Can I take it we understand each other now? Is there anything you'd like to say or ask about the issue? Do you accept that my position is sound? Splits can be made (if done carefully) such that false readings about mite resistance (resistance against mites by bees, just to be clear - I know you guys talk a lot about mites being resistant to the treatments) ... are not a problem. Yes?
It's very often important for beginners to make rapid increase of their limited stock, to multiply up those few they believe to be carrying the genes that confer the required behaviours. Clearly, its important too that that is done in a way that doesn't interfere with the necessary evaluations of colonies for those same behaviours.
That is what all this has been about. For those who want go non-treatment this stuff may well be crucial. Lets remember what is important.
Last edited by mike bispham; 08-12-2013 at 12:26 AM.
However I would suggest sticking with industry standard terminology if you want to be correctly understood. I'll bet most people still won't know just what you meant.
You mean bees or mites? You think you've worked with them more than me?
Let's get real here.
Come on Oldtimer, engage with the conversation.
I think I have a better understanding of the most important issues, as a result of 30-odd year's study - of the specific issue of how treatments prevent adaptation. See my website. Critique it, here.
Keeping lots of bees with treatments, stopping treatments and losing all your bees doesn't really confer much authority here where we are examining the essentials of treatment free beekeeping.
Enough sniping, enough who has the biggest exhaust pipe. Lets talk non-treatment beekeeping. I'm starting to think that's the last thing you want to talk about. Again, if you can, engage with the issues.
Why are the hives no good? are they affected by varroa? How many hives do you run in total? if you have been treatment free successfully for so long I would have thought you wouldn't have many hives that couldn't cope with varroa?
How many hives from your total would you dissassemble each year?
I can't help wondering if your underperforming hives are the hives that weren't split the year before because they were OK that year but now are succumbing to mites so they get split then that split is grown to a full hive which copes well with varroa initially then in year 2 or 3 it becomes an underperforming hive.
And so on and so forth.
There is more to learn about bees than just not treating them, and breeding from survivors. Which is the only thing you seem to know.
The other stuff is important for treatment free beekeepers also. Take Solomon for example. Last year he found out how to graft and raise queens. It has revolutionised his beekeeping. Prior to that he thought the only thing that mattered was not treating, and for his first 8 years his hives languished and he was always struggling.
Why am I here? Until recently I was running treatment free hives, so I hung out here. I also still hope to be treatment free some day, or at least, less treatment. So I'm here.
Also, cos I'm allowed. If that's a problem for you, too bad.
We don't have to argue. They are mostly started by you, so don't complain.
Neither! I don't know the details of those hives around me, but I would guess 90% are treated hobby hives. I know firsthand of some hives and I know they are not TF. The only TF hive I know of is the one sitting in my neighbor's yard. Also, the hives I know about come from western packages as well as new queens yearly.
According to my maths, that means 20 percent of you hives made you a honey surplus. A commercial beekeeper could certainly not survive on that kind of production, and it begs the question, what was actually wrong with the 80%
But it seems that when the shoe is on the other foot, you don't subscribe to that theory! Here is what you posted earlier, insisting Oldtimer provide you an on-the-spot summary of his actions/philosophies:
(and so there is no more misunderstandings about quotes being out of context, a reminder that you can always click the blue arrow in the quote box to go to the original post)
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
At the start of this beekeeping year, I had 22 hives, lost one this spring, lost one this summer before honey as I mentioned a number of times already. That's 20 hives. From 20 I kept 6 for honey, and from the remaining 14, made something like 35 nucs, some hives being broken up completely, some having brood borrowed, some requeened, some just allowed to grow and build comb as I am needing medium drawn frames and plastic frames are not drawn as quickly. After selling nucs, the difference between 20 and 32 is nucs left over, cancelled orders, new hives. Between the ones allowed to grow and the ones kept for honey, 50-60% aren't messed with, requeened, brood breaks, or anything at all.
Sorry I can't give exact numbers in all cases, I don't keep them.
Now I wait until Fall when I decide which hives to eliminate as I only want 25 going into winter. I have too many. I sold a queen yesterday, so that helps, but I still need to sell more or eliminate weaklings. My goal is to not feed at all this winter. I must resist the urge to intervene and feed to keep my losses down.
It would be fine if Oldtimer could direct me to a website outlining his experience. I'm just not trawling through endless posts to glean that info.
[Shoe on the other foot etc...] I don't get it Graham. I supply a website outlining my understanding of the relation between treating and needing to treat, and also provide on request a fullish summary of my methods and progress to date.
Oldtimer supplies me nothing. Zilch.
Your 'other shoe' doesn't compute.
Honestly Mike, when I'm spoken down to like a piece of trash, and everything I say is treated the same way, what would you expect.
As previously said, if you were genuinely interested I'd be only too happy. Despite all the crap that's gone down, if people get off my case I forget fairly quickly, that's my personality. Some people here I've had major disagreements with in the past are now friends.
But what's been said in your posts, some deleted along with mine, show you are in no way ready for this yet. Take post #484 for example, your references to your "authority", "better understanding", etc, are just part of the general arrogance and superiority that you would have to deal with before I'd feel free to attempt a sensible exchange of knowledge.
Last edited by Oldtimer; 08-12-2013 at 03:34 PM.
Ah well, Mike Bispham...I very well remember you from the biobees-forum. (Especially the fruit- and endless discussions.) Hope your 'treatment free beekeeping' developed well since...
I'd also be interested to know what you think went wrong. Again, I might want to pick holes in your view. I might not too. Either way, it won't be anything personal, just talk about a situation that might help any of us in our own situations.
I'm sorry you think I speak down to you. I feel a bit the same. We've both got prickly with each other. I'll try harder.
Mike, how your hives doing? All theories are nice and sound. But I am interested in your hives and your hands on experience. We discussed your thoughts about four years ago. Did you do any progress since? Pictures? Reports? Anything? Thanks in advance.
Biobees; that'll be the place where sugar sprinkling is just dandy because sugar is a natural substance, yes? Was all a bit fruit- in the end, but it had to be tried. Here people agree with me about sugar! Sanity!
Yes, my t/f beekeeping appears to be going well thanks. 40 hives and falling - its that time of year. Third year of expansion, no treatments, no manipulations, no funny business. How about yourself? Are you a sprinkler, or t/f?