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  1. #381
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    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.
    I does happen naturally with around 85% of my bees, usually from third week in August to around third week in September.

  2. #382
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    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.
    First off, these two statements contradict one another, at least they do to me. I am struggling as to how "controlling" genetics is non -optional, yet any act or artifact that is used to help bees survive will reduce the pressure to adapt. I'm assuming by what you have previously said that removing adaptive pressure is a bad thing? Which is it then? Do we control genetics or do we do nothing? Isn't "controlling genetics" an"act"? On top of that you use the term "animal husbandry". If you are striving for purist, I suggest you consider the life of John, who lived in the desert and ate wild honey. He didn't keep bees, but he GATHERED wild honey. Therefore, he abided by what you say better than anyone here is doing, including yourself. If one's duty is animal husbandry, than they should probably husband animals. But with your logic, animal husbandry is not taking care of animals, it is leaving them to whatever end and saying that you've done something.
    I'm not trying to rile anyone's feathers, I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. You can't be a purist at letting the bees do their thing while you keep them in a square container that's probably painted and has frames for them to build on. You just can't.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  3. #383
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Its my view that there is a standing conflict between the stated objective of this forum...
    I'm sure every member has some conflict with some part of this forum.

    They cannot be viewed as permanant solutions.
    Maybe not, but permanent solutions are not the stated objective. I don't know of anyone, except perhaps you, who would think a permanent solution is doable, outside of letting nature take its course where we have a 70, 80, 90%? dieoff and then work up with survivors. That won't happen in our lifetime.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #384
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    This is a bit funny, isn't it? You're a purist "all natural" in your argument of others,
    No I'm not. I want to interfere as little as partly possible because the more I interfere the more likely it is when things go wrong I won't know which of my interferences has caused the problem.

    But there isn't much natural about the sort of selective propagation I do, and advocate. I'm not 'all natural' as you say at all. I do emphasise the importance of natural selection, because I think you need to understand how things work in the real natural world in order to be a good husbandryman. Breeding is the all-important thing. Not removing selective pressure to adapt is the important thing.

    As to comb, look:

    Priority: Make lots of colonies from just a few.

    Reason: So that any losses don't matter too much, and so that I can breed effectively

    Therefore: Use a system that allows rapid checking of brood and extraction for reproductive purposes

    Solution: The frame approach.

    Can you see any other way to achieve the same ends without taking the frame approach?

    If you have good evidence, or other reason that suggests altering the standard spacing is a good idea, I'll listen - but adopting it would mean lots of work. I'd need to know that was good use of my time. I've asked FP for more detail about his reasons.

    When it comes to brood foundation I have two choices: Large cell or none. And I think its a good idea to choose 'none'. If I could get small cell I'd still choose none. I don't want to be in the business of forcing a cell size on my bees. It just seems wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    but you say right here that "you" chose a certain spacing because "you" don't think it matters and it's convenient for you.
    If I could thing of a way of doing what I need to do and let the bees choose the spacing maybe I would. To be honest I've never given it much thought.

    I think Saltybee is right on.
    I'll go back and look at his post again. I don't really understand what this is all about. Because I think brood breaks interfere with the development of resistance, you want to attack my style of beekeeping? Is that it?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-09-2014 at 03:59 AM.
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  5. #385
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    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.
    I hope it wasn't something I said. Good luck Charlie.

    Mike (UK)
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  6. #386
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Mike (UK), to carry it to the illogical conclusion; How can you be anti-husbandry and do cut outs?
    Eh???? What on earth makes you think I'm 'anti-husbandry'?

    I argue, constantly, for _effective husbandry_ I make the case again and again that because bees mate openly we have to husband _the populations, not the individuals_. I argue that is what traditional beekeeping has always done.

    I argue that to medicate and (allow to) breed amounts to anti-husbandry. That's what it says in my signature box!

    Again, someone seems to want a black and white picture, all or nothing, natural or anything-goes 'husbandry'?

    How on earth can you adopt this view here in the tf forum! This place is all about an 'alternative' method of husbandry!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    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.
    None of this belongs with me. I advocate traditional husbandry - as practiced for tens of thousands of years, the foundation of agriculture. As used, amost alone, to keep stock fit and productive right up to the post-war era.

    Its modern 'husbandry' that is causing the problems, the 'veterinary approach' to beekeeping that doesn't systematically select for strongest, relying instead on medications to overcome them. That's exactly what tf wants to avoid!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    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.
    This is a straw man - as well as nonsense. It doesn't belong with me.

    Barry, you still think Saltybee is right on?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-09-2014 at 04:02 AM.
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  7. #387
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    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?
    If you have bees that do that, fine. If you have bees that don't do it, and you do it for them, they'll never learn to do it for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    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.
    Is what you want an animal that does all the things you want but is unable to live without you? You want bees that are fully domesticated, unable to live in the wild? Bees that you have to keep watching for signs of sickness, diagnosing and treating effectively?

    Because that's what you get when you take that apporach. That's what most beekeepers have. That's why we have a tf forum - to argue that things don't have to be like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    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.
    What they do is keep your bees reliant on you to manage varroa for them. And that tends to make your local feral population reliant on you too. And then you don't have one....

    Mike (UK)
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  8. #388
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    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.
    Honeybees, unlike cats, have always resisted domestication. Yes, apiary bees are often shaped a little. But they soon revert to something close to the original -albeit of mixed origins - when allowed to.

    Mike
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  9. #389
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    .. 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.
    If the bees do it (it happens naturally) its because those bees possess the genes that direct them to do it. You want those bees.

    If you have to do it for them (unnaturally) its because they don't possess those genes. You don't want them because they're reliant on you to manage their relationship with the mites for them, and will spread that reliance. Nature would kill them, end of duff line.

    Do you see the difference?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-09-2014 at 04:04 AM.
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  10. #390
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    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.
    The trick is to make bees that don't need tricks played on them.

    Playing tricks with your bees prevents feral bees from flourishing around you, just like chemical treatments do.

    Then no-one ever gets bees that can manage their own mites.

    Mike (UK)
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  11. #391
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    First off, these two statements contradict one another, at least they do to me. I am struggling as to how "controlling" genetics is non -optional, yet any act or artifact that is used to help bees survive will reduce the pressure to adapt. I'm assuming by what you have previously said that removing adaptive pressure is a bad thing? Which is it then? Do we control genetics or do we do nothing?
    ***
    We (partially) control genetics, learning how and why by studying the way Nature 'controls' genetics.

    Our breeding aim is to restore to bees the ability to manage mites themselves.

    That is, to raise resistance in our populations.

    To that end, we understand that anything we do that keeps alive (and breeding) bees that would otherwise (naturally) die is counterproductive.

    You raise resistance by systematically making increase only from the most resistant, and by excluding from the breeding pool the least resistant.

    This is bog-standard animal husbandry. If you _don't_ do it, you will fail as a husbandryman. With any animal.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    If you are striving for purist.
    I'm not. That was a characterisation made of something I said by Barry.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    If one's duty is animal husbandry, than they should probably husband animals. But with your logic, animal husbandry is not taking care of animals, it is leaving them to whatever end and saying that you've done something.
    Clearly you've never understood a word I've written.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. You can't be a purist...
    Start by getting rid of that idea. Then read the section above between the three stars over and over till you can see exactly what it is I am saying. If you still have questions, ask them in the context of those statements, or other statements that _I_ have made.

    Make (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-09-2014 at 04:06 AM.
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  12. #392
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I'm sure every member has some conflict with some part of this forum.
    So if the sticky says 2+2=5 you'll be quite happy with that, on the basis that 'every member has some conflict with some part of this forum'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    permanent solutions are not the stated objective. I don't know of anyone, except perhaps you, who would think a permanent solution is doable
    From what I understand you and many others have a permanant solution (reservations about small cell, but maybe that's a step too far right now)

    You systematically propagate from your most resistant, and thus own bees that manage their mites themselves. You can (hopefully) do that till the cows come home.

    That's traditional husbandry. That is a permanant solution to the problem of varroa. If everyone did that there wouldn't be a varroa problem at all.

    The remaining problems of:

    a) how to make that happen in larger established apiaries and

    b) how to persuade all coomercial businesses that's a good thing to do

    ...remain.

    But there is a solution to the problem of keeping bees that are self-sufficient in health, and you are part of it.

    Systematically using brood breaks would be a backward step for you. You'd tend, all else being equal, to lose resistance and health self-sufficiency in your apiaries.

    Lets be clear, for everybody: there is no beekeeping system in the world, or ever has been, in which no selective propagation choices are made - except the one that requires constant medication.

    There is no 'solution' to a problem of having to make selection choices. There never will be. There cannot ever be. The very nature of living things make that the foundation of animal husbandry.

    Therefore, needing to make selection choices cannot be thought of as a 'problem'. Its simply what-husbandry-is.

    There is no 'solution' to it - because it isn't a problem - its the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    , outside of letting nature take its course where we have a 70, 80, 90%? dieoff and then work up with survivors. That won't happen in our lifetime.
    Now you've shifted to the national problem encompassing commercial beekeeping. That is a separate issue - as made clear in the sticky. That problem can be addressed only by persuading commercials to adopt other forms of husbandry than the models they use now. That is a real problem. But it isn't the one we should be primarily concerned about. That is, the art of raising and maintaining natural resistance in our own stocks. And being able to tell others what works, and why.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-09-2014 at 04:10 AM.
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  13. #393
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Whalers, if you are still around. I cannot offer any help this is out of my league. But I have a question just something I am interested in personally.

    What I picked up, I think, is your bees used to be doing OK but now they are not? Do you feel there has been a change in surrounding bees that will be supplying different drones to the breed you used to have? Or if not, what environmental changes do you think has happened that could be contributing to this?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #394
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    If the bees do it (it happens naturally) its because those bees possess the genes that direct them to do it. You want those bees.

    If you have to do it for them (unnaturally) its because they don't possess those genes. You don't want them because they're reliant on you to manage their relationship with the mites for them, and will spread that reliance. Nature would kill them, end of duff line.

    Do you see the difference?

    Mike (UK)
    Mike, you really need to get past this stumbling block, as I perceive it, of thinking that there is somehow a biological difference between naturally occuring brood breaks such as swarming, supercedure, or the queen naturally dies and they must rear a queen in an emergency situation.....and a beekeeper interfering with the natural process and creating an "artificial" brood break that is timed properly. Removing the queen manually is just putting the whole process in gear where they have to rear a new queen and as a result they get the brood break. Doing it for them is not saying that those bees don't have the right genes to do it themselves, it's just not so, all honey bees do it and have been doing it for millions of years. Bees don't respond to an artificial brood break (in regards to the mites) any differently than a natural brood break, they still function as a colony and do what they would always do in a queenless situation. The effect on the mite population of a brood break is the same either way, the bees don't regard naturally occuring brood breaks as a better opportunity (except you) for developing resistance than an artificial brood break.
    Last edited by jmgi; 01-09-2014 at 10:35 AM.

  15. #395
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Mike (UK), maybe I am not hearing you correctly. TF sounds like Touch Free beekeeping when you say it, maybe you do only mean treatment free.

    Paul, Feral house cats, wish I'd thought of that.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #396
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    So if the sticky says 2+2=5 you'll be quite happy with that, on the basis that 'every member has some conflict with some part of this forum'?
    I appreciate this discussion, however Barry has defined TF how he / they have. That's fine. There's no reason why you can't define it another way. You have clarified your version of what you believe TF is. That's fine and I'm glad you did here to add to the discussion and thoughts. The forum doesn't need to change based on a different view. your' 2+2=5 is just a wrong answer. Nothing that's being defined in here is wrong. It's just different. I'm a parent of 4 and I've watched other parents deal with their children and I talk with my wife after and say "well I wouldn't have done that" but the point is they have their choices and decisions to be responsible and good parents just as I do. I draw a line here and they do there. It's not a right and wrong issue but a different issue. Now if their children were beating up mine and they wouldn't deal with it then that's a problem. But this is just different practices. This is why I appreciate this forum. Because there are many different view points shared here.

  17. #397
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    Is what you want an animal that does all the things you want but is unable to live without you?
    I forget what this logical fallacy is called, but the gist is that you are presenting two conditions as if they were the only possible outcomes. This is not the case.

    Do you do anything to prevent swarming?

    The way I look at it, swarming (and the resulting brood break) is a natural behavior that is inconvenient for the beekeeper, if uncontrolled. I see nothing unnatural about redirecting this behavior into a situation that accomplishes exactly what the bees want (a new colony and a brood break) at a time when that new colony can be secured conveniently by the beekeeper, and at a time when the effect of the brood break will be most advantageous to the colony.

    Furthermore, I find it difficult to imagine a scenario in which bees will evolve to swarm whenever it's necessary for a brood break. I think that is asking way too much of the evolutionary process. And it would make beekeeping even more difficult than it is now, if the response of the bees to varroa pressure was to immediately swarm or kill the queen. There might be plenty of wild bees, but not much honey.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  18. #398
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    We (partially) control genetics, learning how and why by studying the way Nature 'controls' genetics.

    Our breeding aim is to restore to bees the ability to manage mites themselves.

    That is, to raise resistance in our populations.

    To that end, we understand that anything we do that keeps alive (and breeding) bees that would otherwise (naturally) die is counterproductive.

    You raise resistance by systematically making increase only from the most resistant, and by excluding from the breeding pool the least resistant.

    This is bog-standard animal husbandry. If you _don't_ do it, you will fail as a husbandryman. With any animal.
    Is that not an act?

    Clearly you've never understood a word I've written.
    You are certainly correct in this instance. How can one practice animal husbandry while not intervening by acting. Again, is artificially selecting particular traits not an act?

    See post #366

    I hope I am asking these questions in the context of the statements you have made, considering the citations I have provided here.


    Another point that has not been touched on here is that the pest of discussion was brought here by humans (unnatural emigration)out of an area where bees are already resistant......naturally resistant at that. One could argue that in order to fight the unnatural emigration of a pest, one would then have to take unnatural measures to do so. Wait a minute......this is what you have been doing all along by ARTIFICIALLY selecting for traits! It's not complicated, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  19. #399
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Mike, you really need to get past this stumbling block, as I perceive it, of thinking that there is somehow a biological difference between naturally occuring brood breaks such as swarming, supercedure, or the queen naturally dies and they must rear a queen in an emergency situation.....and a beekeeper interfering with the natural process and creating an "artificial" brood break that is timed properly.
    If you think in terms of the short term interests of a particular colony, the difference isn't clear.

    If you think in terms of the medium and long term interests of the local breeding population, things change enormously. I think that's the difference between us. The biological process in the hive is, as you say, the same. The effect on the bio-evolutionary process within the local breeding pool is a different thing entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Removing the queen manually is just putting the whole process in gear where they have to rear a new queen and as a result they get the brood break.

    Doing it for them is not saying that those bees don't have the right genes to do it themselves, it's just not so, all honey bees do it and have been doing it for millions of years.
    Not all bees shut down on their own, separately from supercedure, in a way that helps manage mites. It appears to be a very useful mechanism, which is being found in feral bees which have had to find ways to manage mites. Those that do it survive - those that don't, don't (unless they have alternative mite-managing mechanisms).

    Any colony may have them, as you say (though as I understand it the great majority don't).

    More to the point, they may not - in fact they may have no resistance genes whatsoever. Yet you're propagating them. How is that helpful to the future of the local breeding pool?

    To be even thinking of artificial brood breaks, unless in the context of a resistance-raising propagation (breeding) system is to be taking entirely the wrong approach to becoming treatment free. Its to be thinking in terms of individual colonies, rather than the local breeding pool. Short term rather than long term. You cannot take that approach while aiming to have self-sufficient bees at some point in the future. You can't take that approach and expect to have a functioning local natural population, with all the benefits that brings.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Bees don't respond to an artificial brood break (in regards to the mites) any differently than a natural brood break, they still function as a colony and do what they would always do in a queenless situation.
    Sure. More or less. That's not at issue. What is at issue is: do these bees have their own internal mite-management mechanisms or not? Can they thrive without beekeepers, or not.

    If not, then keeping them will tend to reverse any progress local bees may have made toward developing their own natural resistance, thus killing off ferals. And by protecting against mites it will also prevent any emergence of resistance - of any sort whatsover - in your own apiary population (I'm assuming you raise your own queens).

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    The effect on the mite population of a brood break is the same either way, the bees don't regard naturally occuring brood breaks as a better opportunity (except you) for developing resistance than an artificial brood break.
    This colony doesn't. Every superceding colony within 10 miles does. They want drones that carry genes that code for mite-management.

    Raising the bees own resistance is the whole ball game for me. I want bees that can look after themselves, and bees that contribute to, rather than degrade and destroy, the local wild feral bees - that hold the genetic diversity I benefit from, and which supply me with fighting fit genes.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-10-2014 at 03:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Mike (UK), maybe I am not hearing you correctly. TF sounds like Touch Free beekeeping when you say it, maybe you do only mean treatment free.
    You read my posts? I talk about careful selective propagation, about lifting frames in and out, about making new colonies, evaluating, requeening - you read this?

    And then you write 'touch free'?

    In what universe does that make sense?

    I think you've been brainwashed by the modern approach to beekeeping that wants all hives opened every 10 minutes in order to bung some chemical or other in, to cut something out. Beekeeping doesn't have to be like that. With healthy bees you can lay back in your reclining armchair and rest your back while the bees do the work. You collect honey at the end of the year. Its an art. I don't know what else to say.

    Mike (UK)
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