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  1. #161
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I've been at this ten years.

    ...and I've seen Michael Bush's drone brood.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #162
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i will definitely be testing all of the hives this year, and will try to use that information to help decide which queens to graft from, which hives to requeen, and which hives to dequeen and split up into mating nucs.

    i am trying to make a profit with the sideline, but i don't mind experimenting to see if i can propagate a line of bees that can coexist with mites off treatments.

    if it is not possible to keep my losses to a minimum, i will consider using a fall treatment, most likely an organic acid.
    That's a really good perspective. Mites invariably build up as the season progresses. To refuse to use the simple safe and effective tools that we know work has just never made much sense to me. The key is always the timing of the treatment more than the number of treatments.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,175

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    The key is always the timing .
    Well said, Jim
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,131

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    >So Michael, I'd appreciate it if you would take the time to break open a piece of drone comb or 2 this year so you can tell us your mite observations (lots, some, few, none)

    The bee inspector does this on a few of my hives every year and here are his results for the last nine years:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beescerts.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #165
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    michael, did you have any winter losses this year?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #166
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,374

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Do you feel such visual inspections in the spring are a true indication of whether you might have mite related problems in the fall?

  7. #167
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    If hives aren't dying, what does it matter?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #168

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If hives aren't dying, what does it matter?
    It isn't that MB's colonies don't fail....it is that he insists that NONE of the failures are related to varroa.
    And he also doesn't to ANY testing.
    It is a broad claim without any objective evidence.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #169
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If hives aren't dying, what does it matter?
    i am very interested in knowing what the infestation rates are in operations like yours and michaels.

    it would tell us what levels are possible when it comes to equilibrium and coexistance, and give us a benchmark to work toward.

    for the hives that have died, it would be interesting to see if the levels exceeded that benchmark.

    it would be even more interesting if survival did not correlate with infestation rate.

    beyond survival, it would be interesting to know if production is affected by infestation rate, as has been suggested here.

    i understand that given your approach, the answers to these questions are irrelevant, and you have indicated your lack of desire to pursue testing...

    but i think the information could advance the beekeeping community's general understanding of the issue and help us all with our management decisions.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #170
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    From what I've seen, I'd suggest that most of his failures are due to lids blowing off in the middle of winter, pesticide use by farmers, and other beekeepers messing with his hives.

    The scale that you guys predict and insist should happen just doesn't.

    That's why I keep feeling like I have to get involved in these conversations. It's a bunch of conjecture, talking about things no one is done and all sorts of wild predictions saying that it can't. No, there are no migratory commercial beekeepers. So nobody should be commenting because nobody has done it? That's the most consistent logic I can see in this conversation. You want to discuss treatment-free commercial beekeeping, discuss with with people who do it. And believe what they say! And don't discount anybody's experience because they don't run as many hives as you do. Nobody fits the subject of the thread, so you can't exclude anyone from participating because they only fit half. There is no 'Sideliner' forum. There are a bunch of treatment-free sideliners.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #171
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    it would be even more interesting if survival did not correlate with infestation rate.
    I lost 0 hives this winter, and 1 the last winter. Either you believe me and it correlates, or you don't believe me and it doesn't correlate. I have more hives that starve to death in summer. Four, last summer, if you're wondering.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    and you have indicated your lack of desire to pursue testing...
    No one takes my word for it. Why would they take my numbers? They won't even accept Mike's documented inspection results at face value.

    It's not going to help me, no one will believe it, and it won't make a difference. Where is the upside? Like I have said before. Write the check and I'll do it. It's gonna have to have an upside.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #172

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It's a bunch of conjecture,
    Conjecture? Like this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    From what I've seen, I'd suggest that most of his failures are due to lids blowing off in the middle of winter, pesticide use by farmers, and other beekeepers messing with his hives.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #173
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    i'll take your word for it sol, as i do michael's

    face value doesn't tell the tale, as is evidenced by the numerous testimonies here on beesource of hives collapsing with no obvious visual indication of mites. short of an alcohol wash or something comparable it's not possible to know.

    sorry, i can't pay you to do it, but it would be priceless to know what the % infestion rate was last summer in your 23/23 surviving colonies. (awesome success by the way )

    i see folks trying to get past the differences here, do you think we can?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #174

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Solomon, I don’t believe I have ever questioned the number of losses you or MB report.
    But…when someone claims that before they went to small cell they lost all of their hives to varroa….and once the converted, they never lost another to mites…I’m sorry but until I see some objective data…….I’m unconvinced.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #175
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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 beemandan View Post
    Conjecture? Like this?
    That's not conjecture. That's eye witness testimony. That's what I saw. I've been there.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #176

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ok Sol........you've witnessed farmers improper use of pesticides in and around his hives, you've witnessed other beekeepers messing with his hives.....and.....you've witnessed most of Michael Bush's hive failures.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #177
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i see folks trying to get past the differences here, do you think we can?
    Of course we can.


    As I reported (here on Beesource and on my blog at the time) in November of 2011, I was doing my final fall inspection. I had this one hive since spring of 2007. It was a nuc I purchased from FatBeeMan. It had probably swarmed at least once and likely superseded one or more times. It had been split a substantial number of times, maybe as many as a dozen over the years. When I checked this hive in November of 2011, it was massively infested with mites. There were several frames of bees and some brood and I remember quite vividly that there were mites everywhere. There were many to be seen hanging onto bees. They were crawling on the comb. I could see some in brood cells. I fully expected this hive to crash and die. So, I wrote it off.

    But it was not the one hive that died that winter. It survived. I made a nuc of it in the spring and used it to draw comb through bee season 2012. It starved out in late summer. (Can't keep nucs in NWA, but that's a story for another day.) It did not have readily visible mites through 2012.

    It is my experience that massive visible and obvious mite infestations do not necessarily correlate with hive collapse.

    And the offer still stands. If someone wants to pay for my time and materials, I will be happy to test every hive every weekend all year.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #178
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Ok Sol........you've witnessed farmers improper use of pesticides in and around his hives, you've witnessed other beekeepers messing with his hives.....and.....you've witnessed most of Michael Bush's hive failures.
    I witnessed most of them that year.

    It's obvious what we have to say doesn't fit your world view. It's obvious our experience as beekeepers, me for ten years, him for like 30, doesn't mean anything to you. That's fine.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #179
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,374

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I don't think this thread should be about why Mr Bush lost bees. What I respectfully asked was a simple question. "Do you think a spring visual inspection is a true indication of whether you might have varroa related failures later in the year".
    As I said yesterday I checked 80 hives via ether roll this spring and 77 of the samples were negative and I know how little even that means 4 months from now. Spring is the reverse of fall. its a time when there is far more open brood than there are mites. It's a target rich environment for a phoretic mite. That's just a simple fact.

  20. #180

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    When I checked this hive in November of 2011, it was massively infested with mites. There were several frames of bees and some brood and I remember quite vividly that there were mites everywhere.
    A small cell nuc from fatbeeman. And MB insists that he rarely sees a mite since converting to sc. Do you not see how inconsistent that sounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It's obvious our experience as beekeepers, me for ten years, him for like 30, doesn't mean anything to you.
    I’m going to be frank…and then let it go. I tend to believe your reports about your bees are pretty objective. I believe that your reports about MB's losses are somewhat subjective. And I won't say anything about anyone else's reporting for fear of the moderator's intervention.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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