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Wild Strains are the Best

I for one love the idea of feral colonies thriving against the odds and even better if they are able to sort pests and diseases out themselves.

Hi Jez,

It's not widely appreciated that your very own local wild bees are the very strains best suited for your area. They select constantly for the strains best able to thrive right there - in that climate, that flora. They possess the very essence of health in being self-sufficient. How can you possibly describe as 'healthy' a strain that needs medicating just to survive? This is stuff the old guys knew and took for granted.

Just because they are not appreciated doen't mean they are not important - the adapted wild bees will be what gets us out of the mess created by trying to medicate away an epidemic, rather than doing what the old guys would have done - constantly breed away from disease. Have you seen this:

Producing Varroa-tolerant Honey Bees from Locally Adapted Stock: A Recipe, By E.H. Erickson, L.H. Hines, and A.A. Atmowidjojo
http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/publ/tolerant2.html
 
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These old guys did not make much of a job of breeding out nosema,afb and efb to name but a few.
 
Breeding Away from Pests and Diseases

These old guys did not make much of a job of breeding out nosema,afb and efb to name but a few.

Hi Hivemaker,

I reckon we all know few animals are troublefree. A bit like humans I guess. But as far as I know they didn't manage to reduce both wild and apiary populations by an estimated 80%, and keep them that way for the best part of two decades.

The main point is that if you don't constantly breed away from disease, the disease gets you - because it constantly selects for its own success. The old school understood that, and made it the foundation of their health regimes.

Erickson gives us a nice modern version, showing how to achieve pest and disease-free apiaries, and healthy wild bees, in just a few years, and incurring no significant losses... worth talking about isn't it? Better prospect than endless medication against ever-evolving predators imho. The 'solution' has become the problem...
 
I agree,good idea,but thats all it is,if you or Erikson can come and look after all my hives,without losing any bee's,or any production of honey, then come and do it,on the condition that you pay for any loss of bee's or production,in other words put your money where your mouth is.
 
I agree,good idea,but thats all it is,if you or Erikson can come and look after all my hives,without losing any bee's,or any production of honey, then come and do it,on the condition that you pay for any loss of bee's or production,in other words put your money where your mouth is.

Surely its worth investing in a little exploration and perhaps some experimentation for your own future? Wouldn't you rather have rudely healthy bees, and be able to take your pick of any number of similarly healthy swarms each year? You can't expect other people to do the job for you - but it makes sense to at least look into doing it yourself doesn't it? Even if your production does drop a bit for a while, it would be a price worth paying surely?

Wouldn't you just love to own vividly healthy bees, and be surrounded by more of the same?

Mike
 
Mike,i don't really want any swarms any year,ever if i had my way,thats why i clip the queens wings,but i do agree with you,genetic modification is a good idea.
 
post #25 fell certainly on stony ground, in one case at least! Anyway, what's your position on wild bees? Good thing? Bad thing? Are they the problem, or the solution? Will the problem become the solution?
 
I want a cow that never moos', but its never gone happen :) cows moo and bees swarm.... lol

Jez
 
Wild bee's,you mean the swarms that escape and live in tree's ect,and can't be treated for mites,and efb ect, try to get rid of as many as possible.I suppose your advice would be leave them,then we could have permanent efb.
 
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Wild bee's,you mean the swarms that escape and live in tree's ect,and can't be treated for mites,and efb ect, try to get rid of as many as possible.

Thats a classic for your 1000'th post...
 
Dealing with a troll.

There is a long long established way of dealing with trolls.

It's called ignore them.

I'd have thought that having three forums on the go would satisify. but no.... trolls are insatiable. Starvation is the only cure.

Ignore ignore ignore.....

Yawn.

PH
 
Thanks for the advice Poly,you are of course completely correct.
 
Kill All the Wild Bees

Wild bee's,you mean the swarms that escape and live in tree's ect,and can't be treated for mites,and efb ect, try to get rid of as many as possible.I suppose your advice would be leave them,then we could have permanent efb.

You're not a fan, then, of the widely-held understanding that natural selection for the fittest strains is the way organisms defend themselves against the ever-evolving disease environment; and that wild bees have already utilised this mechanism and are now showing clear signs of mite-tolerance? That such tolerance is gold-dust for beekeepers. That absolutely nothing of the kind has been happening in most apiaries because on the whole modern beekeepers are clueless about how to breed against disease? That that cluelessness is very likely one of the major causes of the great mysterious depopulation?

Have I got that right?
 
As I see it (being a new beek and all - but also a biologist with some understanding of evolution) there are two schools of thought on this:

1. Treat varroa chemically in all colonies in the hope of eradicating the problem by wiping the varroa mite out. Feral colonies are BAD in this case as even if resistant/tolerant to varroa they probably will carry a small varroa burden that is likely re-infect domestic colonies.

2. Breed locally for mite resistance. This means NOT using colonies that are easily susceptible to varroa. In this case feral colonies are GOOD as they are already surviving and so their drones are likely to carry stronger genes and give them back to the domestic colonies.

As I see it:

Eradicating varroa is an honorable aim, but most likely a futile one. The varroa would always be left somewhere to recur just as bee keepers feel it is safe to reduce treatments.

Breeding for strength is the strongest route for the future. HOWEVER we must be careful not to risk the annihilation of an industry in the meantime. Therefore hives maintained for honey/pollination could/should still be chemically treated. Ideally their drones would be destroyed to prevent their "less resistant" genes being spread elsewhere.

Then there should be a programme of queen selection from the most tolerant hives.

However here is the rub. Drones who may be tolerant of varroa may still carry a small varroa burden and therefore carry it into other hives. And the folk who want to eradicate varroa will not react kindly to this. So they are critical of the folk who with-hold treatment to find their strongest colonies.

It is a dilemma for sure as the two tactics seem so different. However I do think there should be a mature way forward in this......
 
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has a post vanished from here, admin you there?

:confused:
 
I decided to remove it(It was my post) ;)
 
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