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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    The overall subject is fascinating and I am just reading for now, but I did want to provide a small input on this question:

    Quote Originally Posted by frazzledfozzle View Post

    I dont know how to isolate and highlight multiple parts of a post so I have to do it this way.
    frazzledfozzle,

    after starting your post with the quote button (as you have already done), you just need to cut and past the begin qoute text that has [_ QUOTE=postername;postnumber] (I've added a '_' between the '[' and 'QUOTE' so you see the text and not the quote) then after the portion of text you want to quote you need to cut and past the end quote text [/QUOTE] (no effect when a valid QUOTE as not already in effect, so I didn't need to insert '_' to make my response readable to you)

    Here is your message reformatted in this way (all responses quoting frazzledfozzle, not me ):

    [[[BEGIN REFORMATTED RESPONSE FROM FRAZZLEDFOZZLE

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    while the complete bee newb says, 'how can my colony thrive with a minimum of interventions on my part?'
    As a commercial beekeeper this is a question I also ask myself it's not something only a newbie or a "treatment free" beekeeper is interested in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    If we are to create a honey bee that tolerates - or, preferably, thrive - in the face of parasites then we can't keep chemically treating them for said parasites. If this means less honey production then what of it:
    Is this your opinion? scientific fact? or something thats a popular concept at the moment?
    It's not just honey thats important to commercial beekeepers alot of us rely on healthy hives to pollinate crops you can't pollinate crops if your hives are riddled with disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    do we want survival or money? Humans do not need honey but many make their living from it, so what will we have: long term survival of the bees or the commercial beek? I've no wish to disparage the commercial folks - this whole issue seems to me to be devolving into one simple issue: them, or us?
    this really gets my blood pressure up

    "do we want survival or money?"

    "so what will we have: long term survival of the bees or the commercial beek?"

    meaning what? that commercial beekeepers are only in it for the money and the way they manage their hives is bring down the bees chance of survival?

    that we can't have commercial beekeepers and long term survival of bees? because commercial beekeepers are only interested in the amount of honey they can get and will treat willy nilly to get?

    give me a break

    frazz



    END REFORMATTED RESPONSE FROM FRAZZLEDFOZZLE]]]

    I only went to the trouble of explaining how to sub quote and requote becasue I think that for a complex multi-point response such as yours, it makes the response much more readable to be able to format the back-and-forth this way.

    -fafrd

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by slickbrightspear View Post
    What does it cost to treat a hive (including the labor to do so and travel ) if those hives only made half the amount of your treated hives how much of the extra income is being spent on treating those hives how many pounds of honey does it take to pay for the treatment.
    Well if you are going to go that route then you could also factor in being able to sell untreated honey for a premium price (assuming/hoping folks use actual honesty in labeling). For example, I'm always happy to pay way more for honey that I know to be less treated and local. All my friends feel the same way.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Thanks for taking the time fafrd I appreciate it

    kiwi

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    I can't comment on treatment used in the US but in New Zealand we use Bayvarol and Apivar, these are removed before the honey boxs go on,
    The wax we gat back from our cappings is sold to a buyer who exports it. The wax goes through rigorous testing for all manner of chemicals, to date no residues have been found in our wax, If they aren't in the wax they wont be in the honey.
    We rotate our combs out of the brood nest replacing the 2 outside frames every year, meaning no comb in our hives is more than 5 years old.

    We dont treat for nosema or foulbrood or use chemicals when storing empty supers the only thing we put in our hives is the miticides.

    There's more chance of having our honey tainted by the lady down the road spraying her roses or the council worker up the road spraying the gorse on the roadside than we are by anything we use in our hive.

    frazz

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    I will answer this question. The cost of treating a colony of bees. Well, we have somewhere right at this moment 2400 colonies of bees. I am not really sure because the bees are really healthy and we are still splitting more bees. Healthy bees build back up quick, even after splitting, and will still try to swarm. That is just the nature of the stinging little devils.....So to treat that many hives of bees, we will have to purchase 40 pails of "Blue Bucket", known as APIGUARD. One bucket treats around 60 colonies of bees. A bucket will run somewhere around 90.00 right off the top of my head....So that equals to a 1.50 a colony. Since this operation is an Intergrated Pest Managment operation, we will rotate out the following year say with Apistan. Which cost around a 1.85 a strip.--The last I bought cost that two years ago. This outfit is also a low dosage outfit, so we have always used just one strip to the hive. This year we will rotate out for real with the new formic acid strip. The cost of placing these medication in my colonies is negligible....We are already out in the beeyards working with the bees, so this is just one more thing we do before we leave the yard. Generally we have a dearth between Chinese Tallow and Cotton. That is when we treat. So the cost of Diesel really can not be brought into the equation. So if honey is going to be 1.68 a pound for grades 1-5 (Souix honey grading system) then you can say that the cost of treating a beehive is one pound of honey. This is cheap insurance to keep something as precious as a bee, alive from season to season. Right now we have about .75 mites to the hundred bees. Some hives you can not even find them. Though there are the VSH genetics present in these bees. If a package of bees or a nuc averages around 90.00 then it will take 60 pounds of honey to replace a hive that dies of Varroatosis. The equation is 60 pounds or 1 pound. It does not take a rocket scientist to do the math. TED

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I am not really sure because the bees are really healthy and we are still splitting more bees. Healthy bees build back up quick, even after splitting, and will still try to swarm...
    ...If a package of bees or a nuc averages around 90.00 then it will take 60 pounds of honey to replace a hive that dies of Varroatosis. The equation is 60 pounds or 1 pound. It does not take a rocket scientist to do the math. TED
    You buy a $90 package from somebody to replace a lost hive? Isn't it way cheaper and quicker to take a split or make a nuc from your booming hives?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    He does not do what you thought he said. He said "if", in order to illustrate the rationale behind not letting a cololny die for lack of spending the equivalent of a pound of honey in treatment.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    The "if" was for the people that buy bees and do not treat them. Then they die. Thus they are out of 90.00. I produce bees for sale. We use our own bees internally in my operation to make up losses. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Mark knew where I was coming from. TED

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Replacement cost of a package of bees or nuc--$90.00 from your reputable breeder or 60 pounds of honey....Cost of preventative treatment against varroa mite--$1.68 or 1 pound of honey. It is cheaper to treat than replace. TED

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    The point that I think is being made here is that you can have resistant/productive bees and apply IPM to further reduce losses.

    Since no one has been able to say precisely why or how bees become resistant (with a few exceptions), who is to say that this isn't the case in a commercial operation that applies IPM?

    Just because you have resistant bees doesn't automatically preclude treatments. Especially if it makes sense for the bottom line.

    This seems to be a case of a philosophy of beekeeping vs a business model.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Well, for use who depend on bees for our living, it is a business as well as a way of life.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    WLC, so many of the non treatment people have adopted a live or die mentality.You need to read Dr. Russells post in the earlier part of this thread of how bees become resistant to mites. Yes, there is VSH genetics in this operation. The rest of the bees from the breeding experiment were put back into the general bee population of this outfit. Over time the genetics from their offspring have spread. Not all the hives have this recessive gene in them, so we treat. Also I want a bee that produces honey,not cleans house all the time. There is a happy medium somewhere between the two. TK

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Yep. However, there seems to be more than one way to view this.

    For instance, I need to be able to demonstrate Honeybee disease resistance.
    My first choice is hygienic bees because you can show how they clear frozen brood comb as a measure of the hygienic trait. 'Survivor' bees don't lend themselves well to a demonstration of resistance. There are too many unknowns.

    Here's my point; there's nothing that says I can't treat hygienic bees. Nor am I precluded from finding the right balance of the hygienic trait and productivity (although I need a demo more than I need productivity).

    However, I am following a philosophy (no treatment, and natural comb) as part of the science. I need to be able to take concrete measurements as part of that.

    If I was doing this for profit, the 'philosophy' would go out the window. I would have to make it work, and the VSH and IPM approach makes sense to me as a way to get a handle on resistance, productivity, and profit.

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Glad to see that somebody on the nontreatment side of beekeeping has figured out how I and other commercial beekeepers think and operate. VSH trait is slowly developing across the board in most of the populations of honeybees in the USA. I remember years ago, when Varroa first infested hives, they would be dead in three or four months tops if left untreated. Now Varroa can take three to four years to kill a colony and sometimes does not..Why, natural resistance. TED

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    Replacement cost of a package of bees or nuc--$90.00 from your reputable breeder or 60 pounds of honey....Cost of preventative treatment against varroa mite--$1.68 or 1 pound of honey. It is cheaper to treat than replace. TED
    True... if you replace lost hives by buying packages and nucs rather than by making your own nucs and splits. It seems to me that would apply mostly to hobbiests, who aren't usually dependent on honey production for a living anyway.

    Don't get me wrong... I feel there is a happy medium to be found too- and I suspect the smarter commercial BKs already use IPM and are looking into introducing a percentage of resistant genetics to some degree. Yet the bottom line is pollination and honey production for commercial bk survival, and they do still need to treat in some manner or to some degree until the 'perfect bee' is either bred or has adapted on its own. I assume nobody 'wants' to spend money on chemicals and meds and treat their bees if they could get along just fine without. I think we are all really on the same side- bee health, productivity, and survival.
    Last edited by Omie; 04-07-2011 at 11:49 AM.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    I did not say they shouldn't treat when you make your living on bees only asked the cost difference. although I do think you low balled the amount it costs somewhat.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Omie, we are all on the same team. I am a pre 1984 beekeeper. I remember what it was like keeping bees and not having all the pestilence that bees have today. The money spent on treatments would be better spent elsewhere. But the cost of replacing bees, whether you split them yourselves as we do. Or buy them is also an expensive proposition. Slick, you must consider as a commercial beek, I buy things in quantity and get a pretty good price break. Now I have not priced what the cost of treatments will be for this year. But the plan is to use the new formic mite strips. So that might raise the ratio up. TED

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Omie, you have to consider the cost of the lost increase... ie, in Teds operation, he could nearly double his total number of hives each season, as part if a ten year plan, this expansion would increase the current value of his business, because of the future productivity... the more losses that he insures, the less the average expansion can be... over ten years even 10% loss could equal thousands of hives that wouldn't be able to be counted on.

  19. #59
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    We do know how and why bees become resistant to varroa... the main debate has always been whether to get them there by letting them build resistances over time by keeping the mites in check with treatments, breeding in foreign strains that have already been exposed to mites long enough to build resistances, or letting all of the "family lines" that are not yet resistant enough to fight the mites on their own completely die out leaving only the few lines that are currently resistant enough...

    The effects of commercial operations that keep their maternal lines alive long enough for them to develop resistances is actually better for our future in that we only have so many lines to work with in the first place... if we were to let the vast majority of lines die off, we wouldn't have enough lineages left to continue for long before we start to see a gross expansion of inbreeding...

    If we keep breeding in foreign strains that are far from acclimated to our multiple environments, who will be able to provide spring packages, queens, etc?... who will pollenate the early blooming crops?

    We do not have to treat, but if it were not for those that do, we would not have enough lines to continue selecting and breeding for these resistances...

    For the hobbiest, its not that big of a deal to lose their hives, in that it is not enough to effect the national bee populations... but if the commercial operations lost their lines, the WHOLE nation would eventually feel the sting... NOT because of a loss of bees for sale, wax production, honey production, or revenew... But because of all of the lines.

    There is a bit more science involved than most think... it goes both ways as well.. The small time sideliner may keep buying bees for decades and eventually have a yard or two of resistant colonies, and although they are relying more on luck, they can then offer queens that a commercial operation can use a few of into a few yards to keep adding diversity that has a known resistant origin... Thus the experimental sideliner can be an asset... The hobbiest is also an asset to the industry in two ways... 1st they provide funding by purchasing their bees and equipment... organizing a large scale developement is very expensive, and they provide their share of support by simply buying bees... 2nd they provide a link to the communities for support... the commercial guys are few and far between and lets face it, most of them wouldnt want to talk bees to someone that has NO IDEA at all... so the newbee and hobbiests are communicating the needs and concerns of the industry to those that they know during their learning... its a great help, SO LONG AS they are not given the wrong impression (such as the commercial guys are killing the worlds bees and hobbiest are the only ones that want the bees to survive... as was mentioned earlier)... Bad info like this spreads MUCH faster than good info... everybody loves controversy...

    All in all, we are ALL bee keepers, we ALL love bees, there are no "sides" to take, no "groups" to be classified as, no reasons to fight... everyone is doing what they should do, EXCEPT for those that seek to divide the industry for their own personal gain or lack of tact.
    Last edited by rrussell6870; 04-07-2011 at 10:30 PM.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Resistant bees, productive or not

    Well stated RR.
    I too believe that both commercial and hobbiest are doing different yet valuable things that really can compliment each other in terms of the long term benefits to bees, bee breeding, and successful beekeeping. Variety in genetics, approaches, and methods maintains vitality.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

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