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  1. #1
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    Default M Bush on Treatment-Free

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DFKqgWuCBA

    Just a video of Michael Bush I came across that I thought was a really good watch. Pretty much everything that's always being said here only being said on video by Bush.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    thanks! Watching this right now!

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I watched this.

    Do we let nature take its course and flip a coin that "genetics" will allow us to succeed, or do we intervene with technology and destroy the balance of the hive.

    The problem is either way you go there is no guarantee of success. There is hardly a prayer that you will even succeed for a year - a lot of people do not. I am sure those people want to have fun, and have a rewarding hobby or successful business. As I write this there are at least two threads of "what happened to my hive?" from well meaning beekeepers that have done what has been taught to them.

    Hope is not a strategy. The hope that if I do nothing it will all work out, or even the hope that if I do everything it will work out.

    Watching this video is discouraging.

    I am not seeing it.
    Last edited by bbrowncods; 11-04-2012 at 01:48 AM.

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I didn't know about the effects of the essential oils on bacteria and I've added that to the sugar syrup I fed to my bees. Other than that, I haven't treated them at all this year (my first year with bees). I will see if they survive our cold Missouri winter. But whether they survive or not, I tend to agree with not treating so I don't end up eating the medication through their honey or comb. I think it's doable. After all, there are feral bees that continue to survive without our help.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    I didn't know about the effects of the essential oils on bacteria and I've added that to the sugar syrup I fed to my bees. Other than that, I haven't treated them at all this year (my first year with bees). I will see if they survive our cold Missouri winter. But whether they survive or not, I tend to agree with not treating so I don't end up eating the medication through their honey or comb. I think it's doable. After all, there are feral bees that continue to survive without our help.

    Come to New Eagland for the winter.


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    I watched this.

    Do we let nature take its course and flip a coin that "genetics" will allow us to succeed, or do we intervene with technology and destroy the balance of the hive.
    Well, for thousands of years this is how the species has survived without human intervention. I try to think of it like this. If I as an individual were to take antibiotics every day to kill off any of the bad bacteria in my stomach or system it would definitely kill off all of the bad bacteria in my system, however, it would also kill off all of the good bacteria essential to a healthy productive digestive system. I would be gaining the result I wanted by killing the bad bacteria at the cost of killing off all the good bacteria in my system and upsetting my bodies natural balance. Doesn't seem like much of a pay off when my body is able to naturally take care of the bad bacteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    The problem is either way you go there is no guarantee of success. There is hardly a prayer that you will even succeed for a year - a lot of people do not. I am sure those people want to have fun, and have a rewarding hobby or successful business. As I write this there are at least two threads of "what happened to my hive?" from well meaning beekeepers that have done what has been taught to them.
    Life and beekeeping in general are dynamic not static. If you want to have a fun and rewarding hobby but one that has little to no risk take up solitaire. Pretty rewarding seeing those cards fall across the screen when you win and you have nothing but time invested in it to be sad about when you lose a game. Beekeeping, on the other hand, is one of the most fun and rewarding things I have ever done. Is it a hobby paved with hard lessons learned? Absolutely. Would it feel as rewarding if I hadn't overcome as many problems and worked extremely hard to get to the point where I was? Of course not, if anybody could do it and it was as easy as sitting in a bingo parlor everyone would be doing it. It's not. It requires work, it requires a drive to succeed, and it requires a hunger for knowledge. Unfortunately it also requires a taste for disappointment. It sucks opening a hive only to find they have dwindled to nothing and will undoubtedly die but THEN WHAT? What do you do from there, throw in the towel and cry how it was too hard or buy two packages next year and learn how to make a nuc and rear queens so you've got a backup plan? Personally I'd buy two packages and see how I could manipulate this dynamic system to a way that's beneficial for myself and the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Hope is not a strategy. The hope that if I do nothing it will all work out, or even the hope that if I do everything it will work out.

    Watching this video is discouraging.

    I am not seeing it.
    Solomon could chime in on this and give you a bit better viewpoint than I could on the successful treatment free beekeepers but I don't know of any of them that are just sitting around on their hands hoping things turn out right. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh or pessimistic, but fools sit around and hope things turn out right. People who are serious about managing their colonies treatment free have done the leg work (yeah it requires work like anything in life you want to be successful at), they have done the reading and the research on what it takes. They have intentionally bought hygienic stock that is disease resistant, they have managed their colonies so that the bees don't start out behind on the race but with the best advantage possible. No you're not seeing it not because it's not there but because you don't want to see it and you would rather be a defeatist about it. Watching this video is not discouraging, watching this video should be enlightening. It has been said elsewhere in this forum that those who cannot do something should not try to dissuade and tell the others they can't do it as well when they are already doing it. The time for can't is over, the time for can and will begins when you stop whining about it and start actively trying to achieve that goal; however, I tell you. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  7. #7
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Well, for thousands of years this is how the species has survived without human intervention. I try to think of it like this. If I as an individual were to take antibiotics every day to kill off any of the bad bacteria in my stomach or system it would definitely kill off all of the bad bacteria in my system, however, it would also kill off all of the good bacteria essential to a healthy productive digestive system. I would be gaining the result I wanted by killing the bad bacteria at the cost of killing off all the good bacteria in my system and upsetting my bodies natural balance. Doesn't seem like much of a pay off when my body is able to naturally take care of the bad bacteria.
    Thank you for your feedback. Don't get me wrong, I think that raising bees is awesome, but it does present challenges that go beyond our control and understanding. In as much as we think we know what we are doing, humans still know painfully little about our little friend. You bring up that bees have been surviving thousands of years without us. I would submit that it has been a tad longer than that, but my point is the bees are now faced with multiple environmental pressures that in evolution were never faced with at the same time. All due to human intervention. So to now leave the bee to her own genetic defense is akin to throwing a person into a sewer and saying I have no medicine if you get sick.

    It is ironic that you used the analogy of taking antibiotics. Since I am in Afghanistan, I and every other service member here have to take Doxycillin daily to prevent malaria. I am not a biologist but since malaria has killed more humans on the earth (and still does) than any other pathogen, I wonder why we have not grown immune to it in our evolutionary development? and we expect more from the bee??


    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    It sucks opening a hive only to find they have dwindled to nothing and will undoubtedly die but THEN WHAT? What do you do from there, throw in the towel and cry how it was too hard or buy two packages next year and learn how to make a nuc and rear queens so you've got a backup plan? Personally I'd buy two packages and see how I could manipulate this dynamic system to a way that's beneficial for myself and the system.
    So buying bees or raising queens faster than they can parish is the solution to a sustainable and successful ecosystem (hive)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Solomon could chime in on this and give you a bit better viewpoint than I could on the successful treatment free beekeepers but I don't know of any of them that are just sitting around on their hands hoping things turn out right. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh or pessimistic, but fools sit around and hope things turn out right. People who are serious about managing their colonies treatment free have done the leg work (yeah it requires work like anything in life you want to be successful at), they have done the reading and the research on what it takes. They have intentionally bought hygienic stock that is disease resistant, they have managed their colonies so that the bees don't start out behind on the race but with the best advantage possible. No you're not seeing it not because it's not there but because you don't want to see it and you would rather be a defeatist about it. Watching this video is not discouraging, watching this video should be enlightening. It has been said elsewhere in this forum that those who cannot do something should not try to dissuade and tell the others they can't do it as well when they are already doing it. The time for can't is over, the time for can and will begins when you stop whining about it and start actively trying to achieve that goal; however, I tell you. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
    Albert Einstein quote. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I would be very interested in hearing of someone who has had a single hive that has survived untreated with unbroken lineage (queen to her next generation biological daughter) for 3 years (5 would be better). Now I know a hive can be manipulated to make this work, but I am talking naturally. Heck, I'll even expand that to a treated hive. Anybody?
    I know this can be done by a feral hive as we had one in our back yard when I was growing up that was a continuous hive for 12 years at least (the tree finally fell over).
    Last edited by bbrowncods; 11-05-2012 at 12:32 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Actually, some human populations have developed a resistance to malaria...and it wasn't developed by taking antibiotics daily. Sickle cell anemia has very unpleasant side effects (sometimes fatal, often very painful), but it does provide resistance to malaria....which is why it is relatively common in some populations that have been challenge d with malaria.

    Deknow

  9. #9

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Personally I'd buy two packages and see how I could manipulate this dynamic system to a way that's beneficial for myself and the system.
    The phenomena "myself" is the very culprit on this planet and must be the first thing to be treated with a high dose of mindfulness. Only then will all the puzzles fall into their natural place. I, Me, Mine must cease to be, for wisdom to rise. The reasoning mind is overrated!

    Thanks for the link I already embeded it on my blog.

    I would be very interested in hearing of someone who has had a single hive that has survived untreated with unbroken lineage (queen to her next generation biological daughter) for 3 years (5 would be better). Now I know a hive can be manipulated to make this work, but I am talking naturally.
    Erik Osterlund from Sweden has colonies which are treatment-free for 5 years now. He is a small cell beekeeper. He told me that this is not easy. One must have no other beekeepers in the 3 km radius and breed the strongest colonies, even buy some good treatment free Queens.

    I though of having only 2-3 hives treatment-free (let to their own device) but now I understand that without actualy breeding the bees each year yourself, treatment free bees will never come to be. A treatment free beekeeper is to be actualy a bee-breeder (which is the actual word for a beekeeper in Scandinavia, Biodlare).

    The problem starts when like me you live in an area with beeks treating their hives religiously. I know we will cause a genetic war but I must hope for them to get along in time.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Albert Einstein quote. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I would be very interested in hearing of someone who has had a single hive that has survived untreated with unbroken lineage (queen to her next generation biological daughter) for 3 years (5 would be better). Now I know a hive can be manipulated to make this work, but I am talking naturally. Heck, I'll even expand that to a treated hive. Anybody?
    I know this can be done by a feral hive as we had one in our back yard when I was growing up that was a continuous hive for 12 years at least (the tree finally fell over).
    *Raises hand*

    First of all, let me point out the obvious to an experienced beekeeper. You have no proof that this tree hive was continuously occupied. Feral hives are always dying out and being replaced by new swarms all the while having bees coming and going such that you'd never know anything had happened.

    Now back to the business: I have kept one hive continuously for nine and a half years. I purchased it as a package back in the spring of 2003. It is still alive. It has only been naturally requeened during that entire stretch. Many of my hives are now daughters or granddaughters of this hive. It produced 17 new queen cells just this year. This hive has not been manipulated in any way to cause it to survive disease. It has not had a screened bottom board, a sticky board, has not been treated in any way, has not been split or manipulated to cause a brood break, it does not have any special genetics other than its own, and no drone brood has been removed from it.

    To answer Moon's point, no, I do not sit on my hands hoping for things to turn out well. I follow what I believe is the most statistically reliable method for assuring continued success. I allow sick or weak hives to die (or combine them with other hives) and then breed from the ones that perform well the next spring. It is an ongoing process. My measure of success is not necessarily the number of hives that survive the winter, but the number of hives that produce honey the next spring. That is the number that is (and I want) steadily rising. The number of hives that survive is rising too, but conditions vary, winters vary. We had a mild winter last year and 10 of 11 survived, but I expect the ratio will not be as favorable this winter. In either case, I have prepared for it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Solomon could chime in on this and give you a bit better viewpoint than I could on the successful treatment free beekeepers but I don't know of any of them that are just sitting around on their hands hoping things turn out right.
    Agreed.

    Attempting "treatment free" without experience and hard work is just well intentioned neglect.

    I cannot help but cringe when I see the words "first year beekeeper" and "treatment free" in the same sentence.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Metropropolis View Post
    Attempting "treatment free" without experience and hard work is just well intentioned neglect.

    I cannot help but cringe when I see the words "first year beekeeper" and "treatment free" in the same sentence.
    This thesis I would approach with trepidation, but the numbers seem to bear your point out. The beginning beekeeper often doesn't have the drive (or the stupidity) that I did, starting with 20 packages as I did rather than with one or two like the more cautious person does. Add to that the fact that the price has nearly tripled since then for a three pound package and more caution is warranted.

    That being said, I do not want a first year beekeeper to start any way but treatment-free. Once on the treadmill, there's no good way to get off. Instead the freshman beekeeper must learn quickly to increase. The key I have found is to hedge your bets against losing all your hives at once and the best way to do that is by having more than one or two. I recommend a minimum of five. The increase not only helps in the numbers game, but it helps in the genetics game.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I'm a new beekeeper so my experience is severely limited but I bought two hives this spring from a local guy and along with them came a host of medications, basically to cover the range of common maladies. My intention is to be treatment free and catch swarms and do removals or make splits to replace losses. What I did notice is that the purchased hives that had previously been medicated were basket cases. I lost the queen in both this summer and the hive was unable to raise a new one. Due to inexperience one turned laying worker on me which I was able to rectify by combining with a queenright nuc. I have to think that part of the reason for this failure is chemical residue in the combs, my other 7 hives have all new, clean comb and no problems so far.

    Joel Salatin of Polyface farms did "treatment free" for the livestock on his farm and for a long time had losses greater than the industry in general would accept. Through selective breeding his herds don't need prophylactic antibiotic treatments to survive and has a better mortality rate without than industry standard. He too the hard road of high losses to get genetically superior breeding stock and has been very successful with it. People drive many hours to get organic, humanely raised meats from Polyface Farm.

    It takes some serious stubbornness, good record keeping, and a better than average knowledge of biology but success can be had.

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Equipment is pretty much the world standard Lang and frame.
    For what it's worth, I also use upper entrances and small cell foundation and several hives have narrow frames as well. I can not attribute any of my successes to narrow frame as it is new, but some successes I attribute somewhat to small cell and upper entrances.


    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Is it starting with five and hundreds of deadouts later having 20?
    Is this your experience? I'd love to hear your story.


    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Solomon, nice website.
    Thank you. I will be updating it again when my master's is completed. I have some results to report and modifications to make to my method. I'm also going to add the chicken section now that the chicken business line is up and running. My chickens are treatment-free as well by the way, as long as you don't define eating the weak ones as a treatment.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #15

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    My chickens are treatment-free as well by the way, as long as you don't define eating the weak ones as a treatment.
    Animal Abuser !!! LOL

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Is this your experience? I'd love to hear your story.
    No, not my experience. Never owned a hive other than the one that lasted 12 years when I was a "child". But that's not fair. It was before Verroa and I never did anything other than look through a hole.

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    Reading your website you say "I have no idea" or "I don't know" pretty regularly.
    Would you rather I not point out that which I don't know? I am the sort of person who addresses those issues directly rather than skipping over them so that people searching for those specific answers will not have to waste time looking for them. I do know quite a bit about beekeeping, I've been doing it for quite a while. I enjoy it, and some people look to me for help, knowledge, and experience, of which I am happy to give freely. I do not agree with the sentiment that we don't know much about bees. But I don't know anyone who claims they know everything about them.


    Quote Originally Posted by bbrowncods View Post
    No, not my experience.
    If it's not your experience, then to whose experience are you referring?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If it's not your experience, then to whose experience are you referring?
    Actually, no one. The paragraph was discussing the definition of success. The thought behind the question was; if being successful in this endeavor means going from a small number of hives to a larger number, is it required to have hundreds of die-outs in between? "Hundreds" was a clear exaggeration for emphasis, the number 5 was picked from your website as being what you recommend as a start, and 20 is about where I want to go.
    I think that is a fair question. Is that what it takes for TFB? My other option is to medicate via IPM via soft methods and not have to go through so many. Trying to weight the advantages and pitfalls.

  19. #19

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Parker, thanks for this last post of yours. It clears alot for me. I am also one of the first year beeks being infected with the treatment free ideal which is better i guess than going the well established status quo anti varroa treatment paranoia.
    I have a few month to study the Queen breeding and increasing colonies by doing splits, artificial swarms and to build some nucs and a few more top bar hives.
    I dont think i can buy treatment free bees in Sweden, but small cell bees i could find.

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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Che Guebuddha View Post
    Parker, thanks for this last post of yours. It clears alot for me. I am also one of the first year beeks being infected with the treatment free ideal which is better i guess than going the well established status quo anti varroa treatment paranoia.
    I have a few month to study the Queen breeding and increasing colonies by doing splits, artificial swarms and to build some nucs and a few more top bar hives.
    I dont think i can buy treatment free bees in Sweden, but small cell bees i could find.
    I wa in Sweden for a week back in July (Soderhamn area) didn't see a single honeybee. And I was looking, may have still been a bit cool. Did see a sign for a local apiary but didn't visit as I was already worried about getting lost in the countryside. What kind of beekeeping season do you have there?

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