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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrocr View Post
    What I found interesting in the comment I was replying to was the progression of increasingly stricter controls for varroa, suggesting that the bees were losing the fight.
    dead hives are also a lost fight
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrocr View Post
    quickly create a viable treatment-free bee. By treating we're putting a selective pressure on the mites
    As speaking specifically to treatment free, your implying solely to the mites and treatments related to mites

    what about the rest of the list of treatments ?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Been hanging back for a while before jumping in. Here's a question. Why do you keep bees? For your sake or thiers?

    Are we supposed to sacricfice the good for the perfect?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Way back, I believe it was Ian that said:

    no treatment, no bees.

    I agree. If you do not do something to counter the mites, their chances of survival is small. StevenG has one approach. I have not been impressed with the honey production or gentleness of the Minn. hygienic, so rather choose to try to select a hygenic bee from a productive stock, than try to select a productive bee from a hygienic stock.

    We do treat our bees with numerous mechanical, and "generally considered safe" chemicals(the kind you find in the food store) . We do NOT use synthetic chemicals. It is more work, and more expensive.

    I have been n contact with several of the so called "treatment free honey buyers", and none of them have put their money where their mouth is.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    If you can't get a premium price for a specialty product, what's the point?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    That was my point earlier. Lots of risk ,no reward. Not even an incentive . I guess so much for the "carriage trade".

    Jean-Marc

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    there is nothing natural about beekeeping yet we pretend it is
    other than we natually need to eat
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    there is nothing natural about beekeeping yet we pretend it is
    And you are welcome to go the complete natural way by hunting down feral colonies, climbing trees with smokers in hand and harvesting their honey.

    Other than that, modern day beekeeping is the closest thing to "natural" that is possible to still achieve the desired end product.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    This not being the treatment free Forum, it seems that some bees are being treated with treatments that are not treatments? I cant speak for anyone but myself.....but if you are treating your bees and claiming treatment free, dont expect me to buy your honey as treatment free.
    At the moment, We are well.stocked with honey.

    Deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    there is nothing natural about beekeeping yet we pretend it is
    other than we natually need to eat
    I don't know of any other animal husbandry that discusses "Natural" to the degree I see in beekeeping. Even gardening calls it Organic which is just another way to tend to something unnaturally. In fact every type of animal I have kept. On a large scale which means 100 plus individuals I have kept. dogs, rabbits, hogs, cattle. and on a small scale the list gets way to long. It is well known that the keeping of the animal introduces health problems of it's own. These health issue woudl not exist if the animal was not being kept. One of the more obvious examples woudl be infectious diseases and the impact they can have. An infectious disease in an enclosed heavily populated area will spread like wild fire. so much so it case cause extinction where disease woudl have little impact on a natural population. Real life example was the loss of 400 out of 700 rabbits in 90 days. You don't keep rabbits naturally and keep many rabbits.

    Keep bees leave the natural to mother nature. she is far better at it than you will ever know. Plus she has a hideous survival rate anyway.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    ya, why do we figure we can keep bees without controlling disease ? Let nature loose in an un natural setting.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    And you are welcome to go the complete natural way by hunting down feral colonies, climbing trees with smokers in hand and harvesting their honey.

    Other than that, modern day beekeeping is the closest thing to "natural" that is possible to still achieve the desired end product.
    There is nothing about modern day beekeeping that is natural, why pretend it is?
    Let me also pretend that growing my 3000 acres of wheat is also "closest thing to "natural" that is possible to still achieve the desired end product"
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    We do treat our bees with numerous mechanical, and "generally considered safe" chemicals(the kind you find in the food store) . We do NOT use synthetic chemicals. It is more work, and more expensive.

    Crazy Roland
    You see, right there, read what Crazy Roland said, he is right on the money! He is not claiming treatment free, nor is he claiming to keep his bees natural, but he doesnt want to treat with chemical mite treatments and ACTUALLY works his commercial apiary accordingly.

    Because thats what this conversation is all about, right, not using chemical mite treatment ,.? Why are we framing the whole issue around treatment free beekeeping?
    Treatment free beekeeping is great, but not at all possible in the commercial sense
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    You see, right there, read what Crazy Roland said, he is right on the money! He is not claiming treatment free, nor is he claiming to keep his bees natural, but he doesnt want to treat with chemical mite treatments and ACTUALLY works his commercial apiary accordingly.

    Because thats what this conversation is all about, right, not using chemical mite treatment ,.? Why are we framing the whole issue around treatment free beekeeping?
    Treatment free beekeeping is great, but not at all possible in the commercial sense
    ...but Roland also says:
    I have been n contact with several of the so called "treatment free honey buyers", and none of them have put their money where their mouth is.
    As a bonafide "treatment free honey buyer", I think it is only fair to point out that he is not offering treatment free honey....and seems to be complaining that he can't find a buyer to pay a premium for it as treatment free honey. I do put my money where my mouth is.

    If you want a standard that promotes "non-chemical" treatments...have at it. If you want to pay a premium for such honey...have at it. If you want me to change my own (well established and consistent) standards you are not going to get very far.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    There is nothing about modern day beekeeping that is natural, why pretend it is?
    Who's pretending?

    Natural is a relative term. One can be more natural in their management practices than another. Does that mean that either of them are natural? Probably not, but one can be more natural than the other.

    I think the greater question is, why do you care? If "natural" beekeepers, or those who claim to be, don't sell their honey for prices greater than you do, it doesn't affect your bottom line. They are selling their product for the same thing you are. I don't see how their attitude of their own management practices, or what they label it, in the least affects you.

    If I grew wheat, and I said my wheat seeds came straight from god himself and it's the greatest wheat on the planet, if it doesn't increase my wheat sales and thereby doesn't decrease my competitor's wheat sales, who are my competitors to judge me? It's an issue between the buyers and the sellers (and perhaps the federal government in "truth in advertising" or "fraud" cases), but it has nothing to do with disinterested third parties.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    >> I also don't see how there can be any type of repeatable or reputable source for TF bees on a national level.

    We agree on the same level,

    The way I see beekeepers throw around the term natural is what I dont agree with. There is nothing natural about it.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    The way I see beekeepers throw around the term natural is what I dont agree with. There is nothing natural about it.
    Ian, can you be more specific? I think it would be helpful. As the topic of the thread (I didn't start it or title it) is "treatment free commercial beekeepers", it seems to be that is the topic. We market honey from treatment free operations....we make no claims about "natural". Given that I am the only "buyer of treatment free honey" being discussed here, and that we don't "throw around the term natural" in our online writings, on our website, in our presentations, in our marketing literature, or in our book...this can hardly apply to us.

    In my presentations, I do talk about "the natural model" as something to look at in contrast to "replacement beekeeping" (like Dee does), and "expansion beekeeping" (as Kirk does). The most important aspect of "the natural model" (one in which there is no beekeeper) is that, by definition, there is no surplus. Beekeeping is about changing some variables (mostly modifying cavity space...mostly above the brood nest) so that there is a surplus.

    First, add a beekeeper to the equation. Second, manage the hive in such a way as to allow yourself to harvest honey. The devil is in the details of course, and the customer has the right to spend their money support whatever practices and standards they please.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I pasted these right out of my last presentation:

    [wrt different models of beekeeping...this is the "natural model"]
    Nature:
    Smaller Colonies
    Foundationless Comb w/ Original Broodnest Intact and “Unexpanded”
    Plenty of drones
    Prolific Reproduction
    Hard Selection to the Environment…Boom And Bust
    Hives Rarely Breached
    Does Not Produce A Surplus

    [wrt "The beekeeper's sleight-of-hand"...manipulations to produce honey]
    The “Incredible Expanding Cavity” Trick
    The Classic “Damaged Nest [above our heads] Needs Repairing _Before_ We Can Afford To Swarm” Con

    These Two Concepts Are What Define Modern Beekeeping. These Two Concepts Are The Foundation of All Movable Comb Management Practice.
    ===================================

    I understand that beekeeping isn't "natural". I strive to keep bees (and to support beekeepers) whose practices are the most supportive of the wildness still left in the bee...the ability to thrive on their own. This includes _not_ messing with a complex microbial culture(s). This includes selecting for traits that allow the bees to survive better (be it Dee's walk away splits, Kirk's closed population breeding program, Bob's participation in the formal Russian breeding program, or our own smaller experiment). This includes selecting for traits and management practices that avoid feeding _over_ maximizing honey production.

    I'm not critical of what others do...I understand the reasons. You should hear me when we've been invited to do an intro talk for Queen of the Sun talking about how the vast, vast majority of the produce in this country is pollinated by beekeepers of the scale being (rather) vilified in the film they were about to see....and that changing that whole system of farming (and land ownership) probably looks roughly like "Mad Max"....if/when this all changes, I don't think anyone will be dancing in the streets...I think it will be because of some great calamity (famine, nuclear holocaust, plague, alien invasion, etc).

    I just think it should be done differently....and I think that enough that we practice what we preach, and we've done our best to come up with a way to move this all forward. We got into this business _because_ we saw such good honey being wasted in blending...not because we were looking to start a honey business.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  19. #79
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    And you are welcome to go the complete natural way by hunting down feral colonies,
    When you use the term "feral", do you mean invasive European Honeybees?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Good point Mark. Allow me to amend my statement:

    "And you are welcome to go the complete natural way by moving to Europe and hunting down feral colonies, climbing trees with smokers in hand and harvesting their honey."

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