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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    > I would be interested in hearing more about whether he feels his use of oxalic acid was helpful or harmful to his bees.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmorethan.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursim...ps.htm#ecology

    I did not see any harmful effects by oxalic acid vapor directly on the bees. I am concerned about the effect on the microbes in the hive. Shifting the pH dramatically has a very marked effect on what microbes live and what microbes die. Microbes have a very marked effect on the health of the bee and of the colony:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0033188
    http://www.beeuntoothers.com/index.p...lliam-archives

    As a treatment it was very effective (I was vaporizing). As far as keeping the honey clean, there is already oxalic acid in honey and research shows little change in that amount. But as far as maintaining the natural balance of the hive, I have serious concerns.

    What I liked about it was it was not dependent at all on ambient temperatures and it was very devastating to the Varroa population and it could be repeated as often as you like, so once a week for three weeks was a doable thing if you wanted to treat while there was still some open brood.

    Dribbling would be even more devastating to the microbes in the gut of the bees which are protecting them from Nosema, AFB, EFB and Chalkbrood and are needed to inoculate the bee bread and probably to the bee bread itself.

    Back in the 60's when I first started reading about beekeeping and back in the 70's when I first started keeping bees, beekeepers were all adamant about the pesticide treadmill that agriculture was on and how it never allowed things to balance out because you keep killing the predator insects along with the pests and that the problem would never be solved as long as you kept doing this... funny how quickly they all abandoned the concept when the mites showed up...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    New beekeepers may be ignorant,.

    I might resemble that remark!

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >.the results of this study are the usual reality for new tf beekeepers.

    The results of this study are the usual reality for beekeepers who don't requeen those packages.
    Well, and also, supercedure was a big problem for the packages in that study. In addition to being fraught with disastrous possibilities, if the new queen isn't successfully mated, supercedure does affect colony vitality in other ways.

    The only package I bought this spring was a problem from the beginning despite a queen that started laying immediately. 3 weeks in, they superceded her. That happened to the next queen, and eventually the hive ended up laying worker. Had this hive been in that study, it would have been counted as a first year loss, and it had nothing at all to do with treatment or no treatment. If I hadn't had other hives to take eggs from, that hive was a goner. But happily, I was out in the yard today, and I have a half-dozen frames with patches of worker brood in that hive, so I think I've saved it, at least for the time being. It may make it through the winter okay, considering all the brood breaks it's had.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >The 35 years that NONE of my bees were treated for ANYTHING were: 1975,1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
    ...
    That's pretty impressive....

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post

    What I liked about it was it was not dependent at all on ambient temperatures and it was very devastating to the Varroa population and it could be repeated as often as you like, so once a week for three weeks was a doable thing if you wanted to treat while there was still some open brood.
    MB so what do you do as far as controlling varoa? please be specific as possible. People want to know. r

    I am seeing relatively low populations of mites, 10-20 / 24 hr drop. Noticing more opened brood with dead pupae. Also noticing some deformed wing virus, a few bees on the ground. From what I understand powdered sugar dusting is rather innefective when populations are and bees are rearing brood as up to 80% of the mites are capped within cells.

    Overall the colonies look healthy and strong, although if we have spring like last year I would like to do something now to control mite #'s

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    20 years ago you could buy a package of Southern bees and put them in a hive and expect them to survive the winter in Nebraska. It's been a downhill slide since then. I have not seen that for well over a decade now. Typically a package doesn't make it through the first winter unless it's requeened with local stock. Treat or don't treat, without winter-hardy stock your package bees won't survive a NE or MN or WI or IA winter most of the time. Wintering is all about stock that can survive and not letting them starve.
    Same in Louisville and we're closer to the source. Our club suffers many first year Kelley package dieouts over winter.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    I am only talking about 2 packages this year, mine and a brother's. Best package queens I've seen, especially his. No supercedure and good health , great brood. Yeah I know it does not count umtil next spring at the earliest. I do not think the pro's are making no progress on resistance.

    Michael Bush, you speak of requeening packages with local TF stock. You speak of protecting the micro-enviroment of the hive and gut. Your thoughts on how long it takes a package to restore a natural flora even with requeening?

    My personal experiment in TF requeening was less than impressive. No that does not comdemn TF requeening, but it is easier said than consistantly accomplished.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    MB so what do you do as far as controlling varoa? please be specific as possible. People want to know. r

    I am seeing relatively low populations of mites, 10-20 / 24 hr drop. Noticing more opened brood with dead pupae. Also noticing some deformed wing virus, a few bees on the ground. From what I understand powdered sugar dusting is rather innefective when populations are and bees are rearing brood as up to 80% of the mites are capped within cells.

    Overall the colonies look healthy and strong, although if we have spring like last year I would like to do something now to control mite #'s
    I'm not Michael Bush but I do play a beekeeper in my backyard so I'm going to take a stab at answering this question. While I share Mr. Bush's concerns about changing the ph of the hive and harming the beneficial organisms in the hive I feel it's better to go ahead and hit a hive like that 3 weeks in a row with the oxalic vapor treatment than to do nothing and possibly lose the hive. Generally speaking if I get a hive where I am seeing DWV and then I hit it 3 weeks in a row with the OAV it survives (all other things being equal:enough stores, queen right) and then I don't have to treat for another 2 years or so, perhaps some never. I use it as a crutch to get me from not quite ready to handle the varroa on their own to true resistance.

    Rod

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    I use it as a crutch to get me from not quite ready to handle the varroa on their own to true resistance.

    Rod
    Yeah, me too. Still planning on someday, baby steps.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    The NC VSH did fine, until I neglected to requeen. You're supposed to requeen yearly with VSH.

    I went South and then West, and so far, I'm impressed with Texas bees.

    I don't think that Southern bees are an issue.

    However, both types of bees were used in TFB tests.

    VSH vs Hybrids backcrossed w/ ferals.

    It was real to me.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    I'm just a beginner, but I'm pretty sure that it's lot more complicated than just temperature. A queen poorly adapted to northern latitudes may continue to lay long after an adapted queen will have started to reduce the population. A cluster that's too large, or brood that must be covered when it's time to cluster may result in starvation. Other timing issues may apply in spring.

    Just about all crops and livestock will do better if locally adapted to some degree. I can't see why bees would be any different.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-04-2013 at 05:35 PM. Reason: remove deleted quote

  12. #72

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I have to ask this, because it puzzles me: Why do you care about this?
    With regularity…and in spring with overwhelming regularity…. I have new beekeepers tell me stories of their losses, asking what might’ve been the causes. Why do they ask me? I suppose because I’m regularly standing at the farmers market with a counter full of honey and wax products and they assume that I’m a successful beekeeper…and might, therefore have some idea why they failed…go figure. And the great majority of them describe classic mite collapses. And when I ask about mites…they often claim that they didn’t have mites, they got treatment free bees from X…or have small cell….or have natural cell….or got a topbar hive….or any of another dozen fraudulent cures that are being pumped on the internet.
    We see them in the spring here on Beesource. Newbie with losses who have no idea whether or not they had mites. And, after all, who can blame them? With countless posters proclaiming….I don’t treat, I don’t test and mites aren’t a problem for me.
    Are those newbies naive? Sure.
    Do they deserve to be misinformed? No
    And that is why I feel the need to challenge some of the more outrageous claims here.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #73

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The results of this study are the usual reality for beekeepers who don't requeen those packages.
    Why requeen? I thought it was a simple matter of getting the bees onto small cell.
    Paraphrasing here....Before small cell 100% of my hives collapsed from mites...since going to small cell I've never lost any to mites.
    Did I miss something?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #74

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I'm just a beginner
    I have to ask this, because it puzzles me. Why would anyone publically push a controversial beekeeping methodology without any significant, personal experience with it?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    >Why requeen? I thought it was a simple matter of getting the bees onto small cell.
    >Paraphrasing here....Before small cell 100% of my hives collapsed from mites...since going to small cell I've never lost any to mites.
    >Did I miss something?

    Apparently you did.

    There are two issues here:

    1) Varroa mites
    2) Overwintering in a very harsh climate

    Small cell solved my Varroa problems.

    Local stock solved my overwintering problems. I don't care what kind of comb you put them on, I don't have luck overwintering queens from warm climates.

    This is what I have said many times. Hopefully this time you won't miss it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I have to ask this, because it puzzles me. Why would anyone publically push a controversial beekeeping methodology without any significant, personal experience with it?
    Where did I publicly "push" anything?

    The forum serves the purpose of helping me to clarify my thought processes. To me, the treatment treadmill seems completely irrational, a classic example of continuing to do the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Neither the results nor the philosophies put forward to justify it seem very convincing to me. From an outsider's viewpoint, there seems to be a lot of trouble in the beekeeping world. Despite the fact that most beekeepers have done as they've been told to do regarding treatment, many have suffered very high losses. It's hard for me to see how doing more of the same is going to turn things around.

    And also, I've been an organic gardener for 50 years, and that philosophy works very well indeed. The belief at the root of organic gardening is that you try to enhance and facilitate natural processes and try to avoid practices which damage or disrupt those processes. The idea that you can use a pesticide to kill bugs on other bugs without suffering any severe unforeseen consequences just seems a bit insane to me. Remember, I'm a guy who think spraying for bugs on vegetables is a dumb idea.

    I may be a beginner, but I approached this pursuit with a singleminded lust for knowledge. Early on in my research, it became obvious that there are beekeepers who are able to succeed without treatment. It's my nature to believe that I can figure out how to do anything that's within my physical abilities to do. I believe that if other folks are able to keep bees without treatments, I should be able to do it too.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Where did I publicly "push" anything?
    You just have.

    In your 50 years of organic gardening….have you ever treated with insecticidal soaps or Bt sprays or dusts…or any of those other organically acceptable…pesticides?

    Or do you simply plant your vegetables and allow nature to take her course?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    You just have.
    So... espousing a point of view that disagrees with yours is "pushing?" I'm just trying to get a baseline here.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Is Sustainable Permaculture a realistic goal in Apiculture?

    I think that it is.

  20. #80

    Default Re: Realism and Treatment free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    So... espousing a point of view that disagrees with yours is "pushing?" I'm just trying to get a baseline here.
    I think it's the other way around Sol....but I already have a good understanding of that baseline.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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