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  1. #121

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

    Here is a scalehive from nearby my place:
    http://koti.tnnet.fi/web144/vaakapes...=2013&kunta=75

  2. #122
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Wow. That is a short season. But if I read the chart right, 35 kilos is not a bad harvest for such a short season. Many North American beekeepers would find that an acceptable average, especially for treatment free bees.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  3. #123

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

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Wow. That is a short season. But if I read the chart right, 35 kilos is not a bad harvest for such a short season. Many North American beekeepers would find that an acceptable average, especially for treatment free bees.
    It was a chart from another beekeeper nearby, not mine. He is treating normally. My scale hive happend to be a dronelayer, so nothing to see there:
    http://koti.tnnet.fi/web144/vaakapes...2013&kunta=240 My second hive was near a 10 hectar redclover field, which luckily got some rain and warm weather in the end of July.

    We have a system, which is based on these scale hives around the hole country, to predict the total amount of harvested honey. The prediction must be corrected by factor something like 0,6-0,7, because beekeepers tend to put their best hives on the scale... and maybe also because the beekeepers which are part of this system get better crops than beekeepers in average.

    Bees adjust to climate. I remember once when we got visitors from Holland. It was September and after breakfast they got to their morning walk. There they noticed a bee gathering pollen 9 o´clock in the morning from a roses flower and the temperature was +10 C(50 F, ?). They thought it was amazing.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 12-04-2013 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #124
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    >I expect someone will be along soon to tell you all the reasons why you could not possibly have succeeded in developing resistant bees

    'People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.'--George Bernard Shaw
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Wow. That is a short season. But if I read the chart right, 35 kilos is not a bad harvest for such a short season. Many North American beekeepers would find that an acceptable average, especially for treatment free bees.

    35kg ~77 lbs.

    States with a higher average than that according to 2012 stats:

    Louisiana
    Mississippi


    Interesting, not even Florida.

    Looks like treatment-free hives are held to an unrealistic standard.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Solomon, that wasn't Juhani's hive. I made the same mistake.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    rhaldridge, replying to your specious statement, not anyone else's.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #128
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    rhaldridge, replying to your specious statement, not anyone else's.
    I'm confused. What was specious about it? I keep hearing that treatment free means lower productivity. I don't know if that's true or not, but when I thought that was Juhani's average for a season that seems to last about a month at most, I thought that was a pretty good average for a treatment free hive, and disproved the notion that treatment free means less productive.

    But Juhani himself says that his hives are less productive than they were before he stopped treatment, and his goal is to breed better productivity into the successful treatment free survivors he maintains.

    Maybe I'm not the confused one...
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  9. #129
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Many North American beekeepers would find that an acceptable average, especially for treatment free bees.
    Especially for treatment free bees? Especially for ANY bees in 48 states!


    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    ...I thought that was a pretty good average for a treatment free hive...
    There it is again.

    I find my bees produce a pretty good average for Arkansas hives (statewide average 63 lbs. per colony in 2012).

    If what you're trying to say is that these data disprove the idea that TF bees produce less honey, then say that rather than "pretty good for a treatment free hive." Because it should simply end at "pretty good." I bet you're a pretty good beekeeper for a Floridian. See how that works?

    Virtually every instance of "I keep hearing" I come across get heard from somebody who's never done it. Because I haven't heard ANY of the TF gurus (Michael Bush, Dee Lusby, Sam Comfort, etc.) say that. I have heard their detractors say it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #130
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    LOL you guys kill me.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #131
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post

    If what you're trying to say is that these data disprove the idea that TF bees produce less honey, then say that rather than "pretty good for a treatment free hive." Because it should simply end at "pretty good." I bet you're a pretty good beekeeper for a Floridian. See how that works?
    I take it you're not a writer, or you might recognize the construction. Also, I'm not a pretty good beekeeper for any state, I'm a beginner. But treatment free, if that matters. In this case, however, Juhani's experience gives credence to the idea that treatment free bees do produce less honey, at least at an early point in the breeding process, and in a very harsh environment, which I suppose is inconvenient information. Still, he seems to have taken a very data-driven approach to the problem, which to me is more useful than any amount of dataless bloviating. Not that I'm suggesting that you would do such a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Virtually every instance of "I keep hearing" I come across get heard from somebody who's never done it. Because I haven't heard ANY of the TF gurus (Michael Bush, Dee Lusby, Sam Comfort, etc.) say that. I have heard their detractors say it.
    Well, in this case Juhani said it... you know, the treatment free beekeeper to whom I was referring. Perhaps the next time, you might read the thread, before jumping on a locution that you find annoying.

    I am aware of the fact that this is frequently a criticism leveled at treatment free beekeepers, and I remember getting beaten up for pointing out that Tim Ives, a treatment free beekeeper, gets yields far above the national average, and has had hives that yielded over 400 pounds. I remember that the most cogent criticism of his approach is that instead of one massive hive, a more sensible beekeeper could get the same results from a number of smaller hives. In the new American Bee Journal, Dr. Connor states "... research has shown that four small colonies do not produce as much honey as the same number of bees kept in one hive." Hmm.

    By the way, I don't think you should use Sam Comfort as an exemplar in this instance, since I believe his business model is more oriented to selling bees than honey.

    I hope you don't find this to be an abrasive response, since I think of you as a person on the right path, and as an encouraging example for TF beginners like me. You might consider reserving your ire for those not on your side, and forgive me for my writerly attempt to use a bit of sarcasm in expressing my opinion.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Ray, my apologies.

    My point is again, that's not a good number for a treatment free hive. It's a good number. Period. I don't like how you said it. I have that right.

    Why would I not argue with someone "on my side?" Haven't I argued with you before?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #133
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    There may be areas where a 200 lb average can still be made, but I am happy with 2 or 3 shallow supers per colony. That works out to about 45 pounds per super given that I am running 9 shallow frames in 10 frame shallow supers. Some colonies don't make much more than enough to make it through winter.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  14. #134
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Ray, my apologies.

    My point is again, that's not a good number for a treatment free hive. It's a good number. Period. I don't like how you said it. I have that right.
    Of course. But forgive me for saying that it seems a unconstructive point to make. In this case, the number was not for a treatment free hive. It was for another hive in Juhani's region, kept by another beekeeper. I was trying to correct a misunderstanding that I had made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Why would I not argue with someone "on my side?" Haven't I argued with you before?
    Not that I recall. But that may be because I saw little in your position to disagree with. I'll try to do better.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Fair enough.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #136
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Unfortunately, wax from chemical free colonies is in short supply.
    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Is there a market for chemical-free wax?
    I sell some few pounds a year. It usually goes to housewives making soap and things. I did send 14 lbs to a beekeeper in Canada.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #137
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    The investigators of the original 'Bond' colonies in Gotland, Sweden have stated that the hives were less productive.

    So, it's not necessarily something that detractors alone are saying.
    Last edited by WLC; 12-06-2013 at 03:49 AM.

  18. #138

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

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The investigators of the original 'Bond' colonies in Gotland, Sweden have stated that the hives were less productive.

    So, it's nor necessarily something that detractors alone are saying.
    If we look at nature in general, all resistance comes with a cost. At least in theory. Flowers, for instance, that make some chemical to prevent animals eating them, lose some energy doing it. In bees it seems to me very clear, that tf hives are less productive. There are several reasons: they take of brood, they have smaller hives (in Gotland too), there tends to be lots of dronelayers (especially if one runs an isolated mating station, where all the drones come from heavily infested, about 5% infestation, hives) etc.

    On the other hand if we compare tf beekeepers hives with some other beekeepers treating normally, the difference might not be so big, because of the numerous troubles they have with mites and viruses despite treatments. Some have troubles with AFB, and I think that my hives are somewhat resistant to AFB too, because almost all new material I get , especially from Central-Europe, is sensitive for AFB. In Cental-Europe the AFB problem is much smaller because they have state funded programs, where beekeeper can burn their infested hives and get payed for them. We in Finland can only dream of something so well organized...

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Juhani, that is very interesting. I have sometimes heard treatment free beekeepers say that at least initially, production is not as high. It makes sense to me that as you say, resistance has a cost. I can think of another example. The Russian beekeeper Fedor Lazutin states in his book that his methods allow one to keep bees without treatment, but that his unusual hives, combined with the black European bees he keeps, means that he gets somewhat less honey per hive than his fellow beekeepers who use conventional equipment and treatment. He justifies this with the claim that he has to work a lot less than that conventional beekeeper, for the same amount of honey.

    On the other hand, there are treatment free beekeepers who report, and honestly, I believe, that they get high yields. Tim Ives, who I mentioned above, gets yields that are enormous by any standard. However, he may have worked out a system that suits his particular location to a very high degree. He did not have this success immediately-- he started out buying packages, almost all of which died. He only began to have success when he began trapping swarms of local bees. In addition to his amazing yields, he has a very low loss rate. He also has a strong bias against feeding sugar, for example and feeds no sugar at all. He has worked out methods of developing wintered over three deep hives that can take advantage of very early nectar flows-- flows that many of the conventional beekeepers in his area say do not exist in sufficient quantity to be worth taking. All this is to say that the various management practices, even among treatment free practitioners, are of such complexity in their interactions that it might take many years to develop the ideal scheme for a particular location. If you search YouTube for "Tim Ives" you'll see some amazing videos of his towering hives.

    Finally, even though I think that you are right that resistance exacts a price from an animal, it is also clear that bees have developed resistance to many other pests and disease organisms in the past, and have somehow retained or regained the ability to make large amounts of honey despite this adaptation. I'm thinking of the tracheal mite, which literally destroyed the UK's honey industry when it first appeared in the early 20th century. But now it is not much of a problem; in fact some American researchers were unable to get a significant enough infestation to study the mite by the time it made it here.

    In any case, I believe it is possible, through both breeding and the appropriate cultural practices, to keep bees that both resist mites, and produce a good crop, because some beekeepers have done exactly this.
    Last edited by rhaldridge; 12-06-2013 at 02:11 AM.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  20. #140
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    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I think that productivity in TF beekeeping has a lot to do with the stock of Honeybees you're using.

    For example, TF beekeepers here in the U.S. often resort to feral stocks of Honeybees for TF hives and that could make the difference in terms of productivity.

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