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  1. #381
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Cam, I don't recall a P&L statement from you for your pollination, nuc resales, and honey production...where do I find that?


    deknow

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I think Kirk is a better example than Dee. I would never have those Africanized bees that Dean posted videos of. Also she is very evasive about her yields and whether the hives are profitable. There is no doubt in my mind that Kirk has a sustainable apiary that is no treat. And I classify him as a commercial. And he has written extensively on his methods and ideas. http://kirkwebster.com/
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  2. #382
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Ian, I'm reluctant to enter into this if you aren't willing to read what Kirk and Dee have written
    what ever you feel comfortable with. I have read into those websites and leaves me with questions,
    I guess bind faith is pretty much part and parcel of this management strategy
    definetly admire the work of these beekeepers, cant translate it into my operation management yet

    Chris came aboard , and made his claim, and made a brief explanation. Cheers to that,
    questions that came from that were left un answered. And the discussion was left at that.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #383
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    We've now gone from the "there are none" mantra of 300+ posts, to "tell me how to manage my bees and my debt load with the bank".
    deknow
    this is a discussion in the commercial forum, right? so you must understand the debt load comments to be real.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #384
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I have read into those websites and leaves me with questions, I guess bind faith is pretty much part and parcel of this management strategy definetly admire the work of these beekeepers, cant translate it into my operation management yet
    Too bad it is a crime to ask questions based upon what you have read, otherwise this discussion could be more productive, or you could call/email the writers themselves. Perhaps in the future things will change and asking questions will be encouraged

    Chris came aboard , and made his claim, and made a brief explanation. Cheers to that,
    questions that came from that were left un answered. And the discussion was left at that.
    Yeah, it would have been helpful if he invited anyone with questions to call him, and gave his website so you could find his number.

    Get serious.

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

  5. #385
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Cam, I don't recall a P&L statement from you for your pollination, nuc resales, and honey production...where do I find that?
    I have never claimed to be a commercial beekeeper making my living off the bees. In fact I'm still in the red as I expand. I read with interest Dee's assertions on another forum and her failure to back up those claims. I haven't seen Kirk's P&L either but I have no doubt that he makes his living from his bees. Haven't seen your P&L statement either Dean. You post yours and I'll post mine!

  6. #386
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    this is a discussion in the commercial forum, right? so you must understand the debt load comments to be real.
    Of course they are real....but I don't know the details of your debt or your relationship/history with your banker.

    In all the conversations on the commercial forum I've read and participated in, I've never seen someone try to disrupt a conversation about what truck to buy, when to move bees, how to make up numbers by requiring that the answers also specify how to manage the debt someone is already in.

    Now, if we want to talk about being honest and forthcoming, can I assume that since we don't read about offlabel use of Amitraz by commercial beekeepers that none of the commercial beekeepers who participate in this forum were using Amitraz at all while it was not permitted? What standards of full disclosure are being expected of whom?

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

  7. #387
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I have never claimed to be a commercial beekeeper making my living off the bees. In fact I'm still in the red as I expand. I read with interest Dee's assertions on another forum and her failure to back up those claims. I haven't seen Kirk's P&L either but I have no doubt that he makes his living from his bees. Haven't seen your P&L statement either Dean. You post yours and I'll post mine!
    The only evidence there is that Kirk is being truthful and Dee isn't is that Allen accused Dee of being untruthful. You can take Allen's word for it, or you can take Dee's. Only one of them actually has data to base their assertion upon.

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

  8. #388
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I have to slap those mites down at least one time of the year with Oxalic or chem to allow for satisfactory wintering.
    You ask how to do it, and here is the key. It's the threshold for satisfactory one time, or two time losses.

    Dee reported about a 90% loss (of 1000) over a couple years, but that was with extremely stressful shakedowns. I experienced 75% (of 20, not a totally insignificant number) over five years, but I did no shakedowns. Later when I moved, I experienced a fresh 66% loss as the bees were not acclimatized but I can not necessarily fault disease in that case. At any rate, losses have consistently diminished since then, 9% last year, 4% this year.

    My point is this: If one is not willing to lose bees for at least one winter and probably three and split back from it, one will probably not be successful with treatment-free. It seems to me that commercials are approaching the treatment-free idea from the same perspective that newbees usually do. "I'm just going to skip treatments and expect the same results." Just the other day I read about a guy who kept some treatment-free nucs and a bunch of them died, so now he's going to treat. Why? That's like taking three steps up the stair case and giving up and taking the elevator because ya didn't get to the top! And no one is going to sell you the queens that are going to do it for you. You have to make your own. No one sells a migratory treatment-free queen....yet, and again I hold out hope.

    On the other hand, a more consistent approach is one I hear from some other newbees, usually the ones I meet in person, which is "if I have to treat, I'm not going to keep bees." They go in with the correct frame of mind and they seem to come out better and more successful for it.

    Yes, if you stop treating, some bees are going to die. It's not a speed bump, it is the road. The destination is a sustainable population with an acceptable loss rate.




    Sam Comfort enlightened me the other day. He said something to the effect of: "this guy is the perfect example of somebody who took Dee's method and ran with it." Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't, but with so many factors in the equation, how do you tell?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #389
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    thats the whole point Slolomon, loss after loss after loss. So, if its just about breeding the survivors, why is it that the queens that I buy from my closest survivor project still have a threshold where I need to knock the mites down.
    Instant genetic change over, better mite tolerance I hope, but still climbing mite counts. Throw some nucing in there, keep the hives going. But I still need to build those big hives to bring in the honey. Those hives fail if mite levels climb.
    anyway we are talking in circles, good luck in your beekeeping operations this season
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #390
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    So, if its just about breeding the survivors, why is it that the queens that I buy from my closest survivor project still have a threshold where I need to knock the mites down.
    I know nothing about the project or your threshold and so cannot comment. All I can do is relate my experience and what I do is hard Bond method and quickly my losses came to be more than acceptable.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #391
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post

    If we can find operators who practice treatment free on a commercial scale Im interested in their story but to me it looks like they are an exception and far in between.
    Or you have to play w/ the definition of what it means to be commercial.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #392

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Also she is very evasive about her yields and whether the hives are profitable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I must not know that person. The only one I know in AZ is Dee and hers produce about 20 barrels of honey a year with very little work on Dee's part per hive.
    Ok…now we have numbers. I believe I’ve seen Dee post on BeeL that she runs about 800 hives. A barrel contains…55 gal? 20 barrels x 55 gallons = 1100 gallons. 1100 gallons divided by 800 hives……..
    She can keep those ‘productive’ bees....
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #393
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    It's worth noting that my post (number 4 in a thread with over 360 posts):


    It took quite a while to get to any of these....the fact that no one really seems curious indicates to me that no one really wants to know.

    deknow
    Lusby's and Webster's storys are well known and documented, so what's to know? Crowder I am not familiar w/. I didn't know that Bob Brachmann is treatment free. I'll have to give him a phone call to learn the details.

    It surprises me actually. When I suggested Michael Bush as a speaker for last Fall's ESHPA Mtng he didn't seem to know him. But I guess I shouldn't assume that all treatment free beekeepers know each other.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  14. #394
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Mike Bush would really like to be working bees full time, but bees don't provide health insurance.

    Kirk is his own person doing his own thing. Nobody who does it is all that bothered how they look in this forum's eyes.
    Does Michael have medical problems requiring health insurance? I don't have health insurance.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 03-28-2013 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Guess I was wrong about Kirk Webster and the Internet.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  15. #395
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    But I guess I shouldn't assume that all treatment free beekeepers know each other.
    They don't. I just met Sam this past weekend. He and Michael are the only ones I've met in person. Met Ed Levi too, but he's quite a bit more active on the soft stuff. He could tell you his mite levels though, he keeps real close track. He keeps them under 5% or so and losses this year under 8%.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #396
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Gee.. it really is pretty hard for TF and non-TF beekeepers to have a conversation for very long. I for one an still interested in establishing a TF yard.... not convert everything.... but just one yard. So I am naturally interested in the operations of TF Commercials and how they function. Since Dee Lusby always comes up - I wonder if she bottles and retails those 20 barrels of honey.... seems like it would be pretty hard to make a go of it on a $26,000.00 Gross (Bulk Sales). Of course she may sell queens, nucs, package bees for all I know.... I bet Deknow knows....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  17. #397
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Does Michael have medical problems requiring health insurance?
    I'm purdy sure that's not how insurance works, at least not yet.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #398
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    But you knew of them, didn't you?

    So Dean, how does Bob Brachmann keep bees w/out treating?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  19. #399
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    But you knew of them, didn't you?
    I only know what I've seen and read. Few dare be as forthcoming as me, online at least. I really need to knock it off.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #400
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    But you knew of them, didn't you?

    So Dean, how does Bob Brachmann keep bees w/out treating?
    he cant comment on that Mark, your have to call Bob to find out
    Last edited by Ian; 03-28-2013 at 04:26 PM. Reason: spelling
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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