treatment free beekeeping - the risks
ok, looks like i'm about to get opinionated here and open a can of worms, but.....
for what it is worth, i accept with humility that i haven't been around as long as a lot of you have, and don't have the years of experience to draw on and.....
for what it is worth, i am striving to avoid treatments, and avoid even putting syrup on my hives and.....
i absolutely respect each and everyone's right to practice beekeeping as they see fit, unless.....
it involves practices which puts at risk nearby colonies of bees not belonging to that person.
let me explain.
it occurred to me after participating on the 'treatment free beekeeping' forum, that a beginner like myself might get the idea that it is better to practice what i would describe as a 'hands off' approach.
this concern was reinforced by a recent post in which the poster described letting the bees take care of making themselves queenright, and not doing much more than adding boxes. the poster received accolades from others on the forum.
in fairness, i don't know the poster, nor do i know what all they do or don't do with their bees. this is definitely not a personal attack.
and i can tell from reading that a lot of folks who participate on the forum and advocate tfb are outstanding beekeepers.
and one of my all time beekeeping heros, michael bush, also promotes this approach.
here's the problem: if a hive is allowed to become sick and collapse, that hive is likely to get robbed out by nearby healthy hives.
whether it's mites, bacteria, viruses, or otherwise, that problem is likely to get carried back to the healthy hives and threaten them.
so the question is, do we as beekeepers have some responsibility to our neighboring beekeepers and to the feral bee population in this regard?
maybe i have missed it, and if so, i apologize. but rather than seeing advice given regarding how to manage bees successfully so as to not require treatments, what i see is advice given to let the bees work it all out for themselves and eventually you will have treatment free bees.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf