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Author Topic: Don't Treat Unless Needed. etc..  (Read 3032 times)
beemaster
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« on: March 21, 2005, 08:46:14 AM »

Last night we had Howland Blackiston is Chat - the Author of Beekeeping for Dummies BIGGEST point of the 2 hour chat session was to NOT TREAT for any conditions UNLESS you are SURE the condition exists.

Treating for Varroa when none is present 1) is costly and 2) creates a less effective treatment if/when Varroa infests the hive.

This can be said with any treatment of chemicals - more natural eccential oils, etc., are less of an issue.

______________

The other point was that a SCREENED BOTTOM BOARD is NOT for reducing Varroa - but for MONITORING them. The effectiveness of SBB on Varroa reduction is practically NIL - relative to the infestation numbers.

SBB though is a great method of venting the hive and can be used to prevent swarm modes grom occuring.

______________

Howland even spoke frankly about his own patented inner hive feeder - saying some people have reported bees drowning in the screening, but far less than other similar techniques using a walk-down system of feeding.

_______________

Howland also stated he currently keeps 4 hives, which is the right amount for him to tend. He states that the property size doesn't matter nearly as much as does the beekeepers ability to tend the number of hives he/she has.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 09:20:40 AM »

wished I could have been there , I wondered what he had to say about small cell and his choice of using plastic vs wood (frames and foundations)
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 10:36:57 AM »

Small Cell was talked about TWT, but Howland hasn't had a lot of experience with it. He didn't seem to optomistic about its effectiveness though (just my interpretation of what he wrote) he did actually bring up plastic cell which I think he really liked the idea of.

I think it was accepted quickly and was labor saving - both in the feeding to stimulate wax and it the egg laying time compared to new drawn comb.

I was nice having him here - he had lots of great stuff to say about the forums and website - even complemented my cover photo as a great aid in selling the Beekeeping for Dummies book - which he said is in its 9th printing and in multiple languages!!!!

He'll be back, in his email this morning he said it was a lot of fun.

_______________

PS - he said a real advantage with plastic cell is no wax moth issues.
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2005, 11:15:32 AM »

Quote from: beemaster
NOT TREAT for any conditions UNLESS you are SURE the condition exists.


I agree, with the exception being tracheal mites.    In fact, I believe Howland said he does use Menthol.
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2005, 11:16:15 PM »

Sad to say I could not be at home for the chat with Howland. I wish someone had told me years ago, when I first started NOT to medicate until I was certain of a problem. My first few years I was running in circles with all the treatments availiable and probably did not need most of them.
Of course back then I didn't have any idea that there were great groups like this forum that were just chock full of good people willing to share thier knowledge. So again I extend a heartfelt appreciation to all those great people who are willing to take time to help others in this forum.
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2005, 06:55:40 AM »

no meds used on h1 (hive 1) got it last spring/ seems to be strong.
we are definetly not going to med. our bees untill a problem is diagnosed.
i realise treatments are preventitive, but we want bees with strong imune
systems right?
                       tried to get into chat but browser wouldn't let me...thanks for talking about it on main forum........burny.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2005, 01:20:24 PM »

Thanks for the follow-up and highlights of the call.  I couldn't be there since I had a cubscout committee meeting.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2005, 08:47:32 PM »

I had the opportunity to spend 10-15 minutes with Binford Weaver at a bee conference. The topic was treating for varroa, but I mentioned to Binford that I (started with his bees) wasn't seeeing many varroa on drone brood and I wasn't planning to treat that year. He was adament that the bees are starting to develop a natural resistance and all bee keepers should be starting to back off treating and going with naturally resistant bees. He indicated treating could almost be counterproductive to evolving naturally resistant bees. That was 2 years ago with no apistan or check-mite and the bees are doing fine. I still watch and suspect I'll treat or re-queen a couple hives as I know I've had some supercedures in my apiary and I doubt all will be resistant... we'll see.

Jim
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burny
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2005, 06:41:53 AM »

cool jim!
 keep us posted. i find prayer to power greater than i is the best treatment so far
                                             burny Shocked  smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2005, 08:25:36 PM »

I can't come at this subject with a background of dead colonies, I have no such history. I realize that somewhere Varroa are somehow killing honeybee colonies. I do not doubt the reports. I am most curious to know why my bees seem to do well anyway.

I know Varroa are there. I've seen mites on drone brood, the bees uncap them and pull the infested pupae from the hives. I've seen mites riding on workers too.

I've slowly but continuously been splitting my colonies for about 8 years now. I began with a single capture of a feral colony. In this same time 2 swarms (from colonies other than mine) have colonized my idle equipment and I've adopted them, all other colonies were created by splits which raised their own queens. My colonies seem to have some degree of Africanization (defensiveness is unlike anything I've ever seen from EHB's). Because of this I am beginning to bring in new blood. I put together 4 nucs and queened them with outside Italian queens. Three were introduced successfully, one was lost.

I have never used any pesticide treatments on my bees (neither artificial compounds nor essential oils). I have been gradually switching all brood comb to small-cell. Most of my colonies have some small-cell in the core of their brood nests. I am doing this because I believe there is something to the premise that small-cell helps the bees resist mites and because it is "fun" to do.

I have just built my first SBB and plan to install it tomorrow. It was 108F here today.
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Joseph Clemens
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10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2005, 06:32:25 AM »

Quote from: beemaster


Treating for Varroa when none is present 1) is costly and 2) creates a less effective treatment if/when Varroa infests the hive.
.


I have in every hive varroa. I do not care to calculate them. It helps nothing.

None is present. Somebody lives so far that varroa have not arrived. But when it arrive, it will not vanish.

I put in every hive oxalic acid liquid. It takes 20 seconds at autumn. If I calculate,  it surely takes many minutes.

I do not understand those calculations at all. If someone want to find varroa resistan hives, then is necessary.
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