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Author Topic: propolis benifcial to hive?  (Read 3576 times)
windfall
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« on: December 17, 2010, 07:09:52 PM »

I will be a new beekeeper come spring. As I have been researching lately I have come across several studies indicating that the the propolis "varnish" in natural hives is likely beneficial to the hives occupants in terms of disease and possibly mite issues. I have also seen several anecdotal references in this forum to good hive health and strong propolizing (is that a word?) tendency in the bees.

Separately, as I research construction techniques for hives, I see many references to a greater tendency for the bees to propolize the interior when hives are built of roughsawn material. Usually this seems to be pointed out as a negative feature to the practice. Will they do this regardless of the material surface?

It leads me to the obvious question as to weather some people are intentionally using roughsawn in an effort to ENCOURAGE the varnishing of the interior by the bees? As a woodworker I realize there can be some drawbacks to working in roughsawn, such as cupped boards and varying thickness. But these can be overcome through selection of certain species (cedars) and/or cuts(quartersawn). Also a planed board can be readily "toothed" with a belt/disc sander and 30 grit run cross grain. Or for that matter thick seasoned boards can be resawn.

If so, are there considerations to be made with this strategy (encouraging propolis), such as increased tolerances...how thick are the bees laying this stuff down if you leave it alone? Or choosing strains of bees known for higher production of the material.

If not....why not?

Thanks for any thoughts
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2010, 08:08:21 PM »

Marla Spivak has researched this and I've seen her presentation on the matter.  Yes they will propolize rough sawm more.  Yes, it contributes to preventing diseases and to having a healthy hive.  Yes they will propolize the inside of the hive regardless, they just put more on if there is more surface area (rough sawn).
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 08:19:05 PM »

It's nice that Marla picks up on what other people are talking about.

Here is a thread I posted 7 years ago on the subject. You will notice the second post at that time from MB and his indication of no research being done at that time.

This is another example of beekeepers who are looking into things that happen in the hive, yet lack the resources to research this stuff or have the desire to put thoughts on paper so others can give them all the accolades in the future.

See this link....

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=200147&highlight=rough+cut

Beekeepers have known about the benefits of propolis for years. Long before I started keeping bees. And it didn't take some paper or research to confirm the obvious.

One of the things that has always amazed me, is the number of times a conversation is seen on a bee forum, then several months later, you read about the very same stuff in a bee magazine. I swear that people cruise forums to come up with articles that they can then take credit for. And I see some grab all the glory by the mere fact they are in a position to do a research paper for something obvious that beekeepers knew all along.
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 12:23:51 AM »

Agreed.  Dee Lusby had been feeding propolis patties to sick hives for years and writing about it for years before Marla decided to do her research.  And Dee was just working off what beekeepers already knew.  But it doesn't hurt my feelings to see someone give credence to something that deserves credence.

It reminds me of a science article I read about someone who did research on animals doctoring themselves.  Something all people in all cultures have always know, but he did a research project on it and got published...

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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 06:53:31 AM »

What amazes me is when we have 2 (or More) similar colonies (weight, general health, good stores etc.) and one will proplise every little nook and cranny, even attempting to glue down inner covers or closing tiny gaps, and the one right next door does half as much.  Any thoughts?
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 06:58:34 AM »

MB,
I guess that depends on your definition of "deserves credence".

I heard a researcher last year also mention of using rough saw'ed lumber for propolis benefits inside the hive. You could of thought by the way they talked they were onto something of a breakthrough. That it was an original idea.

I would rather give credit to the beekeepers in the field that have known this, have talked about this, and used this idea, long before a researcher came along and supposedly earned "credence" on the matter.

No matter the subject matter, medications, what works and does not work, etc., beekeepers in the field almost always come up with the conclusion long before any researcher comes around and deserved "credence" by writing some paper.

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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 07:23:42 AM »

What amazes me is when we have 2 (or More) similar colonies (weight, general health, good stores etc.) and one will proplise every little nook and cranny, even attempting to glue down inner covers or closing tiny gaps, and the one right next door does half as much.  Any thoughts?

Contrary to popular belief by the smallcell crowd that hives should be equal in items such as mites (and I would assume propolis since the field bees carrying mites around are those probably collecting propolis also)....truth is you see many items with huge differences in one level or another. Actual mites counts, SHB numbers, propolis amounts, and many factors in the hive can be seen as drastic differences between hives. It comes down to genetics and selection.

While many beekeeper feel a queen is a queen is a queen (many package producers think this as they promote their wares).....eventually if you look long enough or close enough, there are major differences between strains and even within the same strains.

It may be hard to promote individual traits by the selection of one hive, as the variation of traits vary from generation to generation, it is possible to improve the overall pool of genetics by selecting towards one end of the spectrum or another, based on what you are selecting for.

Mite counts are different even between hives sitting next to each other (mite leveling...what a crock), and so are propolis levels, honey production, cleanliness, and other traits that bees carry.

If you want low propolis, then propagate those hives with little of the stuff. If you want propolis, then propagate those with plenty of the stuff.

Personally, I've said for at least ten years that the industry has made a huge mistake for the past 50-100 years in selecting low propolis traits in bees. And it didn't take CCD or a researcher to tell me that.  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 09:21:27 AM »

thanks, good explanation.
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 09:37:19 AM »

Contrary to popular belief by the smallcell crowd that hives should be equal in items such as mites (and I would assume propolis since the field bees carrying mites around are those probably collecting propolis also)....truth is you see many items with huge differences in one level or another. Actual mites counts, SHB numbers, propolis amounts, and many factors in the hive can be seen as drastic differences between hives.

i guess i'm not surprised by this statement...i'd point out to anyone reading this that no one actually said "all hives should be equal in the number of mites"...or propolis, or brood, or SHB, or nosema levels, or stores. 

bjorn has a habit of painting others with a broad brush of largely invented claims.  watch what happens next.....he will claim he is too busy to look up all the times he was told this, that obviously it is what everyone is saying, and perhaps cite something from dennis murals (beewrangler's) web site that doesn't really support his claim (and although Dennis is certainly relevant and pokes his head out from time to time, he is hardly "part of the small cell crowd", certainly not a visible part), and probably tell us all that the term "mite leveling" means that all mites should be equal, not that it refers to the tendancy of mites to drift from colonies of high levels to colonies of lower levels to some extent.

has anyone (small cell or not) ever claimed to have totally equivalent hives in a yard?

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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 09:43:39 AM »

Quote
"I started thinking, 'Wait, if propolis is so good for humans, it's got to also be good for bees,'" explains bee expert Marla Spivak, co-principal investigator in a new two-year project to identify the active compounds in honeybee propolis.

...and i started thinking, "hey, if milk is nutritious for humans, maybe it is nutritious for baby cows!"  shocked

"if fur coats keep humans warm, maybe fur helps keep the fox who grew it warm!"  shocked

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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 10:54:42 AM »

Contrary to popular belief by the smallcell crowd that hives should be equal in items such as mites (and I would assume propolis since the field bees carrying mites around are those probably collecting propolis also)....truth is you see many items with huge differences in one level or another. Actual mites counts, SHB numbers, propolis amounts, and many factors in the hive can be seen as drastic differences between hives.


i guess i'm not surprised by this statement...i'd point out to anyone reading this that no one actually said "all hives should be equal in the number of mites"...or propolis, or brood, or SHB, or nosema levels, or stores.  

bjorn has a habit of painting others with a broad brush of largely invented claims.  watch what happens next.....he will claim he is too busy to look up all the times he was told this, that obviously it is what everyone is saying, and perhaps cite something from dennis murals (beewrangler's) web site that doesn't really support his claim (and although Dennis is certainly relevant and pokes his head out from time to time, he is hardly "part of the small cell crowd", certainly not a visible part), and probably tell us all that the term "mite leveling" means that all mites should be equal, not that it refers to the tendancy of mites to drift from colonies of high levels to colonies of lower levels to some extent.

has anyone (small cell or not) ever claimed to have totally equivalent hives in a yard?

deknow


Deknow,
You like to antagonize beekeepers on the other forums as well as here. So I am surprised to hear that you seemingly act ignorant to the many conversation of "mite leveling" that have taken place over time.

Yes, the smallcell crowd will drag out the comments from Dennis. They seemed very popular at one time. They were taken as gospel.

Then Berry's study as well as two other research studies, came out with data that clearly questioned the claims of smallcell.

At first, it was suggested that J.B. was an idiot, then the research was flawed. Then concepts of mite leveling was made. That somehow mites within any yard would be transmitted at levels that would cause them all to be the same, or on a level that would make smallcell with equal mites. You may get bee drift, but not on the level claimed by the smallcell groupies who wanted to find a reason to discredit Berry's work. And that is what they tried to do.

Anybody actually doing mite counts within the same yard knows that you will get a whole range of mite counts based on the genetics and ability of individual hives. they do not "level" out as some suggested to slander the research that made them look like fools.

As if it never was discussed, here is one such discussion.....

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214405&highlight=mite+leveling

You only need to search "mite leveling" on other forums and you will see that smallcell people have used this flawed idea to denigrate research they do not agree with.

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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 11:20:38 AM »

err...looking through that thread (rather quickly...but it helped that that "mite" and "leveling" were highlighted), there was only one reference to claim that "leveling" results in "equality":
Quote
Accepting the fact that mites transfer is one thing. I do agree. Just not on a level claimed here to suggest that side by side hive will maintain equal, or statistical comparison equality.
of course this quote is from you, and this is exactly as predicted in my previous post.
this seems to happen often...that when i try to trace back what "you were told", it turns out the answer is "nobody"...you made it up.

it isn't just that mites transfer from hive to hive, it's that in aggregate they tend to flow from colonies of high numbers of mites to colonies of low numbers of mites.  this is "leveling", not "becoming absolutely level"...there is a big difference.

when one "equalizes" a yard, does it mean that all hives are "equal" when you are done?  no, you make things more equal than they were...stores and resources are transferred from colonies with surplus to those with inadequate resources....it is a process

again, can you cite someone (besides yourself) ever having said that mite counts will become level?  i didn't think so.

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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 11:38:52 AM »

bjorn, let's assume that i have a colony of bees, treat heavily with formic to knock down all the mites (several treatments) so that virtually none can be found.

if i place this colony in an apiary with mite infested colonies (the kind that will need treatment), how long will the mite free colony remain mite free?  if this is springtime, will the bees still be mite free enough to not need treatment?  where did the mites come from?  would the results be different if the mitefree colony were isolated and not in close proximity to mite infested colonies?

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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 11:46:05 AM »

err...looking through that thread (rather quickly...but it helped that that "mite" and "leveling" were highlighted), there was only one reference to claim that "leveling" results in "equality":
Quote
Accepting the fact that mites transfer is one thing. I do agree. Just not on a level claimed here to suggest that side by side hive will maintain equal, or statistical comparison equality.
of course this quote is from you, and this is exactly as predicted in my previous post.
this seems to happen often...that when i try to trace back what "you were told", it turns out the answer is "nobody"...you made it up.

it isn't just that mites transfer from hive to hive, it's that in aggregate they tend to flow from colonies of high numbers of mites to colonies of low numbers of mites.  this is "leveling", not "becoming absolutely level"...there is a big difference.

when one "equalizes" a yard, does it mean that all hives are "equal" when you are done?  no, you make things more equal than they were...stores and resources are transferred from colonies with surplus to those with inadequate resources....it is a process

again, can you cite someone (besides yourself) ever having said that mite counts will become level?  i didn't think so.

deknow

Wait...you said there were no claims. Now you suggest it was only stated once in the thread I posted.

Look up the rest of them, before you start throwing crap at me with your academia elitist crap.

I stated "leveling" was used over the years to discredit smallcell research. I backed it up with an example. now what? you want more. No. Quit wasting my time.

Anybody can look up all the threads on mite leveling.

And I also did not say everything else was claimed to be the same. I said "I'll assume", and played off the fact that when it came to mites, smallcell folks "created" that claim to discedit Berry's study. And hey, if you can just create that crap, why would it not be good for other things such as propolis. I guess you didn't see my parity.

I'm not answering to you, while I stated some rather broad brushes of actual discussions and groups of beekeepers, while you personally attack me.

I could care less what you say or how you are going to rationalize it.

Smallcell folks used mite leveling to discredit Berry's work. Period!

And I love it. I had said for years prior to the studies that I had been seeing the same crap, all the while folks like you kept dragging out one other person's claims (Dennis), as if it was the word of GOD!

And I'll continue to state the obvious, and laugh my butt off. I got much to use up, so I'll be harping on this every chance I get.  grin
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 11:54:31 AM »

bjorn, let's assume that i have a colony of bees, treat heavily with formic to knock down all the mites (several treatments) so that virtually none can be found.

if i place this colony in an apiary with mite infested colonies (the kind that will need treatment), how long will the mite free colony remain mite free?  if this is springtime, will the bees still be mite free enough to not need treatment?  where did the mites come from?  would the results be different if the mitefree colony were isolated and not in close proximity to mite infested colonies?

deknow

Ah yes...back to reason.....

Read my comments closely and you will see I said bees drift. You will get infestations over time.

That is far from suggesting mites transfer at a rate that would indicate all hives would seemingly have the same mite counts (on average), as seen in the studies.

The counts are different within hives for several reasons. One would the the internal ability of each hive to detect, throw out infested larvae, grooming, brood cycling, etc. That is why in any yard, even factoring in drift, you see hives with different mite counts. And if you do mites counts on all the hives over the summer, those with low mite counts stay low, and those hives with higher counts, stay on the high side.

If you have a hive with little mite resistance next to a hive with excellent mite resistance, you will see different mite counts. That is why to assume that smallcell failed due to being in the same yard as other hives, and suggesting drift on a scale that would create "mite leveling" is absurd. Mite transfer over time, yes. Mite leveling, no.

Given the fact that smallcell was supposed to stop mite reproduction on a level much lower than bees on regular comb, the testing showed different. If the mites were not reproducing in the smallcell hives, and they were reproducing in the regular cell hives, you should have seen a difference in mite counts. The test did not. And mite leveling was a very weak attempt to discredit Berry.
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 12:35:04 PM »

If the mites were not reproducing in the smallcell hives, and they were reproducing in the regular cell hives, you should have seen a difference in mite counts. The test did not. And mite leveling was a very weak attempt to discedit berry.

remember, all the bees were treated prior to the study, so mite counts in all hives were low to start with.  the dynamics of this kind of build up would take some fancy math to describe how 2 colonies with artificially low mite counts would become infested if they had different rates of mite reproduction....especially over a short period of time.

there is nothing wrong with jennifer's research...except that she vastly overstates what her data indicates...nothing she has done can support the title of a paper called "Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies". 

there is a lot to criticize in the study model (as it relates to the conclusion)...and it is a bit of a straw man argument.  "the small cell folks" didn't brainwash you (or even tell you) that no matter the management practice, all that needed to change was the cell size.

we had a discussion with a university extension/researcher one day about this...he said, "you have to get it down to one thing"....then followed with, "but, what if it is more than one thing?"...and shrugged his shoulders.  i don't think it's "one thing"...genetics, cell size, treatments, environment all play into things.  no one has ever said it was just one thing...and if they did, you should have known better than to believe it.

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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2010, 12:57:59 PM »

You can nitpick all you want. Two other separate studies have come to the same findings.

And I'm shocked that YOU threw in some rather vague shoulder shrugging by some guy not even associated with the studies, after demanding a whole higher level of criteria by some average beekeepers here on this forum.

And yes, smallcell WAS the ONE thing that was promoted over and over. That is why I stood my ground for many years now. I never felt it solely smallcell. That I agree. It is more than that. And while nobody may stand on that one point any longer, it is a side step away in that they suggest if your bees are on large cell (or anything not smallcell) they will die. Subtle point. But the same message. One of the key points of Dennis' site was his placing bees back on large cell and them dying. that point alone has been promoted and used as rationalization a million times over.

I have an article sitting somewhere (from about 8-9 years ago) that has the Lusby's stating that three things went into their success of beekeeping.

1) Smallcell foundation

2) Their unique feral bees to their area

3) Their unique high desert plateau environment.

When others started promoting all the benefits of smallcell and in particular of following the Lusby's, I asked her to explain how others would fair with smallcell missing two of the ingredients that they claimed were the reasons for their success. I had also asked some Rather detailed questions about a map that was used years ago explaining cell size in relationship to elevation. Basically the map had the idea that elevation was a determining factor in cell size. Making forcing bees on smallcell foundation about as unnatural as it comes.

Of course my questions went unanswered.

So I've been down this road many times. Smallcell folks have floated through time making stuff up as they go. Twisting facts over the years to justify their promotion of this or that. Quickly forgetting what they said from year to year. That's what great about forums. You can go back and read what was said.  grin  I know my stance, experience, and conclusions, have stood for 10 years. Smallcell, FGMO, and whatever else it has been.

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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2010, 01:03:23 PM »

gee, look what i predicted:

Quote
...he will claim he is too busy to look up all the times he was told this, that obviously it is what everyone is saying, and perhaps cite something from dennis murals (beewrangler's) web site that doesn't really support his claim (and although Dennis is certainly relevant and pokes his head out from time to time, he is hardly "part of the small cell crowd", certainly not a visible part), and probably tell us all that the term "mite leveling" means that all mites should be equal, not that it refers to the tendancy of mites to drift from colonies of high levels to colonies of lower levels to some extent.

Quote
Wait...you said there were no claims. Now you suggest it was only stated once in the thread I posted.

yes, it was stated once...by you.  no one has made the claim that the number of mites would be equal except for you as a straw man argument.

Quote
Look up the rest of them, before you start throwing crap at me with your academia elitist crap.
i do have a college degree...in music.  i don't know where you get the idea that i'm some academic type....we throw a conference where all the speakers are respected beekeepers running their own businesses.  we run our own business.  we hope to have some select researchers at the 2011 conference.  i have no ties to any universities or institutions of any kind.

Quote
I stated "leveling" was used over the years to discredit smallcell research. I backed it up with an example. now what? you want more. No. Quit wasting my time.
what you said was that "mite leveling" should result in equal numbers of mites between hives.  no one but you has made this claim.


Quote
Anybody can look up all the threads on mite leveling.
...and when you did just that, it is clear that you are making things up and simply referencing yourself.

Quote
I'm not answering to you, while I stated some rather broad brushes of actual discussions and groups of beekeepers, while you personally attack me.
because you are making things up.  if you are mad at dennis, yell at him.

Quote
Smallcell folks used mite leveling to discredit Berry's work. Period!
because she used a model that hasn't proven successful.  those that have found success in SC (for whatever reason) haven't kept them alongside LC colonies.  if the reason for doing this research is because there is some anecdotal success, then the goal of the researcher is to replicate closely what the successful models are doing.  adding the LC hives right next door is adding a lot of variables (as would having them in separate yards).

Quote
And I love it. I had said for years prior to the studies that I had been seeing the same crap, all the while folks like you kept dragging out one other person's claims (Dennis), as if it was the word of GOD!
i loved dennis's 3D TBH that he did in sketchup...other than that, i don't think i've ever cited him, and he rarely (if ever) comes up on these forums...except when you bring him up.  he does post from time to time.

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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2010, 01:08:19 PM »

 lau

Oh yes...mite leveling was never used to discredit Berry.

Dennis's site has never been used to promote smallcell, and I am the only one that brings it up.

 lau

Tell me more...... lau
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2010, 01:21:40 PM »

Oh yes...mite leveling was never used to discredit Berry.
of course it was used to discredit berry's studies...it was a huge flaw in her model...and it wasn't only one.  is her research above criticism?

Quote
Dennis's site has never been used to promote smallcell, and I am the only one that brings it up.
i notice that it seems to be linked in a whopping 4 posts here on beemaster.  i hope his server can handle all the beemaster traffic.

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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2010, 01:52:17 PM »

You pick apart the pieces, in a strange way.

I probably coined the term "Mite Leveling" as seen in the following thread to label the suggestions that mites in Berry's studies were being seen as basically the same, by having two hives in the same yard, with suggestions that one hive will impact the others by "leveling" out the mites. Pure crock in my book.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214153&highlight=mite+leveling

Some interesting comments on this was posted in post 141

See also Post 173

And I think Dennis even made reference to placing an infested hive in the same yard as another, and the hives "leveled out" as some rationale to suggest this is what happened in the study.

See posts 212 and beyond.

So it's all there. I did not make up these claims or discussions. Many other conversations were based on these ideas on "mite leveling". So don't say "leveling out" was not suggested or justified for smallcell failure in the studies. It may not mean mite counts would always be the same, but it was used to suggest that smallcell failed due to mite pressure in other hives. The hive may of had some mite pressure, but still should of been lower in counts compared to large cell, if even HALF the claims that were being made about the benefits of smallcell were true.

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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 02:02:18 PM »

1.  Anyone but Dennis?  I went and followed your last link to a beesource thread, and it was a wild goose chase.

2. 
Quote
And I think Dennis even made reference to placing an infested hive in the same yard as another, and the hives "leveled out" as some rationale to suggest this is what happened in the study.
This is a very different set of dynamics.  2 Treated colonies ("mite free") that are differently able to handle mite loads next to one another is essentially what jennifer used as a model.

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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2010, 02:14:46 PM »

 huh

That's funny. It goes to the right thread for me. Same one I just read from 2007. It's the same thread that beemandan, who took part in the study with Berry, stated "Smallcell does not work" in post 3#.

a very interesting read for those having the time to read the whole thing.

You could also go the beesource "search" feature, and search "mite leveling" and punch in my name "BjornBee". (B's in caps) 4 posts will show. It is the bottom one.

No it is not the same what Berry did as what Dennis did. Berry started with bees of the same mite count and load in all the hives. Then over time, the mite levels remained constant in buildup. Not expected with the smallcell hives.

What Dennis did, was different, then used erroneously to suggest that "mite leveling" happened in the study. Big difference.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2010, 07:13:43 PM »

honestly, i'm not sure what you are arguing about.

dennis is consistently the one who "mislead" you...he is always who you are referring to when you say, "all those small cell people"...it's never anyone but him.  go send him a nastygram if you feel so moved....i've seen lots of bad advice (and false facts) from LC beekeepers...none of "us" are responsible for what dennis says or said anymore than you are responsible for LC beekeepers recommending we all dump coumaphos in our hives (and i can cite that if you like).

Quote
Berry started with bees of the same mite count and load in all the hives. Then over time, the mite levels remained constant in buildup. Not expected with the smallcell hives.
why was that not expected?  i've never seen a beekeeper do that and be successful (with both bees in the same yard), and i defy you to cite an example of anyone who has.  given this fact, why would anyone (especially a scientist) expect any given outcome from a brand new experiment?  shouldn't the researcher try her best to test anecdotal success?

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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2010, 08:52:13 PM »

My first mention of "mite leveling" (minus that precise terminology) was here and written back in 2005 or 2006.  Well before Jennifer's study.  I for one think Jennifer Berry is a very smart and I happen to like her a lot.  Don't know where you get this stuff.  That doesn't mean I agree with her results.  I recently added a quote to back up the concept, but the rest has been there for five years or so. 

"...some people have observed a sudden increase to thousands and thousands of mites in a short time. Part of this is, of course, all the brood emerging with more mites. But I believe the issue is also that the FGMO (and many other systems as well) manage to create a stable population of mites within the hive. In other words the mites emerging is balanced out by the mites dying. This is the object of many methods. SMR queens are queens that reduce the mites' ability to reproduce. But even if you get to a stable reproduction of mites, this does not preclude thousands of hitchhikers coming in. Using powdered sugar, small cell, FGMO or whatever that gives an edge to the bees by dislodging a proportion of the mites, or preventing the reproduction of mites and seems to work under some conditions. I believe these conditions are where there are not a significant number of mites coming into the hive from other sources...

"Conditions that cause the mites to skyrocket seem to be in the fall when the hives rob out other hives crashing from mites and bring home a lot of hitchhikers."

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

To imply this is a recent "excuse" is simply not true.  I've been saying this all along as have others.
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2010, 09:01:13 PM »

looking over jennifer's study, a few other things come to mind:

1.  she isn't basing the study on the results or experiences of "successful beekeepers" who have used small cell (she didn't cite any anecdotal evidence from any beekeeper)...she based the study on some other academic studies.

2.  she is working on the assumption that 9-10 weeks is long enough to evaluate mite resistance.  she cites a harbo paper from 1996 (which i have not been able to find as of yet):
Harbo J.R. (1996) Evaluating colonies of honey bees
for resistance to Varroa jacobsoni, BeeScience 4,
100–105

i'd be interested to read the harbo study...but is 10 weeks (for a colony that has been treated) long enough to tell anything?  if i told you i had bees that were virtually mite free for 10 weeks, would you buy them as resistant bees?

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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2010, 09:10:00 PM »

I see and feel for a few of you
Being its Christmas I'll offer some help not much
but a start



Merry Christmas

Tommyt
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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2010, 06:45:34 AM »

My first mention of "mite leveling" (minus that precise terminology) was here and written back in 2005 or 2006.  Well before Jennifer's study.  I for one think Jennifer Berry is a very smart and I happen to like her a lot.  Don't know where you get this stuff.  That doesn't mean I agree with her results.  I recently added a quote to back up the concept, but the rest has been there for five years or so.  

"...some people have observed a sudden increase to thousands and thousands of mites in a short time. Part of this is, of course, all the brood emerging with more mites. But I believe the issue is also that the FGMO (and many other systems as well) manage to create a stable population of mites within the hive. In other words the mites emerging is balanced out by the mites dying. This is the object of many methods. SMR queens are queens that reduce the mites' ability to reproduce. But even if you get to a stable reproduction of mites, this does not preclude thousands of hitchhikers coming in. Using powdered sugar, small cell, FGMO or whatever that gives an edge to the bees by dislodging a proportion of the mites, or preventing the reproduction of mites and seems to work under some conditions. I believe these conditions are where there are not a significant number of mites coming into the hive from other sources...

"Conditions that cause the mites to skyrocket seem to be in the fall when the hives rob out other hives crashing from mites and bring home a lot of hitchhikers."

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

To imply this is a recent "excuse" is simply not true.  I've been saying this all along as have others.



Sorry, MB.

Robbing to show mite transfer is very different than the mite leveling excuse used after Berry's study came out. It's not about suggesting because mite were seen to drift in a yard, or could peak with a robbing condition. I think everyone in the bee industry has understood that for years.

We are talking about hives in the same yard, void of robbing, under controlled studies, all being relatively the same mite counts, due to the suggestion that mite transfer at a rate that one could not distinguish between a smallcell have and another standard hive.

Again, after THOUSANDS of mite counts, drastic differences CAN be seen in individual yards between different hives. Mite do transfer, but nowhere near the rate that could blow away the data and make smallcell and large cell hives all the same mite counts. If that were the case, you would see standard mite counts being the same in all yards. Beekeepers for years have tried to suggest a "threshhold" to determine which hives one should treat. That way, beekeepers could treat those needing help, and not treat the others. If mites "leveled out", it would be suggested that all hives should be treated or not treated based on one hive's mite count. And we know that not to be the case. Hive's individual abilities to handle and deal with mites are drastically different and huge differences in mite counts can be seen within the same yard. And that is why it was shocking to most, even the smallcell crowd, by the fact that the mite counts were not seen as different in the studies.  

Heck, we even seen and collected data on mite count differences between hives in shade vs sun in the same yard. Certainly we should be able to see differences between mite counts when one was supposed to inhibit mites (smallcell) and one was supposed to be a mite multiplier (large cell).

For the record MB,  Can you post when was the first time you actually used the definition of "mite leveling". Not the idea, that mites drift or infect other nearby hives by robbing, etc., but the actual use of the idea of "mite leveling", which is what was used to discredit Berry's study. Thanks. I checked beesource and found no use of the term by you till after I started using it to describe the "excuse" given to rationalize the smallcell failure in Berry's study.
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« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2010, 09:06:12 PM »

OK....clearly you all have some history on this front and I really don't want to step into that.

Jumping back to my intial question, it seemed that you were in general agreement as to the benifit of the hive shell becoming propolized. It seemed an obvious conclusion to me but begginers need to be mighty careful about what seems obvious.
Outside of using roughsawn, what can I do to encourage this behavior....or is bee strain the only other controlling factor? (I will be getting a russian hybrid nuc from Kirk Webster)

deknow made brief mention of it "not being just one thing" in the argument you all were having....that is very much the approach I am taking as I start out...it seems unlikely that it would ever be just one thing when you talk about complex living systems. So I am looking for all the little things I can do to stack the odds in favor for my bees....that is why you all will be seeing me question small details like this, or asking about what may seem foolish practice. I can learn a lot from understanding why some obvious things are not done. 

 
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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2010, 11:13:00 PM »

hi windfall,

yes, this is the kind of discussion that happens when we all agree (!!!)

it is more than just a collection of little things, management schemes are systems.  beware of taking a little of this from here, and a little of that from there...sometimes (oftentimes) something seemingly insignificant are related to other seemingly insignificant things, adding up to something signficant Smiley

it's been suggested that (assuming you aren't starting with rough hewn wood) roughing up the inside of the box (a stiff wire brush on the end of a drill?) will encourage more propolis...but high propolis production is a trait that has been largely bred out of the commercial stock.

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« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2010, 05:59:52 AM »

Wait till ya watch em dis-agree. Wink

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« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2010, 09:47:28 AM »

"it is more than just a collection of little things, management schemes are systems.  beware of taking a little of this from here, and a little of that from there...sometimes (oftentimes) something seemingly insignificant are related to other seemingly insignificant things, adding up to something signficant"

I understand what you are saying here. I have been trying to bear that attitude in mind as I do my homework, and try to sort through the various opinions and strategies that different keepers follow/promote.  My "problem" is that I tend to research voraciously when starting something new...and it can be difficult to assimilate all the conflicting data without personal experience yet; but it's part of the fun for me. Also I tend to be an overthinking perfectionist and I love to tinker/experiment....these traits can be a bit of a hindrance when just starting out, but hey it's just a hobby(for me). Something new to learn and enjoy...
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« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2010, 07:39:47 AM »

Wait till ya watch em dis-agree. Wink

thomas

And if you pay attention, you may learn something..... grin
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« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2010, 08:07:31 AM »

I'm not kicking either of you guys...just want make both of you certain of that. You guys are always a good read  grin

What I see, which is totally unrelated to the OP and for that I apologize, is 2 people very passionate about their own observations and studies. If you guys were to ever reach a common ground I think that between the both of you combined with a few more here on this site, could find the cure for CCD. Hell, you guys could probably find the cure for cancer. Nothing else, it would sure make an interesting reality show on TV. Personally, I respect both opinions.
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« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2010, 09:19:40 AM »

My original question has been addressed. folks should carry on from here as they see fit, I wasn't trying to dictate how/where the thread lead to...not that further input from others (on the original topic) would not be appreciated.

Personally I like spirited debate between educated/experienced people...it can be pretty educational watching folks flesh out and defend their practices. But as an outsider without knowledge of the whole history of dialogue here, I will say that you guys seem pretty entrenched in your positions.
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« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2010, 09:41:43 AM »

I think what some don't see is the history and evolution of what has transpired over the years.

So years later when someone like myself suggests something happening years ago, many times it is just simply ignored or denied ever happening.

I mentioned awhile back how 4.9 smallcell was once referred too as "natural". And some suggested that it was never called that. But is was. And there continues to be people reading stuff referring to bees being forced to draw 4.9 foundation as being on "natural" comb.

Here is a thread started in 2005 speaking specifically on 4.9 smallcell bees. If you read post #1 and post #2, you can clearly see how smallcell was in fact referred to as "natural".

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=200348&highlight=smallcell

Of course today, we refer to natural cell (even though technically wrong) as comb made by foundationless systems, where bees are allowed to draw comb based on need, etc. Which is what I have been saying for years. But it's like pulling teeth. And even today, some still refer to forcing bees to draw 4.9 foundation as "natural".

I won't even get into the other claims, in the post above, which suggests smallcell handles and deals with about everything under the sun. Which is bogus in my opinion and experience.

So yes, some of these conversations have much history behind them.
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« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2010, 03:13:43 PM »



So yes, some of these conversations have much history behind them.

And in the meantime, your still sporting the "Marking queens is gay' slogan  grin
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« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2010, 04:46:36 PM »



So yes, some of these conversations have much history behind them.

And in the meantime, your still sporting the "Marking queens is gay' slogan  grin

And the person who put it there, can take it down anytime they wish too!  grin
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« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2010, 06:12:58 PM »

I kinda like it there.    Leave it.   Sounds like school children bickering. 

Like I don't get enough of that around the house here.     grin
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« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2010, 09:49:44 PM »

I agree with Deknow that is always more than just one thing and trying to focus research to find the "silver bullet," especially over a limited time period of just 8-10-or 12 weeks doesn't provide enough of a time period to even begin to come close to a definitive answer unless one skews the data.
With CCD it is more than just one thing, such as various contaminants from a number of sources and a beehive on one side of a bee yard might not go as far in a given direction during its foraging as a hive on the opposite side of the bee yard and, hence, not be exposed to a forage source that might provide the tipping point to produce what is called CCD, when all other things are more or less the same.  I don't think they are going to come to a definitive answer on CCD until they can duplicate the same exact conditions as to pest infestations, weather, forage (where and what), and same number and type of bee hives for several years in a row let a lone 10 weeks.

I've been beekeeping for over 50 years and I still make observations on things I hadn't noticed before, so using a restricted time frame to prove a theory when such time can hardly identify the obstacles in the way of the theory is a bunch of bunk, IMO. 

Now I well agree that one way to help an ailing hive over the hump is to feed it propolis collected from its neighboring hives and maybe even steal a frame of honey/pollen/brood from one or more of the hives as well. 

I have come to the opinion that the use of breeder queens is not necessary and might be counter productive.  I can find no evidence, nor have I observed any, that would indicate that manufacturing grafted queens cells from the eggs of a breeder queen produces better queens than those chosen and nurtured by the bees themselves.  Just the opposite, I will take a bee selected queen over a grafted queen any day of the week.  I trust the bees to select a better egg candidate then I ever could except on a purely random basis.
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