> Treatment free.. start with the best bees you can get, and then be prepared to lose a LOT of them
Treatments? Start with the best bees you can get, treat them and then be prepared to lost a lot of THEM.
I don't know where this idea that people not treating are losing any more bees than people treating. If you average out all the surveys where the only thing being considered is treated or not treated it comes out about even. If you MANAGE them well and manage them to not be treated then your odds should go up from there.
I dont lose hardly ANY bees, because I treat them if they start to crash, and move them to a different yard. THe ONLY bees I lost last year were the packages I attempted to over winter, AND, two hive I attempted to modify their ventilation, and the moisture got them. ALL other hives survived wonderfully. The winter before? The winter that we had a 70% loss state wide? I lost one weak hive i should have combined. The winter before that? I lost 4 packages.. the winter before that? I lost two packages... I had 5 year old queens superseded this year. Next year I will have four five year old queens, provided they survive the winter.. I have no reason to believe they wont. I have two outyards with survivors in them that will not be treated, unless they start to crash. When i find 4 to 6 mites PER drone cell, DWV crawlers all over the place, deformed abdomens and a LOT of mites in the hive, and DO NOT see a lot of brood being removed, I know the hive will not make it without treatment.. Treat them, and they explode with bees... Give them a queen that may be more resistant and try again...
. But I would not say that treatment free is the cause of problems or that bees could never make it on there own.
I am not sure how you got the idea that treatment free was a cause? But your right, it IS a cause.. when my neighbor decides to be a lazy AZZ and not treat, his hives crash and I end up with the problem in my hives.. even bees that were capable of surviving without treatments will now DIE when the influx of bees overloaded with mites joins them....
HOW, is a hive treated with OAV one time flooded with chemicals? Thats as silly as letting them die. If thats the case, you need to exterminate your bees that are storing honey, because honey has Oxalic Acid in it naturally.
Let me quote Randy Oliver;
Allowing hives to collapse from AFB or varroa makes you a disease-spreading nuisance!
I agree 100%
Rustys blog at the honey bee suite is even better. Both can be read on my site or theirs;http://www.outyard.net/natural-beekeeping.html
Treatment free, if you have the right bees and conditions is admirable, and the way we all need to go.. treatment free and letting your bees die? You are NOT a beekeeper, your the nuisance mentioned earlier.