Kirk Webster Does It Again - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Nov 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Default

    FWIW,

    The experts who spoke at our big bee meeting in March agreed that Nosema C is a big problem. However, it does not necessarily kill hives in winter. It can strike in the summer too.

    Neil

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Did Kirk Webster come out from his losses ok? I've been taking a vacation from beekeeping for a while but thought I'd get my act back together and start taking better care of my bees. One of the things I've never done yet is treat my bees in any way. I am not advocating that anyone else ever do this. I am a hobby beekeeper and have had some years where I had substantial losses a couple of years right after I started beekeeping. But, I've noticed in the last three years where I haven't really been that engaged with my bees that I've ended up with some hives that seem to be doing fairly well without being treated. Having said that...........I am considering using an oxalic acid treatment on my hives. My wife gave me the tool for that last Christmas but I never used it. I just read my first article that I seen written by Kirk Webster and he really advocates not treating. The article was written in 2014.

  4. #23
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    52,437

    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Kirk's writings are here if you want to catch up:
    kirkwebster.com
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #24
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    Mar 2009
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    Niskayuna, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    I visited with Kirk this summer at his open house event.

    It was quite an enjoyable and informative day. It's a nice thing he's doing, opening his operation twice a year and showing his management techniques and style.

    His nucs were all booming and his his production colonies were stacked high with supers. I'll plan on attending his spring open house if he's going to have it next year. I'd love to see how his colonies look coming out of winter.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
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    328

    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Quote Originally Posted by No-sage View Post
    I visited with Kirk this summer at his open house event.

    It was quite an enjoyable and informative day. It's a nice thing he's doing, opening his operation twice a year and showing his management techniques and style.

    His nucs were all booming and his his production colonies were stacked high with supers. I'll plan on attending his spring open house if he's going to have it next year. I'd love to see how his colonies look coming out of winter.
    Is there a way to find out when his open houses are, or are they invitation only? Thanks,
    -Dave
    15+/- beehives, 150 Maple Syrup Taps, Rabbit Breeder, Duck Hunter
    Wishing I can quite my job, keep bees and make syrup

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    999

    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    I believe this year's dates were listed on the website Michael listed.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  8. #27
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Not many Vermont beekeepers will be attending his get-togethers. Read this rubbish and understand why


    http://kirkwebster.com/index.php/my-...eas-march-2012

  9. #28
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    12,013

    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    I read it. Since you're a Vermont beekeeper, can you please give us your take on what he wrote besides "rubbish"? Had no knowledge of this.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #29
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    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Let's hope that things improve...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 11-27-2015 at 08:42 PM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  11. #30
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Not many Vermont beekeepers will be attending his get-togethers. Read this rubbish and understand why


    http://kirkwebster.com/index.php/my-...eas-march-2012
    This happened to be the first article I read when I first went to his website a couple years back. Wasn't sure what to make of all that... Every beekeeper is out to get him?

  12. #31
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    Jul 2013
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    [QUOTE=Barry;1352075]I read it. Since you're a Vermont beekeeper, can you please give us your take on what he wrote besides "rubbish"? Had no knowledge of this.]

    i read that a little more than a year ago and wondered the same thing. It's very nebulous and you can tell some feelings got hurt.
    Last edited by TalonRedding; 11-27-2015 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Typo
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  13. #32
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    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Kirk's overarching philosophy about living in harmony with nature has a lot of ideas I can identify with, but may be a bit Utopian in regards to Man's basic intincts. That could be debated forever!

    I think this has not been the first severe bee related setback Mr. Webster has seen: that seems to be a pattern that has happened in quite a few other locations. Is this the old problem of "islanding" whereby a host / parasite develop a static relationship by both parties adapting or developing modified characteristics, but lose connection to the wider populations who are developing specialties along different paths? Apparent strengths can become liabilities in these situations if the "islanding" factors" are somehow altered.
    Last edited by crofter; 11-27-2015 at 10:43 AM.
    Frank

  14. #33
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I read it. Since you're a Vermont beekeeper, can you please give us your take on what he wrote besides "rubbish"? Had no knowledge of this.
    Barry, answering this doesn't make me feel very good. I started writing a response this morning...before you asked, and canceled it. I don't really know how to respond without giving names and leaving me open to libel. I'll give it an honest try and tell you what I know from what has happened and from what Kirk told me.

    First, I consider Kirk a friend. He got me started in wintering nucleus colonies, and greatly improved my queen rearing work. I'm not trying to say anything negative about the man and only tell you what I know. Personally, I think Kirk has an issue that has taken over his life...something I think he's wrong about. That doesn't change how I feel about him. He's a friend and always will be...no matter what he thinks about me and or others that I am also close to and consider my friends. Kirk is ill, in my opinion. When a friend is ill you wait for the day he is healed and returns. That may never happen and yet still we wait.

    This all started when Kirk believed that Dick B was stealing items from him. He told me he set up this guy by leaving an old bee book out in the open when D was visiting...baiting him. According to Kirk the guy bit, and stole the book. How would I know? One dear old friend stealing a book from another dear old friend. My first reaction was disbelief. D is an excellent fellow and I found it hard to believe. I also thought as highly of Kirk and who am I to not believe Kirk. Not long after, Kirk claims that D is stealing his breeder queens. Again, I find it hard to believe. D would give anyone in need the shirt off his back. In fact, he once asked me if he could give his bee operation to one of my employees. I told him not to, as the guy wasn't ready for that.

    Then, the queen thievery story grew to include another dear old friend Rick D...long time former state inspector. Rick and I go way back, and I know him very well. I trust this guy. In fact I have shared a toothbrush with him...and him infected with herpes. He said he wasn't active and I believe it. You don't get much closer than that. So then there were two conspiring to steal Kirks breeders. And then, another person was added to the conspiracy. Charlie A from NH was included in the group, and that was the real clincher for me, that something wasn't right. No way D and R would have anything to do with C. No way! So the plot sickens...beyond belief.

    Then the story took some really weird turns. For some time, Marla S hung out with Kirk...to look at his bees, not to look at Kirk. Soon after, she began visiting Chas M, grandson of the famous beekeeper Charlie. Charlie's bees are unique and probably a strain of honey bee not polluted with buying in queens from all over the place. She was obviously investigating the bees, not interested in Chas. They became good friends.

    Now, understand what Charlie and Bill and Chas did for Kirk. Kirk worked for Charlie and became his right hand man and a good family friend. When Kirk lost his apiary to mites, and had to buy packages to restock his hives, they made available enough brood to boost the packages and get Kirk back on his feet. Well, when Marla became friends with Chas, Kirk got a wicked attitude. He told me the story claiming M was a whore and Chas evil as he had a wife and young children. And Bill was a closet homosexual...whatever the heck that was supposed to mean. Oh My God! Why would Kirk say such things? Does it matter if Bill is gay? Of course not. I love Bill no matter his persuasion, a d Kirk said it with such venom. At that point, anything Kirk told me became the rant of a paranoid man.

    When Kirk came out with the bit about D stealing his queens, and stalking him, etc, he asked the VBA president to censure the thief. Our president said the VBA had nothing to do with a personal situation and Kirk should deal with the police. Kirk dropped from the VBA and in 2012 wrote what you read on his site. Where he gets such ideas is beyond me. No one wants to drive Kirk from the association or from the state. Many love Kirk and think highly of him. Why would he say such rubbish and publish it publicly on a site that has no way of questioning him or rebuttal. Kirk is conveniently not connected to the internet and has no email address.

    The last time I talked to Kirk was in 2011 at the Leominster Chemical Free beekeeper's meeting. Something Kirk has said...again on his site...was the best meeting he has ever been to. I asked Kirk just what it was that happened. I told him that I had nothing to do with his troubles and why had he dumped me. He said he'd tell me some day. To date he has told me nothing and has dropped me as a friend...we used to talk regularly. I note that in his speaker review of the meeting...on his site too, he claims "We have hope for Mike". We? Hope? Who is we and who in not-we. And that's one of the issues I have...the division of our people into two groups, the we's and the not-we'd. Not a good thing.

    So basically Barry, that's the story as I see it and have personally experienced it. I hope this isn't too rambling. I'm not happy about what has happened and I am saddened by the loss of a good friend. I expect at least two folks on this site...they know who they are...will now run off to Kirk and tell him what I've said. Well folks, go for it. I stand by what I've said. I have great respect for Kirk as a beekeeper, but as a man I feel he's sick and I don't hold that against. I can only hope that Kirk will some day, and in some way recover and reconsider. I miss him and I wish him all the best.

  15. #34
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    No-sage, thanks for the feedback. I hadn't noticed this comment when I first went through the responses earlier. I'm guessing that indicates he bounced back from his losses fairly quickly. Do you know if he's still not treating for varroa in any way, if he's compensating but using a certain management method, organic treatment, or any type of treatment?

    Quote Originally Posted by No-sage View Post
    I visited with Kirk this summer at his open house event.

    It was quite an enjoyable and informative day. It's a nice thing he's doing, opening his operation twice a year and showing his management techniques and style.

    His nucs were all booming and his his production colonies were stacked high with supers. I'll plan on attending his spring open house if he's going to have it next year. I'd love to see how his colonies look coming out of winter.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,285

    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    So sad to here what's going on from someone that's close to it. I have Kirk's site in my faves and it will stay there. Stay strong and keep on teaching Michael.

  17. #36
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    You are a good person, Michael Palmer. That must have been hard for you to write. You are a good friend to Kirk, even if he can't see it at this time. I hope that does not cause you much pain.
    Mark Berninghausen

  18. #37
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Mike, thanks for the background information. Very hard to make sense of articles like the one Kirk wrote. One gets the feeling that there is a lot more to it than what it given in the writing.
    Regards, Barry

  19. #38
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    I got started with bees from Kirk Webster, and purchased queens and nucs a couple other times after. In my few dealings with him he struck me a soft spoken, honest man, who was striving to live a life very much in line with many of my own beliefs.

    When the article in question came out I just didn't know what to think. I live and work in northern vermont. Not too far from where Kirk keeps many of his bees. I'm not much of a joiner, and unfamiliar with most of the beekeeping community. But that was and is changing as I slowly build and grow out my hobby. The vague statements and warnings in that article gave me pause and concern, these were people with whom I might be dealing with in the future. In vermont it is a very "small world" and one is constantly finding overlap among friends, communities, and buisness relations.
    So I'm grateful for Michael taking the time to write about what is clearly a personal and painful topic, providing some context regarding the situation.

  20. #39
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    Jan 2014
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    Auburn, New Hampshire
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    I went to Kirk Webster's open houses both in April and in July. He was a warm and gracious host to 40+ attendees from ME, NH, NY, MA, VT, MO, and Canada. Kirk presented himself as an open book and held nothing back as to his management practices with his Russian Hybrid bees. He answered all of our questions from the beginners to the experienced beeks. We toured his new (3 years) home site and overwintered nuc yards in April and made caravan to one of his productions yards in July. He does not use treatments for varroa. It was a real treat to get up close and personal with such a pioneer in treatment-free beekeeping. Kirk is always available by telephone or snail mail and I have enjoyed many conversations with him when ordering queens from him.
    Last edited by Karen of NH; 11-29-2015 at 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Kirk Webster Does It Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen of NH View Post
    I went to Kirk Webster's open houses both in April and in July. He was a warm and gracious host to 40+ attendees
    That's part of the confusing part. Why does he talk with such venom about the rest of us. In fact, I've recently been contacted by a beekeeper from Europe, and while visiting Kirk he was told about all this trouble. Why?? Does everyone in the world have to be told how evil we Vermont beekeepers are and how he's been abused by us all? Something doesn't add up.

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