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  1. #121
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Yes crofter, regarding AFB there certainly is a threshold level ...
    There is always threshold in host-infection/parasite relationship. In normal circumstances, everything lower than threshold (assuming no treatment) actually creates an immunity and made host stronger... over the threshold - usually it means death at the end. In normal host-parasite relationships, parasite is not interested to kill the host, it is interested to co-exist at moderate (below threshold) levels. Since, Varroa is not natural parasite to EHB, this relationship with the host is unbalanced, which leads to unusually high mortality in EHB population.
    If we are talking about just spreading the infection (virus), of coarse, higher concentration of the pathogen in environment would increase the chance of infection, it is just statistical probability (easier to cross the threshold). Also, higher number of pathogens in environment could "serve" a bigger community - more individuals exposed and thus, higher chance that pathogen will meet the individual who is more sensitive to it. Once, this "sensitive" individual got sick, pathogen could multiply and reach threshold level for the normal population. It's called epidemic. There are two sides in this equation: one is increase of the threshold (more pathogens needed to make bee sick) and another is to keep the concentration of the pathogen below established threshold. Later required constant "treatment" or as Mark graciously called it "medicate" to keep levels lower than threshold.
    Last edited by cerezha; 10-12-2012 at 01:01 AM. Reason: (assuming no treatment)
    Серёжа, Sergey

  2. #122
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    My recollection of the Brazilian bee release is that the hives had queen excluders on them. The beekeepers that were managing the apiary went on vacation. The substitute beekeepers removed the excluders and 16 swarms escaped. They then moved northward at the rate of about 200 miles a year until they got here.

  3. #123
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Joseph:

    There's one thing that varroa mites do very well to Honeybees when left untreated.

    They can inject viruses and cause an overt infection with the resulting production of prodigious numbers of virus particles. Varroa has been shown to be a vector, activator, and reservoir of DWV for example.

    Deliberately leaving varroa mites untreated will drastically increase local virus levels.

    It's not chicken or the egg.

    It's VARROA.

    Get it yet?

    They're little virus filled hypodermic syringes.

  4. #124
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    That's what I figured TooFar, that swarms had escaped but the documentary made it seem like the bees just wanted out and first chance they got they left the hives.

  5. #125
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    WLC,

    I don't disagree that Varroa are bad, or that they perform as you describe, what I don't seem to get is how you reach the belief that Varroa which are treated are somehow less disagreeable, than those that aren't treated. You may have fewer Varroa, if you treat for them, but those that remain will still be doing their dirty little deeds, just with less competition from other Varroa. A vacuum that they will be working hard to fill.

    When I first heard of Varroa (a little more than 20 years ago), I also heard the warning that if I didn't treat I would surely lose my hives within two, or at most, three years. Sure enough when I looked, there were Varroa in my hives, there were even a few young bees emerging with DWV (and once in awhile still are), I decided to wait and see, before using any treatments. And I was planning to use treatments. I have yet to lose even a single colony due to Varroa. I'm still waiting . . . for the Varroa to drop, so to speak. If Varroa begin killing my hives, I will, quite possibly give much more thought to using treatments.

    Concerning treating -vs- non-treating having differing direct environmental effects, possibly generating negative affects on various other hymenoptera species. I simply need more compelling evidence, before I buy into it more completely. A smoking gun would be nice, but watching the gun be shot and seeing the projectile hit its target, would be even better.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #126
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    squarepeg:

    He's too inexperienced to have a point of view, yet he goes on and on...



    Would Barry stoop to using a 'sockpuppet'?

    Heh, heh.
    I don't actually "go on and on" as I've so far made a single point that was only my hypothesis, not my opinion or point of view. An hypothesis that squarepeg has engaged and helped me learn from whereas you just repeat the same tired facts that have no bearing on the issue and resort to calling me names. Feel free to ignore my posts from now on as I'll ignore yours.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'll give it one more shot pedro, i'm still having fun here. and let me reiterate that my purpose for starting this thread was to give up and coming beekeepers the 'other side' of the 'treatment free' approach.

    again, the problem with your scenario is that i don't know of any way my bees are going to be contaminated by my neighbor's bees unless my neighbor's bees get so sick and weak that they succumb to robbing by my bees.

    you say that you are sure there are other ways, but are you sure? when you find out what they are, let me know and we might be able to pursue that line of argument.
    What I've gathered from reading this forum is that these days you can't expect not to have varroa in your hives, only to not have it in enough quantity to cause disease. So you might not get it from your neighbor's bees, but you'll get it eventually. Is that not the case? Do people still expect to be able to have varroa-free hives?

    Bringing the thread full-circle here's what I conclude from the thread:

    - If you have a dying hive, whether you treat it or not, you should take steps to avoid contaminating other hives with it as it collapses. If its a treated hive, other hives will rob it and get a few pathogens and some of the chemicals used to treat it, if it's untreated more pathogens and less chemicals.
    - If you have untreated hives that are doing fine, it might be because they have higher resistance to pathogens than other hives, so they may increase the concentration of pathogens in the environment (maybe by visiting the same flowers and infecting the polen). On the flipside if you're treating you may be able to reduce the total concentration (if your treatments actually work and the pathogens don't just bounce back) while also introducing other changes in the environment (like killing off some of the beneficial organisms that live in hives). I don't see either option as being more responsible.

    The second point is important. Keeping honey bees is never "natural", it's always an intervention in the environment and you can do both types (treatment or not) responsibly. I think the jury is still out on if you can do both in a sustainable way, and I say this wondering which way it will go, not advocating treatment free.

    PS: I just noticed how the title of this thread is a bit slanted. It's "treatment free beekeeping - the risks" as if the status quo (treatment) is the basis for comparison. In reality keeping hives in any way is a human intervention in the ecosystem so the real discussion to be had is "treatment vs no treatment - the risks and rewards". And as I said, the jury is still out on which way that will go.

  8. #128
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Joseph:

    "Bond: Live and Let Die" = more Varroa=more virus.

    That's the risk.

    "Detection of Deformed wing virus, a honey bee viral pathogen, in bumble
    bees (Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum) with wing deformities
    Elke Genersch a,, Constanze Yue a, Ingemar Fries b, Joachim R. de Miranda c"

    The photo of the dead bumblebee, with shrivelled wings due to DWV infection, in the above paper should fit your description of smoking gun, powder burns, and bullet.

    Recombinant viruses of this type are a cause for concern as well:

    "Recombinants between Deformed wing virus and
    Varroa destructor virus-1 may prevail in Varroa
    destructor-infested honeybee colonies
    Jonathan Moore,1 Aleksey Jironkin,1 David Chandler,2 Nigel Burroughs,1
    David J. Evans2 and Eugene V. Ryabov2"

    Maybe you're the "What, Me Worry?" type?

    I am aware of the africanized stock that treatment-free beekeepers are using in Arizona, etc. .

    Africanization is one of those risks associated with TFB. No wonder you don't have a mite problem (do your bees do well on small cell?).

    I'm using VSH Italians. I won't touch africanized stock by choice and by law.

    Last edited by WLC; 10-12-2012 at 04:47 AM.

  9. #129
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    pedro:

    So, you just noticed that the title is just a bit slanted?

    It's about the risks of going treatment-free.

    Why do you think I was so critical of the key method used to go treatment-free, Bond: Live and Let Die?

  10. #130
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    Default 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.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #131
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    yer welcome.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #132
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    squarepeg:

    He's too inexperienced to have a point of view, yet he goes on

    Would Barry stoop to using a 'sockpuppet'?

    Heh, heh.
    Heh, heh. How about I stoop and out who WLC is? Heh, heh!
    Regards, Barry

  13. #133
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Yeah, I thought that WLC's taunt was a low blow. Not what I expect from WLC.

    Inquiring minds do want to know though.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #134
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Joseph:

    Deliberately leaving varroa mites untreated will drastically increase local virus levels.
    I get the point. but is it true? Has anyone actually shown that their is more viruses in a hive with a higher Varroa population? Does this mean that Varroa is the only means that the virus is introduced to the colony? If not then the Varroa population probably does not have a drastic impact on the virus population since it will accour anyway.

    I still don't see how a hive being treated for varroa (indication that it is infected) is any less risk to the local bee population than one that is not being treated (Assume varroa are present)

    The idea of higher numbers equals greater risk I don't agree with. All it takes is one. And pretty much every hive in existence has at least one. To now start blaming that on how your neighbor keeps bees is a febble minded as the whole "He doesn't have enough beekeeping experience to be intelligent" thinking.

    Most likely any varroa you have in your hives, came from your hives. If they don't have it they will. And nothing anyone is doing is changing that.

    Until you have something that destroys 100% of the mites 100% of the time nobody has any room to talk. you are all adding to the infestation in my hive.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I am aware of the africanized stock that treatment-free beekeepers are using in Arizona, etc. .

    Africanization is one of those risks associated with TFB. No wonder you don't have a mite problem (do your bees do well on small cell?).

    I'm using VSH Italians. I won't touch africanized stock by choice and by law.

    Now that's a "whole nother kettle of fish". If there is one topic on which I have had to rethink my position recently it is AHB. I have been around Africanized bees that made even a seasoned beekeeper like myself retreat and regroup. However I hear many others claim to have been around bees in other areas of the US and the world that have an entirely different temperament that still were considered Scutellata (AHB). My theory is that there has been a hybridization of sorts that has occurred, the extent of which has been determined by the local climate and that this is (and I'm still theorizing here) the reason beekeepers with localized bees in certain geographic areas are able to be sustainable without treatments and it may well be a part of the reason that general bee health in the industry is on a slight uptick. I just dont think one can any longer generalize the subject of AHB. If that is getting away from the intent of the thread I apologize but I do believe there may well be a relationship with the topic at hand.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #136
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    I love when people hide/cover up truth. They end up giving away their power to other people.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #137
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    >I still don't see how a hive being treated for varroa (indication that it is infected) is any less risk to the local bee population than one that is not being treated (Assume varroa are present)


    dan, i don't disagree with this at all. what is your opinion on letting a colony die out and getting robbed?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #138
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Barry:

    How about you make yourself useful and see if Mike B. is posting as pedro from portugal?
    The tone and style are too familiar.

  19. #139
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Barry:

    How about you make yourself useful and see if Mike B. is posting as pedro from portugal?
    The tone and style are too familiar.
    Maybe you should stop hiding behind a stone wall lobbing personal attacks at others and just come out into the light and expose your true self as almost all of the rest of us do.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #140
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    Default Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks

    jim, interesting point on the ahb. where i live, feral hives are likely to greatly outnumber managed hives, and these survivors represent what is right genetically for coping with all these stressors. my bees were bred from feral bees, and are showing pretty good mite resistance so far. i haven't seen some of the traits associated with ahb, i.e. usurpation, bearding with inspections, ect., but i did have to requeen two hives this year because they were just too aggressive.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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