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  1. #361
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Its extremely rude and arrogant to come on a site like this and say " I can do it so you havent paid your dues" when the answer is so much more complex.
    Forgive me Charlie: its also extremely rude and arrogant to come on the tf forum, set up to allow people who want to talk about tf beekeeping to do so in peace, and constantly interrupt the discussions with the 'I've tried it and it doesn't work' routine. You're not the only one - its pretty much a constant.

    Just because you've had a go and failed doesn't mean it isn't going to work anytime, anyplace. Holding that line is illogical as well as insulting to all those who have shared their experiences of success. Some, you're right, will be kidding themselves - at least as you and I see 'proper tf' - as genetically based and measured by health self-sufficiency.

    The fact is it its easier for some, and harder for others, due to setting and availabilty of good genetics, and for people in your situation I'm beginning to think it does take a bit more application than you've put in.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    As for my breeding, I am not a bee genetics wizards. what little breeding I do is the best to the best... usualy the top 5 %.... and i make absolutely no claims about my breeding, other than they lay great and make honey.
    If that's 'best' under conditions of systematic treatment, nothing at all is being done to raise resistance/lower mite fecundity. You have to add that to your breeding aim, then figure out how to assay it effectively.

    Again, have you looked at Soft Bond? That's designed for your setting.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-08-2014 at 10:32 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  2. #362
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Never have done brood breaks as a treatment. Have done some splits, but not a normal practice.
    Thanks. Important to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Call it a treatment, that's fine by me. I think that's a purest pov.
    I don't know what that means, and I would like to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I don't see it as a treatment in the sense we refer to treatments everywhere else on the forum.
    Perhaps its worth having another look at this. Brood breaks aren't officially regarded as treatments here either, but they certainly are artificial props that remove selective pressure for co-evolution. Do you think that doesn't matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    No. The way we are defining and discussing TF is in the sticky thread at the top. You're free to have your own definition however.
    That a recipe for getting nowhere. Am I free to put forward an argument for changing that Barry?

    Can we note from the sticky:

    "It is a forum with the stated purpose of discussing how to keep bees by letting them cope with disease on their own."

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  3. #363
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    When I accessed this page, the ad to the right said this:

    "Grocery stores fear him! Man creates brain-dead simple system that cuts your grocery bill by 90%! Watch free video now!"

    Have to chuckle with the linking to this thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    How about small cell foundation and plastic comb?

    Posted by Barry "Call it a treatment, that's fine by me. I think that's a purest pov."


    I don't know what that means, and I would like to know.
    I don't consider the use of foundation a treatment, that's all. Perhaps you do?

    Brood breaks aren't officially regarded as treatments here either, but they certainly are artificial props that remove selective pressure for co-evolution. Do you think that doesn't matter?
    Brood breaks are manipulations, not treatments. If some want to do it, fine. It's not been a part of my management. Does it matter, perhaps, but I'll leave that discussion for those who want to dive into it.

    That a recipe for getting nowhere. Am I free to put forward an argument for changing that Barry?
    Of course, everyone is free to dialog, debate, argue, all ideas here. I don't claim to have all the answers or know it all. I can share what my experience has been.

    Have to go to the gym and work on my bum ankle. Be back later.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #364
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Barry:Call it a treatment, that's fine by me. I think that's a purest pov.
    Mike:I don't know what that means, and I would like to know.
    Use the word "purist" and POV=Point of View meaning that a purist insists on absolute purity.

    In this context, the natural size of honeybee cells is about 4.9. Starting just over 100 years ago, foundation mills were made larger up to 5.7 though most are in the 5.3 range. The result was larger bees and over time, the larger bees became a genetic variant. Going back to 4.9 which is natural for bees, in my opinion, is not a treatment. It is removing an artificial prop introduced by beekeepers in an effort to breed a larger honeybee. For similar reasons, I use 11 frames in the broodnest because this is the natural spacing that bees make combs on their own. So I am on both 4.9 foundation in the broodnest and using 11 frames at 31mm (1.25 inches). I do not see this as an artificial prop, it is just going back to what bees were before man started monkeying around. Add in the factor that I have several colonies on 5.3 foundation with 10 frames and they are thriving just as much as the small cell bees. You will conclude like I did that the source of mite tolerance is primarily genetic.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  5. #365
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    >Add in the factor that I have several colonies on 5.3 foundation with 10 frames and they are thriving just as much as the small cell bees. You will conclude like I did that the source of mite tolerance is primarily genetic.

    Or that mites even out because of drifting in a yard and your small cell are the cause of them all succeeding...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #366
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Of course, everyone is free to dialog, debate, argue, all ideas here. I don't claim to have all the answers or know it all. I can share what my experience has been.
    Thanks Barry.

    Its my view that there is a standing conflict between the stated objective of this forum...

    "It is a forum with the stated purpose of discussing how to keep bees by letting them cope with disease on their own."

    ...and the inclusion of brood breaks in the category not-a-treatment.

    The same might be said for the further items:

    Systematic splitting
    Small cell foundation
    Drone comb removal
    Sticky Boards

    My reasoning is this: any act, or artifact, that helps bees to survive/thrive will, all else being equal, tend to remove pressure to adapt.

    I don't think anyone well familar with animal husbandry and tf beekeeping fails to understand that control of genetics is non-optional. Bees will never "cope with disease on their own" unless they are coming from parents who coped on their own. Raising resistance/encouraging co-evolution isn't an option - its mission-critical.

    Anything that tends to undermine that needs to be clearly labelled as such.

    This is obviously a problem (I think) with brood breaks, and where systematic splitting is causing the same effect, there too. (I'm not sure what sticky boards are to be honest, but if they are what I think they are the same applies)

    Having these items treated in this way therefore steers beekeepers interested in tf in the wrong direction, and means that discussions involving these items are either carried on in an ill-informed way, or discussion are at cross-purposes - or constantly redirected into explanations and repeated arguments about the status and effects of i.e. brood breaks.

    None of that is to say these things mustn't ever be used - only that to be consistent with the aim "cope with disease on their own" they must be used in conjuction with other acts designed to eventually free them from the need. They cannot be viewed as permanant solutions.

    If the reasoning above is sound, then these items belong in the catagory with the other co-evolution-undermining actions - the 'treatments' proper.

    Or perhaps a third catagory: 'Transitive tools'.

    It hadn't occurred to me before today that the same sort of thing may be in play with small cell foundation. Are beekeepers raising bees that only cope with varroa while on artificial foundation/comb?

    Does any of this matter? Well, if there is an inconsistency between the stated aim of the forum and the terms by which discussion takes place, I'd say that's a problem in itself. If it leads to a false view of the mechanics at work, I'd say again its a problem.

    Equally, for me is this: any form of 'tf' beekeeping that undermines wild/feral bees is bad news. This is largely because: we need that breeding pool, where natural selection can churn away, giving us, free of charge, strong, self-sufficient bees. We benefit enormously - I would say critically - from that. And the bee species needs that too.

    'Tf' is new, and our conception of what it means, and which items are critical, which helpful, is evolving as we learn more about bee husbandry. You (Barry) have conveyed the official position: "Brood breaks are manipulations, not treatments." It's my contention that that arrangement is problematic. If both 'manipulations' and 'treatments' have exactly the same consequence in term of the critical issue of genetic improvement, then we'd be better served by regarding them as belonging to the same catagory.

    It is then my belief that we could usefully reconsider the tf/non-tf catagories in the sticky. My suggestion would be to start with a proper rexamination of the effects of brood breaks, for which I think there is the strongest case for a review, and then see if the upshot of that discussion has implications for the other items I've raised.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-08-2014 at 12:09 PM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  7. #367
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Anyone want to place any bets on how quickly the Treatment Free forum definitions will be re-written?

    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  8. #368
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Use the word "purist" and POV=Point of View meaning that a purist insists on absolute purity.
    Thanks FP

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    In this context, the natural size of honeybee cells is about 4.9.
    It's my understanding that that is assumption not bourne out be measurements of natural population. These vary a good deal - if I remember rightly bees/cells tend to get bigger in the cooler regions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Starting just over 100 years ago, foundation mills were made larger up to 5.7 though most are in the 5.3 range. The result was larger bees...
    That would be so in some places only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    and over time, the larger bees became a genetic variant.
    If they can be 'regressed' (and stay small when building natural comb) I might agree. Otherwise I'm not sure that thinking of them as genetic variants is accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Going back to 4.9 which is natural for bees, in my opinion, is not a treatment.
    See above. I know the small cell arguments (I think). What I want to know is whether they have a scientific basis. And, again, what happens when bees 'regreesed bees escape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    For similar reasons, I use 11 frames in the broodnest because this is the natural spacing that bees make combs on their own.
    Are you sure about this? Everywhere? Are you sure it isn't an average - masking considerable variation? Most of the wild nests I've cut out have comb all over the place, fat comb, thin comb, wobbly spacing.... (They seem more orderly in geometrically regular spaces - but natural spaces aren't very geometrically regular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    So I am on both 4.9 foundation in the broodnest and using 11 frames at 31mm (1.25 inches). I do not see this as an artificial prop, it is just going back to what bees were before man started monkeying around.
    Let's say the jury is out on that one, and ask this: what happens if you let them build naturally, as the ferals around you will? Will they revert to being larger, and lose some critical feature that has been helping them mamage varroa?

    I use standard spacing (for convenience and because I don't think it matters but let them make their own comb. That way they not only make what they think best (and its very variable in cell size - and I think that might be important to them) - they also get to make as many drone cells as they want. And I think that is definately important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Add in the factor that I have several colonies on 5.3 foundation with 10 frames and they are thriving just as much as the small cell bees. You will conclude like I did that the source of mite tolerance is primarily genetic.
    I wish I'd read all the way to the bottom before I started! Yes.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  9. #369
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Anyone want to place any bets on how quickly the Treatment Free forum definitions will be re-written?
    Which side are you on, how do you handle 'quickly' and what odds are you offering?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-08-2014 at 12:06 PM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  10. #370
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I'm not on any "side".

    Consider that Barry is the currently moderator of this TF forum. Clearly the current TF definitions are suitable in Barry's opinion, otherwise IMHO he would change them.

    So IMHO, unless a new moderator (someone with a Kevlar suit and a suitable moderator disposition) comes along to moderate this TF forum, the TF definitions are not changing anytime soon.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  11. #371
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Time for me to Once again drop out of the TF discussion..... As a follower of the religion whos having doubts, and wants some evidence.. its becoming apparent that doubters are not welcome....... Starting to feel cultish again.

  12. #372
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Mike (UK), to carry it to the illogical conclusion; How can you be anti-husbandry and do cut outs? Or provide frames, bodies?

    You could bore a hole in a tree and wait ten years for rot to set in. I would give you that as all natural. I might insist that you go to the native locality of each bee to do it though.

    Purity of "all natural" runs into reality eventually, it is just a matter of where. Any contact between man and bee in excess of your personal view is excessive and is holding back evolution? Enjoy reading you, even when you venture a little over the top. Well maybe that is why I read. Just have to not follow down the rabbit hole too far.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #373
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Honeybees are about as natural as house cats - even the feral ones. Unless they are Apis Florea or Dorsata or something like that, none of them are natural any more. Man has been messing with them too much.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  14. #374
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    To address MBush's concern, the small cell bees are here at my home and on my land 7 miles east of town. The bees on large cell are at my mother's home about 155 miles from here. Once I got got my bees all with a high level of mite tolerance and saturated the area with mite tolerant swarms, my bees started surviving on their own whether on small cell or large cell. I have seen a few losses due to mites, but the last one that I could conclusively say was mite related was 4 years ago and just happened to be on small cell. Since then, I've had a few colonies that went queenless and a few others that failed for other reasons. I just make splits and replace any losses. Also, I've been getting other beekeepers in this area set up with colonies of my bees, otherwise, I would have closer to 20 colonies at present. I would rather see more beekeepers with bees that can handle the mites than to own what would be for me an unmanageable number of colonies.

    Mike, I actually have some natural built comb from one of my colonies this past year. They were a swarm that I deliberately hived into an empty box. I took several measures when I cut out the comb a few weeks ago and just so you can have more to think about, I grabbed an accurate ruler and measured the comb just now. Worker cells are built at 4.95 and drones at 6.6. Also, I took measurements at several locations and there was very little variation. Worker cells are pretty much uniform at 4.95 throughout the comb. From previous experience, a large cell colony will build comb slightly smaller than 5.3, usually about 5.1 on their own. Now you know what size cells my bees build when on their own.

    I have also measured center to center distance on combs in a ton of colonies over the years. Brood combs in the center of the brood nest always average out at 31 to 32 mm though AMM colonies are 32 mm to 33 mm. Honey storage combs are always much thicker and drone combs are always thickest of all at roughly 1.5 inches thick though I have seen a few natural drone combs full of honey that were a full 2 inches thick. Keep in mind that I have used 11 frames in the brood nest since 1977, this is not something new.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 01-08-2014 at 01:22 PM.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  15. #375
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I use standard spacing (for convenience and because I don't think it matters but let them make their own comb. That way they not only make what they think best (and its very variable in cell size - and I think that might be important to them)
    This is a bit funny, isn't it? You're a purist "all natural" in your argument of others, but you say right here that "you" chose a certain spacing because "you" don't think it matters and it's convenient for you. They [bees] can't change your frame spacing if they thought it better to be closer or farther apart. How do you figure they can change that? I think Saltybee is right on.
    Regards, Barry

  16. #376
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Enjoy reading you, even when you venture a little over the top. Well maybe that is why I read. Just have to not follow down the rabbit hole too far.
    When you stop having fun in life, not much matters any more. Fortunately, we have things to do, places to go, and lots to think about re honeybees. My problem is with that rabbit hole. I think Saltybee might have gone too far and now he is stuck. Reminds me of the time pooh bear got caught in rabbits door and rabbit turned pooh's rear end into a wall decoration.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  17. #377
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    >Let's say the jury is out on that one, and ask this: what happens if you let them build naturally, as the ferals around you will? Will they revert to being larger, and lose some critical feature that has been helping them mamage varroa?

    Mike Bush could probably comment, quite possibly he has done this already.

  18. #378
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I believe that too Ray. At least, if that's all you do, or the main method. If you're also breeding hard its more or less John Kefus' Soft Bond method.

    Artificial brood breaks remove the evolutionary/breeding pressure. You need that pressure to get to self sufficient bees. That's the only proper yardstick - in my view.

    Mike (UK)
    I don't understand this point of view. Brood breaks are entirely natural-- every successful feral colony uses that method when they swarm. How does something that bees have evolved to do eliminate evolutionary pressure?

    Beekeepers have long bred for non-swarming bees. That may have been a bad idea, in some respects. But animal husbandry is all about directing the natural behavior of animals to the benefit of the animal keeper. There are ways of engineering brood breaks that do not negatively impact colony strength or production-- for example, the cut-down split just prior to a major flow.
    The guy I got my first bees from-- a really helpful guy who sold me some great bees--- was kind enough to take my wife and me around his yard when we picked up the nuc. He had some massive hives that he was feeding day and night to get ready for the tupelo bloom. When we looked into these hives, he had swarm cells everywhere. he told me that he'd had the same thing happen the year before-- his bees had left for the trees just prior to being moved to the river bottom. Looked like it was happening again. Later he told me they'd swarmed, despite his efforts to cut the swarm cells.

    He'd been keeping bees for 30 years, and I didn't even have a single bee to my name, so I was too shy to ask him why he hadn't done a cut down split.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  19. #379
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    rhaldridge, I think I'm with you on your logic about brood breaks, I mean its not like someone is going to give a hive a half dozen brood breaks in a season, that would be counterproductive to say the least, but one or two, that could easily happen naturally anyway.

  20. #380
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    The trick is to do the break the way they swarm. It's all in the timing. Most hives if they haven't swarmed in Spring, will definitely try before Fall. I too do not see how this could affect natural selection.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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