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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Absolutely amazing!!!

    At the last local bee club meeting, one of the State bee inspectors were speaking. Believe this or not, but she actually advocated treatment free beekeeping. She gave herself an out by saying that you could still treat if you want and the State would not have a problem with it....but now they are advocating what I have been saying for years...She actually said these words (para) "It is suspected that the continual treatment of bees has led to their demise" AND "I hate to say it, with all of the treatments, but beekeeper have bee slowly poisoning and killing the bees."

    She did however, try to make it sound like the fault of the "experts" for advising people to treat bees.

    Who'd a thunk it?
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    That's pretty kewl!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    That's good to hear,i think people are starting to catch on.I am treatment free and my hives are doing well!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    That's good to hear. However, the treatment-free ideal began almost thirty years ago when Dee Lusby began to combat trachael mites with cell size alone. Ten years ago, Michael Bush was documenting this successes with the idea. Nine years ago, I started.

    The beekeeping industry has suffered countless heartbreaks over the last thirty years as new treatments work and then fail or just fail to live up to their promises. The way of agriculture is first to look for something in a bottle to fix the problem, fertilizer, pesticide, antibiotic, or herbicide. There are always better ways, but they are not as quick.

    It is good to see some validation for what we've been doing for years.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Treatment free would take us back to bee gums. I am bad treatment free yet I am using SBB and working on ventilation, both treatments. Dr. Salk eliminated Polio, Edison gave us the Light Bulb. Lang gave us the modern hive, M. Bush has a new top vent and top entry. No I am not good treatment free, never will be. Bad treatment? Well, that is different!
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    look at it like this:

    treatment free isn't necessarily a means to an end, but the end result of master beekeeping.

    i.e., wouldn't it be the goal of all us to have hives that were healthy, produced lots of honey, requeened themselves ect., without us ever having to use anything foriegn in the hive?

    that's going to be my goal. my 10 over wintered hives are now 20 hives. no syrup was fed and no treatments were used all year, except a one time antibiotic treatment in march for the remaining 9 hives, after number 10 tested positive for afb and was burned. this happened in the first round of brood after winter.

    even though i was focused on increase, i harvested about 50 gallons of honey, and got about ten deeps and thirty supers drawn out.

    i have two hives that have yet to get to wintering weight, otherwise all all heavy, healthy, and queenrite.
    i'll end up taking a few frames of honey from the really heavy hives and giving it to the light ones.

    beetles are being controlled with traps and fire ants, moths are being controlled by strong hives.

    very few mites found on drone larvae, but i think i would just requeen a hive it it got too many mites, and make darn sure it doesn't get robbed by my other hives.

    my stock is survivor stock bred from long time feral hives in my area. there are still quite a number of surviving feral hives nearby, that are supplying at least some of my worker bee genetics.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 09-23-2012 at 01:53 PM.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    I wish she would come down here. I'm tired of being the only one being called names. I'd stand up on stage with her till the crumungens started throwing stuff. LOL It is amazing to me the difference in what makes sense to one, and not another. Such is human nature. I believe it boils down to what one considers to be successful beekeeping. Success with making a colony survive with all the chems necessary, or success by having healthy hives that survive w/o chem intervention. It is a different and not the easiest path to take. But the satisfaction of doing that is so much more rewarding. I keep spreading the word and taking hits, but there are those that are emerging because it has to somewhere along the line become obvious what is happening, and you are doing by putting insecticides in your hives.
    How can the bees learn/change to deal with mites, if we keep interrupting it. There seems to be the level of 10 mites in a mite count that warrants treatment. Well then that is alll your bees will ever have to deal with and you will never know what they can handle.
    Goto go

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    nature provides antibiotics, i.e. mold. nature is chemicals. chemical free beekeeping isn't possible, because bee physiology is by its nature chemical.

    nature provided, or beekeeper provided via formulation in the lab, chemicals come and go.
    good ones and bad ones. like in the microbial sense - good (normal flora) bacteria necessary for good health, and bad (virulent) bacteria that cause disease.

    rick is spot on, let the bees figure it out, like they have been doing for years.

    as far as mites, the feral bees in my area dealt with them a long time ago. my queens are daughters of queens of feral mites that became varroa resistant. i.e. my queens are derived genetically from bees that have never been exposed to a mitacide.

    and as long as i am keeping them, they never will.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    At our last bee meeting, the speaker issued tons of treatment advice. Then he told us of so many beekeepers in his county next door losing ALL of their hives last year. Of course his reaction was treatments, just a changed regimen.

    Later that meeting a mentee of one of my mentors who uses soft treatments asked me what to do. First I told her, "figure out what kind of beekeeper you want to be and then ask the people appropriate to your approach." Them I told her mine. The mentor listened back in and said, "Tom, you really have drunk the Kool-Aid!" Then She put down the treat ment free methods I began to talk about, and I ended by saying, "Well, at least I'm trying it. How do you know it doesn't work?" She had no good answer. We'll see how it shakes out, but I feel good working with nature rather than against it. I started this year with 2 hives, and have 6 now prepping well for winter. We'll see.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    This thread is so refreshing! Thanks. What makes sense to me, is to set the stage for nature/the bees to make the adjustments. The stage is a healthy home and environment as much as we can. Everything else is a mask.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    i'm trying my best not to get in their way, them seem to do better if i leave them alone.

    but my boxes are not the same as a good tree, and i'm robbing some of their honey, sooooo.....

    i give myself lattitude to be a good caretaker.

    +1 on the working together with nature. doesn't always mean lack of intervention.

    good thread, thanks for the posts.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    We all have to set our own "bar". Intervention means different thing to different beeks. Don't get me wrong ,, just sayin. Maybe I'm out there near Pluto, but my bar is, if my bees swarm, they should make it in what ever home they choose. Assuming they chose a good one. Maybe I'll get a swarm from them sometime Just me

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    i let half mine go, (swarms), and succeeded in trapping the other half.

    i depend on them, (swarms that become feral hives), to survive and provide drones with survivor genetics to my area.

    i made good hives out of four caught swarms this year.

    i'm maxed out at 20 hives now though, so any caught next year will be sold.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Pretty much what I do I think it is all about diversity. Not so much to us, but the bees. The mating/selection process is something I do not think we have much of a clue to. Like I said,,,,,set the stage as best you can

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Syman tics,,,,,They can treat themselves if given the opportunity. Perhaps your point?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,877

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    I don't want to rain on the parade folks, but so much depends on location. Beregondo correctly observes that bees need a good location, a healthy diet, and good genetics. If you purchase stock (as many new beekeepers do) from sources that have (always) treated their bees for everything, pulling them completely off meds will be disastrous. Especially if you have but one hive. I've no doubt that bees can make it without "dopes" (to use Dee's phrase) But it takes an intentional and to a certain extent knowledgeable approach to get there. Then too this is Agriculture and there are no guarantees. To bring it back to my opening sentence, so much depends on location. If you are in an area where "good" genetics are reasonably available with a cohort of experienced beekeepers who are making treatment free beekeeping work, than rookies may have a chance of making treatment free work for them. If not...
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    oh yeah, i forgot to mention i'm in the tennessee river valley. over 800 flowering species within a two mile radius. plus i have a few things on the property, the best of which is 200 mature autum olive trees.

    andrew is correct pointing out that beregondo is correct. the best bees in the world couldn't make it at the north pole.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,532

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    just read for the first time mike's great thread on the coevolution of bees and mites. looks like a lot of this ground has been hashed out there already. could we be getting closer to a 'conventional wisdom'?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Been re reading the thread. I don't feel treatment free takes us back to log gums Although before AFB and EFB, they did pretty well. My first hive was a transfer from an old box to a Lang. I've been switching from foundation to natural and still using the lang frames. Has worked well for me and the bees really seem to pre fer it. Just another part of the "stage" that IMO needs to be set. I re iterate what Andrew and S P are saying. Bees being "localized" can/is the difference for me. I went to couple of the local bee club meetings came away feeling bad for the newbies that "had to by their bees from one of the more southern production apiaries. It was even discussed how the queens from some of these apiaries had a high supercedure rate. It seemed to me to be a program doomed from the start. Behind the scenes I tried to make a point to get their packages from a reputable breeder from our temperate zone. We shall see.
    Moving towards conventional wisdom,,,,,wow,,, Does that mean we won't be Mavericks anymore???LOL
    Good posts,,,,

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    I've no doubt that bees can make it without "dopes" (to use Dee's phrase) But it takes an intentional and to a certain extent knowledgeable approach to get there.
    In fact, it doesn't. This subject keeps being approached from the ground floor, where bees are totally unresistant and you have to start from the beginning, building your own treatment-free strain. You don't.

    Mites have been around these parts for over 20 years. The only reason you'd be starting with 'green' bees is because you chose to. You'd be starting with 'green' bees because you figured any $20 queen was as good as any other queen. It would be your choice to do that and for buying such cheap stock, you'd deserve the work you had ahead of you. But has as been shown, you can buy resistant stock and make it, certainly starting miles ahead in the marathon. There's a gentleman who posts on here all the time who started by buying treatment-free stock and they have survived as well as any, and this year he pulled in a really good honey crop.

    We've moved past the discussions of going cold turkey. The only reason anybody will treat their bees to keep them alive now is because they choose to, whether it be by buying cheap queens or packages that aren't meant for this world, or because they couldn't bear to do no thing. The information is out there, and the resources are available. If you don't want to do what it takes, then don't come to TFB and complain that you can't do it. 'Can't do it' is over.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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