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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    "The three most frequently detected pesticide residues in treatment combs were the beekeeper applied miticides fluvalinate, coumaphos, and coumaphos oxon metabolite."

    That's why folks go foundationless. To avoid contaminants in wax foundation.

    It doesn't really apply to plastic foundation though, does it?

  2. #102
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    Jul 2004
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    Sullivan, MO
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Well if the plastic foundation is wax coated then.....


    And sergie the link you wanted me to look at was broken.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    Well if the plastic foundation is wax coated then.....
    And sergie the link you wanted me to look at was broken.
    Then that would include PF 100s and 120s as well. :?

    Try the link on my post for the PLoS ONE paper.

  4. #104
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Is there really a hype? Yes, I have seen a few more newbees wanting to do foundationless than in the past, but not that many. At the same time, I see plenty of people who have been doing it for a long time. Michael Bush is probably the most visible, however, I would classify his foundationless use as tertiary in his operation, primary being PF-120's and secondary being Permacomb or whatever it is. I forget. Plastic comb. A typical Michael Bush box is one permacomb in the middle and eight PF-120's Occasionally you will come across a small batch of foundationless, but primarily, it is PF-120's.

    Having seen Mr. Bush's operation, I've moved wholesale toward PF-120's and 100's when necessary. They're just so easy to use and bulletproof. The difference with me is that I trim them to 1 1/4" end bars. I do put the occasional foundationless frame in between PF-120's mostly because you can't get drone frames in medium size.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Aren't PF100s and 120s wax coated? As in, CONTAMINATED WAX coated?

    Are you sure that you're really treatment free?

    Hmmm...

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Treatments affect pests. Contaminants affect bees. I can avoid treatments, can't avoid contaminants.

    If you treat your bees, then you have no stones to throw.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #107
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Treatments affect pests. Contaminants affect bees. I can avoid treatments, can't avoid contaminants.

    If you treat your bees, then you have no stones to throw.
    If you read the paper, coumaphos and fluvalinate are both found in the low ppm range in comb wax.

    That's significant.

    So, by using PF 100/120 frames, we're introducing pesticides into our hives from the get-go.

    Maybe the only treatment free folks are the ones who are both 'hardcore' treatment-free and foundationless.

    Is there such a beekeeper?

    Dean?

  8. #108
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    No stones to throw.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?


  10. #110
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    So you stick this stuff in your hives but you criticize people who don't because they don't live up to your definition of "don't"?

    No stones to throw. No foot to stand on.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #111
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    So you stick this stuff in your hives but you criticize people who don't because they don't live up to your definition of "don't"?
    No stones to throw. No foot to stand on.
    For a student of environmental engineering, you dismiss the key components of a treatment-free system too readily.

    I used PF 120s because they were recommended by certain treatment free types.

    Now that I've made the transition from foundationless (which I was) to PF120s (which took a while), I realize that I've contaminated the whole danged thing since I've mixed them in the same hives.

    The concentration of pesticides in the wax coating of PF 120s is far higher than I realized now that I've looked at the data from the study above.

    Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

    This is no small matter. It's an unpleasant surprise...

    One I'm sure that some of you will try to sweep under the rug (kinda like the artificial propolis/wax dipping).

  12. #112
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    It does a huge disservice to the whole beekeeping community to muck about with definitions. Call it (treatment-free, contamination, denial, etc.) what you want, but the facts aren't going to change.

    The very highest concentrations of chemicals in this study you keep referencing are chemicals put in there by the beekeeper. The rest are chemicals tracked in by the bees. There is nothing that can be done to isolate the wax from those chemicals and their corresponding low doses. But I can keep bees without adding chemicals. That's the part I can do. The rest is fanciful nonsense intended to obfuscate the efforts of others.

    They told me I couldn't do it, then I did. Now they tell me I'm not doing it. It's hokum.

    Wouldn't it be great if this convo got moved to TFB, then you'd have to abide by the actual definition.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #113
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    Jun 2012
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    Santa Fe, NM, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Maybe there should be a separate category from "treatment free", such as "contaminant minimized" or "keeper-introduced contaminant free".

  14. #114
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    Feb 2012
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    San Mateo, Ca, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by SantaFeBeek View Post
    The point I was making is not that pesticides will not accumulate in the comb, it was that comb started on foundation, all else being equal, will always have significantly more contaminants present, especially miticides used by the previous owners of the wax.
    I use both foundationless and plastic foundations. That said, its such a tiny amount of wax that gets put on plastic foundation. I would think even if the wax used to coat the foundation was massively contaminated with miticides it would have minimal effect since its such a small amount and that its buried in the back of the comb. Is that wax even 1% of the total wax on the frame when its built out? At worst you've deluted the toxins to 1% the strength coming from the orignal source of the wax (which probably hosted healthy bees). If its reduced to 1% the strength, I would think that wouldn't be that far off the ambient level of pesticides in all the air / soil.
    Last edited by BayHighlandBees; 06-15-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  15. #115
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    Santa Fe, NM, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I have no idea as I've never used any foundation. My goal is just to do everything on my end that I can to reduce any input of potentially toxic chemicals into the hive. I can't control outside of my yard, but I can control what I put in my boxes.

    Perhaps the folks who did the study referenced earlier in this thread will continue their experiments with wax-coated plastic.

  16. #116
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    My personal concerns with plastic basically center around the fact that plastic is made from petrochemicals and will most likely have some off-gassing or leaching that will in some way affect the bees. We are continually finding human health issues related to chemicals leaching from plastics that we have been using for years. BPA, for example, is one that has been used in baby bottles, water bottles, can linings, etc for many years and we're just getting around to finding out that there are health effects. As a backyard beek with no intentions of profit, why take chances when the bees can do it themselves?

  17. #117
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    When you get microgram quantities of pesticides in each gram of wax (about a mL), then you can appreciate why even wax coated plastic can be problematic. That 8ppm number for coumaphos is big.

    So, from my perspective, foundationless is the best approach to minimize contaminants.

    That's the real 'hype'.

    I can't believe how much pesticide must be in my hives right now just because I mixed wax coated plastic w/ foundationless frames.

    D'oh!

    Here's a different study with Frazier's name attached.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0009754

    Taken together, both studies clearly indicate the extent of the wax/foundation contamination problem.

    PS-I've noticed that no one has mentioned that wax from a foundationless/treatment-free operation would make for cleanr burning beeswax candles.
    Last edited by WLC; 06-15-2012 at 03:19 PM.

  18. #118
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I can't believe how much pesticide must be in my hives right now
    Micrograms, surely.

    I understand the confusion now, it's a matter of understanding units. One microgram is one millionth of a gram. For instance, if you weighed 150 lbs., it would take about 102000 micrograms of cyanide to kill you.

    You could just order your frames without wax coating and coat them yourself or even leave them uncoated. Maybe you didn't think of that.

    The best approach to minimize contaminants in real numbers is not to dump chemicals in your hives.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #119
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    'You could just order your frames without wax coating and coat them yourself or even leave them uncoated. Maybe you didn't think of that.'

    Someone forgot to mention getting PF 120s UNWAXED.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,383

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    How can going foundationless not be cheaper? Plastic foundation is $1 a piece, $10 per box. I run two deeps and super on that for my honey, thats atleast three boxes of foundation per hive which equates to about $30 just in foundation. If I have 10 hives thats $300 just in foundation. I can take that saved money and buy more frames and more hive bodies.

    As for the drone comb being built on the whole frame...........GREAT!! I can cut out the whole "varroa trap" frame and let them build it out again. I do have a couple hives that had full frames of drone comb, I can also circulate those into other hives or move them up and they can pack it full of honey for me!!

    I dont know if foundationless is healthier for bees or not, im not a scientist. But I have found them to draw it out WAY faster than if they have to start on plastic without the extra coating of wax. Some of the comb does get jacked up, but its rare and mostly due to my putting undrawn frames next to undrawn plastic. If they mess it up, I cut it out and they can start again, afterall the house bees do need something to keep them busy, right!

    I am going to try one box of foundationless in the medium honey super and see how it goes, right now I do run plastic that I bought last year when I started.

    I do love foundationless, but the real test is going to be when I move my bees here shortly from one yard to the next and see if the foundation comes apart, if it does I will be ready with rubber bands and will end up going back to plastic foundation with extra wax melted onto it.......and pouring out more money for it!!LOL
    Coyote Creek Bees

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