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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    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.
    Now what would you want to go and do that for? That just invalidated everything you had to say. Getting rid of entirely unnecessary treatments is exactly the point of this forum. You treated them. There is no 'I didn't treat them, except for that one time.' Frankly, your results are invalid in this forum.

    And just for those who may not be familiar, let me explain why. Antibiotics kill microbes wholesale within a hive. There are literally hundreds of species present and they compete with each other. Specifically, the one that causes chalkbrood competes with the one that causes AFB. Now they've all been severely wounded and the chances of AFB surfacing are now much greater than they would have been if you had left them alone.

    You've stepped on the treadmill and selected the program. Better get off now or you're going to have to start walking.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Because they compete for the same niche,,,,bee larvae???

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,413

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    sorry solomon, but i refuse to accept the wholesale approach of never do anything about anything and trust that it will all eventually work itself out.

    as i pointed out, we are already intervening in the bee's life cycle by putting them in an artificial home, taking away their stores, and disturbing them on a semi-regular basis. this presents extra challanges to them introduced by us, and for that reason i am willing to consider remedies on an as needed basis.

    i could have avoided the use of antibiotics, had i known better at the time, and not purchased six very old hives, in rotten boxes, which unkown to me, had been receiving antibiotics every spring and fall for years. this was my biggest mistake in beekeeping so far.

    the afb showed up a year and a half later, after which all of the boxes, and most, but not all, of the frames had been replaced.

    the affected hive only had a couple of old frames left in it, which were burned along with the rest of the $250 worth of new equipment, and the colony, in which i had invested considerable time and money.

    i did what i did because i couldn't be sure which of the remaining hives might have been exposed to the spores. sorry man, but even thought of having to burn the remaining 9 hives was not something i was ready to entertain.

    at this point, only a few of my now 20 hives have had the possibility of coming in contact with the spores, and no, i don't intend to give any hive antibiotics twice a year.

    so brand me if you like, [Edit] and i apologize if i made you cringe at the thought of me giving these colonies the best chance, (my call), to survive what was essentially a beekeeper induced threat to their continued existence.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 09-24-2012 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Discussing moderation
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    As a moderator: I have no problem with relating what you've done in the past. But you can't call it treatment-free in this forum and you can't promote it. End of discussion.

    _______________________________________

    As a user: I must warn other novices that using antibiotics is a sure way to step on the chemical treadmill. Antibiotics open up your hive to the strongest and most virulent microbes who want to take over, and that's generally American Foul Brood. Burn infected hives, eliminate susceptible stock. Anything else keeps this contagion in the population and weakens the species.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    as i pointed out, we are already intervening in the bee's life cycle by putting them in an artificial home, taking away their stores, and disturbing them on a semi-regular basis. this presents extra challanges to them introduced by us, and for that reason i am willing to consider remedies on an as needed basis.

    I'm not sure I see the connection there. Artificial home? I think a lang with natural comb on frames stacks up to an old car gas tank. I do not sell honey. I take only surplus for family and friends. I believe a lot of problems stem from over harvest and then have to feed processed surgar syrup. Nosema comes to mind. In the wild, the bees may very well be disturbed on more than a semi regular basis. Bears, skunks, raccoons. I got yellow hornets aggravating my hives right now. Just me, I do not see the logic. I got no beef for those that want/need to. Just not my course.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,413

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    thanks solomon and rick, these are healthy and respectful discussions, hopefully beneficial to all of us.

    sol, i didn't mean to promote my operation as 'treatment free', by your definition. sorry if i was unclear.

    rick, the lang is good, but in my view is no comparsion to a tree. climate control is probably the most obvious factor. as far as how much stress the colony experiences from inspections and frame manipulations, your guess is as good as mine.

    again, i'm not promoting anything, just making observations and sharing my approach in an effort to learn more and get better.

    i didn't notice i was in the treatment free forum when i first posted to this thread. i guess i infringed on your rules, sorry.

    in fact, i guess i'll unjoin myself from this forum, no hard feelings of course, but i prefer the free exchange of ideas without the caveats.

    in closing, i would like to share that as a doctor, i was taught to weigh the risk/benefit and cost/benefit ratios of any treatments that i prescribe to a patient.

    one of the risks of treatments, as has been pointed out here, is the risk of a disease or it's causative agent developing resistance to the treatment. not giving the host a chance to develop natural resistance falls along these lines as well.

    i would also say that for me, afb and varroa are totally different considerations. my choice to treat was based on a very careful analysis of the risk/benefit ratio.

    respectfully,

    sp
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Thank you for your consideration. Please forgive the tone of the above post # 21, I realize now that it may seem harsh, it was not supposed to be. There have been no complaints, I just want to make sure that it was not taken in the wrong way.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Our last bee club meeting was all about fall hive treatments. Towards the end we went around and the room and everyone reports on their hives and what they did for treatments. Everyone looked at me like I was an idiot for not doing anything to prop up bees that can't survive on their own. This is my first winter keeping bees and I feel good. All but one of my hives is healthy with plenty of stores and I fully expect 8 or 9 to come out in the spring just fine. The one hive that's struggling I think might be due to some of my own dealings but I'm not that worried about losing one. I'll have a hive full of drawn comb to dump a swarm in come spring if they don't bull through.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Thanks SP,,,enjoyed,,,,,The tree thing has been in my "thoughts" since the heat wave. Insulation, cool fluids from the ground to the leaves an back. Natures air conditioning. Maybe something. Law says we have to be able to remove the comb for inspection. Alas.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    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.
    I've seen too many beginning beekeepers who have 1 hive, haven't attended a bee school and are afraid to conduct inspections to have faith that they will be able to make treatment free work when starting with bees that are of ordinary commercially available stock. While I expect the availability of treatment free bees to increase, they are far from common in my area.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    With all due respect. If you just "dive" into this hobby, seems to me, you are inviting ,,,,,trouble/failure. AND to try treatment free, WOW. I have read lots of books on bees written by the best. Basic bee biology is just that. No one has written a book about bee management in my "area". Most folks agree bees are geographically successful. Maybe I'm wrong. It seems to make sense to me though. Trying TF with just commercial available stock is not, IMHO, going to work. If you get good bees, from a reputable breeder, from your temperate zone, you can get started. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. All respect.
    Treatment free is not common here because bee clubs are on the chem bandwagon. I appreciate what you are saying. Don't think my queens can handle you climate.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    I've seen too many beginning beekeepers who have 1 hive, haven't attended a bee school and are afraid to conduct inspections to have faith that they will be able to make treatment free work when starting with bees that are of ordinary commercially available stock.
    I think that's what I said, plus some. There is a model for successful treatment-free beekeeping.

    Number two in my model is never have only one hive. If you have only one hive, chances are you'll have 100% loss very soon. If you don't follow the model, you won't be successful. Number one is don't start beekeeping in the same year you decide to be a beekeeper. This implies that one will study before one jumps in. If you don't follow at least the first two steps (especially the implied part of number one), I will guarantee failure. That's my guarantee.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    So three cheers for the Apiary Inspector that acknowledged treatment free as viable! I guess what concerns/confuses me is how to reach/educate the person that wants to be a beekeeper and has heard that treatment free is a viable way to keep bees and think that what is really meant is leave alone beekeeping and that whatever it is, it is easy to have a hive and be successful. Maybe I worry about those new beehavers too much.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    I read the thread on what is a failure (or was it a success?) - anyway, don't want to go THERE, but Solomon, I consider myself a successful beekeeper. I am, however, very thankful for my stubborn streak - I think a necessary element to a successful beekeeper. I am finishing my 3rd year, there is still TONS I have to learn, still TONS I don't know, and I did everything wrong - started the year I decided to keep, bought bees and then whoa nelly. Point being, absolutes are dangerous. I am not a failure. The thing is, I know you have a lot of valuable wisdom and experience in this industry. But when I see comments like above ("If you don't follow at least the first two steps (especially the implied part of number one), I will guarantee failure. That's my guarantee"), it discredits you and makes me feel you are short-sighted. Now i dont KNOW that, but when I read your posts, I will hear your comments and then some of that value is lost on me. But I'm stubborn. I take what I like and leave the rest. I know it can be tiring holding our newbie hands, but we need guys like you and we need you to sometimes cut us some slack.

    This year was a great learning and experimenting year for me - I checkerboarded, did a cut down split, a walk away split, requeened successfully, started 2 nucs, and thanks to some advice today from Mr. Dewey in a moment of need went on my first Search n Destroy drone killing mission. (Is that TF??) Most of this is "Greek" to the members in my bee club - and I'm talking long time members. They look at me like I'm crazy. I've been reading bee for 3 years. And it sure fits - the more I know, the more I know I don't know. Oy vey! My first year was nearly insurmountable - but I DID prevail. I am a success. Don't recommend this path to anyone. Your advice is right on. But the guarantee - it's all wrong. I'm proof. Even if I were to throw up my hands and quit tomorrow.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    How are you proof? You did what I suggest.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    I've been told several times that here in NC, the inspectors and apiculturalists at NC State Univ very strongly recommended regular treatments. They would try to force you to treat to be able to register to sell hives. I have avoided asking an inspector to check my hives for that reason (haven't treated in 8 years). She spoke at our club a few months ago and I remember her stating that treatment free may be a possible option, but still recommended treatments. So, yes, this is absolutely amazing.
    Last edited by heaflaw; 09-24-2012 at 10:09 PM.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    I don't even talk about it any more (treatment free). Their minds are closed. I backed off the "doin the club thing", because all they talk about is mites. I am so tired of hearing about mites and chemicals. This will be year 4 (treatment free). No winter losses. I might have some mites, but they are of no consequence. The bees are bringing in pollen and activity is crazy. Brood boxes are HSC, and 4.95 in the rest. And the honey is "yummy". Keep charging on, troops, just because others choose to do it wrong, does not me we have to !!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hillhousehoney View Post
    I don't even talk about it any more (treatment free). Their minds are closed. I backed off the "doin the club thing", because all they talk about is mites. I am so tired of hearing about mites and chemicals. This will be year 4 (treatment free). No winter losses. I might have some mites, but they are of no consequence. The bees are bringing in pollen and activity is crazy. Brood boxes are HSC, and 4.95 in the rest. And the honey is "yummy". Keep charging on, troops, just because others choose to do it wrong, does not me we have to !!
    Shake up the club, hillhousehoney! Sounds like they need it. Represent. By the way, what is HSC?

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Honey Super Cell. For faster regression. Plastic frame, already drawn. Pricey, but effective.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Absolutely amazing!!!

    Can you say curmudgeon LOL I went to a couple of Beekeeping meetings. I revel in being a Maverick. I got called names I tried to share some techniques that "worked for me. " I dunno, call me crazy for sharing. Still playing a little in the sand box.

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