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  1. #221
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,378

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    got it. thanks sol, and to all who have contributed to this thread.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #222
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Update: Just finished checking my South Yard, and I did in fact lose a hive there since the last time I checked it earlier this year. So that brings this winter's losses up to 4%.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #223
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,378

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    i don't believe you promised 0% anyway sol.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #224
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,812

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I have made reference to the Saskatraz project a few times
    Ian,

    I heard these bees were pretty testy. True or just rumor?

  5. #225
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Maybe it's not a "you can" situation, but it is an "I did" situation.
    I'd agree with that sentence more than anything you've said previously Sol.

    I don't think I ever said that you didn't. And I can't definitively say that someone else "can." But it's at least possible that they can. I just know that I "didn't".

  6. #226
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,840

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Ian,

    I heard these bees were pretty testy. True or just rumor?
    I did not hear that,
    I did buy 200 mated queens from them last year, and the hives performed very well, and not any more aggressive than thing else I used.
    Just one season with them so far though
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #227
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,378

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    ian, are you using those queens to requeen, make splits, whatever's needed, ect.?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #228
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,840

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I bought them and made up nucs with them. They just recently started breeding for commercial sale, I wanted to support their project. But because of our limiting climate, the queens raised were too late for our spring split so I used them in my nucs. This season I will see their true nature during the entire season. They will be run beside some of my own queens and some Cali queens.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #229
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,378

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    understood ian, very cool. it will be interesting how they stack up on benchmarks to your existing stock.

    sorry i haven't had a chance to read the linked material yet, been in the beeyard the past couple of days and i'm behind on my reading.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #230
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,812

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I did not hear that,
    I did buy 200 mated queens from them last year, and the hives performed very well, and not any more aggressive than thing else I used.
    Just one season with them so far though
    Thanks

  11. #231
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    My goodness, I leave town for a few days for the Dadant celebration, and look what happens to the thread I started!

    Ok, what I've gleaned so far, which pretty much was what I expected, there are only one or two commercial beekeepers "testing the waters" with treatment free bees. You have to tease that out of their postings, but it's there. They seem to be using tf bees, as a means to move from the hard chemical miticides to softer treatments. As we all know, it is a great risk to them.

    Randy Oliver did a nice presentation on mites at the Dadant celebration. He talked about how his goal is not to kill all the mites, because then they breed for resistance to the treatment. Instead he seeks a 50% knock down, which enables the colony to apparently thrive (my words), without breeding a resistant mite. In the first part he talked about how treatment free bees make this job easier, but in his experience they still need help. He concluded this section with the Warner Bros. cartoon graphic "That's All Folks!" The next 20 or so minutes dealt with treatments. So in his scheme of things, treatment free bees are a help, but not the solution.

    I was fortunate to be able to ask him a question: "There are several, a few, major producers and sellers of Treatment Free or Resistant bees. Have you used them in your operation, and what has been your experience?" His answer, paraphrased - Yes. Several producers and beekeepers regularly offer me bees or queens or to buy such for me to test. I've used a few. But my operation in California tied in with Almond pollination is that they're not successful. They all need some sort of help in my area. Which is not to say that they don't work in other areas, just not in mine.

    Unfortunately I was not able to ask a follow up question, which would have been: "So to achieve success with a treatment free bee you need to acclimate it to your particular locale?" As I think about it, my successful treatment free bees have come from Texas and Kentucky, similar areas to where I am now. In my "migratory" operation (my 20 hive trailer! ) I do not leave my county when I haul them from what clover there is, to soybeans. So my bees are acclimated to my particular locale, and they were raised in the south/midwest south.

    Perhaps that is what mitigates against, at this point, successful treatment free commercial operations, hauling them from your home yard to Almonds, and elsewhere for pollination purposes. They never really have an opportunity to acclimate to a particular locale.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  12. #232
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    They never really have an opportunity to acclimate to a particular locale.
    Or is it the stress of moving itself, stress from exposure to new and varied diseases and maladies, varying temperatures and conditions, or something I haven't thought of?

    Can this stress, no matter its source, be eventually overcome?

    What is it exactly to which the bees acclimate, I guess is my question. I know from my own experience that if you move treatment-free hives, most of them die within two years. It's like starting the process all over again. However, buying queens from somewhere else doesn't seem to cause the same problems. It's one of the reasons why I don't ship nucs. I can't vouch for what they'll do somewhere else.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #233

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    At least the mites are stressed when moving. ink:

  14. #234
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    >No mites observed doesn't mean no mites present or zero mites.

    I certainly DO have Varroa mites. The point is the level of mites. Someone asked me to uncap a few drones. I was just showing that someone else had already done so on my hives for the last decade and what those results were.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #235
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,655

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Way back in post 189(I have been busy), Sol wrote:

    Are there any treatment-free commercials? No.

    We have over 400 hives, and use only mechanical methods to treat mites. Why do you not consider me not be commercial and treatment free? And what about Ron Householder?

    Crazy Roland

  16. #236
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,840

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I know a guy who runs 1200 honey producing hives and uses drone brood for part of his mite control program. Also uses organic acids to help knock the mites down,
    but then he tests his disease pressures frequently and will use a chemical treatment if his mite populations get too high.

    I guess with a treatment free operation, he would let the bees die off naturally
    Last edited by Ian; 03-19-2013 at 09:06 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #237
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Roland, the answer is in your post. You treat for mites. No disrespect, it's right in there.

    In my book, no means no and free means free. No treatments equals treatment free. That's no indictment against anyone. It just is.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #238
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,665

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    He's got a point about Householder, though.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  19. #239
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Not familiar, sorry. Would love to hear about him.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #240
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,958

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Not familiar, sorry. Would love to hear about him.
    I believe he would qualify as a TF commercial, using your definition. He;s on here a fair amount so maybe just searching "Householder" or is it "Honey Householder"..... either ought to work.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

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