Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks
beyond the title of this thread, and explained in the original post, i outlined my primary concern with the 'hands off' approach of 'letting the bees work it out on their own'. it has also been called the 'bond method', or 'live and let die' this approach is regularly espoused on the 'treatment free beekeeping' forum, and that is why i used the title tfb -the risks.
a better title would have been, 'the bond method as proposed on the tfb forum - the risks'.
as stated, i am a proponent of not using treatments, but as part of an integrated pest management approach, and not based on an arbitrary philosophical point of view.
the point i was trying to make was that up and coming beekeepers, who almost always find themselves overwhelmed by the challanges of managing bees at first, would look to a 'hands off' approach as a desirable way to go.
i could see how someone new to beekeeping, would interpret what is proposed in the tfb forum as cutting edge, the 'new way', and easily decide to follow such an approach.
unfortunately, and as been affirmed by others in this thread, we can't practice beekeeping in a vacuum. letting hives get weak and die, and also robbed, has the likely potential to spread disease to other hives. if those who practice the bond method are taking responsible precautions to prevent this, ok. but i have never once seen any comments on the tfb forum that demonstrate this has even been considered.
joseph, thanks for explaining. that vectoring stuff is interesting and relevent, but i am not knowledgeable about it to comment. i do want to say that the bigger point for me is not whether one treats or doesn't treat, but acts responsibly in the case of a collapsing hive.
many thanks to all who are participating.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf