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This behavior hasn't been selected against even though it is harmful. A strong colony is unlikely to benefit much from the meagre stores of a colony being overcome by mites or AFB. I suspect that a dispropensity toward robbing, a hostility to foreign drones, and a tendency to bite or chew mites will be three characteristics that will be common in bees when mites are no longer a serious problem.
Jon:

I've enjoyed this thread- interesting discussion. MSL is a lot smarter than I am, so I'll let him respond to your critique.

That said, I wanted to make sure you had read the following two-part article from Randy Oliver and the recent scholarship from vanEngelsdorp et al which goes a long way down the road of the rabbit trail you've wandered on:

 

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Read my tagline.
I didn't want for you or anyone else to be the focus of my rant-I did say collective. You are fortunate that you have been able to be TF for decades, but I am tired of hobbyist and even sideliners blaming the commercial guys for everything from spilt milk to bad weather. It's been my very short experience that the commercial guys are doing a hell of a lot more for the industry than hobbyist, sideliners and self-appointed genius beekeepers are. This forum seems to have way too many negative comments about commercial operations but without exception, the commercial guys that I have met seem to put in more interest in breeding, medication and research than any of the self-appointed bee PhD's who names routinely surface on this forum. What I was trying to say is that they have a lot more to lose and many of them can tell you stories of near wipe outs of their businesses by varroa and the rest of the common diseases that now commonly affect our bees. Do you think that the USDA set up the Bee Lab for backyard beekeepers? Nope, it was for the guys sweating a trailer load of bees on a dark interstate in the middle of the night trying to feed his family and helping to produce crops that feed the world. Are there some "commercial guys" who sell bad bees, well yes and in a business of reputation, they don't last long. There are also many commercial guys who have breeding programs, managed by extremely competent scientist, that you may have never heard of because they keep their bees for their own hives or only sell them in large volume orders to other pro's. You with 20 hives and me with 31, well, we have the luxury of time to maintain and play with our bees. I've heard a commercial guy say once that if he spent 2 minutes with each of his hives over a year, he wouldn't have any time to sleep. When it comes to hygienic, VSH and even treatment free, we are all riding on the commercial guys back's-just don't want to see these guys painted with such a broad brush. I can see why the date in the commercial forum is far and few between.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree
agreed, blaming the big guys sells well but many of them put a lot more work in resticance selection the the spliters... all those fancy $600 II TF queens (VP, latchaw, etc) are bought by the big guys and they then spread those TF genetics around... but the realilty is even the great Kefeus could not create a bee that would be TF under pollination conditions... the breeders were all TF, but the stock count make it in the field.. Funny that his 300 hive TF operation gets so much press and his 4,000 hive TX operation was swept under the rug...

It seems to me, if we have 50% survival or 10% survival or 90% survival, we have no way of knowing if survival is correlated to resistance to mites
no were did I say mites/no mites treating or not, etc
I picked one imperially measurably and binary trait to use an an example to show that splitting what lives does not shift the performance or the stock, its not slective enough and you end up drowned in average. but givent the rest of your post I think you get the point

If we look at nature with a stable population of wild/ferall bees if a overwintered hive produces 2 swarms on average, 2/3s of the ferals must die each year to hold the population stable, given that number is likely closer to 4, and the prime swarm often swarms again making 5.... well thats a lot of genetic pruning every year just to have bees good enough to hold it stable...when beekeepers don't mimic this natural selection, they lose ground. nature uses mostly negative selection with bees, but as beekeepers we can use negtive (pinching the average and below ) and have a strong leg up using positive selection and requeein those hives with pinched queens.
 

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Looks like that touched a nerve. I'm not in the business of blame. I'll lay it out the way I see it which is that all these posts about taking 100 to 200 years to stabilize resistance is hogwash. We could have done it in the last 10 years. We didn't do it in the last 10 years because too many breeders were propagating stock that has zero resistance. Are we finally getting there? Yes, I'm very glad to see that we actually have some people - including Randy Oliver - who are doing the hard work of identifying resistant stock and propagating bees that can handle varroa. What I am not happy about is all these posts to "keep your bees alive at all costs because they represent valuable genetics". Realistically, the bees in the U.S. represent less than 5% of the honeybee genetics available in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The genetics have relatively little value. It doesn't help that queen breeders ship tens of thousands of queens throughout the U.S. that are susceptible in the process wiping out many of the pockets of resistance that have developed. Don't quite believe this? Ask yourself how the Primorski bees developed provable resistance.

Still, it makes sense to keep your bees alive, just call up those resistance breeders and order queens for all your colonies and in one generation a huge step in the right direction will have been taken.

I will concede that the genetic base of resistant genetics 10 years ago was too narrow and would have caused problems if we had entirely switched at that time. I still have problems with too narrow genetics though that is getting better with time.
 

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Wow! This discussion, along with its assertions and assumptions proves (to me) that some folks have lots more time on their hands than others. :)

Cats dumped on an island with flightless birds? Has this experiment ever occurred? Sounds like something humans would purposely do to prove.....what? I'm uncertain :confused:

Here's another perspective based on reality;

Anyone else on this forum familiar with "The 100th Monkey" by Ken Keyes Jr. and the evolutionary examples it provided?

The basic premise of the book and study shows how quickly a species can learn a behavior if given the chance 'without' human intervention, behaviors learned and actions taken that are 'collectively' adopted even when not witnessing the behavior among others, even if separated by miles.

All living species eventually reach a tipping point when threatened, they either succumb to the threat or adapt to the threat. It just might take longer than some (humans) will have patience for, which is the critical factor for this discussion imho.

There is much we do not know, and that's ok. Keep on asking questions.
 

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What if the biggest threat to honeybees (life) was us?

Would we change anything in any way to reverse such a threat? Or would we just keep on doing what we're doing?

Examples are plentiful if one is truly seeking answers to such questions.
 

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What if the biggest threat to honeybees (life) was us?

Would we change anything in any way to reverse such a threat? Or would we just keep on doing what we're doing?

Examples are plentiful if one is truly seeking answers to such questions.
From Bee-L, in part:

"My gut feeling is Covid viruses will become not so virulent as they have been: a pathogen cannot wipe out its hosts, a suicide. Similarly, v. mites had to be not so lethal over time so that the bees will be able to cohabit in a detente of sort, allowing a measure of dynamic equilibrium between the two, mites affecting by and large weak colonies of all causes. By keep throwing in treatments, we have succeeded in prolonging such process from the bees, the same argument I had made here around 1991 (emphasis added). Of course, I know many of us must send our kids to college, pay the mortgage, etc. Considering our collective behavior, I am not so convinced that we are the most intelligent species on earth at all. Rather, it is our perceived intelligence that is killing us."

In full:

 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I didn't want for you or anyone else to be the focus of my rant-I did say collective. You are fortunate that you have been able to be TF for decades, but I am tired of hobbyist and even sideliners blaming the commercial guys for everything from spilt milk to bad weather. It's been my very short experience that the commercial guys are doing a hell of a lot more for the industry than hobbyist, sideliners and self-appointed genius beekeepers are. This forum seems to have way too many negative comments about commercial operations but without exception, the commercial guys that I have met seem to put in more interest in breeding, medication and research than any of the self-appointed bee PhD's who names routinely surface on this forum. What I was trying to say is that they have a lot more to lose and many of them can tell you stories of near wipe outs of their businesses by varroa and the rest of the common diseases that now commonly affect our bees. Do you think that the USDA set up the Bee Lab for backyard beekeepers? Nope, it was for the guys sweating a trailer load of bees on a dark interstate in the middle of the night trying to feed his family and helping to produce crops that feed the world. Are there some "commercial guys" who sell bad bees, well yes and in a business of reputation, they don't last long. There are also many commercial guys who have breeding programs, managed by extremely competent scientist, that you may have never heard of because they keep their bees for their own hives or only sell them in large volume orders to other pro's. You with 20 hives and me with 31, well, we have the luxury of time to maintain and play with our bees. I've heard a commercial guy say once that if he spent 2 minutes with each of his hives over a year, he wouldn't have any time to sleep. When it comes to hygienic, VSH and even treatment free, we are all riding on the commercial guys back's-just don't want to see these guys painted with such a broad brush. I can see why the date in the commercial forum is far and few between.
The commercial guys are in a different league. No one is as strongly motivated to have their colonies survive as people whose livelihood depends on it. Not to deify them, they are human just like us little guys. but you need to respect them. They have a lot more skin in the game.
 

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My gut feeling is Covid viruses will become not so virulent as they have been: a pathogen cannot wipe out its hosts, a suicide.
covid has what... a 2% death rate? ... small pox was 30%, Polio was 15%, Bubonic plague 50% (all depending on who's numbers you run)
its clear nature can, has, and will select for much higher death rates.
our perception of "balance" in nature is likely an artifact of our short observation window.. 99.9% of the speices that have lived have gone extinct, no balance was struck.

Its all well and good to be hopeful that mites and bees will come to an arrangement...but honey bees have all ready gone extinct in North America once, suggesting its a very possible outcome
 
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99.9% of the speices that have lived have gone extinct, no balance was struck.
To be sure, these 99.9% species did not go extinct solely due to the viruses and other disease.
Not even close.
The five mass historical extinctions (plus the sixth ongoing now) took care of the bulk extermination.
This was not much about the disease or parasites - rather more radical, global factors.
 

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This was not much about the disease or parasites - rather more radical, global factors.
sure, of the 900 or so that have gone exticent sense the 1500s only >4% have been form disease.. but that's still dozens
but dead is dead and they are dead do to failing to adapt to (whatever) changes.
point is they are dead, it would seem natural selection favors change, not "balance".


 

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Discussion Starter · #73 · (Edited)
Wow! This discussion, along with its assertions and assumptions proves (to me) that some folks have lots more time on their hands than others. :)

Cats dumped on an island with flightless birds? Has this experiment ever occurred? Sounds like something humans would purposely do to prove.....what? I'm uncertain :confused:

Here's another perspective based on reality;

Anyone else on this forum familiar with "The 100th Monkey" by Ken Keyes Jr. and the evolutionary examples it provided?

The basic premise of the book and study shows how quickly a species can learn a behavior if given the chance 'without' human intervention, behaviors learned and actions taken that are 'collectively' adopted even when not witnessing the behavior among others, even if separated by miles.

All living species eventually reach a tipping point when threatened, they either succumb to the threat or adapt to the threat. It just might take longer than some (humans) will have patience for, which is the critical factor for this discussion imho.

There is much we do not know, and that's ok. Keep on asking questions.
The flightless bird scenario has happened actually. Don't remember the details, exactly. I believe the birds were parrots, which being isolated lost the ability to fly. People brought cats because they are people, and weren't thinking about birds at all, except maybe "Look, isn't that a pretty bird!". It is observed that species lose functions (complexity) fairly easily. This is Devolution. That species gain complexity has not been observed.

I haven't read the book in question, but I suspect (correct me if I am wrong) that an example involving monkeys would involve monkeys quickly adopting learned behaviors (like driving cars and stuff). Since this does not involve genetic changes in the monkeys, it isn't evolution at all. Most homilies in evolution books are like that, since actual examples of evolution do not exist. Merely being different (but of the same or lesser complexity) is simply variation. It is no more evolution than a brick is a house. Covid is not evolving, it is changing. Still a virus.

Classical evolutionary theory is based on gradual change (for obvious reasons). It does not propose that species would be able to respond to a sudden change, or even acknowledge that sudden changes happen, except as precipitating causes for things like the "The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event ".

The introduction of Varroa is like that.

However, the purpose of the post was to point out that we do not really understand what is going on.
Unless we do very careful and controlled experiments, with sample sizes large enough to be statistically significant, we are just fooling ourselves.
Then, once we fool ourselves, we can easily fool other people, all the while thinking we are embarking on a noble pursuit.
The details of the example are merely exemplary.
I doubt that it explains what is happening. Just points out we really don't know.

The process of allowing high losses by withholding treatment from n hives, then selecting the winners and repeating appears to me to have a sample size of 1.
The total number of tests being run is n, but the sample size is 1.
The selection process is exactly the same as it would be if the test were run on one hive each year. If it survived, you breed from it. If it dies, you try again. The only thing doing it on multiple hives at a time accomplishes is to speed up the process a bit.
It has no effect on statistical significance. The sample size is 1.
The results have no statistical significance.
The survivor may be better than the ones that died, but it may not.
You don't know, unless you have some observation (maybe mite levels, number of chewed mites, etc) to explain its survival.
Even then you need to compare between hives for that parameter.
Then you need to show statistical correlation with survival. (large number of survivors needed).
Otherwise, you don't know what you are doing.
I do understand that in some cases the simple selection method results in lower losses over time, but in others it doesn't.
We can explain this in many ways, but that is armchair science.

For example, it seems that often Treatment Free works for people who are isolated. No bees nearby. That means no people nearby. That means lower levels of environmental toxins which accompany people.
Perhaps the selection process randomly selects somewhat mite resistant bees. If you try it a few times, the chances get better. You might get lucky.

In your low toxin location that resistance may be sufficient that varroa isn't a bad problem.
Those same bees if moved to an area with people would be weakened by environmental toxins.
Being weakened by toxins they can't adequately resist varroa. Do I think that is the case? Perhaps, perhaps not. What toxins? We don't know. Something may do very little direct harm, and still interfere with a mechanism that enables bees to resist Varroa.

My point is that we don't know. Only careful, detailed, observant research with adequate scale will be able to ferret that out. Letting your bees die isn't discipline, it is child abuse.

This isn't a criticism of people who are making treatment free work, or of people who are suffering high losses.

It is a criticism of people who are trying to save the bees by killing them.
It is a criticism of the idea that genetic diversity is immaterial.
It is a criticism of the idea of rapid evolution of complex traits, as that is based on a misunderstanding. Virtually all change which we will observe will be variation which results from combinations of existing genetic variants. For those to occur, genetic diversity must be maintained.

It is entirely possible that the honeybee is unable to adapt to develop resistance we would consider adequate, or simply won't because "evolution" is based on random mutation. Random processes produce random results, not the ones we want to see, necessarily.
It is possible to predict how long it will take for a random process to produce a specific combination of events.
To do that, you would need to know (at the least) about how many specific events would need to occur, how many different unique events can occur, and the rate events occur at.
If someone had (or could even estimate) those numbers, it would be relatively simple math to estimate how long it will take. No one is able to do that, because (to be blunt) no one has any idea about those things (except a rough idea of the rate of mutation overall, but not an accurate one).

Expecting honeybees to evolve in a way we would like is magical thinking. It is hoping for a miracle. Bond method beekeepers are like Linus waiting in a sincere pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to appear.

Again, if you are trying to make treatment free work for you, I heartily approve. There is a good deal of evidence that some people who do that experience some level of success. It won't likely help the bees develop resistance overall. It will probably help them less on average than people who treat.

We can create a situation in which we counter the unnatural introduction of Varroa with the equally unnatural introduction of treatments for varroa. This will result in selection pressure that is continuous but modest. No treatment method eliminates the effects of Varroa.
In this situation selection involving reassortment of existing traits can occur.
In this situation mutation may (eventually) provide any needed traits which do not currently exist in the population.
If we do that there is a chance that the bees can adapt so that the need for treatment will gradually subside.

This is what people who manage their bees so that losses are low are doing.

End of rant.
I am not trying to condemn anyone, and if I made someone feel bad, I am sorry. I am trying to get people to think a bit. I know very little about keeping bees, which I suppose is obvious, and don't claim to be any kind of expert on keeping bees.

Enjoy your bees.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
From Bee-L, in part:

"My gut feeling is Covid viruses will become not so virulent as they have been: a pathogen cannot wipe out its hosts, a suicide. [/URL]
As regards covid, it seems doubtful the virus gets much advantage from the survival of its host.
Whether the host dies or recovers, the viruses in the host die. for their progeny to survive, they must find a new host to infect. Smallpox was always pretty virulent, so was Plague (not a viral disease). Humans modify their behavior based to some degree on the virulence of a disease. It may be, due to this human trait, that less virulent strains will find it easier to find new hosts. But since Covid seems to infect virtually all mammals, humans are not the only hosts whose behavior is relevant.

All selection events are based on immediate considerations. Survival or reproductive success of the individual organism is the only criterion.

For example, it is quite possible for Varroa to lose its preference for drone brood.
This minor change may significantly improve its reproductive success.
This is hypothetical, I don't know if it would work that way, but that or some change could improve its success.
Since mites have no problem getting from dead or dying colonies to healthy ones, death of the host colonies would do nothing to slow this.
As a result, Varroa may overwhelm all of our treatments, and wipe out all of the bees. Then Varroa would die.

The reproductive success of the mites with this change would always be greater than of mites without it, so it would be selected for. The last mite, infecting the last cell of the last bee colony would only be trying to survive and reproduce.

That is how I see it.

The system is only conditionally stable. Violate those conditions and it will probably find a new stable point.
That stable operating point may not include some species of the status quo ante.
 

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the OP wrote:

For example, it is quite possible for Varroa to lose its preference for drone brood.

Me- and yes, that is my fear.By striking drone brood, I am selecting for mites that do NOT prefer drone brood.
There is more time for it to reproduce in drone brood, so a mite that prefers worker brood would not be able to reproduce as fast.

I am proposing that in NOT isolated areas, the bees that die are being weakened by a man made chemical. WE have noticed a correlation between yards that do NOT greet the second round of feed by smell with increased winter mortality, and concurrently an increase in survival in the yards where we are greeted. What if bees use their sence of smell to locate mites and groom each other? Most functions in a hive are controlled by smell. Anyone seeing queen supersedes when they are not needed? Maybe they just can't smell their queen like they should.

So if we assume for a minute, that in the gene poll we have hives that are mite resistant and die because the smell function is disabled, and hives that are not mite resistant, but are able to smell(due to less exposure to a man made chemical) the mites and remove some and live. Over time, you will loose your good genes because the loss of smell from a human chemical is masking the mite issue.

An associated problem in culling and or introducing into the gene poll is the skill to do a proper hive inspection or necropsy. . I will put on my "Aloof" hat and question jhow many people have all of the tools necessary.. Make a mistake, and you just drained your gene pool.

As I was entering our yard performance into excell (data starts in 1932), it was striking how every year a yard ot two does not "Fit the pattern" of the rest. One of these was not like the others. We have 20 yards at the moment. A person with one yard would have to wait 20 years if the gene they are looking for to be TF is only in that one yard. Possible for them to find that gene, but not likely.

Crazy Roland
 

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I have been thinking about this for a while, and a post about the "Bond Method" really got me to thinking.
It seems to me that most severe beekeeping problems eventually become more manageable.
Looking through the literature, a hundred fifty years ago, wax moths were a BIG problem.
But equipment got better, and the bees adapted, and now they are not so much of a problem.
A hundred years ago, AFB was a BIG problem. But beekeeping practices got better, and the bees adapted, and now it is fairly uncommon.
Thirty years ago, tracheal mites were a pretty significant problem, but that became less and less so, and now doesn't seem such a problem.
It seems that over time, whatever comes along eventually the bees adapt, practices change a bit, and the problem becomes less significant.

but then came Varroa. And it is a BIG problem. Some people advocate for a "survival of the fittest" approach, hoping it will produce resistant bees. No treatments allowed. Let the weak die.
Now if no treatments is working for you, that is wonderful. I am not against anything that works. However, that approach (the Bond method, of let them die) seems to me to be counterproductive.
I think it is now clear that no population of bees exists which is currently robustly resistant to varroa. Survival of the fittest is a concept that assumes gradual change. But the introduction of Varroa is a catastrophic change.

Here is an example:

When cats are introduced on an island that has flightless birds, the birds don't learn to fly. They go extinct. Because NONE OF THEM CAN FLY. It would be possible of course to breed those birds selectively to get flying birds. However, it might take a few generations. And faced with a sudden change in the environment, the birds don't have time.

The biggest problem is the birds lose most of their genetic diversity before they have a chance to adapt, as most of them get eaten pretty quickly. Since the time frame is much too short for the birds to mutate, their only hope is reassortment of genes already in the bird population. But it may take several genes to all line up in one individual to make a flyer, and those genes individually may give the birds who have them no advantage at all. Once all of the birds with some key genetics get eaten, there isn't anything in the gene pool to replace them. The ability to fly which is latent in the original population is now gone.

The ideal situation would be for the depredation of the cats to exert modest selection pressure on the birds. In that situation, birds that are quicker, lighter, etc. have a better chance of survival. When they mate, some of their offspring may do even slightly better. Eventually, they may regain the ability to fly. But the differences between individuals in the original population of flightless birds are not sufficient to protect any of them from cats. Faced with a limitless supply of easy food, the cats will multiply in numbers rapidly. No bird has a chance.

Thinking of that, it seems to me, the first thing we want to do is to keep the gene pool of Apis Mellifera as extensive as possible. The more genetic diversity we have, the better. Getting new genetic diversity takes millennia. We don't want to lose what we have.

It then follows that the second thing we want to do is to allow Varroa to exert modest selection pressure on the bees we have. Not like a dog loose in a pen full of chickens. Because modest selection pressure will reward good combinations of genes and punish bad ones. Not severely, but significantly. If Varroa selects out maybe 5% or 10% of colonies in a year, that might be OK. Or that may be higher than ideal. But most of us would be doing pretty well if our annual losses were less than 5%.

If the genes currently in the gene pool can be combined to produce bees that are resistant to Varroa, and if the selection pressure isn't so great that beneficial traits which are needed are eliminated by Varroa killing off the bees with those traits before they can be combined with other helpful traits, eventual success is likely.

WE DON'T KNOW what traits will combine to provide resistance. It appears that Apis Cerana is resistant because worker bee larvae die as soon as they are bitten by the mites, and they only raise drones occasionally. Mites can't reproduce in cells with dead larvae, so the mites are not a big problem.

Looking at that, I conclude that any way of keeping bees where mostly the bees survive will work to eventually make mites not a big problem. Treating the bees is only somewhat effective. The best treatment program doesn't make the bees immune to the mites. Some colonies will do better than others. These are the ones that will produce more bees for packages, and more swarms, and be selected for rearing queens. Nobody picks their worst hive to rear new queens from. Selection still occurs. The bees that escape and live on their own are also subject to selection and will gradually become more resistant. The treatment free bees, while they will lose a lot of genetic diversity if they have high losses, will also contribute, as their bees are under selection pressure as well, though often I suspect the bees will be as helpless as flightless birds.

And in spite of our best efforts, the bees will gradually become resistant to varroa. It may take a decade, or a century. or two. We don't know. The more diverse the gene pool, the faster it will happen.

The commercial beekeepers who use all the chemicals are doing their part. So are those who are treatment free. People making mite bombs aren't helping much. They are just feeding the cats. Keeping your bees alive helps to preserve the genetic diversity of the species.

My conclusion is: keep bees however seems best to you. Try and keep them alive. It will all work out.

Jon
I'm not so sure about the Bond method (of not treating beehives for Varroa mites).
That sounds more like the currently debunked anti-vaxxer/anti-masker "herd immunity" analogy, only with a much higher mortality rate.

Left untreated, the majority of hives will eventually die off from varroa mites.
Meanwhile, their untreated hive members are busy out flying around and dropping the mites all over the local flora population, where other bees (from hives which have been treated and carefully managed by a beekeeper) then pick up the loose mites and bring them back to their hives, reinfecting their own hive.
So untreated hives are acting a lot like COVID super-spreader events with the contagion rates analogous to the new Omicron COVID variant!

The difference between hive mortality rates likewise depends upon the amount and timing of prevention measures by the beekeepers. But even with those prevention measures in place, some of the bees in the treated hives will end up with the mites, and the weaker bees will die, and the stronger bees will be weakened by it. And then other usually nonfatal situations can wipe out even a well-tended beehive.

Is it fair to the beekeepers with well managed hives to have negligent neighbors spreading the varroa mite pestilence all around and infecting their managed hives? I would think not.

Therefore, the Bond method isn't really a viable experiment unless you are owning a hive so far removed from other hives that your bees' mites never end up in the reachable distance from the next closest hive, and you should have to post a warning to other beekeepers (especially commercial beekeepers) the location and Bond method status of your untreated hive(s).
 

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Classical evolutionary theory is based on gradual change (for obvious reasons). It does not propose that species would be able to respond to a sudden change, or even acknowledge that sudden changes happen, except as precipitating causes for things like the "The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event ".
Some of the newer evolutionary theory actually is much faster than we have previously thought. **** Sapiens have been evolving over the last 100 years, going from a five cusp molar to a four cusp molar. This isn't very new I was exposed to it in the 80's. So evolution happens in spurts and once a trait is recognized as better it pushes through the population very fast. Human skulls have been collected and studied for a long time. This is why the missing links are not found very often, not many exist.

Evolution has a hard time with very quick changes, such as loss of habitat, new predator or parasite. It will be interesting to see how the polar bear adapts as the Northern ice retreats, and it just might push back into grizzly territory or goes extinct. So this is the problem with the Bond method, the line just goes extinct, and what is really needed is less pressure from the mites not more. So when I treat those colonies that were doing OK with the mites are stronger and the ones with high mite counts are just a little weaker and then when another stressor comes by some colonies are lost. Pollinators and flowers evolved together and not sure if a colony has a slower evolutionary pattern than some of the other bees like leafcutters which have multiple cycles a season. This is making my head hurt.

Virus evolution is different in that you cannot kill your host to fast. They need the infected host to walk around and infect more host. Once someone gets sick and dies of a respiratory virus it pretty much stops spreading. So theoretically, each new corona virus will be a little weaker but more contagious. Also mammals have been living with changing viruses since the beginning of time, viruses were here first.

The big concern is that with II/AI the scale of the effect on the gene pool are huge. One II queen in a good breeders hand and she can have thousand of daughters. Now take the limited number of good II queen lines and see the damage/good that does. Also the cost of these queens is so high that you have to make so many daughters to justify the investment. I am not sure the mutts aren't going to save us. Also Randy Oliver and Ian Steppler by using their own stock to improve, might be better option in the long run. Last I looked the Minnesota line has stopped doing II, I think it might be they were reducing the gene pool to much.

I just want to put a flea/mite collar on my bees and the mites will just bite once and die. The mites can't see, so if I just leave the lights on after an inspection, that way the bees can see them and remove them.

I just hate those little mites. OK I hate leaches about as bad.
 

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Life ain't fair. Whoever said it was is lying. :)

Some folks, those way smarter than me, have estimated that more than half the humans that have ever lived, died from one virus or another. More than from natural causes, accidents or wars.

These same viruses are now part of our collective DNA, which is in a constant state of evolving and/or adapting to our environment.

Which came first? Is it even possible to eliminate a virus? I'll leave that to the experts to answer.

....just as I thought though...(Re; question presented above), humans will do little to change anything as long as it interferes with our desired lifestyles.

It brings up an old question; When will we stop destroying our planet? Answer: When it's too late. Only after the last tree is felled, the last river is polluted, the soil fails to grow anything.....etc....


"Humans seek to satisfy their desires with the least amount of exertion" - Henry George
 

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Life ain't fair. Whoever said it was is lying. :)

Some folks, those way smarter than me, have estimated that more than half the humans that have ever lived, died from one virus or another. More than from natural causes, accidents or wars.

These same viruses are now part of our collective DNA, which is in a constant state of evolving and/or adapting to our environment.

Which came first? Is it even possible to eliminate a virus? I'll leave that to the experts to answer.

....just as I thought though...(Re; question presented above), humans will do little to change anything as long as it interferes with our desired lifestyles.

It brings up an old question; When will we stop destroying our planet? Answer: When it's too late. Only after the last tree is felled, the last river is polluted, the soil fails to grow anything.....etc....


"Humans seek to satisfy their desires with the least amount of exertion" - Henry George
We have all the wisdom and foresite of yeast cells! Multiply our numbers until we either exhaust the food supply ( sugar) or cannot tolerate the waste produced (alcohol), then we die!
Apparently not instictively equipped to alter present behavior to ensure survival in the future. How do you help such an organism so apparently bent on self destruction?
 

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We have all the wisdom and foresite of yeast cells! Multiply our numbers until we either exhaust the food supply ( sugar) or cannot tolerate the waste produced (alcohol), then we die!
Apparently not instictively equipped to alter present behavior to ensure survival in the future. How do you help such an organism so apparently bent on self destruction?
I am confident we can find a way to kill ourselves off.
We can have wars
we can invest in Gain of function research.
We can stir up violence against each other.
We can elect depopulation proponents to Political office.
We are quite resource full, give it some time....

GG
 
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