Research to support TFB

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Chuck Jachens
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Research to support TFB

Postby Chuck Jachens » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:12 am

The National Honey Board is currently seeking research proposals for projects focused on honey bee colony production.
It says its list of subjects it is interesting in funding under its 2016 budget include:
* Research leading to a practical control of Varro mite in commercial beekeeping operations.
* Follow-up research on a project which demonstrated a potential for practical application, but further study is advised. Special consideration will be given to research projects the NHB previously funded.
* An innovative research project that might not fit the vogue or current thinking, and therefore might not be considered for regular funding.

I think TFB using expansion methods could qualify under as an "innovative research project". A 50 or 100 nuc box project with the grant covered materials could be an option. Maybe add 50 3 box medium hives to over winter and use local raised homegrown queens.

To fit the commercial operations, the work would be done to maximize hive numbers and strength going into almond pollination. Smaller scale would Nuc sales in the spring to compete agianst package sales to help maintain bees that can thrive despite varro mites and the diseases they host.

Peoples thoughts?
I also thought it might be a good Eagle Scout Project on a smaller scale.

Nate K
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Nate K » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:26 pm

I personally think its a very viable plan.I don't think the establishment beekeepers will take this concept seriously.
For whatever reason, the varroa mite is the Boogeyman of the beekeeping world.
It would be great if this concept we all in part use, would be recognized by our fellow conventional beekeepers.
What's good for the beekeeper, isn't always what's best for the bees.
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Ryan D
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Ryan D » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:10 pm

A lot of what Solomon talks about in the expansion model is trying to breed bees that are healthy and resilient in a particular environment. Perhaps some research could be done to demonstrate empirically that treating props up bad genetics? I'd like to see that idea established in the minds of the mainstream.

Ryan D
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Ryan D » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:14 pm

I was also intrigued when Solomon was talking about the idea that TF Beekeeping is also about breeding the kind of varoa might that can coexist with the bees but not kill them. Some research to demonstrate that would be pretty cool.

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Solomon
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Solomon » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:00 pm

Part of the problem as Ryan mentions is the environment. All the time we get the question "why aren't you selling queens to the commercials?" Because it doesn't work. You can only push bees so far, or any species for that matter. Bees were never meant to move and to intermingle and intermix diseases. That may be the step too far. Localized bees are extremely important in TF, that's what my experience tells me.

I'd love to do research experiments, but they can't afford me. What do I have to prove? I've been reporting what I was doing for years and yet there are many who simply refuse to believe it's possible, that TF is just a rumor.
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waspkiller
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby waspkiller » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:44 pm

Well that explains why commercial beekeeping is not being done treatment free, but I would not like to think it is impossible the goal would be that one day it will become so possible that it will be done because the bees will have evolved to deal with it.

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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby lharder » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:47 pm

The most obvious thing to improve bee health would be practices that slow the movement of pests/disease, and the promotion of genetic diversity. that means no massive interregional bee movement and localized queen rearing. That will not be on the agenda in the short term. It would take a long term campaign by non migratory bee keepers or those that only move them around regionally. Might also solve some issues re unsustainable monoculture practices if bringing bees in became illegal.

Chuck Jachens
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Chuck Jachens » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:34 pm

The miles of almonds in California are not going away any time soon. If you can get $200 for a full box of bees, it is worth out to bring putt a truck full of bees. Unless the fungicides kill your bees.

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Solomon
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby Solomon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:06 pm

That's the key issue. The price will continue to go up until the market can't support it anymore. However, I'd estimate that the bees will run out before that happens. At some point, no price will get the bees in because there just aren't any more bees. But maybe I'll be wrong. Hard to tell.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

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EkiPoPo
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Re: Research to support TFB

Postby EkiPoPo » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:27 am

well with the drought out west going to bee a shake out with a lot of growers. Heard an interview with a citrus grower converting to grapes and pomegranate who knows they might not need as many bees in the future.


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