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Author Topic: Breaking the treatment treadmill  (Read 7836 times)
ccar2000
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« on: April 17, 2011, 05:27:36 PM »

How does one kick the habit? I only keep two hives so quitting cold turkey and losing a couple of hives would be devastating.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 06:08:49 PM »

I have 14 hives and started 4 years ago.  I have never treated for anything.  I use SBB and close my entrances down in dearths to 3/4 by 3/4.  I have SHB but I only treat them with a srewdriver.  I use plastic MannLake PF120, so wax moths are not a problem and the SHB can be crushed in the frame crevices.  I run feral bees and some Italian/Russian mixes.  I don't understand why people treat?  What's to treat?  I have a few varroa but the SBB really helps that.  I have only lost 1 hive in 4 years and that was to starvation.  What do you treat for?
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Stephen Stewart
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 09:05:58 PM »

Once you lose them all WHILE you are treating, it seems the myth of treatments keeping them alive should be busted...
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Michael Bush
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ccar2000
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 11:40:41 PM »

Agreed!
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 07:47:12 AM »

I "Treat" my bees all the time. Every chance I get.  Wink

I try to use the right equipment, the right management, the right genetics, etc. While I don't use chemicals, I do treat my bees.

Way too many beekeepers treat with chemicals, then somehow equate stopping the use of chemicals with doing nothing.

Not using chemicals means using other "treatments" in one way or another. But NOBODY should NOT TREAT bees.

I'll give you an example.....if you are using ANY swarm prevention, you are negatively impacting that hive by not allowing the process of what bees do naturally in a hive. Swarming, brood breaks, first year queens, all give the bees a natural ability to control mites. Take away that ability, then you better compensate for this in your management.

Add in the fact that bees in nature (feral colonies) almost NEVER reach the bee numbers (50,000 - 60,000) or utilize the massive volume space we provide by adding supers, then as a beekeeper, we should figure that we are also creating circumstances that goes against what bees would do naturally in combating such things as mites, and other problems.

This whole notion that beekeepers should not "Treat" their bees is many times translated into beekeepers going from one year of treating, then the next year doing nothing. The ole' "El Naturale" system, of hands off and watch the bees die.....after creating situations where they could not replace their queen, they were manipulated into mega colonies, and toyed with by beekeeper intervention.

I really wish this whole "Non-treatment" statement was not used. For many, it just is assumed this means doing absolutely nothing.


Treat your bees....you bet!

Chemicals....No way!

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luvin honey
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 08:45:32 PM »

Sorry to be dense, but what is SBB?
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 08:53:56 PM »

Screened bottom board.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »

Goodness!! That really WAS dense of me! Thanks Smiley I was stuck on acronyms starting with "sugar."
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The pedigree of honey
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 12:14:52 AM »

Acronyms:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesglossary.htm

Terminology:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesterms.htm
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Michael Bush
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luvin honey
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 06:48:53 PM »

Thanks Smiley I hadn't been on the forum much last year after my bees were taken out by bears, and I guess I lost my terminology.
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The pedigree of honey
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 06:19:00 AM »

BjornBees advise above is most appreciated and to the point.  Never really thought of it that way so thanks a lot for the insight.  I guess we'll all have to come up w/ another term because while I don't treat w/ chemicals (not really a treat) I certainly do find ways to 'treat' my bees.

As for getting off the 'chemical' treatment treadmill, just do it.  For your bees and you Smiley It'll make you a better beek IMO

Thanks again.

thomas

PS to luvin honey;  I also lost bees (3 colonies, one a three winter survivor) to a bear this past Spring.  I consider myself lucky to even have bees going into winter this year.  Good luck to you.
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ryandebny
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 07:43:35 AM »

Has anyone tried Oxillic acid. It's found naturally in plants and honey, but in high concentrations wipes out mites. It doesn't get in the wax either.
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 08:00:15 AM »

Many have and swear by it, many have not and will not, many have and stopped.  You'll likely hear all sides cool

thomas
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2011, 02:58:58 AM »

>Has anyone tried Oxillic acid. It's found naturally in plants and honey, but in high concentrations wipes out mites. It doesn't get in the wax either.

The only apparent side effect is it kills off most of the microbes, most of which are necessary for the colony to displace pathogens and digest pollen.  Bees cannot digest pollen, they can digest bee bread which is like the difference between milk and fermented milk (like keifer or yogurt).  Bee bread is a fermented product that requires pollen, several kinds of bacteria, several kinds of yeasts and a two stage fermentation process.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmorethan.htm

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Michael Bush
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2011, 06:25:00 AM »

"A two stage fermentation" process, sounds like a Beer Recipe Smiley

thomas
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BjornBee
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2011, 07:04:33 AM »

Many have and swear by it, many have not and will not, many have and stopped.  You'll likely hear all sides cool

thomas


I'm one who has stated being against it. How many treatments has the industry pushed upon us in attempts to deal with mites, and has come back years later with detrimental impact on colony health? And I have offered many times to take up any bets, that 10-20 years from now, that there will be a treatment today, claimed to be safe, that will end up being shown to have negative consequences for bees.

I wrote about acid treatments in April 2009. Scan down to that date on this page for a differing point on the use of acid treatments. http://www.bjornapiaries.com/beekramblings0910.html

Funny thing is, I don't see much in the way of folks having better winter survival after treating bees with acid. They still have 30-100% loss like everyone else, and many times worse than those using no chemical treatments.

I agree with MB, that the stored pollen is being destroyed. So to me using it kills mites which is intended. But it also ages bees and renders pollen unsuitable for consumption or health benefits.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2011, 07:18:40 AM »

>"A two stage fermentation" process, sounds like a Beer Recipe

Yes.  Very much like that... except a bit more essential...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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T Beek
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2011, 07:39:10 AM »

Thanks to all of you for the continued discussion and shared insights on this important topic. I know the archives are loaded, but this ongoing dialogue is even better IMO.

As has been pointed out, there seems to be no end in sight for the development of products shoved our way, always touted to be the 'latest' savior.  As in all things "caveat emptor."

"Treatment free is the way to bee Smiley"

(of course, that doesn't mean we don't provide our bees w/ some 'treats', right?) Wink,

We are going to have to come up with another word or phrase at some point as BjornBee indicated in an earlier posting, if only to satisfy any purists grin) out there.  Sorry.

MB, I consider our 2 stage (sometimes 3stage) brewing schedule to be equally essential, especially when cooking up strong Ales grin

Seriously though, If understanding this correctly, bees can apparently accomplish this 2 stage fermentation w/out having to transfer to another container, or cell (like beer), is that right? 

This is a very interesting turn in the discussion.  What do the bees do to bring on stage 2 fermentation?  Thanks!

thomas
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2011, 10:30:05 PM »

>Seriously though, If understanding this correctly, bees can apparently accomplish this 2 stage fermentation w/out having to transfer to another container, or cell (like beer), is that right?

Yes.

>This is a very interesting turn in the discussion.  What do the bees do to bring on stage 2 fermentation? 

They have the microbes in their stomach.  The inoculate the pollen with it when they make the pellets to put in their baskets on their legs.  The pollen is near the brood so it is heated.  The first stage burns out and the second takes over naturally without any change other than the change in the pollen.  It is a "microbial succession" where one stage leaves the by products needed by the next stage.
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Michael Bush
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T Beek
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 11:26:59 AM »

I have to admit I've been lazy in obsorbing (or even investigating too much of) the 'science' of beekeeping, was just trying to get reaquainted after a long layoff.  This time the science is calling with a loud voice. 

Thanks!

thomas
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