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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    It would be interesting to know how well your walk away's do vs your purchased queens. It's too early to draw any conclusions, but it would still be interesting.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Excellent question. Of my top 7 producers, 4 were splits with new B. Weaver queens. 1 was an older purebred Purvis. 2 were Weaver Mutts, walk away splits last year. The other 15 producers were 8 new B. Weaver queens this year (either splits, or requeened) and 7 mutts, all walk-away splits last year.

    This year, with no money for new queens (and no real need because of requeening and new queens last year), I plan to do mainly walk-away splits.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    WOO HOO!!!! I'm a very happy camper!!
    Just checked the colonies for the first time this year. First the caveat...in post 98 I indicated I entered Fall/winter 2011 with 34 live colonies - was actually only 32. 4 at home, 21 in one out-apiary, and my 7 Russians in another out-apiary. I lost only 2 this winter! That is a paltry 6 per cent loss. Of the remaining 30, I have to feed 5, as they feel very light. All the others are very heavy with stores still, and all bees are bringing in pollen. So, we'll see what this year brings. May you all have such good fortune!
    and this is treatment free, on large-cell foundation or foundationless.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Great news! I do hope that my fortunes are as good as yours but will not count on it yet. Old man winter may still have a trick or two up his sleeve. So far, it is looking very good for me as well.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Great job. Look forward to hearing more.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    I wish I could take all the credit, but the reality is, the success is more than likely due to the genetics and quality of the bees.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    What advice would you give to newbees wanting to do what you're doing?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    I've been giving it in most of my posts, Sol!
    1. Buy your bees/queens from a breeder who does not treat. Period. No kind of treatment for mites, not even soft.
    2. Do not treat. No matter what anyone says, IF you've done #1. You don't even have to do mite counts, IF you've done #1. And perhaps this is my greatest heresy - I've never done a mite count. Never plan to. I figure my colonies have mites, but the bees know what to do. After all, I've bought "survivors".
    3. Don't try anything fancy the first year or two...go with the basics, Langstroth equipment, basic management skills. Learn to keep your bees alive. Master the basics. You can pick up an old bee book cheap, read it and master it. In the second or third year you can begin to play around, if you wish. Too many forget it is the basics that do more than anything else to help a colony thrive.
    4. Realize you are going to lose hives. So what? Everyone does. Get over it, do a post mortem on the dead hive, learn from it, start over.
    5. As soon as you feel comfortable, go without gloves. That will lessen your fear of the bees, make your movements more deliberate, and make you more confident. Yes, you're going to get stung. So what? They're honeybees for heaven's sake. (if for some reason your health mitigates against this, ignore this point.)

    Sol, rightly or wrongly, I think most newbies latch onto the latest fad in beekeeping, when more losses are caused by mismanagement and simply failing to master the basics. As most of us who have been around a bit know, there is no magic bullet. Beekeeping is hard work today. But man alive, it sure is fun and rewarding!

    More than anything else, I attribute my success to the genetics of my bees, and the various sources from which I've acquired them.

    By the way, I got my first arthritis treatment of the year yesterday. Even let the stinger pump all the venom into my left hand...I guess I'm becoming masochistic...oh...wait! Beekeepers are by nature masochistic!
    Regards,
    Steven
    Last edited by StevenG; 02-28-2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: clarification
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    There's always new newbees. Some things bear repeating, concisely and directly.

    I also got my first stings of the year this past week. Not nearly as painful as the first of the season usually are.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,001

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    I think my bees do all the hard work and I appreciate them not stinging me when I steal the fruits of their labor.
    Don't you feel not treating reduces most of the work a beekeeper has to do?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,017

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Some, by no means most.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  12. #112
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    By not treating, I don't spend time on acquiring and installing chemicals. Nor do I spend time on mite counts, or anything else related to treating or mites. Having never done those things, I don't know how much time I've saved, but know I have saved some. From the pros here, I've learned how to inspect a hive by watching the entrance. Minimizes the number of times I have to open the colony. Experience also teaches the time of the year I must get into the hive.

    And of course there are those times when I simply need my fix, and go thru a colony.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,001

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    From the pros here, I've learned how to inspect a hive by watching the entrance. Minimizes the number of times I have to open the colony.
    Any harm in giving us their names, member names if they are anonymous?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    I wish I could take all the credit, but the reality is, the success is more than likely due to the genetics and quality of the bees.
    Regards,
    Steven
    StevenG -- Without your management practices the genetic potential of your bees would never be realized. They are just living and dying like they have always done. Bees have been dealing with them longer than we have been keeping bees. New challenges always come along. Give yourself credit for giving them all they really need, a place to live, and decreasing their stress by only getting into the hive when needed.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    <snip>
    By the way, I got my first arthritis treatment of the year yesterday. Even let the stinger pump all the venom into my left hand...I guess I'm becoming masochistic...oh...wait! Beekeepers are by nature masochistic!
    Regards,
    Steven
    I hope I didn't quote too much...

    I'm not sure if he's right or wrong but I think it was Roger Moore that stated that the stinger dumps basically all of it's venom at the time of the sting and that the pumping action seen is not actually pumping venom but is the barbed stinger digging deeper to give the venom a deeper entryway.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,001

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Mechanically that doesn't seem possible.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    You're probably right, bird. Morse is the only person I've heard mention that. Here is a link to what Dave Cushman presented on his website regarding the sting/stinger...nice drawings and info...

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/stingstructure.html

    Well, now I'm beginning to wonder if it was Morse that may the statement above...I'll have to keep digging to find that one....or else I dreamed it up!
    Last edited by Intheswamp; 02-29-2012 at 10:10 AM.

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    From what I've read, the pumping action continues to shove the barbed stinger deeper, at the same time it pumps venom into the "victim."

    But the reality is, it takes a certain amount of foolishness to stand there and watch the venom sac do it's work. I didn't have my reading glasses on, so didn't get a good view of what was going on, but the stinger sac seemed to change from beginning to end of the pumping cycle. Seemed to whiten up and flatten out towards the end, before I scraped it off.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Any harm in giving us their names, member names if they are anonymous?
    Ace, the harm would be in embarrassing myself by leaving someone out....there's about a dozen I trust and read their posts regularly. I will mention five by name, and tell why, with apologies to the rest (in alphabetical order):

    Crazy Roland - met him this past summer, neat guy, 5th (I think) generation beekeeper. Went out of his way to drop by and talk bees.

    Grant - doesn't post much, lives 90 miles from me, met him, bought his e-book. Makes a lot of sense, always enjoy him.

    Mike Bush - don't need to say much about Mike and his value to our craft. To those who haven't checked out and read his web site, do so.

    Sqkcrk (Mark) - Another beekeeper whose work mentors newbies with solid guidance and counsel.

    Ted Kretschmann - a couple of years ago Ted and I got into a discussion here on the forum about commercial beekeepers going treatment free. We have a steak dinner riding on a bet. I said it would happen in 10 years, he said it would take longer. When I retire and have time to drive down to see Ted, I'm going to collect that steak, or have a good time paying off on the wager.

    I really regret not having time or space to list all the others. But for the newcomers to our craft, get and read anything by Richard Taylor, also the two "Bibles" - ABC's of Beekeeping, and The Hive and the Honey Bee. And subscribe to at least one of the magazines.

    Again, there are others, (ah, like Walt Wright!) but my mind has gone blank this morning...
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,017

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Mechanically that doesn't seem possible.
    What doesn't seem possible?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



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