EurBest presentations

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Little Ladies 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridgeshire
Hive Type
none
Hi. OK everyone seems to be poking fun. I'm not sure if he has resistant bees or not, BUT one thing I do believe is nature has it's way of dealing with problems, therefore over time wild bees in the wild WILL find a way to tolerate varroa. Mans intervention has proven overtime to be breed resistant forms of pests. IMHO.
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,401
Reaction score
396
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
Hi. OK everyone seems to be poking fun. I'm not sure if he has resistant bees or not, BUT one thing I do believe is nature has it's way of dealing with problems, therefore over time wild bees in the wild WILL find a way to tolerate varroa. Mans intervention has proven overtime to be breed resistant forms of pests. IMHO.
One of the populations they looked at in the wild was in Avignon. They were not the sort of bees any beekeeper would want to have. This is what happens with unselected populations, and it's why selective breeding is the correct way to make progress across a range of traits.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,685
Reaction score
972
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
[
Hi. OK everyone seems to be poking fun. I'm not sure if he has resistant bees or not, BUT one thing I do believe is nature has it's way of dealing with problems, therefore over time wild bees in the wild WILL find a way to tolerate varroa. Mans intervention has proven overtime to be breed resistant forms of pests. IMHO.

I have read this so many times.

There was a recent program on endangered breeds. Fascinating but they were all bred by man and superceded by better breeds (more yield etc)

If you want to go down the "natural" route then anything is possible given time.

Whether the end result will be good for anything is debatable.

We are omnivores and breed everything we eat to give better yields /tastes etc. See grain for example.

If you want to revert to nature, half the population will starve to death in the first year and then then half of what is left when there is a drought/famine...
See also apples. No-one in their right minds would want the original apple tree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: B+.

oxnatbees 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
161
Reaction score
52
Location
Oxfordshire UK
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
6
Hi, thank you for the challenging questions 8) Answers:

I stopped counting mite drops a few years ago, it seemed to be 1-2 a day on most colonies. I have no idea of the mechanism. Colonies seem to live 3-5 years now. Descended from ferals. Not defensive, simply because I rarely open the hives so they do not associate me with a threat. I take enough honey for my family but have never sold any. The hives are static, in a garden and open mate with the local landrace. I don't feed them so the queens are not stimulated to lay when there is no forage - the brood gaps no doubt help. I don't raise queens, I use swarms. Prof Seeley's work is pretty conclusive that local bees use a broad range of slightly tweaked behaviours to combat varroa and this is stable but probably wouldn't work if you took my bees and moved them 100 miles. I do submit info to surveys by bee scientists asking for examples of varroa resistant / tolerant populations, but one tends not to hear back from them, particularly the Europe-wide surveys.

Now, there is a place for everything. As Into the Lions Den said a few weeks ago - if you are a big farming combine you need to contract with someone who operates at scale and can provide pollinators when you need them. And hurrah for him making food affordable! But if you are just a hobbyist like me who is more interested in ecology than honey, then a low intensity management system seems more appropriate.

So I'm glad that B+ and others are breeding super strains of bee with one hypercharacteristic: the more approaches the better. But I am not surprised that it is not stably inherited under open mating conditions.

The most interesting commercial approach, to my mind, is BIBBA's because they ARE interested in honey (like you lot) but they seem to use local bees and find their honey yields are just as good as with queens they buy from breeders, and those I've talked to say they do not need to treat for mites.
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,401
Reaction score
396
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
Hi, thank you for the challenging questions 8) Answers:

I stopped counting mite drops a few years ago, it seemed to be 1-2 a day on most colonies. I have no idea of the mechanism. Colonies seem to live 3-5 years now. Descended from ferals. Not defensive, simply because I rarely open the hives so they do not associate me with a threat. I take enough honey for my family but have never sold any. The hives are static, in a garden and open mate with the local landrace. I don't feed them so the queens are not stimulated to lay when there is no forage - the brood gaps no doubt help. I don't raise queens, I use swarms. Prof Seeley's work is pretty conclusive that local bees use a broad range of slightly tweaked behaviours to combat varroa and this is stable but probably wouldn't work if you took my bees and moved them 100 miles. I do submit info to surveys by bee scientists asking for examples of varroa resistant / tolerant populations, but one tends not to hear back from them, particularly the Europe-wide surveys.

Now, there is a place for everything. As Into the Lions Den said a few weeks ago - if you are a big farming combine you need to contract with someone who operates at scale and can provide pollinators when you need them. And hurrah for him making food affordable! But if you are just a hobbyist like me who is more interested in ecology than honey, then a low intensity management system seems more appropriate.

So I'm glad that B+ and others are breeding super strains of bee with one hypercharacteristic: the more approaches the better. But I am not surprised that it is not stably inherited under open mating conditions.

The most interesting commercial approach, to my mind, is BIBBA's because they ARE interested in honey (like you lot) but they seem to use local bees and find their honey yields are just as good as with queens they buy from breeders, and those I've talked to say they do not need to treat for mites.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "one hypercharacteristic". If you mean that the programme is developing improvements in only one character, you're wrong. I've explained this many times. The programme develops improvements in a portfolio of traits required by beekeepers.

I'm pretty sure that what you're describing used to be called "let alone beekeeping" (you say that you "rarely open the hives") and was frowned on for harbouring pests/diseases that went on to infect neighbouring colonies when the initial colony eventually succumbed.
 

oxnatbees 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
161
Reaction score
52
Location
Oxfordshire UK
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
6
My apologies B+, I don't have time to read everything so had formed the lazy impression (shortcut mental heuristic) you were concentrating on one characteristic like larval hygiene, but from what I've seen of your posts I respect the thoroughness of your work.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "one hypercharacteristic". If you mean that the programme is developing improvements in only one character, you're wrong. I've explained this many times. The programme develops improvements in a portfolio of traits required by beekeepers.

I'm pretty sure that what you're describing used to be called "let alone beekeeping" (you say that you "rarely open the hives") and was frowned on for harbouring pests/diseases that went on to infect neighbouring colonies when the initial colony eventually succumbed.
+
 

oxnatbees 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
161
Reaction score
52
Location
Oxfordshire UK
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
6
so your colinies only live 3-5 years before they die, probably from varoosis
Usually queen failure. But I reckon if you replace your queen each year that your colony only lives one year.

We are using similar language to describe radicaly different apples and pears 8)
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
26,111
Reaction score
3,635
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Usually queen failure. But I reckon if you replace your queen each year that your colony only lives one year.
How can you tell if you never bother inspecting?
I've never replaced a queen, certainly not every year (I don't know of anyone who does) unless there is a good reason (temperament or just perfomance/failing)
We are using similar language to describe radicaly different apples and pears 8)
Not at all, in my view, your 'language' is just used to disguise what many would consider to be bee neglect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: B+.

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,685
Reaction score
972
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
ns.

The most interesting commercial approach, to my mind, is BIBBA's because they ARE interested in honey (like you lot) but they seem to use local bees and find their honey yields are just as good as with queens they buy from breeders, and those I've talked to say they do not need to treat for mites.

I have never seen any published figures so I would be interested in seeing the comparisons you refer to.
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,401
Reaction score
396
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
I have never seen any published figures so I would be interested in seeing the comparisons you refer to.
I don't believe that BIBBA does any performance testing but, i someone knows otherwise, perhaps they'd enlighten us?
 

Ian123 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
3,193
Reaction score
870
Location
surrey
Hive Type
none
Hi, thank you for the challenging questions 8) Answers:

I stopped counting mite drops a few years ago, it seemed to be 1-2 a day on most colonies. I have no idea of the mechanism. Colonies seem to live 3-5 years now. Descended from ferals. Not defensive, simply because I rarely open the hives so they do not associate me with a threat. I take enough honey for my family but have never sold any. The hives are static, in a garden and open mate with the local landrace. I don't feed them so the queens are not stimulated to lay when there is no forage - the brood gaps no doubt help. I don't raise queens, I use swarms. Prof Seeley's work is pretty conclusive that local bees use a broad range of slightly tweaked behaviours to combat varroa and this is stable but probably wouldn't work if you took my bees and moved them 100 miles. I do submit info to surveys by bee scientists asking for examples of varroa resistant / tolerant populations, but one tends not to hear back from them, particularly the Europe-wide surveys.

Now, there is a place for everything. As Into the Lions Den said a few weeks ago - if you are a big farming combine you need to contract with someone who operates at scale and can provide pollinators when you need them. And hurrah for him making food affordable! But if you are just a hobbyist like me who is more interested in ecology than honey, then a low intensity management system seems more appropriate.

So I'm glad that B+ and others are breeding super strains of bee with one hypercharacteristic: the more approaches the better. But I am not surprised that it is not stably inherited under open mating conditions.

The most interesting commercial approach, to my mind, is BIBBA's because they ARE interested in honey (like you lot) but they seem to use local bees and find their honey yields are just as good as with queens they buy from breeders, and those I've talked to say they do not need to treat for mites.
Hi, thank you for the challenging questions 8) Answers:

I stopped counting mite drops a few years ago, it seemed to be 1-2 a day on most colonies. I have no idea of the mechanism. Colonies seem to live 3-5 years now. Descended from ferals. Not defensive, simply because I rarely open the hives so they do not associate me with a threat. I take enough honey for my family but have never sold any. The hives are static, in a garden and open mate with the local landrace. I don't feed them so the queens are not stimulated to lay when there is no forage - the brood gaps no doubt help. I don't raise queens, I use swarms. Prof Seeley's work is pretty conclusive that local bees use a broad range of slightly tweaked behaviours to combat varroa and this is stable but zprobably wouldn't work if you took my bees and moved them 100 miles. I do submit info to surveys by bee scientists asking for examples of varroa resistant / tolerant populations, but one tends not to hear back from them, particularly the Europe-wide surveys.

Now, there is a place for everything. As Into the Lions Den said a few weeks ago - if you are a big farming combine you need to contract with someone who operates at scale and can provide pollinators when you need them. And hurrah for him making food affordable! But if you are just a hobbyist like

The most interesting commercial approach, to my mind, is BIBBA's because they ARE interested in honey (like you lot) but they seem to use local bees and find their honey yields are just as good as with queens they buy from breeders, and those I've talked to say they do not need to treat for mites.
.............
.Seeleys report was a rather specific set of circumstances. Do you have anything UK based after all the BIBBA often quoted mantra is local!!!!!! If BIBBA members have tolerant bees there must be a podcast they’ve done plenty recently, this ground breaking info must have been top of the list. Other than putting bees in a small box and not managing them thus creating swarms and a brood break do you have any evidence of actual tolerance/vsh. How to you select those swarms that are actually from unmanaged true feral hives and not the blokes down the road. Whilst you tried to answer the questions 1 admission is the provision of any evidence. Ian
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,401
Reaction score
396
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
Do you have anything UK based after all the BIBBA often quoted mantra is local!!!!!! If BIBBA members have tolerant bees there must be a podcast they’ve done plenty recently, this ground breaking info must have been top of the list.
See post #15
 

Jo Widdicombe 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
21
Location
Cornwall
.


Roger Patterson and Jo Widdicombe tried the "local bees" tack in the breeding presentation. Alex Usunov shot them down (politely, but firmly).
.


Roger Patterson and Jo Widdicombe tried the "local bees" tack in the breeding presentation. Alex Usunov shot them down (politely, but firmly).
This comment by B+ is so far from the truth, it makes you wonder if he was at the same meeting. It seems that some people are so intent on distorting things to the nth degree, presumably in an attempt to make themselves feel superior to all other beekeepers.

Anyone who listened to that talk/discussion, or the one on the previous day, would have noticed that the, so-called, "local bee tack" was very much the theme of the panel of bee scientists. They also talked a lot about the advantages of bee breeding.
Of course circumstances on mainland Europe are quite different to those in Britain where we are largely devoid of very large-scale breeders of the honey bee.
I felt we were getting mixed messages about using bees from big breeders or using local bees. My point was that bringing in other sub-species, rather than using local bees, may not help our situation (as the COLOSS Group have pointed out - use of 'maladapted genes') and I wondered which route they were advocating.
I am not sure where B+ got the idea that Alex's reply 'shot them down' as I completely got the opposite message. Alex came across, loud and clear, that we should start our bee selection from our local bees.
For those anti-BIBBA fanatics, that don't see why a few facts should get in the way of their propaganda, BIBBA has been promoting this message since 1964. Alex's view on using local bees (resulting from several experiments across Europe) was also backed up by Ralph Buchler's views, although he, very sensibly, suggested success depended on rigorous selection (which I accept).

It would be a very dull world if we all shared the same opinions and I have no objection to people having different views. I do object, though, to people making up stories to suit themselves, to prove that they are always right and, thus, the most knowledgeable beekeeper around. There may be other valid views apart from your own.
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,401
Reaction score
396
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
This comment by B+ is so far from the truth, it makes you wonder if he was at the same meeting. It seems that some people are so intent on distorting things to the nth degree, presumably in an attempt to make themselves feel superior to all other beekeepers.

Anyone who listened to that talk/discussion, or the one on the previous day, would have noticed that the, so-called, "local bee tack" was very much the theme of the panel of bee scientists. They also talked a lot about the advantages of bee breeding.
Of course circumstances on mainland Europe are quite different to those in Britain where we are largely devoid of very large-scale breeders of the honey bee.
I felt we were getting mixed messages about using bees from big breeders or using local bees. My point was that bringing in other sub-species, rather than using local bees, may not help our situation (as the COLOSS Group have pointed out - use of 'maladapted genes') and I wondered which route they were advocating.
I am not sure where B+ got the idea that Alex's reply 'shot them down' as I completely got the opposite message. Alex came across, loud and clear, that we should start our bee selection from our local bees.
For those anti-BIBBA fanatics, that don't see why a few facts should get in the way of their propaganda, BIBBA has been promoting this message since 1964. Alex's view on using local bees (resulting from several experiments across Europe) was also backed up by Ralph Buchler's views, although he, very sensibly, suggested success depended on rigorous selection (which I accept).

It would be a very dull world if we all shared the same opinions and I have no objection to people having different views. I do object, though, to people making up stories to suit themselves, to prove that they are always right and, thus, the most knowledgeable beekeeper around. There may be other valid views apart from your own.
It's difficult to know what message BIBBA are promoting these days. The initial stance was a clear Amm-only message - but that was rejected by the vast majority of beekeepers in the UK. The current message of rearing open mated mongrels is a departure from those purist principals but appeals to those who like to do a little queen rearing on the side (i.e. it is more palatable and helps swell BIBBA ranks). It isn't breeding at all though. It's just queen rearing.
I won't even respond to the personal comments. I listened to the Q&A and noted that you & Roger Patterson asked a leading question that could only receive a positive response. However, the comments that followed clarified what was meant and effectively nullified the support you sought to receive. In short, they shot you down. On the whole Coloss supports local populations, wherever they exist...but there wasn't an Amm population in the presentation - nor could BIBBA have put one forward since they now seem to advocate raising mongrels.
Coloss, in general, supports local populations wherever there is one (ironic, because Germany has adopted Amc over its native Amm - but, I'll let that pass) but it also found examples where the locally accepted strains were out-performed by lines from other area (e.g. a carnica line did better in Finland than the commonly-used ligustica). The point is: the message isn't clear-cut. The jury is still out.

I don't think they recorded the Q&A. Pity.
 
Last edited:

Jo Widdicombe 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
21
Location
Cornwall
It's difficult to know what message BIBBA are promoting these days. The initial stance was a clear Amm-only message - but that was rejected by the vast majority of beekeepers in the UK. The current message of rearing open mated mongrels is a departure from those purist principals but appeals to those who like to do a little queen rearing on the side (i.e. it is more palatable and helps swell BIBBA ranks). It isn't breeding at all though. It's just queen rearing.
I won't even respond to the personal comments. I listened to the Q&A and noted that you & Roger Patterson asked a leading question that could only receive a positive response. However, the comments that followed clarified what was meant and effectively nullified the support you sought to receive. In short, they shot you down. On the whole Coloss supports local populations, wherever they exist...but there wasn't an Amm population in the presentation - nor could BIBBA have put one forward since they now seem to advocate raising mongrels.
Coloss, in general, supports local populations wherever there is one (ironic, because Germany has adopted Amc over its native Amm - but, I'll let that pass) but it also found examples where the locally accepted strains were out-performed by lines from other area (e.g. a carnica line did better in Finland than the commonly-used ligustica). The point is: the message isn't clear-cut. The jury is still out.

I don't think they recorded the Q&A. Pity.
At least we agree on one thing, 'it is a pity we do not have a recording of the Q and A'.

You also state that '(BIBBA) now seem to advocate raising mongrels' which, of course, is not true, but many of us may be in the position of only having mongrel bees. If someone is in this position (and most of are, to a greater or lesser extent, due to repeated imports of exotic sub-species) we do not say hard luck, there is nothing that you can do to improve the situation. Instead we explain how bee improvement is relevant to all and through assessment and selection we can all improve our bees (and not by importing more foreign sub-species which only adds to the problem).
You may be interested to know that a purer strain of bees can be developed from a hybridised strain through selection. I have been told this by several bee scientists and have found it to be true. So you mock that we are advocating breeding from mongrels, but whilst we accept that that may be the starting position for many, we have always advocated development of a local strain and breeding within it, and that is our goal.
The 'anti-BIBBA crusade' that you and several other vociferous members of this forum seem to be waging, would draw a lot more support if you stuck to true facts and not just figments of your imagination. It is quite clear that you do not understand what BIBBA stands for and can only justify your position by continually stating mis-truths about it.
BIBBA are interested in moving beekeeping forward from the position we are in at present to a point where we have better quality bees. I do not hear many other organisations with a creditable plan, or any plan at all, for achieving that. Unfortunately, the dissenters do not seem to have strong arguments and rely on miss-quoting and imagined views that have very little truth in them - but they tend to shout the loudest on these forums, presumably in the belief that that will win the argument.
The COLOSS Group, SMARTBEES and EurBeST all seem to have a very similar message to BIBBA. I have also heard several world class bee scientists saying the same thing and at a recent talk by a large-scale Canadian bee farmer, who said he has given up importing bees and now selects the best from what he has got, which presumably you do not believe in, or you would be supporting BIBBA.
As I have said before, I respect the opinions of others, which I think is important, as we can all learn from each other. What I am not so keen on is when the views of others are misrepresented in an attempt to prove a point.
 
Top