Actually, I agree that oftentimes people discount the mites if they don't know what to look for, if they don't see a ton of them, or if they discount some of the viral infections that _can_ be vectored by mites (although most viruses have overt symptoms most of the time). We have lost hives to overt mite infestations...but except for 2 nucs we brought in from a specific operation, not in the last 3 years. I'm sure they play a role in some of the problems we have seen....but the bees aren't all dead, they generally look healthy, we hardly see any mites. we don't do counts, but I do have very sharp eyes for mites. I do uncap a bit of drone from time to time, and rarely found mites at all this year. We make splits, but we haven't split like mad.
At our local club, it is claimed that the mites bounced back like mad after the fall treatment..we often hear that the bees are starving and need feeding or they will die. Our state club president (also working with the Russian program) stated as recently as 2 years ago that if you don't use fumadill, your bees will die. None of this seems to be the case for us.
....if you are not getting a premium in the marketplace for above average product produced with above average practices, then I would point out that "those that put so little weight" are in fact the packers (and industry) who buy your honey....the ones who benefit from the relative commidification of honey to use the cheap adulterated stuff to keep the prices paid for your honey down. Perhaps you should do some marketing..or perhaps we should talk.Why do some choose to put so little weight in the results we have achieved?
I started out no treat when I got back into beekeeping. Lost every hive that winter. These were good bees with VSH queens and the bee inspector remarked what good hives they were in July. So now I treat. Like Jim I use as little treatment as possible and use only VSH or other resistant queens. Last winter I lost no hives, although it really wasn't a real northern winter. I have never treated for nosema, and never plan to. I personally don't think it's a major problem in the northern areas since it is so susceptible to freezing. I have a scope and recently my counts were zero in most hives. I have never had AFB yet, so I don't treat for that. Would not, I would burn the hive and move on. It's really a personal choice. I'm not on a treadmill, just trying to keep my bees alive and continue to expand. Will have 2 more honey yards next year if I don't have a bad winter. Had my best honey year this year.
As the conversation seems to have turned to the 8,000 organisisms that supposedly live in the beehive superorganism, my personal belief is likely the same as nearly everybody else, that a proper balance is important.
It's useful to know what's been discovered in a lab, and this information should be in the back or our mind when we work in the real world.
However, to talk about, for example, the destruction of yeasts essential for bee bread production, is to imply that, you treat, your yeasts die, you bees cannot make bee bread, you're screwed. I am growing weary of these types of doomsday scenarios being bandied around.
Outside of a lab, in the real world, most of my hives get treated. Do they look sick? No, quite the reverse. The hives are booming, honey is pouring in, I have sold record numbers of bees ths year. Open any one of my hives and you get this feel good, woah this hive is Pumping vibe, which makes me enjoy my job.
So I'm not questioning what's found in a lab. I'm questioning how it really pans out in the real world, and the way it's interpreted by some who use it to try to prove their own agenda.
Antibiotics, well no, I wouldn't use them. But for those with different climatic factors than what I have, I say go with what works for you. (Which, by the way, is an incredibly common saying on the treatment free forum LOL). The discounting of scientific research and studies is also not without precedent, doing that is also a very popular pastime on the treatment free forum.
I don't want to speak for Michael Bush, but I"m thinking that forums discussing the how to's of TFB and TBH rather than a debate on the pro's and con's of each of them is more beneficial to those who have already decided to pursue TFB or using TBH's, but I understand that some of the audience of those forums is composed of people who are undecided on which direction to go, and they may be expecting more of a debate on the subjects to help them make a decision. So, that explains why things are what they are. Those that have had mite related losses due to no treatments feel the need to educate others about what could happen, and they are entitled to their opinion. John
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
I think Solomon just wants to run a tight ship and keep things on topic in that forum. It may dissuade some discussion but those same topics can be discussed in other forums. People looking for treatment free info can go right there and not be bombarded with people arguing in every thread.
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
The concept of a forum with tight rules so that likeminded people can discuss their opinion without having to mess with opposing opinions is not wrong, in itself.
Where it goes wrong though is that keeping bees without treating them has an automatic appeal to people starting out, with no knowledge, and looking for guidance. So they see the treatment free forum, with authoritative sounding advise being handed out, and that's where they decide to go.
People are herd animals. Scientific studies have shown that most people will agree with what they know to be wrong, if everybody else does. There are some famous experiments that have shown that.
So I've seen newbies turn up at the tfb forum and ask questions and get answers. Everybody talking to them seems to be on the same page, there are no dissenting opinions, the newbie buys it, and will often make remarks such as "so glad I found this place". But looking at the position they are in, I know the advise they are getting is wrong and will result in the loss of their bees, often their only bees. And later follow up posts will often show that was the case. The people dispensing advise are often rather too cavalier in their attitude to the survival of the newbies bees. The advise is usually based on the idea that what works for one will work for all. But it doesn't.
Some of these people after getting wiped out have the courage to start again, and some of them are here. Most leave the hobby, disillusioned.
I don't know what the fix is for this problem, because to open the forum up to balanced opinions would then stop the existing people having their own single track thing going, without dissent. I will say that the abusive behaviour from (generally newbies) on the treatment free forum has improved greatly over recent times. I used to often see people who treat referred to as "" ignorant", and much worse, often by people who didn't even have bees yet. With this sort of thing getting cleaned up mostly, I feel the whole general tone of Beesource has improved, this thread is seen by some as an arguing thread but it's very mild compared to what used to happen, so that has to be good.
An old indium comes to mind. "If there's an A the works and a B that works, don't do a little bit of A and B." You either do A or B. In my hundred years of work history this statement is most often correct. I started treatment free, and I will remain treatment free. Having said that, they're your bees so do what you wish. I'm not going to bash either approach.
My bees are not within miles and miles of other kept bees, so my negligence won't affect other beekeepers. I suppose my lack of treatment could knock out some feral bees. Nineteen months into beekeeping, I have not lost a hive.
Good idium lazy shooter.
You are 100 years old?
Last edited by beemandan; 11-09-2012 at 02:19 PM.
Along with lazy shooter's idium...an observation of mine.
If you pump sunshine long enough....some people will believe it's daylight 24 hours a day.
Old, I kind of agree with you on the new beeks but if they make a good effort at being a decent beek I do not see why they would fail. From the forums most failures I see don't have much to do with the route the beek has taken, moreso in the time dedicated to spending time with the hives and doing meaningful research and actually learning something and being able to grasp the concepts.
I do see a lot of new beeks with no biology/entomology experience kind of jumping in and wanting to take these routes and that does concern me as it's the toughest hill to climb so to say and it also seems as an excuse for a lot of noobs to take the 'well I'm treatment free excuse' for not inspecting their hives ever or monitoring for diseases or just not knowing anything about bees in general. It just falls back to, well, "all these people told me treatment free was the way to go and being totally viable for everyone," and taking the 'bees will take care of themself' motto too literally.