Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

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Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:01 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm8weu1BYxE

New video out from the National Honey Show. Good talk but the title is pretty misleading. More like a laundry list of problems in beekeeping.

Hey Ferdi. I see the Apimondia congress is in Istanbul this year.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:58 am

I have yet to see science being interested in treatment free bees in a serious kind of way.
So far science tells you that tf DON`T work and tries to find evidence for this statements, with the results you have to pay for chemical industry`s suggestions or have to follow a new law.

Science celebrates science. 30 years of science and no bees produced which are able to survive without treatments.
Genetic research is important but will never be the the only solution.

To know about the things happening in the hive is not leading automatically to natural methods of beekeeping which would perhaps lead to more healthy bees or to the ban of pesticides.
Mostly the knowledge leads to new markets where profits can be made.

Apimondia shows the reality about the state the bees are in all over the world. Hopefully this will sometimes change the attitudes, but so far all interests are only on honey production or new ways to treat.

When I was at a speaking with Prof.Randolf Menzel, who is a biologist bee behavior researcher, I asked him what he thinks about the dangers of mite infestation and how we could change our beekeeping methods to support more healthy bees.
He said: why should I think about that when beekeepers treatments keep the dangers at bay? No mite problems to be seen! No need to change anything.

As long as research science is paid by tax money or industry donations nothing will change.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Ferdi » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:44 pm

@moebees, thanks for the heads-up, so I will probably attend the Apimondia congress this year :)

@Sibylle, you are right when big companies fund scientists for their resources it is very unlikely that their results will conflict with those companies' activities. We need independent and objective scientists but we must be also willing to found them if necessary.

It is not the same thing but I think couple months ago Solomon started a fund-raising campaign to carry out field test regarding small cell usage, but very few people were supporting it when I last checked. I'm trying to say that we need to support accountable initiatives, academic or not, which might produce results that might serve the purposes of TF community. Speaking of Solomon, where is he? He is not active in the forum.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:53 pm

I sent a message to Sol once because I wanted him to install a donation link here but got no answer.
I did not know about the fund-raising.

I see him sometimes logged in but he never posts. He seems to be occupied with his own life and the new association.

I´m willing to donate but only tf activities which will support and educate small beekeepers and which will change the laws to make it a possibility not to treat even without taking part in a scientific program.

I´m donating to organizations which go against Pestizides and Fungizides.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby lharder » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:16 pm

My view is that its not science if a broad view is not taken. Ecology and epidemiology is part of science too.

There are things that support the public interests. Natural processes than clean the air and water are an example. Then there are things that support private interests, things that make a profit. Far too many of our resources support private interests, when far more attention should be made to support initiatives that would benefit us all, but not necessarily make a profit. An example of this is antibiotics. Not much profit can be made with them, so the research effort is small relative to the need. That is where government should step in and NOT give it away when they develop it.

With beekeeping, you have to understand that most researchers come from an agricultural background. They tend not to think at the broader system level. If they did they would not be so careless with importation of biological material from around the world and the long term consequences of that (causing real economic harm with ecosystem disruption). The ones that are, (for example around here there used to be a small research group looking at biological control of introduced knapweed) don't get much money and are on the fringes of the agricultural community. They also tend to get defunded quickly. The local group is gone. The benefits of this research was public (less knapweed) , and once the critters are established and reproducing, no profit is to be made.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:21 pm

Science is not the problem. The problems are people, money, and greed. Science is the most powerful tool for human progress ever invented. Unfortunately it can also be the most powerful tool for our destruction and that of the planet if we make the wrong choices. But that is not the fault of science. Science is neutral and unbiased. The greed and myopic choices were made by humans long before science.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:32 pm

The ones that are, (for example around here there used to be a small research group looking at biological control of introduced knapweed) don't get much money and are on the fringes of the agricultural community. They also tend to get defunded quickly. The local group is gone.


Public funding of basic research is absolutely essential and something that was once the pride of this nation has sadly become less and less relevant as the politicians and the public have failed to see the need to fund research. The big corporations have stepped into the breach and just about taken over our public research universities. It is a disaster for this country and the world. You get what you pay for and when the corporations pay the bill they get the results they want and they muzzle any dissent. Just follow the money. I used to watch a television fishing show put on by a famous fisherman. One show he was answering viewer questions and someone asked him why he never used or said anything about live baits on his show? His answer, "as soon as there is a live bait sponsor he will be happy to use live baits on the show." Not related to science but illustrates the principle.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:58 pm

moebees wrote:
The ones that are, (for example around here there used to be a small research group looking at biological control of introduced knapweed) don't get much money and are on the fringes of the agricultural community. They also tend to get defunded quickly. The local group is gone.


Public funding of basic research is absolutely essential and something that was once the pride of this nation has sadly become less and less relevant as the politicians and the public have failed to see the need to fund research. The big corporations have stepped into the breach and just about taken over our public research universities. It is a disaster for this country and the world. You get what you pay for and when the corporations pay the bill they get the results they want and they muzzle any dissent. Just follow the money. I used to watch a television fishing show put on by a famous fisherman. One show he was answering viewer questions and someone asked him why he never used or said anything about live baits on his show? His answer, "as soon as there is a live bait sponsor he will be happy to use live baits on the show." Not related to science but illustrates the principle.


If you want an interesting example of someone who works to spread the news of chemical safety "pro bono," look up Jon Entine. He doesn't even have a degree in anything related to chemical or biological science. He was a television producer with a philosophy degree I believe. He is the face for the Genetic Literacy Project group. There's an article by Tom Philpott from Mother Jones that link him to Monsanto and others. Reminded me of your fisherman. Difference being your fisherman is honest enough to say who he is working for.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:00 pm

lharder wrote:My view is that its not science if a broad view is not taken. Ecology and epidemiology is part of science too.

I humbly realize that you are right, Iharder.
Research like T.Seeley or others do is science too and of value.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:10 pm

Yup Nordak. That is why you always need to follow the money. It will tell you where someone is coming from.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:20 pm

I watched the video, and the presenter seemed to like you said, outline many of the issues surrounding bees. Much of his presentation presented the problems, but not much in the way of solutions. I haven't researched Apimondia, but it seems they are asking for lots of money for raising awareness. Are they actively searching for answers with their own research from this funding apart from commercial interest such as funny honey and the like?

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:55 pm

I don't know the answer to your questions Nordak and I was in no way endorsing Apimondia or suggesting anyone should contribute. I am generally skeptical of private foundation research. But these kinds of organizations can be helpful as you say in raising awareness or political lobbying. And that can be worth contributing too also as long as you know that up front. But as far as research goes I am a strong believer in public financing. I posted the video because I thought he did a pretty good job of laying out problems on an international scale.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:39 pm

No, I didn't think you were doing any championing for Apimondia, which very well may be a good thing, just a thought that occured to me. There seems to be a number of organizations trying to raise bee awareness, but it would be nice to see some of this money going toward real life solutions, and that might just be me not being aware of what's happening behind the scenes.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Michael Bush » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:12 pm

Way back before CCD they were defunding a lot of the USDA bee labs. Many were slated to be closed. CCD saved them... I remember at the time someone posted how sad this was, that they were being closed, and I made the point that I had no seen anything from the funded USDA labs that had done anything to improve my beekeeping. The REAL scientists were Huber, Dzierzon, Langstroth, Doolittle, Miller, Quinby, etc. none of which had any kind of degree (except Miller who was an MD). I'm not against science at all, but when all they do is come up with new chemicals, I don't have much use for it...
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:41 pm

Michael Bush said:
I'm not against science at all, but when all they do is come up with new chemicals, I don't have much use for it..


Are the bee labs coming up with new chemicals? I think that is driven more by the chemical companies. Although in recent years with the privatization of our public research they maybe are doing more of that. I have not been paying attention to what the public research on honey bees has been doing for the past 40 years until recently but I don't think Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Debbie Delaney, or Jamie Ellis are coming up with chemicals. Most of the people you mention were observers and they made some great discoveries through observation. But they were not great scientists. I haven't followed the bee literature for the past 40 years and do not know what discoveries have come out of the USDA funded bee labs (not sure why the narrow focus here) but I will say that basic research is essential to progress. You may not see an immediate application of research results to your beekeeping practices but it is only through basic research that fundamental mechanisms can be understood. Without out understanding the mechanisms of how things work we are left with the trial and error husbandry approach which sometime works and sometime doesn't and we don't know necessarily why in either case.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Michael Bush » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:57 pm

Actually in more recent times there has been more positive things from the university scientists. Shepherd has done some good work on inbreeding of queens. Delaney on feral bees. Seeley on feral bees. Spivak on propolis. etc. But none of these are USDA researchers... and most of this is research on what we are doing wrong.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:00 pm

Michael Bush wrote:Way back before CCD they were defunding a lot of the USDA bee labs. Many were slated to be closed. CCD saved them... I remember at the time someone posted how sad this was, that they were being closed, and I made the point that I had no seen anything from the funded USDA labs that had done anything to improve my beekeeping. The REAL scientists were Huber, Dzierzon, Langstroth, Doolittle, Miller, Quinby, etc. none of which had any kind of degree (except Miller who was an MD)


That's kind of what I'm getting at in relation to funding. If the true concern is bee health, there are a slew of able bodies right now that are keeping bees healthy and treatment free. Why aren't these people seeing any funding to aid their cause? Take these apiaries, give them a little money to spend on expansion and developing pollinator habitat and suddenly these pockets of survivor bees become the norm. Help the people that are trying to make bee health priority number one. There's lots of money going to awareness when the reality is there are places where bees are thriving and beeks respect their role in that relationship. We should be making increase of these models, not worrying about the broken system. Throw some money my way and I'd be propagating bees to the ends of the earth if I could.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:57 pm

Michael Bush wrote:

nd most of this is research on what we are doing wrong


I think in order to get people to change it is important to have research to show people what they are doing wrong. This past Friday I went to my first meeting of a local beekeeping association and the speaker told everyone that he removes the propolis from his empty hive boxes each winter because it harbors disease. Spivak's work would refute that. Like I said I cannot really argue about the USDA labs because I don't know enough about what has come out of them. But there will always be issues with what research gets done because funds are not unlimited so choices have to be made. If you or I were in charge of allocating resources the projects funded may look quite different but that is the nature of the world we live in. Overall it is a good thing that CCD and rising concerns for pollinators leads to more research funding. Allot of the money will be wasted or go to projects that aren't that important. But in the long run it is better than no money and no interest in research. And public funding helps somewhat (not completely) against the chemical industry money. It allows some investigators to get some money without going hat in hand to the chemical companies for money and allows the ones that want to, to stay somewhat independent.
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Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Dustymunky » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:31 am

I agree with MB. Nobody in academia has an answer to varroa except to treat. There are multiple people around the country claiming to have success with survivor stock on small cell/natural comb. It seems like "science" wants to find its own answer instead of deeply researching the success of the beekeepers using small cell. It baffles my mind that there aren't studies out there which regress bees and then monitor them for long periods to see what cell size they end up building on their own. This seems like fundamental knowledge to beekeeping, especially when industry standard is 5.4mm foundation. There are opportunities for science to unlock keys to successful beekeeping but for some reason they put little effort into studying why certain beekeepers are succeeding.


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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:49 am

It's no secret why the interest isn't there. The USDA's whole approach is to make the bee fit an agricultural model. Any dissent outside this model is not tolerated. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/04/469186025/how-free-are-usda-scientists-to-speak-their-mind

Like Moe said, follow the money, and the money isn't there for folks who are actually concerned for pollinator health. The "Save the Bee" stuff to me just seems PR related. Gives something for actors to get excited about. Bees are the fuzzy cute distraction to hide bigger problems, something for people to rally around. Don't get me wrong, we should rally around bees. I love bees. We should rally around all of nature when possible. I outlined a pretty effective, simple plan out of thin air to get bees back on track, and with that level of doctoral brilliance they can't come up with a solution? I don't buy it.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:07 am

In my eyes the problem is that treatments are seen as beneficial.

The organic beekeepers I know should be more interested in tf, but acids are accepted as natural medication to them.
The organic beekeepers are very well organized here and could have much influence.

Bee colonies are domesticated so much that the situation is compared with other domesticated animals husbandry, like with cattle or sheep.
Those are mostly not able to survive on their own so it´s regarded as cruel if you do not "help".

The other argumentation is bees will become aggressive and non productive. As you can see with the AHB they are very productive but who wants to have the defense?

The problem with associations is the moment the organizations become an industry and people live on the sponsoring money. Then these associations are maintained at all costs and the goals change from the original support to supporting the members.

This you see with apimondia. I visited their site and it´s frightening to me how much it resembles sectarianism. All this hierarchy!
Last edited by SiWolKe on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:39 am

Bee colonies are domesticated so much that the situation is compared with other domesticated animals husbandry, like with cattle or sheep.
Those are mostly not able to survive on their own so it´s regarded as cruel if you do not "help".


It's the same here, Sibylle. If you notice the lingo on other forums, comparing bees to livestock is the fashion, and in many ways, appropriate for bees that require such treatment. There is a day and night difference between such bees and bees that still have a bit of the wild left in them. I'll borrow from Kirk Webster there. I can completely understand why someone who decides to get Georgia Italians and decides treatment free is the way to go fails miserably. You can't take the wild out of bees and expect them to survive without help.

I think there are a lot more feral populations out there than we realize. I don't think it's as rare as it seems to be, I think it's too many people not giving local bees a shot to see if they can survive without treatments. They see bees have mites and treat. I've mentioned it before, but you might be surprised what's around your area in that regard. Worth a try.

The problem with associations is the moment the organizations become an industry and people live off the sponsoring. Then these associations are maintained at all costs and the goals change from the original support to supporting the members.


Agreed. I'm sure there are exceptions, but it appears to me that is often the case as well.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby GregV » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:02 am

Nordak wrote:It's no secret why the interest isn't there. The USDA's whole approach is to make the bee fit an agricultural model. Any dissent outside this model is not tolerated. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/04/469186025/how-free-are-usda-scientists-to-speak-their-mind


About this USDA article...
When I brought this link up in some other on-line group, the counter-line was pointed out about the same person
(Jonathan Lundgren says USDA is censoring him for criticizing neonicotinoids: What’s the truth?):
https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ ... ats-truth/

And so, we don't really know what is going on.
But surely, lots of money is to be made from the "organic" sources as well if you position yourself to do so.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby Nordak » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:51 am

What I found interesting regarding the USDA scandal was not the story of Lundgren, who very well could have dug himself a hole with some of his antics, but the one regarding Pettis, who is highly respected not only among peers but the beekeeping community as well. I think the expectation of his "following the script" is very telling. I noticed shortly after this incident, Pettis did a bit of a 180 regarding the trace pesticide issue. His resignation is also tinted in suspicion. It is true though, we don't know the whole story.

I didn't read the link you provided due to the source. Jon Entine, who is Executive Director of The Genetic Literacy Project, by all appearances amounts to little more than a spin doctor for big chem, specifically the ones involved with agriculture. He penned a book on the subject meant to enlighten the American consumer on the safety of chemicals. https://www.amazon.com/Scared-Death-Chemophobia-Threatens-Public/dp/057807561X He has good reason to try and quash studies that oppose his views. It's how he gets paid. Here are his credentials to speak on such matters:
From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Entine
"After working as a network news writer and producer for NBC News and ABC News, Entine moved into scholarly research and print journalism. Entine has written seven books and is a contributing columnist to multiple newspapers and magazines; he is also a commentator on radio and television news programs."

If I'm not mistaken, his educational degree is philosophy related. It seems odd a television producer with a philosophy degree suddenly becomes interested in all things chemical with the intention of extolling their safety so all of us simpletons can sleep better at night.

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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby moebees » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:59 am

And so, we don't really know what is going on.
But surely, lots of money is to be made from the "organic" sources as well if you position yourself to do so.


This is meant to be sarcasm, right?

Watch this. Maybe you will understand what is going on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su0om5L ... EVDxMk1CwN
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Re: Can Science Save our Bees - The Role of Apimondia

Postby GregV » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:20 am

moebees wrote:
And so, we don't really know what is going on.
But surely, lots of money is to be made from the "organic" sources as well if you position yourself to do so.


This is meant to be sarcasm, right?

Watch this. Maybe you will understand what is going on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su0om5L ... EVDxMk1CwN


Sarcasm - yes, of course.
Don't even want to watch about Monsanto. It is a cancer.
We are, pretty much, doomed to go back to basic homesteading to have the real foods.


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