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Author Topic: No treatments/natural comb  (Read 5927 times)
harvey
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« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2010, 10:55:56 PM »

I am not much of an example as I only started my first hive last year and I used foundation to house a swarm.  After learning all I can on here I didn't treat the bee's at all other than with respect.  They seem to be coming out of winter like gang busters.  I am hoping they continue as I plan on not offering them any type of treatments.  I am starting two packages here next month and plan on putting them on starter strips.  My fingers are crossed and I am excited to see the real natural product.  I also plan on trying to get a couple more swarms out of the woods here.  The woods is about 3 miles long by a mile wide.  I might actually be getting real feral bee's?!  The closet manmade hive I am aware of is over a mile away.  If I do get swarms I am going to go on starter strips with them too. 
   I have learned a lot here and many many people on this forum I must say thank you again.  Bee keeping so far has really been interesting and fun.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2010, 03:47:53 AM »

I am not much of an example as I only started my first hive last year and I used foundation to house a swarm.  After learning all I can on here I didn't treat the bee's at all other than with respect.  They seem to be coming out of winter like gang busters.  I am hoping they continue as I plan on not offering them any type of treatments.  I am starting two packages here next month and plan on putting them on starter strips.  My fingers are crossed and I am excited to see the real natural product.  I also plan on trying to get a couple more swarms out of the woods here.  The woods is about 3 miles long by a mile wide.  I might actually be getting real feral bee's?!  The closet manmade hive I am aware of is over a mile away.  If I do get swarms I am going to go on starter strips with them too. 
   I have learned a lot here and many many people on this forum I must say thank you again.  Bee keeping so far has really been interesting and fun.

Are you in the U.P. or lower MI
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2010, 03:53:25 AM »

I'm not sure if my hives actually fit in here, but I am going on my 5th season with the bees and have never treated them with anything other than powdered sugar. I even stopped doing the powdered sugar last year and stopped counting mites.  In 5 years I only lost one hive over the winter. I went into the winter this year with 4 hives and have come out so far with 4 hives.  I don't know how they will perform this year, but I just feel good about letting them draw out their own wax combs using the starter strips and not using any more artificial treatments. (meaning the powdered sugar). I don't replace queens, I let them decide to do that. If it keeps up like this, then I will be more than happy about my abilities at beekeeping.  

I will give them sugar syrup if I believe they do not have enough honey.

Annette


Those are pretty excellent results.  What kind of bees did you start with?

Italians

I notice you said lost over winter. How about during the other seasons?  Are your girls just mutts from a commercial beek, swarms, or did you get queens from a so called line?  Im, just wondering because that seems like very good luck, or that theres more than luck to it.  I hope you continue with your sucsess.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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harvey
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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2010, 11:51:54 AM »

I am in the lower, in the thumb area,  (Lapeer)
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annette
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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2010, 12:49:32 PM »

Just lost that one hive over winter.  The rest of the season I have been pretty lucky although have had to deal with a laying worker hive that I shook out one summer.

Also, had one hive my second year show signs of either pesticide poisoning or deformed wing virus with many bees on the ground.  But they recovered nicely and became my strongest hive after that.

I started with one hive from a package from Sacramento Beekeeping Supply, (don't know where they get their bees). Next year I split that hive into 2 hives.  Last year I caught a swarm, and also inherited a hive from a beekeeper who passed away. Now that makes 4 hives.

Hope this answers your questions.  So if you count the amount of hives I have, perhaps losing one is not such great odds. 
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luvin honey
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« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2010, 08:31:35 PM »

I lost 2 to starvation and am kicking myself for not catching the robbing situation earlier last summer.

Those 2, however, first created a 3rd split hive, which is thriving. It overwintered here in WI and has never shown signs of mites or other junk.

I fed this hive with sugar and syrup, but I've never used anything else at all in the hives. They are in topbars and built their own comb. They had enough stored to overwinter and are doing their thing these first warm days of nearly-spring! I am cautiously optimistic.


If organic beekeeping is anything like organic farming, there are lots and lots of naysayers among the conventional folks. However, you can always find people who are doing organic, doing it well and have done so for a long time. It just needs to be done differently.

I hope I find that path in beekeeping and also (fawningly) GREATLY appreciate Michael Bush's generous contributions to that pool of knowledge. Michael, I seriously didn't know if I could do beekeeping, the treatments, costs and everything were so overwhelming. Then, I found your website Smiley Here's to hopefully (fingers crossed) many, many years of treatment-free beekeeping and luscious honeycomb. Cheesy
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2010, 02:30:54 AM »

Just lost that one hive over winter.  The rest of the season I have been pretty lucky although have had to deal with a laying worker hive that I shook out one summer.

Also, had one hive my second year show signs of either pesticide poisoning or deformed wing virus with many bees on the ground.  But they recovered nicely and became my strongest hive after that.

I started with one hive from a package from Sacramento Beekeeping Supply, (don't know where they get their bees). Next year I split that hive into 2 hives.  Last year I caught a swarm, and also inherited a hive from a beekeeper who passed away. Now that makes 4 hives.

Hope this answers your questions.  So if you count the amount of hives I have, perhaps losing one is not such great odds. 

Yep, that answers my question.  I believe there likely is a solution to varroa somewhere hidden in genetics or in a mutation to come in the future.  Im sure in the millions of years honeybees have been in existence, they have faced a nastier parasite before.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2010, 03:51:50 AM »

I am also successful at no treatment.  The correct formula for success may be different for different areas and different objectives.  But this is becoming more & more common among beekeepers.   It's becoming obvious that it can be done.

Of course it can be done.  I don't know how many times I've been told you can't raise sheep without chemical dewormers and vaccines.  But I seem to be doing it anyway...go figure.

 I'm sure its the same in the beekeeping world...there are those who say it can't be done because all the commercial guys don't do it, some who tried it half-heartedly for a short time and didn't follow through with all the other methods that normally accompany not treating, and some who feel it can't be a smart thing to do because, obviously, if they are treating their hives and don't need to be doing so after all, it would make them appear to be less informed.

I'd say the proof lies in the results down through years of non-treatment, good or bad. 
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slaphead
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2010, 10:38:36 PM »

"Yep, that answers my question.  I believe there likely is a solution to varroa somewhere hidden in genetics or in a mutation to come in the future.  Im sure in the millions of years honeybees have been in existence, they have faced a nastier parasite before."

It's pretty clear the "Russian" honeybees have already adapted to be resistant to varroa and the varroa-sensitive-hygenic trait has been identified among non-Russian honeybees.  So yes, nature has already identified solutions and there appear to be several different ones which can be combined (swarming / break in brood rearing & various hygenic behaviors). There also seem to be management practices which can help - artificial swarming (break the brood cycle) and fall queens (out breed the varroa).  And then there are those who have gone and successfully done it, for years, MB being the gold standard perhaps.  At this point it's not a question of "can it be done", more a question of "dare I risk it?" For someone with only a couple of hives that's quite a risk to take and I can completely understand why many don't want to take that gamble.  That said there's a lot of information out there now and at least partially resistant bees are available from several suppliers. Once you jump in you find the leap wasn't quite as bad as you thought it was going to be.  There are lot's of people here, on Beemaster who have done it and are willing to discuss what worked, and didn't, for them.

SH
6 chemical and foundation free hives; 4 surviving through this winter.
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