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Author Topic: opinions on treatment free beekieeping  (Read 1590 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2015, 11:48:56 AM »
> 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.

Michael Bush
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2015, 11:48:40 PM »
When I started keeping, back in 2010, I was told by a lot of experienced beeks, mostly commercial beeks, that you cannot keep bees without treating them. I have yet to treat them. Most years I do not lost bees during the winter. This past year was the worst, bees were strong going into the spring and I lost 5 hives to absconding, not dying out. All left honey supplies in the hives and very little brood.
Jim
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Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2015, 09:13:35 PM »
I didn't realize I would get such a fired up response OldMech. While I do agree that pesticides have been pretty hard on bees and there has been human intervention that didn't exist for thousands of years, I can't say we caused the mites. We have however imported bees with no genetic defense to mites so when mites were introduced here there was no natural bee defense. Many beeks also use foundation that enlarged bees by almost 50%. That may not have had any effect but it certainly wasn't how bees survived on their own. Yes many problems for bees have been created by man. But I would not say that treatment free is the cause of problems or that bees could never make it on there own.
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Offline Joe D

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2015, 10:51:00 PM »
I have been real lucky with my bees.  I started with three hives from an estate.  The beek had treated, he came down with cancer, became unable to take care of his bees and later he died.  His bees were on there on for a year or so before I got them.  The boxes were in bad shape I changed out some of them the day I got them.  They had SHB's bad, and I did read a lot and watched u tube on things to do for them.  I did treat for the SHB's, until there count was none or almost.  Then I quit treating for them.  I started with 3 hives, caught seven swarms the first year.  Didn't have enough boxes to hold them gave a few swarms away.  I keep four, which gave me seven hives.  One absconded the next year, had some robbing and lost another.  Then had five and keep that number until this spring, I lost one due to me, they starved this spring before blooms.  And so far I have only treated the SHB,s.  Also like John, money was and is a limiting factor.  I try to do treatment free.  And we all have to do what we think is best for our own bees.  Last year is the first time I have bought any foundation, I have been trying to do foundationless since I got my bees.
Good luck to you all and your bees,
Joe D

Offline OldMech

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2015, 06:25:19 PM »
> 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.
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline GSF

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2015, 03:54:20 PM »
Survivors from NC are the best I have seen to date, have to see if they make the winter.. they built up FAST and are pulling larvae that have mites... keeping my fingers crossed...     the issue here is.. replacing these queens.. they will cross with local drones, and LOSE the ability to survive with mites..

..allow me to advertise my ignorance by asking a question..,

Has anyone considered "learned behavior"? Does it exist in the insect world? Let me provide an example,

My wife has cats. (and fleas  :cheesy:) Only one of the four (now 3) use to come to her - where ever she was - and meow like crazy because it wanted food. Now a different cat has caught on and does the same thing.
All four are rescue cats who were kittens from different areas meaning non related.

So my thinking is, wouldn't it be possible for half sister non hygienic bees to recognize a good trait and continue it?
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2015, 09:34:52 PM »
GSF I do not know how much is genetic instinct and how much is learned behavior. Good question I would love to know.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Benjamin Franklin

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: opinions on treatment free beekieeping
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2015, 08:13:38 AM »
Eric,
Considering the average bees life span is 6 weeks, I suspect most of it is instinct. They have to learn their territory but most of what know on how to bo their job is instinct.
In nature, the more a species depends on learning how to live, the longer the child rearing time.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain