, it comes from the royal jelly. Royal jelly is produced from nurse bees who in turn feed it to the queen and again to the larvae. So to my point, if you take a "treatment free" queen and introduce her into a colony where the royal jelly doesn't contain the vaccinations for her offspring. Do you get a treatment free colony?


"In a bee colony, the queen gives birth to all the insects in a hive, but she rarely ever leaves the nest. For that reason, worker bees must bring her a "royal jelly" of pollen and nectar. That food is often mixed with pathogens from the inside, which she eats and breaks down in her gut.
Bits of the pathogens are then transferred to the queen's "fat body," an organ similar to a liver, where they are packaged onto a protein called vitellogenin and delivered to eggs through the queen's blood stream. The result: newly hatched bee larvae that are already immune to the nasty germs that could have plagued the colony."

So if the food being fed to the queen, and to her larvae, are not inoculated with the pathogens that the nurse bees would carry in a treatment free colony, I don't believe you get a colony capable of being treatment free. However, if you have a package/nuc where the bees came from a treatment free colony and all contain the pathogens in question, in the right amounts and the right balance, you may be able to duplicate a treatment free colony.

Yet, I have been unable to find any published papers on the research that was done - which led to the article, and was originally published in Scientific Monthly or something like that - would have to look it up.
 

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At this point I am bailing out as a non-qualified talker.

I don't even know what you mean by "treatment-free" at this point.
Treatment free for mites?
Treatment free for nosema?
Or is it for bee-flu? :)
Many specific pathogens/parasites - many specific treatments, to each its own.
 

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Can anyone point to research done on queens raised from treatment free bees and their effectiveness in requeening treated hives?
A survival field test was initiated in 1999 to observe the effects of no treatment against Varroa destructor on European honey bee colony survival. After losses of over two-thirds of the 268 original colonies, new colonies were made from the survivors. In 2002, genetic material from these survivors was bred into an independent group of 60 colonies
Test population 2 (N = 60) was established in 2002 in Dadant hives 40 km from the location of test population 1. At the origin of this group were six hives purchased from a local beekeeper in 1999 that were split and multiplied to obtain the 60 hives for this test population. These colonies were requeened using virgin queens from test population 1 naturally mated at location 2. Then, colonies were managed as in group 1 for queen rearing and honey production using the best population 2 virgin queens to naturally mate with population 2 drones. Since 2001, this group has never been treated against mites and colony increase was made only by splitting survivor hives.
so it worked for john, open mating them no less ... but what we haven't seen work reliably is buying TF queens form some one elce and using them in your own operation..
ie COMB requeued commercial stock with mated sister queens from a long standing local TF line, and they did very poorly COMB
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Haha, I mean fully treatment free from everything. The queen would certainly pass down some varroa hygienic behaviors which could control the mites but you'd still have mites injecting virus' and other pathogens requiring inoculation - via the royal jelly. Since it's a complete cycle and balance between the nurse bees being inoculated, then spreading that inoculation through the colony through
trophllaxis only to then feed that back to the queen/larve to repeat the cycle.

This had led me to search for any research done on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so it worked for john, open mating them no less ... but what we haven't seen work reliably is buying TF queens form some one elce and using them in your own operation..
ie COMB requeued commercial stock with mated sister queens from a long standing local TF line, and they did very poorly COMB
Thank you for the info!

For the record: I have no doubt you can duplicate treatment free hives by splitting - which shares the same "microbiome" between the colonies. I've always seen a hives immunity as a whole and not coming from a single bee. Not entirely anyway - genetics do play a huge role so don't get me wrong.

My point more being can you take a queen out of a TF colony, ship her across the country and introduce her into a colony that's been treated, and still have her be a long lasting "TF" colony? From what you suggest, probably not?
 

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can you take a queen out of a TF colony, ship her across the country and introduce her into a colony that's been treated, and still have her be a long lasting "TF" colony? From what you suggest, probably not?
if it worked, we (as in the induristy) wouldn't need treatments, we could just buy queens

For the record: I have no doubt you can duplicate treatment free hives by splitting - which shares the same "microbiome" between the colonies
ehhh
we haven't seen anything thing of the sort studied in TF pops

The micro and macro climate of the beekeeper seems to matter more then anything else, followed by beekeeper management
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This was all spawned by my local club who only teaches treatment free and to not worry about mites or disease... I wish they would at least teach people how to keep their hives alive first. We go through a lot of beekeepers in the area! I lose less than 5% a year and only use OAV - at appropriate times. Not to mention the mite bombs they create and the known EFB outbreak in the area - they just seem to ignore.

This year they are bringing in some "fancy" TF queens from a well-known producer. They are informing people to requeen their nucs and packages upon arrival and to only use these queens if they want to succeed. Of course the club gets a cut of every queen they sell.

I'm having a hard time not calling BS on them as I've ordered plenty of "fancy" VSH and treatment free bees over the years only to treat them all the same as my local mutts I've been breeding for 18 years. On top of that, my mutts are always the largest & strongest colonies.

The micro and macro climate of the beekeeper seems to matter more then anything else, followed by beekeeper management
Could you elaborate on some of the key climate factors and management practices you're referring to?
 

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mtnmyke,

IMO a hive can almost never be duplicated.

first that queen mated with 20-30 drones and you likely have 5-20 patra lines, the MIX has some importance synergistics, perhaps some are good at grooming off mites, some at finding and opening brood some at hauling out the open brood.

lets say it works prefect, you graft from said queen the virgin has "1" patra line in is genetic makeup, then would mate with a whole new bunch of drones. BTW there could be 5 to 20 different crosses of a virgin (based on the baby daddies of the breeder queen).
Now if your location happens to have a similar drone pools say some of the hives made the winter with the old queen, you "may" but "unlikely" could duplicate up to 1/3 of the patra lines, from same surviving queens the next year. However there is 1/2 to 2/3 new ones and the queen is 50% of her mother and 50% of one of the patra lines. Take that out 3-5 years and add in learned behavior and perhaps Micro Biome help or hinderance. I think you are more likely to have a miss than a hit.

now control the drone pool 100%, move some comb to the new split, use the bees with the best behaviors (learned) then I would think you have a more 50-50 chance of duplication.

more factors IMO than folks today understand.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
mtnmyke,

more factors IMO than folks today understand.

GG
Great input and your points ring true with me.

My club and others stand under the logic that ordering queens from treatment free beekeepers mean they also don't need to treat for anything. The evidence, along with your points, lean more toward that definitely not being the case.

From my readings it's definitely a mix of many factors including genetics along with micro/macro biom, etc.

I guess I'm getting tired of everyone around me losing hives while I'm shunned for owning an OAV. I definitely live in a hippy town so anything chemical must be bad right?

On the other hand, nuc sales are through the roof! lol
 

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those who find the "way" can sell to those who , think they know.
must be true I read it online.

Just when I think I have an answer, I discover it was 2 more questions. I thought I knew it all 35 years ago, Ha I was a nubie, but in the mirror I seen a ruby.

was there myself, " O you treat, well I an Natural.....then need replacement bees every year. there are ways to optimize, unfortunately in each locale they are not the same... most Utube players approach the world with their view, could work or not work for your spot.

Best learning plan have bees in 4 or 5 spots, wild how they differ at even 20 miles.

GG
 

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Could you elaborate on some of the key climate factors and management practices you're referring to?
A low mite pressure threw either
1 isolation
2 a large resistant population in the area... mite bombs go off, but are sucked in the "black holes" of the resistant hives
3 a sold montering and treatment program can have the same efect...lowering the areas mite pressure
Ie the load of only a few bombs/disperical hives spread among many hives...and the mites go in, and then are "dealt" with one way or another.


genetic control
Back to #1
or #2 be it a feral pop, or the beekeeper having enough hives in an area
grafting, those who aren't lucky at the start, need to create #2.. and you don't get there with splits
II there are many II guys who are treatment free

make queens and bees
far easer to make that, then the big hives (with big mite pops) for honey production
there is a strong trend of the TF names not being honey producers, but bee producers, some sujest they are selling off thier mites in the capped brood of nucs
In his apomoida talk Kirk webster notes the 1st part of his operation to go TF was his queen reading, When the kefuss honey operation colaspiced john was still able to keep the queen rearing operation TF
in on of his talks Sam comfort recalls working full time in the queen yard for a very large out fit... standard commercial bees .. and the whole queen rearing program was TF.. not for any outher reason then it just didn't need treated

witch brings us to induced brood breaks.. Sam has often stated he feels his stock would colapice with out it, and we see this in Seeley 2017..feral hives that fail to swarm, die


but the above often creates a problem when joe hobbyist takes bees that are surviving do to small hives and brood breaks and trys to run them for honey.. even if they live... once the queen turns over with out genetic control the traites are lost
 

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mtnmyke:

Good discussion. The only thing I might add (if you are not already aware) is that extensive research conducted by COLOSS across Europe has demonstrated a strong correlation between local adaptation and bee suitability to a particular environment, including varroa and disease resistance:


Thus it is likely better, in general to utilize locally or regionally-sourced genetics versus queens or colonies of disparate origins.

So it stands to reason that the local club might be better served to find someone relatively local who has genetics with a successful TF track record than importing queens.

The outside queens might very well have some TF bona fides, but the COLOSS data would suggest they will start with a serious headwind strictly from the novel pest/disease ecotypes.
 

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Thus it is likely better, in general to utilize locally or regionally-sourced genetics versus queens or colonies of disparate origins.
The question is....are those genetics a locally adapted regional line, or have they been selected for mobile pollination/Package bees.
 

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The question is....are those genetics a locally adapted regional line, or have they been selected for mobile pollination/Package bees.
+1
No doubt - I would want to know what exactly is this local seller is selling.
The physical address of a seller tells exactly nothing of his/her widgets for sale.

Last summer one our local beeks had posted "locally mated queens for sale".
I just smiled and did not comment about that one on the local board (did not want to look bad).
From what I see, most local beeks have nothing other than "almond bee" derived queens locally mated to the "almond bee" drones. So much for the local bee - LOL.

Heck, 2 years ago a queens-less hive I had successfully mated the new virgin - in early April (this is in Wisconsin!). This is only possible due to package imported "almond drones". Our local drones should only be available starting May-June.

To compare, the guy I know from Milwaukee does make it very transparent where his sources are coming from (he also gives me his bee samples for my morpho-analysis gymnastics).
This I consider an example of reputable sourcing.
 
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