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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    243

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Thankyou Minz!

    BTW, Solomon is right about letting nature take its course with the bees....as long as you have lots of hives and expect at least some to make it through the winter and the mites. But I have ONE hive this winter. And am unlikely to ever have more than 10-20. I am not in a position to run on from survivors at this point, although that is certainly my aim, and I am on the hunt for hardier bees.

    I was at a local beekeeping meeting a few days ago and the chapter president mentioned that here in Canada, the vast majority (I believe it was somewhere around 95%, am checking on that) of beekeepers have 5 hives or less. And in this country, the availability of treatment free bees is very limited, thanks to the prohibition against cross border bee and queen shipping.

    The pressure of small holding beekeepers to treat so as not to lose all their bees is overwhelming. Ironically that is similar to the pressure on big operators to treat to stay profitable. We need to gather and use all the good information we can to learn to do chemical/treatment free beekeeping while we shepherd our small, ever improving flocks ever onward.

    This is part of why I am so affronted by the endless dogmatic and nasty arguing in club meetings and forums...it doesn't speak to me, and it doesn't help me, nor I would think the majority of beekeepers, or even new beekeepers.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,912

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Bigger numbers will not nessecarily save you.

    There is a remote part of my country where varroa only got to 3 years ago. I have a friend there who read a lot of treatment free stuff and decided that when varroa got to his area, he was not going to treat. So in preperation he converted 50 of his hives to small cell, did a lot of research and even went to America and attended a Dee Lusby conference plus spent a week or two actually working with Dee on her own bees.

    About a couple of years after varroa got to his area he told me of the 50 hives, only 5 where still alive. He was not deterred though, these would be the 5 "survivors" he would breed from. Maybe 6 months later I talked to him again, he had lost every single one.

    The standard reasons given when TF beekeepers lose hive did not apply as there is nothing wrong with his beekeeping, and he was not taking bees off a "Treatment Treadmill" the hives had never been treated.

    What he did though was not make any increase, as it was not his habit, prior to varroa he rarely lost a hive and did not make much splits or increase.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    This is part of why I am so affronted by the endless dogmatic and nasty arguing in club meetings and forums.
    What would you suggest? It's one thing to complain about something, it's a whole other thing to have a solution. What's your solution?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    arvad, colorado, usa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    This is second hand knowledge so take it for what it's worth.....

    I was talking with a beekeeper who has several hundred hives, treatment free. He claims to have only had a 5% loss last winter, which is way better than average around here. I asked him what he did. He said decades ago he started with packages, but never bought a queen since then. If a hive was faltering, he let it falter and he only did splits from his very best hives. If I understand him, he practiced animal husbandry with his hives to get the best bees by weeding out the weak and keeping the strong.

    Since the six hives in my yard have been treatment free this year, it'll be interesting to see how they do this winter.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    This post started with a loaded question,therefore it was bound to get explosive answers...I am not pro treatment ,but maybe a 75-100 dollar hive isn't much to some,but if that were a sick 1200 dollar cow would you give her drugs or just wait and see if it comes out of it.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,402

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    What would you suggest? It's one thing to complain about something, it's a whole other thing to have a solution. What's your solution?
    'raises hand'

    there's no solution. it's the nature of the beast. everyone is passionate about their bees, and about the way the keep them.

    i say, let the sparks fly, and the chips fall where they may. bleep the profanity and personal attacks, but let the discourse take its course.

    i credit the members of this forum with enough intelligence to be able to filter through hype. in the end, each one of us will have to glean what can, apply it to our own situation, see what happens, and go from there.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    there's no solution. it's the nature of the beast. everyone is passionate about their bees, and about the way the keep them.
    That's the best one I've heard yet. I've come to believe that it's the friction that keeps things warm. Eliminate it and things get cold.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #68
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,402

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    That's the best one I've heard yet. I've come to believe that it's the friction that keeps things warm. Eliminate it and things get cold.
    zactly! and then there's the entertainment value.....
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Sorry gentlemen, I do heartily disagree. Friction is a waste of energy, it just creates drag in the system.

    There is no excuse for incivility or anger in a discussion of how to get our bees to a condition where they can handle diseases and pests with little or no intervention, certainly we all want to get to a place where at least the inteventions/helps we apply are at least non-toxic. Barring having bees that laugh at mites and viruses, I would love to be able to apply remedies that do not end up in my wax and honey, love to be able to eliminate mites and disease with no side effects.

    Meanwhile, there is no reason we cannot compare notes and try out new strategies without rancour. Disagreement does not have to disagreeable, and taking alternate routes does not preclude reaching the same destination.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,402

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    aw come on western, where's the fun in that?

    just kidding, but really, no kidding. surely you have seen by now that beekeepers tend to be an opinionated bunch.

    your aspiration is worthy, but not reallistically attainable.

    humans are almost as interesting as bees, embrace it for what it is and enjoy.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    WesternWilson have you checked the BC Bee Breeders Association for queens and nucs?
    bcbba.bcbeekeepers.com/

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,078

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    There is no excuse for incivility or anger in a discussion of how to get our bees to a condition where they can handle diseases and pests with little or no intervention
    I heartily agree with you about incivility. That's not what I was talking about. A little righteous anger on the other hand can be useful from time to time.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,912

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Regarding the "Treatment Treadmill" theory, the idea being proposed by some, is that once you are on the "Treatment Treadmill", you can never get off.

    Can't really see that myself. Why can't you get off? It doesn't make sense because most people starting in bees start with bees that are treated, there just aren't many non treated bees for sale. I constantly see people complaining that they cannot get any. So, what's the difference wether they were bought treated, or you treated them yourself? None, far as I can see.

    What I can see, is that using a product such as apistan that leaves permanent residue in the hive, could make it difficult to go treatment free later. But using a treatment such as oxalic acid that leaves no permanent residue in the hive, should have no effect later if somebody attempts to go treatment free later. So a person treating with a non residual chemical is not on any "Treadmill".

    Which brings up another curious point. On this forum I see advise from treatment free folks, that the very worst way to start bees if you want to go treatment free, is to get a package. It's been stated that this is virtually doomed to failure. The way to go, apparently, is a nuc. Doesn't make sense though. A nuc, if that hive has ever in the past been treated with apistan or anything else residual, will have contaminated wax, making treatment free efforts a lot harder to succeed at. A package, has only bees, no residual chemicals. Surely a better way.

    I think the term "Treatment Treadmill", has just been dreamt up as a meaningless buzzword, designed to pidgeonhole anybody who treats. There is no "Treatment Treadmill".
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ...surely you have seen by now that beekeepers tend to be an opinionated bunch.
    ...humans are almost as interesting as bees, embrace it for what it is and enjoy.
    This is true. I have found that pretty much any group that is on a Forum is passionate about that topic. I doubt however that most beekeepers are on a Forum.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,325

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Regarding the "Treatment Treadmill" theory, the idea being proposed by some, is that once you are on the "Treatment Treadmill", you can never get off.

    Can't really see that myself. Why can't you get off? It doesn't make sense because most people starting in bees start with bees that are treated, there just aren't many non treated bees for sale. I constantly see people complaining that they cannot get any. So, what's the difference wether they were bought treated, or you treated them yourself? None, far as I can see.

    What I can see, is that using a product such as apistan that leaves permanent residue in the hive, could make it difficult to go treatment free later. But using a treatment such as oxalic acid that leaves no permanent residue in the hive, should have no effect later if somebody attempts to go treatment free later. So a person treating with a non residual chemical is not on any "Treadmill".


    I think the term "Treatment Treadmill", has just been dreamt up as a meaningless buzzword, designed to pidgeonhole anybody who treats. There is no "Treatment Treadmill".
    Amen to that OT. I think OA must really annoy some of these folks because it just seems too good to be true so they fall back on the "unseen damage to this huge microorganism" argument. They can't really point to any specific damage only the argument that any change to this "balance" must surely be bad. My experience is that a well timed yearly oxalic treatment is devastating to the mite population in a hive. It's cheap, safe (well not to mites) and easy to apply. Our mite populations are currently at nearly non detectable levels and our honey crop tests free of any mite killing chemicals and our bees seem to be humming along (pardon the pun) just fine. Just use the stuff and keep as many of those super organisms alive as you possibly can.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Amen to that OT. I think OA must really annoy some of these folks because it just seems too good to be true so they fall back on the "unseen damage to this huge microorganism" argument.
    I'm not sure how that is a fall back....the microorganisms associated with the bees are the subject of some of the most interesting bee res arch being done, and their importance and heritability are only just beginning to be appreciated.

    Research into the effects of various pesticides and how they affect bacteria, yeasts, and fungi in the hive goes back to the early 70s at the Tucson lab (see our website for a complete catalog of Martha Gilliam's work in this area).

    ..in 2008 there was a study looking at the effects of HFCS, formic and oxcalic on the fungi associated with beebread fermentation. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...0LiGStEDOldfuw

    ...there was a 3 part series in ABJ in 2009, basically summarizing Martha Gilliam's work, and looking for funding to do new work. [my problem with this pitch was that they don't have any untreated bees to look at...if you want to know what is happening in a microbial culture, you have to study it sans treatments, otherwise there is something else going on in that culture, and your observations are meaningless].

    There was this book that came out about a year ago, heavily focused on this stuff (with articles written by some of your favorite mainstream bee researchers): http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Bee-Colo.../dp/1439879400

    Now, there is the most excellent work coming out of the Moran lab at Yale (funded by the NSF), the first lab to look at treated and untreated bees separately (I believe this also makes them the first researchers to even acknowledge that when looking at gut microbes, feeding and past feeding of antibiotics will affect what you see). They are clearly seeing that the microbial community is changed, and for many, many generations when antibiotics are used.....they have not gotten to looking at what other treatments do yet...one step at a time.

    They can't really point to any specific damage only the argument that any change to this "balance" must surely be bad.
    My recollection is that there are some malpighian tubule damage reports from using oxalic...no?

    Our mite populations are currently at nearly non detectable levels and our honey crop tests free of any mite killing chemicals and our bees seem to be humming along (pardon the pun) just fine.
    ....perhaps it would also be prudent to mention that it is illegal to use oxalic acid (whether there is residue detected or not), and that not long ago, Richard Adee was fined $14,000 for using this stuff.
    I used oxalic once, and it killed mites. I don't feel the need to kill mites at this point.

    deknow

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,325

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Knew I'd draw you out dean I only know for sure what I see with my eyes. Today I have about a thousand huge hives that could use another feed. Again changes occur without a doubt but it takes way more convincing for me to accept that what I have seen in recent years is bad. And no just because a specific oxalic product has not been approved does not make the use of oxalic any more illegal than the use of powdered sugar. Eides were fined for much more than that. Keep er rolling Dean were having fun now.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,589

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    I don't know what more I can add to the discussion. I've pointed out at least 3 specific mechanisms for a treatment treadmill (fumadill, comb contamination, antibiotics)....but it does not appear that anyone wants to discuss these things...so we are left with the question posed on the original post, "do you feel like you are on a treadmill?"
    The answer from those that treat seems to either "I treat, and it works...I plan to continue treating" or "I'm treating sometimes, keeping g treating as an option until I don't need to treat anymore."
    I would get the same answers in a bar if I asked if anyone had a drinking problem.

    Deknow

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,589

    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    And no just because a specific oxalic product has not been approved does not make the use of oxalic any more illegal than the use of powdered sugar.
    1. I've never advocated nor performed any powdered sugar treatments.
    2. Sugar would most definitely be considered GRAS (meaning its use in the hive would not be a violation of the law...it is "generally recognized as safe")...not so much with OA.

    deknow

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: "treatment treadmill"

    thanks for those posts dean, looks like i've got some reading to do.

    jim, so all you do is a one time dribble in the fall? is just after your honey harvest?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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