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  1. #301
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    And your overuse of the words, "believe" and "belief" is unusual for the context.
    I don't think so. The problem I have dealt with is simple. There is a huge contingent of beekeepers who simply won't believe that what I say is actually what is happening. Responses run the gamut from it's impossible to can't be done to you're isolated to won't work migratory to you're gonna crash this winter, no this winter, no this winter, you're really gonna crash soon, soon I tell you! CCD is going to get you!

    One experience that Chris has had (and maybe he's simplifying) that I have not is being called a liar. Though it's been everything short of the actual word. The word "lies" has been used, and also "poison."

    So yes, it is precisely the case that "believe" is the key word. But it's not a faith type of belief. It's the existence of excessive incredulity that will not allow me to be telling the truth because it doesn't fit the world view of the hearer. If one believes it is possible, one is taking the first step to believing the story of one who does it. Now we have some evidence (and corroboration) that it is possible and actually happens, and the hope that I have held is fulfilled. I'm certainly happy to amend my statement that treatment-free beekeeping can't be done on a migratory commercial scale.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #302
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I guess those bees keep the moths at bay until it gets really cold.
    I'm still interested to hear about how much of that 200 lbs. of honey is syrup.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #303
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,763

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    And the skepticism works both ways I see.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  4. #304
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    174

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Mark: Chris is treatment free migratory. He runs between South Dakota and Texas and goes to Caifornia to pollinate the almonds. Mike Palmer is not treatment free. He has spoken at our conferences as well and is incredibly generous in sharing his beekeeping knowledge and experience toward developing an apiary with minimal inputs.

    Jim: Chris is your neighbor in SD and maybe even Texas. You could visit him and see what he does. He's really friendly and a lot of fun.

    Ramona

  5. #305
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    It's a simple question Mark. Do you get 200 lbs of honey from a package generally? I don't. It would stand to reason that since the bees aren't overwintered, they never have to use much of their stores, and a major portion of anything going in is going to be coming back out. Dean has well documented the volume of syrup in honey. This isn't speculation or slander, this is evidence based inquiry.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #306
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,684

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Ever thought to have Ron "Honey Householder" at your conference?
    It wouldn't even occur to me. I don't think our attendees would find such a presentation helpful towards their goals. I don't think I would find it very inspiring towards my own.

    In fairness to Ron, he is doing his thing, and I can't say I have a problem with that...and although there is a lot of tongue in cheek claiming of "treatment free" from his model, I don't think anyone really believes that. There is nothing sustainable about such a system without the constant influx of relatively cheap package bees from the south (ask Ian how the lack of availability of package bees from the south has affected his management).

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  7. #307
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    174

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Ramona, do you remember the essence of Chris's operation? Anything else you remember?
    He stopped treating. Bees died. He bred back from the survivors. A huge heat wave came on his birthday. A LOT of bees died. He bred back from the survivors.

    Ramona

  8. #308
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ramona, that sounds familiar, is there a video posted somewhere or did I read that somewhere?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #309
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,269

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'm still interested to hear about how much of that 200 lbs. of honey is syrup.
    pull the reigns back cowboy
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #310
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,684

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Yes, I know that. Hasn't he been at your conference too?
    We first me Mike Palmer in Nebraska....he asked to be invited to a Nebraska state beekeepers meeting that was focusing on treatment-free beekeeping...._because_ he felt that the things he was doing with overwintering nucs would be helpful to beekeepers that aren't treating. He has been at our conference twice, and he is invited every year.

    As you know, Mike speaks with authority and experience about his methods...and the overwintering of nucs is helpful to anyone who's practices result in losing any number of hives, or who want to expand, or who want to sell quality nucs. These are all things that are helpful to beekeepers whether they are using treatments or not. Every talk I give to beekeeping clubs I mention Mike, and suggest they bring him in if they haven't already.

    This is, of course, rather the polar opposite of what Ron is doing. Nothing that Ron is doing is geared towards getting a hive through the winter....or towards breeding 'better' bees....or towards doing anything other than buying early packages every year. This isn't the kind of beekeeping I want to spend my time practicing or teaching.

    I'm not sure what it is supposed to mean that Mike Palmer is having a hard time finding mites in his bees. He is treating for them, no? It would be hard (impossible) to come to any conclusion about mites on Mike's bees without knowing what he treated with and when...how he was looking for mites...etc.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  11. #311
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,763

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    You are right about that. I don't know what Michael uses regarding mites or how he is looking for them.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  12. #312
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,269

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    If it sounds too good to be true.....
    Harry, If I could manage my hives with only a 30% treatment free, Id be the first in line. Problem is I have seen first hand of beekeepers loosing 80% plus directly related to viral infections, It put these guys out for a while, one guy is still working to get going again.

    Managing "pre mite" days is a dream all beekeepers want to go back to, please tell Chris
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #313
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    174

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    When we were trying to keep bees without treatments we sought out the biggest treatment free beekeeper we could find and ended up in Arizona with Dee Lusby. We got to see with our own eyes what everyone had told us was impossible. Having that model has given us the courage and vision to deal with our own losses as we are building our bees. Many folks have plenty to say about Dee but we have been to Arizona to see her bees seven times now and no one can tell me that her bees aren't real or that we are imagining the honey they produce.

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

    "Seek and ye shall find". There are multiple models out there for anyone who really wants the information but everyone is different in their goals, aspirations, values and beliefs, preferences and circumstances.

    Arguing or debating about what someone is or isn't doing doesn't affect what the doer is actually doing. I much prefer to go to the sources and see for myself.

    Yes, there are all kinds of obstacles...time, money, family, job, etc. When you really want something, you figure it out. Or at least you figure out what you really want

    Ramona

  14. #314
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,269

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    that was a great inspirational post Romona, unfortunately my banker doesnt care either way.

    Nobody has called anyone a liarabout,
    because one beekeeper asks a question to another beekeeper who doesnt know the answer to, doesnt qualify as liarabout
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #315
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Ramona, that sounds familiar, is there a video posted somewhere or did I read that somewhere?
    Except for the "heatwave on your birthday" part it probably sounds familiar because the scenario is familiar. No treatments-bees die-breed back from the survivors.

    We went to see Tim Ives in New Jersey last Friday. He talked about his treatment free history and referred to a survivor colony as his "$3500" hive. He caught swarms from that hive and after some time brought them to breed with an old beekeepers bees who had been treatment free for some years. He now runs 120 hives in Indiana in the middle of corn and soy. His big emphasis is three deeps going into winter packed with honey and no artificial feeds
    ever . He is on my list of operations I would like to visit to see for myself.

    Ramona

  16. #316

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Do you get 200 lbs of honey from a package generally? I don't.
    Keep in mind.....those packages are installed on fully drawn comb. Makes a world of difference, in my opinion.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #317
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    His big emphasis is three deeps going into winter packed with honey and no artificial feeds
    Very interesting. From my beginning, I have kept big hives year 'round like Dee, 5 deeps is the goal. I think I am evolving toward the decision to largely end my use of sugar. I used maybe 30 lbs. of granulated sugar this year, on yearling hives and a couple that were knocked over by a migratory trampoline.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #318
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I believe this is Chris Baldwin's web site for those interested:
    http://southbeekota.com/

  19. #319
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Belvidere SD
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    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.

  20. #320
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I believe this is Chris Baldwin's web site for those interested:
    http://southbeekota.com/
    Aha, I did hear that story before. It was back when I was looking for a source of treatment-free queens.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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