Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG
Hi DeeAnna, and welcome!
Ted was right. A couple years ago perhaps, I gave one feeding of HBH in sugar syrup. The only feeding of HBH until last week.
When I started, my intent was not to get on the chemical treadmill treating for mites and other pests. I bought bees that are supposed to be treatment free, and that's the course I've taken. Some beeks use acids, essential oils, powdered sugar, and who knows what else to treat for mites. I don't.
Since last year, there has been a new thread on the forum on treatment free beekeeping. I used to read and post there, but gave it up as they were too busy arguing about what a treatment was and wasn't, and I just don't have time for that. I also have not updated the blog, and at this point don't plan to. The link to it no longer exists here, and I find updating the blog to be extremely cumbersome. I had surgery on my right shoulder 2 weeks ago, which has slowed me down. All is well though. I'm just an old fart (turned 63 this past Tuesday) and I decided some things I just don't have to do or put up with any more.
Now, having said that, I do plan to post regular summary updates here, for those who care to follow. To me, feeding HBH in sugar syrup as a stimulative for hive health and brood rearing is not a mite treatment. But I probably ought to say I'm semi-treatment free, for the purists.
For an update: I made splits, ordered 20 B. Weaver queens, and 2 Russians. Several of my donor hives had issues, some of the splits had issues. I went foundationless a couple years ago, and for me that was a really big mistake. Been tryijng to clean that up, which probably caused issues with a couple of hives that absconded and/or died out. Had to order 3 more Weaver queens and 2 Russians 2 weeks ago. They're here, and installed. I ended last fall with 27 hives, began this season with 23 hives. I've made 21 splits this year, and should be at 44 hives, but now I'm at 38 colonies. Should be at 50, just didn't make it.
Last year I fed 1800 pounds of granulated sugar to 14 colonies in the spring and 27 colonies in the fall. So I stocked in the sugar which I got wholesale, had 2500 pounds of it first of April. Have only fed 200 pounds, splitting my colonies from 23 (had deadouts) up to 44, but lost several for various reasons. Now have 38colonies.
For me, personally, the issue is: What do I put in my hives? We beeks have put so many different things into them, without understanding the long term ramifications. So I tend to err on the side of caution, and want to minimize what I put in my hives. Ergo the bare minimum - and other than an occasional stimultative feeding of granulated cane sugar syrup with HBH, some MegaBee patties, and a rare Nosema treatment, that's all they get.
Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any questions any time. I'll do my best to answer.
Last edited by StevenG; 06-09-2011 at 08:54 PM.
Reason: corrections and clarifications
"If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow