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  1. #241
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    notable quotes:

    by me, to start the thread

    >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.



    by beekeeping.isgood.ca

    >I also think people need to put in a certain amount of effort into understanding as much as possible how to work with the bees(or understanding how to not work with them and let them do their own thing responsibly.)



    by barry

    >We do. One can take a hands off approach, but if any contagious diseases show up, you better get your hands involved pronto!!



    by mike haney

    >Just this summer there was a thread here concerning a mans entire bee yard being CONFISCATED and BURNED by the government due to willfull lack of treatment of disease.



    by wlc

    >Native bees and pollinators are vulnerable to the pests and pathogens that treatment-free beekeepers allow to exist as 'clinical' infections in their hives.



    by steveng

    >Treatment free does not mean leaving them alone. This year I practiced "Let alone beekeeping" which I remembered from the 1970's when Charles Koover espoused it in Gleanings in Bee Culture - some of you old timers might remember him. It was a serious mistake for me, and I wrote a thread elsewhere about that experience. I do not recommend it, and explained why there.



    by cerezha

    >I think, it is common sense that if somebody diseased and potentially could spread disease, that person (animal, bee etc) should be prevented from spreading disease to healthy individuals.



    by sqkcrk

    >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.



    by andrew dewey

    >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.



    by g barnett

    >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.



    by jim lyon

    >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.



    by beelosopher

    >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.



    by me again

    >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.



    by jbeshearse

    >Robbing is being mentioned time and again as a major culprit in pathogen transmission. I agree.



    by jrg13

    >Genetic analysis on survivor stock definitely needs to be a key focus in bee research.



    by pedrocr

    >I agree that letting the hive die out by disease and be robbed is to be avoided as a public health measure. If that's your only question we're in full agreement.



    by jbeshearse



    >(bond method) beekeepers are less likely to check for pathogens than those that treat. As such they are more likely to allow communicable diseases to be transmitted outside their apiaries.


    >>These is a large difference in managing bees treatment free and just letting them live or die and collecting honey. Treatment free keeping when done correctly, in my opinion, in todays industry requires more work than treating, not less.



    by me


    >i am for treatment free and developing resistant bees. i am against the 'live and let die' approach, unless responsible measures are taken to prevent the spread of disease (mainly via robbing).



    by jbeshearse

    >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.

    >>Both those that treat and those that don't can be responsible or irresponsible.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 10-13-2012 at 07:54 PM.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #242
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Wow... I leave town for a few days, and return to 10 new pages...
    I am a Treatment Free beekeeper... As such, I have been labeled Bond Beekeeper, and I'm responsible for behaving irresponsibly and causing the demise of native pollinators. By being TF = more varroa = more disease... wow...such a heavy load to bear! What a crock.

    Varroa is here, and treatment beekeepers and treatment free beekeepers have no control over it's spread thru the native pollinator populations... WE DID NOT IMPORT IT TO THIS COUNTRY! So stop blaming us!

    Now, think about this... My Treatment free bees have NOT collapsed due to varroa... Yes I've had some dead outs, and I've done the post mortems, and know why they died... starvation, or queen issues... However, everyone agrees that treated hives do collapse due to varroa... So let me ask you folks this: Just who contributes varroa to the native pollinators and other beekeepers? A treatment free beek whose bees do not succumb to varroa, or the treating beekeeper who knocks the threshold down, but still incubates varroa, and has hives collapse? hmmmmm? My bees survive and thrive without beinng artifically propped up, and any swarms that issue from my hives probably do likewise... instead of vectoring varroa, perhaps they are better enabled to help control it? Limit it? Ever think about that as a possibility?

    Next, I have never ever ever advocated a "live and let die" approach... to me that is irresponsible... the work has already been done by those pioneers years ago... you do not have to "reinvent the wheel" buy your treatment free bees from a bonafide source... they've already done the work, and invested time and money, no reason for you to lose your money. To me that's just stupid. Unless you are a scientist doing a controlled study, but that's another article.

    Maybe instead of treatment free beekeepers being the vector and destructor of native pollinators, it is the treated hives that incubate varroa, develop varroa resistance, and when those hives swarm or crash, what has been incubating there is now spread throughout the environment?
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  3. #243
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    :
    Next, I have never ever ever advocated a "live and let die" approach... to me that is irresponsible... the work has already been done by those pioneers years ago... you do not have to "reinvent the wheel" buy your treatment free bees from a bonafide source... they've already done the work, and invested time and money, no reason for you to lose your money. To me that's just stupid. Unless you are a scientist doing a controlled study, but that's another article.


    Regards,
    Steven
    i was wondering what happened to you steven, when you didn't answer a question i posed to you, but you just answered it there.

    the premise of the thread was not that tf beekeepers are causing the demise of native pollinators. that bond hives might be was offered by one of the posters, and would better be the subject of another thread.

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

  4. #244
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Glad I answered it Squarepeg... there was so much to deal with, most of it I chose not to.... to any of you who have specific questions for me, ask them on my "No Treatment of Honey bees" report in the sticky threads above... or here, your choice...
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #245
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    ... Kindly stop implying that TFB is greener than other forms of beekeeping. It's not. In fact, I suspect that it's the opposite.
    ? My point was that ALL honey-bee-keping is not green as well as most agriculture! With this said, I do not see much difference in beekeeping practices from "ecological/environmental impact" point of view - I think, all approaches has its impact. My personal conclusion from this thread (it was useful) is that the difference between methods began when hive actually died - treated ended up with smaller amount of Varroa; untreated potentially may have more Varroa. Than, next step is related to decency of the bees. If they are robbers - than,they could rob dead hive and bring varroa into the hive. As somebody pointed out, robbery may be genetically determined (I have no knowledge on this). My bees are housed in decent home with high moral standards - therefore, they do not rob! They do not touch wet frames outside the beehive! They just do not know how to rob. So, may be this attributes to their health. They are non-treated/medicated and so far are doing very well. I am against any extremism and a humanist, therefore, I do not support the ideology "die or survive". From another hand, I do not treat my bees simply because I do not see the necessity. Also, since I am beginner, I realized that sometime it is better do nothing rather than interfere without proper experience... I practice minimal invasion into the nest since my bees really do not like it!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  6. #246
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Like Steven G,
    Been away from the computer and wow. Spent the last hour going through the posts. I can't claim I am a Bond TFB,,,,,,None of my hives have perished in four years of TFB. Every year, I have seen less DWV. This year very few and I look for them inside and out ! I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Y'all do the same.

  7. #247
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    rick, you would fall into that group of outstanding beekeepers on the tfb forum that i acknowledged.

    and again, maybe i missed it somehow, but when i read about 'going cold turkey', and 'it's heartbreaking at first', and 'you will have lots of losses at first', and when i don't see any discussion about the responsible way to minimize the risk to nearby colonies when those losses occur, and when i see posts from what appear to be up and coming beekeepers talking about 'all i do is add boxes', and responses to that like 'amen', and (i am sincere when i say nothing personal and no offense meant to those posters),

    well, it made me think there ought to be some discussion about it.

    seems like this is one of those passionate disagreements among beekeepers. my intent was not to create more diviciness, and i hope i didn't, but rather expand the discussion, and give other beginners like myself a little more food for thought.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #248
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Cyber chatting has is short comings
    I haven't been offended at all. Not that it matters really. Just a pebble on the beach Perhaps to "stir the pot". Many years ago, I smoked. No, I was not on fire. (humor, a Popeye laugh is heard) After I quit, I found myself more impassioned about those who still did. JMO, but I think this may play some into both sides of this ,,,,,,discussion. It's all good. I had my eyes opened in many aspects from this thread. Just like others, I see some things differently. If I can tweak a management style, I will and I have. I wonder how many new beekeepers really do "just get bees" and they end up "Yard ornaments"? Most of the ones I've met, actually would do better to not go into the hives as much. That too, is a matter of opinion and style. They are extremely curious and worry about the bees to a fault. The ones that do, just add boxes, it would seem, are not in this hobby long. One would have to ask, in that scenario, if there was time for the hives to become a Pandoras' box. Perhaps if the bees were in ill health to begin with. Just something to ponder. Maybe, that is the "crust of the Biscuit" Healthy Bees to start.
    Who has all the right answers? Putting Chems in the hive just did not work for me and how I want to keep Bees. LOL If you kept hives near mine, you would do well to get Sperm from my Drones (another Popeye laugh)

  9. #249
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Is there some method to sort these 12 pages by poster? I think it would let me see the full set of posts from each Beeman and better understand what each has to say.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  10. #250
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    squarepeg that's one of the reasons I quit reading the Treatment Free section of the forum - arguing about definitions and many espousing poor beekeeping. I got tired of saying the same thing over and over again. I will maintain with my last breath that the worst way to go treatment free is to simply quit treating! You simply cannot succeed that way! You have to get treatment free bees. If you have hives that have been treated and want to go treatment free, you requeen with treatment free queens and in 6 weeks you're treatment free. It is literally as simple as that. But for some reason some folks think they can beat the odds, or that they have to reinvent the wheel and let their bees suffer because they're too cheap or too lazy to do it ...sigh... I started to say right...then thought about responsibly...either way I'll get slammed, and I know it's a value judgment but... you pays your money, you takes your chances. I simply think to go treatment free cold turkey without a treatment free package or queen is murder, pure and simple. Regards,Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  11. #251
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Well StevenG,
    Not interested in "slamming" you or anyone. This is just my story, what I did, and how it worked. I guess there are always exceptions to rules and the norm. I'll try to make the story short and to the point. I got back into beekeeping about 7 years ago at the request of a friend. Mites and shb were unknown to me. I did not have time to research like I needed to so I went with what my bee buddy said was "in the books". We got our first package from a supplier but we made sure it was reputable and from a same temperate zone. I'm in Maryland, the supplier was from Tenn. Supposed to be russians. In hind sight, I think Carniolan. Close enough. We treated because we were supposed to. We made splits, did well actually for about three years. I finally caught up on my bee education and realized what was going into those hives and effects on the bees ect. I picked up a swarm and parted ways with my bee partner as far as keeping bees together. I kept mine, he had his and I decided to go TFB at that point. There were four hives left. I took the three, he kept one as a yard ornament in reality. Up to that point, they had been treated for mites with apiguard and thymo alternating per instructions.l. I moved those three to my yard with my swarm hives. I had made some splits from them by that time. Quit treating those hives at that time.(two years ago) I still have them, but obviously they have re queened them selves. My bee buddy quit treating his hive. I should say, I quit treating it. I made a nuc from them last year and that hive has done well. We took five gallons of honey from that yard ornament back in Sept. and left them more than enough stores.
    More wordy than I wanted. Two points. There is an element that I succumbed to. Treat because you have mites and your bees will die if you do not. I learned differently. You very well may have bees that are of good stock, and can deal with mites. You will not know unless you let them run the course. You get, or have good bees from a good supplier, the odds are at least in your favor. Like I said, not directed anywhere, just what happened to me. A lot of dumb luck, but most things I've learned have been because I did it wrong at least once.

  12. #252
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    sqkcrk:

    What do I expect TFB beekeepers to do? How about discussing the risk openly and honestly without the usual shenanigans?
    Other than discuss these things you feel are so important, what can people do? What are you talking about that we can control?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #253
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Rick, thanks for your post... when I went treatment free and posted my plans here, I was slammed and lambasted. I was told the hives would be dead within three years, that such a thing as treatment free was irresponsible and impossible. I trusted the breeder who sold me the bees. And it worked. Others like me (and you) have had success, and that success continues to grow. Were you lucky? Did you get good bees to start with? Will they make it past that three year mark? Who knows? I really hope your bees come thru winter good and strong, and give you a bounteous harvest next year!

    From what I've read, heard, and personal experience, bees that go treatment free cold turkey have a 95% chance of crashing within two years. I have people asking me for my advice, which I give with the caveat - this is what I did, why, and what worked and didn't work. Like I said on my sticky thread, I'll tell it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly... and man oh man, some of it has been downright ugly!

    Anyway, I come from the position that by the time a hive is up and running, at the end of the first season or into the second, those bees are cash value worth $150. Just the bees. The economic value goes up from that. If they produce the Missouri state average of around 50 pounds per hive, sell that honey for net $3 a pound (I know, conservative, but you can't get much more than that in my area), that's another $150. So right there, in bees and harvest, you have $300. Why would anyone want to risk $300 by going cold turkey, when a $20 queen will more than likely guarantee success?

    I do not take your comment as a slam, you were simply sharing your experience. Sounds like you got good bees, and may they continue to work well for you.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  14. #254
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    very, very, cool stuff. thanks
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #255
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    This thought came to me earlier today, let me toss it out there and see what happens... An analogy:\

    You live in a nice neighborhood, keep your house neat and tidy, and the yard also. A family named Smith moves in the house on the west side of yours. A family named Jones moves into the house on the east side of you. All of you have children, they attend the same school, you all attend the same church around the corner.

    The Smiths mow their yard regularly. She's a good housekeeper - you've been in the house. Kitchen always neat and tidy, they even wash their windows every spring. You never see any roaches in the kitchen. Kids wear clean clothes to school all the time. In fact, their house a year after they move in could be a centerpiece in "House Beautiful." She bakes cookies for the kids' school parties, and takes food she's prepared to the church potluck meals.

    The Jones, however...he might mow the yard every month or so... city has cited him for letting it get too high. You've had to put some mousetraps in your basement since they moved in. He came over one time, asking for some help with a project in his basement... that's when you discovered she can't keep house. Dust all over everything, carpets soiled, dog has left urine stains on them. Kids wear clean clothes to school a couple times each week, rest of the time they're obviously picked up off the floor. Your wife has been in her kitchen, dishes are left a couple of days...she saw a couple of roaches on the dishes in the sink and by the trash can in the corner. Mrs Jones also sends baked goods to school and takes food she's cooked to the church potluck meals. But...you don't touch them because you've been in her kitchen.
    However, Mr. Jones' folks are very active for their age, and stop in a couple of times a year. They spend a week visiting, and he mows the yard, and both vacuum and scrub and clean...

    So, which neighbor would you prefer?
    In case you didn't get it, what makes treatment free bees treatment free is their hygenic behavior. Treatment bees get the twice a year visit.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  16. #256
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    i would agree, except.....

    it's impossible to define treatment bees by 'get the twice a year visit', in the same way it's impossible to define treatment free bees as 'bond' bees.

    it's arbitrary and divicive to try and put any given beekeeper in this camp or that.

    it's obvious that the trend is toward resistant genetics, better management, softer or no treatments, better diet, ect.ect.ect.

    the bees are evolving, and so must we.

    i do agree that the 'unique rules' associated with the tfb forum get in the way of our evolving together. there can't be that kind of unbalanced bias in an open discussion forum.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #257
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Well what a thread. Missed one day and had to catch up with all of it. I am treatment free and the first year beekeeper. I was going to start two years ago but got taken and bees were a dud. Since then I read a lot on the internet (not beesource) and decided to go foundationless and treatment (chemical) free and haven't even thought of going down the other road. Throughout all my readings I always wonder why is there such disagreement and blame thrown around. But the obvious is that everyone thinks they are doing right for their bees. Well I have found out that my path is one that I am going to keep going down. I started with two and have five going into the winter in lower Alabama which is still a couple months away. I do inspection through out the year and stayed on top of my bees so everything that I read would make more since with actual behavior. I have few mites and some SHB but the hives are very strong and thriving well. They all have plenty of stores already but I am leaving it for urge bees for I shall start splitting as early spring. Enjoyed this thread though. Enjoy your bees however u decide to keep them.
    Let bees be bees.

  18. #258
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Forgive my ignorance Squarepeg, I thought mites were treated for twice a year, once in spring before honey flow, once in late summer or early fall after the honey flow.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  19. #259
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Steven, How about this analogy:

    Same three families. However, You all have dogs. You treat both dog and yard for fleas, The Smiths do also. The Jones don't. When you stop treating, your yard, dog and house (since the dog comes inside) get fleas. Do you live with the fleas or reat for them? If you don't treat, does your dog become immune from them, the skin issues and the interal parisites that come with the fleas?

  20. #260
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Forgive my ignorance Squarepeg, I thought mites were treated for twice a year, once in spring before honey flow, once in late summer or early fall after the honey flow.
    Regards,
    Steven
    So, when you write about treatment free bees and treatments you are only writing about treating for varroa and nothing else?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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