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  1. #41
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    May 2012
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    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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    90

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    While reading this thread so far I'm struck that the treatment/non-treatment debate is masking what I think is the real crux of the matter - responsible beekeeping.
    I think that this is the summary of the discussion. Being responsible in your management. I always thought of my self as a natualist, but keeping bees has opened my eys so much more to my local enviroment. My desire to be more responsible in my natural community has increased. So my belief is effective management with the skills and knowledge to help my bees be healthy.

    So as squarepeg put it, "i hope i can learn skills to manage my hives in a way that allows my bees to thrive on their own. but i am not opposed to lending them a helping hand when it is indicated." This sums it up for me.
    Greg Barnett
    7a

  2. #42
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    There always have bee beekeepers who don't look at their bees, ever. The one location I have seen this clearly with treated bees, there week several years of spontaneous strips still in the hive (with mites literally crawling on them). If someone is going to be irresponsible, better they are so without chemicals.

    This was on one side of one of our locations...on the other side were hives with treated but visible afb and literally every other disease visible..the inspector had me go back and bring a comb to a club meeting because it was so bad.

    Anyone claiming that untreated bees have high dwv. Have not inspected our hives.
    Deknow

  3. #43
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,395

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    We take great pains to keep our honey free of drugs and sugar syrup.....who is responsible if my harvest is contaminated by someone else's hives being robbed?
    Deknow
    As do we and anyone else who wants the freedom of knowing they can market their products where they choose without having to worry about the results of testing which is now the routine when selling to major honey packers. In the final analysis, though, it is all about being a responsible beekeeper. Whether you choose to treat or not you have the moral obligation to care for your hives and not to put neighboring hives at risk.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #44
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,199

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    mIke...we had Jim Tew present to our club last weekend. He showed a slide of the underside of a bee (in order to show the sting)....there were at least 3 varroa under the tergits.... the slide was from 1981.

    deknow
    Where was the photo taken? Somewhere in Europe or Asia? I was in school under Jim , 1984 to 86, and don't recall any specific instruction about Varroa or Tracheal Mites. Maybe they were covered during the Diseases and Pests Lecture, but I don't recall so. I think I would recall a photo like that, had I seen it in 1984 or 85. That's why I ask.

    Did you talk to Jim about that?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #45
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    There always have bee beekeepers who don't look at their bees, ever. The one location I have seen this clearly with treated bees, there week several years of spontaneous strips still in the hive (with mites literally crawling on them). If someone is going to be irresponsible, better they are so without chemicals.

    This was on one side of one of our locations...on the other side were hives with treated but visible afb and literally every other disease visible..the inspector had me go back and bring a comb to a club meeting because it was so bad.

    Anyone claiming that untreated bees have high dwv. Have not inspected our hives.
    Deknow

    Your Inspector had you get a frame of Foulbrood to take to a meeting? Does that mean your Apiary Inspector doesn't regulate AFB, enforcing the control and destruction of the disease? Were these hives you described abandonded hives? How is it that you have access to them? Why isn't the Apiary Inspector enforcing State Law?

    How did you handle the frames you refer to? What did you do w/ them after the meeting?

    Back when I started Apiary Inspection Apple Orchards commonly owned beehives for the pollination. They considered it less expensive to own hives which they threw packages into each Spring rather than pay for pollination service, which may have not been as dependable then as now, I don't know. But, many, if not most, of these Orchards didn't do a very good job at beekeeping and they were often found to be diseased w/ AFB. Next to negelected I would say.

    Over time this was reecognized by Apairy Inspection and measures were taken to address the problem.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #46
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    273

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    The greatest defence against bee pests and dieases is knowledge and experience, not philosophy. Gain the knowledge, then decide what your philosophy should be. Going into beekeeping w/ your mind made up about how things aught to be done before you know how things work is, in my opinion, not a good way of becoming a beekeeper.
    I felt compelled to comment on this because I think it assumes a fair amount of irresponsibility of new beekeepers/treatment free seekers. I agree with what you are saying here but I think it inherently happens the other way around, especially with hobby bee keepers like myself who may only ever have 2-5 hives. In my mind I have a philosophy on how I want things to be done with the bees I take on. I am in the knowledge seeking phase, so I am open to change to a point. However at a certain point, if I am forced to make too many concessions to my philosophy, bee keeping won't be appealing to me personally and I won't pursue it. Fortunately for me it seems many here are able to manage in a treatment free manner with success and stabilization of their population after several years.

    The other bit of good news is, I will venture to say, most hobby beekeepers are taking on bees to learn something new (the endgame is not honey, wax or pollination). i.e. they are very open to buying lots of books, talking to lots of people and learning how to crack the code on keeping bees, whether treated or nontreated. I am a fanatical researcher, so perhaps this is untrue for many, but from my perspective the above applies. My goal is to, in the least, be able to know something is wrong and/or possibly diagnose a disease in a hive by the time I take a hive on. Or at least have the brains to post pictures on beesource, or ask a local beekeeper to have a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Well, it's more like: if you go treatment-free, you are taking the risk of spreading pests and pathogens to native species.
    so you are saying treated commercial bees are fully eradicated of pests and pathogens and don't pass anything on to the native species? One could argue those pests and pathogens from treated commercial bees are of a more robust variety than that of the nontreated bees and are therefore potentially more dangerous.

  7. #47
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,576

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    There always have bee beekeepers who don't look at their bees, ever.
    very good point. my intent was not to divide beekeepers along the lines of treatment free vs. treatments used. if someone else's syrup/chemcials end up in your honey because they let a hive collapse, especially if the hive collapsed due to beekeeper negligence, i would find blame with the negligent beekeeper.

    i'll use michael bush again as an example of a master beekeeper who has developed methods which allow for healthy bees without chemicals. of course, even mr. bush's bees are not immune to disease brought in by nearby hives, (whether managed or feral), that have collapsed and been robbed by his bees.

    my concern, (and the reason i started this thread), is with the advice repeatedly given on the tfb forum, that encourages letting hives get weak, and even die, in order to end up with superior survivor stock.

    the spread of disease that can result from this practice is why most states regulate beekeeping.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #48
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    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    mIke...we had Jim Tew present to our club last weekend. He showed a slide of the underside of a bee (in order to show the sting)....there were at least 3 varroa under the tergits.... the slide was from 1981.

    deknow
    Was the slide of a honeybee from a US apiary? Was it Apis Mellifera. The first reported varroa found in the US in September 1987 in Wisconsin (ABC&XYZ of Bee Culture). Are you sure they were V Destructor and not a lesser known mite (mellitiphis alvearius, etc)

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    mIke...we had Jim Tew present to our club last weekend. He showed a slide of the underside of a bee (in order to show the sting)....there were at least 3 varroa under the tergits.... the slide was from 1981.

    deknow
    Maybe you misread the date or maybe it was mislabeled? According to "Honey Bee Pests, Predators, & Diseases" it says under Varroa mites "On September 25, 1987, a migratory beekeeper and an apiary inspector in Wisconsin found varroa mites (Varroa jacobsonii) while they were in the process of checking colonies for American foulbrood prepraratory to moving the bees back to Florida. Within a few weeks, varroa mites had been found in Florida, Illionois, Ohio and Pennsylvania followed by finding infestations in several other states(Graham 1987 a, b). The widespread movement of colonies for pollination and honey production was obviously responsible for the rapid spread of varroa mites."

    So WLC isn't the only one who likes to use the word "obvious" or "obviously".

    But my real point was, since varroa was not observed in the US until 1987, that slide must have been from somewhere else, some other country. Maybe not even an apis mellifera, but an apis cerana, varroas' original host. I think it matters, because Dean seems to imply that varroa have been in the US well before being found in commercially managed miugratory bee hives. Wheteher he meant to imply that or not.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #50
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,640

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    ....and those that treat are specifically maintaing stock, producing queens or drones, from constantly diseased stock.....if they were not diseased, treatment would not be necessary.
    Am I to understand that untreated sick bees that die in a year are more harmful than treated sick bees that are propped up year after year? That the untreated hive will negatively affect more hives in the area via robbing in one year than the treated hive will in 3?
    if the claim is that untreated bees are sick and treated bees are healthy, how do you reconcile untreated hives that survive and treated bees that are sure to perish without treatment?

    Deknow

  11. #51
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Beelosopher,
    Just to keep an open mind seeking knowledge. I can see that having a life point of view, a philosophy of life lets say, may already exist in a persons mind. Fine. Nothing against that. To a greater or lesser degree this may be partialy ingrained in a person early on in life. But, don't let that keep you from learning. As it appears it does not in your case.

    I remember early days when I read and read and sought info from books and magazines as you describe. That's good. and I am sure a certain amount of that occurs in many people today. Keep it up.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #52
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    If you are curious, you should email Jim. I'm reporting what was presented..... Jim stated explicitly that he doesn't know where the photo was taken and that it doesn't prove that varroa was 'n the u.s. earlier than the books say.....but he did show the slide and stated that he has always been "haunted" by it.....so he clearly isn't convinced that it was taken elsewhere. I misread no date, and the slide was not labeled...all I have to go on is what was presented.

    Deknow

  13. #53
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ....and those that treat are specifically maintaing stock, producing queens or drones, from constantly diseased stock.....if they were not diseased, treatment would not be necessary.
    Am I to understand that untreated sick bees that die in a year are more harmful than treated sick bees that are propped up year after year? That the untreated hive will negatively affect more hives in the area via robbing in one year than the treated hive will in 3?
    if the claim is that untreated bees are sick and treated bees are healthy, how do you reconcile untreated hives that survive and treated bees that are sure to perish without treatment?

    Deknow
    It would help if you would refer to hives treated for diseases as being medicated, imo. Medications address diseases. Hives infested w/ a pest or pests are treated for those pests. They are infested, not infected. They are not sick. Not in the same sense as a colony infected w/ a disease.

    Plenty of unmedicated hives die from disease. While varroa mites have killed more colonys of bees than all diseases since records have been kept.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #54
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    If you are curious, you should email Jim. I'm reporting what was presented..... Jim stated explicitly that he doesn't know where the photo was taken and that it doesn't prove that varroa was 'n the u.s. earlier than the books say.....but he did show the slide and stated that he has always been "haunted" by it.....so he clearly isn't convinced that it was taken elsewhere. I misread no date, and the slide was not labeled...all I have to go on is what was presented.

    Deknow
    Okay. Thanks. I will. I just thought it prudent to ask the question and explore other possibilities.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #55
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    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Robbing is being mentioned time and again as a major culprit in pathogen transmission. I agree. The question is; Are we inadvertently selecting bees that are prone to being robbers? I had virtually no robbing in my small apiary (20 hives). Until I purchased 4 production queens. Before their introduction my bees wouldn't even clean up my extractor or other equipment. Up to the point I added the production queens my bees were self raised(open mated). After introduction of the new queens robbing has become prolific in the apiary.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Okay. Thanks. I will. I just thought it prudent to ask the question and explore other possibilities.

    ....it's also prudent to consider the source. If Jim Tew hasn't dismissed this as absolutely irrelevant, and in fact found it noteworthy enough to discuss in a presentation with over 100 beekeepers present, then we shouldn't dismiss it here.

    Deknow

  17. #57
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    144

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Gentlemen, medicated or treated puts the discussiononto a different plane. I have been treating all my hives and some nuc's with a formic acid fume board in the fall. I no longer do mite drop counts, just treat and my bees go into winter with a greatly reduced mite load, my bees are therefore not diseased and are less likely to become diseased from the viuses passed on by mites so I fail to see that I could be influencing any other polinaters in any way.
    Johno

  18. #58
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ....it's also prudent to consider the source. If Jim Tew hasn't dismissed this as absolutely irrelevant, and in fact found it noteworthy enough to discuss in a presentation with over 100 beekeepers present, then we shouldn't dismiss it here.

    Deknow
    I would never do that. I hope you don't consider my questions as dismissive. Jim is free to say things he previously was not free to. I wonder what this means, if this is a photo of varroa in the US in 1981? What is the source? A question for Jim for sure. Is this an Africanized Honey Bee, perhaps?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #59
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ....it's also prudent to consider the source. If Jim Tew hasn't dismissed this as absolutely irrelevant, and in fact found it noteworthy enough to discuss in a presentation with over 100 beekeepers present, then we shouldn't dismiss it here.

    Deknow
    I s not being discounted however your first reference in context could easily be taken to mean that varroa were in the US in 1981. After others citing sources you added that Jim himself does not know where the photo was taken and that it doesn't prove that varroa was in the US earlier than the books say.

    So in effect in see no significance to that Photo in this discussion.

  20. #60
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    273

    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Gentlemen, medicated or treated puts the discussiononto a different plane. I have been treating all my hives and some nuc's with a formic acid fume board in the fall. I no longer do mite drop counts, just treat and my bees go into winter with a greatly reduced mite load, my bees are therefore not diseased and are less likely to become diseased from the viuses passed on by mites so I fail to see that I could be influencing any other polinaters in any way.
    Johno
    So the "no treating" perspective would be that you are breeding a super mite. Only the strongest mites will survive your treatments and eventually will be able to withstand your treatments. Now you are sending out a super mite to influence the other pollinators.

    "just treat and my bees go into winter with a greatly reduced mite load, my bees are therefore not diseased"

    Based on what a lot of former "treaters" tunred "nontreaters" have reported on beesource, not sure this is as bullet proof and causal as you indicate. I would venture, less diseased, for the current moment in time. But how long will this hold up?

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