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  1. #281
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Hey I have not read all of this. And really do not know how this works but....
    I run 1800 colonies without mite treatment. Last hard chemicals 2003. Oxalic 2004 and 05.
    Some apigaurd 2007. Match my neighbors crops. Send bees toalmonds. In forty years
    have NEVER bought outside bees other than breeder queens.
    All you nonbelievers - it can be done. I keep bees like I did pre-mites.

  2. #282
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    hmmmm

    how do you manage the mites Chris?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #283
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I have not done an ether roll since 2004. When I see a mite I say "Oh, a mite". I don't care. Its genetics. When I said I keep bees like pre-mites I meant exactly that.
    And I am tired of being called crazy or a liar. I have spoken to, had supper with, drank a beer with many of the top names in bee research and never, not one has said they would like to see my operation. I guess I might endanger their job security. Bob Reiners SD State Apiarist is the only one. I think he believes. I am just one guy. I wish the whole industry would get on board and believe. And demand the queen breeders get to work on it.
    Last edited by Chris Baldwin; 03-20-2013 at 10:21 PM. Reason: unintentional word

  4. #284
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    sooo, how do you manage the mites?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #285
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    The bees bees do it themselves.

  6. #286
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    what are your annual losses ?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #287
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Last three years -May 1 thru March 1 about 30%. Lots of guys treating are doing worse.

  8. #288
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    soo, what have you done to bring in this mite tolerance ability?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #289
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Baldwin View Post
    All you nonbelievers - it can be done. I keep bees like I did pre-mites.
    tell us how it can be done on an 1800 hive scale
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #290
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    948

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Baldwin View Post
    Last three years -May 1 thru March 1 about 30%. Lots of guys treating are doing worse.
    And lots of guys that treat are doing a whole lot better.
    30% is totally unacceptable.
    30% 0f 1800 is 540 hives that you are proud to lose every year?
    That is $81,000.00 of lost revenue in almonds alone!!?
    None of this makes any rational sense to me.
    And your overuse of the words, "believe" and "belief" is unusual for the context.
    No one is calling you a liar. But maybe you are forgetting; we keep bees too!
    We wern't born yesterday.
    If it sounds too good to be true.....
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  11. #291
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,326

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Chris: Glad you are joining the discussion. In fairness to Chris I don't think the question is so much how much revenue he may be losing each year by not treating but whether he is self sustaining and whether he is happy with and able to live off of the revenue stream that his bees provide. Please give us more specifics as far as your management practices as a fellow South Dakota migratory beekeeper my mind is open but I would like to hear more specific information. I would also like to hear exactly why you have chosen this route. Do you feel it is only possible to produce as pure product by never treating or do you feel that your bees are better off in the long run or is it both? Just tell your story and state your case Chris this forum is usually a little long on theory and a little short on actual working experience so don't be offended when folks in the business ask hard questions.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #292
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I hope you don't get discouraged Chris, I'm interested to hear more, though I suspect as in my case, there simply isn't much more.

    I also get conflicting statements like unacceptable losses which are too good to be true.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #293
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,764

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I don't remember what managing bees premites was like, other than not managing mites. There aught to be a list of details. Maybe people don't know how to express what it is they do.

    I was talking to a VT beekeeper a cpl days ago, face to face, and he said that Michael Palmer, another VT beekeeper, has been having trouble finding mites. Perhaps Michael's "secret" is stationary beekeeping, growing his own queens, and nucing colonies in July for overwintering to cover winterloss.

    Is Chris doing these things too?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #294
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I hope you don't get discouraged Chris, I'm interested to hear more, though I suspect as in my case, there simply isn't much more.

    I also get conflicting statements like unacceptable losses which are too good to be true.
    Ha ha Solomon, that was funny!

    Chris spoke at the 2011 Northeast Treatment-Free Beekeeping Conference in Leominster. He gave a great talk on the history and management of his operation, spent a week with us and our attendees sharing and talking non-stop. There was one day post-conference when we let him take a nap.

    We had one disgruntled attendee who wondered why we let the commercial migratory guy in. Sometimes you just have to laugh...

    Ramona

  15. #295
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,764

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ever thought to have Ron "Honey Householder" at your conference?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #296
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,179

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Chris, welcome to Beesource. I would like to know whether you bring in queens or are using your own lines of bees.

  17. #297
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Mark: Chris is migratory. He goes between South Dakota and Texas and does almond pollination in California. Mike Palmer is not treatment free.

    Jim: Chris is your neighbor in SD...you could visit him. He's really friendly.

    Ramona

  18. #298
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,179

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ramona, do you remember the essence of Chris's operation? Anything else you remember?

  19. #299

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    "BEES, 6-7 brood boxes full of brood makes a lot of bees.", and then get a crop of honey off them as well?
    Barry, the way I interpreted it, at the end of the season, he shakes out the bees and then stacks the brood boxes with brood, still in the comb, 6 - 7 boxes high. The brood emerges....and that emerging brood makes a lot of bees. I guess those bees keep the moths at bay until it gets really cold.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #300
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,764

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    Mark. Mike Palmer is not treatment free.
    Yes, I know that. Hasn't he been at your conference too?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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