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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    There was a discussion a while back about whether or not beetle traps were treatments or not and I don't think we came to any consensus. I don't think they are, but I do believe the focus should be on bees that can deal with the problem themselves.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elizabeth, WV, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I just started reading this treatment free forum. It is just the information I wanted. I have had bees for 4 yrs and haven't used any treatments/chemicals. It was a rough beginning-hive losses. I came into the spring with 4 strong hives. I was given a hive by a friend--he has not treated or fed these bees for 6 years. No messing with them, except to harvest honey. It's a big, strong hive. We also got 2 swarms from bee trees. We gave one swarm a frame of honey and a frame of brood. The second swarm got foundation, no feed/sugar syrup. Three weeks later the swarm with only foundation got it's first super (actually both swarms did). I hope to continue in this vein--don't want "welfare bees". Have decided not to feed sugar syrup anymore --survival of the fittest around here. Hope it works.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    You might want to reconsider....for instance, in a dearth, will you simply let them starve, instead of feeding them? Seems like they'd be of more value alive, the following spring. There are many instances where feeding is most beneficial, esp. when making splits and encouraging rapid build up. Or when they've had a rough winter, and are on the brink of starvation in late winter/early spring.

    Please don't misunderstand, I mean no disrespect. I've just learned, when it comes to bees, never say never.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I will admit to feeding new packages for about 12 weeks. I also feed very small swarms for about the same time 12 weeks.

    After that, they are on their own. No treatments ever for the last 10 yrs. I do rotate old combs out and replace them every 3-5 years. Some foundation some foundationless. No treatments, means nothing.

    As for suggestions: Plant a dozen or so of each of the following plants around your area. The bees preferentially forage on them whenever they are blooming.

    Rosemary -- many varieties so that the overall bloom is longer
    Mexican sage
    russian sage
    Italian Oregano
    Greek Oregano
    Lavendars -- French, english & spanish especially lavender dentata
    Other fragrant herbs.

    Regards -- Fuzzy

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    Is planting non-native species of plants to forage on considered a treatment?
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    just a treat me thinks.
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    would it matter if you planted native forage? Its still creating nectar for the bees to use. Weather it is native or not. Who knows what your neighbors have. Treatment chemical free is using chemicals to treat your bees which you think is helping, but is it? Bees have done what bees have done for many 1000's of years. So I say let them do what they do. I have to admit to I went ahead and fed them to start so they can draw the comb since I am foundationless.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    Treatment specifics are listed in the rules.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    Thanks Solomon. I did check the rules and planting non-native forage is not specifically mentioned in the list so I will feel comfortable doing it at my treatment free yard.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elizabeth, WV, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    StevenG,
    I guess you're right--it's best to never say never!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Tangipahoa, Louisiana, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    As far as the feeding comments go, couldn't you keep a decent stockpile of honey in a jar somewhere and feed it back to them if needed? Granted I would rather eat the honey, but if truly chemical free is the goal it is one alternative.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I am going to try to keep the honey in the combs and frames just freezing it and when they need it I am going to give them a frame or two, but right now these are my first hives so I am having to give them sugar water. I am though keeping it to a Max of 8 oz. a day and about once a week I skip a day.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I have noticed SHB here and there. When I see a few I will just smash them with my fingers. The bees seem to be keeping them to a small number. I usely see them on the top of the jar I use to feed them, and hardly any in the hive when I do my inspections.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    São Paulo State, Brazil
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I've been reading this thread and I'd like to suggest something about feeding. It's one that I've already read here and in other forums. Why don't leave a full super to your bees year round?

    I"ve started doing this 3 or 4 years ago, and my bees haven't needed any assistance since then. They've been always strong enough to cope with dearths or excessive rain or "cold". By cold I mean slight frosts or more than a week raining or below 10 C, which used to have a huge impact on my africanized colonies before I started to let them with at least one super above the broodnest.

    Hope this could help some of you.

    Henrique

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    Great in theory but last year we suffered a record breaking drought, hives that at the end July had 3 full supers of honey where nearly empty by Oct, so I HAD to mountain camp and that only saved one hive. Don't get me wrong, like many I only feed in emergency and that was one. But aside from the occasional catastrophe I think your plan is a sound one. As far as SHB traps I do not have a problem with them since the bees do not have access to the oil.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  16. #56
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I have read several people say natural and they don't want to feed the bees cause it is a treatment... In a tree eighteen feet off the ground the natural bee one wouldn't be in this country or exposed to parasites from multiple foreign countries but more to the point they wouldn't need feeding cause they wouldnt be robbed of suppers each year... If they are hungry I say feed your stealing their food later in the year, you hope.

    Daniel
    Maryville tn

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    Most new hives need to, and have to be fed to survive the winter, unless they are started on a long great flow. In my area the major flow is over or will be in a couple of weeks, as it is in most of the southeast. As far as chemicals go that is up to you. Dead starved bees don't require chemicals.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: A true chemical free

    I am the same way Solomon. I do nothing other than split when I want to and feed a little sugar water when I need to and I keep the sugar at a minimum

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