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From a talk in January 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UuZtJmhHDk#t=16m44s

From a talk in June 2020

As sort of a follow up he's talking about his revelation that some resistant queens' resistance traits are dominant, and others are recessive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXjDSD92ILs&t=4233s
Can you point to the video's time stamp where he talks about the "resistant queens' resistance traits".
Just don't feel like watching the entire video at the moment - pretty long.
 

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Can you point to the video's time stamp where he talks about the "resistant queens' resistance traits".
Just don't feel like watching the entire video at the moment - pretty long.
Never mind.
Found it - at about 1:24:00 and on.
 

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I can tolerate watching the videos if I speed up the rate to 150%. I'd much rather read his reports. The part about queen resistance to mites is just a quick blurb in the last few minutes of the second talk. Have not watched the first video yet.
 

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I REALLY enjoy watching his videos and I think he has the best bee website out there, the content is unmatched and he publishes his methodology in detail which is rare. I think I will order a few nukes from him this year just to vote with my wallet for his breeding program, not that I think it matters ...he sells out pretty fast. Imagine if every breeder selected for mite resistance the way he does. I also appreciate his policy of monthly mite washes and being "treatment free" all the way until he needs to save a hive.... then he just takes that queen out of the breeding program, and requeens his whole apiary of thousands of hives from his "treatment free" queens that show resistance. I think this makes a lot of sense and accelerates the spreading of resistant genetics vs other methods like the "bond" method.
 

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zabadoh:

Thank you for posting the videos- I had not seen the Manitoba video yet and it had good information.

It still jars me when I hear him mention that their resistance breeding program is not breeding for any specific trait other define the job description (keeping mite levels low).

Reminds me that if someone as talented as Randy has determined that such a reductionist approach can be successful, that it might prove valuable for us mere mortals too.

Thanks again for the posting- I appreciate it.

Russ
 

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zabadoh:

It still jars me when I hear him mention that their resistance breeding program is not breeding for any specific trait other define the job description (keeping mite levels low).
Russ
This approach makes sense to me, considering that we don't have a good handle on why some hives are more resistant than others. If we breed for one trait, we may be missing various minor factors that add up to good resistance.
 

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..... not breeding for any specific trait other define the job description (keeping mite levels low).

..........Russ
Even the "low mite level" is to be defined.
Is it 1%?
Is it 5%?
I heard even 10% is OK....
This is the main reason I realized I need to start doing my own counts.
No clear cut answer really - site by site and bee by bee, it all depends.
 

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This approach makes sense to me, considering that we don't have a good handle on why some hives are more resistant than others. If we breed for one trait, we may be missing various minor factors that add up to good resistance.
To be clear, I am in complete agreement with his approach- I was simply making the observation that with all the experience and diagnostic tools that he has at his disposal, he is currently using a relatively crude approach that is available to almost anyone. Keep up the good work in your yard.
 

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Even the "low mite level" is to be defined.

...

No clear cut answer really - site by site and bee by bee, it all depends.
Good point, GregV. For what it is worth, it looks like Randy is using a benchmark of less than 3% infestation after one full year, but I can certainly appreciate how the 'right' answer might be different in depending upon management paradigms, resistance mechanism(s), regions and/or objectives.

That said, I think it is a good idea to set a goal and measure against it.

To that end, I appreciate you recording your mite counts, and I'll look forward to seeing how these values comport with survival and productivity.
 

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Too many variables for me. Mites make everything worse. In a given year, even excluding mites, some percentage of hives will be killed by one thing or another, cold, starvation, nosema, EFB, bears or whatever. Maybe 10-30% of hives, even before thinking about mites.

But add in mites. Suppose a hive might have survived a case of nosema or EFB, or a cold winter. But with mites they die. Here is where the difficulty comes in. A colony that has 3% mites but dies due to nosema is still dead and colony with 10% mites but no nosema survives. How do you figure out what happened? All you really know is that one dies and one lives.

Randy's approach covers all that.
 

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......How do you figure out what happened? All you really know is that one dies and one lives.

Randy's approach covers all that.
This is all really easy.
What is on your list, AR, is nothing new - these issues have been forever.
And yet still the people kept the bees forever too.

So - all those variables, ALL of them amount to historical background noise which results in background mortality.
It is all just a black box noise and can be clumped together as such.

We now have one extra mite variable added - conveniently, we can measure IT (this separate and distinct variable) - separately from the background noise.
In fact, measuring the mites is trivial to do, it can be done at home and for free, and it is precise enough to be meaningful.
This is huge!

Go and measure nosema, EFB, viral load, etc, etc - NOT possible without considerable effort and resources.

To compare, the mite monitoring is really, really easy.
I know I resisted doing the counts myself (due to "guru influences") - but honestly, it should be done and accounted for by everyone in routine decision making (treating or not treating is less important - but situational awareness is more important).
 

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I know I resisted doing the counts myself (due to "guru influences") - but honestly, it should be done and accounted for by everyone in routine decision making (treating or not treating is less important - but situational awareness is more important).
Welcome to the "dark side" !!

The gurus (or beekeeping taliban as randy calls them) often remind me of my days dealing with cult survivors/rescues..

many of rules seem purely to retain membership

Catch swarms under the lie they are likely feral survivors, not treated bees that overwintered strong... your less likely to quit TF and keep trying if your not losing money and buying packages or actually TF stocks form breeders..

Don't count mites... if you know how bad a hive is infested you may be tempted to treat, and if you see what a thriving overwintered hive looks like compared to one that merely survived you may never go back to TF (it was an eyeopener for me!)

Treating a hive will set its adaption to mites back... its adaption is fixed in its genetics, hives don't adapt, entire populations do.

Lazy beekeeping- No grafting, no mite counts, no treatments, no sweat. let nature takes its course and you will lose less then treaters as you not treating and stressing your bees and doing all the "big Ag" stuff (this is the one that suckered me )

all of it is sad as its blocking the people motivated to go TF from the tools they need to be successful, not supporting TF breeding programs, and drawing in people (easy beekeeping) who would be better suited towards a treatment lifestyle and less work (TF is HARD work, not easy)
 

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Welcome to the "dark side" !!
........
Unsure how knowing the counts would have affected my total loss last year. Hard to think back.

But for sure, I would LOVE to know why my "breeder queen" of 2019 season totally collapsed as early as in September.
No way to know now, only suspect mite drifting from the zombie hive I brought into that yard (probably was the fatal mistake).
Of course, I never counted mites in 2018 either - to know if she even was a good breeder in the mite-control context.

Hard #s for that particular yard (4 "promising" colonies collapsed) would be very, very useful about one year ago.
In fact, had I counted the mites in the zombies before bringing them to my breeding yard, I might have moved the zombies elsewhere.
THAT alone could have made my seasonal outcome much different.

Anyways, no business can operate in total darkness for it to be long-term sustainable.
That's for sure.
 

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.......(TF is HARD work, not easy)
It appears so for me - here and now.
Maybe deep in the Ozarks it is different.
But lazy beekeeping here and now?
Forget-about-it. I have been trying.

I will still hold the goal of 50% consistent survivability and chem-free though!
That alone is some work and worthwhile fun to me.
 
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