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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Whalers

    Queens are an incredible deal. At $20, they cost far less than the gas used to chase an uncertain swarm. They are highly reliable, scheduled, delivered to your doorstep, far better genetics and much easier for an inexperienced keeper to successfully employ.
    One queen will cost considerably more than 20 dollars, unless you can pick it up from the breeder next door (shipping.) And "far better genetics" is an assumption not always borne out in reality.

    I put up 3 swarm traps, caught one swarm, got a queen and lots of bees, and the three swarm traps cost me less than the queen I bought from BeeWeaver. No gas money involved. Swarms have certain desirable features. For one, you know it probably came from a colony healthy enough to reproduce. For another, you get an ideal mix of bees (caste-wise) for starting a new colony. You don't have to take any resources from your other hives to start a nuc with your new queen.

    Nothing wrong with bringing in good genetics, but a common theme among those who have succeeded in treatment-free beekeeping is that they have used swarms extensively in making increase. There's probably a good reason for this.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by whalers View Post
    I still want to try the splits MDA splits though at some point.
    You may find Mel's video helpful. Also keep an open mind to the many options the system offers. Don't get stuck on the maximum number of splits. If you need larger units going into winter it can be done. If you want to use outside mated queens this can be done as well by replacing the young queen after the start has gone through its brood break.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIYz65Vquxg
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 11-21-2013 at 11:51 PM.

  3. #143
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Thank you Delta, I was just going to say pretty much the same thing.
    One thing is, Mel has no fear of overwintering in singles, so he will split his hives after he dequeens in July ( for the brood break), so he does get the numbers that he speaks of. But he'll also w/o hesitation, combine the dinks in the fall.
    Because of the brood break you generally don't have to worry if the dink is infested w/ mites and (I) just assume the queen's not worth saving.

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    So as I try to wrap my head around all this, besides increasing numbers, removing the queen and creating a brood break, should help me control mite numbers correct? So this leads to a question, if I remove a queen from the hive and want to replace it with a queen I purchase, how long should I wait between the time I remove the old queen and install the new queen?

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,098

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Don't wait at all. Find the queen, and hang the queen cage containing the new one all at the same time. Do a standard candy release - don't poke holes in the candy or do anything else to hurry it along. If you wait very long the hive is likely to start queen cells. Just my opinion, but it has worked so reliably for me that a return visit is just not justified. Your mileage may vary.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,098

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Beginners who don't use treatments usually lose all of their bees and give up beekeeping

    According to the BeeInformed survey, the ones treating are losing just as many bees as the ones not treating. Reality is beginners lose hives. So do experienced beekeepers although probably at a lower rate. The ones treating lose hives. The ones not treating lose hives. Some of those people get frustrated and quit.

    There are plenty of beekeepers not treating and succeeding.
    With all due respect - I'm sure that every bit of that is true. But is it your opinion that a typical beginning bee keeper (who might start out unable to tell capped brood from capped honey and with 1 or 2 hives and usually doesn't make increase in the first year) has the same likelihood of still having live bees in two years if they don't treat as they will if they do treat (while correctly following label directions of an effective treatment) prophylactically in late summer before fall build up and again in late fall during the broodless period? Has that been what you have observed? I have far less experience than you, but that has not been my observation.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,395

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    With all due respect - I'm sure that every bit of that is true. But is it your opinion that a typical beginning bee keeper (who might start out unable to tell capped brood from capped honey and with 1 or 2 hives and usually doesn't make increase in the first year) has the same likelihood of still having live bees in two years if they don't treat as they will if they do treat (while correctly following label directions of an effective treatment) prophylactically in late summer before fall build up and again in late fall during the broodless period? Has that been what you have observed? I have far less experience than you, but that has not been my observation.
    Here are my recent experiences David. We did our usual late summer/early fall thymol treatments. Due to a late season heat wave we decided to delay when we began making the rounds to treat by a couple of weeks (it takes most of a month to get through them all). The results were quite clear. Our fall losses were higher and overall bee quality poorer in the later treated yards than in the earlier treated yards. It wasnt the only factor as it was also apparent that bees that had later flows were much stronger than those which made little or no surplus honey in the month of August. When filling out my BeeInformed survey I will note my losses and I will note that they were all treated yet that hardly tells the whole story. Were I just running a few hives and didnt get around to treating them until late or opted for a miticide that varroa has developed considerable resistance to then that person may well honestly conclude (and report) that "I treated but my bees still died". If you choose to go treatment free for your own reasons that is entirely your choice, far be it for me to tell those folks that they are wrong. Just accept this fact. A well timed effective varroa treatment will always result in stronger hives than an ineffective treatment or no treatment at all. That may not be the case 10 or 20 years from now as tf breeding programs gradually make headway in varroa tolerant stock but for this year and the foreseeable future thats the reality regardless of what the survey may say.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by whalers View Post
    how long should I wait between the time I remove the old queen and install the new queen?
    As David says: >Don't wait at all. Find the queen, and hang the queen cage containing the new one all at the same time<

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,098

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Jim,

    I know that all things are relevant, but as you are indicating the ideal window of opportunity is not very long.

    This year in my area accelerating brood production was beginning to be noticeable by August 25 although Sept 1 is the rule of thumb date - when do you think would be the ideal time to start/finish those apiguard treatments.

    Your experienced input is extremely valuable in this as I am working on recommendations for beginners in our club who choose to treat as well another list for those who make the choice not to.

    Either way they go they need the information to do it right the first time.

    Thanks to everyone on both sides of the debate.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Thank you. Now another question. Where does the use of flour to kill larvae (while covering a few others to protect them) fit into the picture with regards to notching? Or maybe the two don't have anything at all to do with one another. I'm just not making a connection here.

  11. #151
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Jim,

    I know that all things are relevant, but as you are indicating the ideal window of opportunity is not very long.

    This year in my area accelerating brood production was beginning to be noticeable by August 25 although Sept 1 is the rule of thumb date - when do you think would be the ideal time to start/finish those apiguard treatments.

    Your experienced input is extremely valuable in this as I am working on recommendations for beginners in our club who choose to treat as well another list for those who make the choice not to.

    Either way they go they need the information to do it right the first time.

    Thanks to everyone on both sides of the debate.
    Perhaps I have said too much already and another forum rather than the tf site would be a better place to discuss treatment specifics. I am just trying to point out some of the problems in intrepreting what the BeeInformed survey might be telling us and how the line of thought that "I treat but my bees still died" can be a bit of a misnomer.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,098

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Your call, but at the time of the management change in TF a few months ago - it was stated that discussions of treatments in the interest of getting to be treatment free would be considered as constructive and allowable.

    So TF is now (as I understand it) a goal to strive for rather than a rigid do or die commandment on this forum.

    As you said "(effective/timely) treatment will always result in stronger hives than an ineffective treatment or no treatment at all. That may not be the case 10 or 20 years from now as tf breeding programs gradually make headway in varroa tolerant stock but for this year and the foreseeable future thats the reality"

    I'm just asking for your expert opinion on how to make the most of as little treatment as possible - when it is necessary - until we get there. If you choose to decline I understand.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  13. #153
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by whalers View Post
    Where does the use of flour to kill larvae (while covering a few others to protect them) fit into the picture with regards to notching? Or maybe the two don't have anything at all to do with one another.
    You're looking at the old I. M. N. SYSTEM OF QUEEN REARING. Disregard this as it doesn't apply anymore. It's what he use to do. The video is going to be of more help as it has all the info that is important.

    The presentation that goes with the video is on his web page listed as:

    Queen Rearing Without Grafting and Miticide-Free
    Indiana Beekeepers Association Turkey Run Convention
    Autumnal Equinox 2011
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 11-22-2013 at 12:34 PM.

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,950

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I'm another that makes the BeeInformed survey look skewed. Last year I over wintered 22 hives. I treated 10 which had queens in them full time for the year. I didn't treat 12 that were first year hives. These include any hive that swarmed, had a brood break and thus had a first year queen. I never treat first year hives or hives with brood breaks since I almost never lose one.

    I didn't lose any hives last winter. My BeeInformed results make it look like the mortality of treated vs untreated hives is the same. Reality couldn't more different.
    Bruce

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Your call, but at the time of the management change in TF a few months ago - it was stated that discussions of treatments in the interest of getting to be treatment free would be considered as constructive and allowable.

    So TF is now (as I understand it) a goal to strive for rather than a rigid do or die commandment on this forum.

    As you said "(effective/timely) treatment will always result in stronger hives than an ineffective treatment or no treatment at all. That may not be the case 10 or 20 years from now as tf breeding programs gradually make headway in varroa tolerant stock but for this year and the foreseeable future thats the reality"

    I'm just asking for your expert opinion on how to make the most of as little treatment as possible - when it is necessary - until we get there. If you choose to decline I understand.
    Well first of all I dont consider myself any sort of expert. Im just reporting my experiences. I dont think, though, that you would get much argument from many beekeepers that the "golden hour" for treatments is late summer immediately after the harvest and at the point where queens are beginning to ramp down their egg laying a bit. We requeen our entire outfit each spring with our own home cells from our best stock and a few tf breeders brought in as well. The resulting brood break has made spring treatments unnecessary though I reserve the option to change my mind on that if need be. So in that scenario if you are choosing to treat, its pick your flavor for a late summer/early fall treatment window. Scratch Apistan and Check Mite off the list right off the top because they are nasty chemical with resistance issues, eliminate oxalic trickling or powdered sugar dusting as being ineffective until they are broodless and what are you left with? Repeated OA sublimation? Some good reports here, though it can be nasty to inhale. MAQS? thats a good one, single application, no residues but pretty temp dependent. Hopguard? Safe, natural product that can be used throughout the summer, mixed reports on its effectiveness and perhaps risky to queens in high temps. Thymol products? Another pretty good natural product but a jolt to a hive and high temps may lead to some queen problems. Apiguard? Hmmmm. Lots of good reports, effective in pretty much any temperature and surprisingly not much reported in the way of varroa resistances but are you comfortable using an Amitraz product in your hives? All these products are going to disrupt the hive to varying degrees (and disrupt varroa even more). So there ya go, thats the way I see it, I endorse nothing, folks need to make their own call.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    nice summary jim. i am wondering the same thing as whalers regarding the existing brood at the time of splitting. do you let your splits sit for awhile before introducing queen cells, or is the 'break' between splitting and when the new queen starts laying sufficient?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #157
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Here's the therory of the brood break as it was explained to me.
    With the period of the raising & the maturing of the new queen, all the brood, be it worker or drone will be emerged and there is no place for the mites to go. When the queen begins laying it will a small patch, the mites will crowd into the available larvae, which leads to the larvae dying which leads to the mites larvae dying also. So with the fact that the breeding cycle of the mites has been disrupted and you have a fresh queen laying up a storm, the hive easily outbreeds the mite into the winter
    slowdown.
    Hope this helps.

  18. #158
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    One interesting thing I'm getting from this thread, is a move away from the concept of resistant bees. While chemicals are not being used the beekeeper calls himself treatment free, but there is a heavy reliance on management methods to control varroa, rather than trusting the bees are able to deal with them.

    The study where 300 hives were not treated or managed and they all died was criticized on the basis that there had been no management, it had just been left to the bees to deal with mites.

    Am I picking up on a grudging acceptance that truly mite resistant bees do not exist yet?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,576

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    Here's the therory of the brood break as it was explained to me.
    With the period of the raising & the maturing of the new queen, all the brood, be it worker or drone will be emerged and there is no place for the mites to go. When the queen begins laying it will a small patch, the mites will crowd into the available larvae, which leads to the larvae dying which leads to the mites larvae dying also. So with the fact that the breeding cycle of the mites has been disrupted and you have a fresh queen laying up a storm, the hive easily outbreeds the mite into the winter
    slowdown.
    Hope this helps.
    thanks rw, and that makes good sense. my question has to do with the difference between the month or so it would take for a colony to replace their queen starting with just an egg (walk away split), at which point there would be virtually no brood left by the time the new queen starts laying, verses giving a colony a ripe cell just after splitting which decreases the 'break' by about two weeks since there would still be brood in the hive at the time the new queen starts laying.

    seems like i remember jim mentioning that he leaves any emergency cells that are made by the splits as insurance against his grafted cells not making it, so i'm guessing he finds there is enough of a break without letting the splits sit for a week or two.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I'm still struggling with this... Same scenario.. The hives/queens do great for their 2-3 years... Then the crash.... I'm not sure if it's only the mites or it's a combination of other environmental factors.

    I'm going to try re-queening every 2 years and moving the mothers to nucs for closer inspection.

    I've had one Russian hive that's been going strong for the last 4 years.... It's sister hive that started at the same time from the same stock starved out this year... ((Highly annoying))...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

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