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Author Topic: The $500 dollar challenge  (Read 7375 times)
BjornBee
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« on: June 28, 2010, 07:43:48 AM »

I will pay $500 dollars for a smallcell fully functioning hive, plus cost of transport, and whatever else it takes to get it to my place, within reason.

I do not want a smallcell queen, or a smallcell nuc. I want a fully stocked, functioning, and claimed "mite resistant" colony. Reason for this is that with a queen or nuc, someone can always claim that the buyer did not do something correct to continue the colony. It would be suggested that the new beekeeper was still in transition, drawing comb, etc. So lets get right on past all that. Lets start with a fully functioning hive. We have had people now supposedly claiming to have these hives for years now. So lets start with a fully drawn smallcell hive with no humps to get over.

I will work with the seller of this colony as to the location. Want isolation so no drift of mites can be claimed. I'll provide it.

I will follow any protocol that the seller deems necessary to maintain this colony as the claimed mite resistant colony that it is.

I also am willing to place the hive at an agreed upon location such as a university, so neutrality can be established. I want no possible claims that I infected or unknowingly did something to cause the hive to not perform in any way.

I don't want to hear about inspection records with no mites found. I have the last four years worth of reports of my own yards and the highest count is 2, which happened to be on the 15th of September....not bad. And I open my yards to hundreds of beekeepers every year and mites are not found in many of the hives. So lets keep all the unverified mite counts to ourselves.

But lets finally after more than 10 years, have ONE smallcell beekeeper with claims of NO mite problems, step forward and actually sell a claimed and verified hive. No queen or nuc that can be easily dismissed. But a fully functioning hive.

Anyone up to the challenge? If there are problems, it will be noted. If they are mite resistant, then you will get all the credit and marketing worthy of your accomplishment.

So spread the word. I know a bunch will be meeting for the "treatment free conference" in July. Maybe someone can pass the message.

Don't look as this as negative. Look at this as a positive situation, with ramifications of being the one to get the credit in taking part. I am not ware of this happening in the past. And you may just get me to shut up. That is worth you paying me $500 dollars.  grin So the value of this offer is better than $1000 dollars to the special person stepping forward. Imagine being able to claim your bees made the grade, while shoving it down my throat. That is truly PRICELESS!  Wink
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 08:05:02 AM »

are buckfast small cell?
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deknow
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 08:14:41 AM »

well, here's the problem with your proposal.

you seem to be willing to pay what you think is "fair market price" or above for a hive in leiu of building one up on your own.

our "fully functioning sc hives" are 4-6 deeps tall and full of honey.  conservatively, let's say there is 100lbs of honey in these hives (the one i'm looking at out my back window is 6 deep, and even using the leverage of pushing on the top of the stack, i can barely tip it an inch).

we have a ready market for local treatment free honey @ $20/lb (when I say a ready market, we are out 5 days a week at markets where we make our living selling honey at this price...not a fluke or a single customer that pays these prices).

so, if i wanted to get rid of one of our hives, i could split it into mating nucs, harvest 100lbs of honey (very conservatively), and get $2000 for the honey alone, and sell the nucs for whatever the market will bear (or, use them to build up more production colonies myself).

in addition, there is nothing that we (or that anyone else in the "small cell community") are doing that is secret.  there is a $10 book available, there is an active list of over 3000 members, and there are at least 2 VERY AFFORDABLE conferences a year.  if you want to purchase a hive instead of utilizing these free/inexpensive resources to bulild up your own (which you won't, because you don't think it's worthwhile), you are not offering near enough cash.

deknow
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 08:32:42 AM »

deknow,
I think you miss my point, or points.

I do not need stock of smallcell. I have my own. I have done smallcell I think now for 7 years. You are assuming that I need smallcell bees. You are wrong. There are other reasons for my offer, that I will state later.

I am trying to make several points.

One....No matter the hive, no matter the bee, someone markets and sell as demand dictates. You can buy full hives of Russians, Italians, non-treated hives, warre hives, top bar hives...everything imaginable. You don't need to tell me about "chemical free honey"...I sell it. We are talking about selling bees from regressed and claimed resistant hives. Is nobody willing to sell a supposedly claimed fully functioning smallcell hive while claiming mite resistance? But yet the repeated message over and over, is that bees magically have no mite problems once they are regressed down to 4.9 or lower. It was just repeated again on this forum in the past 24 hours.

I don't care about 3000 members or two conferences, or anything else. I want someone to put their product where their mouth is, and back up the claims that keep getting repeated.

You would think that if anyone had the guts, someone would be selling mite resistant fully functioning hives. We as an industry sell everything else. So slicing, dicing, and over rationalizing it, really accomplishes nothing. And if your answer is the "reasoning" that nobody is willing to sell a fully functioning hive, then give me a price of one of your smallcell (two box...I do not care about honey boxes) hives, and if I do not get a better offer, then I'll consider your price.

Come on, we can do better than that. Someone step forward and sell a fully functioning smallcell hive without the excuses, rationale, or changing subject matter. That is not asking too much I hope.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 08:45:43 AM by BjornBee » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 08:40:51 AM »

are buckfast small cell?

I have only ever kept 4 hives of Buckfast. They were not on smallcell. They were mean.

I do know that the Russians and carni, are smaller that the average Italian, and are better to regress in my opinion. I like the smaller darker bee lines. They handle mites better, whether on smallcell or not. They have better resistance, and should be the starting point to where the bar is set for anyone starting out, regardless of how you keep bees.
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2010, 09:59:56 AM »

deknow,
I think you miss my point, or points.
i don't think i missed your point at all.

Quote
I do not need stock of smallcell. I have my own. I have done smallcell I think now for 7 years. You are assuming that I need smallcell bees. You are wrong. There are other reasons for my offer, that I will state later.
i know you have bees.  i know you have at least had sc bees (i don't know what you currently have...but i don't doubt that you have sc bees).

Quote
One....No matter the hive, no matter the bee, someone markets and sell as demand dictates. You can buy full hives of Russians, Italians, non-treated hives, warre hives, top bar hives...everything imaginable.
yes, there are a lot of products on the market....but you don't seem to be able to find what you are looking for for sale?

Quote
You don't need to tell me about "chemical free honey"...I sell it.
please don't misquote me...i said "treatment free" not "chemical free".  when i use the term "treatment free", i referring to bees that are not treated by any "chemical" or "soft treatments", are not fed sugar (take note of this...it's relevant to what follows).  lots of folks that use thymol, fumidil, organic acids, sugar dusting, etc claim "chemical free"...the two concepts are not the same.

Quote
We are talking about selling bees from regressed and claimed resistant hives. Is nobody willing to sell a supposedly claimed fully functioning smallcell hive while claiming mite resistance? But yet the repeated message over and over, is that bees magically have no mite problems once they are regressed down to 4.9 or lower. It was just repeated again on this forum in the past 24 hours.
let's be clear here....feel free to quote me and hold my feet to the fire for anything that i say (and i've said quite a bit between the various forums, the book, and my talks at conferences....many of which are available online for free).  ...but am i responsible for what other people say?  are you responsible for what other people say?

i don't have mite problems.  part of that result is (I believe) from small cell...part of it is management practices (see below), and part is letting the bees with mite problems die.  there may well be other factors as well.

Quote
I don't care about 3000 members or two conferences, or anything else. I want someone to put their product where their mouth is, and back up the claims that keep getting repeated.
i put my hives as i manage them (and my significant outlay of capital to get to this point) "where my mouth is".  i don't think anyone has to read too closely between the lines to see that you are not looking at this impartially, and that you are looking to "prove" failure.....this isn't very hard to do, anyone can kill hive without violating any "defined protocall" if they try...the more money you pay for a "fully functioning sc hive", the more you have invested to "prove it doesn't work".  i'm not interested in such games.

if there is someone that you think is succeding, visit their apiary in question.  observe (and ask questions) about what they are doing.  try your best to replicate everything that you think might be relevenant (and even those factors that you dismiss as irrelevant).  to assume that sc is the only factor involved here is an unfounded assumption.  we noticed that we all of a sudden were able to overwinter bees without treatments once we regressed the bees...but this was only one thing we had to change from the "standard management practices" to have strong treatment free hive.

Quote
You would think that if anyone had the guts, someone would be selling mite resistant fully functioning hives. We as an industry sell everything else. So slicing, dicing, and over rationalizing it, really accomplishes nothing. And if your answer is the "reasoning" that nobody is willing to sell a fully functioning hive, then give me a price of one of your smallcell (two box...I do not care about honey boxes) hives, and if I do not get a better offer, then I'll consider your price.
the way we manage our hives, there are no "honey boxes".  the broodnest runs through the center of 5-6 boxes (deeps).  saying that you can separate "the hive" from "the honey" is (at least in our management) a fallacy....kind of like separating a corporation from it's capital.  i don't consider 2 boxes full of bees "a fully functioning hive" anymore than an automobile plant without working capital and an infrastructure is a car company.  taking a "fully functioning hive" of 6 boxes and tearing it down to 2 is a bit like dissecting the goose that layed the golden egg.

Quote
Come on, we can do better than that. Someone step forward and sell a fully functioning smallcell hive without the excuses, rationale, or changing subject matter. That is not asking too much I hope.
i offer no excuses....just my experience.

deknow
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2010, 10:01:19 AM »

Quick, someone call Dee Lusby  grin
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BjornBee
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 10:53:07 AM »

Quick, someone call Dee Lusby  grin

Why? She won't answer any questions anyways.

Maybe 7-8 years ago, after reading an article by her claiming that the three reasons she had success, I asked her about it. She claimed her success was for 1) Small cell uncontaminated comb made by her wax. 2) The high plateau and unique environmental conditions in her neck of the woods. 3) Her distinct genetic makeup of the feral stock in her area.

All three could have merit.

So, after hearing others tout her success as a person of record and to hold as a model, and stating that if they too went smallcell they would see similar results, I wanted to ask her about it.

My question was simply. What was her opinion of other beekeepers across the country being told to use smallcell and sold the bill of goods of success modeled after her, when two of the three reason given by her for her success could not be achieved by others?

I got NO response.

I also thought that earlier maps (maybe put out by Lusby) had promoted the idea that natural cell size was a result of altitude and other environmental conditions, making forcing bees onto smallcell foundation about as unnatural as anything else.

But lets not go there.  rolleyes

We have been told 3000 people have, and by suggestion, tout smallcell mite resistant bees. Ironic that not ONE ever has a hive to sell, or is willing to have it scrutinized.

So we are stuck with those selling smallcell nucs or queens, then after the fact, suggesting a million reasons why the bees died. I'm just trying to cut out the middle crap. And lets just get on with the purchasing of an entire claimed smallcell mite resistant colony.

For the record, I made my own observation about smallcell years ago (maybe 5), long before 4 independent studies all came to the same conclusion I did. That it did not work or fullfill the claims that others keep making. Of course most of that is on another forum to which I can not access.
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2010, 11:02:43 AM »

mike, how many hives would you have for sale if you were getting $20/lb for all of the honey you could produce? ....(especially to someone that is out to prove that the hive will die...but that's besides the point).

deknow
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BjornBee
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 11:09:49 AM »

mike, how many hives would you have for sale if you were getting $20/lb for all of the honey you could produce? ....(especially to someone that is out to prove that the hive will die...but that's besides the point).

deknow

Back to this......If the buyer only wanted one. I could go with that. If I had 2999 other bee friends, I would think that at least one also could do it. Maybe even two or three. Seeing as all my hives, as well as many others I know are all chemical free, I do not see what the big point is. Chemical free honey is everywhere. If you get 20 dollars a pound, good for you. But I find that a weak case for the failure of being able to buy one hive, somewhere from someone.

But lets not ask silly questions.

Fact....10 years, not ONE producer of smallcell hives. And I guess I am to assume that it's because you are getting 20 dollars a pound for honey.

3000 users of smallcell all claiming mite resistant bees, and not one hive available for purchase. Talk about red flags.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2010, 04:24:42 PM »

C'mon you Honey Barons! He offered to run the hive with your protocol. Step up to the plate.  pop
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 04:50:57 PM »

mike, you have misstated so many things i don't know where to begin:

1.  no one claimed "3000" other than me...and it specifically referred to the number of people on the organic list.  i referred to this as one of the many completely open resources that those of us who have had success rely upon and contribute to.  to somehow infer that there are 3000 memebers of the organic list that should have hives for sale is your own fabrication.

2.  you continually refer to your "chemical free" hives/honey, and you have more than once implied that this is equivalant to "treatment free" as I've used it and defined it carefully here in this thread.  do you not feed sugar?  will you clarify what you mean?  what goes in the hive besides bees, wood, and foundation?

3.  not all "treatment free" honey is from small cell bees.

4.  unless you think everyone who claims success with sc is lying (and they either are secretly using large cell comb or treatments), then your proposed test isn't testing whether sc works or not...it tests whether someone with a chip on their shoulder about small cell can kill the colony without breaking defined protocalls.

5.  michael bush has claimed success with all manner of commercial stock on small cell.  dennis beewrangler has found his small cell colonies to suffer from varroa when put on large cell comb.  we couldn't keep colonies over the winter until we regressed.

your general tone in your inquiry and conversation here shows that you are convinced that say, one of my hives will perrish without treatments with you caring for it...this is in no way a judgement of your character in general, but an analysis of what you have written here in this thread.

if i've been "sold a bill of goods" by dee, i haven't noticed.  finally we have hives that look a lot like hers in the desert (and no, we don't have any of her genetics)....and in hives that are in massachusetts and maine.

how much you want to bet i can kill one of your coloines following any protocall you define?

deknow (who knows how hard it is to write step by step instructions on how to keep bees)
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 05:02:24 PM »

the problem i have with small cell is that with many who use it, it is a religion along the lines of natural childbirth  evil

everyone i know who does small cell also does other things that are probably more responsible for their success.  in particular, being careful to keep the mite resistant genetics in their yard and let those which are not, die.

i do not know, but would venture to guess, that those of us who have been very careful of our genetics, but have not done small cell, are probably just as successful at going treatment free.  that's why i caution people to do their homework.  if they choose small cell and think it's going to solve their mite problem, they are going to be disappointed.  if they learn all there is to know about keeping treatment free bees and then add small cell as part of the program, that's cool.

in no way do i claim to be an expert on either treatment free or small cell, but i can read.  the studies do not back small cell as a solution to varroa mites.  it is wise, then, to see what people are doing other than small cell that makes them successful.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 05:18:35 PM »

On the lines of organic. Am I to understand people being treatment free are claiming organic? Quite a different standard.But i do think Bjorn has a point,that if the small cell is so much better,why isn't someone marketing small cell colonies. they should easily bring more money than bees on large cell foundation. If some one has that much faith in their product,production should be through the roof on the way to market.
have any of the universities been able to consistently duplicate these results that are claimed?Seems that in the quest to overcome varroa that the testing should have been done.
I do hope this does work for people trying it. But generally the market works in favor of results.
just my opinion,much as what everyone elses statements here are.
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 05:33:28 PM »


how much you want to bet i can kill one of your colonies following any protocall you define?


You probably could. But I'm not part of the crowd selling the bill of goods that if you simply regress your bees to 4.9 all your mite problems will go away..... grin    You are!  Wink

My point is not to kill any hive. It is the point as buzzbee made, that not one person with smallcell is willing to market, sell, or put their hives under the microscope. That is the point. Everything is side stepping.
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 06:12:48 PM »

You probably could. But I'm not part of the crowd selling the bill of goods that if you simply regress your bees to 4.9 all your mite problems will go away..... grin    You are!  Wink
this is not the first time, nor is this the first forum where you have attributed such a claim to me.  you've never once quoted me (and i've posted quite a bit on the subject...i even wrote a book on the subject)....so if you think i've ever said that no matter what your other management practices are, no matter what genetics you have, no matter where you are located, that regressing your bees to 4.9 will make your mite problems go away.

if you are going to accuse me of saying something (or anyone else for that matter), please quote me (or them).

if your account of what you asked dee is accurate, i'm not surprised you didn't get a response...accusing someone of "selling a bill of goods" is calling them a liar...i'm not surprised if she didn't answer to such accustaions.

Quote
My point is not to kill any hive. It is the point as buzzbee made, that not one person with smallcell is willing to market, sell, or put their hives under the microscope. That is the point. Everything is side stepping.
...and my point is that no one in the small cell community has any secrets...no one is hiding anything.  our hives are inspected every year (last year no mites found...the year before the inspector said he saw one mite after going through 20 hives...he didn't show it to us even though we were right there).  we show our operation to many beekepers every year, dee shows her hives to many people every year.  michael bush has several years of inpspection reports posted on his site.
i've personally talked to several prominent researchers, and none of them are interested in looking at treatment free operations, no matter what the cell size.
if it's "side stepping" to not sell you a hive at any price for the purpose of "getting it under the microscope", then yes, i'm side stepping.  you've demonstrated here that you would want such an experement to fail...a handycap that i doubt you would apply to your own hives, or any others you would be comparing it to.
i can't speak for "10 years"....i've been keeping bees for 10 years, but only applied sc to my practices since 2008.  i won't apologize for not having full size hives to sell you or anyone else.

it's easy to market nucs, hives and queens.  just buy fancy ii breeder queens, feed a bunch of packages and poof!  you are a bee breeder.  i'm not interested in such "shortcuts", and neither are most of those that i know who are on sc and are dedicated to not using treatments...it's a longer term project than that (at least for me).....and i certainly won't rush things because you are mad.

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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 06:30:22 PM »


i've personally talked to several prominent researchers, and none of them are interested in looking at treatment free operations, no matter what the cell size.

Do you not wonder why that is? I would find it disturbing a prominent researcher would not want to study "treatment free".
Maybe they have told you  why their lack of interest?

Obviously no one has to accept the challenge. I just wish someone would take Bjorn up on his offer.
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2010, 06:51:52 PM »

google small cell honeybee study

here's one.

http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/documents/m08138.pdf

there are others, but i have not gone through them so can not tell you what they all say.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 07:08:27 PM »

In science, the only way to verify an effect is to change one variable at a time, keeping the others relatively constant.  It appears in the case of sc there are so many confounding factors that making claims either way is impossible.  If bjorn wants to use a sc hive and keep all the other variables constant, he will likely fail, as in the university studies.  Even if sc works, with the short generation time of mites, it will only be a short time until they evolve to take advantage of reproducing in sc's.  Nature will find a way.
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2010, 07:23:08 PM »

I have sc bees to try and propagate the species, so I can be successful in my hobby, I am not out to prove anything to anyone nor to convince anyone of anything. I don't care how you raise your bees and I don't care how you feel about the way I raise mine....This thread is just another in a long series that may as well be about religion or politics...neither side will ever change the mind of the other. My soft inner voice is telling me to delete this post....that I am going to pay for hitting the submit button...but I can't help it!! grin
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