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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    We have developed a "less is better" mentality when it comes to mite treatments.
    I have to say that is not apparent to the new beekeeper when you start out. From my own experience it is exactly the opposite. The requirement to chemically treat is rammed down their throats. The average new beekeeper not only has no idea what he / she is doing when they decide to keep bees they have no idea how to handle chemicals or the importance of dosing. It could be that the newbie is the worst offender when it comes to chemical treatments.
    Jim I wished your post could be highlighted and flashed across the advertising boards instead of those young dolls that say they want me.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #62
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    Jun 2011
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    brownwood, TX, USA
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    827

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    I think Sergey has a good point, in that the varroa mites will become resistant to poisons used over a period of time. I have watched our fire ants become resistant to more and more poisons, and in my limited (really limited) knowledge of biology, both honey bees and ants are hymenoptera.

    I certainly think Jim Lyon has a creditable post about using less harsh chemicals as time passes.

    For sure, Sqwcrk had a good point about what are the commercial beekeepers going to do today. They cannot afford to experiment with “no treatment” vs using drone comb and selective breeding and ….. It’s easy for those of us with no dependency of bees to type solutions to beekeeping problems, but it is a different thing if you NEED annual income from your bees and your current methods are working for you.

    I’m a new beekeeper and a hobbyist. Make that a naturalist! I have two apiaries. One of my apiaries was installed a year ago last April from Italian packages. Those bees went through the worst drought in a hundred years with a novice beekeeper. They had a good spring and have built up to a 10 frame deep and most of a 10 frame medium box above the deep. We are in another drought. I have not done anything to these bees this year. Last year I fed them, but they have never been treated. All three hives queens have been superceded, so I have queens from native stock.

    I don’t intend to treat these hives. I will keep the forum informed on what happens to them.

    This thread has been very beneficial to my knowledge of bees and varroa mites. Thanks to all of you for my continuing education.

  3. #63
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    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,697

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Manitoba was part of a wax testing along with Ontario.
    I was part of the testing
    Results were...
    checkmite, had levels in brood wax, apivar ( amitrax) not, formic not, we did not have registration for thymol at the time of this test.
    Canadian honey council recommendations to Canadian beekeepers is...no comb or very little comb from brood chambers should be extracted.
    It is recommended to regularly rotate comb in Manitoba

  4. #64
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy shooter View Post
    Sqwcrk had a good point about what are the commercial beekeepers going to do today.
    It has become apparent to me that they are all different with different circumstances. Even if you were in their shoes you couldn't tell them what they should do because of these differences. I know I would make every effort to keep treatments to a minimum even if it hurts a little because I think it would pay off in the long run. I certainly would not stop treatments cold turkey even for a trial.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #65
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
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    258

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    I would definitely treat for varroa mites. They may seem fine right now but during winter when brood production slows, your mite to bee ratio will increase and then it will be too late. I've even seen mites crawling on queens which is the cause for random queenlessness I believe.

  6. #66
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    Nov 2011
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    Clifton, NJ, USA
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    6

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    Bees are not people.
    They are livestock.
    Whether you believe it is nature or God who did it, selection is the process established to ensure that species as a whole remain healthy, suffer the least from disease or parasites like mites, and continue to exist rather than become extinct.

    When one chooses to select for mite resistance by allowing a susceptible hive to succumb to mite pressure, the honeybees species is strengthened, there are fewer susceptible genes in the gene pool, and fewer colonies suffer.

    It prolongs the suffering of the the species due to mites and is inhumane to interfere in this selection process.

    The primary reasons people do so are emotional and financial - no beekeeper wants to lose the profit a hive will generate by letting it succumb, and he may not survive financially should he do so on a broad scale.
    Manufacturers and sellers of the insecticides we use in our hives for mite control also have a huge financial interest in preserving the treatment paradigm.

    Some look at bees as though they are people, and not recognizing that they are promoting the suffering to the species as a whole, and, as the writer above acknowledges, making them dependent on men for their welfare and unable to care for themselves as they have for eons, feel it is compassionate to put insecticides in our insect colonies.

    To do so to protect short term financial interests, or out of not understanding the damage it does to honeybee species as a whole, is folly.

    We owe the bees better than that.

    Respectfully,
    B

    B,

    Great post! You have succinctly stated the position of the non-treatment group. I can certainly understand commercial beekeepers for treating their hives. However, in the long run is that the best course for the species? Commercial beekeepers are not evil they are only looking at the short term....keeping their current hives alive. I understand that but that is probably not the best thing long term. Sort of like politics, everyone wants the same thing, yet the rub is how to get there. That is what the argument is about.

    Tom

  7. #67
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    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    818

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    I think no one has the answer as to what would be the best course to take. We cannot see into the future and be certain that moves made today are not limiting options in the future. If we also limit our vision to one pest at a time we could easily be setting the scenario for another pest around the corner to take advantage of any narrow genetic (so called) improvent we might be making to resist the pest of the moment.

    Man certainly has the capability to skew the direction of evolution of species; the question is, does he have the wisdom to know he is not creating unforseen consequences. I am not in favor of deliberately allowing a man created circumstance (importing once geographically isolated pests) justify annihilating part of the bees genetic library to achieve resistance to only one pest. I think the live and let die philosophy may have some flawed logic in the big picture view. I say treat and buy time and keep options open.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,374

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    Manitoba was part of a wax testing along with Ontario.
    I was part of the testing
    Results were...
    checkmite, had levels in brood wax, apivar ( amitrax) not, formic not, we did not have registration for thymol at the time of this test.
    Canadian honey council recommendations to Canadian beekeepers is...no comb or very little comb from brood chambers should be extracted.
    It is recommended to regularly rotate comb in Manitoba
    Thats nice to hear.....sort of. We havent extracted brood chambers in years. Did they do any testing for fluvalinate? Coumaphous is just nasty stuff, I can't believe people are still using it. And on another note, whats going on here? Acebird and I seem to be agreeing more and more nowadays I am starting to miss the "old days" and yeah I even found myself worrying about why he quit posting for awhile. Fortunately, for everyone, he was just on vacation.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    1,300

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Last year I went into winter with 15 hives and 16 nucs. I've tried various types of treatments including drone removal, sugar dusting, SBB's and queen introductions to break the brood cycle. I felt the treatments consumed too much of my time. Last year I decided to try the "survival of the fittest" that some espouse. My bees are for the most part local swarms and cut outs with a queen bought here and there. They looked good and produced quite a bit for me last year . I figured I'd loose half of my hives and a quarter of my nucs to overwintering without treatments. When the winter broke and Spring arrived I found I had 1 hive and 5 nucs still alive. Though I am a sideliner, I have multiple retail customers who rely upon me for their local honey. After wiping the egg from my face and buying 6 nucs and 6 packages to try to get myself back in the game I decided I won't try that trick again.

    I've got SBB's and am removing drone frames every 3 weeks with a Hopguard chaser every 6 weeks, starting July 4th. Yea, I'm still elbow deep in the hives but only every 3 weeks. The hives look good but winter is the final judge of their fitness. If you don't want to treat for varroa, don't. You can either learn from my experience or repeat it. It's much cheaper to learn than repeat, but the lesson may not "take" as well.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  10. #70
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    1,496

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    ...whats going on here? Acebird and I seem to be agreeing more and more nowadays I am starting to miss the "old days" and yeah I even found myself worrying about why he quit posting for awhile. Fortunately, for everyone, he was just on vacation.
    It is my influence. My posts normally irritate people to the degree that even "enemies" unified against me. I do not mind. People active and during discussion they've developed/polished their own position. To witness active collective thinking process - this is very precious to me! This thread was really god and very educational to me. Thank you all! Sergey
    Last edited by cerezha; 08-15-2012 at 05:09 PM. Reason: corrected enemies -> "enemies"

  11. #71
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    It has become apparent to me that they are all different with different circumstances.

    We should all keep in mind that we are all doing the best we can, under the circumstances and w/ what we have.

    I don't think Sergey or anyone else has brought up anything that isn't know to most commercial beekeepers. As Jim Lyons pointed out, w/ his soft chems Post, we all try to keep abrest of what is available and what is effective and what is practical and affordable. Ideas are always good to kick around. Ya never know when something useful will come to someone who can use it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #72
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,093

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Knewbee View Post
    However, in the long run is that the best course for the species? Commercial beekeepers are not evil they are only looking at the short term....keeping their current hives alive.
    Tom
    Tom, I think you, and others who have stated similar comments about commercial beekeepers short sighted view. I am not offended, but I think you (plural) are selling commercial beekeepers short. Commercial beekeepers are in business and would like to pass that business on to someone else, when they can no l;onger work their bees.

    Commercial beekeepers are short sighted and far sighted. They are at the forefront of research and legislation. It is their business to be up on what is new and what works, what is on the horizon and what is in development. They preserve the species so it is available for all aspects of beekeeping, selling nucs and queens, providing pollination services so you all can eat nice fruits and vegetables, and honey production of all sorts. Many are Producer/Packers too.

    So, maybe you could come up w/ a different word other than "short term"? Or maybe more easily you could see things differently.

    We can all work together if everyone trys to see the interests and abilities of each other.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #73
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    It is my influence. My posts normally irritate people to the degree that even enemies unified against me.
    If I may correct you Sergey, I have no enemies I only have people that don't like me or don't like what I say. There are a bunch of people that believe you are on the right tract. I believe you are on the right tract but I can sympathize with a commercial operation that needs to run enough in the black every year to make it worth while. Slow change is good change.

    DCoates, you did not know that you would have a major fall out? You could have got that info from this forum without even trying. Now that you took the big hit why are you not propagating the survivors? Seems a waste to suffer a big lose and not monopolize on it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #74
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    We can all work together if everyone trys to see the interests and abilities of each other.
    I like that Mark. Good post.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #75
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
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    238

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Ace be fair to D coates-- He knew he would have large losses going treatment free and ended up loosing 94 percent of all his full hives. Even if he propagated that one hive and split it twice in one year what would he have maybe 8 hives max--Even if he did everything going right into winter and even that is pushing it--no extra honey or bees or anything. That one hive may have just been a fluke, as 16 hives is not exactly going to be all that genetically diverse. So instead of survivors he just had one that got lucky--if he had the same losses the next year he would be left with one half dead hive after two years of work. For those who go treatment free come back to us after losing ten or more hives every year and having to start over it gets old real fast--believe me I have tried it myself. I am still waiting for someone out there with more than 10 hives that has been treatment free for more than 3 years with the same queens to chime in with their experience.

    100 Posts! Shippoopi!!
    Last edited by xcugat; 08-15-2012 at 05:06 PM.

  16. #76
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I have no enemies
    Corrected enemies -> "enemies". I am sorry I used this word since was running out of English... sometime it happened to me...

  17. #77
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    ... I am still waiting for someone out there with more than 10 hives that has been treatment free for more than 3 years with the same queens to chime in with their experience.
    I think, you need to address this question to Solomon Parker - he is on treatment-free forum. If I understood correctly, he considered even essential oils and purposely planted plants as a treatment. He stated that his apiary is treatment-free for 8-9 years, but you better communicate with him directly. I personally do not label the queens, thus, it is not possible to tell how long hive has the same queen. I have no intentions to label queens in the future. Sergey

  18. #78

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    If we think about commercial beekeeping like we do commercial farming, maybe the differences will make more sense.
    A person farming hundreds/thousands of acres will find it necessary to apply some sort of pesticides to assure his crop. Livestock producers are much the same. None of us (or them) are happy with that but we do like eating.
    As an individual, you can likely grow a backyard garden or have a few chickens and not use any (many) pesticides. You may well succeed.
    Would you suggest that the fellow farming those thousands of acres abandon the use of pesticides entirely? And if he chose not to, would you say he was being short sighted?
    Wouldn’t it be entertaining to see a message board where commercial farmers and backyard gardeners could exchange ideas like we do on Beesource? Can you imagine the brawls?
    As Jim and Mark have pointed out, many commercial beekeepers are working to reduce or eliminate contaminating pesticides in their businesses. These are thoughtful, forward thinking people, trying to make a living, produce a quality product and leave something worthwhile for their descendants.
    As has been pointed out we are all walking in different shoes….for crying out loud….even Ace is on board.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Commercial beekeepers are short sighted and far sighted. They are at the forefront of research and legislation. It is their business to be up on what is new and what works, what is on the horizon and what is in development. They preserve the species so it is available for all aspects of beekeeping, selling nucs and queens, providing pollination services so you all can eat nice fruits and vegetables, and honey production of all sorts.
    I am sorry Mark - sounded like soviet-time propaganda. I did not see any scientific papers published by commercial beekeepers or papers stated that they had money for research from commercial beekeepers. Legislation - beneficial to industry, not consumers. "Preserving" the species - are you serious? Bees nearly disappeared under commercial practices. Pollination - moving bees 1000 miles - what is good in this? Spreading diseases and other problems? I would imagine that you and others have a good intentions, but I, as a customer, just do not see it. But - it is my problem if I do not see something.

    This discussion gave me some new information but it did not change my opinion on commercial beekeeping practices (now I am using plural instead singular). It is not because I am stubborn (quite possible also), it is because I just did not see the arguments, which could change my opinion. I am sorry, people. sergey

  20. #80
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,631

    Default Re: Treat or not to treat

    What is the advantage of a queen that stays productive for 3 years over bees that supercede smoothly?

    If you are buying mated queens I see the point...but cells and virgins are cheap to buy, and even cheaper to raise yourself.

    Without our help, most hives will swarm every year...and my understanding is that swarms often (if not usually) raise up a new queen after getting settled....so are queens supposed to be productive for 3 years?....or is it only important if you are buying them?

    deknow

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