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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Australia, Canberra
    Posts
    4

    Lightbulb Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Hi Guys,

    Let me introduce myself first as this will be my first entry on this forum. I am a hobby beekeeper in Australia, as you might guess, we don't have varroa here (touch wood) and I am running my 3 hives totally without treatment of any kind.

    I am though participating as a moderator on our Turkish forum on the sustainable beekeeping practices. i have started a disucssion on treatment free beekeeping specifically on a document I have translated from Mr. Bush's web site on treatment free beekeeping and later on added Mr. Parker's list of treatments from his web site.

    I am planning to run a project to produce Varroa resistant ecotype bees and probably write everything we plan to do on a wiki as a guideline to Treatment Free Beekeeping with varroa resistant bees (queens per se).

    I am gathering researches and papers on the subject here and particularly the paper written by Swedish Beekeepers Assoc is very helpful to put down some of these guidelines.

    I am wondering if we can do the same here and put down the guidelines of how to start treatment free beekeeping and its progress through out the years. hopefully this will turn into a sticky where people refer to year after year.

    Cheers,
    Gürkan Yeniçeri
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    The project is in Turkey?

    Or you are wanting to create a "how to" thread on Beesource?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Turkey
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The project is in Turkey?

    Or you are wanting to create a "how to" thread on Beesource?
    Hi,

    This is also my first post here. I will be introducing myself later at the right place.

    Yes the project will be done in Turkey.
    As GürkanYeniçeri explanied above there is a forum in Turkey with full of friendly beekeepers. Varroa is kind of huge problem for Turkish beekeepers as it is most of the world. Lots of different chemicals are used to reduce varroa number in hive. Recently oxalic acid is one of our favorites. However treatment is a short term solution as all of us know it.
    So Gürkan have started a thread about Varroa resistant bees and why we should achive this goal. We are now trying to build a team and also collecting documents. Despite all objections, Gürkan and me want to show that treatment free beekeeping also possible in Turkey, because our experienced beekeepers say it is not...

    Many greetings from Turkey
    Ferdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,903

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    welcome gurkan and ferdi!

    this forum is also full of friendly beekeepers, although the debate is usually spirited when it come to the best way of dealing with varroa.

    i am relatively new to beekeeping, but i have built up from 4 to 14 hives in last three years, and have not treated for mites.

    if one is going to abstain totally from any treatments for mites, there are oftentimes colonies that die out from mite infestation.

    much of the debate that i have been involved with here, has to do with the approach of what to do with a dying hive, or even one that has so many mites in the summer, that it is not likely to survive the winter.

    one approach is that is to give the bees a chance to survive, even if it is very likely they will not. the idea is that if they do survive, they may have some advantage that can be passed to future generations. and if they die, the lack of that advantage will die with them.

    i do not subscribe to this approach, mostly because unless one can keep a very close watch on the hives, there is the likelihood that a collapsing hive will ultimately get robbed out by the healthy ones, and this could lead to the healthy ones collapsing. also, if a colony is not demonstrating some advantage or 'resistance' to the mites, it is easy to requeen such a hive from stock that has shown it.

    i am going to do my best to select for bees that show this advantage, and requeen the ones that do not.

    mr. bush has a lot of good ideas about how to keep bees without varroa treatments, and he has been very succussful in doing so, as have others on this forum. what has been the case though, and especially with those just starting out in beekeeping, is that when they try to go treatment free their losses are many.

    when the question is asked about what the infestation rates were in these colonies that were lost, the answer is oftentimes that no mite counts were taken.

    my suggestion for your group would be to come up with a good way to determine the mite infestation rate. (i like the alcohol wash method), and use that information to decide whether or not to allow the colony to go untreated vs. taking some kind of action. that action could be requeening if possible, and if not, using oxylic acid as a temporary measure until requeening is possible.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    How long have you had varroa? If for a couple decades, natural selection has probably weeded out some of the more susceptible stock. Do you have any feral or wild colonies thriving without treatment? Start with them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,258

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Ferdi and Gurkan: Welcome. A Mr. Mel Disselkoehn has a methodogy that works without chemicals that may interest you. Read his material at mdasplitter.com It really works and can drastically reduce the need for medication. It is also a fine way to raise queens for those with big fat arthritic clumsy fingers like mine. Vance

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Australia, Canberra
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The project is in Turkey?

    Or you are wanting to create a "how to" thread on Beesource?
    Hi Oldtimer, yes to both questions. The information about treatment free beekeeping is dispersed so much that finding the pointers take so long. Plus there are geographical differences too. A guideline here would be good for everyone I thought.
    Gürkan Yeniçeri
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Australia, Canberra
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Ferdi and Gurkan: Welcome. A Mr. Mel Disselkoehn has a methodogy that works without chemicals that may interest you. Read his material at mdasplitter.com It really works and can drastically reduce the need for medication. It is also a fine way to raise queens for those with big fat arthritic clumsy fingers like mine. Vance
    Thanks for the link Vance. I am diving into now. There is a lot to digest on Dr Mel's site.
    Gürkan Yeniçeri
    Blogspot LinkedIn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Australia, Canberra
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Guidelines of Treatment Free Beekeeping - Planning & Implementation

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitetail View Post
    How long have you had varroa? If for a couple decades, natural selection has probably weeded out some of the more susceptible stock. Do you have any feral or wild colonies thriving without treatment? Start with them.
    Thanks WhiteTail, there isn't much feral colonies around. Varroa has seen in Turkey in around 1974. Now all sorts of chemicals and antibiotics are in use for various reasons.
    Gürkan Yeniçeri
    Blogspot LinkedIn

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