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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    Thanks for the feedback from the UK guys. Very interesting. It is too bad that AMM bees are all but gone in the U.S. Probably some slight amount of genes in some feral mixes but not much I am afraid. .
    I can't remember where I saw this, but it was a talk by an entomologist whose project involved studying feral colonies. Most of the colonies were the sort of mix you'd expect, but a few of them were AMM, fairly pure, according to her. Maybe Rader knows the video I'm talking about.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  2. #42

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    While that is true of feral AMM's proper breeding techniques over periods of time can change that producing a valuable bee.

    The Europeans have proved that they can make AMM a very gentle and productive bee.
    We tried to find the traces of the old AMM bees in Finland back in the 90´s. We found many previously unknown beekeepers, many of whom had beautiful old type hives and black bees. These bees were then analyzed with the DAWIDO -method in (former) Czechoslovakia. The idea came from two black bee(AMM) specialists from Sweden, Ingvar Arvidsson and Ingvar Petterson. They have a club for the AMM race. DAWIDO -method is counting out the different races one bee has in it, and it does that from the wing veins.

    The result: althoug the bees were black, they had about equal amounts of four races Apis mellifera mellifera, Apis mellifera ligustica, Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera caucasica. We thought that cleaning out the AMM part would be too big a task for us.

    The original AMM living for instance in Lasö island in Sweden is very gentle. European Union has decided to make half of Lasö island a reserve, but unfortunately there is one beekeeper with italian bees on the other half...
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Juhani that would be a very typical result for pretty much all bees that are "claimed" to be AMM.

    Except possibly, in a few areas of Australia although they are rare.

    I have just dealt with one of my own hives that swarmed, then went really vicious, and in a way that reminded me of the AMM hybrids we used to have here. I think their genes are still around but have to by luck, all combine to get something resembling AMM. Although that is not necessarily a good thing.

    BTW the AMM bees here in NZ were originally brought here from England, they were the vicious kind, and for a long time were the only bees here until Italians were imported. It is pretty likely you would have worked hybrids of some of these bees when you were here in 1986 / 1987, when there were still quite a few of them, do you recall any?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #44

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It is pretty likely you would have worked hybrids of some of these bees when you were here in 1986 / 1987, when there were still quite a few of them, do you recall any?
    No, not really, as far as I remember all hives were fairly normal and uniform. Alan bought nearly all his italian queens. It was quite an experience for a 24 year old hobby beekeeper, when the post delivered 100 queens to the breakfast table and off we went (team of three) to find homes for them. 10 minutes per hive in average to change the queen. Same thing next morning.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    We have a few treatment free guys who run over 1000 hives and make good money. We all need more big guys to do the same and get the pharmacy out of our beehives so the bees, consumers, and the beekeepers all win again.
    They won't all the while its more profitable to carry on as they do. Its a competitive game, and the bottom line is the driver. You'd have to be able to show it can be done as profitably.

    One way forward might be for tf beekeepers to trumpet their honey as 'chemical/treatment free', and demand a premium for a superior product. Of course the comms will fake it, but it will still get the story across, and offer an incentive. I'm thinking of making a 'Real Honey from Real Bees' label, and explaining why its 'real' on the back.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  6. #46
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    Originally Posted by mike bispham

    "As to the how so: the maintenance of unresistant stocks tends to kill off nearby wild/feral populations as any resistance to varroa is replaced by vulnerability via artificially maintained drones. "

    I've read this argument many times so I suppose that it must be correct... maybe.
    Do you seriously doubt it Rolande?
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  7. #47
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    We have a few treatment free guys who run over 1000 hives and make good money. We all need more big guys to do the same and get the pharmacy out of our beehives so the bees, consumers, and the beekeepers all win again.
    Who are you referring to Kamon?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #48
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Michael Bush. I totally respect the article and all articles that you share on your website....http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm . The Practical Beekeeper
    Beekeeping Naturally....Thank you for the time and energy you have put into it. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of info out there. I appreciate all of them also, but as a new beek, studying hard this year and starting my adventure in the spring of 014 up here in the Lake Superior Region of Wisconsin, I lean very heavily on your expertise, and about 5 others.I two want to go naturally drawn comb and TF.I want to raise bees that are genetically adapted to this region and Lord willing, will. .Just wanted to put in my two cents....

    Beregondo , I like the points you made, especially #3.
    let him labor, working with his hands, that he may have something to give him who has need.." Ephesians 4:28

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Do you seriously doubt it Rolande?
    Mike, I see the problem as being one of how to prove that it's the drones from well maintained colonies which are weakening ferals to the point where they die; it could so easily become a convenient scapegoat for explaining away why a feral colony has died out irrespective of the truth.

    You (Mike) know that I've been trying to get my head around this stuff for quite a few years now but in all truthfulness I don't feel I'm much farther forwards than I was a few years ago, one thing I'll say though is that I no longer have any personal confidence in answers being locked up in a feral population, not in this area at any rate. I can remember far more dead-out ferals than I know of extant ones.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    Mike, I see the problem as being one of how to prove that it's the drones from well maintained colonies...
    Bit of a value judgement that I wouldn't share there Roland! I'm going to stick with 'treated colonies', which, as we all know, have little to no resistance to varroa as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    which are weakening ferals to the point where they die;...
    Proof would require controlled studies, and as far as I know none have been done that actually monitor feral health near and away from treated apriaries. However, there are studies of bees that survive in isolation, and the authors clearly indicate that it is the fact of isoloation that has enabled them to do so.

    I don't think a study of that sort would ever be proposed or funded, for this reason: it is fundamental to all life sciences that natural selection will take place in all natural populations, and the corollary is is a matter of simple logic: where natural selection is undermined, there will be consequences. In this case, the consequence is entirely predictable, and found: around treating apriaries use of treatments against varroa will suppress the rise of what would otherwise be very natural developing resistance - that is found in isolated populations.

    There is no proof, because no proof is needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    ... it could so easily become a convenient scapegoat for explaining away why a feral colony has died out irrespective of the truth.
    Feral colonies will die out for all sorts of reasons - that's perfectly natural. In many cases they will be offspring of apiary bees. In other cases they may have been planted in places that are not viable. They may simply be dinks - a poor deal of the genetic cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    You (Mike) know that I've been trying to get my head around this stuff for quite a few years now but in all truthfulness I don't feel I'm much farther forwards than I was a few years ago, one thing I'll say though is that I no longer have any personal confidence in answers being locked up in a feral population, not in this area at any rate. I can remember far more dead-out ferals than I know of extant ones.
    Assuming a reasonable level of forage, if there is a high proportion of treated hives around, that would be my first candidate explanation. Its straightforward.

    I think it is helpful to focus on the way evolutionary understanding (co-evolutionary theory) directs all the scientific work concerning the relations between bees and mites. To help with that I've put below some extracts that show how the situation is cast in the literature, as well as demonstrate the present situation.

    [Extracts begin]

    Besides suppressing mite reproduction, both Varroa resistant European honey bee populations in this study also share the fact that they have been unmanaged, enabling natural selection (as opposed to artificial) to shape the evolution of their mite resistance. This is an important consideration since it highlights the impact that apicultural practices otherwise have on these host–parasite interactions (Fries and Camazine 2001), suggesting a human interference in coevolution between species.

    This tri-layered complex host–parasite system between honey bees (a multilevel organism with high genetic recombination rates), the Varroa mite (with a fast generation time but low genetic variation), and the viruses (vectored by Varroa) that infect both the bee and the mite (de Miranda andGenersch 2010), challenges basic coevolutionary theories and has not been fully exploited by evolutionary biologists as a model for host–parasite interaction theories. Our hope is to stimulate interdisciplinary research between apicultural studies and evolutionary biology to provide new insight into parasitic interactions of this system. A deeper understanding of how honey bee colonies naturally coevolve with parasites, and understanding the mechanisms and traits behind such coevolution, is necessary for establishing new optimal and
    long-term sustainable honey bee health management strategies in apiculture.

    Host adaptations reduce the reproductive success of Varroa destructor in two distinct European honey bee populations Barbara Locke1, Yves Le Conte2, Didier Crauser2 & Ingemar Fries1

    ----------------

    (From Table II indicating severity of effects of various pathogens):

    (Varroa): *** Only severe [effects] where the mite has been recently introduced or where effective mite control is employed.

    In the case of Varroa, which is a worldwide menace to beekeeping, we believe apicultural practices are responsible for maintaining virulent forms of the pathogen. In areas where the parasite has been established
    for several decades in honey bee populations, without being controlled by beekeepers, the parasite no longer is lethal to infested colonies. This is the case in South America both for Africanized bees and bees of European origin (Rosenkranz, 1999) as well as in North Africa (Ritter, 1990).

    Under the influence of apicultural management practices that promote opportunities for horizontal ransmission, a more virulent host-parasite relationship should be retained. With a long history of co-adaptation on its natural host (the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana), the Varroa mite is in fact a benign parasite, as expected for a pathogen that is primarily vertically transmitted. The European and Asian honey bees have very similar life histories and it seems likely that Varroa should develop a benign host parasite relation in European honey bees, if given the opportunity.

    Implications of horizontal and vertical pathogen transmission for honey bee epidemiology Ingemar FRIESa*, Scott CAMAZINEb

    -----------------------------

    Currently, the apicultural industry depends heavily on chemical Varroa control treatments to keep managed colonies alive. These chemical controls can leave residues in hive products, have negative impacts on honey bee health, and remove selective pressures that would be required for host or parasite adaptations towards a stable host-parasite relationship (see section 3.4). Therefore, there is an urgent need for a sustainable solution to the threat of Varroa mites for the economic viability of apiculture and agriculture, as well as for honey bee health, conservation and for ecosystem services.

    Understanding the interactions and adaptations between honey bees and Varroa mites is an essential first step towards achieving a long-term sustainable solution. This thesis presents aspects of host-parasite adaptations and interactions by investigating unique honey bee populations that, through natural selection, have adapted to be able to survive Varroa mite infestation without beekeeping management or Varroa control (Papers I, II & III).

    3.4 Control of Varroa
    A major obstacle to the development of mite tolerance in the European honey bee is intensive beekeeping practices including mite control. Since the mite has been introduced to the western world, beekeepers use methods to remove the mite from colonies, therefore eliminating the selective pressure of mite infestation that would be required for adaptations towards parasite tolerance or resistance in the bees, or towards lower virulence in the mites (Fries & Camazine, 2001). Further, these mite control methods are often based on chemicals and can be problematic for several reasons:

    4 Host-parasite interactions
    Honey bee societies, the Varroa mites that infest them, and the honey bee viruses that are vectored by the mites, together form a complex system of hostparasite interactions. Coevolutionary theories in the study of host-parasite interactions indicate that antagonistic reciprocal selection pressures will lead to an “arms race” with a series of adaptations and counter-adaptations by the host and the parasite (Thompson, 1994). Such antagonistic interactions actually accelerate molecular evolution compared to selection pressures of environmental changes (Paterson et al., 2010). The evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite coevolution can lead to a relatively stable relationship between the host and parasite with fitness optimality for both by means of a natural selection process (Schmid-Hempel, 2011). However, this coevolutionary process has been hindered for the European honey bee host since apicultural practices remove the mite and consequently the selective pressures required for such a process.

    Coevolution theory predicts that parasites will have an evolutionary advantage over their host due to their faster evolution through a shorter generation time (Hafner et al., 1994; Schmid-Hempel, 2011). However, in this particular study system, the Varroa mite is of clonal origin with low genetic variation (Solignac et al., 2005) and the honey bee has a 10-fold higher recombination rate than any other higher order eukaryote (Beye et al., 2006). These aspects provide the honey bee host with an evolutionary advantage in the arms race with Varroa, as the mite’s options for genetic adaptation are limited compared to those of the bee. For this reason, adaptations of resistance or tolerance due to coevolution are most often discussed in general literature from the host’s perspective (the honey bee), in contrast to adaptations of virulence by the parasitic mite.


    The Varroa mite situation is far less documented in Africa compared to South America. Nevertheless, since the mite was first detected in South Africa in 1997, a stable host-parasite relationship has developed and these bees do not need mite control treatment (Allsopp et al., 1997). In tropical South America and in Africa, the wild and feral populations of honey bees comprise a much larger proportion of the overall honey bee
    population than in temperate North America and Europe where the majority of bees are managed (Moritz et al., 2007). This means that most of the honey bee population in South America and Africa is subject to natural selection pressures towards adaptive resistant mechanisms to Varroa infestation. These naturally adapted traits can then be passed to managed colonies through natural mating events between the wild and managed bees and could be an explanation for the overall mite-tolerance seen in both South America and in Africa.

    Host-Parasite Adaptations and Interactions Between Honey Bees, Varroa Mites and Viruses
    Barbara Locke


    [End of Extracts]

    That's a bit of a scattergun selection - but do you see Roland how the co-evolutionary theory that accounts for resistance in isolated populations, but not in treated ones, is predicated on the breeding relations, and these, of course, are determined by proximity. It is those colonies closest to the treated ones that _must_ feel the impact most sharply.

    That is the scientific basis for the understanding that 'survivors' are most likely to be found in isolated areas, and least likely to be seen around treated apiaries. That it couldn't possibly be otherwise supplies the reason for no studies, and 'proof'.

    Mike (UK)

    PS If you remain unconvinced I have an analogy up my sleeve... its a scenario involving a black rabbit farmer who has a fenced compound in an area of the arctic where only white rabbits survive wild....
    Last edited by mike bispham; 12-14-2013 at 11:11 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  11. #51
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    They won't all the while its more profitable to carry on as they do. Its a competitive game, and the bottom line is the driver. You'd have to be able to show it can be done as profitably.

    One way forward might be for tf beekeepers to trumpet their honey as 'chemical/treatment free', and demand a premium for a superior product. Of course the comms will fake it, but it will still get the story across, and offer an incentive. I'm thinking of making a 'Real Honey from Real Bees' label, and explaining why its 'real' on the back.

    Mike (UK)
    Trumpet your honey all you want Mike but to suggest that any beekeeper who chooses to treat is selling a tainted product is just flat wrong and there is no basis in fact to support it. Sure, miticides can be abused and used off label but lets not characterize all commercial honey in such a manner. My honey and most all commercial honey sold is thoroughly tested by all reputable buyers concerned greatly about liability. Is yours? How many tf folks can say theirs is? There are lots of things bees can get into that you have no control over. If your choice to be treatment free is from the standpoint of developing stronger more resistant bees then I totally respect that but that is an entirely separate issue so lets not confuse the two.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #52

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Trumpet your honey all you want Mike but to suggest that any beekeeper who chooses to treat is selling a tainted product is just flat wrong and there is no basis in fact to support it.
    In Finland we have a gentlemen agreement, that every beekeeper can promote his own products as much as he can, but he must not abuse other beekeepers products in any way. I think this works fine.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Trumpet your honey all you want Mike but to suggest that any beekeeper who chooses to treat is selling a tainted product is just flat wrong and there is no basis in fact to support it.
    Its your term Jim, not mine, but I'll offer: it is 'tainted' in my view by the fact that the way it is raised is damaging to the wild bee population. The public is also likely to form the view that it might contain chemical residues (and it might - not yours perhaps, but not everyone is as careful as you). Rightly or wrongly that can only help to create a divide between Tm. Real Honey Made By Real Bees and your product. And that's my aim.

    I'm sorry Jim, its nothing personal. You could think of it simply as a measure of commercial competition.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Sure, miticides can be abused and used off label but lets not characterize all commercial honey in such a manner. My honey and most all commercial honey sold is thoroughly tested by all reputable buyers concerned greatly about liability. Is yours? How many tf folks can say theirs is? There are lots of things bees can get into that you have no control over.
    I don't think there are any huge liability issues to worry about if you're not putting _anything_ in the hives. Another plus to tf....

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    If your choice to be treatment free is from the standpoint of developing stronger more resistant bees then I totally respect that but that is an entirely separate issue so lets not confuse the two.
    Its also from the standpoint of trying to reverse damaging ecological practices in the wider sense. I don't like industrial agriculture and its grubby and destructive habits. Any more than I like banks that are too big to fail, or the commercialisation of human values and decency. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the world I grew up in (post-war England) to what it has become. I'm gonna add that to my sales pitch too!

    There are mixed-up strands here Jim, that I'm not inclined to try to unravel. I like wholesomeness, and to me that is about the means of production just as much as the product itself.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  14. #54
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    In Finland we have a gentlemen agreement, that every beekeeper can promote his own products as much as he can, but he must not abuse other beekeepers products in any way. I think this works fine.
    In my part of England we don't have that agreement. But I'm not intending to 'abuse' anyone. I'm just pointing out that my honey is tf honey, and therefore Real Honey Made By Real Bees, and explaining what I mean by that.

    It means its much, much, more natural than ordinary honey, and that in making it I haven't harmed any wild bees.

    Those are two aspects are part of a joined-up philosophy of husbandry geared promoting to a kind of farming that deliberately minimises its impact on the natural ecology. More: it recognises a responsibility to farmers to protect the ecology for unborn generations.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  15. #55
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Who are you referring to Kamon?
    Kent Williams and Dee Lusby ( though I know both aren't the biggest fishes in the commercial pool doesn't mean their business model would not work on a bigger scale.)

    Some will say it's cause Lusby has Africans and small cell doesn't work but common sense says that it can't hurt either. If varroa prefers the bigger cells of drones then the smaller the cells the less quickly varroa can a get a foot hold. (mites have more success reproducing multiple young in bigger cells.

    Not a cure all. But part a management system that will work.

    Kent Williams bees I really like. Helped me to be successful in my treatment free yards. Produce honey as good as any hive I know of in my state. No treatments needed.
    Last edited by Kamon Reynolds; 12-14-2013 at 11:26 AM. Reason: spelling

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Mike: Yes honey packers I deal with are very much concerned about purity and liability, they dont take my word for anything. They run their own tests on the honey before choosing to accept it. That "your honey is real" and that "comms will fake it" clearly implies not just that there is something better about your honey but that there is something wrong with the other honey. In your marketing you may focus all you wish on what you do but stay away from implying what others might be doing. The likelihood that my honey contains contains chemical residues is virtually the same as the likelihood that your honey contains chemical residues in that its out of my control where my bees might forage. Agreed, perhaps not everyone can say that but I am here to make it clear to everyone choosing not to treat that the danger of tainting the purity of your honey is only a criteria for those who choose to abuse and make off label applications.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    That "your honey is real" and that "comms will fake it" clearly implies not just that there is something better about your honey but that there is something wrong with the other honey.
    That's right. There is something wrong - not (necessarily) with the product but with the means of production. This is no different to the 'organic'/ordinary food divide. Something about the production is different, such that a claim to superiority can be made, which, of its nature, is an implied criticism of the rest.


    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    In your marketing you may focus all you wish on what you do but stay away from implying what others might be doing.
    With all due respect Jim I'll do as I see fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    The likelihood that my honey contains contains chemical residues is virtually the same as the likelihood that your honey contains chemical residues in that its out of my control where my bees might forage.
    I don't know why you keep going on about chemical taints. That isn't the basis of my claim, as I've explained. My Real Honey is better than your honey because its kinder to wild bees. And its a return to kinder and more wholesome ways of food production. What could be nicer!

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
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  18. #58
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    Kent Williams and Dee Lusby ( though I know both aren't the biggest fishes in the commercial pool doesn't mean their business model would not work on a bigger scale.)

    Some will say it's cause Lusby has Africans and small cell doesn't work but common sense says that it can't hurt either. If varroa prefers the bigger cells of drones then the smaller the cells the less quickly varroa can a get a foot hold. (mites have more success reproducing multiple young in bigger cells.

    Not a cure all. But part a management system that will work.

    Kent Williams bees I really like. Helped me to be successful in my treatment free yards. Produce honey as good as any hive I know of in my state. No treatments needed.
    I don't know Williams or anything about him, but Dee Lusby doesn't run 1,000. Maybe Williams does?

    Why do you suppose that there aren't more than two?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  19. #59
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    I'm coming to this party kind of late. I'm a modified tf beekeeper, and using IPM and will treat if need be rather than simply consign a colony to a needless death. I'm making honey, not pedigrees, though much of my stock is local ferals, many of them testing positive for Amm.

    I raise open-mated queens from survivors of tf hives, but I'm willing to treat hives designated for production because I want the honey. I often use formic and I'm getting to like powdered sugar dusting. I check for mites using the alcohol wash, which in my opinion, is the most accurate.

    I'm not convinced of the argument (and not trying to make it one, Kamon) that I'm polluting the neighborhood with inferior genetics. We have tons of ferals in southeast Missouri. And queens fly great distances, way beyond their own sons, to mate with different drones. This is one realm of beekeeping I cannot delude myself into thinking I have any control over.

    I have some 100% tf yards and I'm tf because they are the remotest, hard to reach yards and I almost have to schedule their inspections. They do just fine despite my procrastination.

    I also like the idea of tf from the perspective of epigentics, that environmental cues can turn genetic switches on or off in the bee. If one of these environmental cues is, say Apistan, and it is applied to kill mites, do we know if it turns off a gene in the bee which fights viruses? We don't, but we know there are synthetic chems that alter a queens reproductive capacity, a drone's sperm count (yeah, I'd like to try and sell that research paper to a academic committee). Randy Oliver is a champion of epigenetics.

    It's also the sub-lethal side effects from synthetic chems that move me to be tf. But we also have to remember how polluted the environment has become. There's a ton of garbage in our air and water that the bees will pick up even though we beekeepers go tf.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    But we also have to remember how polluted the environment has become. There's a ton of garbage in our air and water that the bees will pick up even though we beekeepers go tf.
    1. Contamination from chemicals introduced into the hive via various treatments and feeds. Chloramphenicol in chinese honey anyone? Fluvalinate in beeswax?
    2. Contamination from bacterial growth in honey, food poisoning can originate from improper handling.
    3. Environmental toxins that bees encounter as they forage. This includes both man-made and natural toxins.

    I make no brags of any sort about my honey. If someone asks, I tell them that I do not treat for mites and have not treated in 8 years. I sell every bit that I produce.

    I hear what MB is saying about wanting to get back to what nature intended for honeybees. I also hear what JL says about doing the best he can to manage bees so that pure honey is produced. Both positions are pretty extreme given the world we live in. My position is to avoid putting anything into my colonies that I would be scared of eating myself. Reality as I see it is that commercial beekeepers could go cold turkey the same as I did. They don't because they have not figured out the steps that make it work.
    DarJones - 45 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

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