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nice!
as a correction the Keffus rig is made out of foam insulation not wood and is a single piece.
One rip cut in to a strip (4'-8'), one dato pass to cut the channel. No need to cut slots for the cell cup/holder to slide in it just presses into the foam Makes a lot very fast krig.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #102
nice!
as a correction the Keffus rig is made out of foam insulation not wood and is a single piece.
One rip cut in to a strip (4'-8'), one dato pass to cut the channel. No need to cut slots for the cell cup/holder to slide in it just presses into the foam Makes a lot very fast View attachment 53815

one rip?

one dato?


Foam insulation

Is that the right word to describe that material? If so; I´ll make the correction right away.

I was looking at the ABJ January 2009 article, page52.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
First decent cleansing flight day today, about +10 C, sun and only moderate wind.

No dead ones in the big hives. One clearly lighter (weighing by hand) hive was given 1 food frame.


31% dead in the Mini-Plus nucleus hives, but that was not a surprise.
Queen rearing 2019 was started too late, inseminated queens start laying later than free mated and the tendency of my TF stock to develop slowly, all these factors ended up that I made the following note 7th of September 2019:

"The strength of Mini-Plus nucleus hives is not anywhere satisfactory. They are fairly even (on the weak side), only two are very weak."

Note from 5th of October:
"Looking at the Mini-Plus hive bottoms, all fairly equal, but weaker than usually. Couple very weak, couple strong ones."
 

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Discussion Starter #107
On Monday 4th of May there was for the first time this spring pollen from willow coming in. It had started blooming earlier but weather conditions were too cold and windy. This week the bees had several good days to strengthen their pollen stores.

In order to get a general idea what is the situation I made on Thursday my first round opening hives. I opened them only if they seemed to be light and empty frames (on the sides) were accessible. Drone frames need to get in place by the end of next week. Now I have an idea which hives are used as drone raisers, and which ones for breeding.

Because of cold weather coming I added food frames whenever I could take an empty frame(or two/three) away from the hive wall. To minimize disturbance I did not look at the brood area unless there were reason to believe something is not right. One very weak hive needed to be looked at, but it had a queen, so ended up just placing a food frame besides the brood area.

In the Mini-Plus nucs two additional dead ones were found, one had maybe starved beside food, the other one died of weakness. Most of the Mini-Plus hives had plenty of stores, but couple hives, queens were crossings with fairly new material from Central Europe, had low stores.
 

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On Monday 4th of May there was for the first time this spring pollen from willow coming in.
Juhani:

Enjoyed reading your update. It is interesting to me to consider how much longer your colonies have to overwinter versus those of us at lower latitudes.

If you don't mind me asking, I am curious as to your objectives for the importation of the Central European stock? I assume you had a very specific purpose for bringing these genetics in?
 

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Discussion Starter #109

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Josef Koller wanted to give me 2 queens. Both one drone inseminations made in their VSH breeding project.

https://www.buckfast-bayern.de/neu/buckfastbiene/vsh-projekt/vsh-projekt-2018/
Juhani:

I sincerely apologize for my delay in reply- I have been away from the computer of late.

I looked around at the Buckfast Bayern Association website and it seems like quite an ambitious project with stringent standards.

I enjoyed reading how their ethos is centered around Dr. Ruttner's obituary of Brother Adam:

“This is how Brother ADAM has done important things in his life, both for beekeeping practice and for science. His life was characterized by a total dedication to his profession. The full extent of his achievements will only be recognizable as soon as the smoke has evaporated from the current, often not very factual debates.”

I sincerely hope that this breeding stock proves to be a real boon to your operation.

Have a great weekend.

Russ
 

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Eynard, S.E.; Sann, C.; Basso, B.; Guirao, A.; Le Conte, Y.; Servin, B.; Tison, L.; Vignal, A.; Mondet, F. Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance. Preprints 2020, 2020070166 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0166.v1).

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0166/v1

Abstract

In the current context of worldwide honey bee colony losses, among which the varroa mite plays a major role, hope to improve honey bee health lies in part in the breeding of varroa resistant colonies. To do so, methods used to evaluate varroa resistance need better understanding. Repeatability and correlations between traits such as Mite Non-Reproduction (MNR), Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) and hygienic behaviour are poorly known, due to practical limitations and to their underlying complexity. We investigate (i) the variability, (ii) repeatability of the MNR score and (iii) its correlation with other resistance traits. To reduce the inherent variability of MNR scores, we propose to apply an Empirical Bayes correction. On the short-term (ten days) MNR had a modest repeatability of 0.4 whereas on the long- term (a month) it had a low repeatability of 0.2, similar to other resistance traits. Within our dataset there was no correlation between MNR and VSH. Although MNR is amongst the most popular varroa resistance estimates in field studies, its underlying complex mechanism is not fully understood. Its lack of correlation with better described resistance traits and low repeatability suggest that MNR need to be interpreted cautiously, especially when used for selection.
 

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Eynard, S.E.; Sann, C.; Basso, B.; Guirao, A.; Le Conte, Y.; Servin, B.; Tison, L.; Vignal, A.; Mondet, F. Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance. Preprints 2020, 2020070166 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0166.v1).

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0166/v1
Bernhard:

Thank you for posting this pre-print. I finally had an opportunity to sit-down and read it, and as fate would have it, the final peer-reviewed version looks to have been published yesterday:

https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/11/8/492

It appears it was quite a robust study- encompassing 275 colonies over a period of three years. In their description of the experimental design they mentioned, The colonies, originating from diverse sources, were not selected during the experiment and thus only experience natural selection. However, colonies were chosen to allow for varroa resistance inference, which means that some colonies entered the experiment because they had shown resistance or were expected to be resistant. The colonies’ genetic backgrounds were not controlled.

It would be interesting to see how this group fared against the non-selected stock.

I also appreciated the feedback on the distinction between SMR and MNR and how this factor appears to be relatively consistently expressed regardless of mite load, suggesting that the mites themselves may be contributing to the reduced reproductive success:

The terminology SMR implies an active contribution of an external agent to the reproduction failure of varroa, even though such failure can be intrinsic to the varroa, as described above. This is why the new terminology, mite non-reproduction (MNR), has been recently proposed and will be used thereafter in this study.

In our study, we accounted for colony dynamics, colony management, and location of the hives, none of which significantly impacted MNR. Mite infestation in the brood cells and on adult bees did not affect the MNR trait either. This corresponds with the observations of different authors, stating that the link between MNR and mite infestation levels is not universal.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
...consistently expressed regardless of mite load, suggesting that the mites themselves may be contributing to the reduced reproductive success:

In our study, we accounted for colony dynamics, colony management, and location of the hives, none of which significantly impacted MNR. Mite infestation in the brood cells and on adult bees did not affect the MNR trait either. This corresponds with the observations of different authors, stating that the link between MNR and mite infestation levels is not universal.[/I]
I have been advertising a lot Arista Foundation work, here in BS too, telling for instance about their VSH tests.

BUT: Is it actually MNR (mite non reproduction) tests they are doing?
I misunderstood. My bad.


MNR is a rather static factor, which does not change very much and is affected (mainly) by mites?
 

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MNR is a rather static factor, which does not change very much and is affected (mainly) by mites?
Juhani:

While I will readily admit my limited-understanding on the subject, I believe the main impetus of the change in acronyms from SMR to MNR is simply to incorporate new scholarship which suggests that the mites themselves are contributing to the non-reproduction. I am not certain if anyone has suggested that it is mainly a mite-driven phenomena, but only that it appears that the mites are contributing along with the bees.

Big picture, it seems that the main take-aways from this research are:

We believe that the MNR measurement is indispensable to the continuation of comprehensive research on bee resistance to the varroa mite in the future as well as contributing to a successful and pertinent selection of resistant honey bees. However, we are in urgent need of a standard protocol to be used worldwide. Therefore, we aim in this study to validate an MNR protocol and point out the constraints and opportunities of this method to encourage its use in the future.

In conclusion, the MNR measurement remains one of the few measurements for varroa resistance in honey bee populations, which can be achieved in the field on a relatively large scale. Although time consuming and tedious to implement, it also gives a lot of different information which can help us to better understand the control mechanisms that bees use to counteract the varroa mite. However, the results here highlight the need for a precise protocol using enough single infested cells (>35), performed multiple times over a short period of time to provide solid estimates. The weak points should be taken into consideration when designing an experiment, and a combination of different measurements to correctly assess honey bee resistance like mite infestation levels (inside and outside the brood cells) and genetic analysis could be additionally taken into account when analyzing the varroa resistance of a colony. To date, no breeding programs aiming at obtaining resistant honey bees have produced commercially available colonies. We believe that using the MNR measurement with a new awareness of its weaknesses and strengths could be an important tool for successful future selection programs of resistant honey bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
While I will readily admit my limited-understanding on the subject, I believe the main impetus of the change in acronyms from SMR to MNR...[/I]
Are you sure MNR has replaced SMR???

I see it this way:

SMR = suppressed mite reproduction caused by the bees (method unknown, probably some chemical influence as proven in Kefuss bees)
VSH = varroa sensitive hygiene caused by the bees (methods: opening and recapping cells, removing infected larvae)
MNR = mites not reproducing, a rather constant trait of the mites

To date, no breeding programs aiming at obtaining resistant honey bees have produced commercially available colonies.
Meaning commercially available queens, I suppose.

Well... packagebeeseurope.com is producing some 50 000 a year, here some Lunden bees and VSH bees:
https://www.packagebeeseurope.com/en/regine/api-regine-buckfast/
 

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Discussion Starter #118
I read the link. They appear to be saying their bees are only slightly resistant to varroa, and that buyers at best can expect to use one less treatment per year.
:thumbsup:

That is correct.
Our bees in very high bee density and Southern Europe climate conditions are doing their best but...


But to say that "no breeding programs aiming at obtaining resistant honey bees have produced commercially available colonies", is, IMO, a bit misleading.
 

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You are 100% TF, correct? Could you give me an idea what you consider the most important factors in maintaining live hives? You must have posted this in the past but I wonder if you can sum it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #120
You are 100% TF, correct? Could you give me an idea what you consider the most important factors in maintaining live hives? You must have posted this in the past but I wonder if you can sum it up.
Yes correct, have been since 2008. Years 2001-2008 diminishing treatment (1 OAD/ autumn, year 2001 35ml -> year 2008 3ml)

To sum it up: genetics. Environment has a role too, but it is important to understand, and speaking about the experiences of other 3000 beekeepers, that although we in Finland have a long winter ( usually so far...), without treatments and even with treatments bees end up dead here too. Not in one summer but two summers, roughly said so. I have had many contacts of desperate beekeepers. Varroa resistace is finally getting recognized as a fact, not just a fairy tail.

The 19 year ordeal I have had has included several times when I have lost 70% of my hives. So there has been severe selection of the fittest. After the final drop I had 4 good hives (and about 10 dinks), three of them were very much related (not all sisters, but from one same mother).

Then 2015-2016 I had this silly idea of ROOTs system. That was and idea of Josef Koller, that we could create TF bees with free mating. I struggled somehow forward, but unable to make increase and weak hives, maybe bad weathers were affecting too.

After starting to inseminate all queens and evaluating in mini hives (idea of Brother Adams) I have had much better success. In fact last winter did not lose one hive. The most severe problem has been drone layers. If some hive gets angry, there are problems, but usually bees solve them somehow before autumn. If queen does not want to lay eggs/ bees do not let her lay there are problems. Action: changing queen helps. But of course, not all queens are winners even they are inseminated.
 
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