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Author Topic: Treatment free  (Read 5640 times)
funbee1
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« on: January 06, 2013, 10:46:24 PM »

I just started bees last April. I want to be treatment free but I was overwhelmed with mites my first summer. I didn't really have a plan, so I'm trying to get ready for the up coming season.

So far I planned on powdered sugar treatments, dedicated drone frames, going to small cell and doing some splits to break the brood cycle.

Lots of people I talk to say it's impossible to go treatment free.

What do the guys who are treatment free suggest?

Thanks,
scott
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RHBee
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 10:58:24 PM »

Scott I can only wish you luck.
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edward
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 11:04:58 PM »

All your beekeeping neighbours must also treat varroa mites or it wont work  Sad


mvh edward  tongue
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 12:15:53 AM »

I have mites, but they haven't taken down any of my hives.  I do drone frame culling and I do poor swarm management  Sad grin

Splits and swarms really knock the mites down. 
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 02:10:53 AM »


Splits and swarms really knock the mites down.  

Never



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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 02:15:31 AM »

.



So far I planned on powdered sugar treatments, dedicated drone frames, going to small cell and doing some splits to break the brood cycle.

Lots of people I talk to say it's impossible to go treatment free.

What do the guys who are treatment free suggest?


Powder sugar is a vain job.

drone frame helps much

other your intended metiods are unpractical .


I can repeat only that "God helps those who help themselves".

I have had mites 30 years. They will not give to you mercy.
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 02:42:21 AM »

.


Why they do not use treatment free bees?


December 19, 2012 2:59 pm  •  By JESSICA HOLDMAN | Bismarck Tribune




North Dakota beekeepers will be able to use an insecticide to fight Varroa mites in their colonies next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a request from North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring for a Section 18 exemption for amitraz.

“We’ve been waiting for this for years,” said Bonnie Woodworth, director at large of the North Dakota Bee Keepers Association.

Beekeepers will be able to use two amitraz strips on each frame in the hive where bee larvae develop. The strips must be removed two weeks before honey flow and cannot be placed in hives for more than 56 days.

The exemption allows for 726,000 strips and expires Nov. 21, 2013. The exemption can be renewed annually.

Woodworth said Varroa mites are the main cause of colony collapse disorder in bee hives. The mites feed on the haemolymph (blood) of the developing bees in the pupa stage, passing on viruses and bacteria. When the bees hatch they are sick and many die.

“If your bees are weakend you will get a lot less honey crop,” Woodworth said.

More than 35 percent of hives die during the year due to Varroa mites, Woodworth said.

Woodworth said she treats her hives with formic acid three times a year trying to control the mites. The exemption will give her another option.

“We always need different tools because the mites become resistant,” she said. “Any time you have some different treatment that helps tremendously.”

North Dakota is the leading producer of honey in the U.S. and produces more than 50 million pounds each year.
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 02:49:22 AM »

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Journal of Apicultural Research  April 2011[/b]
 

Invasion of Varroa destructor mites into mite-free honey bee colonies under the controlled conditions of a military training area
 

Eva Frey, Hanna Schnell and Peter Rosenkranz

Abstract
The honey bee mite Varroa destructor can be spread between colonies by vertical transmission, particularly when heavily infested colonies are robbed by foraging bees from neighbouring hives. We quantified the invasion of V. destructor into mite free colonies on a military training area not accessible to other beekeepers. Ten "mite receiver colonies" continuously treated against V. destructor were placed at distances of one to 1.5 km from four heavily infested "mite donor colonies". Over a two month period from August to October, the population of bees, brood, and V. destructor in the donor colonies were estimated at three week intervals and the invasion of V. destructor into the receiver colonies was recorded every 7-12 days. During the experimental period, between 85 and 444 mites per colony were introduced into the receiver colonies. There were no significant differences in the invasion rates in relation to the distance between donor and receiver colonies. In total, 2,029 mites were found in the 10 receiver colonies, but these only correspond to 2.5% of the total mite population in the donor colonies at the start of the experiment. This means that the major part of the initial V. destructor population died together with the collapsed host colonies. Under natural conditions, a more benign behaviour should therefore be an adaptive strategy for V. destructor. From a practical perspective we could show that highly infested honey bee colonies present a substantial risk to already treated colonies up to distances of 1.5 km away.
 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 06:05:41 AM »

Find someone in your area that doesn't treat for mites and buy bees from them. I removed several old hives from buildings and a tool box that were never treated. They now have the genetics to deal with the mites and do real well. Went into this winter with 14 hives. So far they all look rear strong. Will see in the spring. My observation hive is building/growing every week. This is good for our area. They should start at the winter solstice and did. The out side frames have brood areas bigger than a football. In November there was none on the visable sides. I will find out how the rest are doing soon when I inspect them the next warm weekend day.
I have not treated with anything.
Jim
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 08:56:01 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
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Michael Bush
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 10:21:13 AM »

.
You should understand that hives losses exist even if varrioa is not present. Natural mortalitry level seems to be 15%.

I know guys who never loose a single hive in winter. Are they honest or not, I let them be.


Here is a practical research what happens with different treatment methods to hive mortality in Holland.
http://www.coloss.org/collaboration/wg1/workshop-denmark-2010/wg1-denmark-2010-powerpointpresentations/wg1-DK-%20VarroaTreatmentOverwinterMortality%20-%20Lennard%20Pisa.pdf/view

Different methods are not so essential but do you execute them on time....

Hive mortality after treatments

Thymol timing too late mort. 24% .........on time 17%

Oxalic acid too late 22%...........on time 24%

Formic acid too late 19%.......0n time 3%


There were hundreds of hives in research and most of beekeepers made treatment too late.


What we can clearly see, formic acid treatment has been successfull, but not if it is too late.

Oxalic acid does not save the hive because mite has done its dirty work. Oxalic affects to next Autumn varroa level.


Even when treated, hive mortality is high. Without varroa "normal" mortality is about 15% but varroa gives 10% more even if you made treatments.
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little john
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 11:04:29 AM »

I will repeat here a reply I have given to Finski elsewhere:


The results are not at all straightforward - there were 225 beekeepers, using 130 different methods of varroa control.

The author recognises this: saying that because of the small groups involved (for each method), the results are not statistically significant (my words), and that they are not representative.

Also, winter losses from the control group (no treatment) are not included.

Although the study is partly entitled "honeybee mortality in winter", the treatments themselves were conducted between August and October.

I would be very hesitant in drawing any firm conclusions from those reported results.

LJ
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BjornBee
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 11:39:05 AM »

Lots of people I talk to say it's impossible to go treatment free.



I say it's impossible to go treatment free.  Wink


What do the guys who are treatment free suggest?



And anyone answering your question and suggesting they are treatment free is wrong.

Let me explain.....

EVERYONE treats their bees. You do that by the equipment choices you use, the management you use, and the IPM approach you use. There is NOTHING natural about a beekeeper keeping bees in a poorly designed and under insulated hive, no matter the management.

"Treatment free" is a poorly selected term once used to suggest "without chemicals". But what some see this as, is a call for doing nothing. Many hear about others using the term "treatment free" or taking a "hands off" approach, and they sit by doing nothing for their bees. Add in some folks ideology that you as the beekeeper is the bees worst enemy, and that opening the hive is so stressful your bees will crash, and beekeepers are confused as ever.

There are traditional chemicals, soft treatments, equipment choices, management ideology, genetics, and other things that go into the overall "treatment" of bees. Each is used with the goal that a certain outcome is derived.

If you are not using treatments directly focused on minimizing the impacts of mites, whether hard or soft treatments, then you better be treating your bees in other ways. Take genetics for instance. Many times, Italians do not shut down in a summer dearth. While Russians do. This directly affects mite counts when bees go broodless. Does the mites just go away? No. You do break the mite reproductive cycle. But the bees with no brood also spend more time grooming and dealing with other issues in the hive. And this break allows the mites to build, then when egg laying resumes, there is a mad rush of mites into cells, overloading the cells. this triggers a reaction of hygienic behavior of removing these overloaded cells, beyond what normally might have happened otherwise with a normal nonstop egg laying scenario.

"Treatment free", a "Hand-off" approach, and other suggestions that doing nothing is the best option, and one that will have you succeed in beekeeping, is faulty.

If you want to go "chemical free" that is one thing. Going "treatment free" is another.

Here is a bit I wrote recently: http://www.bjornapiaries.com/beekramblings2013.html

It deals with the whole "hands off" approach to beekeeping, which is sometimes seen as "treatment free".
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 11:52:13 AM »

Michael B.,
I really appreciate your article. I am using all locally derived queens, mostly survivors, and they are doing much better than the bought queens I used in the past. I have not opened them is the last 2 months but every warm day, even my weakest hives (late fall swarms) are bring in lots of pollen and are putting on weight on the hives. I know someone is going to say "but you are in the south, but by this time I went from 5 hives, some never made it through the summer, to 1 hive that started several hives from this past year. I now have 14 strong hives with no treatment and none bought. Knock on wood.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Finski
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 12:19:40 PM »

I will repeat here a reply I have given to Finski elsewhere:


The results are not at all straightforward - there were 225 beekeepers, using 130 different methods of varroa control.

Treatment methods were under 10

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Fox Creek
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 12:59:35 PM »

You asked about small cell, so here is another opinion. There has been a debate about cell size. You can read all kinds reports, studies, opinions, whatever. There are those who started out with large cell and tried to convert to small cell. They may have found small cell did not work for them and will jump up and down screaming, "your a fool to think small cell works!"

On thing is for sure. IT HARMS NOTHING TO GO WITH SMALL CELL!!!  I started out with small cell and so far so good. No Mites. I have only been in this for Little less than a year, however I read about new beekeepers having to deal with mites almost from the get go.

Do yourself a favor. Again, it will harm nothing and could be you end up not having to deal with mite problems or adding chemicals to your hives....read, "The Idiots guide to Beekeeping" and "The Practical Beekeeper". 
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kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 01:20:15 PM »

i wouldn't bother with small cell, but then i don't see the point in forcing the bees onto any pre-formed cell size.  do it if you want, but remember that you still need to keep a close eye on them.

your best bet is to try to find local survivor stock, and the best way to do that is to go after swarms and dig hives out of walls.  not all those you find will be good stock, but the odds are better than in those you buy unless you can find a local source.

whatever you do, not all hives survive.  they don't survive in the wild, and they won't in your yard. 
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edward
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 01:32:58 PM »

Small cells work for a year, then the mites adapt  evil  Undecided

and the infection levels rise again to the same level as bigger cells  Sad

mvh edward  tongue
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Fox Creek
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 01:50:19 PM »

i wouldn't bother with small cell, but then i don't see the point in forcing the bees onto any pre-formed cell size.  do it if you want, but remember that you still need to keep a close eye on them.

your best bet is to try to find local survivor stock, and the best way to do that is to go after swarms and dig hives out of walls.  not all those you find will be good stock, but the odds are better than in those you buy unless you can find a local source.

whatever you do, not all hives survive.  they don't survive in the wild, and they won't in your yard. 

Start out "forcing" the bees onto small cell. After you have built comb, you can place empty frames between these as a guide. This worked well for me and now about half my frames are natural foundationless. Trying to get the bees to build on foundationless without any kind of guide could be more difficult.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2013, 02:31:18 PM »

my 2013 experiment :
I have melted down the comb from cutouts and pulled aluminum window screen through it to provide base foundation from which they can decide cell size
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