VSH and Allogrooming Bees

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JGrizle
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VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby JGrizle » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:34 pm

As TF beekeepers I know we all understand that genetics are the bread and butter of a sustainable integrated pest management system. I'm doing all the research on it that i can right now but a lot of what i'm finding on the web is years old so what do you all know about Minnesota hygienic bees, USDA VSH bees, Purdue ankle biters, Harbo bees, etc... and any other interesting genetic lines that might give bees an edge over the varroa. Would love to hear from people with experience! I am most excited about the Purdue "ankle biters" and their allogrooming tendencies. I found breeders for them on this site http://www.mountainstatequeens.com What do you think?

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:06 pm

My plan is to bring in a little bit of new genetics each year. I will be looking at different resistance traits and introducing them by bringing in queens and raising daughters mated with local drones. So far I have Saskatraz queens and this year (tomorrow in fact) I will be getting resistant queens from Pedersen apiaries. Both are Russian based programs in Saskatchewan.

I think a good sustainable apiary will have a few resistance traits operating in concert. The trick is how do you introduce it and how does one evaluate the effectiveness of such a strategy.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:37 pm

>so what do you all know about Minnesota hygienic bees, USDA VSH bees, Purdue ankle biters, Harbo bees, etc... and any other interesting genetic lines that might give bees an edge over the varroa.

I did not find genetics related to Varroa problems. Cell size was. Genetics was very related to winter survival though. California and Georgia bees have not done well here.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm

As far as the specified list:

Minnesota Hygenics are bees that were bred at the U of MN by Marla Spivak and her crew. They were selected for their ability to detect and remove damaged larvae. The test was freezing by liquid nitrogen and counting what percent were removed in 24 hours.
http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/groups/c ... 317501.pdf

VSH is a new name for SMR which is a new name for Harbo's bees. They are all the same. Harbo collected survivor stock and then looked for ones with low mite populations. Then he bred from those and called them SMR (Suppressed Mite Reproduction). As he and Marla collaborated some they came to the conclusion that it was actually a specific kind of hygienic behavior that was the cause of this and so they renamed it VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) as these bees seemed to be able to sense that there were Varroa and then had the hygienic behavior to remove them.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ar/archive/m ... es0504.pdf

Other breeds include Elgon which was bred by Erik Osterlund. He started with Buckfasts and using Brother Adams breeding methods, added Apis mellifera monticola and then selected for mite resistance. They appear to do more biting of mites.
http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/ ... roa-mites/

Of course the Russian program brought bees from the Primorksy region of Russia. I have heard several possiblities for variety: Apis mellifera caucasica, Apis mellifera acervorum or Apis mellifera carpatica. Not sure of the exact variety here in the US. They came from the Primorksy region. They were used for breeding mite resistance because they were already surviving the mites. They are a bit defensive, but in odd ways. They tend to head butt a lot while not stinging any more. They are watchful guards, but not "runny" (tending to run around on the comb where you can't find the queen or work with them well). Swarminess and productivity are a bit more unpredictable. Traits are not well fixed. Frugality is similar to the Carniolans. They were brought to the USA by the USDA in June of 1997, studied on an island in Louisiana and then field testing in other states in 1999. They went on sale to the general public in 2000. As far as I know no one has come up with a mechanism for their surviving mites other than a good immune system to survive the viruses.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/projec ... _NO=415084
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JGrizle
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby JGrizle » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:15 am

I have been in touch with Dr. Hunt from Purdue University now and he passed on some documents about grooming behavior that are interesting to read and also mentioned that the Purdue Beehive website is about to include a list of bee breeders that will include a list of breeders producing the "ankle biting" bees. I have attached to documents that he sent me for those of you who are interested.
Attachments
Hepatone Secretion.pdf
(904.46 KiB) Downloaded 64 times
2012-grooming.pdf
(229.52 KiB) Downloaded 66 times
2012 Ernesto grooming.pdf
(354.47 KiB) Downloaded 34 times

JGrizle
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby JGrizle » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:16 am

oops this one didnt get attached with the others
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Miguel 2001.pdf
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:43 pm

Please tell me what do you think of this.
As I understand they start VSH lines from the insamination with the use of one drone wich has the 100% VSH genes.
Then use this to expand to more VSH colonies.

https://aristabeeresearch.org

I share the opinion of MB: http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswholebee.htm

Still, what would happen if some queens of my apiary would mate with this VSH drones?
I have such a mating place near me.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:37 pm

My opinion is that natural selection should select for the traits, not the beekeeper.
From what I know/heard/and even "feel", selection for the specific traits, especially with artificial insemination is not a step in the right direction.

As for me I try to split every hive that is alive - no matter what amount of crop they give, and what their traits are, and believe that with natural selection in some years the population I will have in the apiary will consist mostly of survivor "genes" (no matter what their traits would be).

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:54 pm

You can check if your bees have this trait quite easily. Just wrap some cardboard in parchment paper, coat the top surface with petroleum jelly, put some of mesh on it so the bees can walk on it but the mites fall through. Slide it in the hive for 72 hours in the summer, then collect the the mites and look at them under some sort of scope. That is what the research group did with my hives. My mites were shipped off, but its easy enough to look for chewed legs.

If you have the trait, then all is good, no need to bring in genetics. If you don't, then go ahead a bring in a few queens and raise some daughters that are bred with local drones. Then some sampling can be done to see if the trait is established on an ongoing basis.

There may be multiple genetic variants of various traits. When we get sophisticated enough, multiple mechanisms for a given trait can be brought in to broaden genetic diversity giving natural selection more tools to work with.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:17 pm

lharder wrote:You can check if your bees have this trait quite easily. Just wrap some cardboard in parchment paper, coat the top surface with petroleum jelly, put some of mesh on it so the bees can walk on it but the mites fall through. Slide it in the hive for 72 hours in the summer, then collect the the mites and look at them under some sort of scope. That is what the research group did with my hives. My mites were shipped off, but its easy enough to look for chewed legs.

If you have the trait, then all is good, no need to bring in genetics. If you don't, then go ahead a bring in a few queens and raise some daughters that are bred with local drones. Then some sampling can be done to see if the trait is established on an ongoing basis.

There may be multiple genetic variants of various traits. When we get sophisticated enough, multiple mechanisms for a given trait can be brought in to broaden genetic diversity giving natural selection more tools to work with.



Good idea to supervise the mites like that. Will some sunflower oil work, too?
Thanks for sharing, Iharder. I don´t want to count mites just to be nervous.
But microscoping the mites will be perfect, since I´m a curious person. :D
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:20 pm

pantruten wrote:My opinion is that natural selection should select for the traits, not the beekeeper.
From what I know/heard/and even "feel", selection for the specific traits, especially with artificial insemination is not a step in the right direction.

As for me I try to split every hive that is alive - no matter what amount of crop they give, and what their traits are, and believe that with natural selection in some years the population I will have in the apiary will consist mostly of survivor "genes" (no matter what their traits would be).


Bartek, I know you to be a very courageous person!
If I ever need some queens your`s would be great if they are survivors. The location is not so different concerning climate.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:07 pm

Detailed mite counting maybe not necessary for TF. But I plan to sample some of the hives every year just to see what happens to mite levels over time. Because I'm not treating, I'm not interested in testing every hive as I have no treatment thresholds.

Same with mite biting, hygienic behaviour and mortality information. Eventually one can go a little deeper with genetic, protein and community information. With this kind of information we can interact with the rest of the bee keeping community and hopefully talk sensibly about what actually happens when you go TF. And its just interesting:)

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:51 am

lharder wrote: And its just interesting:)

8-)
In my eyes bees, treated or not, just have the same problems if managed in the ways beekeepers did it after varroa was introduced.
So, to me it is important to start another kind of management, which I still have to find out for my location.

After the world wars before varroa came many european beekeepers multiplied their hives with "Schwarmvermehrung", multiplying with swarms from their own apiary or catched domestic swarms.
Or they let their hives renew themselves through swarming.

The more artificial kinds of beekeeping, including breeding traits good for profit but not for health, and comb hygienic managements, rotating comb every year, treating the frames and boxes with lye, killing all microbes....I want to see what happens if one imitates nature as much as possible, do it the old way.

I understand the expansion model as a path to have many colonies to select from, or let nature select, but I believe the splits to be too small to survive on their own. Depends how you do it, though. No critic meant! :)
If they are so small you have to feed all the time which I prefer not to do.

I saw the VSH , grooming behavior and entrance defense already with all my strong splits and small cell bees, but there are many other facts which I must not ignore.
Mating flights were a problem this year, this I could influence with better time management, when to make splits or waiting until the bees build swarm cells and do a taranov swarm.
Making a split with too much capped brood and therefore too many mites I have to avoid. There is no balance between bee density and brood nursing possible in this case, to detect mite infested cells there must be enough bees to share the responsibilities of the colony.

I have so much to learn! I hope the bees survive until I know more.
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pantruten
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:11 am

lharder wrote:Same with mite biting, hygienic behaviour and mortality information. Eventually one can go a little deeper with genetic, protein and community information. With this kind of information we can interact with the rest of the bee keeping community and hopefully talk sensibly about what actually happens when you go TF. And its just interesting:)


I'm glad that some people would "waste their time" (in a positive meaning :P) being curious, because I'm too lazy for that... ;) Nevertheless these information are important for some of the beekeepers.
As for me myself ... I must admit I'm very irritated by the people who cannot connect the dots.
During my discussions with beekeepers I often read some things like:
- "evolution doesn't work if environmental conditions change, so natural selection is dead end if the conditions change every year"
- "my untreated "commercial" bees died because the flow was too big, and they overworked themselves - it's not natural selection, and adaptation for the pests has nothing to do with it"
etc, etc... I have no patience reading this I must admit... ;)
But - I'm writting this, because observations like You wrote may make them think a little... (I sometimes doubt that, after what I read......)


SiWolKe wrote:I understand the expansion model as a path to have many colonies to select from, or let nature select, but I believe the splits to be too small to survive on their own. Depends how you do it, though. No critic meant! :)
If they are so small you have to feed all the time which I prefer not to do.


I wouldn't say it's true :)
Yes, I must admit my bees split using expansion model needed feeding. But last year (2015) when the flow was good, and the bees were healthy I made some 1 or 2 frame nucs in May, and I only had to start feeding them in August when the draught was from july. they were then 4 - 7 frame nucs.



SiWolKe wrote:Making a split with too much capped brood and therefore too many mites I have to avoid. There is no balance between bee density and brood nursing possible in this case, to detect mite infested cells there must be enough bees to share the responsibilities of the colony.


some our Polish scientists (of coursce also saying that treating is unavoidable) say that when varroa came bees died in their fourth year since infestation (rarely in the third). Now mostly they die in the first and second year from the last treatment. They also say that it the 80's bees died with varroa infestation of 7'000 - 11'000, now they die with infestation of 2'000 mites - rarely some more.
What changed? Bees are weaker because of management and poor genetics.

For me, this means Sibylle, that if your bees would be healthy this doesn't matter at all if they have more or less varroa infestation. If You make nuc with a cell not with laying queen there will be very many nursing bees when new queen starts to lay, and the brood brake makes it possible for them to "clean" the hive out of varroa.
In my practice I just split the hive as many times as I see fit, doing as many nucs as I see reasonable (sometimes 7 - 8, sometimes 2 or 3). Yes, some of them die, because of the infestation or some other problems, but doing many splits for me divides the varroa infestation more than it divides the bees' potential to survive.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:10 am

From MB website: The other issue of being too selective is that you can create a bottleneck in the gene pool. Genetic bottlenecks can cause obscure problems to become common problems. Inbreeding fixes traits. The problem is that it fixes both good and bad traits. Fixing the bad traits can result in making these traits endemic to the population. Genetic bottlenecks also can eliminate lines that might be needed to survive the next "bee crisis".


if we are able to avoid bottlenecks bees shall be able to adapt to the changes in environment. But some changes in farming are hard on the bees.

MB again: Bees are all gamblers. They have to rear brood ahead of the flow to have foragers for the flow. The ones that gamble big are the ones the win big. The ones that gamble big are also the ones that lose big. One theory is that you should breed from “average” bees instead of the "outliers" to avoid the big gamblers.


I believe that will happen after some time letting nature decide and that´s our goal.

Bartek wrote:
- "evolution doesn't work if environmental conditions change, so natural selection is dead end if the conditions change every year"
- "my untreated "commercial" bees died because the flow was too big, and they overworked themselves - it's not natural selection, and adaptation for the pests has nothing to do with it"


Perhaps it´s possible some of them overworked themselves, who knows? Bees are bred for honey harvest for a long time.

and the brood brake makes it possible for them to "clean" the hive out of varroa.


That´s true, and that´s the reason my split with queen struggled. No brood break, no density.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:24 am

SiWolKe wrote:
From MB website: The other issue of being too selective is that you can create a bottleneck in the gene pool. Genetic bottlenecks can cause obscure problems to become common problems. Inbreeding fixes traits. The problem is that it fixes both good and bad traits. Fixing the bad traits can result in making these traits endemic to the population. Genetic bottlenecks also can eliminate lines that might be needed to survive the next "bee crisis".


if we are able to avoid bottlenecks bees shall be able to adapt to the changes in environment. But some changes in farming are hard on the bees.


I don't believe that all bottlenecks are bad, and the other thing is that in nature mechanisms protecting from inbreeding work and the bottlenecks are not that dangerous. They become dangerous when these mechanisms don't work (like with artificial insemination, and artificial selection takes place).
Evolution works by bottlenecks - some wider, and some quite narrow. But the genetic diversity in effect in most cases is quite enough for preserving the health of the organisms.

I once read article about feral population of bees, and the study showed that all the feral population in the region (I don't remember where that was - In England I think) came from about 10% of the bees that survived (varroa and other problems) - the study considered mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA. The diversity of nuclear DNA was quite big (almost intact), whereas diversity of mitochondrial DNA was quite poor (that is how the conclusions of "bottleneck" were made). So even 90% of bees died in the bottleneck the population was healty and thriving. Nature only eliminated what was completly unadapted.
But as I understand Michael Bush wrote about "bottleneck" which eliminates the genes, not "bottleneck" that eliminates organisms. (and in this I agree with him).



SiWolKe wrote:Bartek wrote:
- "evolution doesn't work if environmental conditions change, so natural selection is dead end if the conditions change every year"
- "my untreated "commercial" bees died because the flow was too big, and they overworked themselves - it's not natural selection, and adaptation for the pests has nothing to do with it"


Perhaps it´s possible some of them overworked themselves, who knows? Bees are bred for honey harvest for a long time.


If they did (which I don't believe at all), than they were not adapted at all not even for the conditions, but for living in general ;-) The suggestion was, that the problem was the flow ;-)

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby Nordak » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:24 pm

This is just an observation, as I honestly don't have the tools really to see exactly what is going on with my bees in terms of exact resistance mechanisms utilized, but there appears to be a trend between hive defense (against vespids, small hive beetle, etc.) and overall colony health. Surprisingly, the bees that I have now are not so defensive toward me, which was not so in my first year. I know people argue selection takes years, but by appearances it seems that 3 years of doing so with little to no control over the drone populations, I can see positive gains by just controlling the queen side of the issue. It may just be dumb luck, but I'll take it. :D

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:46 pm

I would take that luck too,Nordak, since my situation is the same.
As long as there are some foreign drones around, there is diversity.

No surprise to me the bees know me against other dangers. They know us by smell. I did some experiments with clothes ( color of cloth, other bee`s smell on clothes, how working with them is done, smell of smoker contents...and so on.)
I had some visitors who were attacked just standing beside me ( AMM hybrids), me they tolerated.
.
The carnis are kind of boring. ;) Still not regressed enough to defend much. Had a wasp problem, they let them in, but later I found some dead wasps in front of the hives. But they are nice to work with.

The AMM never let any other insects in and last year I saw one hive attacking a hornet in front of the hive as a group.
But I have never seen grooming so far as with the carnis. But those live much of their social life on the entrance boards, whereas the AMM are hidden behind the entrances and start like little rockets.

Maybe I will let my carni queens mate in this apiary. Some of this drone`s genes would be nice.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby Nordak » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:10 pm

I think there may be something to your theory regarding smell. My wife is not so fortunate around the bees. They are more likely to pester her than me when we're out among the hives. I think bees pick up on fear is my guess, as she likes bees but isn't as comfortable with them as I am.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:45 pm

My friends wrote, if I remember corectly, that when they go alone to apiary bees never sting, but when they go with somebody bees sting them, and not the guests... that is like they didn't like their "master" shows them to others ;) they punish them for that ;)

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby Nordak » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:52 pm

A case of one too many smelly humans perhaps.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:03 pm

Nordak wrote:A case of one too many smelly humans perhaps.


yes, but they sting them not the guests ;)

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:48 pm

Ha, lovely!
To be stung but not the guests! I love my bees! Maybe they smell my respect, to me it´s important to show them some respect!
I´m always talking to those lone watchers who sing the war song in front of my eyes 8-)

Nordak, maybe your wife has a perfume or body lotion on her the bees don´t like.
The bees like us to smell sweaty and not showered for some days... :lol: ;)
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:47 am

SiWolKe wrote:The bees like us to smell sweaty and not showered for some days... :lol: ;)


that is why I don't take a shower from March to September :lol:

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:57 pm

I haven't experienced that much aggression but they do a good job of keeping other critters out. Was watching a few dragonflies that were going after bees. It didn't take long and suddenly they would get noticed and buzzed by the bees and they would move on.

I have experienced rogue bees on occasion. No hesitation, no warning, no provocation. I had one bee come after me when I was a good 100 meters from the hive. I was carrying a box of frames and dropped it I was so surprised. Came back for another load and got buzzed in the same place. But mostly I'm well tolerated. I have one fleece jacket they don't seem to like for some reason.

I don't think many treating keepers have even basic knowledge of natural selection. Certainly not enough to argue sensibly about it. There is a modeling scenario called a dynamic adaptive environment where some sort of optimal fitness is very difficult. I have an untested idea that persistent interregional movement of bees may create such a dynamic viral environment that makes adaptation difficult. Plus the fact that disease loads would probably build in large numbers of stressed bees. I don't know the basic patterns of movement in Europe, but in North America it would interesting to map tf success in relation to migratory patterns. I agree that falling thresholds in treated bees should be troubling. Its not a stable situation and keepers should be concerned about it even if mite resistance to organic acids isn't happening.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:34 pm

lharder wrote:
I have an untested idea that persistent interregional movement of bees may create such a dynamic viral environment that makes adaptation difficult. Plus the fact that disease loads would probably build in large numbers of stressed bees. I don't know the basic patterns of movement in Europe, but in North America it would interesting to map tf success in relation to migratory patterns.


I´m with you there.
In my area there are the hobbyists, who never migrate.
Then there are the beekeepers with more than 4 and less than 25 hives ( we have to pay tax when we have more than 25 hives, then we are "commercials") , those migrate between summer and winter places or do not migrate.
The commercials almost never have more than 40-300 hives, they migrate to farming fields and fruit farming.
Some have separate yards for nucs.

To me it´s one of the most important managements not to migrate. My 2 apiaries are 20km apart and one is 400m higher on sea level than the other. You would not believe how different they are.
Weather, humidity, wind, farming, flow, plants. The same flow is 2 weeks earlier blooming at the wildlife park.

If bees nest in trees I have yet to see a tree walking away :lol:
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby pantruten » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:46 pm

The problem is not the migration alone (as "migratory beekeeping") but also moving genetics from one place to antother. From what I read about US beekeeping bees are often moved from south to north, and the migration for pollination or crops is through all over the country.

In Poland that is not such big migration for pollination. In Europe pollination is not that profitable as in US. Mostly the beekeeper has to "pay" (with honey) to plantator for that he agrees to put bees near the plantation. It's rarely the other way round.
We have similar as beeing "commercial" as Sibylle wrote, but in Poland You pay tax only if You have over 80 hives (so the number is bigger). But there are only a few apiaries of more than 500 hives. The migrations are mostly only in the region (so not more then 50 - 100 km from apiary, rarely more). The area of the country is not that big, so the climate is quite similar in all parts (of course with some differences : sea north, and mountains south).

the problem is foreign genetics though. We have almost all the bees that are from other countries (many from Germany or Denmark - Buckfasts, and from Turkey: anatolica, from Slovenia: Carnica etc etc etc), and our native bee: apis mellifera mellifera (AMM) is almost extinct in our country. So the bees are not that adapted as one would wish... but most beekeepers don't care about adaptation. They just care for honey. If the bee gathers good crop - it is perfect for the region. But You just cannot leave that bee alone, because it will winter poorly (if they winter poorly or die beekeepers say as I wrote earlier: the bees overworked themselves on the flow... perfect logic...;) ).

We have some preservative apiaries (financed by the state) that are ment for breeding our native AMM, but recently my friend who has some AMM (I have some also) received a call from one of them, and they asked him for some AMM genetics, because when they checked the bees it showed not AMM traits but AM Caucasian traits... so thats how it is with our adapted native bee :(

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SiWolKe
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:39 pm

Bartek explains it very well.

But I believe the bees cannot adapt even being only transported 10km.
Because I believe every small place has it´s own individual microfauna and -flora and micro-climate.
And the ph value of the soil changes quickly here and there are other plants then. This means pollen or propolis from other plants.
And the wax has maybe some pesticides of the location so the bees are able to take that if they adapt.

The climate could be the same but not those differences.
I believe it needs at least a year to adapt to that.

They say it´s possible to have tf bees survivors when you are isolated 3km. The mating places are isolated 5km here.
So if you are isolated like that, genes will be introduced by purchased mated queens only if you are not migrating.

That´s good when you start maybe, having diversity.
Later on you must breed your own mutt queens which are adapted.
The beekeepers often change their queen after one year. They want a more productive queen.

To discover a queen´genetics , whether she breeds a resistant colony in your location, you need 2 years or more.
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Nordak
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby Nordak » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:55 am

I don't think many treating keepers have even basic knowledge of natural selection.

I think it may have more to do with seeing the value in a naturally selected bee. Treating allows for bees that are selected for man's needs in terms of dollar value in a very unnatural environment. I think there is a belief by some that resistance alone will fix commercial outfits when all evidence I've seen points elsewhere.

it would interesting to map tf success in relation to migratory patterns.

I think this would be telling research and give deeper meaning to many of the conversations as of late to the why it doesn't work in many areas of the country. If you look to the successes most in the U.S. are having where AHB aren't involved, the trend certainly appears to be rural and relatively isolated beeks are having much better luck. The friend I have given bees to, living 30 miles away in a similar geography as my own appears to be sharing the same success being treatment free. I am considering setting up mating nucs there next year to add a little diversity to my own apiary as it appears to be a safe zone. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that anyone here treating bees is either using package bees or treating for the sake of treating, because there are plenty of bees around that have no problems making it on their own. My in-laws, 80 or so miles to the west have tons of bees every year, but no known beekeepers in a little community that skirts the Ouachita Mountains, close to National Forest. My father, 120 miles away southwest, nestled within the Ouachitas has a hive 3 years going strong no treatments. My TF experience is no anomaly. Bees are thriving in west to west central Arkansas, I can say that with certainty. A decent density of woodlands to open meadows appear to be a common environmental factor among these locations.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:31 pm

I am not against the idea of local migration. The flow slows down here about the middle or end of July in the valley bottoms. I plan on moving about half the hives at some point to higher elevations for July and August where flowering is going full steam ahead. Not sure if its going to happen this summer, but it is in my long term plans to try it. The idea is to lessen the competition in the valley bottoms and reduce stress, and bring in some interesting wild flower nectar from more or less pristine environments. The worst worry is bears.

I'm lucky in that big outfits drive through but don't stay in this area. Nor do they overwinter here.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:12 am

lharder wrote:I am not against the idea of local migration. The flow slows down here about the middle or end of July in the valley bottoms. I plan on moving about half the hives at some point to higher elevations for July and August where flowering is going full steam ahead. Not sure if its going to happen this summer, but it is in my long term plans to try it. The idea is to lessen the competition in the valley bottoms and reduce stress, and bring in some interesting wild flower nectar from more or less pristine environments. The worst worry is bears.

I'm lucky in that big outfits drive through but don't stay in this area. Nor do they overwinter here.


That´s a different approach than mine and I´m excited to hear how you do, Iharder.
I always thought of migrating as stress but as you say stress could be more without migration in your locale.
How far away is the other place?

I plan to have enough hives ( 20-25) to select survivors from.
This means I will not feed ( even not with migration or donation of combs) or donate brood combs in future.
But for now it´s all theory and I have to learn much more about the bees.
My concern just now is the space management, as you can see in the other thread, and the changing to natural comb, if they are able to build small cells in broodnest area.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:30 pm

I think the journey would be about 20 to 30 km, going from about 350 m to 1000 m. The climate is totally different. Up there the winter snowpack would be about 6 feet or more which results in moist soils all summer. The season is short and there are some freezing nights all summer. Our local ski hill has a blossom festival and the amount of flowering material is overwhelming. The bumbles are so overladen with nectar they can hardly fly.

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SiWolKe
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:41 pm

Ah, we have the alpine regions near, could be like that.
If you go trekking in june, the flora is overwhelming. No grasses, only flowers and herbs and around you see the snow packed peaks.
It´s wonderful!
I´ve never been to canada, I hope I will have the chance sometime.
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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby lharder » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:22 pm

If you did you have at least one beekeeper who would welcome you. But you better make your visit as long as possible. Just exploring British Columbia could occupy a summer, and still not scratch the surface.

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Re: VSH and Allogrooming Bees

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:38 pm

But you better make your visit as long as possible.


Oh yes...OH YES...
Nice. :D
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