first off hello to everyone, I live in north east TN, finally got in to bees kinda successfully this spring. tried three years with swarms and even with meds, methanol, etc. they didn't last the winter. caught a swarm too late last year, they made little honey and thought they would die too, so I just left them alone didn't buy even an aspirin. they survived and have already made three supers of really light honey, did i just get a resistant strain and this honey is lighter than I have ever seen in a store and really good . anyone know what i did right and what the flower source probably is, I'm in the country but mostly its pasture land.
While there may be other variables at work in this example, this should be a lesson those beekeepers that over treat and overreact. The bees CAN survive without our constant interference.
Congrats on the bees. While you may have bees better equipped to deal with the mites, it is still important to monitor levels. It's hard to say what nectar source produced the light-colored honey. Most of the honey in the large retail stores is blended which makes the color consistant and also removes the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) flavors found in honey straight from the hive.
I have better luck keeping them healthy without all the poisons in the hive. I have treated with Apistan out of desperation and the bees died anyway. I'm having better luck without it.
People treat their bees all the time and they die, but if you don't treat your's and they die, then it's your fault.
Only twice I've NOT treated and they died from mites.
Here's a clip from Charles Martin Simon: http://www.beesource.com/pov/simon/10principles.htm
"I love Ormand. He's my friend. Acknowledged grand master of the game, third generation beekeeper, author of two great books on the subject, holder of the world's record in the GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS for the most honey produced by a single hive in a single season with a single queen, 404 pounds, a record that held from 1957 - 1963, when it was broken only with the use of multiple queens. Ormand's true, single-queen record will most likely never be even seriously challenged. But he doesn't keep bees anymore. The unthinkable happened. It was not that he got too old. He is very old, but he still works in carpentry. What happened was the mites wiped him out.
Ormand played by the rules. Bought the miticide and followed the directions. I bought the stuff too. But when I was handling it still sealed in foil, I could taste it in my gums, and it tasted toxic, so I didn't use it. So my bees died. But Ormand's bees died too. Besides, we were hearing reports from all around the nation that it was not working. But "they" were insisting that we use it anyway, the implication being if we didn't use it, we were part of the problem. But if we did use it, our bees still died. Year after year, I didn't use it. Year after year, I'd start new swarms in the spring, only to have them die off in the fall and early winter. I didn't quit only because I couldn't. Then we heard the miticide was outlawed in Scandinavia."
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited June 15, 2004).]