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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    2,280

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Hi Lawrence! (Heaflaw)

    My politics are right of center, I don't trust Bayer, et al. I don't hug trees, but I love them, enjoy their beauty, shade, habitat they provide for wildlife, the warmth they provide in firewood and beauty they provide when they're turned into a beautiful hand crafted item, whether furniture or utensils. And I am treatment free! From my earlier posting you see that I think that article was garbage. I am trying to help the "treatment free" movement along with my blog on Beesource, "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report."

    My point is that for those of us who are truly concerned about the bees, nearly everything else takes back seat to the bees. Whether we like or trust Bayer or not, we know there's a problem with the bees. It is simply up to us everyday beeks to take the work of the pros, the scientists, the bee experts, and spread "treatment free" bees around.

    While I don't clip my queens or worry too much about swarming, I do try to prevent it, but not too much. When my treatment free bees swarm, I figure that's my way to help repopulate the feral numbers with bees that can withstand varroa and other pests. And don't you dare call me an "environmentalist" or "tree-hugger"! I try to be a "steward".

    For me, the key to getting off the chemical treatment bandwagon is simply not to get on it in the first place. I think all new beeks should be encouraged to get treatment free bees from the get-go.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,466

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    For me, the key to getting off the chemical treatment bandwagon is simply not to get on it in the first place. I think all new beeks should be encouraged to get treatment free bees from the get-go.
    As we all know, the honey bee has been in the national spotlight for at least five years now, following large scale unexplained losses of numbers. The silver lining in this cloud has been a renewed interest in the art and craft of keeping bees. Like any other specialized activity, beekeeping has a steep learning curve and may not yield immediate returns, aside from the satisfaction of doing something to help the bees, and the unparalleled enjoyment that can be gained from observing and caring for honey bees.

    Unfortunately, it can be expensive and beginners are highly susceptible to steep losses. Many lose half or more of their colonies during the winter, primarily due to lack of experience and understanding of the colonies’ requirements. Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture Magazine, estimates the typical beginner quits after three successive years of major losses.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,106

    Thumbs Up Re: An Interesting Article

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Hi Lawrence! (Heaflaw)

    From my earlier posting you see that I think that article was garbage. I am trying to help the "treatment free" movement along with my blog on Beesource, "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report."

    My point is that for those of us who are truly concerned about the bees, nearly everything else takes back seat to the bees. Whether we like or trust Bayer or not, we know there's a problem with the bees. It is simply up to us everyday beeks to take the work of the pros, the scientists, the bee experts, and spread "treatment free" bees around.

    When my treatment free bees swarm, I figure that's my way to help repopulate the feral numbers with bees that can withstand varroa and other pests.
    I like the way you think!!

    "Tree-hugger" vs "steward" is probably more semantics than anything. Words like this can have different meanings to different people.

    I'd like to do more to promote treatment free. I've tried it at my local bee club, but many don't seem to believe I am successful at it (maybe I'm not a good salesman). I really think they were taught that beekeepers must treat and refuse to change their thinking. There are many treatment free bees that can be purchased-Beeweaver's for example.

    This year I am going to try to sell bees locally to help spread them around. I realize I will need to help mentor the new Beeks. Peter Borst does make a good point that new beeks will have losses as it is and being treatment free may increase the chances of failure & discouragement.

    Many of the pros, etc seem to believe that treatment free is temporary or can be explained by us being isolated from diseases & pests. They question whether it will work for everyone. In the back of my mind I wonder if they are right. With my first spring check, I almost hold my breathe with the fear that all have died. But my bees are proving them wrong.

    Anyway, if you have any suggestions for how I can help promote treatment free, let me know.

    Lawrence

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    ... Unfortunately, it can be expensive and beginners are highly susceptible to steep losses. Many lose half or more of their colonies during the winter, primarily due to lack of experience and understanding of the colonies’ requirements. Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture Magazine, estimates the typical beginner quits after three successive years of major losses.
    So true! When people start talking to me about beekeeping, I quickly tell them that most all of the costs are up front, and it is years before a person begins to recoup the investment. If one goes into it with eyes open, it makes it easier to tough it out.

    My contention is that since beeks lose hives whether or not they treat, we can minimize our costs, and the learning curve, by buying treatment free bees to start with. Don't have to spend money on chemicals. Don't have to learn when and how to apply them. Don't have to worry about contaminating wax or honey. And besides, by going treatment free, they can join the elite few!!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    ... Many of the pros, etc seem to believe that treatment free is temporary or can be explained by us being isolated from diseases & pests. They question whether it will work for everyone. In the back of my mind I wonder if they are right. With my first spring check, I almost hold my breathe with the fear that all have died. But my bees are proving them wrong.

    Anyway, if you have any suggestions for how I can help promote treatment free, let me know.

    Lawrence
    Yeah, I hear that! Every year early in the spring, I wonder how many I'll have left... so far things are going really well. I think the more people do the treatment free route, and the longer we're successful at it, the more we'll attrack other folks to the process. It is a challenge. But as I keep telling folks, you have to start with treatment free bees. To go treatment free without the right bees is a recipe for disaster.

    My local club meets on a night when I have a board meeting, thus can't go. But most clubs have programs...perhaps you could do a program on being treatment free? That should open some eyes... think of all the money and time saved by being treatment free, for starters! Good luck!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,466

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    In the back of my mind I wonder if they are right.
    Look, it doesn't matter who's right or not. I wrote a series of articles for the American Bee Journal on how to keep bees without chemicals. I even did several presentations on it in front of very large groups.

    I don't lecture about treatment free beekeeping anymore. Why not? Because it may work for you, and it might work for them, but it didn't work for me. One size does not fit all. Beekeeping is local. Work it out for yourself.

    Happy Holidays!

    Pete

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    I like your attitude. For all your knowledge about scientific research on bees (which is great to have), it all comes down to what works.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-23-2010 at 01:19 PM. Reason: excessive quoting - read the rules!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,395

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    I don't lecture about treatment free beekeeping anymore. Why not? Because it may work for you, and it might work for them, but it didn't work for me. One size does not fit all. Beekeeping is local. Work it out for yourself.
    I assume the you do the same about treatments?
    Regards, Barry

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    1,466

    Default Re: An Interesting Article

    Correct.

    Pete

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