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  1. #441
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I don't split anymore, especially not honey production hives. I graft queens, place cells in mating nucs made up of weaker hives, and grow them into full size hives. They hives set aside for honey production don't get split. They just sit there going full steam.
    Everyone manages his own bees to try to maximize production. My honey production hives are the only ones that get a break in the brood cycle, but not because of the mites. I will take 2 colonies [my brood producers] to feed sealed brood into 1 honey producer without a queen. Our major flows here only run about a month. I will let the honey producers raise a queen during that period but no brood. I want them concentrating on nectar production. By feeding syrup to my brood producers only, it keeps the syrup out of my honey, and those brood producers can concentrate on raising brood instead of having to gather nectar. I can then build honey production colony populations up to 70K-100K without threat of swarming as they don't have a queen. But this is to maximize honey production, not to break the mite brood cycle.

    That being said. When the heat of summer hits here from July thru August, oftentimes there is no brood in colonies as it is to hot here. That does 'naturally' break the mite cycle, but it's not through my intervention.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  2. #442
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    2,668

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    A virus free mite population would not so quickly destroy a hive... would it?
    Maybe we should be treating the mites.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  3. #443
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,589

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    I am assuming that mites nearly always carry viruses - some of these viruses are virulent... and others perhaps much less so. A virus free mite population would not so quickly destroy a hive... would it?
    But a mite population will spread any viruses that are there or show up there.
    Mites carrying viruses are going to weaken the bees more than mites not carrying viruses..so will be able to reestablish and take hold faster than mites without....so after a mite treatment, what is going to come back the fastest and in the greatest force? Mites with viruses and mites on colonies that have viruses.

    Do populations of benign mites occupy a niche that otherwise would be wide open for virus carrying mites? What happens when you knock them down?

    There are lots of variables here, but one thing is for certain, treating (especially rotating treatments) skews the host/parasite relationship and will prevent the establishment of any kind of balance.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  4. #444
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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 DRUR View Post
    Everyone manages his own bees to try to maximize production.
    I'm not sure that's what Sam Comfort does, but maybe in his own way, that's the result.

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    When the heat of summer hits here from July thru August, oftentimes there is no brood in colonies as it is to hot here. That does 'naturally' break the mite cycle, but it's not through my intervention.
    I have never seen a living queenright hive without brood here, but I don't look in the broodnest in December or January. They do scale it well back in summer though.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #445

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    There are several people on this thread that are promoting tf beekeeping for commercial beekeepers. They acknowledge the financial risk. Not one of them has taken that same risk. Each maintains a separate dependable income, albeit one is bee dependent. If they had real faith…..wouldn’t they take the chance….put it all on the line as they suggest for the commercial beekeeper?
    Two of the most prolific writers (other than those who write books and such but don’t earn their living actually beekeeping) are Dee Lusby and Kirk Webster.
    Dee Lusby insists that it is all cell size driven. She maintains her hive count by walkaway splits in an area that is Africanized….and is unwilling to acknowledge that.
    Then you get a fellow like Kirk Webster who eschews the idea of small cell. But Kirk Webster refers to cycles of collapse and recovery. And states that there are some size limitations to what a commercial operator can maintain tf. (PS I really believe that Kirk Webster is the ‘real deal’).
    Two totally contradictory philosophies.
    Neither of whom are migratory.
    Which is the approach the hopeful tf commercial beekeeper is to pursue? Small cell with Africanized bees or selected stock and a reduced scale with cycles of collapse and recovery..
    If any one of you who are advancing a tf enterprise were to throw all caution to the wind and put your livelihood on the line, as you suggest others do….and succeed….you might get an audience. .
    Until that time I believe you will be viewed as armchair quarterbacks in the commercial beekeeping world.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #446
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    May 2009
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    Anderson County, Texas
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I have never seen a living queenright hive without brood here, but I don't look in the broodnest in December or January.
    Once temperatures here exceed 100+F for extended periods, I seldom see brood in any of my colonies. Usually that is from early July through mid August. We will often run humidity of 60-70% with temperatures well above 100F, often above 105F and sometimes over 110F. I am about 55 miles due south of tyler Texas, between Palestine and Elkhart in Anderson County, Texas.

    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  7. #447
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    Splitting was a management technique that existed long before destructer existed. Give me a break.
    a colony dividing itself is one of the ways the bees seem to be leaning towards in managing the mites.
    nucing out a colony works along the same line, splitting up the hive and its pest, 2,3,4,5 times, and sending it off with a new queen

    so if a beekeeper is managing a yard with nucs as one of the pillars, is it the bees or is it the act of nucing that is allowing those hives to survive,
    I bet this is a huge strategy in many non treatment operations, except Solomon
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #448
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,393

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I'm not offended...you are going to get more accurate information from them directly.
    But that doesn't help the rest of us know any more. The discussion is here, not in a private phone conversation.


    The "secret" is that if you want to be treatment free, you have to make it a priority. There are many ways to accomplish this....but it isn't going to happen by accident.

    deknow
    I'd like to hear the many ways.
    Regards, Barry

  9. #449
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    May 2009
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    Anderson County, Texas
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    a colony dividing itself is one of the ways the bees seem to be leaning towards in managing the mites.
    Ian, I would tend to agree with you here. My first year before I was completely on small cell, my bees were swarming like crazy. I did do mite counts that first year and they were high. I have either gotten better at managing the swarming or the mite counts are no longer sufficient to stimulate the swarms [I no longer do mite counts].

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    nucing out a colony works along the same line, splitting up the hive and its pest, 2,3,4,5 times, and sending it off with a new queen
    so if a beekeeper is managing a yard with nucs as one of the pillars, is it the bees or is it the act of nucing that is allowing those hives to survive,
    I bet this is a huge strategy in many non treatment operations, except Solomon
    Depends on how he handles his nucs. I will often do a walk away split. The split that went queenless will make queen cells on several frames. I will then split other colonies and put one of these frames with queen cells until the queen starts laying. I then combine these smaller splits with a laying queen with new splits with larger bee populations, but the mite cycle will not be broken when combined with the new split as the already emerged and laying queen from the small split would be mixed with the supposedly mite infested bees from the larger split, who never had a break without a queen.

    My management technique only works if I have queens to immediately produce bees again. Elm flow starts here about the middle of January. If the bees are fed or have sufficient stores they will start building rapidly. But our major flow here starts at the end of April and is over by end of May or early June. So my populations must be at 70-100K by end of April or early May to work for me. This will take the whole period from Mid January through late April, about 3 1/2 months to reach these maximum populations and it won't happen if I am 30 days without a laying queen.

    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  10. #450
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    oh please, in general terms, tell me the secret
    AFAIK Ian, the secret is you will have to first be able to endure a substantial loss before you may see a gain. Not sure I could do that if beekeeping was my income.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #451
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    Depends on how he handles his nucs.
    No Im talking about brood breaks so much as Im talking about dividing up the pests and setting them back behind a new laying queen
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #452
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,751

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    So Solomon, I dont understand your philosophy at all. You believe in natural beekeeping, I get that, but you will not manage diseases with treatment,.? Yet you will manipulate the hive and inadvertely manage disease,.?
    Dont think for a second that these named commercial treatment free beekeepers dont manipulate their hive to exaggerate the bees ability to deal with the mite.
    Ian, have you ever heard of The Bond Method? Or "Live and Let Die" Method of beekeeping. That is pretty much his "philosophy" or technique. At least that's the way it looks to me.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #453
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    not familiar with Bond Method. Live and Let Die, Is that not a naturalist take on it?

    Its a Guns and Roses song, thats for sure, ROCKS !
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #454
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    If any one of you who are advancing a tf enterprise were to throw all caution to the wind and put your livelihood on the line, as you suggest others do….and succeed….you might get an audience. .
    Until that time I believe you will be viewed as armchair quarterbacks in the commercial beekeeping world.
    whats the saying,
    dont tell someone who is doing it, that they cant,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #455
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,078

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Until that time I believe you will be viewed as armchair quarterbacks in the commercial beekeeping world.
    Fair enough.

    This is an equation with two variables. This is a discussion with two principle positions. One sees that they possess one variable and see the other as lacking the variable which completes the equation. The other sees the same thing.

    Both sides see the other as "armchair quarterbacks," talking about it but not doing it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #456
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Is that not a naturalist take on it?
    It's a natural selection take on it, though the selection is not entirely natural. It's treatment-free, not management free, not hive free, not intervention free, and not harvest free.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #457
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    But that doesn't help the rest of us know any more. The discussion is here, not in a private phone conversation.
    ...and all of the stuff that Dee wrote is hosted here on your site...no one seems to want to discuss it.
    ...and all the stuff that Kirk wrote is hosted on his website....no one seems to want to discuss it.
    There is nothing "private" or "phone conversation" about any of it. Both of these sources help "the rest of you" know more. ...but no one participating here seems to have any questions about what has already been written.

    Don't you think Dee's writings and Kirk's writings are a good place to start for people that want to know more?

    I'd like to hear the many ways.
    Kirk and Bob both make and winter a lot of small colonies (not sure if Bob is doing nucs or singles or something else)....expansion beekeeping. Kirk has his own closed population breeding program. Bob is part of the Russian program. Kirk gets a reliable summer flow and leaves the fall flow for the bees. Bob sometimes gets a summer flow but has a reliable fall flow harvest. Kirk makes his own foundation from his own wax. Kirk has never borrowed a dime for his business...and has made a profit with his bees every year. These two are not far from one another....Kirk is near Middlbury VT, Bob is near Buffalo, NY.

    Dee practices replacement beekeeping....splitting strong hives to make up any losses. She only propagates via walk away splits these days. Dee doesn't distinguish between brood and honey comb (she uses all deeps), and after extracting, comb gets rotated to another yard.

    Everyone seems to raise their own queens. Everyone seems to find their own way based on their resources, needs, and environment.

    We also drove to NJ the other week so we could hear Tim Ives speak. I understand he is on Facebook...I don't do Facebook, so perhaps someone else will point to what he has written about his approach.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  18. #458
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,179

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Here is a link to the Bond Test, and variants of it
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...Jhoc-hGye9oXZw

  19. #459
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    May 2009
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    Anderson County, Texas
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    No Im talking about brood breaks so much as Im talking about dividing up the pests and setting them back behind a new laying queen
    Yes, I have heard that theory about outbreeding the mites, but I have my doubts that would ever work here for an extended period. I have tried to make splits July-August after the honeyflow is over here, but I can't get my queens to lay in the heat. I can split early June and get a queen and maybe a few weeks of laying from that queen, then it is all over until we get our first cold front. That usually occurs towards the end of August and then we will consistantly have temperatures under 100F and the queen will start laying for winter. I can then split and usually raise bees until the end of October, but they are not as inclined to draw comb after the days begin to shorten.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  20. #460
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    ...Live and Let Die.....

    Its a Guns and Roses song, thats for sure, ROCKS !
    Now _that's_ offensive. It's a freaking Wings (Paul McCartney) song covered by Guns and Roses!

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

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