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  1. #1
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    Default "treatment treadmill"

    in post #21, in the thread 'm bush on treatment-free', in the tfb forum, solomon parker writes:

    "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."

    do any of you feel like you are stuck on a treadmill and can't get off?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Not in the least; I thought the logic there was a bit loose! A bees lifetime is so short and the genetics so easily replaced by requeening that previous methods can quickly be history. I like what some are doing by way of control and comparison in running both methods. Unless you are very isolated and have a huge number of hives, the feral background is much more influential than your bees so I dont buy the argument that having treated bees at large is compromising the treatment free experiment
    In my opinion," on the treadmill, no good way to get off", are loaded with emotional barbs rather than appealing to rational appraisal of the topic on its own merrits. I try to keep my mind open and peer through the haze of confusion. It will be interesting in 10 years to look back with the clarity of hindsight and see how this played out. In the meantime I wont have all my eggs in one basket.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs Up I'll bite.

    I believe in Integrated Pest Management, but do not assert that philosophy on anyone else.

    My goal is treatment free, but judicious use of 'chemicals' is on the table for a year or two until I get a good mite and disease resistant apiary. Soft treatments first, stronger only if necessary (hopefully never). Letting the bees die off does not make them stronger. My goal is to find strong and healthy queens with good characteristics and mite tolerance, then, step off the treatment treadmill. I'll keep the bees alive by whatever means necessary until we get the queen issues solved so we can leave them alone.

    After a 20 year beekeeping hiatus, I've only seen a handful of mites in my three hives and three NUCS this summer. I've requeened with survivor genes from Bweaver (No, they aren't that defensive) and others, -there is a strong local/feral drone influence in my queens now: I'm optimistic!

    Randy Oliver warns about the Beekeeping Taliban. I want to remain open minded and at the same time help beginners when they ask, even guide them some, but let them sink or swim on their own decisions.

    No offense to anyone intended with these statements, I know its a hot topic.
    Last edited by Lburou; 11-06-2012 at 08:29 AM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    My goal is to find strong and healthy queens with good characteristics and mite tolerance, then, step off the treatment treadmill. I'll keep the bees alive by whatever means necessary until we get the queen issues solved so we can leave them alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I thought the logic there was a bit loose! A bees lifetime is so short and the genetics so easily replaced by requeening that previous methods can quickly be history.

    In my opinion," on the treadmill, no good way to get off", are loaded with emotional barbs rather than appealing to rational appraisal of the topic on its own merrits.
    my thoughts exactly.

    i think the implication for the beginner who aspires to keep bees healthy without treatments is that if you ever start treatments you are committed to them forever.

    i would think the beginner would be best served by learning how to recognize a colony that is suffering (an understatement for sure) from mite infestation, along with learning how to clean it up and requeen with resistant stock.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 11-06-2012 at 10:52 AM. Reason: fixed lee's quote
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    I don't like mites, nuff said. I could care less if the bees are survivor stock, vsh, or related to Chuck Norris. I'm killing mites because I don't want to see any around. That being said, I feel no obligation to treat if I don't see mites and I will not use a single method which may lead to resistant mites. I'm even going to see if I can do a Co2 mite drop type sample instead of an alcohol shake.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Sure, go ahead and be treatment free. You'll be buying nucs form me next spring.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    I want to start off by saying that I do treat my bees with Oxalic Acid vapor in the fall against the Varroa mite, I suppose I could be labeled an organic beekeeper. When I started treating last fall I had only one hive at that time and during the first week in September as I would walk down to my hive I was walking on a carpet of DWV crawlers on their death march from the hive, the hive would have no doubt died off during that winter if something wasn't done quickly, so the OA vapor treatment was the method I chose and the Dwv problem disappeared.I have never regretted it, now I have six hives, treated them in September and will do so again around the end of November to give them a good start for this coming spring.

    The Varroa is a parasite and I treat it as such, if the treatment free program turns out to be successful someday and gives us all a new breed of bees that a lot of folks are looking for, I will be among those cheering but I do not think we are there yet so until then I do not have the time, money or the inclination to be replacing deadouts every spring. I do not look down on those who desire to go treatment free but I do get irritated with inflammatory remarks that are used to shed a bad light on those of us who do treat.
    Last edited by WWW; 11-06-2012 at 08:17 PM.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    but I do get irritated with inflammatory remarks that are used to shed a bad light on those of us who do treat.
    I get irritated when inflammatory remarks are used against treatment or treatment free beekeepers. Very much like religion and politics. If the other guy holds a different view, people feel it's open season to make snide remarks.
    Regards, Barry

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I get irritated when inflammatory remarks are used against treatment or treatment free beekeepers. Very much like religion and politics. If the other guy holds a different view, people feel it's open season to make snide remarks.
    excellent point barry.

    imflammatory and snide remarks don't advance the discourse, but healthy and spirited debate does.

    unfortunately, such debate is not possible on the tfb forum because of the censorship created by the 'unique forum rules' and the willingness of the moderator to enforce them. i fell this downgrades the participation on that forum to a 'religon', welcoming only those who 'believe'.

    imho, this is too important of a topic for all beekeepers to not allow for the free exchange of ideas. thankfully, that can still happen on the main forum.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    Sure, go ahead and be treatment free. You'll be buying nucs form me next spring.
    Doubt they would be buying treated nucs from you if they are maintaining treatment free bees.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    I have no issues with being treatment free or wanting to improve your hives resistance. I have issues with letting mites run rampant which doesn't need to be the case. If your bees keep mites down, good, but if your bees get by but you have high mite loads, it's time to re-think your strategy. There's nothing responsible in harboring a large miteload every year. I can understand some years being bad, but if it's constantly high then you need to start doing something. I don't understand what's so complicated about that.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    First - nice election day logo.

    Second - I find the treatment-or-not debate to always be sticky and emotional. We all love our bees, and when the management approach or opinions of others suggest or imply that our own approach is wrong or flawed - it often strikes an emotional chord, and a firey reaction.

    None of us wants to be wrong. We all think long and hard about how to manage our bees, and we each feel that our approach is the best we can do.

    I'm presently giving treatment free a shot. I have treated with oxalic acid, and it worked just fine in getting my bees through winter. But here's the thing:

    The mites just keep coming right back.

    With all that humanity is throwing at them, the fact that they're just as strong or stronger than ever really makes me feel like it's just not going to work. I absolutely understand that others see it differently, or face different circumstances that bring them to different conclusions.

    But if it's at all possible - if we can - I feel like we have to try.

    Adam

  13. #13
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    do any of you feel like you are stuck on a treadmill and can't get off?
    Not personally, but I do find that when one goes cold turkey ones bees are very likely to up and die. Hence the treadmill.

    It's interesting to see people still thinking that the treatment-free style is new and unproven. I'm happy to be on the cutting edge, but I've been doing it for almost ten years. Surely it's not new anymore.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Not personally, but I do find that when one goes cold turkey ones bees are very likely to up and die. Hence the treadmill.

    It's interesting to see people still thinking that the treatment-free style is new and unproven. I'm happy to be on the cutting edge, but I've been doing it for almost ten years. Surely it's not new anymore.
    i can appreciate that solomon.

    i feel we can all thank the likes of dee lusby, michael bush, and others for pioneering the way.

    i heartily agree with the advice that you and others give, to include a viable way of making increase, in order to replenish losses, (whether using treatments or not).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    ...it's pretty hard to un-contaminate comb (and I noticed that Mann Lake is including coumaphos in their variety pack this season). In addition, fumagillin may well be a treatment treadmill...once you start, you have to reapply.

    http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/147880.pdf
    Having seen the previous data, it is interesting to note what Zachary Huang’s lab discovered (ABJ abstract #14) about feeding fumagillin to honey bees to control Nosema ceranae. In their studies, they found that the antibiotic impacts both the parasite and the protein makeup of the honey bee intestinal tract. In fact, as the level of fumagillin decreases in the bees over time, it reaches a low level which actually stimulates spore production of N. ceranae. A similar effect is seen with N. apis, but it is not nearly so pronounced.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Not personally, but I do find that when one goes cold turkey ones bees are very likely to up and die.
    when mentoring someone to go cold turkey, is the plan to let their bees up and die, or do you recommend implementing measures to aid in the transition, for example, requeening with resistant stock?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    That's a tough question Squarepeg. It certainly couldn't hurt. Whatever is done, I recommend rapid and profuse splitting. You'll have a better chance of not having all the hives die at once, and that's my main focus. These new hives will probably also be building new clean comb which can only help as well.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #18
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    I am treatment free because I have never found a reason to treat.

    I have never seen a mite in/around/near my bees. And yes, I do test. I also do not even know what a SHB looks like. The only things I have seen in my hives, other than bees is: a spider last week, and an earwig, also last week.

    I think something should be said for getting resistant stock in the first place and not using used equipment.
    Personally, I got Italians from California and then requeened with resistant stock.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  19. #19
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    That's a tough question Squarepeg. It certainly couldn't hurt. Whatever is done, I recommend rapid and profuse splitting. You'll have a better chance of not having all the hives die at once, and that's my main focus. These new hives will probably also be building new clean comb which can only help as well.
    that makes sense solomon. why was it a tough question?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #20
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    It depends on the case. So much of beekeeping is subjective and local. Some have certain resources, others don't. I'm still working on a one-size-fits-all solution. I'll tell you when it's finished.

    I try not to opine about that which I have not done myself. However, I know of people who have used that approach and it has worked for them.

    I have also experienced obtaining a treated hive, not treating it, and it promptly dying. That was my father's short foray into beekeeping. He's done it twice now. I don't recommend it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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