Here is what really bothers me about the Bond method. Some if not most that practice it then market their bees and honey as a superior product. When in reality, they have no justifiable basis or proof for those claims, just their opinion. They actually have less knowledge if their product than one practicing treatment free management in a
Manner that they would know what is in their hives and honey. "oh look, lots of dead bees, but looks like they are going to pull through, can't wait to harvest this chemical free honey". Meanwhile there neighbor is over there continually treating their garden with seven dust.
Oh now I don't believe for a minute you are unintentionally twisting my words. I never said that treatment free beekeeping is unethical. I also didn't say that we don't want treatment free bees. Look back through some of my posts and you will see just the opposite stated.
But just in case you are not willing to do that:
Treatment free beekeeping is an admirable goal and method as long as it is practiced responsibly. We would all like to be able to keep bees likeyou could 30 years ago, before varroa, tracheal mites, nosema ceranae, DWV,and SHB.
....by the logic being espoused here, any beekeeper who is unable to prevent or capture all swarms is contributing to the same ills as treatment free beekeeper. I don't think there is a single commercial beekeeper who could honestly claim they never had a swarm get out....likewise, new beekeepers must also be dangerous, as they are not experienced enough to reliably prevent swarming.
If it is irresponsible to keep bees without treatments, it is more irrespinsible to have more hives than one has time to prevent 100% of swarms.
First off, the beekeeper in your example is managing his apiary. As he is aware of what his bees are dealing with. That is a big plus over live and let die. But to answer your question, I would expect him/her to do what any other keeper would do (treatment free or not). That is to monitor the hive and in the event robbing begins, to take measures necessary to stop the robbing. Robber screens, entrance reducers etc. then if the hive fails, Discard or clean and disinfect what is left behind.
If one is bound by some code of ethics regarding bees, such ethics would also need to be applied to ants (who's nest is destroyed by plowing a field to grow broccoli....and mites don't rate enough to be treated ethically?
The answer is this is not about ethics.....treating people ethically requires that your ethics be applied to all people.....when ethics are only afforded time people and organisms who are directly useful to us, it is not ethics, it is selfish interest.
wouldn't a swarming hive would most likely be a healthy hive?
and, i'm not sure i see a way any that my hives would come in contact with the swarming hive. as opposed to my bees robbing out a sick and dying hive.
i'm happy to allow some swarms to get away and become feral. this is because if they make it on their own in the wild, they will be contributing survivor drone genes to my bees.
this raises another practical consideration, feral colonies can become sick and get robbed out too. not much anybody can do about that.
but when it preventable by responsible beekeeping, my opinion is that it should be prevented.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf
That is precisely my point....escaped swarms become unmanaged colonies that offer the same problems any untreated bees might. If it is irresponsible to keep an untreated or unmanaged hive, it is just as irresponsible to create them intentionally or not.
A swarming hive could be healthy, or it could be prosperous (and full of mites) as a result if feeding.
Maybe I got lost in this thread somewhere. I don't think that it was said that it is irresponsible to keep bees without treatments.
Both those that treat and those that don't can be responsible or irresponsible.
I personally feel that some irresponsible beekeepers use "treatment free" as an excuse for that irresponsibility. Of course there are plenty of keepers that wholesale treat that use that as an excuse fir irresponsible practices also.
Personally, I think we all need to practice Integrated pest management protocols, which are not necessarily chemical free but can be if you so desire.
There is a great temptation by many on both sides of the issues to villanize the others for no good reason. I for one am not going to blame any collapse, noe or in the future, on another beekeeper. At the end of the day, we are each responsible for the survi al or death of our bees.
Unless you can make a case that escaped swarms are somehow managed more responsibly than an "irresponsible beekeeper", then any hive that swarms is causing the same problems as the irresponsible beekeeper.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf
.....is there any evidence to support such a case?
Mark Berninghausen Let us live more in our hopes than from our fears.