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  1. #1
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    Default Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    For instance, take a bee yard with 25 hives, if say 5 hives are choosen to be natural, are their chances of survival lessened by being in close proximity to bees that are being treated. Or is there some other issue with mixing treated and natural hives?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    the other issue is natural "drift" of bees to other(not their own) hives. if you are trying to test the merits of natural vs. treated this would tend to negate your results. there is believed(by some) to be a natural "leveling out" of mites in any given yard based in part on this drift. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    I think there is a spillover from the neighborhood. It is very hard to be a chem free beekeeper where there are a lot of other beekeepers around. Drifting is MUCH MORE than just hive to hive. How do you think varroa spread so quickly from country to country, state to state?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    ...... How do you think varroa spread so quickly from country to country, state to state?
    Migratory beekeeping, movement of colonies for pollination rentals, swarms, shipment of bee packages, feral drones drifting...
    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    But there is more to it than that.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    You've peaked my interest. If it is not just from hive to hive, and migratory B'keeping, Et al movement of bees about the country, are only half the story then what is it? That is if the concept can be condensed to fit in a post.
    Thanks, RKR
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    I think running 5 out of 25 hives as untreated hives would present problems due to drift.

    The argument is that your untreated hives develop in competition with the mites so that the bees are naturally out-competing the mites. IF this is true, a few extra mites coming in on a drifting bee will not greatly affect your "au-natural" hive. The bees are still able to out-compete the few mites that come in from a treated hive. Conversely, the treated hive has NOT developed in competition with the mites, so the bees that drift in from the untreated hives will continuously "infect" the treated hives.

    That's my two cents. I recommend asking Michael Bush about it. He is a wellspring of beeking knowledge and a big proponent of untreated beekeeping.
    Last edited by crazytranes; 02-12-2010 at 01:02 PM. Reason: removed quote as I thought out answer
    This space intentionally left blank.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    The rapid and widespread rate of spread of varroa requires some other mechanism than merely people moving hives around. Varroa affect the nervous system of the bees which causes them to become disoriented and lost. This in itself could cause CCD. But beyond that, it would certainly account for the dispersion of mites if it caused bees to get lost far from their own hives and wander into other hives. This is not the same thing as general drifting which occurs, but not to a great extent.

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor influences flight behavior, orientation and returning success of forager honeybees (Apis mellifera) infested as adults. As impaired orientation toward the nest entrance might be due to deficiency in recognition and responsiveness to stimuli in the environment, we examined effects of V. destructor on sensory responsiveness, nonassociative and associative learning of honey bee foragers -- "The parasitic mite Varroa destructor affects non-associative learning in honey bee foragers" by Jasna Kralj

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    This in itself could cause CCD. -peterloringborst
    Interesting connection. Certainly worth exploring. But I keep wondering if the connection is so simple, why didn't CCD show up 10 years ago or more?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Well, when I returned to beekeeping in 1999, after a nearly 10 year absence, I encountered the varroa phenomenon in full swing. I remember watching many colonies collapse during or right after the honey flow. But there were signs of varroa everywhere, so we just associated high varroa load with colony collapse.

    The CCD phenomenon ID'd in 2006 was different in that high mite loads were not always there and there were often big patches of healthy brood, which made it look like a completely different sort of thing. But collapsing hives have been a problem ever since the onset of the varroa epidemic, which IMHO has never been solved.

    Some people have low mite levels with or without treating, but for others it is an endless constant battle. And to all those that say "all they have to do is stop treating" I say: we are talking about the real world with mortgages and bills and hungry families. Some of these folks are just hanging on to their livelihood and frankly don't respect armchair beekeeping.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Treating hives and not treating hives represent two different management techniques also. For the hobbyist with only a couple hives in their backyard, it's not as big of a deal to treat one and manage the other untreated.

    When managing yards of 25, you want to use the management methods that are the fastest. You don't want to do a bit of this technique, and a bit of that technique. Whatever management style you do, it's easier to do the whole yard the same. Little guys manage their bees a frame at a time - the big guys manage bees by the hives or by the yard.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Well, I guess what I take from this thread is if I want to dabble in "natural" I will have to believe in it enough to dedicate a whole yard.... Not sure I'm there yet.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Could it be that we are dealing with a more virulent mite that can exist in a chemically treated hive in a yard of many hives vs a less virulent mite that might exist in a "natural" hive?

    Didn't Seeley find that the bee that survived in the relative isolation of the Arnot Forrest(with mites) would not survive in a bee yard with other hives?

    Jack

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Didn't Seeley find that the bee that survived in the relative isolation of the Arnot Forrest(with mites) would not survive in a bee yard with other hives?
    the short answer is yes.

    For more info, consult the discussion we have been having called

    Natural Cell Beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Quote Originally Posted by brac View Post
    For instance, take a bee yard with 25 hives, if say 5 hives are choosen to be natural, are their chances of survival lessened by being in close proximity to bees that are being treated.No because the ones being treated should have less mites by being treated.All hives will have some mites.Keep your hives strong,60,000 bees you will have no CCD,keep a strong laying queen.Weak queen,weak hive. Or is there some other issue with mixing treated and natural hives?NO
    Before man took over bees there was nature,it did a better job.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Getting back to the original question.
    Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    That is an excellent idea. . . to select some trial hives.

    Work most of your bees the way that has worked for you in the past.
    Experiment with a few hives.
    Do not jump onto the latest fad.
    Use your own judgement.
    Keep some records.

    If you change all of your hives at the same time and have success/failure, it may not be due to the changes that you made, but maybe a bad/good year. If you keep some records, you will have a much better idea of what is happening.

    What matters is if the bees survive and are productive.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Right on,BoBn
    Before man took over bees there was nature,it did a better job.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    No thanks Peter.

    15 posts in and it's just another p***ing match about cell size.

    Maybe the focus changes by post 153 or maybe not.

    It's been a long day and I'm beat

    I was thinking natural/untreated not natural/popsicle stick.


    Jack

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    > No because the ones being treated should have less mites by being treated. All hives will have some mites. Keep your hives strong, 60,000 bees you will have no CCD, keep a strong laying queen. Weak queen, weak hive. Or is there some other issue with mixing treated and natural hives? NO

    Do you really know these things or are you just guessing at it? How do you know what happens to the mites in a treated hive? Maybe they leave!

    Insofar as having no CCD, nobody really knows what it is, so how can you say how to prevent it? Do you think having a good queen makes a hive immune to disease? That's a new one on me.

    There are most definitely issues mixing treated and untreated hives in the same yard. Do not do it. If you want to experiment with treated and untreated yards I suggest: try to keep two yards on the same property, separated by at least 100 yards.

    The reasoning for this: if you keep the treated and untreated in the same yard, your results will be confounded by drift, etc. If you put them in two different yards, the results will be confounded by environmental effects. But putting them on the same property with a reasonable separation makes complete sense, when you think about it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Can "some" hives in a bee yard be natural/untreated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Grimshaw View Post
    15 posts in and it's just another p***ing match about cell size.
    Well, there were some good posts mixed in but stuff here tends to get swamped by weird peripheral sniping. Go figger.

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