If it's a simple fact, why ask?
If it's a simple fact, why ask?
If anyone reading this believes that a spring visual inspection of a sampling of your hives is proof that you don't have a varroa problem now is the time to state your case.
Who is making a case based solely on spring visual inspections?
I am just interpreting the links he offered us, are you aware of any other documentation?
Are you choosing to disregard the man's word as well?
At what point in this 10 page thread did we switch from a peaceful discussion of whether a Commercial Operator can, or is, treatment free, to a discussion over what Sol's losses were from? Or whether they were statistically significant? Or whether anyone "credits" his "findings" like they "should" with someone who has 10 years of experience? Just asking so if I go back and decide to re-read this thread for it's valuable information I can skip the p***ing contest in the middle.
A shame that this "Commercial" thread has turned the typical route of just about any thread in the "Treatment Free" section.
Re read my posts and don't trivialize this or accuse me of something I haven't said Sol.
I would be happy if treatment-free methodologies and adherents were not constantly derided and criticized.
Are there any treatment-free commercials? No. And therefore none to comment. End of discussion.
Solomon, what do you think it would take to allow a commercial op, lets say 800 honey producing hives, to sustain itself treatment free?
Ian, all I can offer in response to that is to take what I do and multiply it by approximately 32.
I does not yet work on a migratory scale, though I hope it can one day.
This op would need to raise its own queens and develop a localized strain of bees that survive and produce a good honey crop. They will want to sell as much of that crop as possible as local (and throw in treatment-free if it makes the sale) honey. I personally don't sell my honey as treatment-free, just local. Most people don't understand that bees are treated or want to take the time to have it explained to them. But I will if they want. All they know is that my honey tastes better than the stuff from Walmart. And they're more than willing to pay five times the price and get it in a mason jar (reusable by the way). And there are so few beekeepers around here that most people don't know one, other than me.
That's really all I got. It's pretty much the same as Dee Lusby and Kirk Webster have done, but with local adaptations.
If it's convert to small cell, incorporate treatment free queens of proven genetics, and cease all treatments, while expecting a large number of losses over the next five years, it's possible (although I doubt you'll get a commercial operator to agree to that).
If it's trade in a migratory operation for a fixed location operation, sell honey in mason jars instead of in bulk, and manage their 800 hives as if they had 25, I don't think it's going to be possible.
If it's to get something that works, not know how or why it works, but blindly believe it does work, while recording no data to ensure that either 1) you have a problem now, or 2) how you solved your problem along the way, or 3) ensure you are in the process of solving your problem while you are fixing it, all the while passing judgment onto others who don't believe what you are saying, criticize you somehow (for a variety of reasons, some legit, most not), and ridicule them for not blindly having faith, well, that's not much of a plan in my book.
If it's close to the last option, there's no way to tell if what you are doing is going to work along the way. If you don't record anything, or monitor anything, the commercial operator may start the 'experiment' with 800 hives, be down to 700 after 3 years, and then have a complete loss after year 5, all because he couldn't tell that a problem was coming and end the 'experiment' before he went bankrupt.
You can blindly believe in faith, or work on principles when you are a hobby beekeeper, or when you sell honey for side income. If you lose it all, you can just start back up again. If you try to stand on faith alone, or principles alone when it's your livelihood on the line, you may find yourself homeless.
And that's why I don't talk to Mr. Specialkayme.
Suffice it to say, no. Pretty much none of that.
With all due respect, zero mites was not the claim, nor does the evidence provided demonstrate such.
I would agree with Sol on this point. What Mr. Bush does appear to do though is
offer up these links as prima facie evidence that mites are not a problem with his bees and that is where I have an issue. I am not accusing him of lying or anything of the sort. If he wants to present further evidence (nothing formal just the results of his own methods would suffice) of his mite levels as the season progressed I would be interested in hearing about it. He will correct me if I am in error but the only statements he has posted, that I am aware of, indicate that he really dosent monitor mite levels because varroa are no longer a problem for his bees.
I never participate in the treatment free forum. I don't believe I'm able to understand the case that is made for it by many of the people that practice it which is my issue not thiers.
Solomon has roughly 25 hive? If he could split those 4-5 times successfully ( I've no idea if this is possible in his climate or following his standards) he could easily be at 800 hives in 5 years?
As I understand many agree that remaining stationary is going to be an important factor in successfully being treatment free. It would also be important to be in a traditional high honey producing area, I don't believe he is.
Would 25 treatment free hives that could be split into 800 within 5-6 year located in a higher than average honey production area be worth a lot ? I would think they would even if they produced 20# less honey than hives treated and heavily fed.
The Guy in Ohio ( forgot his name) that shakes packages and feeds every year might double his count if he could reduce his labor with treatment free hives.
I'm not suggesting the old "if it could be done someone would do it" but rather maybe an opportunity is being lost.
If some one were able to travel the country and develop sucsessful treatment free yards of 25 to 50 hives and demonstrate to traditional commericals continued sucsess splitting and in production I'm willing to bet that many would decide to keep a couple hundred.
Removed voluntarily by poster.
So all the insight of a treatment free beekeeper as yourself makes for interesting discussion, but it holds absolutely no relevance to commercial beekeeping practices