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  1. #1
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    Default Green Chapel Trials

    Green Chapel Farms has maintained a Foreign substance free hive for 3 years. The observations of our student researchers can be viewed at wildthingsgrow.com under home/research projects.
    We are posting this information for all of you who are interested in the nature of bees, and their adaptability, and not necessarily "bee keeping".

  2. #2
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    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Nice web site - but some of the information you present on beekeeping is factually inaccurate. Like "Currently, all commercial honey and honey sold as "organic" unless otherwise noted, is harvested from chemically treated hives." Maybe true for some of the small amount of organic honey produced in the US, but not for much of the organic honey imported into the US.

    For those interested they are located in North Carolina.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Unless I'm missing something, I'm reading that opening the hive this week was only the second time this hive has ever been opened. That's a bit deficient.

    There's a lot of theory on that page, and not a lot of observation. Let me remind readers that the Bee Informed National Survey has demonstrated that screened bottom boards do not change the number of hives that die over winter. In other words, they don't work.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear Solomon Parker
    The opening statement was clear, in that we are "observing" not "keeping" these bees. Entering the hive equates interference with the hive function on some level, no matter how minute. I would address your comment about the screened bottom board, but I do not understand it. We are not familiar with this piece of equipment, it is not in our hive, and we therefore cannot comment on it's usefulness. (or lack thereof)
    Dear Andrew Dewey
    "Unless otherwise noted" is the key phrase. It is safe to assume that any honey produced on a commercial scale in the US is chemically treated in some form or fashion, unless the label specifically addresses this issue, and assures the consumer that this is not the case.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Okay, granted, but this is not a forum about Treatment-Free Beehaving, this is a forum about Treatment-Free Beekeeping. Furthermore, observing a load of bees would prove to be extremely difficult from the outside of the hive. It's a very pretty hive.

    Regarding the screened bottom board, on the website, the word "No" appears at the end of a line and "screened bottom board" appears on the next line. I just missed it. Perhaps clarity would suggest listing the things you do have (solid bottom board) rather than listing some things you do have and others you don't. I just missed it, my apologies.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Also, I sell my (better than) organic honey without a label and without an explanation of what it is. I'm not the only one who does this.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
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    Watha, NC
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear Solomon Parker
    Reading is Fundamental
    A full physical description of the hive contents are provided.
    We received a question about the use of a screened bottom board from the Dept of Agriculture. For this reason, we felt the absence of this device was worth mentioning.
    It is our intent, to raise the awareness of the general public about the possible contents of honey they consume. The public at large take for granted that items like honey are generally chemical free.
    Observing this hive has been very informative, since it sets a benchmark for future hives that will be exposed to more common practices of beekeeping. By comparing the two, we will learn if this interaction is a stresser.
    Also, any knowledge that contributes to the conservation of the American honey Bee is note-worthy.
    A second hive is being installed this week. The new hive will share the same physical attributes as the first, and will be chemical-free. It will, however, be internally inspected from Spring to Fall, and honey will be removed.
    Alpha hive has never received any supplemental feeding, but only 3 frames of honey have been removed in 3 years.

    Research projects begin with an idea and questions. or "Theories" as you call them. Since we have no agenda except the preservation of bees without the use of chemicals, we often as not, disprove our own ideas. But since learning is our goal, we don't mind being wrong.

    By observing this hive, we have learned that bees can in fact, survive without our assistance in this area. Environment plays such an important role in the study of bees, that we would not assume these results would be the same
    elsewhere. But the findings are still quite encouraging.
    Last edited by eyeonyou; 05-03-2013 at 05:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Please forgive my terseness. I am always on the lookout for ways to educate and assist new beekeepers in the treatment free arts and sciences. Putting bees in a hive and leaving them is exactly what I don't want them doing.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
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    Feb 2011
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    Auburntown, TN USA
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    "any knowledge that contributes to the conservation of the American honey Bee is note-worthy. "

    I didn't know there were any "American" honey bees.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Ha, good thread.

    Sol, this thread can be a learning experience for you, I think you view these guys, in a similar way commercial beekeepers view TF hobbyists. Idealism is the driver.

    Eyeonyou, I'm an ex commercial beekeeper, my beekeeping methods are probably at the other end of the spectrum to what you are doing. However I enjoyed your website and found it refreshing someone cares enough to do what you are doing for the many species you are providing habitat for.

    Your speel on bees did contain a few inaccuracies, sure. But so does all the other literature also.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-02-2013 at 10:10 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear gunter62
    We did not mean this thread to be mis-leading. These are Buckfast Bees. The web-site identifies them as such. Our conservation focus is not global, since we have little or no information about chemical applications in other countries, and forgive us, but, we're more concerned about whats going on in our "Own Backyard"
    Thus the reference to "American Honey Bees"

    Dear Oldtimer
    We would appreciate any pearls of wisdom the Natural Bee Community has to offer. We need to understand the current practices, even if they are not implemented, in order to advance our research. Our advisory group includes a retired Professor with a Masters Degree in Biology, a small, commercial bee keeper. (25 hives) and numerous physicians, horticulturists and naturalists, such as myself...We are not Professionals, obviously. We were not even sure what a queen looked like, since pictures did not do her justice. Our student interns are always creative. It was their idea to paint the hive to look more "Natural and Inviting"
    Please enlighten us on what is considered "speel" and what is a "TF Hobbyist" I googled this..."Tropical Fish"?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Speel? Hmm... maybe the word is not used in the USA, it's kind of a slang word meaning talk, sales pitch, or similar, in this case, I was referring to your write up on bees. (Speel is not a derogatory term).

    TF hobbyist = treatment free hobbyist.

    When you start the second hive, the one you intend to open a bit more often, you will start learning a bit more, just observe the brood nest, the seasonal changes, etc. Unfortunately the modern environment presents bees with many challenges, and they do sometimes need our help to survive. You have probably been somewhat lucky with your hive, sometimes the life of an uncared for hive can be short. This sad situation has come about only in the last few decades, when I started in bees, a hive was pretty much permanent, cared for or not. It's good you have the small commercial beekeeper on board.

    Do not fear advise from non treatment free beekeepers. You can choose to leave out any advise they may give re treatment etc, but they may be able to give solid advise on other matters, there is a whole heap of stuff to know about bees that has nothing to do with whether they are treated or not, treating or not treating hives is just a tiny part of the understanding of bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Spiel: German for 'game.' In the US it is used in the context of 'sales pitch' or explanation.

    On the one hand, nobody is "helping the bees." I firmly believe that. On the other hand, the one thing that won't hurt the bees is treatment-free beekeeping. Treated bees are weak, too weak to survive in their conditions. Why else would they need treated? They can't (for the most part) survive without help. Untreated bees, such as the feral population, constitute the longstanding and durable population of bees in this country. If a treated hive swarms, it more often than not dies because it has moved away from the thing it needs to survive. Nobody who is keeping treated hives is "helping the bees" and in fact they are likely doing some damage as those drones affect the local population (or maybe they don't because they're inferior).

    Perhaps one thing that could help is providing homes for bees in the same way one provides homes for bats. One thing that can definitely help is the elimination of pesticides and other chemicals which harm bees directly.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    "speel" = "spiel"

    spiel

    [speel, shpeel]

    noun 1. a usually high-flown talk or speech, especially for the purpose of luring people to a movie, a sale, etc.; pitch.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spiel
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear Solomon Parker
    Thank you for the Websters definition.
    I am apparently deficient in my communications. (American English is like a second language) I was asking "Oldtimer" what he considered "Speel" in our information provided on the web-site. But as I consider the many different opinions that exist here...in the bee community, I can understand how our thoughts on bees may be viewed as a "Sales Pitch"
    We do not wish to undermine your efforts, Solomon Parker, since you are a staunch supporter of chemical free hives. I believe in my heart, this is possible. Whether or not these practices will be accepted by the commercial community at large is another subject.
    "On the other hand" as you say, if hives continue to collapse and die at the current rate, the choices may be made for them.
    Exposure to chemicals has short term and long term affects that we in the scientific community are learning about every day. This applies to all life on earth, not just bees. It is a most foolish and short-sighted assumption, that we have not already permanently altered our environment. Now we must move forward, and offer what aid we can. What is done cannot be undone, but we are compelled by our obvious guilt, not to exacerbate the existing problems.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    ...since you are a staunch supporter of chemical free hives.
    Let me clarify, I am a treatment-free beekeeper. Chemicals don't begin to enter into it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear Oldtimer
    We care greatly for Alpha hive. It is become obvious to us that bees recognize people and animals in their environment, and interact with them, as they have the Nols that share their Hive. They have established a repoire with us and are no doubt, aware of our concern.
    It is funny that you mention Mr Toler, our commercial bee keeper. We welcome his insights. He is a third-generation Bee-Keeper in our area, and very familliar with the problems that exsist here. He lost 6 of his 25 hives this spring...very sad indeed. We have not converted him..but he is quite amazed at the well-being of this hive. He will visit us today, enter the hive and perform a "Split" We are very excited about this. We will provide many images of this on the web-site.
    TF hobbyist = treatment free hobbyist. (Thank You)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Dear Solomon Parker
    That is very funny... I am laughing. Of course they do not. We consider chemicals, anything you would not take with Tea. (very funny)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    as they have the Nols that share their Hive.
    Now it's my turn to not know a word. What are Nols?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Green Chapel Trials

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeonyou View Post
    We consider chemicals, anything you would not take with Tea. (very funny)
    I understand that. Your view is quite common. You don't want extra flavors in your tea right?

    My goal is further than that. It is still quite common for people to treat bees with sugar and essential oils and mineral oil and other things which are all perfectly fine to eat. But they all still lead to bees that are not best adapted for their environment and that can not survive without help which is ultimately what the bee population actually needs, bees that can survive. So it's not honey that I'm keeping bees for. Yes I do like honey, but it's not my survival and health I am concerned about, it's theirs. And their survival is founded on the need for the weak of the population to die off leaving the strong to refill the deficit. The best (and I would argue only) way to do that is to not interfere whatsoever in the health of the hive except to requeen a failing hive or destroy a hive infested with a nasty brood disease. Both of these methods eliminate the weakness without masking it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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