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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: something to think about

    i believe the 'unique forum rules' are part of the cause for some of the 'us and them' dynamics that have plagued the discussions here.

    the problem is that there is no uniformly agreed upon definition of 'treatment free'.

    steveng, who has the honor and distinction have having the sticky thread 'no treatment of honey bees' on the main bee forum, is not considered treatment free by the 'unique forum rules' because he has used 'honey bee healthy'.

    since barry has taken over as moderator of the tf forum, there has been open and spirited discussion about the issues that are important to all beekeepers. i think it's wrong to arbitrarily divide this community and restrict this flow of discussion.

    we can all learn from each other, there's no us or them, it's we beekeepers!

    i make a motion to abolish the 'unique forum rules' on the tf forum.

    do i hear a second?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: something to think about

    I remember the discussions before the definition, and it was wanton chaos. I think anyone that's in the 90% wheelhouse of the "unique rules" can claim treatment-free w/ caveats. I'm fine with that. We need someplace to start from though.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    5,892

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i make a motion to abolish the 'unique forum rules' on the tf forum.

    do i hear a second?
    Not from me!

    If you want to discuss treating bees, why can't that be done in the [regular] Bee Forum?
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: something to think about

    Yes I wasn't intending to re-start negotiations over the forum rules LOL! Just threw some of my own thoughts out there.

    Not everybody including me, will fully agree with the forum rules. But not everybody agrees with the road rules either. But once they are in place it provides a framework to make things go smoothly. Some fun poking may occur from time to time though.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #45
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: something to think about

    well, for one thing, i guess it's hard to discuss not treating, without discussing what it is about treating that is the reason you are not treating.

    the rules strictly forbid any mention of treatments.

    barry has relaxed this restriction through moderation.

    hasn't it been much better since?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,852

    Default Re: something to think about

    Yes it's been better but it's a fine line to walk.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,385

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i make a motion to abolish the 'unique forum rules' on the tf forum.
    Let's put this one to rest. The unique forum rules are not perfect, but they are way better than the constant fighting and arguing that came before them. We have the definition and I will allow, to a point, discussion around it. I think it's been going well lately. Let's keep it that way. Level heads prevail!!
    Regards, Barry

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,767

    Default Re: something to think about

    As much as I do not consider myself a TF Beekeeper, at heart I hope that people who work TF will one day come up with either a bee or methodology that can thrive and either produce surplus honey or do well in a commercial migratory setting. And that these bees and/or methodologies become generally available. It is the same reason that I belong to an organic group even though i don't buy into the organic movement whole hog. So I am not in favor of any changes to the unique forum rules, especially if people who want to keep bees without adding anything to a hive that isn't already there have to read posts advocating treatments. The forum ought to be a refuge from that.

    I am delighted to read posts describing beekeeper obligations to keep healthy hives irregardless of the methodologies they choose to use. I think this is an important topic, although I recognize that it may very well force the lone wolf type beekeeper to be more social. Or to at least have cognizance over how their bees might affect other nearby bees.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  9. #49
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: something to think about

    i wasn't here before the rules, but i'll take your word for it barry.

    if it was worse before, than the rules were needed.

    it is going well now with your oversight, and i'm happy.

    put it to rest it is, i withdraw the motion.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,575

    Default Re: something to think about

    Best I can tell, most kept colonies in my area are fed in the mid summer, and treated for mites in the fall.

    Assuming that feeding attracts robbing, and that if the colony is going to require treatments in the fall, that it has a growing (significant) mite population in the mid summer (I think these are reasonable assumptions)...then it is hard not to think of these colonies as significant sources of mite infestations.

    It's hard for me to believe that feeding isn't the biggest way that robbing is encouraged and disease spread.

    deknow

  11. #51
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: something to think about

    that makes sense dean. i think that some of the folks around here feed during the summer dearth, not sure about mite treatments.

    interestingly, my bees consumed only a small portion of the stores i left them after the spring harvest, and put on enough weight with the fall flow for me to harvest some more in september.

    the two concerns i have with summer feeding are:

    1. the compromised nutrtion, i'm banking on fewer problems with diseases and pests with the healthier honey only diet.

    2. not wanting to simulate a 'flow' when there isn't one. i want bees that are good at brooding up and down in relationship with the natural availibilty of forage.

    you've given me a 3 to consider, thanks.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 01-04-2013 at 05:54 AM. Reason: grammer
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,312

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    It's hard for me to believe that feeding isn't the biggest way that robbing is encouraged and disease spread. deknow
    I would say more likely, weak colonies in a dearth of nectar is what causes robbing. You can leave honey exposed in the apiary or spill syrup all over the ground, when there's a flow on. Not when there's a dearth.

    You can also feed syrup intelligently and not cause any robbing at all.

  13. #53
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: something to think about

    Dean: Cerainly feeding is a method by which disease can be spread. It's also highly preventable by any vigilant beekeeper. Small hives incapable of taking feed should not be fed. Neatness must always be stressed when there is a dearth and no feeding job is complete in a good operation without a walk through when you are done checking entrances for syrup and looking for any initial signs of robbing.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #54
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    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post

    It's hard for me to believe that feeding isn't the biggest way that robbing is encouraged and disease spread.

    deknow
    Surely, a hive that has died of disease will be more likely to both, get robbed, and secondly, spread disease, than a healthy hive that's been fed? Why is that hard to believe?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #55
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,827

    Default Re: something to think about

    >Surely, a hive that has died of disease will be more likely to both, get robbed, and secondly, spread disease, than a healthy hive that's been fed?

    Most of my robbing problems happen when I feed... I have no experience that would indicate that feeding in any way PREVENTS robbing...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #56
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    Default Re: something to think about

    >Most of my robbing problems happen when I feed...

    since you don't usually feed, could it be that the robbing problem happened mostly because the colony was weak enough to require feeding in the first place, and not so much because it was being fed?

    a common theme for minimizing losses seems to be keeping colonies strong, and not letting them dwindle too far.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,575

    Default Re: something to think about

    ....so, all fed hives are healthy? They don't harbor diseases and/or parasites that the beekeeper is applying miticides, antibiotics, etc to control (treatments for diseases/parasites that the beekeeper assumes will kill the colony if they aren't applied)?

    I'm also sure all post feeding robbing happens immediately post feeding, and that a beekeeper with many yards can prevent feed related robbing by cleaning up....and that robbing never happens the next day when the beekeeper isn't present....right?.....because beekeepers are never feeding in a dearth....right?

    Using fumidil increases modems spore production. Using antibiotics for afb prevention hides afb symptoms so it can be unknowingly spread.

    Beekeepers always pull their honey Supers and treat for mites immediately when they have an issue, rather than waiting for the flow to be over and harvested so that they dont infest their neighbors....right?

    Let's talk about what beekeepers actually do rather than what they should do. If drifting and disease spread is an issue, then let's discuss how to prevent them.

    Deknow

  18. #58
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,312

    Default Re: something to think about

    [QUOTE=deknow;881828
    Let's talk about what beekeepers actually do rather than what they should do. If drifting and disease spread is an issue, then let's discuss how to prevent them.

    Deknow[/QUOTE]

    Okay, let's.

    You know I feed thick syrup to my bees if and when they need feed. I feed with gallon cans, directly on the bees. Any drip is sucked up immediately, and doesn't run across the inner cover and out the front side of the hive. I make sure the cans don't leak and the syrup run out of the bottom entrance. Extra precautions must be taken when feeding weak colonies in a strong apiary. You know I do that, too, with all the nucs I have in production yards.

    Think about my cell building yard. 30 of the strongest colonies you ever did see..actually Dean, stronger than any colonies you've ever seen. On the other side of the yard, 60 nucleus colonies.

    During the active cell building season, I have 8 cell builders being fed thin syrup. I may have some of the nucleus colonies being fed at the same time. Allowing robbing to get started would spell disaster. How do I know? I've carelessley allowed it to happen. My fault...operator error. Once started, the bees don't forget. They're always waiting for me when I return to the yard.

    But, it's not the act of feeding that gets them robbing, it's operator error, allowing syrup feeders to leak, using hive top feeders that aren't bee tight, not reducing entrances when appropriate, spilling syrup on the ground, and/or leaving combs with nectar exposed for even a few moments. But does feeding in one apiary cause robbing in a neighboring apiary? I guess that would depend on the neighboring apiary...how close it is.

    >>If drifting and disease spread is an issue, then let's discuss how to prevent them.<<

    Okay, again, let's. I manage my apiary as best as I know how. I keep my bees strong, my entrances sized correctly. I manage my varroa load. I breed stocks to hopefully tolerate nosema...at least I don't let my bees crash and leave them open to robbing. I unite colonies that are too weak to defend themselves. I give brood from nucleus colonies to boost populations. I haven't treated with antibiotics in years, but do treat for varroa, period, as you know.

    Am I perfect? Do I have issues ocassionally? Certainly, same as anyone does. Would I let an apiary crash to the point of being robbed by the neighborhood bees of other keepers. Not if I can help it.

    So, let's do discuss how to prevent drifting and disease spread in the neighborhood. What exactly should I be doing to prevent the OTHER beekeepers' bees from crashing and being robbed by mine? 30-40 Krag? Commando Raid? Help from the State inspection service...yeah right.

    I'm on my own Dean. All I can do is keep my bees as strong and healthy as I am able. All I can do is give presentations at local clubs, and offer advice to all the new beekeepers out there. You know I do. But you tell me. How do I protect my operation from sloppy beekeepers, or those wishing to be treatment free beekeepers...when they do nothing but not treat.

    They do nothing for stock improvement. They don't know what IPM is. The continue to buy sick package bees from the same dealers...those too often on the club's boards and promoting the exclusive use of package bees...picked up at their facility.

    Now, you buy package bees from Georgia, and allow them to die for whatever reason. I know you're attempting a breeding program and a small cell and natural cell foundationless system. I'm not criticizing that. But, don't they get robbed by the neighborhood bees when they die? Isn't there a good chance that whatever parasites and pathogens that killed them would now be in your neighbor's bees?

    So, considering that I have 36 commercial apiaries to protect, counting all the production colonies and nucleus colonies the numbers are well over a thousand, what would you do.

    That's my take, what's yours?

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,312

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Let's talk about what beekeepers actually do rather than what they should do. If drifting and disease spread is an issue, then let's discuss how to prevent them.
    Deknow
    If your point is that sloppy beekeeping practices spread disease then I dont think you are exactly breaking any new ground with that position. Like most things in beekeeping and in life you can do it well or you can do it poorly. I would hope the inexperienced beekeeper looking for guidance on this subject dosent conclude that feeding in general is a bad thing because they read that it spreads disease. The next thread I'm likely to see is someone posting a video of weak quivering bees and wondering if they contracted some kind of disease.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: something to think about

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Donna I'm thinking, sounds like you are in a pretty isolated place. Do you know how you got mites? (bought queens perhaps?) If it is something you could avoid in the future, I'm wondering. You only have 8 hives. Could it be worth killing them all, then re-stocking from your neighbors mite free hives?

    If I were in your position I would certainly consider it. But only if I knew where the origional infestation came from and could avoid that happening again.
    yes, I do know how my hives got mites and it was due to some carelessness on my part. I was helping a friend with a small swarm he had from the previous fall. We transferred some brood from a strong hive of his to the nuc which was at my apairy at that time. We did not know at the time that another apiary in his area had mites and so he was no longer in a mite-free area. Long and short is that his hive from which we took the brood had mites and so they spread to my apairy. Mites are spreading across the island since the last few years.
    So, yes I do plan to restock here with some mite-free bees possibly from my neighbour. I will then begin to regress them to sc. Meanwhile my hives will stay at my friends place until spring and we will see if there are some survivors, you just never know.

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