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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    waynesboro va USA
    Posts
    24

    Default something to think about

    a concern from pro-treatment beekeepers i have seen a few times on this board was that if you try to be treatment free anywhere near other beekeepers or close to the city limits, you will be spreading disease to other people's beehives and this could end with forcing them to use more treatments than before and worst case scenario their bee colonies will die.

    to me this sounds like a kind of unfair disadvantage to rebel beekeepers should someone successfully raise treatment free colonies. it means that even if your bees are treatment free and thriving, people would still want you to spray to prevent spreading bee diseases, meaning your own stock will be weakened and eventually no more resistant than anyone else's. does that sound right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: something to think about

    I only treat when counts indicate it is needed and then use "soft" treatments. However, I cant get my arms around people not treating at all and somehow expecting the bees to toughen up and figure out how to handle the mites, you have 1 queen per hive so i am not sure how anybody with less than a few thousand hives could expect a drastic change in the bees ability to handle the mites ? our best hope to my way of thinking is for the big queen breeders to breed a strain of bees that can handle them and in the meantime do what we can to keep our bees alive. I know there are mite resistant bees out there supposedly but I haven't seen one that people are beating down the doors to get which i really think would happen with a truly resistant bee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,980

    Default Re: something to think about

    The idea as I understand it is that treatment free is intended to keep the bees pest free. How well that works is the question. No disease to spread is the thinking though. I have also seen conversation that where the exact opposite. treatment free people being infected by treatment beekeepers. The argument being that the treatment beekeeper is dong nothing more than managing a colony of pests.

    In all I don't see the issue as treatment free or not but infested or not. In many cases if you keep infested bees regardless of how yo mange that infestation. you are at risk of spreading that infestation to other colonies and other beekeepers colonies.

    Say in the case a neighbor feels they should have some say in your pest management because it puts his bees at risk. You can say the exact same to him.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: something to think about

    So I could expect a non-treatment keeper with a badly infested hive to euthanize it rather than spread those mites to mine? Seems a stretch but would seem fair if he thinks he has a say in my management?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,980

    Default Re: something to think about

    You might have to define what "badly infested" means and remember while you are euthanizing his bees he will be doing the same to yours. My point is, establish that only treatment free bees spread disease. Otherwise all issues are equal.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkster View Post
    So I could expect a non-treatment keeper with a badly infested hive to euthanize it rather than spread those mites to mine? Seems a stretch but would seem fair if he thinks he has a say in my management?

    i wonder if all the collapses due to mites and viruses (from non-treated as well as treated hives), were from afb instead....

    wouldn't the state apiary units be doing something about it?

    but consider how many more hives are lost each year from mites and viruses compared to afb.

    what's the point of having removable frame laws and the registering of hives if not to prevent the propagation of 'sinks of disease and mites', that could ultimately have a domino effect on nearby colonies.

    if i knew of a beekeeper, (treatments or not), who was not taking responsibility for his/her hives, to the point of letting them collapse, and there after getting robbed out by my bees or any other bees,

    and if a 'friendly' discussion with such a beekeeper didn't work,

    i would be calling my state inspector.

    most beekeepers who treat, and some who don't treat, take care of business one way or the other to prevent this.

    however, some treatment free beekeepers purposely allow their colonies to die completely out, the so called 'bond' method. to me this is irresponsible. i wonder if this is why some treatment free beekeepers do alright for some seasons, and lose their whole yard in another season, i.e. from a domino effect. it makes me wonder how many neighboring hives are lost in this manner as well.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i wonder if all the collapses due to mites and viruses (from non-treated as well as treated hives), were from afb instead....

    wouldn't the state apiary units be doing something about it?

    but consider how many more hives are lost each year from mites and viruses compared to afb.

    what's the point of having removable frame laws and the registering of hives if not to prevent the propagation of 'sinks of disease and mites', that could ultimately have a domino effect on nearby colonies.

    if i knew of a beekeeper, (treatments or not), who was not taking responsibility for his/her hives, to the point of letting them collapse, and there after getting robbed out by my bees or any other bees,

    and if a 'friendly' discussion with such a beekeeper didn't work,

    i would be calling my state inspector.

    most beekeepers who treat, and some who don't treat, take care of business one way or the other to prevent this.

    however, some treatment free beekeepers purposely allow their colonies to die completely out, the so called 'bond' method. to me this is irresponsible. i wonder if this is why some treatment free beekeepers do alright for some seasons, and lose their whole yard in another season, i.e. from a domino effect. it makes me wonder how many neighboring hives are lost in this manner as well.
    What about all the beekeepers who ARE treating and their hives ARE dying out? Are they good neighbours? Will you call the state inspector in on them?
    Donna 46N

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkster View Post
    I only treat when counts indicate it is needed and then use "soft" treatments. However, I cant get my arms around people not treating at all and somehow expecting the bees to toughen up and figure out how to handle the mites, you have 1 queen per hive so i am not sure how anybody with less than a few thousand hives could expect a drastic change in the bees ability to handle the mites ? our best hope to my way of thinking is for the big queen breeders to breed a strain of bees that can handle them and in the meantime do what we can to keep our bees alive. I know there are mite resistant bees out there supposedly but I haven't seen one that people are beating down the doors to get which i really think would happen with a truly resistant bee.
    I think you are right on target.

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