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  1. #321
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Hey Ron, can you tell me how you start package bees every year, bring them up to "BEES, 6-7 brood boxes full of brood makes a lot of bees.", and then get a crop of honey off them as well?
    Youtube - TheOhioCountryboy - he did a couple of very nice and interesting videos on how Ron builds up his spring packages and does early splits. I find it amazing that Ron is recieving and installing packages in Michigan right NoW, this early in the spring.

    Hey Ron, how about sharing what you look for in a great yard? (you can pm me if you like )

  2. #322
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Mr Semple, I believe Ron is in Ohio.

  3. #323
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,747

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Baldwin View Post
    One more thing- I really cringe when people call my bees Russians. I am quite removed from that program. What I have are bees that live and do well. Got to go.
    but your web page says such,

    just to tap into your management style,

    out of the 1800 honey producers, how many go to texas for the split down?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #324
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ron is a bit busy this week I belive .... Just a guess but I am betting it will be tuesday before he can even consider a response.
    I looked at ohio country boys site... which video?
    I was at Rons a cpl weeks back, fantastic operation and a really smart honey producer. whole family is part of it. when he says he makes over 100 lbs a hive. hes not kidding. and its not syrup... He does have an advatage, he is near a really large alfalfa pellet mill, so lots of forage in his neck of the woods...

  5. #325
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Just to be clear, saying "I don't know how you do it" does not equal "You can't do it." I also don't view either of those statements as saying someone is a "liar" is "lying" or anything to that extent. Maybe that was not what those comments were referring to, I don't know.

    For most here, a healthy set of criticism is good for the business. Let's say that person A doesn't treat a colony, and it dies from mites. Person A hopefully learns that not treating will result in an unfortunate situation for them. Now lets say that person B steps forward and they say they are not treating for mites, but their bees are still alive. Person A has a different personal experience, so is obviously skeptical. In order for person B's experiences to outweigh person A's experiences, to person A at least, a strong case would need to be presented on how it was done and why it was different than person A's trial. Now, if you ask person B how they did it, and what they did differently, and they respond "I don't know," well, there's a problem. Person A doesn't have enough evidence to persuade him that if he doesn't treat anything other than what he experienced first hand will happen. Person B not knowing what they did, or why they succeeded while others didn't, doesn't help their position that "others can do it too." Frankly, they don't know that. Furthermore, saying "it can be done" or "I have done it" or "trust me" or "have faith" adds nothing to the conversation.

    If you can take 1+1 and make it equal 3, congrats to you. But unless you can tell me how to do it, how I can do it, when I keep getting 2, I'm going to be skeptical.

  6. #326
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I looked at ohio country boys site... which video?
    ..
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=householder

  7. #327
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Perhaps I should retract my statement that some Russian lines were terrible. And say they did not fit my management. Although our web page says Russian Bees I try to be clear as to what I am doing. I am not a Russian cooperator. I am not bringing in new Russian stock. I am pursuing resistance that the Russians gave me while selecting top performers under my management. So I do cringe a little. What do I have? I don't know.
    I am not Randy Oliver's Taliban. I am not trying to push my bees on anybody. What I do desire is an open mind that mite resistance is real. And given time and dedication that mite resistance can be advanced through proper pressure and selection in ANY strain of bees. And that's not painless. But it is doable. And I believe the ultimate answer.
    For those still wondering, I let lots of bees die to get where I am. Now you could not pay me to treat for mites. Why step back? I said earlier I am just one guy. I am nothing special. Anyone that can rear queens could follow the same course. What if a bunch of people were doing this? How much more could be accomplished? That's what gets me down. Won't anybody go for it? Remember your not taking anything with you when you go. But you are supposed to leave the world a better place when you leave.

  8. #328
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,713

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Chris,

    Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on someone else getting to the point you are at today, but still having some type of treatment regiment?

    You had heavy losses when you didn't treat, as most do when they head down that route. The loser colonies die out because (at least according to those who do the bond method) their genes don't need to be further spread.

    It is, however, theoretically possible to move in that direction without forcing colonies to die along the way. Instead, simply breed from your most resistant stock, while treating the colonies that wouldn't survive without treatments, then requeening them with your most resistant stock. It may (and likely would) take significantly longer to accomplish the same goal, as more "inferior" genetics are still floating around, at least for a number of years. But eventually you could get to the same goal, without having massive losses. At least, that's what I believe Mike Palmer was working towards. And also this is what I theoretically assume.

    Your thoughts on that Chris?

  9. #329
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    855

    Cool Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Hey Ron, can you tell me how you start package bees every year, bring them up to "BEES, 6-7 brood boxes full of brood makes a lot of bees.", and then get a crop of honey off them as well? This has to require a boat load of feed. With hives full of feed, have you had your honey tested? How does one keep the honey and the feed from ever mixing? Somehow all your numbers just don't add up in my mind, but I'm happy to be shown where my thinking is off the mark.
    Berry, the question was how I keep from moth damage. After I shake the bees in the fall I stack 6-7 boxes of brood with 5-10% of the bees left behind to hatch the brood. That many full brood boxes makes a lot of bees. Two years ago some of those shake out stack made another 50-60 lb of later fall honey (or spring feed).

  10. #330
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    855

    Cool Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Chris, welcome. I've hear stories about you before from another guy here in Ohio. Sound like you know what your doing. Maybe one day I'll be there too.

  11. #331
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,747

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    For most here, a healthy set of criticism is good for the business.
    Exactly right Specialkayme.

    Chris, I would love to know a what level your bees keep the mites down to. There has been a tremendous amount of attention towards mite tolerance and I have yet to hear of someone who can claim complete success. There has to be a secondary mechanism at work in your apiary.
    Because which ever way you cut it, mite growth compounds itself, and unless the hives can keep the mite levels below 1% at all times, the hive will fail to mite load infections. I have yet to hear of a bee that can maintain a mite load below 1% throughout the year.

    Let me read between the lines a bit, tell me if Im off course at any time,
    you manage 1800 honey producers, take them all to Cali, and Id suspect shake them in January? if not then, March?
    move the hives down to Texas, and split them down, how many times? 4 or 5 times? Do you sell some of those splits off?
    You bring 1800 back up to the Dakotas.

    I know how nucing works, it breaks the mite cycle, I also take advantage of this in my own operation, but there is a point of time in operation when those nuced hives need to be cleansed of their mite loads. Oxalic or what ever.

    Perhaps your hives show tolerance to the mite, and keep the levels downish, perhaps its your other operations during the year that help cleanse the hive of mites also?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #332
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,304

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    Berry, the question was how I keep from moth damage. After I shake the bees in the fall I stack 6-7 boxes of brood with 5-10% of the bees left behind to hatch the brood. That many full brood boxes makes a lot of bees. Two years ago some of those shake out stack made another 50-60 lb of later fall honey (or spring feed).
    OK, but I also asked about your feeding practices. Can you shed some light on that? I recall this comment from a thread longer ago that never got answered:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...987#post604987
    You wouldn't ever have feeders in hives that are supered, would you?
    Regards, Barry

  13. #333
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post

    I challenge anyone to meet Chris and tell him to his face that he is a liarabout any aspect of his bees or operation.

    Ramona
    Now that would be just plain rude, dontcha think? Chris has been asked to explain what he does and how he does it and all we have gotten from him, as far as I can recall, is "just like I did before mites." Which doesn't tell us much. I'd like to hear some details from Chris. To see if what he does might fit my management style, not to cut him down.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #334
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Baldwin View Post
    Well folks I am a busy guy and tapping this out on my phone isn't very handy. Just wanted to let you know that there is a treatment free commercial beekeeper. I run my bees like most. Honey up north in South Dakota. Winter in Texas. Bees to California. Sell nucs, brood, and cells in Texas. All queen replacement is done March and April. As to my 30% loss about half is queen failure during Summer, the other Fall collapse. Again all nucs and queens are done in Texas in the Spring.
    I learned how to raise cells forty years ago and other than breeders have not purchased 100 queens in that time. I have NEVER had to by brood or bees from outside sources to keep my numbers. I started leaving some yards untreated when I wintered bees in Nebraska. Got some to live but not thrive. Then I tried some Russians and they gave me a real leg up on resistance but (sorry, Tom Rinderer) some Russian lines were terrible. So now I am back to grafting from whatever does well for me under my style of management.(without treatment ) And progress has been slow but my bees are better each year. I am thrilled how good they look now.
    I simply quit treating, built back from survivors selecting the best. Have I taken a hit? You bet. But I believe that this is the ultimate long term answer. How much time and resources do some of you spend on mite monitoring and control? I just keep bees. True, I wonder what six months will bring but so far things keep improving.
    Sooooo.....
    Well I have work to do. Please accept I am not going to jump in here every five minutes. I would be more than happy to visit on the phone to answer specific questions. But don't know if giving out phone numbers here is cool. Go Southbeekota home page. You can find my number and more. One more thing- I really cringe when people call my bees Russians. I am quite removed from that program. What I have are bees that live and do well. Got to go.
    Thank you Chris.

    Were you at the ABF Mtng this year?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #335
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    855

    Cool Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Berry, I do my feeding in the frames. You can feed with supers on the hive, if you know how to manage them. You feed enough to make bees, not fill supers. All my hives have supers on them right know. It takes about 30,000 lb of HFCS to feed 1000 2 lb packages to production. That would be like filling a 1 gallon feed, filled 3 times to build them up for production. By putting the feed into the frames I can start my bees 3-4 weeks ahead of most (one brood cycle). Just think if you had one more month for your bees to build up, what kind of crop your hives could make.

    Jim, I'm shoot for 200 APH, but only the weather will tell that story. Where did you fine the national APH. The real question is how many report there REAL APH.

  16. #336
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,222

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    Jim, I'm shoot for 200 APH, but only the weather will tell that story. Where did you fine the national APH. The real question is how many report there REAL APH.
    http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/us...03-18-2013.pdf
    A 200 lb.average for our outfit is pretty much a dream. We will occassionally have a yard do that but it's not like the "old days". We have found a "well timed" nuc is by far the most dependable and productive unit. We quit packages years ago because our buildup is so erratic and I always figured it took the first medium just to pay for the package. 8 frames of brood by the third week in May is where we expect them to be.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #337
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Got to hang out with Sam Comfort at NEOBA's Big Bee Buzz this past weekend. While he no longer migrates his bees, he's about as commercial as you can get. And he has essentially come to do what I suggested a treatment-free commercial would have to. He has become stationary, though he now has bees in seven states. And he sells honey for amazing prices, as much as three times what I sell it.

    He also runs mostly non-Lang hives, topbar hives, and now Warre-ish box hives.

    Great guy to hang out with.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #338
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,906

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    And he sells honey for amazing prices, as much as three times what I sell it.

    He also runs mostly non-Lang hives, topbar hives, and now Warre-ish box hives.

    Great guy to hang out with.
    Do you happen to know the states (any of them) that Sam keeps bees in?

    Is he retailing his honey? Maybe a special contract with Whole Foods... or something like that? Is honey the majority of his Gross? If honey was all I did... my gross would be more than cut in half, but then again... I am not in an amazing honey yield area. I wonder how much of his gross is speaking engagements... maybe nothing... but he is very popular.

    I have no argument that he is commercial... just curious about how he does it.... guess I should have gone....(NEOBA) LOL
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  19. #339
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I think he has hives in Florida, New York, Hawaii, and maybe New Jersey, maybe Vermont, I don't remember them all.

    I'm not sure the exact routes of his sales, but he does refer to it as hustling, hard work. He also sells nucs, queens, and shook swarms.

    Speakers (in the beekeeping world) don't get paid as much as you might think. It isn't politics.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #340
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Keeping hives in Hawaii is a good idea but must be a hardest to run a business.
    I can just imagine telling customers " No I won't be available next month I get horrible cell phone reception at my Mauna Kea yard".

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