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Just because you did not understand the book, it does not make it a bad book, possibly because you approached with a closed mind. About 99 out of 100 seem to understand it.
The first 30 pages or so were to explain the theories regarding bee improvement; the next part of the book was to test those theories by putting them into practice to see if they hold true. The conclusion was that the theories do in fact hold true and that we can improve the quality the quality of our bees through simple assessment and selection processes.
The book was never intended to be a regurgitation of other people's scientific papers. Those that want can go direct to these without me trying to prove a point.
As for principles, there are ten principles written up at the end of the book for those, like you, who missed them on the way through. The fact that the system works, to me, shows that the book cannot be as bad as you think.
If people are determined to stick to their imported bees, and not wanting to consider any alternative, it is to be expected that they would not get anything out of the book.
For the benefit of those who may not have read your book, I have attached the section you referred to above.

I read it very carefully. I have to say that, for a book entitled "The principles of bee improvement", I was disappointed. You and I have very different interpretations of the word "principle" so this is taken from the Cambridge English Dictionary:
" a basic idea or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works: "
I saw no evidence of any principles in your book - but, perhaps there are others who see what I have not?
 

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Beebe 

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I saw no evidence of any principles in your book - but, perhaps there are others who see what I have not?
Based on the ten "commandments" which you have just made available, there are some principles in evidence, but maybe not ten of them. ;) There is a fair amount of partial repetition and overlap and most of what is being said is basic Darwinian theory, which will be obvious to anyone with even an average education and understanding of biology. (We all know that beekeepers are generally of above average intelligence in addition to having superior good looks.)

I don't know if the "meat" of the book explains any practical breeding techniques or whether it is intended that it does so. But if the gist of it is to say that bees are useful for pollination and honey and beekeepers will be happier if they select and breed from bees which show optimum productivity whilst being best suited to both beekeeper and local environment, it's an unnecessarily long book. :laughing-smiley-014
 

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I bought a Buckfast queen last year from a breeder on Ebay, and they've been the most docile bees I have and the others hives are docile. Productive too.
Shouldn’t that be BeeBay? :laughing-smiley-014
 

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StevieD, if you are looking for black bees, bear in mind they vary - if you get some from Cornwall, say, they may not thrive in Northumberland. BIBBA has some members who specialise in Amm around the country, they're the people to check with. However, many BIBBA members are more into the best local bee and don't get too obsessed with pure Amm, having found Amm, like all purebreds, interbreed with whatever is around. The local landraces are more stable. Again, BIBBA are the people who can guide you to sources.
 

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Based on the ten "commandments" which you have just made available, there are some principles in evidence, but maybe not ten of them. ;) There is a fair amount of partial repetition and overlap and most of what is being said is basic Darwinian theory, which will be obvious to anyone with even an average education and understanding of biology. (We all know that beekeepers are generally of above average intelligence in addition to having superior good looks.)

I don't know if the "meat" of the book explains any practical breeding techniques or whether it is intended that it does so. But if the gist of it is to say that bees are useful for pollination and honey and beekeepers will be happier if they select and breed from bees which show optimum productivity whilst being best suited to both beekeeper and local environment, it's an unnecessarily long book. :laughing-smiley-014

I see nothing in the book that approaches a basic idea that explains or controls how anything happens. That's why I said it contains no principles. The OP would be far better off referring to an old book (1988) called "Breeding techniques and selection for breeding of the honeybee" by Prof Friedrich Ruttner. On page 9, he says: "Experience over many years has shown that lasting results can only be obtained from breeding within a pure race, certainly not from breeding with the repeatedly crossed "local bees".'
 

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I see nothing in the book that approaches a basic idea that explains or controls how anything happens. That's why I said it contains no principles. The OP would be far better off referring to an old book (1988) called "Breeding techniques and selection for breeding of the honeybee" by Prof Friedrich Ruttner. On page 9, he says: "Experience over many years has shown that lasting results can only be obtained from breeding within a pure race, certainly not from breeding with the repeatedly crossed "local bees".'
What is a pure race?
 

B+. 

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What is a pure race?
carnica, ligustica, mellifera, etc.
His point was...the local bee nonsense that organisations like BIBBA propose using has already been tried. It failed because of a simple thing called heredity.
 

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carnica, ligustica, mellifera, etc.
His point was...the local bee nonsense that organisations like BIBBA propose using has already been tried. It failed because of a simple thing called heredity.
So am I getting closer to the nub of this disagreement of which I would prefer not to be a part, in that this is basically the the ongoing debate as to whether you're better with improving your local bees or should you endeavour to maintain a stock of these named sub-species? If so, I'm probably with Joe Widdicombe and I'm out. ;)
 

B+. 

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So am I getting closer to the nub of this disagreement of which I would prefer not to be a part, in that this is basically the the ongoing debate as to whether you're better with improving your local bees or should you endeavour to maintain a stock of these named sub-species? If so, I'm probably with Joe Widdicombe and I'm out. ;)
You're welcome to believe whatever you like. I just find it laughable that BIBBA, who claim to represent the Amm fraternity, should propose that people raise mongrels.
My point about Jo Widdicombes book was that it claimed to contain principles of bee improvement but only repeated the same BIBBA propaganda we've heard for decades. Those of us who know better can see straight through it
 

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Not a Buckfast, then; more likely a subsequent offspring.

Seems a missed opportunity to raise the issue with the supplier. Were they marked? Supersedure of introduced queens is common and local mating of daughters may explain the bad temper.

Good Buckfast are very good but it all depends on the mating methods used and the source of breeding material; what persuaded you to choose the Devon supplier?

I knew a beekeeper who started out using only Ged Marshall's Buckfast and got to about the 9th generation before he noticed a decline in temper, and that was marginal; he had good crops from very strong colonies.
I used to buy Ged Marshall's Buckfast queens till I got interested in rearing my own. I'm now 3,4 and 5 generations on from Geds and mine are generally very well-behaved. Simply culling and replacing the nasty ones has made a huge difference, as Roger Patterson recommends.

Some locals still buy Geds and we've all seen vicious colonies after 1-2 generations. There's a significant population of feral colonies and drones hereabouts judging by the swarms I collect!
 

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There's a significant population of feral colonies and drones hereabouts judging by the swarms I collect!
How can you tell this? Thanks

EDIT - sorry - you mean there is a significant feral population of bees derived from this particular breeder's queens. I get it now. Ignore
 
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Just because you did not understand the book, it does not make it a bad book, possibly because you approached with a closed mind. About 99 out of 100 seem to understand it.
Got a survey somewhere to support that contention?:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 
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Just because you did not understand the book, it does not make it a bad book, possibly because you approached with a closed mind. About 99 out of 100 seem to understand it.
The first 30 pages or so were to explain the theories regarding bee improvement; the next part of the book was to test those theories by putting them into practice to see if they hold true. The conclusion was that the theories do in fact hold true and that we can improve the quality the quality of our bees through simple assessment and selection processes.
The book was never intended to be a regurgitation of other people's scientific papers. Those that want can go direct to these without me trying to prove a point.
As for principles, there are ten principles written up at the end of the book for those, like you, who missed them on the way through. The fact that the system works, to me, shows that the book cannot be as bad as you think.
If people are determined to stick to their imported bees, and not wanting to consider any alternative, it is to be expected that they would not get anything out of the book.

Thanks for your comeback.

I was trained in the scientific principle and spent most of my working life problem solving in companies. My experience is that claims made without any supporting and relevant evidence are based on the BBB principle. (Bull excrement Baffles Brains).

That is why I did not understand your book.
 

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Moobee 

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rolande 

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Maybe some of us have just grown up.
Nah, you just have a different agenda now.
No interest in speaking for others but I can see only one positive post in this little exchange. Ideas *do* change with time and experience, at least they should.

I also think, having learnt this after a lot of heated exchanges that it's often best, as long as we've already made our point, to let the other guy have the last word!
 
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B+. 

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I also think, having learnt this after a lot of heated exchanges that it's often best, as long as we've already made our point, to let the other guy have the last word!
I'm not sure why some people think that because they're the last to speak on a matter, they've won an argument. IMHO, it is sometimes harder not to come back with a retort, than to do so - especially, as you say, when your point is already made.
 

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