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Author Topic: I don't want to coddle, but I don't want them to starve, either  (Read 5837 times)
BjornBee
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2010, 07:51:57 AM »

>There seems to be some kind of movement in regards to not doing anything with bees.

Interesting, since I don't believe a single person in this thread advocated that.  All of them advocated feeding as needed at a minimum.  So I'm a bit confused as to who you are disagreeing with...


Your confusion may seem warranted since I never said a single person said that.... rolleyes
 

I think you need to look at the sum of the whole. Or the many parts that add up to that.

As new beekeepers, many are bombarded  with many concepts that this product, this hive, or this comb allows you to actually do nothing in regards to mite treatments, and your bees will survive. Many times what is lost is the entire process or full understanding of what is needed to make a certain type of beekeeping work. We throw around such terms as "treatment free", going "natural", and other terms to which many indicate unrealistic results by doing near nothing when it comes to managing bees. Throw in discussions that feed beyond honey is bad. That treatments are bad. That sugar, HFCS, and about anything else placed into the hive is bad.....all tends to add up to many beekeepers doing, or better yet, expecting to have success by dumping bees into a hive and thinking that less is more, and nothing is a pathway to success.

I have many beekeepers every year contact me about Russians, or feral survivors, because they want to stop the treatments they have done in years past. They ask me about Warre Hives, TBH's, small cell, and many other topics (many discussed here) all lending some to believe if they only did this or only did that, all their problems would go away. It's because in many ways, they take a comment here, or some advice there, and come to these conclusions. Many times it's because that a small sliver of the actual overall details is provided in some vague snippet of an answer that they are reading for the first time.

We don't need to look far to find terms such as "minimalist approach", "stress free beekeeping", and other thrown about suggestions that if one does nothing, that this is better for bees. You don't need to do many searchers to find information that this type hive will cure mites, or that comb will cure mites, or this treatment will cure all your problems. Many are told to not treat, without clear indications of what that is. They just assume that any process that could be called a "treatment" is better left undone. That even doing or knowing what is happening in the hives in regards to mites is not worth the effort, since they have been sold the idea that "Let nature take it's course" or "Let the bees deal with it".

There are discussions, and it shows how far we have come in this direction... that smoking bees is harmful, that merely opening a hive is seen as undo stress, and the bees are better off without us interfering with notions that bees know best. We have discussions that basically have stated that any food source we provide is contaminated and harmful to bees, suggesting that we are better off not feeding. We use terms such as "treatment free", which I think sends the wrong message, and some take to think you can do nothing with bees and be successful.

And what is left many times is new beekeepers being tugged every which way and going with whatever or whoever they speak to first in the industry.

So whether it's ideas that if one collects feral bees, or puts them in a certain hive, the concept and ideas that if one only did this, or keeps them this way, is definitely out there. I know I am approached by many who are totally confused by the many comments out there being billed as the "cure all" of how to keep bees. It may not be one single person, but more of the overall discussion and the misuse of terms being thrown about to promote something.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 08:15:42 AM by BjornBee » Logged

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BjornBee
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 07:55:27 AM »

Does anyone know if they make a big cube/block of sugar that you could just put above the inner cover with an empty deep super outside of it with an outer cover on top to keep rain off of it?  You know they make small sugar cubes for fancy coffee but imagine a 25 pound one!  That would fee a hive right?  Wrong?  Any ideas?  Is it too early?  Thanks everyone for your input on this crazy idea but it sounds easier that mixing my sugar water in my glass jars all the time.

That basically is what you are doing with fondant. I buy 50 pound blocks, cut them in half, put them above the inner cover, and then an empty super, then the top. Will feed the bees all winter.

No syrup, no disturbing the bees every few days, no excess moisture concerns, and a happy wife with a big mess left behind by me.... Wink
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CountryBee
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2010, 08:06:22 AM »

BjornBee, where can I purchase that fondant?  Thanks, Country Smiley
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BjornBee
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2010, 08:25:22 AM »

BjornBee, where can I purchase that fondant?  Thanks, Country Smiley

Look at the Dawn Foods website, for the nearest distribution point. There are other manufacturers of fondant. You can do a search for it. Just make sure since they make many type of fondant, that you want a fondant with sugar, hfcs, and water. No other additives or ingredients.
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2010, 10:07:04 AM »

Mike, those all sound to me like your personal opinion toward or against something and are on a mission to disprove things.

 I agree, there are extremists who will go all out and categorically judge all of 'modern' beekeeping with synthetic chemical treatments, et al as 'bad' just as there are the complete opposite who determine that anything not using those methods is 'bad', but again, what is any one's personal approach to bees?  do you see them as independent living creatures who do not 'need' our management to survive or do you see them as dependent possessions that require micro-management if they are to live?

Everyone has their own personal ideas and point of view in that regard. 

For those who don't see bees as possessions and helpless, how hard is it to accept the truth and reality that shows us bees have lived and survived much longer without out interventions than with them?

You have yet to respond to that.

If 'natural' approaches are so detrimental, nature would have selected bees for extinction along with the dinosaurs.

have you ever noticed that the 'cures' to illness in human medicine almost invariably cause other problems, side effects, that then require further treatment.  When you put that synthetic medicine to 'treat' the bees of one 'problem' what 'side effect' is it causing, creating other, new problems that complicate and add increase health stresses instead of leaving the bees to face the initial issue that started the whole process?

It's an endless cycle of 'curing' and treating causing more issues to cure and treat.

in terms of feeding artificial sugar to bees, what is present in granulated sugar besides sugar?

What is preset in nectar and honey besides sugar?

if you take all of the proteins and other nutrients away from bees that they use to live on and reduce them to only one aspect (sugar) remaining, how much 'better' is that substitute than the more nutritious food?

in which case, isn't it better to feed bees what has more nutrition and providing the less nutritious alternative on a limited basis when they have no access to the nectar and honey?  it just seems logical to me. not a fad or plot.

the problem is moreso that beekeepers have found a way to make money off of honey.  it has financial value to us and when we see honey only as money, we fail to see it as what it really is.

The original and primary source of nutrition and food for the bees.

You are welcome to disagree, we are all friends here, at least I hope so, but you cannot convince me that our finances over rule the bees best food sources.

Big Bear



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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2010, 10:30:33 AM »

>Your confusion may seem warranted since I never said a single person said that....

You said:

>>There seems to be some kind of movement in regards to not doing anything with bees...
>>I agree. If the conversation was between you and me.
>>But the conversations at hand include many others, perhaps in the thousands. Many of which come here and get sucked into the hype about this way or that way. So to debate, expose, and call it out, regardless of which side you are on, lets others know both sides of an issue and maybe even expands their minds a bit.

Which seems to imply you have concerns about the direction of this particular conversation.  I'm having trouble seeing the cause of the concern.
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2010, 10:46:58 AM »

I would like to put in my two cents worth that this thread while it might be coming close to people becoming upset has been very very interesting. At least from the point of view of the begining beek like me. It is great to hear debate over methods and styles of beekeeping. Hopefully no one will become offended in the process. I have found advice from all players here to be useful, and it is interesting and enlightening to hear these differences of idea and opinion.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2010, 11:10:43 AM »



Which seems to imply you have concerns about the direction of this particular conversation.  I'm having trouble seeing the cause of the concern.


I'm sure you are.... Wink

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BjornBee
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2010, 11:37:23 AM »

For those who don't see bees as possessions and helpless, how hard is it to accept the truth and reality that shows us bees have lived and survived much longer without out interventions than with them?

You have yet to respond to that.

If 'natural' approaches are so detrimental, nature would have selected bees for extinction along with the dinosaurs.


What? Do you even see or understand what I am saying?

I'm not against natural methods, and have been promoting them for years.

What I am suggesting, and the heart of the conversation, is the overall message placed upon new beekeepers, in regards if they do this or that, that all the so-called problems will go away. I could pinpoint an example of vinegar machines, foundation, hive styles, breeders, and strains of bees...all making the same claim that they have the answer to all the mite and other problems. And based on the many people I talk too, that is the message they come away with. I hear all the time....

I want to keep bees naturally and not use chemicals, so I want to use TBH's.
I want to keep bees and not use treatments, so I want to use Russians.
I want to have comb with no chemicals in the wax, so I want to use foundationless.
I'm tired of losing bees, so I want to start using....... (you fill in the blank, it's all been said before.  

My conversation is about the overall message that sugar is bad, HFCS is bad, treatments are bad, opening a hive is bad, and about a dozen other concepts or suggestions that new beekeepers are bombarded with. Many which think after hearing the vague comments, think that they are harming bees if they are not feeding honey, or that they will lose their bees if they keep bees in hives not of a particular style or comb, and so on, and so on.

After awhile, it just makes you want to puke. So broadening the conversation, and questioning, challenging, and being critical is something worth merit. To sit back as you say and simply have 100 beekeepers all suggest 100 ways of keeping bees, all making the same claim, without discussion due to being afraid on not being PC or afraid of steppin on a few toes, benefits nobody. And for most if not all of the claims, some are half-truths at best, and downright wrong for many.

If I say something you don't think is correct, then challenge it. If you say something that to me needs clarification or challenged, I will also. Why that is seen as "bad" is beyond me. I'm not just here to promote my own agenda or my way of keeping bees. It is to pass on my experience of both good and bad, what worked and what did not work. And to state what never came close to what the claims may of been.

But somehow, if I mention my own experience in something that did not work, and due to the fact that there happens to be a group standing on another corner suggesting conflicting views, then why is that seen as "attacking" or something incorrect?

I'm just glad I am not a new beekeeper needing to experience each and every wild claim out there chasing some illusive success, due to nobody stating perhaps the other side and bringing some sense into some rather wild claims and suggestions.

When you start hearing people lose bees because they were told not to treat, or you hear people not feed bees when they are starving because white sugar was suggested as a no-no, or they start questioning themselves because they were told if they bought these bees or use this hive and they lost the colony, you start wondering.

I'm not blind. One of the things you will not see on most forums, is the brutal truth of many of the same beekeepers who make wild claims. You won't hear them state how many hives they lost. And if they did lose hives, it was due to some obscure reason, and certainly not due to anything associated with their beekeeping style. SUCCESS....always due what they are promoting. FAILURE...always for some other reason.

Me, I lost my Warre Hive last year. Did everything by the protocol out there being promoted. But they died. I wonder how ofter you hear that claim among those promoting the wild claims while promoting this type of beekeeping. And that example can be used across the board.

It's like the breeder never suggesting how many hives they actually lost. Most breeders never mention problems. They are promoting their business and have "interests" to protect. And groupies promoting one style of beekeeping or another are just the same.   

That....is how I see it.  Wink
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CountryBee
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2010, 01:13:13 PM »

BjornBee, thanks for the tip on fondant!  Amazing stuff!  Can't wait to get some and see how it does, thanks again, Country Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2010, 01:24:17 PM »

for criminey sakes, guys.

if you want to go to the extreme of keeping bees totally naturally, buy a piece of property with a bee tree.  if you want to keep bees for honey or pollination, manage them in a way that makes sense for your situation.  that takes time to figure out.  avoid extremes and don't be afraid to experiment some.

pretty simple.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
bigbearomaha
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2010, 03:58:15 PM »

Quote
What? Do you even see or understand what I am saying?

I'm not against natural methods, and have been promoting them for years.

I have seen plenty of your posts and your website and I know what you have posted.  apparently you missed my "devils advocate" comment.

The point of my earlier comments though is that for every anti sugar, etc.. post, there is a pro sugar post.  For every anti treatment post, there is a pro treatment  one.

I just did searches of three bee forums on anti sugar and pro sugar and the threads go back for years.

There is nothing new that you are seeing.  perhaps a more recent spike in one side of the discussion.

also,  I don't assume that newbees are idiots. I am pretty sure most folks have learned how to take other peoples comments in perspective and to seek out as much information as they can before coming to a decision.  as least  I hope so.. maybe that's what makes me an optimist.

anyway, enjoy the bees.

Big Bear
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BjornBee
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2010, 04:31:47 PM »

for criminey sakes, guys.

if you want to go to the extreme of keeping bees totally naturally, buy a piece of property with a bee tree.  if you want to keep bees for honey or pollination, manage them in a way that makes sense for your situation.  that takes time to figure out.  avoid extremes and don't be afraid to experiment some.

pretty simple.
Now Kathy...be reasonable.  Wink a little "criminey" here, and a "criminey" there, and some will take this thread to be some cut throat peein' contest, full of anger and fightin', and threatening to move on to better pastures.  lau

Just a conversation the way I see it.  Wink
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« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2010, 04:33:22 PM »



I have seen plenty of your posts and your website and I know what you have posted.  apparently you missed my "devils advocate" comment.




I was being "devils advocate" to your devils advocate. Ok....your turn...... rolleyes
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« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2010, 05:17:43 PM »

awwww

did i let my cranky show?   evil

you all remind me of my boys sometimes.  only difference is that i can't send you out to clean the barn and weed the garden  grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2010, 06:23:45 PM »

you all remind me of my boys sometimes.  only difference is that i can't send you out to clean the barn and weed the garden  grin
[/quote]

Good thing too. Cuz then we'd be discussing roundup vs. a hoe  lau
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BjornBee
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2010, 06:47:09 PM »

awwww

did i let my cranky show?   evil

you all remind me of my boys sometimes.  only difference is that i can't send you out to clean the barn and weed the garden  grin

Hmmm. Just thinking out loud Kathy. Do you ever "spank" your boys........  rolleyes  Just wondering.  Wink

 banana devil
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« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2010, 07:01:17 PM »

roundup is a tool.  a hoe is an attitude adjustment device.

spank....?  i have been known to hold one of them up against the barn wall with his feet dangling off the ground, but i had to be pushed some to get to that point...

all right now...enough of that.  behave and get back to bees.  and BE NICE.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2010, 12:02:13 AM »

>for every anti sugar, etc.. post, there is a pro sugar post.

Going back to all the literature I have from the 1800s... it is definitely not new...
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BjornBee
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« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2010, 06:25:46 AM »

>for every anti sugar, etc.. post, there is a pro sugar post.

Going back to all the literature I have from the 1800s... it is definitely not new...


Yeah, that's right. Even I believe it was CC Post that had a crusade against sugar, and went on to found oatmeal or toastems, or something.

I bet I can find or suggest MILLIONS of hives saved from starvation through the feeding of sugar. Compare that to the scare tactics being passed on to new beekeepers being told not to feed their bees, because some small chemical amounts in white sugar, and the argument is about senseless as it comes. Show me the damage to the hives over the past 100 years, the amount of time you now suggest this fearmongering has been taking place.

When beekeepers are having to choose between starvation and not feeding, due to the fearmongering out there over obscure information or "purists" who spread this crap, and this is what they are being told, it is not the same as it's been for the past 100 years. It certainly has been elevated to new levels of scare tactics, many of whom also are out to promote this or that, with little proof or scientific fact when it comes to the claims of the damage that emergency feedings provides, and compared to the hives saved. I have heard more questions in the past year or two like "I thought feeding sugar was bad for my bees" and "I want to keep sugar out of my hives so I am hoping not to feed. Do you think they have enough to make it?" and "I read on one of the forums that HFCS was bad for bees"  I ask them, "so your hives are light,...what are your options?" "Are you going to let them starve?" "Do you have 80 pounds of honey laying around to feed as some ignorant beekeeper has suggested is what you should be feeding to bees?"  Anyone reading enough or talking to enough beekeepers, has certainly come across this type conversation. And the information and ideas about this are certainly coming from somewhere. 

 

Beyond someone finding small amounts of chemicals in sugar, as they find in almost everything YOU eat, show me a study that justifies the conversation that one should not feed sugar to hives. And compare that to the hives saved by feeding sugar.

At the end of the day, I find the mentioning of the dangers of feeding, about as senseless as it comes. Makes you wonder what agendas, what motivations, what egos, or anything else is at play.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 06:51:08 AM by BjornBee » Logged

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