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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,120

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Thanks Rader, you got it.

    Treatment is a tourniquet. Barbaric and only worst than the alternative. But then I still eat supermarket chicken. What is an acceptable loss? Anything less than 100%. TF is still overly sensitive to the 100% problem. It really does exist.

    Comparing losses between a stationary TF keeper and a mobile commercial treater should not be the focus. That is like comparing free range chicken and a broiler operation. So different in so many ways. It is really illogical to be running a stationary small operation like a mobile commercial one. Here I expect that the TF and treated losses are similar; all over the board and unrecorded.

    Package pickup day; 50 to 75 new keepers in full armour to watch a package being installed. TF will not kill most of those bees, lack of follow through will.

    I really do not see much TF bashing anymore except for witnesses to the losses of the dreamkeepers. That is more overbuying by newbies than overselling by TF in my view.

    whalers asked a fair question. How do I get where I want to be, hitting the brick wall again hurts. Nobody is saying turn around you are on the wrong road. Saying go around the road block instead of straight through it is not slamming TF.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,989

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Well said.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #43

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    There have been various professionally conducted ‘treatment free’ studies.
    Without spending the day seeking the specifics….if you are interested you should be able to find the documents yourself.
    The USDA conducted a number of studies on Primorsky bees…bees that underwent nearly a century of Bond selection and relaxed the decades old restriction on bee imports to allow them into the US.
    Small cell….been done…repeatedly. All sorts of breeding concepts….been done. We’ve got Russians, VSH, Minnesota hygienics, New World Carniolans….and the list goes on. Each line is chosen from extensive, professional trials and evaluations.
    Heaven knows the CAPS Stationary Hive Project, unintentionally but professionally, demonstrated the effects of the Bond selection in a variety of locations.
    I know a couple of professional research entomologists who will tell you that at every bee meeting they attend, beekeepers will come up and insist that they conduct a trial of that particular beekeeper’s varroa solution. Most are hare brained cogitations that haven’t a single toehold in reality.
    What other trials do you propose they consume their budgets to conduct?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,989

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Beemandan - You are probably correct - I have not read all of the studies that you refer to, but I have read some of them - the CAPS study for example. For anyone who has not the CAPS study spanned several apiaries and several states and 3 years - a pretty big study. I forget what the goal was, but it resulted in almost total losses starting in the second year and nearly complete loss of all colonies in the study by the third year. Which seems to support a pro-treatment position. But, if I remember correctly all colonies were started with commercial packages and Italian queens - so the results totally support what most treatment free advocates predict.

    Those really were the wrong kind of bees. So it really doesn't prove much one way or the other about treatment free.

    You can make some kind of similar argument with almost every study that I have read about - but I certainly am not familiar with all of them - maybe I have only been exposed to the flawed ones. Anything is possible.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,385

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    I heard my name mentioned concerning the dark bees I chase down here in the Southern NM Mountains. I have some bees like this, but don't really sell them on a large scale. I am not a big enough operation to guarantee consistency, and they are mostly just wildish bees from my region from above the 7000-8000 foot level. They work for me, but I cannot say they would be right for anyone else. And no, I don't really treat them at all. My oldest is on it's fourth season and still going strong - not sure why. You just can't kill them. And they are not like the lower elevation bees, that have obvious Brazilian influence. I haven't figured out whether I am seeing a remnant of an older existing population, or an adapatation of the lower elevation bees to cold weather. They seem totally different.

    And to be honest, I could not imagine keeping bees here without them. I lose the ones I buy much more often.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Those really were the wrong kind of bees. So it really doesn't prove much one way or the other about treatment free.
    In another study, Seeley found feral colonies in remote areas of the Arnot (sp?) forest. Clearly survivors. So...he collected them, put them in an apiary and they collapsed. Would those qualify as the right kind of bees? For whatever it's worth, Seeley concluded that it wasn't the bee but the mite that was different. A less virulent mite.
    I can guarantee you that a number of entomological labs are testing this theory as we speak....
    You see...the research community isn't anti tf...but they do require some level of reality before investing resources. 'Works for me' doesn't cut it.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    793

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Paul
    I suggest you offer a preserved sample of your black bees to one of the university labs doing the mitochodria typing. (Delaware, Georgia, Washington). I think your supposition that these are evolved remnant of the Spanish colonial colonies is worth pursuing. The Sacramento Range is famous as a "sky island" -- for example, It has the only orchids in southern New Mexico. Island geography is the classic indicator for fixing genotype evolution.

    If you are correct, the bee breeders, who are starved for diversity and hybrid vigor and shut off from importation, will be beat a path to your door. They won't care so much about consistency, but more about getting their hands on those chromosomes. I see queen breeding in your future for a specialized market.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    By the way David LaFerney, the colonies in the Stationary Hive Project were started from packages but requeened shortly thereafter with queens from Koehnen. I believe that Joseph Clemens has spoken highly of them in his treatment free operation.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,120

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    You see...the research community isn't anti tf...but they do require some level of reality before investing resources. 'Works for me' doesn't cut it.
    Ok, I take it back. Now someone has said you are on the wrong road.

    I really am not sure of your point. Is it that researchers cannot raise TF bees? Observation is the first step in research. Observing over an extended period of time multiple TF systems and finding the differences in methods is research. A failed test may show that the knowledge being tested is incomplete and nothing more. Unless you are advocating that TF methods not be used at all, I do not understand. If your point is simply that there is more work undone than completed I do not think anyone would argue.

    Let the tinkers tinker and God bless them. Plenty of work being done on the treatment side already.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  10. #50

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Ok, I take it back. Now someone has said you are on the wrong road.
    Not at all what I was saying. I'm not commenting on tf or what road the op or anyone else chooses to take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I really am not sure of your point.
    My point was that the various posters who’ve suggested that there hasn’t been any professional research conducted on treatment free beekeeping simply isn’t true. The statement of mine that you quoted was my way of saying that everyone who has a pet method should not expect researchers to invest in trials without some reasonable explanation for why the theory might work.
    As I stated….they will not embrace ‘works for me’ as a substitute.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,989

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    In another study, Seeley found feral colonies in remote areas of the Arnot (sp?) forest. Clearly survivors. So...he collected them, put them in an apiary and they collapsed. Would those qualify as the right kind of bees? For whatever it's worth, Seeley concluded that it wasn't the bee but the mite that was different. A less virulent mite.
    I can guarantee you that a number of entomological labs are testing this theory as we speak....
    You see...the research community isn't anti tf...but they do require some level of reality before investing resources. 'Works for me' doesn't cut it.
    Maybe they should try establishing colonies of "the wrong kinds of bees" in the right kinds of places. It seems that the opposite has been done many times and resulted in disappointment for would be treatment free practitioners more often than not.

    So to the OP - it's possible that you are in the wrong kind of location to be TF.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #52
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Beemandan, fair enough.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #53
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,989

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    By the way David LaFerney, the colonies in the Stationary Hive Project were started from packages but requeened shortly thereafter with queens from Koehnen. I believe that Joseph Clemens has spoken highly of them in his treatment free operation.
    I'm really not arguing for universal adoption of treatment free as being likely or even possible. But as much as I respect Joseph Clemens his success with Koehnen Italian queens does not validate the conclusion that the CAPS study is a strong indictment against TF in general. Perhaps another one is?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  14. #54

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    his success with Koehnen Italian queens does not validate the conclusion that the CAPS study is a strong indictment against TF in general. Perhaps another one is?
    Nor am I arguing either side. Originally I only pointed out that there has been research conducted in tf beekeeping, albeit in the case of the Stationary Hive Project the connection was unintentional (I think). And then when you commented on the wrong kind of bees I couldn't resist the Joseph Clemens connection.
    Nothing more intended on my part.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    JWChestnut - that is the path I am headed down. Hopefully I can get these critters bred to be useful to more people than just me. And yes - this area is a "sky island". I cringe at the thought of new beekeepers bringing in bees from elsewhere.

    This next season, I am going to set out more swarm traps in more remote mountain locations, and I have become very picky about the removals I do. So far most of the breeding I have done has been from using northern NM survivor stock to cross with the locals. I have several places where I place mating nucs at high elevations.

    My biggest obstacle is that I do not have enough time to do it all by myself, and work my full time job too. It makes queen breeding pretty hard. Not only that, but we only have about a two month window where you can really breed queens well due to the weather and the monsoons. I have never gotten consistent results raising queens after July for a variety of reasons, and before May it tends to be too cold. It would be easier to raise queens at a lower level, but that is not what I want.

    My goal is to eventually get these bees into a locally adapted Sacramento Mountain strain and maybe do some local sales when I get them going good. I have done a few sales, and seem to always have people wanting them. As far as queen breeding - I have not had the time to devote to it, and tend to sell nucs instead. Hopefully when my sons come of age, they can take over. My oldest is getting close, but he cannot graft or raise queens yet.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,776

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    In my opinion, you need to work to be treatment free, it's not a matter of finding someone else's bees they don't treat then raising stock from them. You need to bring in genetics, locally adapt them and constantly select and make queens til you find something that works. Even then it can be difficult as open mating may dilute the survivors down, but you get enough of them you can start flooding with drones and maybe shift the balance in your favor.

    Secondly, I think treatment free requires some locational parameters to be successful, one of it being good forage year round. Any additive/additional stressors on your bees other than mites in general will make becoming treatment free that much more difficult.

  17. #57
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Beemandan - it's all good.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,898

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    It is untrue to say that fair trials of treatment free hives against treated hives have not been done. I have read a number of Beesource members who have done it, and I have done it.

    Comparing the losses of a commercial migratory operation to a small hobby treatment free operation is not intellectually honest. A true comparison is done by running all hives similarly.

    Other thing to bear in mind is commercial beekeepers do not achieve anything by getting mere survival, their paycheck comes from productivity.

    It is also naïve to think that commercial beekeepers just pour chemicals into their hives blindly and for no good reason. Any commercial beekeeper will have learned from personal experience what happens when he fails to control mites and most of them work hard at keeping expensive treatments to a minimum, always pushing the boundaries towards minimal treatment as far as they can get away with.

    Last point, commercial beekeepers often use different bees to hobby treatment free folks. they need bees that will turn a profit, ie, be ready for pollination, and easily manipulated to have populations of the right size at the right times for whatever tasks the particular beekeeper will put them to. These bees also tend to be the ones that will not survive without treatment. But a commercial; beekeeper is there to make money. By definition, if he does not do what it takes to make money he will soon find himself a hobby beekeeper working a different job.

    Would commercial beekeepers like to be treatment free? Yes, I have yet to met one who would not love to dispense with the need for those expensive and time consuming treatments.

    Bottom line, all beekeepers are really on the same team. As an ex commercial beekeeper it does get a bit tiresome being told by people who have never tried it, how the business should be run.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Oldtimer is right - it is like comparing apples and oranges. If I were running 5000 hives in a migratory manner, my results would be totally different. Two different critters. There is a point you reach in size where it seems to reach critical mass. Most commercial guys would not want to devote a significant portion of their hives to growing next years stock, and losing production, as the TF people normally do.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Heaven knows the CAPS Stationary Hive Project, unintentionally but professionally, demonstrated the effects of the Bond selection in a variety of locations.
    This is exactly what I mean by intellectual dishonesty. The study referenced was an attrition study, which involved setting hives up and leaving them strictly alone, and then determining how long the colonies took to die out. There was no effort made to do any actual beekeeping-- no making of increase, no manipulation of hives to correct queenless conditions, no attempt to control swarming, etc-- it was just a set up and leave to die situation, and there was no attempt to see if treatment improved the longevity of a control group of hives, compared to the untreated hives. Doers anyone here believe that a yard would survive indefinitely if all you did was treat it? It astonishes me that anyone would point to this as a fair example of Bond style breeding, since there was no breeding involved.

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