Page 5 of 29 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 565
  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,556

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Ray: As a self stated beginner you continue to make a lot of assumptions about a really big industry that you appear to know little about. There were between 2 and 3 million commercial hives producing honey last year and many hundreds of thousands more strictly pollinating. Adam has apparently been influenced by Mike Palmer, one of the best by most anyone's estimation and there are lots of other really good beekeepers out there who quietly go about their business and are very successful. Virtually all of them treat and the majority treat responsibly. Adam seems to have made a decision to broaden his exposure and his perspective. He has every right to speak up about his experiences.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    rhaldridge - You seem to be under the impression that treatment free has been somehow denied or dishonored or something in this thread - it hasn't, or at least I don't recall if it has. It often is, but not this time.

    I wish you the best of luck - really I do. Furthermore these are mostly all good people on here who want nothing more than to see everyone be successful in their bee keeping - including you.

    Just about everyone wants to see treatment free to work out, but some people have a lot harder choice to make because their livelihood and their families relies on those choices. That isn't greedy, lazy, closed minded, stupid, evil or anything like those things. It's responsible.
    Last edited by David LaFerney; 04-29-2013 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    A few years ago, I was the new bee who read about treatment free bee keeping and thought it sounded like a great idea.

    Before I got any bees, I read voraciously on the subject. If I didn't learn anything else, after reading/watching everything I could find, I was convinced after hearing it so many times form Michael B, Michael P and others that "locally adapted bees". were an important component of their successes.

    I was very fortunate in that I'd been out of work a while and I was broke.
    I don't mean kinda broke; I was broke broke.

    One late June day I got a call from a friend who told me that if I wanted some work that there was a woman with an abandoned house who needed bees removed from a wall.

    Did I want the job?

    I jumped on it, using the payment for the work to buy equipment.
    I agree that most new bees are pretty clueless...and that first cutout was quite a hack job.
    Most of the brood was destroyed.

    But the good thing was, I got local bees, and the infestation turned out to be in a house I was familiar with, a block away down the street I live on.
    I knew the wall had had bees in it for several consecutive years, and was pretty confident they hadn't been treated.

    Any way, whether they hadn't been or whether they were a swarm that had moved in five minutes before the city forced the woman to have them removed, I got 'em, they were local and had them out of the wall and in my yard the first week of July. (What's that about a fly?)

    They survived my newbee mistakes and constant pestering of them, and went into winter in 2 deep ten frame boxes.
    I'd sugared them once.

    Come spring, they still had 10 frames of stores, and had a heavy population by April.

    My first split was an education in chill brood.

    I made several splits, and bought queens from a the lines of a well known breeder with a reputation for good genetics... but bought locally produced open mated ones from licensed producers within a couple hundred miles of me. (I'm in upstate New York).

    The nucs I took into winter were July & August splits.
    I lost one overwinter from splitting too late; it never built up well.

    The nucs were 4 framers doubled up in 10 frame boxes going into autumn.
    I didn't feed during goldenrod flow except to show a helper how to do it and get her familiar with the bees, as I had to be out of state on business from the beginning of October til Thanksgiving.

    On my return, the late split mentioned earlier looked like it probably wouldn't get through winter, but I left it so see what would happen.

    The other four were very, very light on stores -- the helper had become frightened the second time she went to feed them (gallon cans under a nuc body) and hadn't lifted a top since.

    As it was now too cold for syrup I mountain camped them and hoped for the best.

    I had two hybrid 410 colonies with small clusters (one very small, and very little honey) one Sunkist, and one Sunkist daughter mated to local drones.

    Over the winter I discovered a disadvantage to putting 2 nucs in one box.
    The pygmy shrew that got into the Sunkist nuc an as well, and killed it, tearing up the comb moved next door into the 410 nuc, and killed it.

    The other 410 hybrid nuc starved, which was not unexpected.

    The Sunkist Nuc had every cell not containing stores filled with brood on first inspection.
    I put another box on top, the frames having honey around the edge and most of the cells empty.
    The next week, it was completely empty.

    I got another box of frames with honey around the edge, pulled 2 frames of brood up the the second box from the brood chamber, put a empty frame next to each wall, and put the third box on top.

    I don't know what I've done right, other than get start with local bees and only by queens from my climate region.

    After doing the sugar shake the first year, I inspected the bottom board carefully and found one mite.
    I don't know whether there were simply very very few mites, or if the sugar shake was ineffective.

    During last summer, I did see guard bees very aggressively grooming returning foragers at the hive entrances. At first I thought they were defending against robbers.

    Bottom board inspection last summer revealed that the few dead mites on the board were dented.

    I did a some splitting last year, but only one nuc (the late one that didn't build up well) had a brood break, the others got mated queens.

    I examined the comb form the dead outs looking for varroa feces in cells looking starved to see if varroa population had increased a lot and contributed significantly to the death of the two starved nucs. I didn't find any.

    I think not buying packages and using regional nucs from the same climate is important.
    I've only ever bought queens, and when I did I bought from Jason at Varner Bee Farm in Lewiston, Pa and And from Kale Luce at Alleghany bee farm in Cattaragus, NY.
    Both guys gave excellent service, and their queens lay very dense patterns in any empty cell they can find.

    I'll put contact info below.

    When I first got on Beesource and talked about going treatment free the response I got was brutal.

    I was told the bees I'd cutout couldn't possibly have survived for more than a season b/c bees just can't survive w/o treatment.
    I was told I was foolish, and my bees would be dead in a year if I didn't treat.

    As a someone who came to Beesource as a newbee intending to go tf, I can tell you from experience, my expectation after interacting on the board was NOT that all I had to do was nothing and everything would come out roses.

    Quite the opposite.

    Newbees are clueless. No matter how much one reads before getting bees, he lacks the experience to have a clue.
    He doesn't even know enough to know what he doesn't know.

    If someone thinks tf is a good idea and says so, he has no obligation to educate the new guy.
    New guys have are responsible for their own education whether they treat or not...same as with buying a new boat, dog, rifle, or airplane.

    This is what think I have learned:
    Start with local bees.
    Queen with local bees.
    Raise your own if you can.

    Don't listen to the those who tell you treatment free is the only way to have healthy bees that survive.
    Don't listen to those who say that the only way to have healthy bees that survive is to treat.

    Listen to those who explain reasonably and don't make their preferred method a religion.

    Don't count on a helper to do what needs to be done, esp, a poorly trained one.

    Wait til you see drones to split.
    Expect a chance of losing splits anyway when it gets warm way early (like last year).

    Feed when comb is being drawn, when splits need to build, and when colonies are light in fall.
    Don't feed just because someone else does...make sure you know why you are feeding before you do.

    Don't expect treatment free to be easy.
    It's pretty simple, but it's work.

    You can learn beekeeping and be treatment free at the same time.
    It just takes more effort.

    I have the same number of colonies as I did at this time last spring.
    I'm pretty sure I know what caused my losses, and have a pretty good idea how to avoid them in the future.

    Am I a successful treatment free beekeeper?

    I think so.

    I'm having fun.
    I have live bees to enjoy.
    I've learned a lot.
    My biggest bee concern is getting an 8 frame box under the nuc stack before it swarms, or running out of boxes before there are drones available to make splits.
    And I haven't put any poisons or drugs in my bees.

    My goal for next year?
    Have four colonies to keep this time next year.
    Raise most of my own queens between now and then.
    Have a couple nucs to sell after next winter.
    (I have one nuc on order from Alleghany Bee Farm, and a couple queens coming from Varner's. I'll produce the rest.)

    If I'm a successful treatment free beek next year will depend on how close I come to those goals.

    Have fun.
    Enjoy your bees.

    Kale Luce, Alleghany Bee Farm (716) 969-1046
    Jason Varner, Varner's Bee Farm http://varnersbeefarm.webs.com/
    Last edited by Beregondo; 04-30-2013 at 04:00 PM.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Adam seems to have made a decision to broaden his exposure and his perspective. He has every right to speak up about his experiences.
    Of course he does, as do we all, even ignorant beginners like me.

    I'm also an admirer of Mike Palmer and his approach to beekeeping; he's influenced me greatly. Does that mean I must accept every one of his precepts without question? I will point out that one of Mike Palmer's mentors is Kirk Webster, who does not run his outfit as Mike Palmer runs his. Do you believe that makes Kirk Webster less of a beekeeper? Am I allowed to take Kirk Webster's views into consideration in forming my own opinions?

    Do you truly believe that all is well in the beekeeping business and that there are no serious problems? We've had this discussion before, and I mentioned a number of commercial beekeepers who are complaining publicly of very high losses. It's not me saying these things, it's commercial beekeepers who have been in the business for generations. I'm glad that you haven't had such high losses, but do you think that's because you're a much better beekeeper than, for example, the Adees? I've also mentioned this before: prior to losing much of his outfit to CCD, John Miller attributed CCD to PPB (piss poor beekeeping.) He changed his tune.

    I don't want to offend anyone. The only assertion I have made regarding my philosophy is that it seems crazy to me to try to get rid of bugs on bugs with bug killer. It doesn't seem to be working very reliably. I may well be wrong, but the fact that an industry that is experiencing serious difficulties treats with acaricides almost universally does not, to me, make a convincing argument. In fact, I would love for someone to explain to me how doing the same thing over and over is going to someday yield a different result. So far, the mites eventually develop resistance to whatever treatment is in vogue, and then everyone stampedes toward the next panacea. My objections to this approach are based on evolutionary precepts, for which there is a lot of evidence. I find these scientific arguments to be a lot more convincing than "everyone's doing it, so it must be right."

    I come here hoping for civil discussion and most of the time, I get it. I don't call names, I don't tell people they're wrong and I'm right. I don't even make fun of the dumb things people sometimes say, because I've said plenty of dumb things myself and I'm sure that will continue. I just try to explain the reasoning I've used to form my opinions. I don't expect to change anyone's mind. I do it because it's a useful way to examine my own reasoning, and I've changed my mind several times as a consequence of these discussions. For example, I no longer feel that neonicotinoids are the villains in the recent high losses.

    But you know what? A lot of beekeepers still believe this, and some of them seem to have as much experience as you do.

    The only point I was trying to convey in my last post is that "I'm experienced and you are not" is not actually an argument. It's true, but it doesn't prove anything. I hear it constantly here, and it annoys the living daylights out of me. I'm a beginner, not an idiot. My ignorance is vast, but I am able to research and evaluate an argument, and all I ask is that folks who make various assertions have some sort of plausible rationale for their beliefs.

    If folks don't want to waste their time explaining their beliefs to me, that's fine. That's what the ignore function is for. But please don't waste my time by reminding me, ad nauseam, that I'm a beginner and that I ought to defer to my betters. That won't happen, and it will just irritate both of us.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    rhaldridge

    Just about everyone wants to see treatment free to work out, but some people have a lot harder choice to make because their livelihood and their families relies on those choices. That isn't greedy, lazy, closed minded, stupid, evil or anything like those things.
    Oh for heaven's sake. When did I say or imply anything remotely like that?

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,065

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    That post was a great read Beregondo, your enthusiasm is infectious!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    When did I say or imply anything remotely like that?
    You didn't, it's a straw man. But it gets used all the time. Yeah, some ignorant loud mouthed newbee maybe said something like that once. But it wasn't you and it wasn't anyone here.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    You didn't, it's a straw man. But it gets used all the time. Yeah, some ignorant loud mouthed newbee maybe said something like that once. But it wasn't you and it wasn't anyone here.
    Actually it wasn't - it was misdirected to rhaldridge, there have been several people involved in this thread, and I was mistaken in thinking that he was the one who use the terms greedy and closed minded - Sorry about that rhaldridge. I did throw in "lazy stupid and evil" all on my own. No one said those that I can recall. Although it is a pretty long thread...

    And by the way, starvation is a subset of malnutrition - look it up.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,018

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Kirk Webster is Michael Palmer's mentor? Contemporary and friend, but I'd be surprised if Michael characterized Kirk as his Mentor. Charles Mraz maybe. I guess Michael would have to clear this up.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  10. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,065

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Yes that was pretty funny!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,748

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post

    Don't listen to the those who tell you treatment free is the only way to have healthy bees that survive.

    Don't listen to those who say that the only way to have healthy bees that survive is to treat.

    Listen to those who explain reasonably and don't make their preferred method a religion.
    yep.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,065

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Great post Adam, some astute observations.

    Should be compulsory reading for all new Beesourcers!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,990

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Oldtimer, you've been putting a great effort into exploring some of the treatment free theories as well, and then sharing your experiences here in detail for others to learn what they can from it. I've really appreciated that myself.

    I'm certainly not trying to bash anyone, and as I say I believe treatment free can work. I just feel that it can be quite a challenge to succeed. Even if you begin with some great genetics from a treatment free beekeeper. If you're only a hobbiest, how long can you go before those genetics are thoroughly watered down by treated bees around you? I guess that's why I say that one of the possible way to succeed quickly is just to be really lucky - I guess you could live in an area where most of the bees around you are genetically able to tolerate mites without collapse...

    Bottom line (and I think David's original point), is that it's not as easy as it is sometimes made to sound.

    That does NOT mean that it isn't worth doing, or that it isn't the ultimate solution to the issue of mites, but it is a potentially challenging route to take.

    Adam

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    And by the way, starvation is a subset of malnutrition - look it up.
    Starvation in bees happens when bees run out of honey and die. What is malnutrition in the case of bees?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    If you're only a hobbiest, how long can you go before those genetics are thoroughly watered down by treated bees around you?
    Does this suddenly happen one day? Is there some threshold where the genetics are watered down sufficiently for loads of hives to collapse at the same time? I don't see any evidence of that.

    What I see is a continual process whereby the weak hives are continually pared off, every year, all year long. Since my last Fatbeeman hive died, I haven't missed a single hive that has died, because none of them were cutting it anyway. Those six hives that I purchased from him were good hives for the most part, they just couldn't survive our winters very well. Four of them died the first winter in hives full of honey. So they were good performers, but weren't adapted these conditions. None of the hives that have died since then, all year long, have been missed because they weren't doing well. Following an expansion model with efficient increase methods, I have been able to easily recoup my losses, dissolve and/or replace undesirable hives, and sell a few nucs and queens on the side.

    I never promise no hive losses. In fact, I guarantee at least a few. I can only consult my own experience and make inferences and conclusions based on that. I see very little evidence of major genetic watering down or major effects that would cause treatment-free beekeeping to eventually fail. There are a number of us who now have at least a decade of experience in treatment-free beekeeping and no evidence that I can see that would lead to that conclusion.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    I just will add that it's my impression that genetics is not the only factor in treatment free success. If it were, everyone would just buy Bee Weaver queens and that would be that.

    At any rate, every successful treatment free beekeeper that I'm aware of seems to have a lot of arrows in his quiver. Natural cell size, the avoidance when possible of feeding artificial stuff, brood breaks (if you're not a Bond keeper) and so on. I think it's likely that continuing success is the product of a lot of different practices, not just getting good stock.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    At any rate, every successful treatment free beekeeper that I'm aware of seems to have a lot of arrows in his quiver. Natural cell size, the avoidance when possible of feeding artificial stuff, brood breaks (if you're not a Bond keeper) and so on. I think it's likely that continuing success is the product of a lot of different practices, not just getting good stock.
    I agree with you largely, and other TF beeks do as well. It's not just genetics. But what else contributes and to what extent? There are users here who do not use smaller cell size. There are users who do not avoid feeding. There are users who do not use brood breaks. Also, let us not forget things like upper entrances, hive sizes, comb rotation, breeding and splitting methods, and many others.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,065

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Having studied it for a while I've concluded it's luck.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,990

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Sol, I know you've been working on your approach for quite a long time, and I respect your input. I have gone to your blog a number of times, but cannot remember specifics at the moment. Did you begin your 10 years ago with one genetic strain that was supposed to be mite resistant?

    I don't think anything genetic "suddenly happens one day". But I am suggesting that any single trait bred into bees by a breeding program, certainly has the potential to be bred out once that breeding program is no longer followed, or the bees are allowed to mate openly. Whether it translates directly to mite resistance or not, and how long it takes - who knows? I'm really just trying to imagine the "easiest" or quickest routes to mite-resistant bees (buying them), and how likely that mite-resistant population is to remain stable and healthy.

    You are selecting. And selecting and working over years, studying; recording your results. Working some more. Nothing you're saying or doing is countering the idea that it isn't simple.

    Rhaldridge, you are also pointing to a variety of approaches. Trying to employ a selection of these and learning from the results takes considerable time and effort. No silver bullets. Work work work.

    It's just not simple and clear cut. We're all working at finding routes to success. The debate comes from variations in results and the fact that there are few clear answers for the questions:

    How best to deal with mites? Does going treatment free really work?

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,748

    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    i guess if one imported queens who were bred for a specific trait, (vsh for example), there might be a tendency to see that trait diluted over time.

    one the other hand, if one were selecting for survivors and/or deselecting for nonsurvivors (or even deselecting for non-thrivers), and if there was a decent drone contribution from surviving ferals, the traits or combination of traits that promote survival off treatments would tend to become more concentrated over time.

    i agree that it does take time for a program like this to bear fruit. i would also wager that the colonies from each and every daughter queen from even the most proven queen mother are not all going to perform the same.

    this is the dilemma for the beginner with a low number of hives wanting to be treatment free.

    i was lucky to get bees that were derived from local feral survivors. this supplier now has a 16 year history of no treatments. this is my fourth season with these bees and i have been able to steadily grow my apiary with them off treatments.

    (clarification: i had a few hives purchased from another source, one of which developed afb. that hive was burned, and the others from this source and their splits received a one time treatment of tylosin. i still have two colonies that trace back to these bees, and all of the rest are from the treatment free supplier. i have not used treatments for mites on any of the colonies)

    i hope to be able to start selling nucs this year or next. but if i have a beginner purchasing my bees, i will make no guarentees that they will survive off treatments, and i will encourage them to take measures to keep a colony from collapsing if it gets in trouble.

    i believe that requeening in hopes of getting better survivabilty makes more sense that allowing a colony to crash, especially for someone with a small number of colonies. some would argue that it is possible for a hive to recover from the brink of collapse, and that those are really proven survivors. i think that's more risk than i want to take. beginners will have to balance that out for themselves.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

Page 5 of 29 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast

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