Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 41 to 57 of 57
  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    My opinion is that if you are in an area where you can catch wild swarms that are from naturally swarming, healthy bee colonies, then try the treatment free small cell method.

    If these are unavailable to you, that's a sign that your bees are going to have big problems if you don't treat.

    My feeling is that, on another forum which shall remain unnamed, many beginners start out idealistically thinking that they will be treatment free with their new package bees. At first they ask many questions, then after awhile they are not heard from again. Draw your own conclusions.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Every year I sell over 300 packages
    So you're not buying southern packages?


    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Generaly I try not to treat....... I did treat 90% of my hives........i am all for treatment free!, just not fond of ... those who do use treatments.
    Wha???


    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    do you have 10 you would be able to sell me in May?
    Maybe, we'll see. Gotta fill orders first. Running late this year due to weather. I couldn't trust those results though, balancing. Why do that?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,902

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    My opinion is that if you are in an area where you can catch wild swarms that are from naturally swarming, healthy bee colonies, then try the treatment free small cell method.

    If these are unavailable to you, that's a sign that your bees are going to have big problems if you don't treat.
    Actually that's a pretty good analysis Gino, I hadn't looked at it like that before but there's probably a lot of wisdom in that statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    While I am here, I am running a experiment this summer, testing southern production queens against "suvivor queens" do you have 10 you would be able to sell me in May? (not looking for donations) they will be balanced and weighed and tested for mites monthly.
    That will be a very interesting experiment, it's so hard to get proper numbers on survivor queens just by browsing posts on the chat site.

    Please keep us updated on this. What I would really like to know is how survivor queens go when moved to a different location.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    My feeling is that, on another forum which shall remain unnamed, many beginners start out idealistically thinking that they will be treatment free with their new package bees. At first they ask many questions, then after awhile they are not heard from again. Draw your own conclusions.
    My conclusion is that most of these new beekeepers, like most beginning hobbyists (no matter what hobby) have not educated themselves very well and have unrealistic expectations (again, not unusual in beginners, no matter the pursuit.)

    I don't expect my first bees to survive without any difficulties; in fact, I'm going to nuc those colonies, in the expectation that they will need to be replaced. If I were advising a new beekeeper, I'd tell them that it was unlikely that they will have no troubles if they don't treat, but that the odds of trouble-free beekeeping are only a little better if they do treat. Treatment appears to not be a sustainable longterm practice, in my opinion, so we might as well try to find alternatives.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    As with anything, you will get conflicting opinions from experts and novice alike. Everyone likes to think they are right and at times relay only what fits their pre-drawn conclusions. . One thing that you can be certain of is that there will be plenty of bad advice on any forum like this since everyone can be a self proclaimed expert (myself included).

    Treatment free is an admirable goal. If that is what you have chosen to do then you need to pick your path after reading the best supporting data available. Just be sure to understand that beekeeping is an agricultural pursuit. As such it is just as dependent on environmental and biological conditions and cycles as any other. Be prepared for setbacks and forward surges. What you think worked swell one year may end in disaster the next.

    Whichever method is chosen, it will take diligent management to achieve consistent success. And even then success is what you measure by, not what others may measure by. Define your goal and strive towards it, live and learn from your mistakes and then overcome them the next go round.

    Last thing is to be very careful of whose advice you take and then be sure to get the whole story of their experience and not the condensed sanitized version.

    Good luck.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    I suspect that part of the key to survival of treatment free bees is access to quality forage. I watched a blueberry field being cleared of rocks the other day and my thought was that there will be forage for bees for about three weeks and then nothing. So honey bees won't be establishing themselves there any time soon. Is the clearing just insurance for migratory beeks? I imagine the ability to place imported pollinators where the grower wants them is part of the goal, but only a small one. Other perceived grower benefits include increased ease for pruning, burning, pesticide/herbicide application, mechanized harvesting. Costs not considered should include native pollinator activity. Granted this area is hurting economically and these growers are making an investment, but I scratch my head when thinking of long term sustainability.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    What would you consider quality forage? Tell me what I have here that allows me to do this. I am interested in all aspects that make this possible.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    To me quality forage is forage that will meet the bee's nutritional needs growing season (and year) round - it is diverse, consisting mostly of naturally occurring plants and weeds that are not treated with anything. This is not to say that adding to the available forage is a bad thing - I planted six tulip poplars this past week - but the additions are minor parts. I've nothing against some one planting a bit of borage or a field of buckwheat, but my concern is that the bees have access to what they need beyond those blooming periods. My wife and I argue (argue is probably strong) over my efforts at keeping our blueberry field open - it was last commercially harvested roughly 10 years ago. The field is transitioning away from blueberries to lots of rosa rugosa and goldenrod/aster in the fall. It is hard to find a honey bee on the blueberries when they are in blossom, yet pollination seems to happen ok for our needs. I hope to unwrap this next week and see how the bees fared. In a perfect world the bees would be able to gather all the stores they need from their natural environs - but I don't live in heaven and fed much 2:1 in the fall.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    The last several years, my dearth functionally begins in late June. The rain has stopped and all blooming plants (the only thing blooming is clover, maybe bull thistle in small amounts) have died off. Goldenrod appears briefly in the fall yielding maybe two frames in each hive going into winter. How would you characterize this nutritionally?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    My guess is that nutritionally is a bit thin. As I am fond of saying all beekeeping is local, and I am by no means an expert on nutrition. My property abuts a tidal river so even when the summer dearth arrives there are things blooming along the river. Now I ought to find out if the bees find those plants attractive!

    I wrote in a private letter not long ago that beekeepers have a choice to make - either do the pollination circuit and take chances with what your bees are exposed to or control (own/lease) the land that your bees forage on to make a honey crop. Lease payments need to be for more than a gallon or two of honey and I've no idea if the American consumer is prepared to pay the real cost of production. "The times they are a changing" sang Mr. Dylan, and I think concern/realization over the nature of our food supply is just beginning.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Well, I am in a place with good quality forage when the moisture is adequate; however, there comes a time most every year when the drought kicks in and the bees wind down in the fall.

    In the old days (pre mite and pre beetle), the population would just keep slowly declining until some rains arrived to bring some plants into bloom. The problem here is mostly lack of pollen. The lack of food didn't cause disease problems.

    After the mites had been here for 2-3 years, the bees started having problems with lots of chalkbrood, some sac brood, and dwv. And then the untreated hives would suddenly collapse and often abscond. This had nothing to do with quality of forage.

    Had I let them take care of it themselves, at this point I would have no bees. Also, fwiw, the feral bees have disappeared and I haven't seen a healthy swarm of bees for several years.
    So, imo, there's more to it than poor pasture. Granted, those bees which forage in insecticide laced pasture have a whole different set of problems. Maybe Monsanto can create some pesticide resistant bees to replace them! TIC

  12. #52
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Yes I resell packages, and also sell local nucs.... Well aware of the weather issues! we had snow flurries yesterday!....

    The balanceing will be at the start of the trial only, to be sure they all start the same as close as possible. all will have drawn comb, brood, and empty space.


    as for trying not to treat, that is my goal. but I am not going to lose hives in the middle of honey production to do that. Normaly I would remove queens for mites, and ignore EFB until it clears on its own. last year neathier of those options worked well enough.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    That will be a very interesting experiment, it's so hard to get proper numbers on survivor queens just by browsing posts on the chat site.

    Please keep us updated on this. What I would really like to know is how survivor queens go when moved to a different location.
    Well the intent was to keep them "local" I had one supplier whos an hour north of me,......... Its interesting to me we hear all this hype about breeds, and survivor stock and on and on...... and very little actual data.........
    Measurements to be wax production, honey production, mite issues and winter survibility and buildup.... partly for my own info, partly because over the last years I have gotten a lot of really poor info from this site and others..... Without details, lets just say a lot of the treatment free theories are just that......
    I do belive genetics can be a huge factor, but at the moment I seen no evidence of it. Yes there are a few bigger guys doing it within there systems, and a lot of little guys claiming this and that...... I honestly belive at this point there will be little to no differrences in any catagory.
    I think a good queen is a good queen no mater where she comes from. and I think if you take a batch of any 10 some will do great, and some will fail. so my goal is to establish a basline. and to do that I have set up a protocol, and purchased a new scale, and planed the time to do it.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    There's a treatment free beekeeper in northern Indiana who has an interesting view of this. His yards (he has about 150 hives, I believe) are in patches of woods in the middle of corn and soybean country. His approach is to build up his hives until they are enormous, and he gets huge yields from an area that many conventional beekeepers might think doesn't have enough forage. He does not feed, at all. His winter loss rate for the last several years has averaged 8 percent, which is far better than most treated operations. He puts a lot of emphasis on local stock derived from swarms; when most of his stock was from packages, his loss rate was 50 to 90 percent. He buys no outside stock now, and all his increase comes from splits.

    His name is Tim Ives and he has several videos up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXESkk7ZhXs

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,902

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I do belive genetics can be a huge factor, but at the moment I seen no evidence of it. Yes there are a few bigger guys doing it within there systems, and a lot of little guys claiming this and that...... I honestly belive at this point there will be little to no differrences in any catagory.
    Well it will be interesting to put it to the test.

    According to data given to the national bee survey, annual losses for TF beekeepers are 38%. So as most TF beekeepers are small beekeepers with well under 100 hives, the reality for most of them if they had say, 10 hives, would be an annual loss of around 4 of the 10. But best I can read Solomon, he lost 1 hive out of 27, far better than average. So is it climate, or genetics? You trialling 10 of his survivor queens may help answer that.

    I'm still torn on this issue. My own TF bees, at this point, are not going as well as I had hoped. The question of whether you have to go local, or not, is something I need to learn more about.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    buy packages or queens from a reputable breeder that has a proven track record of treatment free bees. They're out there, and they advertise. Then you can with confidence go treatment free from the get-go. This is what I've done, and have been completely treatment free since re-starting in bees in 2006.
    Steven,

    If you don't mind telling, since you've been successful, where did you get your bees from?

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Received conflicting advice on going treatment free

    Heaflaw, I don't mind telling... I've been telling for 7 years now....and I do not mind repeating myself. Appreciate you asking, for the benefit of some new readers.
    My most successful bees have been from B. Weaver and Purvis. I've tried Russians, and MnHyg but they don't produce and survive as well.

    I judge my success by whether they make it from one year to the next, and does my honey harvest average beat the Missouri state average. The answer to both questions is yes.

    Once again, there are two ways to go treatment free. Buy from a reputable treatment free breeder, either packages or queens. (I've done both, successfully.) Or, buy any type of bee, and go treatment free, then breed from your survivors, if any. For small folks like me, the reality it that it is easier, cheaper, and a heck of a lot more fun to let someone else pay those costs, and we reap the benefits with the bees.
    Kindest regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads