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Posts posted by Otto

  1. This paper is looking at the role neonicotinoids have in ######ing up the immune responses of insects. The authors have shown that neonics cause changes in gene expression that negatively impact the ability of bees to mount an effective immune response, therefore making them more susceptible to viruses if they've been exposed to these insecticides.


    I don't understand why they would predict that one of these effects would increase viral replication.


    They've shown that neonics have a negative effect on the bees ability to mount an immune response. It is probably important to point out that we're talking about an immune response similar to our own innate immunity. This is a non-specific immune response to something foreign (like a virus, bacteria, toxin...). Impaired innate immunity would likely result in higher susceptibility to any of these things. The next step is to actually show knock-on effects of this. Looking at the effects of neonics on the ability of a virus to replicate is trying to prove there model that neonics impair immunity. I would expect that if they looked at gut pathogens like Nosema they'd get similar results. I assume DWV was easier for them to look at and quantify.


    Main conclusion: For bees, exposure to sub-lethal amounts of neonics could have serious consequences for their ability to cope with subsequent challenges by pathogens such as DWV (and Nosema etc).


    Let's say their hypothesis and conclusions are correct. They would have proved that insecticide can be harmful to an insect, in this case bees.


    No surprises there.


    This is a little short-sighted. We're trying to develop an understanding of how different factors affect the health of a bee colony. Of course an insecticide is harmful to an insect. Unfortunately we don't necessarily know exactly how all insecticides work and what all the negative consequences might be. We know neonics primary mode of action is on the nervous system but the links between this and knock-on effects on the immune system had yet to be explored.

    • Like 1
  2. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees


    Authors: Gennaro Di Prisco, Valeria Cavaliere, Desiderato Annoscia, Paola Varricchio, Emilio Caprio, Francesco Nazzic, Giuseppe Gargiulo, and Francesco Pennacchio




    Honey bees are exposed to a wealth of synergistically inter- acting stress factors, which may induce colony losses often associated with high infection levels of pathogens. Neon- icotinoid insecticides have been reported to enhance the im- pact of pathogens, but the underlying immune alteration is still obscure. In this study we describe the molecular mechanism through which clothianidin adversely affects the insect im- mune response and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees bearing covert infections. Our results shed light on a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and have implications for bee conservation.


    For full paper: Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees

    • Like 1
  3. Differs in the addition of "and combs". Previously it stipulated movable frames, which started the kerfuffle about top bar hives being illegal. This now makes them legal. I am glad common sense prevailed. The laws are only there to ensure all the brood can be readily inspected for AFB.

    My reading of this is that it removes the need from a frame around the comb provided the comb can be removed for inspection.

    • Like 3
  4. Talked to Ecroyd's last week about their "AA" frames and was told the wood comes from Russia (Russian Pine) and the frames are assembled and wired in China. Foundation is obviously embedded here. I decided to buy kitset after this discussion - partly to support locally grown stuff and partly because the ready to go frames wouldn't be in stock for another few weeks and I wanted them a little sooner. Now wondering a bit why I bothered as there is no sign of the order...

  5. Haven't got A.I queens from Betta bees but have had production queens in their early days and they were Ok , They took over Daykels yellow stock which my bees are based on so they weren't that different at that stage.

    I purchase 6 to 8 A.I queens from Daykel each season (carnica) they can fail with in 6months or last 2 years.

    Find they have be baby sat on introduction , I make single box splits with not too many old bees and leave the tab in on the cage for 2 days then break it out . And check for cells in a week ( there will be some) and check the queen is running around and then check for cells again in another week.

    It is not much fun to find a virgin has killed your flash queen :cry:

    If I were spending this sort of money I'd be looking at getting the queen delivered in her own (established) nuc. Should be someone around that can courier a nuc and that way there shouldn't be any losses through introductions gone wrong.

    • Like 1
  6. That's very traditional! That's 'Good' candy as made by I.R. Good in the US from the 1880s. Nowadays the honey is swapped out for a liquid sugar or HFCS.

    Works fine though. Don't seem to have any issues with it drying out.

  7. I use a recipe my brother (Wouter) gave me. 300g honey, heat until very runny, mix in 1kg icing sugar. Done. If using this make sure you are happy the honey you are using came from an AFB free hive.

    • Like 1
  8. I ain't going to plastic as some site owners are insisting on the ' organic way ' ?

    Don't see how using a plastic frame is 'not organic'. For me organic refers to the use of chemicals (i.e. Fluvalinate, Amitraz etc) for treating Varroa. Pre-varroa all bees in NZ were considered organic and plastic frames were certainly around. The plastic Manley frames are great for honey as they never fall apart in the extractor.

  9. Do you know why this hive is failing from mite infestation? In other words is there something you are aware of such as a missed treatment that gives you a reason why it is struggling where your other hives are not?

    If not, is the queen worth saving? Might be that this hive is particularly sensitive to Varroa for whatever reason and that by keeping the queen you could end up propagating this trait further.

    • Like 2
  10. How can AsureQuality register two apiaries within 50m? The law says to register your own hive/s and if you have 1 or more hives located 200m or more from your other hive/s than that is another apiary. But 50m?????

    AsureQuality should act on this if you tell them.

    This is not AsureQuality's job. I share a site with another beekeeper - a couple of hives each and we both have this site registered. The 200m rule only applies if you have two of your own apiaries less than this distance apart. I wouldn't be at all happy having someone else's hives that are close to mine being considered as part of my apiary as that would make me responsible for them.

    • Like 1
  11. When I've ordered stuff from Ecroyd's it has usually arrived with Toll and it has always been prompt and delivered to my door. Next time you order some it might be worth asking who they are using and ask for a different courier. No excuse for them not to deliver to you - you're between Dunedin and the Port so should be plenty of courier traffic.

  12. I agree with Daley - get in touch with your neighbour - i.e. the landowners and see if they are willing to be cooperative. Explain the gentleman's agreement that exists (well, it used to be commonplace in the beekeeping industry) of not putting your hives within a km or 2 of someone else's commercial apiary. The landowner is the only person that can force the beekeeper to remove their bees.


    Obviously the feasibility of this approach does depend on how well you get on with your neighbour...

    • Like 3
  13. Welcome along.

    In case it helps lend some support to his observations, Gerrit is my Dad and has been a commercial beekeeper in NZ for around 30 years. I learnt most of what I know about bees from him growing up in the family business. Like many beekeepers he does things his own way and has always put considerable time and effort into experimenting with new ways of doing things.

    • Like 4
  14. Otto great work.I can send you some drones next week.I do not have a breeding program.I let the strongest survive and breed off those bytaking a split and letting the split raise their own queens.I DO NOT treat for varroa other than trying to use small cell size 4.9mm.

    Impressed you still have some drones. Would love some, thanks. A little under-represented in West Coast samples.

  15. So looking at these graphs are they different lines of bees or the same? if different which ones are different?


    Ta much

    The test I am doing tells us what sex alleles are present in the drones collected from a hive. This is not enough information to say that two queen represent different lineages of bee (how many generations would you need to go through to consider them different lines?).


    What I can say is that the two queens Alastair used for breeding did not have any sex alleles in common. This is good but the way things work with bees these two queen could still have had the same mother.

  16. On the issue of diversity I would be very interested in what Otto has to say about the results he has so far on Drone diversity.

    I still think that open mated queens will have a good chance of being genetically diverse compared to AI queens

    Not in a position to comment on results just yet sorry. I can say that with the end of the bee season this project (finally) has my undivided attention and I'm making good progress with the assays.

    • Like 1
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