Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks
If someone, somewhere, could provide just such a 100% effective treatment/medication that could be proven to completely eradicate the pest/disease being targeted, such as has happened with small pox. I think I'd be much more interested in trying such treatments. But, I have never heard of such treatments, other than the burning or chemical sterilization of AFB infected beekeeping equipment.
I have heard that despite a long history of treatment and burning, AFB is still around. I've also read that AFB is caused by Paenibacillus larvae ssp. larvae, and that there are now many strains that are resistant to many of the 'treatments' for this disease of honey bees. Also, that this same bacteria is often present in hives, bees, and brood, without them ever showing any symptoms of AFB. To me, this would make it prudent to develop honey bees that were resistant/immune to the bacteria that causes AFB, rather than to keep using treatments/medications that are not effective at eradicating the causative organism.
In this thread it has been suggested that both treatment-free beekeeping or treatment beekeeping have the effect to enhance the transfer of these pests/diseases to other organisms, especially other species of pollinating insects. I believe that the only way to be certain honey bees do not transfer their pests to other pollinators is to eliminate honey bees from the equation, though even this option would be highly problematic.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 10-11-2012 at 11:12 AM.