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  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Found this via Spikenard Farm... Interesting approach from Mr. Hauk. Wondering of anyone has used his healing tea recipe and what the outcome has been ?

    http://www.spikenardfarm.org/pdf/Hea...aHoneybees.pdf

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    I drink a very similar tea all the time, it puts me to sleep like some kind of potion! Never gave any to my bees though, but I was very intrigued by how similar hauks recipe is to sleepy time sinus soother!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Looks pretty snake-oily to me, but I'll defer to an experiment with double-blind procedure and peer review. Understand that bees are a totally different organism than mammals (among which humans number), so lessons drawn from human teas (the benefits of which are open for discussion themselves) should be taken with a consideration of the well-explored risk of anthropomorphizing. Note that the product is helpfully for sale as well.

    That said, it seems unlikely to harm the bees compared to some of the amazing cure-alls out there, so if you're interested (and willing to watch for dysentery), well they're your bees. Let us know how they do as an anecdotal report.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Interesting fella he is. May stroll up to VA and take in one of his Saturday talks. Got to soak it all in. I don't know.. hence the asking if anyone had been using this "recipe".. sounds like the Waltons...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    Looks pretty snake-oily to me... well they're your bees. Let us know how they do as an anecdotal report.
    Actually, oils and fats from snake flesh have been found to contain a good bit of essential fatty acids similar to fish oil. But I digress...

    Claims of a "healing" tea for honey bees might have merit if they were based on solid evidence of altering the bees' gut flora, or modulating their immune-system functions, or be shown to detox natural or man-made poisons, or test positive for beneficial sterols or essential minerals maybe lacking in the bees' diet. One or more might apply; Mr Hauk might dig up some evidence to firm up his claims.

    But until the chemical holocaust of neonicotinoid "pesticides" -- the real cause of so-called CCD -- has run its course, even efficacious herbal concoctions (should they exist) could help bees only so much.

    /AT

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    If you dive into Mr. Hauk and his bee sanctuary up in VA, one can surmise, that the guy is not a quack. I've read a lot of his stuff. Thus, was curious to ask if someone had actually been using this tea for their bees.

    I appreciate the various insights, but, I'd really like to hear from folks who have actually tried this approach or perhaps similar. Do they still use it? If not, why? If so.. then how's it done?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    While I don't personally use his "healing tea," or any tea concoction for any of my colonies (I rarely even feed), I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Mr, Hauk and he's a great guy. He's clearly got a passion for honey bees, and to see him work with them is pretty awesome. As others mentioned, unless he (or someone else) provides some evidence for the benefits to such feeding, I don't think I'll be feeding any tea.

    Matt

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    ..., unless he (or someone else) provides some evidence for the benefits to such feeding, I don't think I'll be feeding any tea.
    Look, this is not that hard. Just do a double-blind randomized study:

    1 Within the same apiary, divvy up the hives into two equal groups of, say, 10. Duplicate efforts across 4 or more apiaries.
    2 Have an assistant load up 10 painted-over quart jars each of either tea or colored sham, say in a 10% sucrose base so the bees are stimulated to feed either way.
    3 Number-code the jars and file the filling codes until the end of season.
    4 Have another assistant assign each marked jar to its own alphabetically-named hive, by drawing a set of 10 markers 1-10 from a jar. The jar number should not be visible. Record which numbered jar was assigned to which alpha-named hive and file the codes till end of season.
    5 Have a competent beek evaluate the health etc of each colony.
    6 Tabulate the results.
    7 Break both filling and assignment codes and separate results into sham vs. tea.
    8 Analyze the results and see whether there's any significant difference.

    The dual-scrambling of fillings and assignments prevents bias from knowledge by the beek or assistants, or accidents if the jar number is observed.

    The scientific method was devised specifically to minimize the human tendency to cheating, fudging, self-deception, dogmatism, vested interest, and wishful thinking. Obviously it is not 100% effective but it's better than the alternative.

    /AT

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    AT,

    Thanks for that write-up. I hope someone does this and reports the results! Me? My bees seem fine without tea, syrup or other things.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    When I looked at the advertisement my first thought was what a load of xxxx.

    However, my own theory is that one of the causes of some of the modern bee ailments, is the monoculture of crops and possible deficiencies in bees diets. IE, if all they get is almond pollen, or whatever, how do we know they have everything they need.

    So from that point of view, if a hive was suffering some deficiency, and that was met by something in the herbal tea, then it would be of benefit. But if the bees are not suffering any deficiency, then the tea will likely not be of any benefit.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Hmmm what better way to set up a study than with packages of bees... one tea.. one not.... what the heck... probably will give it a go... thanks all..

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    I am sure there is something to possible benefits of an herbal tea type of thing. I am blessed to live in an area with an enormous diversity of pollen and nectar sources for my bees. Without a doubt the bees are attrached in large numbers to any of the herbal bushes when they are in bloom. Luckily the bees can harvest their own "trace elements"
    Ernie
    Last edited by The Honey Girl's Boy; 03-03-2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: oops
    Keep on keepin' bees

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Girl's Boy View Post
    Luckily the bees can harvest their own "trace elements"
    This is the final consideration. If the bees need chronic beek intervention to survive, this hardly counts as sustainable. Creating a dependency on the beek may be an ego-boost for some personalities, but IMO does a disservice to beekind. Let the bees handle their own healing.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Yes and no. If we create an environment which does not meet bees needs, is it the bees fault?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Yes and no. If we create an environment which does not meet bees needs, is it the bees fault?
    Well, the good Rev Langstroth said, “I have no doubt that some of my readers will object to [removal of drone brood cells] as interfering with nature: but let them remember that the bee is not in a state of nature, and that the same objection might be urged against killing off the super-numerary males of our domestic animals.”

    By the livestock model of bee management, this seems sensible. One might ask, "why stop at drone manipulations?" The simple answer is that for the past 150 years, orthodox beekeeping has indeed not stopped there. It's been perfectly acceptable to vivisect a hive for any and all purposes.

    Warré and other natural-minded beeks set the threshold for intervention much higher. Local selection and adaptation count for more than actively participating in or interfering with natural processes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    >By the livestock model of bee management, this seems sensible.

    Yes, but livestock don't determine the sex of their offspring. So it works with cows and chickens... it doesn't work with bees as they do control the sex of their offspring are are trying to meet some instinctive goal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >By the livestock model of bee management, this seems sensible.
    Yes, but livestock don't determine the sex of their offspring. So it works with cows and chickens... it doesn't work with bees as they do control the sex of their offspring are are trying to meet some instinctive goal.
    This thread is starting to lose focus (was: regular dosing with herbal infusions) but I'll just add that beekeepers have been interfering with bee sex and reproduction since the skep era at least, just as animal husbandry uses analogous practices on livestock.

    Using standard hives, drone comb and queen cells have been culled and manipulated for honey management and increase for so long that I suspect many beeks and even scientists don't have a clear idea about what really goes on in wild nests.

    Huber with his leaf hive was all very well, but who knows how that artificial existence affected a colony's micro- and macro-behavior?

    /AT

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by A. S. Templeton View Post

    Using standard hives, drone comb and queen cells have been culled and manipulated for honey management and increase for so long that I suspect many beeks and even scientists don't have a clear idea about what really goes on in wild nests.

    Huber with his leaf hive was all very well, but who knows how that artificial existence affected a colony's micro- and macro-behavior?

    /AT
    Well, I think it's reasonable to infer from the observations of thousands of observers, from researchers and laity alike, what we see in feral colonies can reasonably be extrapolated. People doing cutouts alone are a great source of information, and my personal observations from cutout (non-managed) colonies match closely what I observe in managed colonies. Just a data point.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    "my personal observations from cutout (non-managed) colonies match closely what I observe in managed colonies. Just a data point"

    If the non-managed colonies are recent swarms from managed colonies I would suspect it would be similar.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Thoughts on "Healing Tea for Honeybees" ?

    Moving drone comb and queen cells does not change bees' genes
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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