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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    12

    Default Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    I would like to know how do you handle conventional beekeepers when they come to you and say that your beehives are spreading varoa and that they will report you for not treating the bees?

    Not sure what are laws at your place. But in my country we need to treat by a law. And most of the beekeepers use Amitraz.

    I give idea to few beekeepers that i m thinking to go with top bar beehive and treatment free beekeeping, but they said i will lose all beehives and that i will spread varoa in the area.

    Can someone with more experience answer my concerns?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,352

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Just going treatment free is not the answer. Start with getting some queens that are from a treatment free program. There are a couple of sources available in Europe.

    There is no good answer for dealing with beekeepers who are stuck on the treatment treadmill. They compromise the genetics of treatment free beekeepers and then complain because their bees get mites.

    The mite load in my colonies is so low that it is nearly undetectable. I have not treated since the fall of 2004. If someone accused me of spreading mites, I would laugh at them. That wouldn't work given the law you have which says you must treat.
    DarJones - 45 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,024

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by dadaas View Post
    I would like to know how do you handle conventional beekeepers when they come to you and say that your beehives are spreading varoa and that they will report you for not treating the bees?
    I would reach in my pocket and pull out my phone and ask them if they would like to use it to call the bee inspector

    >>I give idea to few beekeepers that i m thinking to go with top bar beehive and treatment free beekeeping, but they said i will lose all beehives and that i will spread varoa in the area.

    If they are treating, your hives shouldn't significantly add to their varroa problem. They will eliminate their mites in late summer/early fall with treatments. Only your bees should suffer a quick collapse, if indeed they have no hygenic traits. It should take between 1-3 years for you to see the collapse. However, since there are laws in place in your country I would suggest following any rules in place regarding bees. Unfortunately varroa mites are almost everywhere

    I enjoy Carniolan bees, I believe they come from the mountains of Slovenia. They are my favorite kind of bees and do well in our mountains also
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Beekeeping Facebook Page

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,257

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    I would ask what the average rate of swarming in commercial beekeeping.....let's assume it is .5%?

    That is 12, 500 swarms escaping and not being treated (much of this is stock without much resistance to varroa....creating the so called 'varroa bomb'...year after year).

    I would also suggest that all bee trees should be extracted (if practical) or killed in order to keep these untreated 'varroa bombs' from going off.

    If untreated bees are really such a big problem, seems to me that the low hanging fruit is the 1000 or so migratory beekeepers whos low swarming frequency results in 12,000+ untreated colonies.
    .and chop down those troublesome bee trees!
    "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them."Neil Tyson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    2,502

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Did everyone miss the fact the OP is from Croatia, And the law there requires bee keepers to treat their bees for Varoa. I don't think giving a complainant your Phone and telling them to call an inspector would be a wise idea.

    The law is the law and regardless of how archaic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,201

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by dadaas View Post
    Can someone with more experience answer my concerns?
    I probably don't have more experience. But I would like to respond. There have been beekeepers who, after finding I am TF and foundationless no longer speak with me. No joke.

    My colony losses are no worse than some beeks who treat, in my area.

    Shane

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,257

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    ....how about having your publisher (Penguin) threatened with litigation if your book is not pulled off the shelves and rewritten by his pannel of experts? ...no joke.

    So, if I were in those conditions, I wanted to try TF beekeeping, and I was willing to ignore the illegality of it, _and_ I didn't want to get in trouble with other beekeepers or the law.....

    I would get a couple of langstroth hives and manage them openly and by the book. Attend all the club meetings, and do it well.

    I would also build some top bar hives. You could build them into the floor of a shed, a fake airconditioning unit, a picnic table, a hose storage box....hidden under a lightweight hollow lawn decoration...a fake rock.

    A top bar hive disguised as a pallet of building materials, or a BBQ would be brilliant.

    Hide it in plain sight and pipe the entracne behind a bush...inspect it smoking a cigar rather than lighting a smoker.
    "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them."Neil Tyson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Huh, maybe law in my country was described wrongly. We have a law that we need to treat ILL bees. So if bees are fine and not ill we don't need to heal them. But 90% beekeepers in my country put medicament in each beehive. They get it from free from Government. So i think they probably think, if it is for free why not use it.

    And yea i agree with you, if they treat they beehives they should nto be concerned with my treatment free beehives since they will kill varoa anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,066

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    I am not treatment free, but I did do it once but in the end it didn't work out.

    But when I was running TF hives, I did get a bit of flack from some other beekeepers worrying about me infecting their hives, which I thought was pretty stupid because since they treat which kills the mites, it's not going to matter even if they did get some mites from me cos they treat anyway. Some of them weren't very good beekeepers either so I didn't really feel like being told how to run my business by them.

    But people think whatever they think. So if your bees do manage OK with no treatment then just show them that. Not much else you can do.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    They can take your bees, but they'll never take your freedom.
    Beekeeping is "the poetry of agriculture." Baron von Ehrenfels.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    7,232

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    I had a neighbouring beekeeper buy an operation (1200 hives) and shift it towards a no treatment strategy. It took him a few years but he finally went bankrupt...
    All the while I had trouble keeping those yards around his under treatment threshold. That was no Joke! It took me a couple years to realize what was happening and when I did try to create a larger buffer he'd move into the void...Since he has been gone, my mite loads have been CONSISTENT, and I have been able to keep my mite populations under control.

    I have no problem with Beekeepers trying to manage hives without treatments but simply setting hives out and gathering up dead equipment later in the year seems .... I will not get into that debate here. I'm a farmer and I control disease in my stock.

    Farmers need to be mindful of their neighbours

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Does no one here know that mite invasion has been proven with controlled studies, and that it can cause mite population number to sky rocket, especially during early Autumn? What happens to the colonies surrounding dedaas if his weaken and then are robbed? They pick up the mites from his colonies and that can cause the varroa population in theirs to go through the roof. If this happens just before they treat it is not that serious, but what happens if it occurs early enough that their colony is damaged to the point it will not survive the winter, or if it occurs late and they have already done their last treatment?

    We don't know how close the colonies are to each other, we don't know how many are involved. If the colonies are 3 miles from each other it would be very different than if they are at the house next door. We don't know if the surrounding beekeepers are making their living with their bees or if they are like most people on this forum, just hobbyist or sideliners, but it is well documented that varroa populations will hurt honey production.

    If the other beekeepers are just hobbyist, and there is some distance between colonies and dadaas has all of his colonies in one location only, there may not be a high probability of his mites infesting other peoples hives. But there is also small chance of his treatment free bees surviving and having any positive impact on honey bee genetics in the area. It costs dadaas nothing to treat so the only thing he loses is the non-treatment experience. If he has multiple colonies in his yard he could treat all but one and still have that experience, and if that colony dies the mite will probable enter his other treated colonies, and that won't be a problem for anyone but him.

    Tenbear has it right, we should not encourage others to break the law in their country.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,257

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Hmmmm....ive been encouraged to break the law in my country by beesource members who pay in order to advertise products (products that, if used as directed, violate the law) on beesource.
    "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them."Neil Tyson

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Yes, We have always been a nation of rebels, especially if there is a dollar to be made.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    I'm a TF beekeeper but think that the commercial or sideliner beekeepers that treat have a very legitimate concern for damages and we should respect that IF we are impacting their operations.


    Don

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Van BC Canada
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Hi Dadass, back to your question on how to deal with people who feel that you must treat and you are feeling ostricized maybe? It takes real guts to stand up for what you believe in. You may be right or you may be wrong, or that may all be in the eye of the beholder. people have been treating for a lot of things for a long time now including mites. Mites have been in N America for a quarter of a century now, and they don't seem to be having any trouble adapting to the latest chemical concoction we toss in the hive.
    I was fortunate enough to join a bee keeping club where there were a few people who believed treatment free is possible. Slowly our numbers have grown to around 20 treatment free beekeepers. Winter losses this year average is around %30-40 loss. Together we have about 100 colonies living going into this season. Some were first year Beekeepers last year and started TF others have been TF 5,6,7 or 8 years.
    it seems tough going it alone, but you are not alone. there are many people here on Bee source from all over the world who are keeping bees successfully treatment free. Educating ones self on how to do so seems to be the key, and there seem to be a number of ways to go about it. In my area Natural comb is a commonality between most TF Beekeepers.

    Cheers

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    49,240

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    >I would like to know how do you handle conventional beekeepers when they come to you and say that your beehives are spreading varoa and that they will report you for not treating the bees?

    Way before Varroa I got the same flack when not treating for anything else. Yet the people who accuse me of being a "pocket of disease" are the ones who had AFB and EFB while I did not have it and did not treat for it. I don't think it's any different with Varroa. My hives are inspected every year. The numbers are always low. It's just someone to blame for their problems. I think people not treating is the only hope for the future and that hope is constantly delayed and watered down by people who treat.

    >Not sure what are laws at your place. But in my country we need to treat by a law. And most of the beekeepers use Amitraz.

    See if you can get the to acknowledge that doing small cell is treating. If not, perhaps you can do something at least less invasive than amitraz or fluvalinate or cumaphos...

    >I give idea to few beekeepers that i m thinking to go with top bar beehive and treatment free beekeeping, but they said i will lose all beehives and that i will spread varoa in the area.

    Varroa is already there. How are you going to spread it?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    7,232

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post

    Varroa is already there. How are you going to spread it?
    really? eyes wide shut...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,257

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    Ian...the situation you posted about is extreme....and a totally different scenario than someone with 2 or 2 dozen TF hives. I don't think it is helpful to pretend or imply that it is equivalent to what the OP is asking about. A 1200 hive treated outfit in the same location has lots of potential to cause problems for you as well.
    "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them."Neil Tyson

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,772

    Default Re: Conventional Beekeepers Bashing on Treatment Free Beekeepers

    for deknow to say 24 tf hives are not the same as 1200 hives does not show much background in beekeeping. Ian was talking about yards and you start talking about 1200 hives at a location. most commercials run 24-36 as you should know.

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