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  1. #81

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Sheesh! Some folks just can't let go.
    Page after page....long winded posts that never change anyone's mind.

    A new term. OAF (Opinions are Forever)

    I can say everything that's been said thus far in two short sentences.
    Person #1 'Mite treatments are bad.'
    Person #2 'No they aren't.'

    You've successfully turned this thread into a useless marathon of garbage.
    Your work here is done.
    Now you should move on and see if you can't trash one somewhere else.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #82
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    <And that's why I DONT take antibiotics cause I don't want the flu coming around bigger and badder next time.>

    And there I go again when I said I was done. The flu is a virus, antibiotics don't affect it. If your referring to flu shots, they prevent the spread of the flu and save lives and actually increase your resistance over time by training your immune system.

    <You seem to be emitting a cloud of scientific buzz words, without understanding a basic tenet of science. Let's say you form a hypothesis: "If you don't treat, your bees will die." It takes only one confounding instance to render that hypothesis incorrect. If even one person does not treat, and their bees do not die at rates any greater than the rates at which treated bees die, then you have to bid that hypothesis farewell. It Was Wrong. There are now multiple examples of beekeepers whose untreated bees have better survival rates than most who treat, so there is no longer any point to defending the original assertion. Now all you can usefully do is try to figure out why your hypothesis was incorrect. >

    In theory yes, in practice no. This would only actually be true if that one person had enough hives to be statistically significant and not due to random chance. It would also have to be true that all other conditions were controlled properly and the same. The only way you can demonstrate EITHER philosophy is wrong would be by setting up a controlled experiment with treated and untreated hives in the same area, with similar genetics, and a SIGNIFICANT amount of hives in both groups. I could just as easily say that it only takes 1 beekeeper treating with significantly lower losses to demonstrate treatment free is wrong, but I would still be wrong. Even if you run the experiment it would only be valid for that year in that area. Science isn't as clear cut as you'd like to think it is, but it's better than nothing.

    Find what works for you in your area with your goals.

    I still reccomend being aware of varroa whatever your philosophy, but as much as much I love them they are still just insects, so if you want to let them get squished or coddle them or whatever have fun.

  3. #83
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    >I guess I'm just curious then. It's ok to use antibiotics etc on humans because were not livestock

    I actually avoid antibiotics for the same reason I don't use them on bees. They mess with the microbes which are much more important to our health than most people realize.

    >My question then is do you think we are dooming ourselves because our genetics will get weaker and weaker

    Probably we are dooming the human race in the long run. But a human's value is more than just their value as breeding stock.

    > or are we able to compensate with technolgy/science or whatever.

    I would say we are not able to compensate.

    >If the former I don't know what to say, if the latter why can't we do the same with livestock?

    We have proven we can't. Our livestock has more and more issues all the time and we keep trying to keep up with technology... it's not a practical solution.

    >Do you treat all livestock the same? If you have a horse that gets sick do you not treat it?

    I think it's reasonable to consider horses and insects as very different, obviously. Bees have a typical life span of six weeks. A horse might live 40 years and have a very complex and deep relationship with humans.

    >Kirk Webster... A perfect example. Treatment free...but I'd wager that he wouldn't claim that varroa aren't a problem.

    http://kirkwebster.com/2005scan2.pdf

    "And now I have another terrible confession to make. Not one as bad and un-American as passing up short-term gain and investing in the future—but still horrible: I have never yet counted even a single sample of mites from any of my bees. I consider counting mites as a way of evaluating Varroa resistance to be fraught with all sorts of shortcomings and difficulties. It's very time consuming and hence the size of the apiary, the number of colonies tested, the gene pool, and the income available all start to shrink. It's also very easy for the results to be skewed by mites migrating from other colonies or bee yards. And it doesn't show which colonies are more resistant to secondary infections--a trait I consider very important."--Kirk Webster, ABJ April 2005, pg 314, Commercial Beekeeping Without Treatments of Any Kind, Part II of Two Parts, Management.

    >>Can anyone explain why it was necessary for this thread to be co-opted for the same, tired, old, useless debate of treatment vs tf?

    >Your HITS is a direct insult to treatment free beekeepers.

    Exactly, and it fits treating so much better...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #84

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Kirk Webster... A perfect example. Treatment free...but I'd wager that he wouldn't claim that varroa aren't a problem.


    "And now I have another terrible confession to make. Not one as bad and un-American as passing up short-term gain and investing in the future—but still horrible: I have never yet counted even a single sample of mites from any of my bees. I consider counting mites as a way of evaluating Varroa resistance to be fraught with all sorts of shortcomings and difficulties. It's very time consuming and hence the size of the apiary, the number of colonies tested, the gene pool, and the income available all start to shrink. It's also very easy for the results to be skewed by mites migrating from other colonies or bee yards. And it doesn't show which colonies are more resistant to secondary infections--a trait I consider very important."--Kirk Webster, ABJ April 2005, pg 314, Commercial Beekeeping Without Treatments of Any Kind, Part II of Two Parts, Management.
    Ok MB….we seem to have a disconnect. Where….in your entire quote did Kirk Webster state…or even suggest…that varroa aren’t a problem?


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >>Can anyone explain why it was necessary for this thread to be co-opted for the same, tired, old, useless debate of treatment vs tf?

    >Your HITS is a direct insult to treatment free beekeepers.

    Exactly, and it fits treating so much better...
    If you are looking to get insulted…you can manufacture that insult in any number of ways. There was no insult from me in this thread. Sorry you felt the need to invent one.

    I appreciate all of your efforts to redirect this thread. The original intent was to catch a few new beekeepers and help them see the importance of recognizing enemy number one. Instead it has become a platform for those who have individual agendas. You’ve really furthered the knowledge of the Beesource beekeeping community.

    Good work.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #85
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    If I understand the OP correctly, I believe many of you have mssed his intent. Is he saying we should all "open our eyes" and critically test if our beliefs are grounded in truth and fact? As examples:

    How do you explain that when feral bees , when removed from a tree after many years, fail quite rapidly when placed in an apiary? So what good is the "Bond" method?

    Is it possible that the success of many isolated TF hives is just from breeding a weaker mite? The mite can evolve faster than the bee.

    Has any successful Small cell beekeeper switched back to large cell? What happened? Did using small cell select for a different bee that could now survive on large cell?

    How does one explain that the vast majority of replacement bees are generated by commercial beekeepers that treat? If they are doing things so wrong, the flow of bees should be the other way..

    I may be crazy, but I believe the OP is asking us to work a little harder and find the logical and truthful explanation for what we are observing, and not just the conclusion we wish to find.

    Crazy Roland

  6. #86
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Frankly, it was unclear to me why, if you understood that mites infect worker larvae, you couldn't understand that removing those mites that infected drone larvae was a selective pressure. Say you're right, and mites only preferentially infect drones, and infect worker brood only by accident. Then you have to wonder how mites select drone brood to infect (because obviously they have evolved some mechanism for selecting drone brood) and if the ones that infect worker brood made a mistake. Do you want to select for mites that mistakenly infect worker brood? Because that's what you are doing when you remove drone larvae.
    In an earlier post I mentioned that my own theory is that mites appear to select drone brood preferentially only because they're naturally drawn to the largest available amount of food. Obviously mites don't think in terms of "this is a worker cell, that is a drone cell"; they don't discern other than "bigger cell = more food = more successful mites". Again, just my guess; it may not be true. However, the idea that drone frames end up selecting for mites that "prefer worker cells over drone cells" is demonstrably false simply by virtue of the fact that a drone frame can be used time after time after time in the same hive and mites continue to end up in the drone brood no matter how many times you've done it. Anybody can demonstrate this at any time for themselves.

    Now as to why or how mites can "accidentally" end up in worker cells, this is actually a fairly simple problem - there's only so much drone comb that exists naturally in a hive; it's by far the minority. Now the hive is tremendous in size from the mite's perspective; a particular mite which has detached from an adult bee and is ready to lay eggs, may have found itself in an area of the hive bereft of drone cells, in which case it really has no choice but to lay in worker brood. Or, a mite may have however or other lost the competition for nearby drone cells (i.e., other mites got there first) and so they must settle. And normally these cases are the majority, simply because only 20% or so of a hive's cells are drone cells. Now enter your entire frame of drone comb, which is Happy Fun World Land for mites; it's like the Mite God looked down upon them and said "There are many mansions in my big green frame house", and they tuck in eagerly because there's plenty of room for all. Of course, not all the mites are gotten simply because those mites waaaaay over on the other side of the hive just can't get to the drone frame in time (aren't even aware it's there, frankly) and as usual have to settle. Unfortunately, you can never get all the mites using this method (as a function of Fick's second law). However, you don't have to, because almost any bees can deal fine with some varroa just like they always have some nosema.

    However, supposing there are indeed mites that favor smaller cells and using the drone comb effectively eliminates drone-cell-layers from the population. This is actually an evolutionary disadvantage for the mites, because you physically can't raise as many new mites in a worker cell (there's just not as much space, or food), and this physical limit on the quantity of mite reproduction might as well be its own mechanical control, because it necessarily results in fewer mites, which may keep the mite count to a tolerable level for the bees all by itself without the need for continuous treatments of other kinds. The recent foray into "small cell comb" is based upon this theory - the comb is even smaller than modern worker comb, considered too small for mites to rear sustainable numbers of brood in (although as far as I know right now it's just in the hypothetical stage, I'm not aware of any hard numbers on the effectiveness of "small cell" just yet and I've never tried it myself).
    Last edited by melliferal; 05-21-2013 at 08:29 AM.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  7. #87
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    <I think it's reasonable to consider horses and insects as very different, obviously. Bees have a typical life span of six weeks. A horse might live 40 years and have a very complex and deep relationship with humans.>

    Thanks, that's what I figured, I didn't want to assume what you meant when you said livestock. I tend to disagree that we are going downhill, but that's a matter of opinion. We see a lot more problems simply because we are better at keeping people alive, but we are getting to the point of even correcting genetic problems (they cured a form of genetic blindness last year with gene therapy amongst other examples).

    as to HITS, I think that you can treat or not and have your head in the sand, but I would hardly lump everyone together as such, which is probably a point beemandan is trying to make. There are plenty of people out there cognizant of the future that treat currently. If you ignore all short term goals you probably won't make it long term.

  8. #88
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    <However, supposing there are indeed mites that favor smaller cells and using the drone comb effectively eliminates drone-cell-layers from the population. This is actually an evolutionary disadvantage for the mites, because you physically can't raise as many new mites in a worker cell (there's just not as much space, or food), and this physical limit on the quantity of mite reproduction might as well be its own mechanical control, because it necessarily results in fewer mites, which may keep the mite count to a tolerable level for the bees all by itself without the need for continuous treatments of other kinds.>

    Probably should be a different thread, but it sounds like time for more research. Mites reproduce more in drone brood because of a longer capping time, not more food. That's how some African bees effectively control mites, they have a shorter capping time for brood. I can't remember how mites choose cells, should look that up, but it may be pheromones rather than size, different brood let of different odors, which is one way bees identify and remove infected brood.

  9. #89

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    If I understand the OP correctly, I believe many of you have mssed his intent. Is he saying we should all "open our eyes" and critically test if our beliefs are grounded in truth and fact?
    Part of it, for sure Roland.

    I was at a two day beekeeping get together a couple of weeks ago. Many new beekeepers. During the course of the meetings, two separate, new beekeepers approached me and asked for ideas on why their hives failed. Both described classic mite collapse. In both cases I asked about mites. In each case they immediately became defensive. Both claimed that they didn’t see any mites in their hives. I won’t tell you about the beekeeping techniques both described….as surely some here will view it as an insult.

    And yet, it has nothing to do with tf or treatment. Some will say….I treated last fall with product X. But if you ask what their mite load was after treating….they still get offended

    I see posts every week on Beesource along the same lines. I have folks walk up at the farmers market….same thing.

    And I ask myself…..why would they readily accept any explanation for their hive collapse….as long as it doesn’t involve varroa? Varroa are our greatest enemy. Their impact ripples through every other failure. And yet…there seems to be this great denial. They’ll happily accept starvation, nosema, wax moths, and on and on….but no way it was mites. How does that sort of thinking happen?

    I can truly say….I am amazed.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #90
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    You've successfully turned this thread into a useless marathon of garbage.
    Your work here is done.
    Now you should move on and see if you can't trash one somewhere else.
    Question: when you started this thread, and posted that post #1, what did this thread look like after three days, in your mind's eye?
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  11. #91
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. C View Post
    Probably should be a different thread, but it sounds like time for more research. Mites reproduce more in drone brood because of a longer capping time, not more food. That's how some African bees effectively control mites, they have a shorter capping time for brood. I can't remember how mites choose cells, should look that up, but it may be pheromones rather than size, different brood let of different odors, which is one way bees identify and remove infected brood.
    I did not know that. If that's true, then forget the food amount parameter; but interestingly it's doubly-disadvantageous for mites that would (hypothetically, mind) "prefer" worker cells over drone cells. The lack of physical space now coupled with a less-than-ideal amount of time under the cappings. I'd think we would want to select for such mites if feasible.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  12. #92
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Varroa are our greatest enemy.
    I also think so.

    Sorry for the way your thread is turning out. You wanted a debate on why varroa is bad, not the best way to deal with it. That would probably be a less contentious and more informative thread.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  13. #93
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Sheesh! Some folks just can't let go.
    Page after page....long winded posts that never change anyone's mind.

    A new term. OAF (Opinions are Forever)

    I can say everything that's been said thus far in two short sentences.
    Person #1 'Mite treatments are bad.'
    Person #2 'No they aren't.'

    You've successfully turned this thread into a useless marathon of garbage.
    Your work here is done.
    Now you should move on and see if you can't trash one somewhere else.
    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I expect that most of us have heard of the ‘Bond’ or ‘Live and Let Die’ method of mite resistance selection.
    I would like to propose a new term for a different one. I want to call it the Head in the Sand (HITS) method. Going forward, I will try to use this term when responding to those who make statements such as ‘I don’t see mites, I don’t test for ‘em and they aren’t a problem’.
    This is a very interesting thread to me, a lowly 60+ post new guy who hasn't yet had time to bury my head in the sand. You obviously have had time to do that after years and years and around 3100 posts. Odd that although you started this thread, this all apparently bores you. I'm still in the "sponge" stage just soaking up info. The one thing I do see wrong with your conclusions are that I've never heard anyone, no matter which camp they are in, claim mites are not a problem - not one. And, they are out there I'm sure, but I can't recall anyone actually claiming that treatments have no detrimental side affects. I won't "treat" unless there's a problem. My mind's not made up yet on how I will treat when problems do arise.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post

    And I ask myself…..why would they readily accept any explanation for their hive collapse….as long as it doesn’t involve varroa? Varroa are our greatest enemy. Their impact ripples through every other failure. And yet…there seems to be this great denial. They’ll happily accept starvation, nosema, wax moths, and on and on….but no way it was mites. How does that sort of thinking happen?.
    I really haven't seen that. Maybe it's because I live in a fairly small town, but as far as I know, everyone in our local bee club treats for mites-- though the club president did tell us beginners that we might have more trouble with SHB than mites, because he felt there was effective treatment for mites. And if I've seen anyone claiming that mites are not a problem here on the forum, I don't remember it. Maybe I just filter out foolishness when I see it. I have seen folks say that mites are no longer a serious problem for them, but I don't recall anyone claiming that they are not a problem in general.

    Maybe what you didn't foresee when you started the thread is that your acronym HITS was likely to be taken personally only by TF beekeepers. Obviously, if you treat for mites, then you recognize that they are a threat, or you wouldn't treat.

    Since I won't treat, I'm pretty sure mites will be my biggest challenge. In fact, I've said right here on this forum that I fully expect to lose a lot of bees in the process of learning how to keep bees without treatment. But I'm confident that it can be done, because other people are doing it.

    You seem to be complaining about the existence of stupid people. I don't see the point. The stupid are always with us, and they can't be fixed. To me, a thread about the merits (or lack thereof) of systems of beekeeping is a whole lot more interesting than folks whining about a human condition that will never change.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Rhaldridge "To me, a thread about the merits (or lack thereof) of systems of beekeeping is a whole lot more interesting than folks whining about a human condition that will never change."
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  16. #96
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    >Ok MB….we seem to have a disconnect. Where….in your entire quote did Kirk Webster state…or even suggest…that varroa aren’t a problem?

    I did not say he said they weren't a problem. But he does not monitor them which I believe meets your definition of the "Head in the Sand" method. He also does not treat for them. He is also on 5.1mm cell size...

    >How do you explain that when feral bees , when removed from a tree after many years, fail quite rapidly when placed in an apiary?

    Large cell foundation.

    >So what good is the "Bond" method?

    It gives me hardy stock that does not "fail quite rapidly" at all.

    >Is it possible that the success of many isolated TF hives is just from breeding a weaker mite? The mite can evolve faster than the bee.

    Of course. I am quite certain that is part of the whole equation, but then I bring in outside bees from time to time and I'm sure that would upset that as a overall theory for success being just about less virulent mites.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursim...reatmentupside

    >Has any successful Small cell beekeeper switched back to large cell? What happened?

    http://talkingstick.me/bees/un-regressed-bees/

    >...mites continue to end up in the drone brood no matter how many times you've done it.

    It may take a few hundred times to note any difference. Or even a few thousand. Until you've done it thousands of times repeatedly, I don't see how you can say for sure.

    The research on the subject has shown the following:

    1) given the same kind of larvae in large and small cells (either all drone or all worker), the mites prefer the large cells.
    2) given both kinds of larvae in the same size cell (either all large drone or all small worker) the bees prefer drones.

    This would indicate there are two factors at work in the decision process. One is cell size, and the other some kind of pheromone attraction. Dee's theory on why the mites are infesting workers in Apis mellifera when they only infest drones in Apis cerana, is the "psuedo drone" theory. In other words the Varroa mistake the large worker cells for drone cells, hence their confusion. They do not make this mistake in Cerana cells. Cerana worker cells are 3.77 mm and their drones are 4.69 mm. Since size is one of the reasons for preference, it makes sense that smaller sized cells would lead to less confusion on the part of the Varroa looking for drones. I would rather continue to reproduce the mites who can tell the difference, cells that help clarify that, and bees who can survive the mites without my interference.

    In the past decade of traveling to bee conferences and talking to the scientists out there, almost all of them have expressed the basic sentiment that if we had just ignored the Varroa (such as Head In The Sand method) and never treated we would already be past all of this, but we didn't...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #97

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    You obviously have had time to do that after years and years and around 3100 posts.
    Am I to understand that you believe that the more posts one has or the longer one has been posting….. the more closed their minds are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    Odd that although you started this thread, this all apparently bores you.
    My disappointment is that the thread has turned into the same argument that has raged countless times. There is absolutely nothing new in the debate that you are following so closely. After you’ve been through it a dozen times you may find it less exciting.

    Many of those who might benefit from discussion about the lifecyle, parasitic effects and various failure symptoms will not wade through all of the clutter to find any useful information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    The one thing I do see wrong with your conclusions are that I've never heard anyone, no matter which camp they are in, claim mites are not a problem - not one.
    It is a regular occurance here and amongst many beekeepers. I’m not going to continue to repeat myself but will this once, again, state that there is a sizeable segment of beekeepers who are readily willing to accept any other diagnosis….and I find that amazing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #98

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    You seem to be complaining about the existence of stupid people......To me, a thread about the merits (or lack thereof) of systems of beekeeping is a whole lot more interesting than folks whining about a human condition that will never change.
    OMG! ....start a thread to that effect then.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #99
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Am I to understand that you believe that the more posts one has or the longer one has been posting….. the more closed their minds are?
    Maybe not closed minds, but conclusions have likely been made.


    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    My disappointment is that the thread has turned into the same argument that has raged countless times. There is absolutely nothing new in the debate that you are following so closely. After you’ve been through it a dozen times you may find it less exciting.
    Probably true..... that is, if I've come to conclusions. You're forgetting, I'm new so there's a lot new.


    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Many of those who might benefit from discussion about the lifecyle, parasitic effects and various failure symptoms will not wade through all of the clutter to find any useful information.
    I will.


    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    It is a regular occurance here and amongst many beekeepers. I’m not going to continue to repeat myself but will this once, again, state that there is a sizeable segment of beekeepers who are readily willing to accept any other diagnosis….and I find that amazing
    I believe you, I just haven't seen that degree of avoidance yet.

  20. #100
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It may take a few hundred times to note any difference. Or even a few thousand. Until you've done it thousands of times repeatedly, I don't see how you can say for sure.
    Well yeah but come on, that pendulum swings both ways doesn't it? It also remains to really be seen whether your method of stock rearing is going to be long-term effective as opposed to having an exaggerated but ultimately short-term effect, doesn't it? Doesn't seem to make you any less confident.

    By the way - putting your bees on small cell? That's artificially regulating the size of your comb - like using a drone frame. It's IPM.

    IPM is totally treatment, dude. YES IT IS! Any bees from any of my hives, and even the (admittedly few) swarms I've allowed to build foundationless comb for experiment's sake, always built standard cell. When they swarmed, I could tell you with 99% confidence they would naturally build standard cell wherever they ended up! I've even witnessed another beekeeper doing a cutout where the comb was [i]standard cell[/url]. Yes, I'm aware of the argument that way back in The Day, bees naturally built what we call small cell today. But, nowadays most bees would have to be trained back down to it (there's even an intermediate size created specifically to facilitate this process). Of course, once trained, bees will continue to build small cell on their own thereafter. But the fact of that initial training and the fact that it's done to correct what the beekeeper sees as problems (of whatever kind) in the colony makes small cell TOTALLY a treatment, so HA! Welcome to the club and I'm glad you've come to your senses, Brother Michael!***


    ***This post may be slightly less than entirely serious
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

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