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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,304

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    It really doesn't matter, even if it's once a year. The point is, if they have a bee that allows commercial beekeepers not to treat, why aren't all commercial beekeepers using their bees?
    Regards, Barry

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,033

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Prices must enter into it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    It really doesn't matter, even if it's once a year. The point is, if they have a bee that allows commercial beekeepers not to treat, why aren't all commercial beekeepers using their bees?
    My guess - same reason everybody is not using small cell.

    The product does not always work quite as expected.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Sol, realistically, price is not an issue. These queens are mostly being sold to people who buy them in the belief they will not have to treat. The queens SAVE them money.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Why are commercial beekeepers not doing it? I can only speculate because I am certainly not a commercial beekeeper, but there would be a very large initial investment in queens even if it reduces or eliminates treatments that does not mean it is economically viable because commercial beekeepers have different goals. For almonds they are far more interested in how big a colony they can have in time for pollination. Other commercial beeks are more interested in honey production etc. If you can average an extra 50lbs of honey you can more than pay for added treatments. I know there has been a lot of work since, but often times resistant bees are lower in qualities that some people are seeking. If you have a choice between going with what you know or gambling on a massive switch over, most people will keep doing what they are doing as long as they are getting by. My guess is that (again guessing) a lot of the commercial guys are slowly adding in resistance to reduce treatments.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. C View Post
    My guess is that (again guessing) a lot of the commercial guys are slowly adding in resistance to reduce treatments.
    How do you suppose this is happening?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    My defining point of high tolerance is for a colony to be able to survive repeated moves say 3 to 5 times in a year.

    DarJones
    A better bee is right around the corner, bee patient the genetic engineers are working on it.


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Hmm my last reply didn't post. I know there are some people, not sure how many, that are working on integrated pest management ala Randy Oliver, and testing, treating if needed and requeening for better genetics. Some of the major queen producers are also incorporating resistant lines in their queens despite the embargo on shipping bees in. I read this past year sometime that some of the Hawaiian producers imported eggs and/or spermatoplasm to incorporate some of the hygienic lines into their queens. Simply by requeening (once, twice, or however many times) will start to introduce some depending on where queens are purchased from so whether there are many making a conscious effort or not, there are certainly queen producers doing so, all you have to do is read an ad.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Oldtimer: "But most of the hotness comes from the primorsky genetics rather than african"..

    Oldtimer that is a very interesting (and definitive) statement. It seems as if you must have some inside information regarding the BeeWeaver current genetic line of queens. I have used their bees for several years now. I'd like to know more about them, would you kindly share.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Alberta alone imports around 60000 queens a year. If we wanted treatment free queens would there be enough available? We already pay about $23 a queen but if we could stop treating I'm sure people would be willing to pay more.
    Many commercial outfits here are producing their own queens and hygienic behavior and mite tolerence are as important as honey production. A sick or dead hive does not make a profit.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    True a sick or dead hive =no profit, but if you spend say 20 dollars on treatment (in bulk I know you can do miteaway for under 5bucks a treatment, say 2 treatments plus labor?), but the bees you are treating are bred strictly for honey production. How many pounds of honey do you need to produce to pay for the treatment? (That is over and above what the current hygenic bees produce on average) If you can average 20lbs more a colony with treated bees your coming out ahead, at least in the short term at bulk honey prices. Commercial beekeepers aren't any more braindead than the rest of us. If it was a huge financial incentive to switch over I'm sure more would have already.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    Alberta alone imports around 60000 queens a year. If we wanted treatment free queens would there be enough available? We already pay about $23 a queen....
    That's almost $1.4 million. Is that $Canadian?

    Not that this is a topic about commercial beeks, but what proportion of commercial beeks raise their own queens up there? How many queen producers are there up there?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    We need StevenG to comment on the Weaver queens. I believe he has experience with them.

    Barry wrote:

    The point is, if they have a bee that allows commercial beekeepers not to treat, why aren't all commercial beekeepers using their bees?

    My belief is that a mean bee is not worth the trouble. When you spend day after day in the bees, a gentle productive bee beats a mean less productive bee.

    We use some 4.9 , 5.1 and regular foundation and have found no conclusive evidence that cell size matters. The "Bee tree" that makes their own comb is not significantly different than the rest.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
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    456

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    The commercial beekeepers that I know of that are raising some or all of their own queens have honey production as only one selection criteria. They all want a bee that is hygienic also.
    It isn't only cost of treatment, we also need to worry about eventual resistance issues to miticides and possible honey contamination. Honey samples are checked for ppb of contaminants and nobody can afford to have a years production rejected.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    Oldtimer: "But most of the hotness comes from the primorsky genetics rather than african"..

    Oldtimer that is a very interesting (and definitive) statement. It seems as if you must have some inside information regarding the BeeWeaver current genetic line of queens. I have used their bees for several years now. I'd like to know more about them, would you kindly share.
    Yes, inside information obviously. I was told it by someone who sold queens to them.
    I don't think their genetics are that big of a secret, what's the point, the bees sell themselves. Ask around people who use their queens, most comments are pretty favorable. Build up into strong hives, store a good crop long as you can stop them swarming, No mite issues. So other than the sometimes "hotness", most people pretty happy, long as they don't mind wearing a suit.

    As to why commercail beekeepers would buy a supposed varroa resistant queen, or not, some time ago I had a conversation on the commercial forum about this very question. Some of them had tried russians, but saw it as a bad experience because of the other issues that came with russians, would not do it again. Nobody stuck their hand up to say they had tried Weavers.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Sol, the five or so commercial guys that I know of average 2-3 thousand colonies each and I think make up about that many nucs each year for wintering. I don't know of any queen producers but many outfits will provide some cells if they have any extra.
    Oh and yes that is Canadian $.

  17. #37
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    My belief is that a mean bee is not worth the trouble. When you spend day after day in the bees, a gentle productive bee beats a mean less productive bee.
    Yes with you on that Roland. My number one criterion for bees is not honey, as everybody would have thought, it's gentleness.
    When I worked in an area with a lot of AMM and AMM hybrids, end of the day you could be pretty sore, pretty worn out. Not fun, I found myself wondering if it was all worth it.
    First thing is if you are doing a job, it has to be pleasant.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    I have to agree with you on the gentleness factor, it is definately more fun to have gentle bees. I occassionally get annoyed that I have to suit up if I want to make close observations of entrance traffic etc to see what the girls are bringing in and you can forget about rototilling or weedwacking in front of the hives, (I keep them inside my deerfence in the garden, now if only it was bunny proof too). I miss my italians, but I'll be getting some more next year.

  19. #39
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,702

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    What? You even have to suit up to watch entrance traffic?

    That's way beyond what I would consider tolerable. Maybe there's your reason why Barry.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Beekeeping without Small Cell

    >Yes, inside information obviously. I was told it by someone who sold queens to them.
    I was under the impression they raised all there own queens. Lets hope the "someone" is reliable.
    >I don't think their genetics are that big of a secret, what's the point, the bees sell themselves.
    No I don't think their genetics are a secret either as their breeding information and lineage is posted on their website. There is no mention of primorsky genetics anywhere though. They claim they are Brother Adam Buckfast for the most part.
    >Ask around people who use their queens, most comments are pretty favorable. Build up into strong hives, store a good crop long as you can stop them swarming,
    I don't have to ask around, I have used their queens for several years and have never worn a suit. Short sleeve shirt and a veil is all I have ever worn. Excessive swarming has never been an issue with their queens or the offspring queens.
    >No mite issues. So other than the sometimes "hotness", most people pretty happy, long as they don't mind wearing a suit.
    I have seen mites with their bees. Mine have never been overly hot.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

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