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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,991

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    The African drones fly at different times than do Italians, this has been reported in the Black Bee also. The Black Bee queens are reported to mate closer to their own apiary than do queens that are mostly Italian.
    Yes this fact has many times been misinterpreted to imply the different species do not, or may not, interbreed. It is true that the main time frame for drone flying does differ between some of the species. But fact is, not enough to prevent interbreeding.
    Simple observation and common sense bears this out. For example, African drones main flying time frame window differs from some other species. This does not prevent beekeepers in areas with Africanised bees struggling to keep their bees pure, interbreeding is a fact.

    Dr. Delaneys video showed the different mitochondrial DNA between the two groups of bees. But mitochondrial DNA remains unchanged for countless generations even though nucleic DNA can have changed much. In answer to the question as to whether Dr. Delaney was saying the colonies were pure, she didn't, but I think she attempted to imply that. Which I found sad, coming from a respected expert. Subsequent conversation on Beesource has born out that was the way most people interpreted what she said. Simply wrong unfortunately.

    The correct interpretation, is that over a long enough period of time the two populations will merge, assuming the kept bees are not moved or requeened too much. Although in practise, they probably will be. But the mitochondrial DNA, representing the matriarchal line, will remain different, depending on who the original mothers were of the stock. But mitochondrial DNA has little effect on the make up of the bee.

    On a different tack, David that is an excellent article, I'm impressed!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,419

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    David that is an excellent article, I'm impressed!
    So am I.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    David,
    Nice even handed summary.
    Three points jump out for me:
    Wide current commercial practice in CA is to requeen summer and fall -- TF is likely possible under this really aggressive requeen scenario, at a significant management cost. Your FAQ discusses only spring requeening.

    There is grey-area between the various resistant races -- Minn VSH, Russian, BeeWeaver and the degree they can accomodate reduced treatment loadings and remain economic. My best experience with resistance were the Glenn Apiary implementation of the VSH, but persistence of traits are minimal.

    The middle ground is essentially the "IPM" approach, which is best advocated by Oliver. Seems like explaining IPM would be useful. In summary: Use resistant races or colony husbandry practices, measure the mite load objectively, treat appropriately with a rotating material, rather than prophylactically with the same agent to some calendar schedule.

    Under outlaw --
    Taktic (Amitraz) is still being very widely in CA. I am not sure of the import source, but craigslist commonly has concentrate sold for about $100. Since its off-label application was nearly universal in Ca Commercial prior to it being pulled off market, recognition of its prevalence is necessary for completeness.
    ** Oliver has made some veiled and ambiguous comments about Amitraz resistance. Your summary implies no resistance, wish we could know what he's hearing.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,062

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Oldtimer, Barry - thanks that means a lot.

    JWChestnut - the truth is I didn't even think of IPM, and it should be mentioned if only in the footnotes. But this was for an oral presentation mostly aimed at newer beekeepers many of whom have not decided how to deal with mites because they are confused by the options. For the ones who still have healthy hives I was hoping to motivate them to decide what to do and take action during the broodless period if they decided to treat. If they decide to go treatment free that's fine too, but they need to be aware of the implications of that decision. IPM Might be a bit advanced for the target audience in this particular case, and at this time.

    Just curious though, can you really do monitoring and assessments for ipm when you are dealing with the number of hives needed to make a living? It seems very labor intensive.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post

    Just curious though, can you really do monitoring and assessments for ipm when you are dealing with the number of hives needed to make a living? It seems very labor intensive.
    My opinion is no, with a lot of hives you have to make blanket judgments and if you are a honey producer there are precious few treatment windows per year.....given the fact that we are on the tf forum perhaps I have said too much already.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,071

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    David, I read your Varroa Options page. I think it is well put together and quite useful.

    While we might all wish otherwise, Oxalic Acid is regulated as a registered pesticide in the US. However, it is not registered for use against varroa.

    Two references: Randy Oliver, second paragraph on this page:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxal...-1-of-2-parts/

    -and -

    from the EPA:
    http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/fac...s/4070fact.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,062

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Rader - As Randy Oliver said in his article it is for informational purposes - but I will probably add your link. Although I will say that if it is the case that we are being prevented from lawfully using a relatively safe effective and certainly affordable treatment while being offered expensive, possibly dangerous, probably ineffective alternatives - for any reason - that is the kind of situation which causes law abiding people to lose respect for and break the law - and yet not lose sleep other than by worrying about what is wrong with our country. Long sentence, off subject, wrong forum - just saying.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    OA is registered as a disinfectant. For toilets yet.

    I don't know why it was never registered when there was an opportunity to do so.

    But, it's a bit off topic.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,071

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I agree David. The situation with OA is likely the way it is because nobody has figured out how to make enough money to take OA through the registration/testing process and still make a healthy profit. The registration process really has little to do with actual safe and effective miticides, its all about paperwork and making sure the money flows into the "right" pockets.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    We've been over this. The Canadians have the paperwork, and someone needs to get it over to Rutgers.

    Shall we get back into the thread?

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?


    I think most of us - us being all U.S. Citizens - mostly agree about this kind of thing. BTW, since Thymol is also an EPA registered Pesticide, I guess all of those concoctions which contain it or EO of thyme are also outlawed.

    But it's only a guess, because really smart, really well educated people argue before the supreme court all the time to decide what the law really means. Often as not the decision is split 5-4 which kind of indicates that even the Justices aren't all that sure what is and is not legal. I suspect it has to do with the attorneys haircut as much as anything.

    So often the de facto law comes down to what and how it is enforced, and since there isn't an Oil of Thyme task force (that we know of) we are probably all safe - and should go ahead and assume that it's OK, and continue to use it if we choose. For now.

    It's kind of absurd if you think about it.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I've been treatment free since 2005. I got treatment free by finding one exceptional queen in a feral swarm that showed high levels of mite tolerance. I purchased 10 queens from Purvis and used them to produce drones to mate with queens raised from my mite tolerant feral queen. I was NOT dealing with large numbers of colonies and have not had more than 20 colonies at any time since 1993.

    In 2006, I deliberately pushed my colonies to swarm as much as possible. This was done by crowding them down to a single broodchamber in early spring. The purpose of the tactic was to push as many mite tolerant swarms into the area as possible so they would buffer the effects of any beekeepers on the treatment bandwagon. I consider this step to have been critical in maintaining my bees without treatments!!!!!

    My bees were totally unproductive in 2007 because we had a freeze April 7th that wiped out most of the normal spring flowers. It was not something that I could fault the bees for. I have never seen such a late freeze before and hope to never see it again.

    Since then, I have had normal production in my colonies every year from 2008 to 2013.

    I have been splitting my bees and giving or selling colonies to other beekeepers in the area to increase the mite tolerant traits. One person now has 4 highly mite tolerant colonies at a location about 5 miles north of me. I have 2 more beginners who have requested colonies for next spring. I will build equipment this fall and hope to be able to sell or trade at least 10 more colonies.

    To answer the question re how long to be productive and TF, by purchasing highly mite tolerant stock and using it to leverage the mite tolerance I found in a feral queen, I have had productive bees since 2006 which was the first year after going treatment free. I would emphasize, that I did NOT start from scratch. I had identified the mite tolerant feral queen in 2004 and I made full use of highly resistant queens from Purvis.

    I might mention that the feral queen I used for mite tolerance was also a source of exceptional production genes. Her colony foraged effectively at temperatures in the 50's. My Italian and Buckfast colonies were comatose at the time. It took several years to pare down her single major defect, that was one of the hottest colonies I've ever kept successfully. Her offspring showed a lot of variation so I eliminated the hot colonies until today I can work my bees with nothing more than a smoker and a hive tool.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,521

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    dar, are you using survival as your measure of mite tolerance or are you looking at other metrics as well? what percentage winter losses (if any) are you averaging?

    i also run about 20 tf colonies over here on sand mountain. i believe that i have mite tolerant colonies surviving in the woods around me. the only beekeepers i know of nearby are not treating.

    i purchased my bees from a fellow north of fort payne who started his operation with feral cut outs from the area. he has a seventeen year track record off treatments. i am going into my fourth winter and have averaged 11% winter losses so far.

    i grafted queens this year from my most productive colony (harvested five medium supers and left two for the bees). this colony also did not swarm this year, but just superceded instead.

    i will be grafting again next season and making up nucs for sale.

    would you be interested in swapping a queen or two next spring?
    Last edited by squarepeg; 11-15-2013 at 12:59 PM. Reason: sp
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Hey if you guys swap queens I'd be pretty interested to hear the results of that.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Squarepeg, I'll see if I can get enough queens to do a swap. It shouldn't be hard, I have a few colonies at Rainsville. How far are you from Dutton or Rosalie?

    My measure of success is simple. At the end of the year, the colony must be alive and thriving. I never see evidence of mites whether as live mites on brood or white specks in cells. The bees have to build up healthy and fast in the spring. Winter losses have been less than 10% for the last 5 years. Most of all, they have to produce a decent crop of honey with minimal management on my part.

    Oldtimer, it would be interesting to see how it goes, but some of my bees are within 20 miles of his location. I'm sure they will work as well for him as they do for me. I might also mention that the exceptional queen I found in 2004 was from the Rainsville area. The level of mite tolerance in feral colonies around there is higher than average.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,521

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    dar, i'm near section, going in the other direction from dutton.

    i'm thrilled to hear that you have already found good genetics around here.

    my reason for wanting to swap queens is the same as yours for bringing in the purvis, i.e. to mix up the genetics a little bit.

    i'll send you a pm with my cell #, let me know the next time you're in the neighborhood. i'll buy you a coffee (or a beer) and perhaps we can visit each other's yards.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,062

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Solomon Parker is in Alabama too. Makes me wonder if there is something in the forage?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,521

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    nope, sol's in northwest arkansas. from his posts, i don't think the flows are great there. southern appalachia on the other hand.....
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,062

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I've been treatment free since 2005. I got treatment free by finding one exceptional queen in a feral swarm that showed high levels of mite tolerance...

    Since then, I have had normal production in my colonies every year from 2008 to 2013.
    That really is outstanding - you really should consider rearing a few queens to try to spread the joy. To me for example.

    I assume the answer is no since you didn't mention it, but just for the record do you use small cell?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    David, yes my bees are on small cell though I don't credit that with much of an effect on the mites. Small cell just happens to fit in very well with running 11 frames in a brood chamber. I converted to small cell in 2005 the hard way with plain wax foundation. That was all that was available at the time. I got a LOT of burred up comb the first year, then the second year the bees began to adapt and started drawing very good combs.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

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