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Author Topic: How to be an organic beekeeper?  (Read 2295 times)

Offline tillie

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« on: May 17, 2006, 10:48:19 PM »
I would like to be an organic beekeeper - I don't want to put poison in my hives.  From reading MB's postings and some stuff from Dee Lusby on Beesource and on the organic beekeepers yahoo list, I think that small cell use must be the key, but I would like to know what I should be reading?  

Are there books anyone would recommend?  

Other suggestions about how to keep the hives uncontaminated and organic?  

I expect I'll make it through this year fine, but next year, the effects of whatever mites came with my bees will be an issue.  I am using a screened bottom board on both hives and plan to feed Crisco/sugar patty in the fall.

Also in reading about contaminated comb, since I started with five frames in each of two nucs, will that comb likely already have been exposed to some kind of poison?

Thanks in advance for considering this question.

Linda T in Atlanta :?:
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Offline Ruben

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 11:13:12 PM »
Go to MB's website and check it out if you have not already.

Offline tillie

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 11:43:22 PM »
Currently I am in awe of Michael Bush - his website is full of information; he is so generous to share his knowledge on this site; and he apparently has perfected the small cell regression -

As a first year beekeeper, I learn so much from his postings as well as his web site - thanks for the suggestion,

Linda T in Atlanta  :)
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 03:04:38 AM »
As to books probably the two best and most complete out there are The Hive and The Honey Bee and The ABC's and XYZ's of beekeeping.  Most bee suppliers have them in stock but the prices will vary, you might even check Amazon.com for them.  
Shop for the price.  
The Hive and The Honey Bee can vary from $36.00 to $52.00.  The ABC's usually runs from the mid-20s to low 30 dollars.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline amymcg

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 07:42:07 AM »
sometimes you can find them cheap on e-bay also.

Offline Michael Bush

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 07:58:54 AM »
There's a link on my site to Dee Lusby's writings on Beesource.  That's a good place to start.  A bit overwelming at first, but you have to start somewhere.

For general bee stuff, I love ABC XYZ of Bee Culture and The Hive and the Honey Bee.  The old ones are very nice.  For the latest info on the Varroa mites you'll probably have to look on the web as information is coming in all the time.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline photokid

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2006, 12:21:37 PM »
Chickens. Lots of chickens.  :)

Offline Finsky

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Re: How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2006, 12:29:01 PM »
Quote from: tillie
I don't want to put poison in my hives. :


I want either and I am not organic beekeeper. Who wants?

If I want to kill my hive I cast frame with bees in fire or I drop bees on snow when it is very cold.

Offline Apis629

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 09:04:13 PM »
Organic beekeeping is much more than just not using pesticides/antibiotics.  One of the requirements to produce "Organic Honey" , as according to the USDA, is to not use plastics, at all in the hive.  No plastic foundation, plastic bottom board or plastic queen excluder.  Metal and wood are fine, as far as I'm aware.  While I, like many here (my own guess, but, I think most) would like to see that chemicals, especially contaminating ones, aren't used in the hive.  Thank god napethaline and calcium-cyanide aren't still used when storing combs for the winter!  I myself, used powdererd sugar and, in the spring, Apiguard.  I haven't medicated for American Foulbrood given, I justdont' see a reason to.  All it does is PREVENT the spores from gerrminating, it won't kill them.  And, given we have Terramycin resistant AFB in Florida, and the rules are so strict (full hive burning, bottomboard to cover).I have the stuff, on hand, incase one of my hives gets it and I change my mind but, hopefully, that won't happen.

Offline randydrivesabus

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 09:45:05 PM »
i was trying to find the NOSB organic honey standards online somewhere to read....i think i found it before but cant now.
anyone know where to find it?

i guess i found what i was looking for on the usda site.

Offline BeeLady

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Organic honey?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2006, 10:21:25 PM »
Our bee club just received a briefing from one of the A & M Grad students and the topic of organic beekeeping came up.  Apparently the state of Texas does not certify any honey as organic as it cannot be proven that the nectar sources were free of pesticiedes/herbicides.  Also, no one wants to discourage the use of antibiotics or other treatments on weak/sick hives.

I am using Succrocide to treat for mites, screened bottom boards and keeping an eye out for other problems.  My honey  goes only to me and some family and friends and I dont want the chemical additives if I can avoid them.
Lauren, aka BeeLady
San Antonio, Texas
Bees in Lindenau, Texas

Offline tillie

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2006, 10:57:34 PM »
An Oregon beekeeper visited my blog (http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com) and left me a note about the beekeeping association in his state.  I visited the site and there was a posting listing the requirements to be "organic"  and there is much required.

I hope it's OK with Beemaster to link to another forum site.  Here's the site:
http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.cgi?board=organicbeekeeping&action=display&thread=1143151073

I'm not trying to sell my honey and did this year use plasticell foundation for my brood hive body and the medium brood super above.....but I am interested in pest control without pesticide and will probably move to wax foundation - I put wax foundation in my honey supers.

As with all the rest of the beekeeping experience, I am learning TONS as I go!

Linda T in Atlanta  :roll:
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Offline Michael Bush

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2006, 12:10:07 AM »
>One of the requirements to produce "Organic Honey" , as according to the USDA, is to not use plastics, at all in the hive.

Actually any standards you've seen are only draft standards.  There ARE no USDA organi standards yet.  But that is in the last draft standards I saw also.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Apis629

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How to be an organic beekeeper?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2006, 12:45:03 AM »
Sorry...my mistake.