Re: Ask Questions Here!
I think there is a number of reasons for some of the disagreement.
But first, ALL beekeepers would like to be treatment free. Treatment is expensive and time consuming. Pre varroa, no chemicals of any type were used in hives in my country. Then varroa arrived and treatment became the norm. The cost of it put some marginal beekeepers out of business, and for the rest, they now run an average of 30% less hives per man. Nobody wants that, of course.
There is an issue of definition. This, being a treatment free forum, allows really only one method, the bond method. Because any other method is not treatment free. So for example, the govt. funded breeding programs producing bees with higher varroa resistance are not strictly kosher on this forum cos they treat.
The conundrum for the likes of me, is that I am not really kosher on this forum. Because although I used the bond method, I lost everything. IE, it didn't work.
That leaves me one alternative, treat where needed, but breed from the most resistant. But that is not really kosher on this forum.
When I did the bond method, I used absolute best practise, based on information from all the best known treatment free beekeepers, Solomon included. In fact I exceeded what some of them do. But it didn't work. And for most for whom it did work, they don't know why. IE, they cannot take their bees and practises to another beekeeper and tell them it will work for them. It is not reliably repeatable.
Perhaps the most repeatable thing in TF beekeeping might be queens from beeweaver. Most reviews are positive. But it struck me as odd that commercial beekeepers are not using them to make big savings, so I asked about this on the commercial forum. The reply was that some have tried them, but they got varroa just like all the other bees. So from that, it could be concluded that environment, as well as genetics, plays a part.
Even small cell itself, is not truly bond method, because it is helping the bees against varroa by imposing something on them. Natural comb is true bond method.
Last edited by Oldtimer; 07-26-2013 at 08:06 PM.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).