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  1. #581
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,176

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    is her split what I would consider a nuc?
    Deknow will be the man to ask as he has more to do with her. But from what I've been able to make out it's pretty simple. Deadouts are replaced by a box with brood taken from another hive, the queen is not even found, whichever split has no queen is left to make a new one. Boxes from dead hives are simply stacked on live ones.

    That's what I've been able to gather from reading, and what I saw being done on a video I watched of her working. But whatever else she may do I don't know.

    While this may seem primitive, it has meant that the strongest and so presumably most mite resistant hives, are the ones most likely to be split and produce another queen.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #582
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,656

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    ya, thats how I split my hives, I take a full box of brood and bees off a two story hive and I drop a queen in the hive that is queenless
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #583
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,656

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    What she is doing reminds me of what they do at the saskatraz survivor project, good stuff is coming out of that project, but I dont think they have claimed to be able to supply a treatment free bee to commercial ops yet.

    With her breeding, in a region known to harbour Africanized bees, how much of a factor does she think that has to play in her mite tolerance bees
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #584
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,176

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    She has said it's 1/3rd small cell, 1/3rd the bees, and 1/3rd something else I cannot remember, somebody else will have to fill me in.

    But there's many opinions. Michael Bush used to say the bees didn't matter, all you need was small cell. (Now he's moving to natural comb). StevenG, runs treatment free bees successfully on large cell. Others have converted to small cell and lost all their bees to mites. So who knows?

    And Sheri, thanks for the excellent summary, which has thus far passed without mention. But it is a great summary of the situation.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #585
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ian and I are coming from the perspective of businesses being built up over many years, and one might be tempted to think we are just of the mindset "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Of course, in at least my case, that would be true.
    But the issue goes deeper than that.
    Over the years we have seen several folks just starting out, wanting to be tf on a sideliner level, eventually hoping to be commercial. It is sad that these folks were under the impression it is as easy as breeding from the survivors/ don't feed corn syrup/use small cell etc and in a couple years they would have a tf successful operation. Someone forgot to tell them they needed survivors to breed from, and that those might be very rare indeed. Before investing their life savings, people need to know that not everyone who heads down that road comes out like the few positive examples we have seen.

    Anyone who has been in the business for any length of time knows of cases like that. Unfortunately it is one of the ways we grow. We end up buying that beautiful, 2-3 year old tf comb from them when they go bankrupt/get discouraged.
    Sheri

  6. #586
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,656

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Although she provides a very interesting model for beekeeping, I cant see any part of it that would at all fit into an operation like mine,

    she seem to be raising bees just for the fact of raising bee ( besides her absolute passion ) , with me production is first and formost because I have a bottom line to maintain. I am constantly working my hives to exploit their fullest potential. Where as Dee ( to me ) seems to using a real laid back approach considering honey more of a secondary issue,

    just my impression
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #587
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,176

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Yes, as somebody who is attempting treatment free beekeeping, I've tried to learn as much as possible from Dee Lusby, one of Treatment Free beekeeping's success stories. Best I've been able to tell most of her beekeeping time is spent splitting hives and making up deadouts. Reading between the lines, her honey production last season was around 10 barrels, from a claimed 6-7 hundred hives. Not sure how someone would survive on that so maybe Deknow could give the correct figure if I am wrong.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #588
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,825

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Sheri - good summary a way back. Then...

    "Someone forgot to tell them they needed survivors to breed "

    Roland - And mites are a walk in the park compared to CCD. It can get worse.

    As to the Adees loosing bees, I have faith that they have the skills to quickly rebuild numbers in a Southern location. Concerned, but not worried.

    What is more alarming to me is all the people that non nonchalantly let their bees die, and do not have the resources to replace them. Follow the money. When commercial people are buying their replacement bees from TF hobbiests, and the hobbiests stop buying replacement bees from commercial people, I will know where the truth lies.

    Maybe it is time for all parties to put their money where their mouth is. If all parties really believe in what they have written, then throw down your money behind what you believe in. Run at least 300-400 hives as you see fit. All of us commercial people already have. Money talks, **** **** walks. See you in 10....20... 160???? years.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #589
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,619

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    As to the Adees loosing bees, I have faith that they have the skills to quickly rebuild numbers in a Southern location. Concerned, but not worried.
    I assume that the Adee's have enrolled in the USDA program that pays 60% of the cost to re-stock their dead-outs from CCD. So if they lost 30,000 colonies and it cost $50 per to re-stock, they received close to a million bucks.

  10. #590
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,656

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    wow, that will buy them a lot of packages,
    whats all the fuss about then?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #591
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,420

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I know some beekeepers who are in that program. I wonder who evaluates the situation to determine losses were due to CCD? And how those evaluations were done.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #592
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,656

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    what are the premiums dues to enroll?

    we have a provincial insurance program, steep premium and a 30% deductible,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #593
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,746

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    > I wonder who evaluates the situation to determine losses were due to CCD? And how those evaluations were done.

    You can read the details of the USDA ELAP Honeybee program here. Note that while this program covers CCD losses, losses do not have to be determined to be CCD in order to be eligible.

    http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA...oneybee_11.pdf

    According to that link, the program has expired, but as that document was published in 2011, funding may now have been extended.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #594
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I will publicly display my ignorance here and say I didn't realize ELAP was still being funded. The NAP program is still in effect that will pay enrolees up to (I think) 50% of either their proven yields or a crop average for an area as determined by the USDA. Personally I think it's government largess that needs to go. I am sure I part company with many of my commercial colleagues on that one.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #595
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,807

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    A million bucks is, what, 25K packages? Considering the tight supply, at least for hobbyists, are there really that many extra available?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  16. #596

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Where are these huge periodic losses reported?
    An exchange on BeeL

    Dee Lusby on Dec 17, 2012
    Once you reach clean and sustainable, and naturally sized with Nature, problems stop and you fall to normal 2-3% losses per year, with up to 10% in real bad years

    Allen on Dec 17, 2012…referring to a recent visit to Lusy’s. Quotation marks are Allen’s.
    If that is true, Dee, then why were half or more of the hives in your yards empty, and why are you down to 'several hundred" hives?

    Lusby’s reply on Dec 17, 2012
    Probably because equipment has been setting the the yards since the 1980s

    While Dee explained that most of the empty boxes had been sitting in her yards for thirty years, in her reply she totally ignored Allen’s quote regarding being down to several hundred hives.

    700 - 800 to several hundred….qualifies as huge to me.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #597
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,746

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I will publicly display my ignorance here and say I didn't realize ELAP was still being funded. The NAP program is still in effect that will pay enrolees up to (I think) 50% of either their proven yields or a crop average for an area as determined by the USDA.
    The ELAP program may indeed be dead, as the earlier link indicated. (Sometimes its difficult to tell as some govt programs seem to just keep getting extended.)

    The NAP program mentioned by Jim does cover honey as a crop. Details are here:
    http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsRele...tr_en_nap.html

    I did see a reference on that page to the 50% Jim mentions:
    How Much Loss NAP Covers


    NAP covers the amount of loss greater than 50 percent of the expected production based on the approved yield and reported acreage.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #598
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,176

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Wow, so even in 2012, the majority of Dees hives were deadouts. So looks like for someone trying to be treatment free commercially, it takes more than 30 years to get to Zen.

    Dan was there any mention of her AFB problem?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #599
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,420

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I wish it were more practical to be treatment free as a commercial beekeeper, but I haven't seen that it is.

    The proof is in the pudding. "I'm from Missourii, you'll have to show me." And two or three examples aren't enuf to make me want to follow their example. And I doubt that other commercial beekeepers, for the most part, feel differently.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  20. #600
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Not going to spend much time participating in this argument. But I'm friends with the son of Bill Dahle who was quoted in the NYT "Mystery Malady" article. Met him several years back at a Marla Spivak queen rearing course. Great family. I sent him a note to say hello and sorry to hear about their bad year etc. Heard back from him today, he said their mite levels were awfully high last fall and it took a heavy toll. He also said they're getting great bees out of almonds and splitting them 3 for 1. Where is the mystery malady? I guess mites don't sell newspapers. I'm pretty sure I know what their opinion of going treatment free would be.

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