Re: New beekeeper interested in chemical free treatment
Okay, let's say that his bees seem to be no more likely to die than nearby commercial beekeepers who treat, and that they survive better than some nearby beekeepers who treat. If we go by that interesting study you posted, Kirk Webster shouldn't have any hives left alive, since the test apiaries mostly died out completely after two or three years, including the one in Maine, very similar climatologically to Vermont.
Originally Posted by libhart
What I would have liked to have seen in that study is treated companion apiaries that were managed in exactly the same manner-- no increase, no requeening, etc, so we could see how many of those colonies could survive three years of benign neglect, except for Varroa treament. (I realize that wasn't the point of the study.)
The point I keep trying to make, and that no one seems to want to respond to is this: how sustainable is the practice of treating for mites? How long can we keep doing this and expecting that the outcome will somehow be different from what we see now--- more virulent mites, and increasingly less effective treatments?