> just that it's a lot harder to know a feral survivor, than it is to say, "feral survivor".
Size is a good indicator. Natural comb bees are noticeably smaller than recent swarms from typical large cell comb.
It's hard to identify a problem when there aren't a bunch of hives dying to indicate it.
Beeman: if I'm not treating my bees, what good does it do to count mites? They aren't going anywhere, so bees are going to have to find a way to coexist with them. If untreated bees DO find a way to live with mites it makes counting mites irrelevant. If I'm not going to treat I figure out if varroa killed my hive post mortem. At that point my bees are dead, but so are the mites at killed those bees.
My head isn't in the sand. Whenever there are paradigm shifts in any discipline the initial challenges to established practices are ridiculed. People practicing treatment free shouldn't be belittled. If you don't believe that bees can make it on their own there are other forum sections to read.
I am here telling of things that are Working in my operation as I believe others are. Why would anyone get on here and lie about success they are having with treatment free practices?
As I clearly stated in my original thread....I don't have any problem with folks being treatment free....I don't have any problem with the live or let die approach to selection. This was never a slam on treatment free folks. Just don't try to tell me that you haven't tested for mites AND that they aren't a problem...because if you haven't tested you don't know (ergo...head in the sand). I believe, particularly for new beekeepers, that they know and recognize the magnitude of the enemy.
Beemandan: they are a problem in some hives and evidently NOT a problem in most of the hives. Out of 30 I lose 4-6 every year. Varroa evidence is normally present, but I don't think there are any hives in Indiana without varroa. So I am left with.... Did varroa kill them or were they just a contributing factor?
Dan, would you agree that consistently low loss rates (lower than treated) would indicate that there isn't a problem? Is that not the best best and ultimate method of testing?
Have you seen any of those people in here?
Let us remember that while we Americans call it the "Bond Method," the original term from John Kefuss' publication is "Bond TEST." It is the ultimate test, and the only one that matters. Who cares if our method of testing doesn't fit what someone else wants us to do. We're not trying to do what they're trying to do.
Adam, so you're saying that these newbees really are dragging our success rates down such as reported in the Bee Informed National Survey where it shows there is no difference between treated and not treated success rates?
Solomon…I really didn’t want to get caught up in all of this but….
In my opinion, you can compare your survival rates with another beekeeper who has a different treatment philosophy and still not gain anything without comparing many other variables. You know that.
Mostly in spring I get calls or emails, and see many posts on beesource by new beekeepers lamenting hive failures. All too often it appears that mites were the cause of the collapse. And, I contend that in practically every failure varroa are part of the equation. If you haven’t taken an objective measurement….you don’t know. Mites are a tax on your colony. They impact your bees’ ability to contend with every other parasite and pest. They weaken our bees and impact productivity. There are so many consequences.
I only want people, especially new beekeepers to understand the significance of this parasite. And if they truly understand the pest and choose a treatment free path…I say fine.
Dan, I could care less about other beekeepers and their philosophies. I want you to square your presuppositions with the evidence of my bees. If a bunch of hives aren't dying, it only follows that there isn't a problem. That is the test. You know I speak from experience. Explain my experience.
Why do you think beekeepers in the Treatment-Free Beekeeping Forum do not understand what they're doing and have not chosen that path? Why is it your duty to provide the disclaimers?
You have no requirement to get caught up in this. I'll be awaiting your inevitable "final word" and then eventual return to the argument. It's a bit transparent.
Sol - I think much depends on the credibility of the observations. I have read your posts long enough to conclude that you are knowledgeable and truthful. Other folks who report results on line don't have that credibility (at least with me, yet) and I need them to confirm their observations with a properly done test for me to ascribe competence to their posts. If someone doesn't care what I think and doesn't want to test, that's fine with me.
Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com
At the risk of stating the obvious, there are millions of species across the planet that have adapted to parasites and diseases without the intervention of human beings.
It is not your job to pave the way for others to make it to the promised land of TF. You have spent many hours simply repeating that it exists to many who will never believe. Thank you for that.
There are those who recognize that they or their bees are not capable of taking the test yet. They are not wrong, at least for themselves, here they do not seem to be welcome to speak of anything less than complete devotion to TF.
My way or the highway is your right, just not as helpful. I congratulate you that you were able to breed from your survivors. For those with less skill or dead bees a slightly longer path to TF really might be a responsible choice.
Keep the faith, forgive the sinners.
4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.