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Author Topic: What we really know about varroa tolerant bees  (Read 8521 times)
NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2007, 01:46:03 PM »

[...you try to be really smart..]

But I'm failing??  (ouch!)

Hope you don't mean for smart = jerk, because that's not my intent.

I'd like you to boil down the information and tells us what it means and how we can make this work.
I hope I am not presuming you know when you don't, I don't mean to embarass you.
If you don't know, PM me and let me know and we talk this out for the benefit of all.

-Jeff
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2007, 01:55:26 PM »

We have no mite problem in Finland now.

I want to know why you still treat for mites if you don't have a mite problem.
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2007, 02:02:42 PM »

We have no mite problem in Finland now.

I want to know why you still treat for mites if you don't have a mite problem.

We have solved it now with formic acid, thymol and oxalic acid. After that we have no problem because we don't trust good luck.

NWIN. even if you are 33 years, I think that you are adult. 
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2007, 02:54:05 PM »

[We have solved it now with formic acid, thymol and oxalic acid. ]

What you are telling me is that your varroa problem is solved with various chemicals, not mite resistance.

The point that I am trying to get you to bring out is that these chemicals are not necessary.
The bees do have a genetic resistance and that can be tested for and bred into our own lines.
This would avoid the costly purchasing of bees and potentially damaging shipping of queens.

You seem to be side-tracked as if you are being attacked, but that is not the case.
I am trying to respect your knowledge and let you tell everyone what you know.

This is becoming more combative than productive, so I will quit trying to get you tell us.

There are two types of resistance.
There is SMR (or smart bees as finsky referenced) and hygienic bees.
The difference between the two is genetics.

Hygienics is a recessive trait, it means that both mother and father must carry the trait.
Because both must have the trait, it is easy to loose the trait.
But since 1 in 10 bees generally carry the trait, its easy to find it again too.
There are 7 traits tied to hygienics, some to uncapping, some to grooming instincts.
So we as beekeepers can test for hygienics and saturate out yards with them.
This increases the likelihood of Hy-Queen and Hy-Drone matings.

Hygienics can be field tested in two ways.
There is the pin prick method, where you take capped brood and sewing needle and poke through the capping into the larvae killing it. You do this on 10 or 20 adjacent cells, place back in the colony and in 48 hours remove and count the cells cleaned out.  A dot of paint over the set of cells help identify which set you used.
The second method required taking a chunk of brood out (like a cut-comb cutter) and freezing it for 24 hours to kill, but not moosh the brood. More than 24 hours will over freezing will cause false hygienic removal, so be careful. The chunk is reinserted and 48 hours is allowed to pass again.  Then the cells removed are counted.
In either method, ideally you want more than 80% removal in 48 hours.
Queens not demonstrating this should be culled, and requeened with stocks that do demonstrate it.


SMR is an additive trait, which means that if mother and father carry the trait, the stronger the SMR characteristic.
Also, the more grandparents that had the trait, the more likely it is passed on (up to 5 trait locations).
I like the anology of a parking lot with 5 spaces. Once 5 are used, theres no more additive advantage.
Lets say a queen with 5 points is mated with a non-smr drone, then the offspring drop to 4 points.
As you can see, it may take several non-smr mating to loose SMR.
But its not as naturally occuring in our italian stocks as hygienics, and so it may not ever be regained in open matings.
This means that you will likely need to re-purchase SMR stocks after a few years, or saturate the drone mating areas with your SMR drones.

Sue Colby of (soon UC Davis) Ohio State University, Marla Spivak or Unv. Minn and Glenn Apiaries in California, have great information about the topic.  Glenn Apiaries even uses Medel genetic diagrams to explain the matings and cross matings. I would strongly suggest reading all of these if you want a good understanding of where genetics are today, and what to expect in the future.

Some folks point you to books and articles and tell you to go read.
I'm giving you the facts and the tools to do it.

This is what I was talking about Finski

-Jeff
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Finsky
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2007, 03:11:23 PM »

[
What you are telling me is that your varroa problem is solved with various chemicals, not mite resistance.

That is the big message. Right!

Quote
The point that I am trying to get you to bring out is that these chemicals are not necessary.

And your referencies are........

Quote
The bees do have a genetic resistance and that can be tested for and bred into our own lines.

Yes, I have studied genetics in university 5 years and know a little bit genetics.

Quote

There are two types of resistance.
There is SMR (or smart bees as finsky referenced) and hygienic bees.
The difference between the two is genetics.

Hygienics is a recessive trait, it means that both mother and father must carry the trait.
Because both must have the trait, it is easy to loose the trait.
But since 1 in 10 bees generally carry the trait, its easy to find it again too.
There are 7 traits tied to hygienics, some to uncapping, some to grooming instincts.
So we as beekeepers can test for hygienics and saturate out yards with them.
This increases the likelihood of Hy-Queen and Hy-Drone matings.

Hygienics can be field tested in two ways.
There is the pin prick method, where you take capped brood and sewing needle and poke through the capping into the larvae killing it. You do this on 10 or 20 adjacent cells, place back in the colony and in 48 hours remove and count the cells cleaned out.  A dot of paint over the set of cells help identify which set you used.
The second method required taking a chunk of brood out (like a cut-comb cutter) and freezing it for 24 hours to kill, but not moosh the brood. More than 24 hours will over freezing will cause false hygienic removal, so be careful. The chunk is reinserted and 48 hours is allowed to pass again.  Then the cells removed are counted.
In either method, ideally you want more than 80% removal in 48 hours.
Queens not demonstrating this should be culled, and requeened with stocks that do demonstrate it.

Yes, I konow allmost all that

Quote
Sue Colby of (soon UC Davis) Ohio State University, Marla Spivak or Unv. Minn and Glenn Apiaries in California, have great information about the topic.  Glenn Apiaries even uses Medel genetic diagrams to explain the matings and cross matings. I would strongly suggest reading all of these if you want a good understanding of where genetics are today, and what to expect in the future. [/b]

Yes, we not talking on same level adult to adult

Quote
This is what I was talking about Finski


Jeff, I cannot understand what are you talking.

It is two different sthings
1) Breeding, breeding plans
2) Achieved breeding results

You are mixing them. And if you know genetics, it is not first year beekepers' job.

How much you have studied biology and genetics? With whom I have honour to talk?

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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2007, 03:22:03 PM »

[Yes, I konow allmost all that]

Then share it with the group.

[And your referencies are....]

Ask anyone that is following the protocols described.

[Jeff, I cannot understand what are you talking. It is two different sthings 1) Breeding, breeding plans 2) Achieved breeding results ]

The are complementary topics that depend on each other for sucess.

[...we not talking on same level adult to adult.]

You're right, I'm trying to talk to you beekeeper to beekeeper and you're trying to make it something else.
Stop being a spaz and work with me here.

[How much you have studied biology and genetics? With whom I have honour to talk?]

When it matters, I read.
You have the honour of speaking with a fellow beekeeper that is trying to help you suceed.

-Jeff
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Finsky
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2007, 03:48:28 PM »

NW, I cannot understand what is you meaning?

I have studied so much biology that I appreciate highly the work which is going on the field of beebreeding. During my beekeeping years yields per hive has rised 3-4 fold with breeding.

What I am talking here is that even if a lot of work have done in USA, Germany and in many other countries, there is no such a bee that you may promise to beginner "dont worry about mites. Here is the bee which handle varroa".

When some one have many years dealed with varroa, he has knowledge with whom he is playing.

In this forum we can read that beginners loose their hives, hives are so small that they do not survive over winter so that beekeeper get honey next summer. I have seen plenty of pictures that hives are as small as package hives a year before.

Quote
You have the honour of speaking with a fellow beekeeper that is trying to help you suceed.

in what meaning? Where I need help?  I am not breeding varroa tolerant bees.

To read and understand are different things.




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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2007, 05:30:43 PM »

[During my beekeeping years yields per hive has rised 3-4 fold with breeding.]

Is this thread about honey yields or varroa tolerance?
Honey production has no relavence in this topic.

[...there is no such a bee that you may promise to beginner "dont worry about mites. Here is the bee which handle varroa".]

I have made no such promise.
There will probably never will be a variety of bees that you will not have to worry about varroa.
They are a parasite and they travel from hive to hive, so until they are irradicated, they'll be here.
The big picture is "are there varieties of bees that survive better than others at higher mite loads?"
The answer is yes there is.
And we the common beekeeper can breed for those traits instead of buying non-acclimated bees from other latitudes that easily die or are superceded.
You presume a promise that was never made.

[...we can read that beginners loose their hives.]

We all loose hives regardless of level of experience.
Losses are not always management, losses are not always genetics, losses are not always environment.
Hive loss can be a good thing, it culls the sick and weak. 
And it makes us appreciate the healthy.
What I am proposing has no impact on how long anyone has been beekeeping.
You rear better mite resistant queens if you are a 1st year beekeeper or 20 year beekeeper.
Your corrolation to a beginner has no relavence in this topic.

[I have seen plenty of pictures that hives are as small as package hives a year before.]

I agree.  In fact most cold-climate beekeepers that rear queens agree with that statement.
In fact, there seems to be a shift to wintering nucs and baby nucs for earlier spring queens.
But again, size really doesn't have much relavence on getting bees to be mite tolerant.

[Where I need help?]

You began this topic to discuss mite tolerant bees, and you did a really great job on posting relavent documents.  Apparently you haven't read your own documents, or don't understand what they mean.  You drifted off on talking about you need to chemcially treat.  That's not rearing mite tolerant bees, that's the opposite. But maybe that's what you meant, to try to defunct topic? You haven't provided any documentation or proof from your own yards that mite tolerance selection and breeding isn't effective.  And maybe if it's not effective for you, maybe you're not doing it correctly to the protocols?

You start calling the sky blue, I agree and ask you tell us why its blue, and you turn 180 degrees and start telling us its red. I'm not sure what to think you believe, I just know I have an opinion and I have a lot of people and studies that have proven my ideas are on track. You can run off on whatever tangant you want, but I'm discussing the the topic posted and I'm giving people good information on how to do it.

If you want to pull the experience card, with 5 years doing this and that, then at least make it apply to the topic.  And if you are going endorse one idea or the other, try to stick with it so you don't confuse the holy begeezits out of everyone. I'm trying to help the cause here and you're just muttling everything into confusion. Pick a side and please stick to it. I understand, and now you're even confusing me.

-Jeff

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Jerrymac
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2007, 06:00:48 PM »

[And your referencies are....]
Ask anyone that is following the protocols described.

Here is the thing Jeff. Finsky isn't going to listen to anything that hasn't been researched and published in some scientific magazine. It doesn't matter if one thousand people on this forum kept bees for 45 years with no treatment. If a scientist didn't check it out then it don't work. That is all you will get from Finsky. So you need to find those references.
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2007, 06:08:25 PM »

Hi Finsky, How are you today?  rolleyes
Questions for you...
Did you lose any hives last winter or this winter?
Do you use solid bottom boards or screened bottom boards?
Do you make splits from survivor colonies or do you buy packages?
How many hives do you have?
Thank You...that is all.....for now.... grin
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2007, 06:14:44 PM »

[So you need to find those references.]

I don't think Steve Taber, Marla Spivak, or Sue Colby care to jump in on this topic.
I think they are too busying doing rather than crying it doesn't work.

Which is exactly what I plan on doing too.

I'd really like to hear about winter losts, IPM systems, and all these chemicals that are being used.

Hey, anyone have any good studies about screened bottom boards, maybe they don't work either?

-Jeff

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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2007, 07:00:21 PM »


If a scientist didn't check it out then it don't work.

I don't really think that's Finsky's point. (Although both of these guys are coming on a little strong.)

Working to selectively breed mite resistance into bees is a great idea. I also think that good scientific research into this area is crucial. Why conduct rigorous scientific research? Because there are lots of variables in raising bees. What works for one beekeeper won't for another. The point of good scientific research is to find methods for dealing with varroa and then to determine how effective they are.

Take flu vaccine as a non-bee example. It's only 80% effective in the best of cases. We know that, and that's an important calculation when considering how to protect vulnerable people like nursing home residents.

Maybe bee breeders will be able over successive generations to develop a mite-resistant bee. However, with good research into this, we could know much more. Such as, how and when to treat, how the resistant bees compare with regular varieites with respect to production etc.

Our goal should be to develop management plans that include a wide range of strategies for dealing with varroa -- and other bee problems. There isn't a silver bullet, and most likely there won't be one.

Great discussion.

kev
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2007, 09:50:18 PM »

>MB means, I suppose, AFB.  He cannot mean varroa because varroa has not been in USA so long. 

I mean everything.  I mean no treatment for anything.  When I say I am/was using no treatments, I mean no Terramycin, no fumidil, no apistan, no menthol, no grease patties, no check mite, no powdered sugar, nothing, nada, zip.  What pests were here at different times is another issue.

You are correct, Varroa was not here in the 1970s.
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2007, 11:53:36 PM »

My two cents, oh brother!!!!  Cindi
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2007, 12:04:47 AM »



Hey, anyone have any good studies about screened bottom boards, maybe they don't work either?


What is matter with yuo jeff?

If you mean screened bottom to deminish mites, it dos not work. Like Canadian says in reseach: "Nothing good to mention".
Screened bottom influence have studied in many countries that no meaning for mite population.


If you mean creened bottom overoall, it is good for those who need it.
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Finsky
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2007, 12:09:07 AM »

I mean everything. 


That goes over my understanding! And still US beekeeping is in trouble?

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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2007, 12:44:30 AM »

.
Here is one excamble. Find yourself more ....

Anti-Varroa Screened Bottom Board
http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/articles/AV-BOTTOM%20BOARD.pdf

The anti-varroa screened bottom board was tested on a large scale during the
beekeeping seasons of 2000 and 2001 in the l’Estrie region of Quebec. Used with its
bottom closed by a sampling drawer, this bottom board succeeded in reducing, on
average, by 37% the varroa populations of the colonies during the season of 2001
. The
global results obtained however were not statistically significant except for certain
sampled sub groups where the experiment conditions were more homogeneous. These
results reinforce the conclusions drawn from two recent studies performed in the United
States that were also statistically non significant. A 14 months comparison by T.C
Webster posterior to our work showed a 70% highly significant reduction of the varroa
population (17) with the screened bottom. The performance of the bottom board varied
according to the apiary sites and it is possible that certain environmental factors affected
its efficiency. More research is necessary to better comprehend this aspect. The antivarroa
bottom board must never be used with its bottom hole opened as this leads to a
lowering of cluster temperature resulting in ideal conditions for varroa development.
As
confirmed in 2000, this situation not only negated the beneficial effects of the bottom
board, it also resulted in a net increase in the mite infestation rate (29.2% more varroa
mites, non significant) as compared to the control group. The performance of the bottom
board also varied from one colony to another. It was observed that the strength of the
colony in the spring and especially the lineage of the queen were significant factors in
the rate of infestation.

******************

Finsky:
The method to reduce mites from hives must achieve at least 95% loss of mites. Otherwise mites reduce honey yieldIn cold climates mites concentrate in last brood and violate those bees which should be best in winter cluster. Those bees which do not die, they get mite biting and get many troubles..


.

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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2007, 01:17:49 AM »

I would strongly suggest reading all of these if you want a good understanding of where genetics are today, and what to expect in the future.


Mendel laws are now only memory of past in this issue.

Now mapping genome and to identify  genes which are present in varroa tolerant bees are the keys to go on. That is why bees genome has mapped. It cost awfully much. Don't tell me that I should do that  Lips Sealed

One point which is allways forgotten is that the mite developes too it's anti-anti-varroa genes. It is simple animal, generations are fast and mutations happens.

Why Mendel is bad to clarify the heredity of bees:

7 genes at one time makes big variations.

Queen mates on average with 16 drones, and this makes very big variation into colony. That is mating idea, to get variation.

When ordinary beekeeper bye "anti varroa queen", it takes not long time when hive has nw queen and influence of genes are vanished in crossings.

Queen try to go far to mate and avoid crossing with it's brothers and own genepool. That is big idea in sexual reproducing.

Mite is not most important factor in beekeeping. You must take care many more things. To some hobby beekeepers mite seems to be more important that be itself or honey yield.

I can see, that USA bee business has forgotten the basic idea in bee breeding: to have locally adapted bee stocks from Florida to Alaska.
Alaska nurses bees just like Florida beekeepers.  Closing the border of Canada helps Canadian beekeepers but still they get their genes from Australia.

It is better to look the whole context how where beekeeping goes. It is not Russian bee or screened bottom question.

By the way, Germany have achieved even better results in searching mite tolerant bee stocks, but this is not beaty contest.

New Zealand started it's own breeding 5-6 years ago but I have not seen any reports how well breeding is going.



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« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2007, 03:57:28 AM »

.
IN EUROPE 2006

Minutes of the 2nd “Eurbee breeding group” meeting,
Bologna 16 and 17 January 2006


.......The common breeding goals are productivity, Varroa tolerance, gentleness/calmness, low swarming tendency. He suggests that the priority for the future are Varroa tolerance and gentleness.........

..........Ralph Büchler presented an overview on the German selection program for Varroa tolerance, which is organised on two levels: the beekeepers carry out routine selection on a large population, according to general criteria (productivity and behavioural characteristics) and tolerance criteria (varroa infestation during the season and hygienic behaviour);

conclusions........there was recognition of the fact that standardization of methods (such as evaluation of hygienic behaviour, scoring system, microsatellite analysis) will take time to achieve. The fact that several countries are currently adopting the same method for the evaluation of breeding values shows that steps in this direction are being taken.
.
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« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2007, 04:02:25 AM »

.
BRASILIA AFRICANIZED BEES 2006

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1519-566X2006000300002&script=sci_arttext

ABSTRACT

Varroosis, a disease caused by the mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Treuman has killed hundreds of thousands of Apis mellifera L. colonies in various parts of the world. Nevertheless, the damage caused by this mite varies with the type of bee and climate conditions. Varroa causes little damage to Africanized bee colonies in Brazil, as the infestation rates are relatively stable and low. We evaluated the hygienic behavior (uncapping and removal of brood) of highly hygienic Africanized bees using combs with worker brood cells infested (naturally) and no infested with V. destructor. The daily uncapping rate, measured in eight colonies during six days, was 3.5 fold higher in the combs infested with varroa compared to no infested combs. The results show that the Africanized bees are able to recognise and remove brood cells naturally infested with V. destructor what is an important mechanism for tolerance against varroa.

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