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  1. #21
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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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

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I keep around 15 hives and haven't treated in 8 years.

    John Kefuss in France, B Weaver in Texas are commercial producers who do not treat.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I am a first year beekeeper. I started treatment free and remain so. I have 5 hives. 1 package, 3 swarms and a cutout. All are doing well. I successfully did a split, but later messed it up so I combined it with another hive. I keep a close eye on my bees and take measures when required to make sure they remain strong. I think painting all first year beekeepers with a broad brush is a little unfair. As a biologist, I have heard Michael Bush speak, and what he says makes a great deal of sense. I also listen to people like Sol, and local experts to find out what I should be doing from time to time to help my bees. That is why I am planning to raise as many queens as I can next year, catch swarms, and select for strong, productive, and pest free colonies.

    Ted

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Once on the treadmill, there's no good way to get off.
    It is no harder to get off the treatment treadmill than it is to go treatment free in the first place. You may have to start over, but more than likely, you will find some of your stock resistant and eventually learn to breed from those that require the least if any intervention while producing the most.

    The surest way to fail in any endeavour, beekeeping included, to jump in with no knowledge with your fingers crossed. Read, watch, ask questions, Learn from those that know and those that don't know. There are as many ways to keep bees as there are beekeepers.

    M. Bush's site is an excellent place to pick up a lot of information quickly. I may not agree with all his methods, but anything he says about bees merits serious consideration.

  5. #25
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    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Che Guebuddha View Post

    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.
    This would imply that his bees are not resistant, only isolated. He may in fact be treatment free but is at the mercy of other beekeepers, etc. Isolation stagnates genetics and does not promote diversity.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by taydeko View Post
    I keep a close eye on my bees and take measures when required to make sure they remain strong. I think painting all first year beekeepers with a broad brush is a little unfair. As a biologist, I have heard Michael Bush speak, and what he says makes a great deal of sense. I also listen to people like Sol, and local experts to find out what I should be doing from time to time to help my bees. That is why I am planning to raise as many queens as I can next year, catch swarms, and select for strong, productive, and pest free colonies.

    Ted
    Ted,

    What measures do you take?

    You really should listen to all and learn what you can from each, the good and the bad. If you only listen to those that mirror your beliefs, you never grow beyond your own limitations.

    Is Albuquerque a AFB area? If so, you need to be very careful with your queen rearing program.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,079

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    You may have to start over, but more than likely, you will find some of your stock resistant and eventually learn to breed from those that require the least if any intervention while producing the most.
    I have not found this to be the case. From listening to many beekeepers trying to go treatment free over the years, I find that removing chemicals from bees puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared to originally non-treated bees as Mr. Bush's and my teachings suggest.


    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Is Albuquerque a AFB area?
    Do you mean AHB?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I have not found this to be the case. From listening to many beekeepers trying to go treatment free over the years, I find that removing chemicals from bees puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared to originally non-treated bees as Mr. Bush's and my teachings suggest.
    What part of "you may have to start over" do you fail to understand? You can step off the treadmill at any time. It is just that easy. Just expect to fall when you do. Just like you likely fell when you first started treatment free. Or you can slowly transition from lots of treatments to little and then possibly to none. You don't hold the corner on treatment free genetics. They can over time be integrated into any population.

    However, that said, if one does decide to go treatment free, it would be best to start with proven treatment free bees, with the emphasis on "proven". In my book it would take 5 years of treatment free success before I would consider the bees viably treatment free. To many out there claiming resistant bees just because they have bees they have not treated. Its a shot in the dark most of the time when someone buys "treatment free", "resistant", or "survivor" stock.

    The biggest obstacle to new keepers is them losing their bees in the first year. Lots will probably quit on that failure. To many times I have heard uninformed "treatment free" keepers, describe their failure and why they quit bees. By all means if one considers all the information both pro and con and decides to go either direction, they will be in a better position than one that just grabs a hive and hopes for the best. Not long ago on this site I saw a thread of someone trying to decide whether or not to buy some bees that had come up for sale. They wanted to go treatment free, but knew absolutley nothing about the condition or genetics of the bees in question. To often the concept sounds great, but the application is lacking.

    "

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I have not found this to be the case. From listening to many beekeepers trying to go treatment free over the years, I find that removing chemicals from bees puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared to originally non-treated bees as Mr. Bush's and my teachings suggest.
    "over the years....my teachings"


    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Do you mean AHB?

    Yes, I meant AHB.

  9. #29
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    So, where can I purchase your book?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Yes, I meant AHB.
    I am told that AHB occasionally find their way here, but don't survive the winter.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    The biggest obstacle to new keepers is them losing their bees in the first year. Lots will probably quit on that failure. To many times I have heard uninformed "treatment free" keepers, describe their failure and why they quit bees. ...... To often the concept sounds great, but the application is lacking.
    Agreed. Going treatment-free requires a huge depth of knowledge, but it can be difficult to attain that depth if one has to keep replacing dead bees.

    My own path was much like Solomon's: Idealistic choices resulting in an early catastrophic failure. And it worked for us because we're failure tolerant (And/or stubborn). While it made me dive into beekeeping with zeal that I wouldn't otherwise have, this could hardly be a reasonable path for most people.

    Does it not seem odd to anyone that we are awash in so many "First year treatment free beekeepers", but there's actually only a score of "treatment free" veterans? The failure rate is high, and so many new "Treatment free" beekeepers just take their ball and silently go home.


    I see sparks starting to fly between you and Solomon, Which is unfortunate, as you're both 100% right from where I sit.
    Last edited by Metropropolis; 11-05-2012 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Spelling error. on=only

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    I guess I wonder if a guy has to go ‘all in’ one method or the other. I got a handful of hives here, work with a B in Law on the west side of town and am going to expand to another yard just up the mountain a piece. I figured this year I was on the verge of losing two hives so I treated them. That gives me 3 that I can move up the mountain. Of the 4 in the west end of town lost two full size that gives 2 on the west. If I continue this than the yards further east from home should develop better resistance. Obviously not 100% treatment free but I am into moderation and this seems to be the line between the two. As already stated, replacing all my stock every year is not an option. Pull my new queens from the east?
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    166

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    So how does a new beekeeper succeed in treatment free? Solomon says (for him at least) that treetment free is not only without chemicals but also without manipulation. The only thing left is climate, equipment, the bees, and the "management" (not manipulation). Climate you can't do anything about. Equipment is pretty much the world standard Lang and frame. Bees pretty much fall into the catagory of "get the best you can" or catch what you can. Which leaves us with management and there are as many ways as there are hives it seems.

    I guess my problem is trying to understand what is the definition of achieving success? Is it starting with five and hundreds of deadouts later having 20?

    Solomon, nice website.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,896

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    For me success is something I hope to achieve "next Year." I'm trying to get there by having multiple yards, some that get treatments when called for and some that don't. I try to do justice to the IPM concept. In the yards that don't get treated I've tried a variety of stocks and will probably continue to as long as my health, inclination and wallet hold out.

    At the peak of the summer I had close to 40 colonies. I'm not sure where what the count is today. 21 degrees here this morning.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    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.

  16. #36
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,079

    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

  17. #37

    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

  18. #38
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    Oct 2012
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    Norfolk, VA
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    166

    Default Re: M Bush on Treatment-Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I hear this one pretty regularly. I find it to be the opinion primarily of beginning beekeepers or of individuals who do not yet own bees. Bees have been kept for thousands of years of recorded history. We know quite a lot about them. It would be akin to saying 'we don't know much about dogs.' But we do. We know plenty about bees. We know how to breed them, how to keep them, how to get them to produce honey for us, what they eat, how fast they fly, how they mate, etc. We are 150 years into the modern beekeeping era. We know quite a bit.
    Reading your website you say "I have no idea" or "I don't know" pretty regularly.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 11-06-2012 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Discussing Moderation

  19. #39
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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.

  20. #40
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    Dec 2002
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    5,079

    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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