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.
>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.)
>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.
>Native bees and pollinators are vulnerable to the pests and pathogens that treatment-free beekeepers allow to exist as 'clinical' infections in their hives.
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
>Robbing is being mentioned time and again as a major culprit in pathogen transmission. I agree.
>Genetic analysis on survivor stock definitely needs to be a key focus in bee research.
>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.
>(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.
>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).
>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.