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Jose Thayil

New genetics (legal and illegal importation)

RISK OF CLOSURE

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3 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

David would this be someone who, so the story goes, was ill some years back and unable to treat his bees, then once on his feet again discovered a few "survivors", from which he has bred a "varroa resistant" bee?

 

I bought some queens from him (for an eye watering sum of money), and some of the hives I put them in developed a strange affliction I have not seen before. The hives showed no symptoms of disease, but just got weaker and weaker. Boosting with brood only prolonged the misery, they would continue to get weaker and weaker, in the end I just let them die. That was some years ago but I still have that apiary in quaranteen just in case.

 

Later, I heard (first hand from someone involved), that after some suspicions an AP2 was sent to check his hives, he was denied access and seen off with threats of violence. So 3 AP2's were sent in a group. 

That's him. 

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4 hours ago, nikki watts said:

Yeah, I was really keen to get you over. I tried to get the other local beeks to join in but one balked at paying for travel time between his sites (two are boat access only) and the other was the idiot who purchased  over the road from us. We only have 150 hives here so I don’t think it would be  worth your time for just us. 

We do have an operational dog based in Hamilton now. it would reduce the cost a bit . I would love to come up from Dunedin to do check some hives and do some fishing at the same time.

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2 hours ago, Oma said:

If the conference is in your neck of the woods I would definitely go, so far have managed to go to two myself.  You can pick up heaps of good info to the limit of your ability to understand.  Some of the more technical papers made lots of sense to me while I was listening to their delivery but couldn't have repeated what I heard to any one else. I went home with a new enthusiasm to make sure I play my part in being the best beekeeper I can.  Definitely go if you can manage it even if its only for one day.

It's 5 or 6 hours away I would need to find accommodation .

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

It's 5 or 6 hours away I would need to find accommodation .

 

Do they have any spare tickets or is it sold out already ?

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

It's 5 or 6 hours away I would need to find accommodation .

Freedom camper ?

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2 hours ago, Rene Gloor said:

We do have an operational dog based in Hamilton now. it would reduce the cost a bit . I would love to come up from Dunedin to do check some hives and do some fishing at the same time.

Must be time for a company team bonding session ..... Marlin fishing .....all tax deductable .

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OK Team ... back to topic before we get moderated.. Genetics.

Last week I went down south to a bull sale. The vendors pride themselves on selling stock that do well in harsher conditions. At the end of the gully here we tend to have harsher conditions ... a short growing season and steep country in which the bulls have to do their work. The vendors put out a cataloge of 71 bulls, all of which had been performance recorded with EBV's . Now an Estimated Breeding Value measures many traits, but the one's we were interested in were  rib fat, days to calving and scrotal size.

Scrotal size gives an indication of hormones and how fast the progeny might grow. Days to calving is quite important in that a shorter value means our cows get in calf quicker and we end up with fewer dry's at pregnancy testing, while rib fat indicates a good doer who will pack the weight on  for the winter.

It was a great day. I went down with a cattleman  I have known for twenty years and from whome I have never heard the same story twice. What we should have done was booked a motel room, but that is a different story.

Back to bees and genetics. We bought a highly bred queen last autumn and she sulked all summer. Most of our stock is crossbred with no EBV's or recorded trait measuremnets, so , are we still in the early days of  queen EBV's or is it that  we have limited control over who  the virgin Queen mates with and we are resigned to that ?

 

Edited by jamesc

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Freedom camper ?

?freezing camper ??

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Do they have any spare tickets or is it sold out already ?

Never thought about it being sold out .

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28 minutes ago, jamesc said:

OK Team ... back to topic before we get moderated.. Genetics.

Last week I went down south to a bull sale. The vendors pride themselves on selling stock that do well in harsher conditions. At the end of the gully here we tend to have harsher conditions ... a short growing season and steep country in which the bulls have to do their work. The vendors put out a cataloge of 71 bulls, all of which had been performance recorded with EBV's . Now an Estimated Breeding Value measures many traits, but the one's we were interested in were  rib fat, days to calving and scrotal size.

Scrotal size gives an indication of hormones and how fast the progeny might grow. Days to calving is quite important in that a shorter value means our cows get in calf quicker and we end up with fewer dry's at pregnancy testing, while rib fat indicates a good doer who will pack the weight on  for the winter.

It was a great day. I went down with a cattleman  I have known for twenty years and from whome I have never heard the same story twice. What we should have done was booked a motel room, but that is a different story.

Back to bees and genetics. We bought a highly bred queen last autumn and she sulked all summer. Most of our stock is crossbred with no EBV's or recorded trait measuremnets, so , are we still in the early days of  queen EBV's or is it that  we have limited control over who  the virgin Queen mates with and we are resigned to that ?

 

Methinks, you are being mischievous, and trying to draw me  into the line of fire again because things have been a bit boring and nice for the last 24 hours!

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7 minutes ago, David Yanke said:

Methinks, you are being mischievous, and trying to draw me  into the line of fire again because things have been a bit boring and nice for the last 24 hours!

Breed from your better Hives for a good all round Bee which is about
focusing on lifting your average and decreasing your range.

 

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22 minutes ago, David Yanke said:

Methinks, you are being mischievous, and trying to draw me  into the line of fire again because things have been a bit boring and nice for the last 24 hours!

Hmmm ..... no not being mischevious .... too much .... just drawing on observations from other sectors of the agricultural puzzle who measure and monitor the traits of  livestock that are picked to improve the performance of their livestock to improve their "owners" bottom line.

Can we do that with bees ?  Sell a line of queens that are proven to gather us another 10kg of honey, or crank up brood rearing three weeks earlier so we can make nucs to sell into that Manuka market  that wants them up to speed by the end on October ..... or be exceptionally clean and devour all the AFB larvae before we get to see it  ? 

 

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48 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

?freezing camper ??

Thoight you were a hippy ...

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I have no doubt at all that you can select for higher producing hives. Whether this leads to other problems is another question but in general the highest producing hives are also the healthiest. Anyone old enough to remember what AMM hives were like will know that apart from being nasty they were also quite frugal but very poor produces. Given enough time you can take any trait from one strain and included it in another. If you have a problem with one thing in particular such as wasps, cold hardiness et cetera then get some queens from someone who has more problems than you do.

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48 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Sell a line of queens that are proven to gather us another 10kg of honey,

Have you sold any of the last lot yet ?

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Hmmm ..... no not being mischevious .... too much .... just drawing on observations from other sectors of the agricultural puzzle who measure and monitor the traits of  livestock that are picked to improve the performance of their livestock to improve their "owners" bottom line.

Can we do that with bees ?  Sell a line of queens that are proven to gather us another 10kg of honey, or crank up brood rearing three weeks earlier so we can make nucs to sell into that Manuka market  that wants them up to speed by the end on October ..... or be exceptionally clean and devour all the AFB larvae before we get to see it  ? 

 

I have been trying to improve our herd of Angus Breeding Cows for the last decade and a half.  I love EBV's, studying sale catalogues, picking Bulls on paper, and then going to the sale and hoping the Bull looks as good  in real  life as he did on paper. It is not quite as simple with Honey Bees.  With Bulls, almost all the traits we desire are physical traits, easy to measure(although the scrotal measurement might carry a degree of risk!)accurately, environmental influence is easy to mitigate, and that makes assessing the breeding value  easy and accurate.  Pedigrees are easily planned and recorded.  So with bulls you know the breeding values of both parents, you put them together and they do their thing, each contributing half of their breeding value to their bull calf for which we can now come up with a meaningful EBV for that calf.  With Honey Bees, the desired commercial traits are complex behaviours involving, probably, many more genes than a simple physical trait, but this is only the beginning  of why Honey Bees make Stock Improvement more difficult.  Environmental Influence, Mating Behaviour, and the mechanism of Sex Determination are the real barriers  to Stock Improvement. I don't have time to get into it tonight, but we can breed better bees, but it isn't as easy as selecting your best performing Queen. I could return this to Conference- an old friend of mine, Sue Cobey is speaking at Conference, and she will be covering all this stuff.  Go and have a listen.  

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Perhaps you jokers would be better beekeepers if you didn't spend half of your lives playing with cows ?

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10 hours ago, yesbut said:

Have you sold any of the last lot yet ?

Honey ? NO. You want some ?

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25 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Honey ? NO. You want some ?

I hear mixing pasture honey into bull feed can improve scrotal size... ?

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11 hours ago, jamesc said:

Thoight you were a hippy ...

An old hippy with arthritis.

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19 hours ago, David Yanke said:

That's him. 

 

Just for your interest David, couple things about those bees. Something I've never seen before happened when I introduced the queens, the bees built multiple queen cells, and I mean 30 or 40 cells. I had to go through all hives once a week killing queen cells even though the queen was laying normally. I thought it would end when the new queens first brood was hatching, but no, it continued for a couple of months. Seen hives raise a 1/2 dozen cells for just one cycle when a new queen goes in, but with these queens the bees raised literally hundreds over a couple of months. If only I could find just how that worked, it would be great to replicate in a cell builder.

 

Other than that, of the ones that did not develop the mystery disease, there was in fact some genuine mite resistance. 6 months after the queens went in, it was treatment time. So before doing that I alcohol washed all hives at the site to find out. The normal hives were running 3 to 15 mites per 300 bees. Of the requeened hives I could not find a mite in any but one of them. The difference was stark. So by whatever means, I do believe they have a genuine mite resistance. This was lost when the hives superseded.

 

Years later, I have still not recieved all the queens I paid for, but because of the mystery ailment, I have not persued this.

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Should always look at a bulls feet, much more important than the size of its nuts

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14 hours ago, jamesc said:

Can we do that with bees

No, not on a comparable scale to livestock in one lifetime 

53 minutes ago, Daley said:

Should always look at a bulls feet, much more important than the size of its nuts

Same with a horse, "no foot no horse"

What many overlook is just how finely balanced the relationship is between a large mammal and it's feet

Often the balance is so fine that if one of the the feet fail, the remaining sound feet become over stressed and fail as well.

Edited by Philbee
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3 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Just for your interest David, couple things about those bees. Something I've never seen before happened when I introduced the queens, the bees built multiple queen cells, and I mean 30 or 40 cells. I had to go through all hives once a week killing queen cells even though the queen was laying normally. I thought it would end when the new queens first brood was hatching, but no, it continued for a couple of months. Seen hives raise a 1/2 dozen cells for just one cycle when a new queen goes in, but with these queens the bees raised literally hundreds over a couple of months. If only I could find just how that worked, it would be great to replicate in a cell builder.

 

Other than that, of the ones that did not develop the mystery disease, there was in fact some genuine mite resistance. 6 months after the queens went in, it was treatment time. So before doing that I alcohol washed all hives at the site to find out. The normal hives were running 3 to 15 mites per 300 bees. Of the requeened hives I could not find a mite in any but one of them. The difference was stark. So by whatever means, I do believe they have a genuine mite resistance. This was lost when the hives superseded.

 

Years later, I have still not recieved all the queens I paid for, but because of the mystery ailment, I have not persued this.

Thanks for that info.  You could try to blame a Queen quality issue, but because it was happening with several Queens, and the Queens continue  to lay normally is interesting.  It was an annoying trait of the Primorsky (Russian) bees, Tom and I saw at  an Institute in Germany in 2004.  Tom then went on to work the summer with them at that Institute so he knows more about them than I do.  They were very Varroa Tolerant, but that is about the only good thing you could say about them. Tom could maybe add more.  What did their drones look like??

Edited by David Yanke
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The more I think about what Alastair said the more worried I am.  This guy referred to this lost population as 'Eastern Honey Bees', and I just thought he must mean Caucasian, but maybe he meant Far, Far Eastern Honey Bees from the Primorsky region of Russia, the bees where Varroa Destructor is thought to have originated when Varroa jumped species from cerana onto European Honey Bees that were brought there by Ukrainian settlers. This survivor stock was then taken to Baton Rouge as part of their Varroa Tolerance program, and was distributed widely.

Edited by David Yanke
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