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Author Topic: Breaking the treatment treadmill  (Read 7923 times)
Larry Bees
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2011, 11:42:57 AM »

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?

Why are wax moths not a problem if you use plastic MannLake PF120?

Why does SBB help with the varroa?

Larry
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ccar2000
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2011, 01:50:21 PM »

I am guessing that Armuchee is saying that the wax moths do not eat the plastic foundation?
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tillie
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2011, 09:02:21 AM »

SBB helps with varroa because the bees groom each other and themselves and in the process, they clean off varroa mites.  The mites fall through the SBB and can't come back up to get onto another bee.  If they fall onto a solid bottom they can simply attach to the next bee that comes along. 

That's the way it is - I keep SBB on all of my hives throughout the winter since here in Atlanta, closing up the bottoms isn't really necessary. 

Linda T in Atlanta
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2011, 11:26:58 AM »

Thanks tillie and ccar2000 for your replies. I am using SBB's and plastic foundation right now so maybe I did something right. Larry
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scottchip
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2011, 11:01:25 PM »

Logging into beemaster for the first time right now and fully appreciate this discussion. I am transitioning to chemical free over this winter after a tough bee year and hoping to improve the bee yard living conditions!. This is my second beekeeping winter so the experience level is pretty moderate. I am changing out foundation in the empty hives before introducing new bees. Is there anything else other that SBB that I might want to consider in the transition?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2011, 11:28:20 PM »

I never got them to survive the Varroa until I got on small cell.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 05:26:13 AM »

I never got them to survive the Varroa until I got on small cell.


small cell = natural cell size - foundationless?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2011, 06:26:22 AM »

>small cell = natural cell size - foundationless?

Not exactly.  But I had the same results with natural cell.  Large cell=5.4mm small cell=4.9mm Natural cell=4.6mm to 5.1mm
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2011, 06:40:32 AM »

>small cell = natural cell size - foundationless?

Not exactly.  But I had the same results with natural cell.  Large cell=5.4mm small cell=4.9mm Natural cell=4.6mm to 5.1mm

What same results?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 08:25:21 AM by BjornBee » Logged

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2011, 08:50:25 AM »

No more Varroa issues.
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 09:33:30 AM »

No more Varroa issues.


Thank you MB.

Interesting.

I couldn't say that 8 years ago when some were suggesting that the only answer was smallcell.

And I can't say that today, about a single solution item such as natural cell.

Now do I have many mite problems...no. But I attribute that to genetics, management, and a host of other things I do for bees, perhaps even including natural and smallcell.

I know if I dump in a package of bees on natural comb, that mites will be an issue. I've done it many times. Same as smallcell.

So I can hardly support the message that smallcell, or natural cell, is the defining solution of mite problems. That dismisses many of the other factors that I use, and know, that make hives thrive and coexist with mites.
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 10:40:03 AM »

SBB helps with varroa because the bees groom each other and themselves and in the process, they clean off varroa mites.  The mites fall through the SBB and can't come back up to get onto another bee.  If they fall onto a solid bottom they can simply attach to the next bee that comes along. 

That's the way it is - I keep SBB on all of my hives throughout the winter since here in Atlanta, closing up the bottoms isn't really necessary. 

Linda T in Atlanta

I've been thinking on this answer all last night and now I have another question:

If the mites fall through the SBB and can't get back into the hive, then how do the mites get into the hive in the first place? Larry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2011, 10:49:08 AM »

>I know if I dump in a package of bees on natural comb, that mites will be an issue. I've done it many times. Same as smallcell.

I've done it many times as well.  And I have no Varroa issues.
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2011, 11:12:35 AM »

>I know if I dump in a package of bees on natural comb, that mites will be an issue. I've done it many times. Same as smallcell.

I've done it many times as well.  And I have no Varroa issues.


Correct me if I'm wrong.

Your saying that the mites, regardless of ANYTHING else (genetics, equipment, management), if using some natural drawn comb, that ALL mite issues will be gone? That nothing else plays into it. And that the message your sending for beginners is all they need to do is buy natural comb (or smallcell), dump in a package, and you will have no mite issues. I just want to be sure before we proceed further.

I certainly feel other factors are at play. But if your stating any beekeeper could just order packages, dump them on natural comb, and they can expect no mite issues to surface, this is interesting. Never heard it promoted as simple as this previously.

If you don't mind, I have many questions. Since I know more than a few smallcell and natural comb beekeepers, (including myself), I can say that they probably do not see the same single caused effect you do. I'm giving a talk in March on this topic and will be covering all the different approached in beekeeping being promoted today. So I am highly interested in these observations and statements.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 11:22:54 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 11:47:37 AM »

Well that certainly is far different than the vague message of a one line statement that dumping bees on a certain comb will make all mite issues go away. Perhaps an asterisk, or disclaimer should be considered in the future.  Wink

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2011, 07:44:24 PM »

There are many things I would do for many reasons.  And a hive is certainly not limited to one issue that needs to be addressed to have healthy productive bees.  However, if you are talking about the one issue, Varroa, and the one thing that tips the scale on that one issue, for me that was cell size.  I was already doing the rest.  I was already raising my own queens and not treating when the all died from Varroa.  I tried SMR and Russian Queens.  I bought some more Buckfasts (I was already using them when the first die from Varroa) and they all died from Varroa on large cell.

Now do I think you can take a bunch of Southern large cell bees, put them on contaminated wax that happens to be small cell, treat them with antibiotics and organic acids that will kill off all the microbes and expect them to live through the winter?  No.  But that is not because of Varroa.
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Michael Bush
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Solomon Parker
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« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2011, 09:44:14 AM »

I also keep my bees on small cell.  I do not believe it to be the single solution to mite problems.  I firmly believe there to be a survivor genetic component as well as the necessity for clean wax.
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Solomon Parker
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bud1
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« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2011, 11:49:55 PM »

i got them southern bees; every one of them caught or cutout. dont use small cell or treat for varona and some of my hives are 6-7 yrs. old. one dies just catch a swarm and chunk it in the hive on the old comb.  as jeff says no wories mate.
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bud1
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« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2011, 11:55:13 PM »

oops forgot most do live through the winter if fireants or beetles dont get them. varona no problem, beetles, now thats another story
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